October 18, 2003 – October 24, 2003
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40.
Suggested Reading: Early Writings, 285–288; 292–294.
“All the dead would remain in their graves forever were it not that Christ died and rose again. For if He be not risen, then there can be no resurrection of the dead. But the blessed truth that there shall be a resurrection, because Jesus actually died and rose again (Revelation 1:18), brings life within reach of every lost son and daughter of Adam, and makes the plan of eternal life through Him forever sure.” Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912, 6, 7.
1 What question was asked long ago concerning the dead? What answer is given? Job 14:14, 15; Isaiah 26:19.
note: “Christ is life itself. He who passed through death to destroy him that had the power of death is the Source of all vitality. There is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant joy as He stood above Joseph’s rent sepulcher proclaiming: ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ [John 11:25.]” Testimonies, vol. 6, 230.
2 How much depends upon the resurrection? 1 Corinthians 15:16–18.
note: “If for four thousand years the righteous had gone directly to heaven at death, how could Paul have said that if there is no resurrection, ‘they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished’? No resurrection would be necessary. . . .
“It is an undeniable fact that the hope of immortal blessedness at death has led to a widespread neglect of the Bible doctrine of the resurrection. This tendency was remarked by Dr. Adam Clarke, who said: ‘The doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! So apostles preached, and so primitive Christians believed; so we preach, and so our hearers believe. There is not a doctrine in the gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect!’—Commentary, remarks on 1 Corinthians 15, para-graph 3.” The Great Controversy, 546, 547.
3 What did Jesus declare to be the will of God? John 6:39, 40.
note: “Jesus has promised that he will in no wise cast out those who come to him. We are to come with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. What has the Father given the Son? He has given him every one who has genuine faith in Christ; for this faith will enable its possessor to endure unto the end, and he will be raised up at the last day.” Review and Herald, April 14, 1891.
4 What two distinct classes are known in this life? Ecclesiastes 3:17.
note: “Two classes . . . were to exist till the second coming of Christ—the righteous and the wicked, the rebellious and the loyal.
“God will remember the righteous, who fear him. On account of his dear Son he will respect and honor them, and give them everlasting life. But the wicked, who trample upon his authority, he will cut off and destroy from the earth, and they will be as though they had not been.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 57, 58.
5 How are these classes spoken of in connection with the resurrection? Acts 24:14, 15.
note: “Through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves. ‘There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;’ ‘for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22. But a distinction is made between the two classes that are brought forth. ‘All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’ John 5:28, 29. They who have been ‘accounted worthy’ of the resurrection of life are ‘blessed and holy.’ ‘On such the second death hath no power.’ Revelation 20:6. But those who have not, through repentance and faith, secured pardon, must receive the penalty of transgression—‘the wages of sin.’ They suffer punishment varying in duration and intensity, ‘according to their works,’ but finally ending in the second death.” The Great Controversy, 544.
6 In connection with what event are the righteous dead awakened from their sleep? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
note: “The reception of Paul’s epistle [to the Thessalonians] was to them a great event. Written communications passing between friends were of very rare occurrence in those times. There was great joy in the church as the epistle was opened and read. What consolation was afforded them by those words which revealed the true state of the dead. Paul therein showed them that those who should be alive when Christ should come would not go to meet their Lord in advance of those who should be asleep in Jesus. For the voice of the archangel and the trump of God should reach the sleeping ones, and the dead in Christ should rise first, before the touch of immortality should be given to the living.” Sketches From the Life of Paul, 112, 113.
7 After whose likeness are these resurrected ones fashioned? Philippians 3:20, 21.
note: “Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave.” The Great Controversy, 645.
8 How long a time intervenes between the first and second resurrections? Revelation 20:5, 6.
note: “At the close of the thousand years the second resurrection will take place. Then the wicked will be raised from the dead, and appear before God.” The Faith I Live By, 184.
9 What occurs at the end of this thousand year period? John 5:29, last part; Revelation 20:7–9.
note: “In fearful majesty he [Jesus] calls forth the wicked dead. They are wakened from their long sleep. What a dreadful waking! They behold the Son of God in his stern majesty and resplendent glory.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 84.
“Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan’s captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him. He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.” Maranatha, 337.
10 What is the recompense of those whose names are not found written in the book of life? Revelation 20:15; 21:8.
note: “Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 11 Peter 3:10. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—‘the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.’ Isaiah 34:8.
“The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. . . . Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished ‘according to their deeds.’ [Romans 2:6.]” The Great Controversy, 672, 673.
11 From what will the overcomer be delivered? Revelation 2:11.
note: “While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. Upon those that had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield. Revelation 20:6; Psalm 84:11.” The Great Controversy, 673.
12 What is the last enemy to be destroyed? 1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14.
note: “ ‘The thoughts of the coming of the Lord,’ said Baxter, ‘are most sweet and joyful to me.’—Richard Baxter, Works, vol. 17, p. 555. ‘It is the work of faith and the character of His saints to love His appearing and to look for that blessed hope.’ ‘If death be the last enemy to be destroyed at the resurrection, we may learn how earnestly believers should long and pray for the second coming of Christ, when this full and final conquest shall be made.’—Ibid., vol. 17, p. 500. ‘This is the day that all believers should long, and hope, and wait for, as being the accomplishment of all the work of their redemption, and all the desires and endeavors of their souls.’ ‘Hasten, O Lord, this blessed day!’—Ibid., vol. 17, pp. 182, 183.” The Great Controversy, 303, 304.
These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.