August 14, 1999 – August 20, 1999
MEMORY VERSE: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12.
STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62.
“There is a constant effort made to explain the work of creation as the result of natural causes; and human reasoning is accepted even by professed Christians, in opposition to plain Scripture facts. There are many who oppose the investigation of the prophecies, especially those of Daniel and the Revelation, declaring them to be so obscure that we cannot understand them; yet these very persons eagerly receive the suppositions of geologists, in contradiction of the Mosaic record. But if that which God has revealed is so difficult to understand, how inconsistent it is to accept mere suppositions in regard to that which he has not revealed!” Patriarchs and Prophets, 113.
“DEATH BY SIN”
How does Paul clearly state the origin of death? Romans 5:12.
NOTE: Theistic evolutionists believe that God used evolution to bring about the world as we know it. They believe that He began with the Big Bang, then gradually formed galaxies, stars and planets like our earth. Then He created life (or allowed it to evolve from chemicals) and endowed that life with the capacity to progress upwards from amoeba to man. They believe that the “days” of Genesis 1 were long periods of time. To accommodate these theories, they accept that death and bloodshed took place long before Adam (if he existed at all).
“When this earth was created by Christ, it was holy and beautiful. God pronounced it ‘very good.’ Every flower, every shrub, every tree, answered the purpose of its Creator. Everything upon which the eye rested was lovely, and filled the mind with thoughts of love for the Creator. Every sound was music, in perfect harmony with the voice of God. But a change has come. Sin has brought decay, deformity, death. Today, the whole world is tainted, corrupted, stricken with a mortal disease. The earth groans under the continual transgression of the inhabitants thereof. Human beings have degenerated. One after another they fall under the curse, because sin has entered the world, and death by sin.” Signs of the Times, June 27, 1900.
How is the relationship between sin and death explained? Romans 6:23.
NOTE: “The vials of God’s wrath shall be poured out upon them [sinners]. Black despair, like the pall of death, will gather about their guilty souls, and then they will realize to the fullest extent the sinfulness of sin. Salvation has been purchased for them by the suffering and death of the Son of God. It might be theirs, if they would accept of it willingly, gladly; but none are compelled to yield obedience to the law of God. If they refuse the heavenly benefit and choose the pleasures and deceitfulness of sin, they have their choice, and at the end receive their wages, which is the wrath of God and eternal death. They will be forever separated from the presence of Jesus, whose sacrifice they had despised. They will have lost a life of happiness and sacrificed eternal glory for the pleasures of sin for a season.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 210.
“MORE VALUE THAN MANY SPARROWS”
How did Jesus express God’s love for the animal creation? Luke 12:6.
NOTE: Theistic evolutionists contend that disease, suffering and death must have existed for millions of years in the animal creation before the emergence of man.
“Think of it, not one of these little brown sparrows that are carolling forth their praises to God will fall to the ground without the notice of the heavenly Father. Not one of these little brown sparrows that the boys so ruthlessly kill, drops to the ground but His eye marks its fall. ‘But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.’ If God cares for a sparrow that has no soul, how will He care for the purchase of the blood of Christ? One soul is worth more than all the world. For one soul Jesus would have passed through the agony of Calvary that that one might be saved in His kingdom. ‘Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’” Review and Herald, May 3, 1892.
How did Jesus further explain God’s care for His creation? Matthew 6:26–30.
NOTE: “God, who created man, made the animals, also. They were to minister to man’s comfort and happiness, to serve him, and to be controlled by him. But this power was not to be used to cause pain by harsh punishment or cruel exaction. Yet some are as reckless and unfeeling toward their faithful animals as though the poor brutes had not flesh and nerve that can quiver with pain. Many do not think that their cruelty will ever be known, because the poor dumb beasts cannot reveal it. But could the eyes of these men be opened, as were the eyes of Balaam, they would see an angel of God standing as a witness to testify against them in the courts above. A record goes up to Heaven, and a day is coming when judgment will be pronounced against men who make themselves demons by their dealings with God’s creatures. If animals could speak, what deeds of horror would be revealed—what tales of suffering, because of the perversity of man’s temper! How often those creatures of God’s care suffer pain, endure hunger and thirst, because they cannot make known their wants. And how often is it determined by the mercy or the caprice of man, whether they receive attention and kindness, or neglect and abuse. Punishment given in passion to an animal is frequently excessive, and is then absolute cruelty. Animals have a kind of dignity and self-respect, akin to that possessed by human beings.” Signs of the Times, November 25, 1880.
“THE WHOLE CREATION GROANETH”
What was to be man’s original role with regard to the animal creation? Genesis 1:26, 28.
NOTE: “He was placed, as God’s representative, over the lower orders of being. They cannot understand or acknowledge the sovereignty of God, yet they were made capable of loving and serving man. The psalmist says, ‘Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet:…the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air,…and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.’ Psalm 8:6–8.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 45.
How did the creation share in Adam’s fall? Romans 8:22.
NOTE: “In drooping flower and falling leaf Adam and his companion witnessed the first signs of decay. Vividly was brought to their minds the stern fact that every living thing must die. Even the air, upon which their life depended, bore the seeds of death. Continually they were reminded also of their lost dominion. Among the lower creatures Adam had stood as king, and so long as he remained loyal to God, all nature acknowledged his rule; but when he transgressed, this dominion was forfeited. The spirit of rebellion, to which he himself had given entrance, extended throughout the animal creation. Thus not only the life of man, but the nature of the beasts, the trees of the forest, the grass of the field, the very air he breathed, all told the sad lesson of the knowledge of evil.” Education, 26, 27.
“THE DREAD OF YOU”
How did God describe the changed relationship between man and the animal creation? Genesis 9:2.
NOTE: “As Noah looked upon the powerful beasts of prey that came forth with him from the ark, he feared that his family, numbering only eight persons, would be destroyed by them. But the Lord sent an angel to His servant with the assuring message: ‘The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, 107.
What change in man’s diet was necessitated by the Flood? Genesis 9:3, 4.
NOTE: “Previous to this time God had given man no permission to eat animal food. But every living substance upon the face of the earth upon which man could subsist had been destroyed; therefore God gave Noah permission to eat of the clean beasts which he had taken with him into the ark. God said to Noah, ‘Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.’ God had formerly given them the herb of the ground.” Signs of the Times, March 6 1879.
“DEATH REIGNED FROM ADAM TO MOSES”
Who was the first human being to be released from the bonds of death? Jude 9; Matthew 17:1–3; Romans 5:14.
NOTE: “Had not the life of Moses been marred with that one sin, in failing to give God the glory of bringing water from the rock at Kadesh, he would have entered the Promised Land, and would have been translated to heaven without seeing death. But he was not long to remain in the tomb. Christ Himself, with the angels who had buried Moses, came down from heaven to call forth the sleeping saint. Satan had exulted at his success in causing Moses to sin against God, and thus come under the dominion of death. The great adversary declared that the divine sentence—“Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19)—gave him possession of the dead. The power of the grave had never been broken, and all who were in the tomb he claimed as his captives, never to be released from his dark prison house. For the first time Christ was about to give life to the dead . . . In consequence of sin Moses had come under the power of Satan. In his own merits he was death’s lawful captive; but he was raised to immortal life, holding his title in the name of the Redeemer. Moses came forth from the tomb glorified, and ascended with his Deliverer to the City of God.’” Patriarchs and Prophets, 478, 479.
What other human beings have already been raised to eternal life or translated without seeing death? Genesis 5:24; (Hebrews 11:5); 2 Kings 2:11; (Matthew 17:1–3); Matthew 27:52, 53, (Ephesians 4:8 margin).
NOTE: “Enoch was a representative of Christ as surely as was the beloved disciple John. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. To him was committed the message of the Second Coming of Christ. ‘And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.” Jude 14, 15. The message preached by Enoch and his translation to heaven were a convincing argument to all who lived in his time. These things were an argument that Methuselah and Noah could use with power to show that the righteous could be translated. That God who walked with Enoch was our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He was the light of the world then just as He is now. Those who lived then were not without teachers to instruct them in the path of life; for Noah and Enoch were Christians.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 392.
“THE GIFT OF GOD”
Although the wages of sin is death, what is offered to mankind through Jesus? Romans 6:23.
NOTE: “The Saviour of the world offers to the erring the gift of eternal life. He watches for a response to His offers of love and forgiveness with a more tender compassion than that which moves the heart of an earthly parent to forgive a wayward, repenting, suffering son. He cries after the wanderer: ‘Return unto Me, and I will return unto you.’” Testimonies, vol. 4, 207, 208.
What will determine whether we receive the gift of eternal life? Romans 2:6–9.
NOTE: “Said the angel: ‘Will ye have Christ, or the world?’ Satan presents the world with its most alluring, flattering charms to poor mortals, and they gaze upon it, and its glitter and tinsel eclipse the glory of heaven and that life which is as enduring as the throne of God. A life of peace, happiness, joy unspeakable, which shall know nothing of sorrow, sadness, pain, nor death, is sacrificed for a short lifetime of sin. All who will turn from the pleasures of earth, and with Moses choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world, will, with faithful Moses, receive the unfading crown of immortality and the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 101.