Sabbath, January 7, 2006
The Creation, Fall, and Redemption of Man
These Sabbath School Lessons describe, in full detail, the creation, fall, and redemption of man. They were made for six months and cannot be divided into two quarters.
Man was created in the perfect image of God and made to live forever; because of his fall, he came to such a condition that he had to be redeemed.
These lessons describe three phases of human life on this earth.
Love and faith are fruits of the Holy Spirit, and God granted these attributes to man on the day of his creation. Adam was made according to the image of God in both features and character. He was made perfect, but his obedience, faith, and love were tested. Because of his fall, his perfection was ruined to the lowest degree. He needed a way to be saved from his degraded condition. When the plan of salvation was revealed to our first parents, they confessed their sin and promised to be more obedient to God. They accepted the plan of salvation with all of their love and faith; however, both of those characteristics were so weak that they could do nothing for themselves after the fall. By his own power, no human being can survive the infectious consequences of sin, which swept over the earth as a great storm. Man needed to be redeemed from his fallen state.
The following statement, taken from the Spirit of Prophecy, depicts the restoration of fallen man to his original state of sinless life:
“All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who stands among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in stature but little below the Son of God. He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race. But all arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth. In the beginning, man was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but 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. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will ‘grow up’ (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in ‘the beauty of the Lord our God,’ in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. Oh, wonderful redemption! long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 644, 645.
Our desire and prayer is that all Sabbath School students study these lessons diligently in order to know how they may be found among the redeemed. Amen.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3.
THE WONDERFUL WORK OF CREATION
1. What was created in the beginning?
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
CALLED INTO EXISTENCE BY THE WORD
2. When was that beginning?
Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Ver.1.–‘Beginning’ is a word familiarly on our lips; but, for the most part, we mean only rearrangement, or the commencement of one link in the chain of events. But who can conceive the beginning of creation? Who can travel back in thought to the first moment of its existence, and look into the eternity beyond? The Bible carries us back to that beginning, the first moment when the universe existed. … Only we are taught that before that ‘beginning’ the universe was not, and that ‘the worlds were framed by the word of God’ (Heb.xi.3)-their substance, and the laws by which they are governed.” –The Pulpit Commentary, vol.1, p. 7.
3. By what means did God create everything?
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Psalm 33:6, 9 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 148:2-6 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.
2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
“ ‘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;’ ‘He commanded, and it stood fast.’ Psalm 33:6, 9. He ‘laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.’ Psalm 104:5.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 44.
4. Who was the Word of God?
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Colossians 1:15-17 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
“All things were created by the Son of God. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. . . . All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.’ John 1:1-3.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 281.
“The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate–a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.’ John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, in purpose-the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 9:6. His ‘goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.’ Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22-30.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.
CREATION – NOT A LONG PROCESS
5. How long did it take God to make the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them?
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
“Like the Sabbath, the week originated at creation, and it has been preserved and brought down to us through Bible history. God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 111.
“The work of creation can never be explained by science. What science can explain the mystery of life?
“The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not the work of His hand, they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 258, 259.
HEAVEN OF HEAVENS
6. What expression does the Bible use for the word “cosmos” or “universe”?
Deuteronomy 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.
Nehemiah 9:6 Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
“The Bible certainly recognizes three heavens in the present constitution of things, namely, the first, or atmospheric heaven, which the fowls of the air inhabit; the second, the planetary heaven, the region of the sun, moon, and stars; and the third, high above the others, where Paradise and the tree of life are found. (Revelation 2:7), where God has His residence and His throne (Revelation 22:1, 2.), to which Paul was caught up in heavenly vision (2 Corinthians 12:2), to which Christ ascended when He left the earth (Revelation 12:5), where He now, as Priest-King, sits upon the throne with His Father (Zechariah 6:13), and where the glorious city stands, awaiting the saints when they enter into life (Revelation 21:2)…” –Daniel and the Revelation, p. 756.
THE THIRD HEAVEN
7. Where did Jesus go on the day of His ascension?
Ephesians 4:7-10 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
2 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
“Upon reaching the Mount of Olives, Jesus led the way across the summit, to the vicinity of Bethany. Here He paused, and the disciples gathered about Him. Beams of light seemed to radiate from His countenance as He looked lovingly upon them. He upbraided them not for their faults and failures; words of the deepest tenderness were the last that fell upon their ears from the lips of their Lord. With hands outstretched in blessing, and as if in assurance of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them, drawn heavenward by a power stronger than any earthly attraction. As He passed upward, the awe-stricken disciples looked with straining eyes for the last glimpse of their ascending Lord. A cloud of glory hid Him from their sight; and the words came back to them as the cloudy chariot of angels received Him, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ At the same time there floated down to them the sweetest and most joyous music from the angel choir.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 830, 831.
“All heaven was waiting to welcome the Saviour to the celestial courts. As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous train.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 833.
“There is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God, the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly council before which Lucifer had accused God and His Son, the representatives of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish his dominion,–all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 834.