September 20, 1999 – September 27, 1999
MEMORY VERSE: “For behold I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come upon the heart.” Isaiah 65:17, marginal reading.
STUDY HELP: Revelation 21, 22, Great Controversy, pages 674, 678.
“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.” Great Controversy, 678.
“God Himself Shall Be Their God”
- How does John describe the new creation? Revelation 21:1–2.
NOTE: “This is glad news to all who love God; but is it a matter of rejoicing to those who delight in feeding the mind on commonplace and trivial things? Those who take no pleasure in thinking and talking of God in this life, will not enjoy the life that is to come, where God is ever present, dwelling among His people. But those who love to think of God will be in their element, breathing in the atmosphere of heaven. Those who on earth love the thought of heaven, will be happy in its holy associations and pleasures. The prophet says, ‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.’ ‘And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him; and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.’” Review and Herald, May 13, 1890.
- What promise is given to those who inherit the new earth? Isaiah 65:17.
NOTE: “Fellow pilgrim, we are still amid the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities; but soon our Saviour is to appear to bring deliverance and rest. Let us by faith behold the blessed hereafter as pictured by the hand of God. He who died for the sins of the world is opening wide the gates of Paradise to all who believe on Him. Soon the battle will have been fought, the victory won. Soon we shall see Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centred. And in His presence the trials and sufferings of this life will seem as nothingness. The former things ‘shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.’ ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.’ ‘Israel shall be saved . . . with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.’ Isaiah 65:17; Hebrews 10:35–37; Isaiah 45:17.” Prophets and Kings, page 732.
- In view of the nearness of the day of the Lord, what admonition does Peter give to God’s people? 2 Peter 3:10–11.
NOTE: “The time has come when those who choose the Lord for their present and future portion must trust in Him alone. Everyone professing Godliness must have an experience of his own. The recording angel is making a faithful record of the words and acts of God’s people. Angels are watching the development of character and weighing moral worth. Those who profess to believe the truth should be right themselves and exert all their influence to enlighten and win others to the truth. Their words and works are the channel through which the pure principles of truth and holiness are conveyed to the world. They are the salt of the earth and the light thereof. I saw that in looking heavenward we shall see light and peace, but in looking to the world we shall see that every refuge must soon fail us and every good soon pass away. There is no help for us but in God; in this state of earth’s confusion we can be composed, strong, or safe only in the strength of living faith; nor can we be at peace, only as we rest in God and wait for His salvation. Greater light shines upon us than shone upon our fathers. We cannot be accepted or honoured of God in rendering the same service, or doing the same works, that our fathers did. In order to be accepted and blessed of God as they were, we must imitate their faithfulness and zeal,—improve our light as they improved theirs,—and do as they would have done had they lived in our day. We must walk in the light which shines upon us, otherwise that light will become darkness. God requires of us to exhibit to the world, in our character and works, that measure of the spirit of union and oneness which is in accordance with the sacred truths we profess and with the spirit of those prophecies that are fulfilling in these last days. The truth which has reached our understanding, and the light which has shone on the soul, will judge and condemn us, if we turn away and refuse to be led by them.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 262.
“According to His Promise”
- Besides looking for the day of God, what does Peter also admonish God’s people to do? 2 Peter 3:12. (See margin)
NOTE: “It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.’ Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.
- While this old world is to be destroyed by fire, what wonderful prospect does God’s people have? 2 Peter 3:13.
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. ‘We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.’ ‘There shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him.’ 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:3. 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.
“No More . . . ”
- What things are we assured will have no place in that new heaven and earth? Revelation 21:4, Isaiah 35:5, 6; 51:11; 65:19.
NOTE: “Let those who break God’s law and teach others to do so, denounce us as fallen from grace because we keep all ten of His immutable precepts; it will not harm us. We have the satisfaction of knowing that, while they curse, Jesus has pronounced a blessing. Says the true Witness, the only Begotten of the Father, ‘Blessed are they that do His [the Father’s] commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City.’ Revelation 22:14. Think ye that the commandment-keepers will be sorry, and mourn when the pearly gates of the Golden City of God are swung back upon their glittering hinges, and they are welcomed in? No, never. They will then rejoice, that they are not under the bondage of the law, but that they have kept God’s law, and therefore are free from it. They will have right to the tree of life, a right to its healing leaves. They will hear the lovely voice of Jesus, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying, There will be no more sorrow, pain or death; sighing and crying have fled away.” Review and Herald, June 10, 1852.
- What change will God’s people see in the animal creation? Isaiah 65:25; 11:6–9; 35:9; Hosea 2:18.
NOTE: “There man will be restored to his lost kingship, and the lower order of beings will again recognize his sway; the fierce will become gentle, and the timid trustful. ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain’ (Isaiah 11:6-9), saith the Lord.” Review and Herald, July 1, 1915.
- What changes will be seen in the plant creation? Isaiah 55:13; 35:1, 2, 7.
NOTE: “The earth promised to the meek will be a better one than this. It will be purified from all sin and defilement, and will bear the image of the divine. Satan has placed his throne in the earth; but where the usurper has set up his rule, there will Jesus place his throne, and there shall be no more curse. The glory of the Lord is to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Jesus desires to give his children a home where there will be no more sin, no more sorrow, no more death, but all will be joy and gladness. He says: ‘The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.’” Bible Echo, June 1, 1892.
“Raised in Incorruption”
- What great lesson does Paul draw from the resurrection of Jesus? 1 Corinthians 15:12, 23.
NOTE: “The resurrection of Jesus was a type of the final resurrection of all who sleep in Him. The countenance of the risen Saviour, His manner, His speech, were all familiar to His disciples. As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to rise again. We shall know our friends, even as the disciples knew Jesus. They may have been deformed, diseased, or disfigured, in this mortal life, and they rise in perfect health and symmetry; yet in the glorified body their identity will be perfectly preserved. Then shall we know even as also we are known. 1 Corinthians 13:12. In the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognise the lineaments of those we love.” Desire of Ages, 804.
- How does Paul describe the change that will take place in redeemed humanity? 1 Corinthians 15:51–54.
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 honour 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.’” Desire of Ages, 632.
“Pleasures for Evermore”
- What will God’s people experience when they come into the presence of God? Psalm 16:11.
NOTE: “‘No sickness, sorrow, pain, or death shall reach that blissful shore:’ there is nothing in the kingdom of God to disturb or annoy. This is the life that is promised to the overcomer,—a life of happiness and peace, a life of love and beauty. This ‘exceeding great reward’ is within our reach, and can be gained simply by a life of obedience. But we have the privilege of choosing for ourselves. We can take this present life, so poor, so marred with sin, so filled with care and perplexity, or we can have eternal life where there is no sin, no distracting care, nothing to mar the peace of the inhabitant. It is strange that the majority, looking only to the pleasures of the world, choose this fleeting life, and fix their hopes here. Here, then, are two classes: one seeking for the pleasures of this mortal life, the other for the enduring joys of immortality; one class are far from Christ, and satisfied with their condition, the other are seeking for the forgiveness of sins and for the Spirit of God; one class are battling against God and his truth, the other are warring against the lusts of the flesh, the spirit of the world, and Satan. One class are dreading the appearing of Christ, the Son of man, feeling that to them it is an overwhelming calamity; the other are looking for the coming of Christ the second time, without sin unto salvation. The one class will be rejected from the presence of God, and finally suffer the pangs of the second death; the other will have everlasting life at the right hand of God, where are pleasures for evermore.’ Signs of the Times, November 10, 1887.
- What brief picture of the new earth reveals the real and practical nature of life then? Isaiah 65:21–23.
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. ‘They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.’ Isaiah 65:21, 22.” Prophets and Kings, 730, 731.
- What are we told about the worship of God in that earth made new? Revelation 21:22–26, Isaiah 66:22, 23.
NOTE: “In the beginning the Father and the Son had rested upon the Sabbath after Their work of creation. When ‘the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them’ (Gen. 2:1), the Creator and all heavenly beings rejoiced in contemplation of the glorious scene. ‘The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.’ Job 38:7. Now Jesus rested from the work of redemption; and though there was grief among those who loved Him on earth, yet there was joy in heaven. Glorious to the eyes of heavenly beings was the promise of the future. A restored creation, a redeemed race, that having conquered sin could never fall,—this, the result to flow from Christ’s completed work, God and angels saw. With this scene the day upon which Jesus rested is forever linked. For ‘His work is perfect;’ and ‘whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever.’ Deuteronomy 32:4; Ecclesiastes 3:14. When there shall be a ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ (Acts 3:21), the creation Sabbath, the day on which Jesus lay at rest in Joseph’s tomb, will still be a day of rest and rejoicing. Heaven and earth will unite in praise, as ‘from one Sabbath to another’ (Isaiah 66:23) the nations of the saved shall bow in joyful worship to God and the Lamb.” Desire of Ages, 769.