September 22–28, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Isaiah 65:17.
SUGGESTED READING: The Great Controversy, 662–678; Prophets and Kings, 729–733.
INTRODUCTION: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. . . . And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:1, 2.
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23.
“Between the school established in Eden at the beginning and the school of the hereafter there lies the whole compass of this world’s history—the history of human transgression and suffering, of divine sacrifice, and of victory over death and sin. Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.” Education, 301.
1 For what purpose did God originally create the earth? Isaiah 45:18.
NOTE: “In the creation it was His purpose that the earth be inhabited by beings whose existence should be a blessing to themselves and to one another, and an honor to their Creator. All who will may identify themselves with this purpose. Of them it is spoken, ‘This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise.’ Isaiah 43:21.” Education, 173.
2 What events will bring to an end the present world order? 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; Revelation 20:5, 9; 2 Peter 3:9–12.
NOTE: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us ‘faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs of His coming He said, ‘When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’” The Desire of Ages, 632.
3 What are we told about God’s new world order? 2 Peter 3:13; Matthew 5:5; Proverbs 11:31. Compare Isaiah 65:17.
NOTE: “The meek ‘shall inherit the earth.’ It was through the desire for self-exaltation that sin entered into the world, and our first parents lost the dominion over this fair earth, their kingdom. It is through self-abnegation that Christ redeems what was lost. And He says we are to overcome as He did. Revelation 3:21. Through humility and self-surrender we may become heirs with Him when ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ Psalm 37:11.
“The earth promised to the meek will not be like this, darkened with the shadow of death and the curse. [2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3 quoted.]
“There is no disappointment, no sorrow, no sin, no one who shall say, I am sick; there are no burial trains, no mourning, no death, no partings, no broken hearts; but Jesus is there, peace is there. There ‘they shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.’ Isaiah 49:10.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 17.
4 Why is it impossible to adequately describe the new heaven and earth? 1 Corinthians 2:9.
NOTE: “Paul had a view of heaven, and in discoursing on the glories there, the very best thing he could do was to not try to describe them. He tells us that eye had not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him. So you may put your imagination to the stretch, you may try to the very best of your abilities to take in and consider the eternal weight of glory, and yet your finite senses, faint and weary with the effort, cannot grasp it, for there is an infinity beyond. It takes all of eternity to unfold the glories and bring out the precious treasures of the Word of God.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 73.
5 What was Isaiah inspired to tell us about the new earth? Isaiah 65:17–19; 35:1, 2.
NOTE: “In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called a country. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord.
“The grass will be a living green, and will never wither. There will be roses and lilies and all kinds of flowers there. They will never blight or fade or lose their beauty and fragrance.” My Life Today, 354.
6 In what activities will the saints participate in heaven? Isaiah 65:21, 22.
NOTE: “In the earth made new the redeemed will engage in the occupations and pleasures that brought happiness to Adam and Eve in the beginning. The Eden life will be lived, the life in garden and field. [Isaiah 65:21, 22 quoted.]
“There every power will be developed, every capability increased. The grandest enterprises will be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations will be reached, the highest ambitions realized. And still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of body and mind and soul.” The Adventist Home, 549.
7 How does the prophet Isaiah describe living conditions in the new earth? Isaiah 65:23, 24; 32:18; 33:24.
NOTE: “In the City of God ‘there shall be no night.’ None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. ‘And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.’ Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.” The Great Controversy, 676.
“Christ came to restore to its original loveliness a world ruined by sin. . . . In the new earth there will be no sin nor disease. . . . And the body will be restored to its original perfection. We shall wear the spotless image of our Lord. . . .” My Life Today, 153.
8 Where will God’s dwelling place be and how is it described? Revelation 21:1–4; 22:1–5.
NOTE: “God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. . . .
“God created the earth to be the abode of holy, happy beings. That purpose will be fulfilled when, renewed by the power of God and freed from sin and sorrow, it shall become the eternal home of the redeemed.” The Adventist Home, 540.
“There is the New Jerusalem, ‘having the glory of God,’ her light ‘like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.’ Revelation 21:11. Saith the Lord, ‘I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.’ Isaiah 65:19.” The Story of Redemption, 431.
9 How will the regular system of worship be carried on in the new earth? Isaiah 66:22, 23.
NOTE: “The nations of the saved will know no other law than the law of heaven. All will be a happy, united family, clothed with the garments of praise and thanksgiving. Over the scene the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy. . . .
“So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power. And when Eden shall bloom on earth again, God’s holy rest day will be honored by all beneath the sun.” My Life Today, 364.
10 Who are the people who will be with Christ when He overcomes the beast power? Revelation 17:12–14.
NOTE: “Communion with Christ—how unspeakably precious! Such communion it is our privilege to enjoy if we will seek it, if we will make any sacrifice to secure it. When the early disciples heard the words of Christ, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the house, at the table, in the closet, in the field. They were with Him as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from His lips lessons of holy truth. They looked to Him as servants to their master, to learn their duty. They served Him cheerfully, gladly. They followed Him, as soldiers follow their commander, fighting the good fight of faith. ‘And they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 223.
11 Through what relationship do we inherit the promises made to God’s faithful followers? Romans 8:14, 17.
NOTE: “We are children of the heavenly King, members of the royal family, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. The mansions Jesus has gone to prepare are to receive only those who are true, who are pure, who love and obey His words. . . . If we would enjoy eternal bliss, we must cultivate religion in the home. . . . Peace, harmony, affection, and happiness should be perseveringly cherished every day, until these precious things abide in the hearts of those who compose the family.
“That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions.” The Faith I Live By, 279.
12 How do we become heirs to heaven? Galatians 3:29; 2:20; Philippians 4:13.
NOTE: “Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts that we can form characters for everlasting life. When we do this we will find that the angels of God will minister unto us, and we shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. And when the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be called from their prison house and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the crowns of immortal glory shall be placed upon the heads of the overcomers. The pearly gates will swing back for the nations that have kept the truth and they will enter in. The conflict is ended.” In Heavenly Places, 369.
13 What assuring promises are given to those who seek this eternal inheritance? 1 John 3:1–3.
NOTE: “God regards us as His children. He has redeemed us out of the careless world and has chosen us to become members of the royal family, sons and daughters of the heavenly King. He invites us to trust in Him with a trust deeper and stronger than that of a child in his earthly father. Parents love their children, but the love of God is larger, broader, deeper, than human love can possibly be. It is immeasurable. Then if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more shall our Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 142.
14 What will bring the greatest satisfaction to the redeemed? Revelation 22:4.
NOTE: “Only by looking to Jesus, the Lamb of God, and following in His steps, can you prepare to meet God. Follow Him, and you will one day walk the golden streets of the city of God. You will see Him who laid aside His royal garments and His kingly crown, and disguising Himself with humanity, came to our world and bore our sins, that He might lift us up and give us a revelation of His glory and majesty. We shall see Him face to face if we now give ourselves up to be molded and fashioned by Him and prepared for a place in the kingdom of God.
“Those who consecrate their lives to the service of God will live with Him through the ceaseless ages of eternity. ‘God himself shall be with them, and be their God’ (Revelation 21:3). . . .
“Their minds were given to God in this world; they served Him with their heart and intellect, and now He can put His name in their foreheads. ‘And there shall be no night there; . . . for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever’ (Revelation 22:5). They do not go in as those that beg a place there, for Christ says to them, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matthew 25:34). He takes them as His children, saying, Enter ye into the joy of your Lord. The crown of immortality is placed on the brow of the overcomers. They take their crowns and cast them at the feet of Jesus, and touching their golden harps, they fill all heaven with rich music in songs of praise to the Lamb. Then ‘they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.’” That I May Know Him, 364.