Bible Study Guides – To Whom do Man and All His Possessions Belong? Part I

April 2, 2006 – April 8, 2006

Key Text

“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright . . . .” Ecclesiastes 7:29.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 1, 341–345.


“Mighty issues for the world were at stake in the conflict between the Prince of light and the leader of the kingdom of darkness. After tempting man to sin, Satan claimed the earth as his, and styled himself the prince of this world. Having conformed to his own nature the father and mother of our race, he thought to establish here his empire. He declared that men had chosen him as their sovereign. Through his control of men, he held dominion over the world. Christ had come to disprove Satan’s claim. As the Son of man, Christ would stand loyal to God. Thus it would be shown that Satan had not gained complete control of the human race, and that his claim to the world was false. All who desired deliverance from his power would be set free. The dominion that Adam had lost through sin would be recovered.” The Desire of Ages, 114.

1 What was man’s nature before he sinned? Ecclesiastes 7:29. Compare Genesis 1:27; 3:6, 7.

note: “God made man upright; He gave him noble traits of character, with no bias toward evil. He endowed him with high intellectual powers, and presented before him the strongest possible inducements to be true to his allegiance. Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he was to have access to the tree of life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49.

“God made man upright, perfectly holy and happy; but he lost the divine favor and destroyed his own happiness by disobedience to the Father’s law. The sin of Adam plunged the race in hopeless misery and despair. But God, in His wonderful, pitying love, did not leave men to perish in their hopeless, fallen condition. He gave His well-beloved Son for their salvation. Christ entered the world, His divinity clothed in humanity; He passed over the ground where Adam fell; He bore the test which Adam failed to endure; He overcame every temptation of Satan, and thus redeemed Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 293.

2 What relation did man sustain to God’s creation? Psalm 8:5–8; Genesis 1:26.

note: “Adam was crowned king in Eden. To him was given dominion over every living thing that God had created. The Lord blessed Adam and Eve with intelligence such as He had not given to any other creature. He made Adam the rightful sovereign over all the works of His hands. Man, made in the divine image, could contemplate and appreciate the glorious works of God in nature.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1082.

“After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 44.

3 How did man lose this dominion? Genesis 3:6, 17–19, 23.

note: “It was not the will of God that the sinless pair [Adam and Eve] should know aught of evil. He had freely given them the good, and had withheld the evil. But, contrary to His command, they had eaten of the forbidden tree, and now they would continue to eat of it—they would have the knowledge of evil—all the days of their life. From that time the race would be afflicted by Satan’s temptations. Instead of the happy labor heretofore appointed them, anxiety and toil were to be their lot. They would be subject to disappointment, grief, and pain, and finally to death.

“Under the curse of sin all nature was to witness to man of the character and results of rebellion against God. When God made man He made him ruler over the earth and all living creatures. So long as Adam remained loyal to Heaven, all nature was in subjection to him. But when he rebelled against the divine law, the inferior creatures were in rebellion against his rule. Thus the Lord, in His great mercy, would show men the sacredness of His law, and lead them, by their own experience, to see the danger of setting it aside, even in the slightest degree.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 59, 60.

“When Satan declared to Christ, The kingdom and glory of the world are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, he stated what was true only in part, and he declared it to serve his own purpose of deception. Satan’s dominion was that wrested from Adam, but Adam was the vicegerent of the Creator. His was not an independent rule. The earth is God’s, and He has committed all things to His Son. Adam was to reign subject to Christ. When Adam betrayed his sovereignty into Satan’s hands, Christ still remained the rightful King. Thus the Lord had said to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.’ Daniel 4:17. Satan can exercise his usurped authority only as God permits.” The Desire of Ages, 129, 130.

4 Who was affected by Adam’s fall? Romans 5:12.

note: “In consequence of Adam’s sin, death passed upon the whole human race. All alike go down into the grave. And through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves.” The Great Controversy, 544.

“Sorrow filled heaven, as it was realized that man was lost, and that world which God had created was to be filled with mortals doomed to misery, sickness, and death, and there was no way of escape for the offender. The whole family of Adam must die.” Early Writings, 149.

5 Who is the author of sin? Genesis 3:13. (See Revelation 12:9; 20:2.)

note: “Evil originated with Lucifer, who rebelled against the government of God. Before his fall he was a covering cherub, distinguished by his excellence. God made him good and beautiful, as near as possible like Himself.” Review and Herald, September 24, 1901.

“There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, ‘son of the morning,’ [Isaiah 14:12] was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

6 In what manner did man come under the control of Satan? 11 Peter 2:19. Compare Romans 6:16.

note: “Not only man but the earth had by sin come under the power of the wicked one, and was to be restored by the plan of redemption. At his creation Adam was placed in dominion over the earth. But by yielding to temptation, he was brought under the power of Satan. [11 Peter 2:19 quoted.] When man became Satan’s captive, the dominion which he held, passed to his conqueror. Thus Satan became ‘the god of this world.’ 11 Corinthians 4:4. He had usurped that dominion over the earth which had been originally given to Adam.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 67.

“Very many who profess to be servants of Christ are none of His. They are deceiving their souls to their own destruction. While they profess to be servants of Christ, they are not living in obedience to His will. [Romans 6:16 quoted.] Many, while professing to be servants of Christ, are obeying another master, working daily against the Master whom they profess to serve. ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ [Matthew 6:24.]” Testimonies, vol. 2, 442.

7 What relation does man now naturally sustain to sin? Romans 7:14.

note: “It is not enough to perceive the loving-kindness of God, to see the benevolence, the fatherly tenderness, of His character. It is not enough to discern the wisdom and justice of His law, to see that it is founded upon the eternal principle of love. Paul the apostle saw all this when he exclaimed, ‘I consent unto the law that it is good.’ ‘The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.’ But he added, in the bitterness of his soul-anguish and despair, ‘I am carnal, sold under sin.’ Romans 7:16, 12, 14. He longed for the purity, the righteousness, to which in himself he was powerless to attain, and cried out, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?’ Romans 7:24, margin.” Steps to Christ, 19.

“The Christian life is a battle and a march. In this warfare there is no release; the effort must be continuous and persevering. It is by unceasing endeavor that we maintain the victory over the temptations of Satan. Christian integrity must be sought with resistless energy and maintained with a resolute fixedness of purpose.” The Ministry of Healing, 453.

8 Of whom are those who sin? 1 John 3:8.

note: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ [Matthew 5:48.] This command is a promise. The plan of redemption contemplates our complete recovery from the power of Satan. Christ always separates the contrite soul from sin. He came to destroy the works of the devil, and He has made provision that the Holy Spirit shall be imparted to every repentant soul, to keep him from sinning.

“The tempter’s agency is not to be accounted an excuse for one wrong act. Satan is jubilant when he hears the professed followers of Christ making excuses for their deformity of character. It is these excuses that lead to sin. There is no excuse for sinning. A holy temper, a Christlike life, is accessible to every repenting, believing child of God.” The Desire of Ages, 311.

9 How does the apostle describe the world in its present state? 1 John 5:19.

note: “The whole world lieth in darkness. Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people, and the Lord calls upon the members of the church to labor together with Him in awakening the world, if possible, to their peril. We cannot do this of ourselves. We must derive our efficiency from Christ. Jesus says, ‘I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto me.’ [John 12:32.] Here is the secret of power, of effectiveness; for though human instrumentalities are employed in the work of salvation, it is the light shining from the uplifted cross that alone can attract hearts heavenward. We must present the truth as it is in Jesus. The light and power of an indwelling Saviour must be ours, or we cannot draw others to Him. We must be imbued with the spirit of truth, the spirit of Christ. There is no power in humanity to draw humanity to Christ. We are as iron that cannot attract unless it be magnetized. We must be sanctified through the truth if we would have a sanctifying influence upon others. Jesus says, ‘Thy word is truth.’ [John 17:17.] It is through a sanctified knowledge of the word of God that we shall be able to overcome the powers of darkness and win souls for the Master.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 805.

10 Who is the acknowledged ruler of this world? Ephesians 2:2.

note: “Fallen man is Satan’s lawful captive. . . .

“Satan will go to the extent of his power to harass, tempt, and mislead God’s people. He who dared to face, and tempt, and taunt our Lord, and who had power to take Him in his arms and carry Him to a pinnacle of the temple, and up into an exceedingly high mountain, will exercise his power to a wonderful degree upon the present generation, who are far inferior in wisdom to their Lord, and who are almost wholly ignorant of Satan’s subtlety and strength.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 341, 342.

11 What titles do this acknowledged ruler bear? John 12:31; 11 Corinthians 4:4.

note: “Those who take their position on the side of Christ are to let their light shine forth in good works, and not to act selfishly; but each church is to consider the wants of her sister churches. ‘Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.’ [11 Corinthians 8:7.] We desire you to abound in the grace of liberality, making your gifts to assist those who have newly come to the faith, and in doing this work your joy will be abundant, according to the measure of your liberality. We call upon the children of God to come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Who is the mighty?—It is Satan, the prince of this world, for the world has chosen him as its ruler.” Review and Herald, September 4, 1894.