Special Sabbath School Offering for
Give your gifts with love and gratitude to the great Creator!
Sabbath, November 2, 2013
“Thousands become infidels because their finite minds cannot comprehend the mysteries of God. They cannot explain the wonderful exhibition of divine power in His providences, therefore they reject the evidences of such power, attributing them to natural agencies which they can comprehend still less. The only key to the mysteries that surround us is to acknowledge in them all the presence and power of God. Men need to recognize God as the Creator of the universe, One who commands and executes all things. They need a broader view of His character, and of the mystery of His agencies.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 606.
The patriarchs’ hope
1. Is the resurrection mentioned in the books of the Bible written before Jesus’ birth? Explain the verses in the Old Testament that mention the resurrection.
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
“From the day when the first pair turned their sorrowing steps from Eden, the children of faith have waited the coming of the Promised One to break the destroyer’s power and bring them again to the lost Paradise. Holy men of old looked forward to the advent of the Messiah in glory, as the consummation of their hope. Enoch, only the seventh in descent from them that dwelt in Eden, he who for three centuries on earth walked with his God, was permitted to behold from afar the coming of the Deliverer. ‘Behold,’ he declared, ‘the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.’ Jude 14, 15. The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:… In my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.’ Job 19:25-27.” –The Great Controversy, p. 299.
The speculations of the Sadducees
2. Nevertheless, what did the Sadducees believe about the resurrection in Jesus’ day?
Luke 20:27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him.
“The Sadducees rejected the traditions of the Pharisees. They professed to believe the greater portion of the Scriptures, and to regard them as the rule of action; but practically they were skeptics and materialists.
“The Sadducees denied the existence of angels, the resurrection of the dead, and the doctrine of a future life, with its rewards and punishments. On all these points they differed with the Pharisees. Between the two parties the resurrection was especially a subject of controversy. The Pharisees had been firm believers in the resurrection, but in these discussions their views in regard to the future state became confused. Death became to them an inexplicable mystery. Their inability to meet the arguments of the Sadducees gave rise to continual irritation. The discussions between the two parties usually resulted in angry disputes, leaving them farther apart than before.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 603, 604.
3. What argument did they present for their objection to the resurrection? Was there any Biblical support for their belief?
Luke 20:28-33 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
Deuteronomy 25:5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
“The Sadducees reasoned that if the body is to be composed of the same particles of matter in its immortal as in its mortal state, then when raised from the dead it must have flesh and blood, and must resume in the eternal world the life interrupted on earth. In that case they concluded that earthly relationships would be resumed, husband and wife would be reunited, marriages consummated, and all things go on the same as before death, the frailties and passions of this life being perpetuated in the life beyond.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 605.
Jesus answers the objection
4. How did Jesus answer their objection after listening to their argument?
Matthew 22:29, 30 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
Luke 20:34, 35 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.
“He showed that the Sadducees were wrong in their belief. Their premises were false. ‘Ye do err,’ He added, ‘not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.’ He did not charge them, as He had charged the Pharisees, with hypocrisy, but with error of belief….
“The Sadducees had flattered themselves that they of all men adhered most strictly to the Scriptures. But Jesus showed that they had not known their true meaning. That knowledge must be brought home to the heart by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Their ignorance of the Scriptures and the power of God He declared to be the cause of their confusion of faith and darkness of mind. They were seeking to bring the mysteries of God within the compass of their finite reasoning. Christ called upon them to open their minds to those sacred truths that would broaden and strengthen the understanding.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 605, 606.
5. Will married life continue after the resurrection? What nature will the redeemed possess?
Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
“Those who in the judgment are ‘accounted worthy’ will have a part in the resurrection of the just. Jesus said: ‘They which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,… are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.’ Luke 20:35, 36. And again He declares that ‘they that have done good’ shall come forth ‘unto the resurrection of life.’ John 5:29. The righteous dead will not be raised until after the judgment at which they are accounted worthy of ‘the resurrection of life.’ Hence they will not be present in person at the tribunal when their records are examined and their cases decided.” –The Great Controversy, p. 482.
6. What did the Master state to corroborate the teaching of the resurrection? Would it be significant for the Lord to call Himself the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” if after their death there would be no resurrection?
Matthew 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Luke 20:37, 38 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.
“Christ declared to His hearers that if there were no resurrection of the dead, the Scriptures which they professed to believe would be of no avail…. God counts the things that are not as though they were. He sees the end from the beginning, and beholds the result of His work as though it were now accomplished. The precious dead, from Adam down to the last saint who dies, will hear the voice of the Son of God, and will come forth from the grave to immortal life. God will be their God, and they shall be His people. There will be a close and tender relationship between God and the risen saints. This condition, which is anticipated in His purpose, He beholds as if it were already existing. The dead live unto Him.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 606.
7. After hearing this answer, what did some scribes and the multitude of the people recognize?
Matthew 22:33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
Luke 20:39, 40 Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.
“By the words of Christ the Sadducees were put to silence. They could not answer Him. Not a word had been spoken of which the least advantage could be taken for His condemnation. His adversaries had gained nothing but the contempt of the people.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 606.
Thought question: Is it beneficial to speculate concerning the physical nature of the redeemed after they are resurrected?
“Erroneous theories, with no authority from the Word of God, will come in on the right hand and the left, and to weaklings these theories will appear as truth which makes wise. But they are as nothingness. And yet many church members have become so well satisfied with cheap food that they have dyspeptic religion. Why will men and women belittle their experience by gathering up idle tales and presenting them as matters worthy of attention? The people of God have no time to dwell on the indefinite, frivolous questions which have no bearing on God’s requirements.
“God desires men and women to think soberly and candidly. They are to ascend to a higher and still higher grade, commanding a wider and still wider horizon. Looking unto Jesus, they are to be changed into His image. They are to spend their time in searching for the deep, everlasting truths of heaven. Then there will be nothing frivolous in their religious experience. As they study the grand truths of God’s Word, they endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. They see that the most uplifting, ennobling truths are those most closely connected with the Source of all truth. And as they learn of Him, their motives and sympathies become firm and unchanging; for the impressions made by the All-wise are substantial and enduring.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 171, 172.