Sabbath, January 10, 2009
“And these will be the study of the redeemed through eternal ages. As they contemplate the work of God in creation and redemption, new truth will continually unfold to the wondering and delighted mind. As they learn more and more of the wisdom, the love, and the power of God, their minds will be constantly expanding, and their joy will continually increase.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 702, 703.
CREATION OF THE VISIBLE AND THE INVISIBLE
1. What does the Bible say about the existence of other worlds? Who created them?
Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
“But while God’s Word speaks of the humanity of Christ when upon this earth, it also speaks decidedly regarding His preexistence. The Word existed as a divine being, even as the eternal Son of God, in union and oneness with His Father. From everlasting He was the Mediator of the covenant, the one in whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, if they accepted Him, were to be blessed. ‘The Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (John 1:1). Before men or angels were created, the Word was with God, and was God.
“The world was made by Him, ‘and without Him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3). If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.” –Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 247.
2. What else and who else was included in God’s wonderful work of creation?
Colossians 1:16 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:
Job 38:4,7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding… When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Christ the Word, the Only Begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father–one in nature, in character, and in purpose–the only being in all the universe that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. By Christ the Father wrought in the creation of all heavenly beings. ‘By Him were all things created, that are in heaven,… whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers’ (Colossians 1:16); and to Christ, equally with the Father, all heaven gave allegiance.” –The Great Controversy, p. 493; see also Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 34, 37.
“The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. ‘By him were all things created,… whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him’ (Colossians 1:16). Angels are God’s ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence, and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the ‘express image of his person,’ ‘the brightness of his glory,’ ‘upholding all things by the word of His power,’ holds supremacy over them all (Hebrews 1:3).” –That I May Know Him, p. 11.
3. What is the Biblical report of the creation of heaven and earth?
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. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Hebrews 1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.
“In the beginning, God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth. It was His hand that hung the worlds in space, and fashioned the flowers of the field. ‘His strength setteth fast the mountains.’ ‘The sea is His, and He made it.’ Psalms 65:6; 95:5. It was He that filled the earth with beauty, and the air with song. And upon all things in earth, and air, and sky, He wrote the message of the Father’s love.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 20.
LAYING THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION
4. When and where was the plan of redemption formulated?
Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
“The plan was devised in heaven.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 105.
“The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8)….” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 63.
“The words, ‘Mine hour is not yet come,’ point to the fact that every act of Christ’s life on earth was in fulfilment of the plan that had existed from the days of eternity. Before He came to earth, the plan lay out before Him, perfect in all its details.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 147.
5. How do the Holy Scriptures depict that plan?
1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
“As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last; and looking to heaven with its unnumbered years he will exclaim, ‘Great is the mystery of godliness.’ –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 133.
6. When was this eternal plan of redemption made known to man?
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
“The plan for our redemption was not an afterthought, a plan formulated after the fall of Adam. It was a revelation of ‘ The mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal.’ Romans 16:25, R.V. It was an unfolding of the principles that from eternal ages have been the foundation of God’s throne. From the beginning, God and Christ knew of the apostasy of Satan, and of the fall of man through the deceptive power of the apostate. God did not ordain that sin should exist, but He foresaw its existence, and made provision to meet the terrible emergency. So great was His love for the world, that He covenanted to give His only-begotten Son, ‘that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 22.
7. What promise of hope and victory was given in Eden immediately after the fall?
Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘ They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme–man’s uplifting–the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:57.” –Education, pp. 125, 126.
“There are many who in their hearts charge God with being a hard master because He claims their possessions and their service. But we can bring to God nothing that is not already His. ‘All things come of Thee,’ said King David, ‘and of Thine own have we given Thee.’ All things are God’s, not only by creation, but by redemption. All the blessings of this life and of the life to come are delivered to us stamped with the cross of Calvary.” –Review and Herald, December 23, 1902.