April 9-15, 2000
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.
STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 111–116.
INTRODUCTION: “I love to see everything that is beautiful in nature in this world. I think I would be perfectly satisfied with this earth, surrounded with the good things of God, if it were not blighted with the curse of sin. But we shall have new heavens and a new earth. John saw this in holy vision and said, ‘I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God’ Revelation 21:3. Oh, blessed hope, glorious prospect!” Last Day Events, 285.
“It Was Very Good”
What does the Bible tells us about the creation of the world? Exodus 20:11.
NOTE: “’By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.’ ‘For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.’ Psalm 33:6, 9. The Bible recognizes no long ages in which the earth was evolved from chaos. Of each successive day of creation, the sacred record declares that it consisted of the evening and the morning, like all other days that have followed.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 191. (See also Patriarchs and Prophets, 111.)
How did the Lord describe His creation? Genesis 1:31.
NOTE: “‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.’ Eden bloomed on earth. Adam and Eve had free access to the tree of life. No taint of sin or shadow of death marred the fair creation. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7.” Sons and Daughters of God, 23.
“Sin Entered into the World, and Death by Sin”
What went wrong with God’s perfect creation? Romans 5:12.
NOTE: “Human beings have degenerated. One after another they fall under the curse, because sin has entered the world, and death by sin. The truth is not made precious by practice. It does not sanctify the soul. It fades from the mind because the heart does not appreciate its value. In consequence the mind becomes more and more darkened by the atmosphere which is malarious because of the perpetuating of Adam’s sin. The conscience has lost its sensitiveness. Through a repetition of sin, the impression made on the conscience by sin has no longer force enough to arrest the transgressor, diseased, depraved, and dying. The voice no longer echoes the voice of God, or gives expression to the music of a soul sanctified through the truth. The heart, in which God should be enthroned, is a place from which come forth all kinds of abominations. How has the fine gold become dim? Man has lost the reflection of God’s character. This calamity is well nigh universal. There is no place upon earth where the track of the serpent is not seen and his venomous sting felt. The whole earth is defiled. The curse is increasing as transgression increases. The earth is preparing for purification by fire.” Bible Echo, May 21, 1900.
Who introduced evil and death into this world? John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 12: 9–12.
NOTE: “Man through sin has been severed from the life of God. His soul is palsied through the machinations of Satan, the author of sin. Of himself he is incapable of sensing sin, incapable of appreciating and appropriating the Divine nature. Were it brought within his reach there is nothing in it that his natural heart would desire it. The bewitching power of Satan is upon him. All the ingenious subterfuges the devil can suggest are presented to his mind to prevent every good impulse. Every faculty and power given him of God has been used as a weapon against the Divine Benefactor. So, although He loves him, God cannot safely impart to him the gifts and blessings He desires to bestow. But God will not be defeated by Satan. He sent His Son into the world, that through His taking the human form and nature, humanity and divinity combined in Him would elevate man in the scale of moral value with God. There is no other way for man’s salvation. ‘Without Me,’ says Christ, ‘ye can do nothing.’ (See John 15:5).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 340.
Apart from the moral damage caused by Satan, how was the earth itself affected as a consequence of sin? Genesis 3:17–19.
NOTE: “Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only; for evil was everywhere present, marring earth and sea and air with its defiling touch. Where once was written only the character of God, the knowledge of good, was now written also the character of Satan, the knowledge of evil. From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin.” Child Guidance, 46. (See also Conflict and Courage, 19.)
“Death is Swallowed Up in Victory”
How many have sinned and thus incurred the penalty of death? Romans 5:12.
NOTE: “The wickedness that fills our world is the result of Adam’s refusal to take God’s word as supreme. He disobeyed, and fell under the temptation of the enemy…And, apart from the plan of redemption, human beings are doomed to death. ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ But Christ gave His life to save the sinner from the death sentence. He died that we might live. To those who receive him He gives power that enables them to separate from that which, unless they return to their loyalty, will place them where they must be condemned and punished.” Review and Herald, March 15, 1906.
How does Paul describe the triumph of Christ over death? Romans 6:9–10; 2 Timothy 1:10.
NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 785.
How should Christ’s victory over death affect our own lives? Romans 6:3–4.
NOTE: “Everyone is to discern his weak points of character and guard against them with vigor. Those who have been buried with Christ in baptism, and been raised in the likeness of His resurrection, have pledged themselves to live in newness of life.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 258.
How does Paul describe the time when mortals will become immortal? 1 Corinthians 15:51–55.
NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 421.
“That He Might Destroy Him”
What action did God take after Satan introduced sin and warfare into heaven? Revelation 12:9.
NOTE: “The only way to show the disposition of Satan was to give him a chance to develop himself as one who would be worthy of condemnation and death. So the God of heaven, while He did not destroy Satan, gave His Son to counteract the influence of Satan; and when He gave His Son He gave Himself, and here was the image of God that was brought to our world. What for? That we might become mighty with God.” 1888 Materials, 122. (See also Desire of Ages, 759.)
What was an important reason for Christ to take human nature? Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8.
NOTE: “Satan not only bore the weight and punishment of his sins, but the sins of all the redeemed host had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of the souls which he had caused. Then I saw that Satan, and all the wicked host, were consumed, and the justice of God was satisfied; and all the angelic host, and all the redeemed saints, with a loud voice said, ‘Amen!’” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 218. (See also The Great Controversy, 673.)
“Behold I Make All Things New”
Once Satan and all who have been corrupted by him are destroyed, what promise will God make? Revelation 21:5.
NOTE: “The work of redemption will be complete. In the place where sin abounded, God’s grace much more abounds. The earth itself, the very field that Satan claims as his, is to be not only ransomed but exalted. Our little world, under the curse of sin, the one dark blot in His glorious creation, will be honored above all other worlds in the universe of God. Here, where the Son of God tabernacled in humanity; where the King of glory lived and suffered and died, here, when He shall make all things new, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, ‘and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself, shall be with them, and be their God.’” Review and Herald, February 25, 1915.
How does the apostle Peter link belief in the creation with the promise of the Second Coming? 2 Peter 3:4–5.
NOTE: “Looking down through the ages to the close of time, Peter was inspired to outline conditions that would exist in the world just prior to the second coming of Christ. ‘There shall come in the last days scoffers,’ he wrote, ‘walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.’ But ‘when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them.’ Not all, however, would be ensnared by the enemy’s devices. As the end of all things earthly approached, there would be faithful ones able to discern the signs of the times. While a larger number of professing believers would deny their faith by their works, there would be a remnant who would endure to the end.” Review and Herald, September 26, 1912.