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Wally

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QUARTER 1, 2013










Introduction: In the Beginning of the Beginning

Open the Bible to the first book, first chapter, first line. Notice: it says nothing about Christ dying for our sins, nothing about the Second Coming, nothing about His bodily resurrection from the grave. It says nothing about the state of the dead, the Day of Atonement, or even the seventh-day Sabbath.

The first words of the Bible don’t talk about these teachings because they, and the truths associated with them, are meaningless apart from what the first words of the Bible do talk about-and that is, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Creation is the foundational truth of Scripture. All other biblical teachings-the Incarnation, the Cross, the Second Coming, and every other biblical teaching, as well-are founded upon the truth that our world was created by the Lord.

That’s why Creation appears not only in the opening pages of the Bible but in the first five books of Moses, in the prophets, in the Psalms, in the Gospels, in the Epistles, in Acts, and in Revelation. And, in almost all cases, the theological context demands that it be taken literally.

For instance, Paul wrote that “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Rom. 5:14, NKJV). Paul not only links a literal Adam to a literal Jesus, but his context in Romans 5 ties that link to the plan of salvation, a crucial doctrine that we understand in the most literal sense, as well: we are fallen beings who face eternal destruction or eternal life-literally!

And here’s Jesus Himself quoting from Genesis 1 and 2: “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh’” (Matt. 19:4-6, NKJV). If Jesus accepted and taught the Creation account as literal, how can those who claim to be His followers do otherwise?

Our name, Seventh-day Adventist, itself bears direct witness to a six-day creation. Though some voices may urge us to incorporate evolution into our theology, Seventh-day Adventism and Darwinism are inherently contradictory. Logically one cannot hold both views at the same time.

Thus, this quarter’s lessons delve into the doctrine of creation as depicted in Genesis 1 and 2 and explores its implications for a number of our beliefs-including morality, sin, marriage, stewardship, and more. Although working on the assumption that the story is literal, the quarter will show, again and again, how the central message of the Bible is built upon the historical truth of the Creation story.

Take, for instance, the gospel. According to Scripture, humans were created better than we are now. Jesus came to rescue us from the death brought by the sin of Adam and Eve. But in an evolutionary model, the Lord incarnates into an evolved ape, created through the vicious and painfully murderous cycle of natural selection, all in order to abolish death, “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26). But how can death be the “enemy” if it was one of God’s chosen means for creating humans? The Lord must have expended plenty of dead Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neanderthalensis in order to finally get one in His own image (Homo sapiens). If evolution were true, then Jesus came to save humankind from the process that God used to create it in the first place.

We can see here that mixing biblical truths with non-biblical views generates logical absurdities that should be of concern to the honest seeker of truth. As we go through this quarter, we’ll see even more reasons why a literal six-day creation is essential to all that we believe and why to compromise on creation is to undermine the basis of the gospel and teachings that make us what we are.

L. James Gibson is director of the Geoscience Research Institute (www.grisda.org) in Loma Linda, California. He has written numerous articles on the relationship between Creation and science.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 03:04:46 PM »
Lesson 1 *December 29-January 4

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

SABBATH AFTERNOON

Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3; Ps. 19:1-3;John 1:1-3, 14;Col. 1:15, 16;John 2:7-11.

Memory Text: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV).

Only something greater than what it creates could have created it. Thus, only a Being greater than the universe could have created the universe. And that Being is the God who is revealed in the Bible, the God whom we worship and serve because, among other things, He is our Creator.

We also learn that this God-the One who created the universe, the One who has spun those billions of galaxies across the expanse of the cosmos-is the same One who came to earth, to live among us as a human being and, even more amazing, to bear in Himself the punishment for our sins.

Sometimes we hear of things that are “too good to be true.” What could be better, though, for us as sinful beings in a fallen, painful world than to know the wonderful truth of our Creator’s love, a love so great that He would come down in the person of Christ and link Himself to each of us with ties that never can be broken?

In response to such a wondrous truth, how are we to live our lives?

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 5.

SUNDAY December 30

In the Beginning

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

There are many deep truths in that simple text, one of the most profound being that the universe itself had a beginning. While that idea might not seem so radical to us today, it goes against the long-held belief in an eternally existing creation. Not until the twentieth century, when the “Big Bang” model of origins took hold, did the notion that the universe had a beginning gain general acceptance. Until then many believed that it had always existed. Many people resisted the concept of the universe having been created because that implied some sort of Creator. (In fact, the name “Big Bang” was intended to mock the notion of a created universe.) But the evidence that the universe had a beginning has become so strong that nearly all scientists have accepted it, at least for now (scientific views, even those once deemed sacrosanct, are often changed or refuted).

Read Hebrews 11:3. What does that tell us about God and the creation of the universe?

As with Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 11:3 is full of mystery and things that are unexplainable by our present knowledge. Yet, the text does seem to tell us that the universe was not formed from pre-existing matter. The universe was created by the power of God’s Word; that is, both matter and energy were brought into existence by God’s power.

Creation from nothing is known as creation ex nihilo. We often credit humans with the creation of various things, but humans are incapable of creating from nothing. We can change the form of pre-existing matter, but we have no power to create ex nihilo. Only the supernatural power of God can do that. This is one of the most dramatic differences between God and humans and reminds us that our very existence depends on the Creator.

In fact, the verb created in Genesis 1:1 comes from a Hebrew root word that is used only in reference to the creative activity of God. Only God, not humans, can do that kind of creating (see also Rom. 4:17).

Why is a supernatural Creator, One who exists above and beyond the creation, the only logical explanation for the Creation? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.

MONDAY December 31

The Heavens Declare

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard” (Ps. 19:1-3, see also Rom. 1:19, 20). How have you experienced the truth of these texts? How has modern science helped us to even more appreciate the power and wisdom of God as Creator?

Not just any kind of universe would be capable of supporting life. In fact, it seems that the universe must be extremely well-designed in order for life to exist. First, the building blocks of all matter-atoms-must be stable enough that stable material objects could be created. The stability of atoms depends on the forces that hold the parts of the atoms together. Atoms contain charged particles that both attract and repel each other. The forces of attraction and repulsion must be carefully balanced. If the attractive forces were too strong, only large atoms would form, and there would be no hydrogen. Without hydrogen, there would be no water, and thus no life. If the repulsive forces were too strong, only small atoms would form, such as hydrogen, and there would be no carbon or oxygen. Without oxygen, there would be no water and no life. Carbon is also essential for all forms of life as we know it.

Not only must the atoms be stable, but they must be able to interact with one another in order to form vast numbers of different chemical compounds. There must be a balance between the forces that hold the molecules together and the energy required to break up the molecule in order to permit the chemical reactions upon which life depends.

The precise fitness of our universe for life has gained the admiration of scientists and has led many of them to comment that the universe appears to be designed by an intelligent Being.

The world also must have been wisely designed in order for life to exist. The range of temperatures must be compatible with life; so, the distance from the sun, the speed of rotation, and the composition of the atmosphere must all be in appropriate balance. Many other details of the world must be carefully designed. Truly, God’s wisdom is shown in what He created.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 03:05:48 PM »
TUESDAY January 1

The Power of His Word

Read Jeremiah 51:15, 16 and Psalm 33:6, 9. In addition to wisdom, what other attribute of God is mentioned in the Creation? How was this attribute expressed in Creation? More important, what are the implications of this truth for us?

Though we cannot know exactly how God created, we are told that it was through His powerful word. All the energy in all parts of the universe had its origin in the word of God. All the energy in all our fuels came from God’s power. All the gravity throughout the universe, every star guided in its course, and every black hole result from God’s power.

Perhaps the greatest amount of energy is within the atom itself. We are justifiably impressed by the power of nuclear weapons, in which a small amount of matter is converted into a large amount of energy. Yet, scientists tell us that all matter contains large amounts of energy. If a small amount of matter can produce the vast energy of a nuclear weapon, consider the amount of energy stored in the material of the entire world! But that is as nothing when compared with the energy stored in the matter of the universe. Imagine the power of God utilized to bring the universe into existence.

Many scientists believe that anything God may do in the creation is restricted by the “laws of nature,” but this idea is contrary to the Bible. God is not restricted by natural law; instead, God has determined natural law. God’s power has not always followed the patterns that we call the “laws of nature.”

For example, one of the fundamental “laws of nature” is the “Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy.” This law states that the total amount of matter and energy in the universe remains constant. But how could the universe appear from nothing if this law were inviolable? God’s creative word is not bound by the “laws” of science. God is sovereign over all His creation and is free to carry out His will.

Dwell (the best that you can) on the size of the universe. Think about the incredible power needed in order to create it. And to think that the God who wields such power loves us, even died for us. How can you learn to draw comfort from this amazing truth?

WEDNESDAY January 2

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

Read John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:15, 16; Hebrews 1:1, 2. How do the New Testament writers identify the Creator? What are the implications of the answer?

John refers to Jesus as the Word (&8220;Logos”) and equates Him with God. More specifically, Jesus is the One through whom all things were created. In John’s day, the term logos was commonly used to represent the creative principle. John’s readers would be familiar with the concept of logos as a creative principle or even as a creator. John applied this familiar concept to Jesus, identifying Him as the true Creator. Jesus, the Logos, the Incarnate One who lived among us, was not only present in the beginning, He was the One by whom the universe was created. This means that we could read Genesis 1:1 as “In the beginning, Jesus created the heavens and the earth.”
Paul’s words in Colossians 1 resonate with those of John in the identification of the Creator as Jesus Christ. By Him, all things were created. Paul adds two other attributes of Jesus. First, He is the image of the invisible God. In our sinful state, we cannot see God the Father, but we can see Jesus. If we want to know what God is like, we can study the life of Jesus (John 14:9). Second, Paul calls Jesus the “firstborn” of creation (Col. 1:15). In this context, “firstborn” does not refer to origin but to status. The firstborn was the head of the family and the heir of the property. Jesus was the “firstborn” in the sense that, as Creator and through the Incarnation (His taking upon Himself our humanity), He is the rightful head of the human family. Jesus was not a created being; rather, from eternity He was one with the Father.

Hebrews 1:1, 2 repeats the same points as in the Colossians passage. Jesus is appointed heir of all things and is the One by whom the world was created. In addition, He is the exact representation of the Father’s nature, another way of stating that He is the image of God.

How would you respond if someone were to ask you, “What is your God like?” What justification could you give for your answer?
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2012, 03:07:16 PM »
THURSDAY January 3

The Creator Among Us

Read John 2:7-11, 6:8-13, 9:1-34. What do these texts reveal about the creative power of God?

Each of these miracles gives us a glimpse of God’s power over the material world that He Himself created.

First, what kind of process would be required to change water directly into wine? None that we know of. Indeed, it took an act outside of the laws of nature, at least as we now know them, to do what Jesus did here.

In the miracle of the fish and loaves, Jesus started with five loaves and two small fish and ended with enough to feed a multitude and have 12 baskets of leftovers. All the food was made of atoms and molecules. At the end, there were many times more atoms and molecules of food than when Jesus started to feed the crowd. From where did the additional molecules come, if not by the supernatural intervention of God?

Furthermore, what physical changes occurred to the blind man when he was healed? He was blind from birth; thus, his brain had never been stimulated to form images from the messages sent by the eye through the optic nerve. So, his brain had to be rewired in order to process the incoming information, form images, and interpret their meaning. Next, there was something wrong with the eye itself. Perhaps some photoreceptor molecules were produced incorrectly as a result of a mutation in his DNA. Or perhaps some mutation had occurred at birth in the genes that control the development of the parts of the eye-the retina, optic nerve, lens, etc. Or perhaps some mechanical damage had occurred that prevented the eye from functioning properly.

Whatever the details of the man’s blindness, the words of Jesus caused molecules to form in appropriate places, forming functional receptors, neuronal connections, and brain cells so that light entering the eye would form an image, and the man would have the ability to recognize images that he had never before seen.

Miracles are wonderful when they happen, but what is the danger of making your faith dependent upon them? Upon what, then, must our faith depend?

FRIDAY January 4

Further Study: “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 only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.”-Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 258, 259. “Just how God accomplished the work of creation he has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as his existence.”-Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 113.
Discussion Questions

    In class, discuss your answer to Sunday’s final question.

    Science talks about what it calls “anthropic coincidences” (from the Greek word anthropos for “man”), the incredibly fine-tuned balance of forces in nature that make it possible for human life to exist. Notice, though, the built-in bias revealed in the word coincidences. If you don’t believe in God, you have to attribute these amazing balances to mere coincidence. Why is the belief that these balances were the product of a Creator God a more reasonable explanation than to simply call them “coincidences”?

    Consider the love of the Creator as He formed Adam and Eve and provided them with a beautiful garden home, knowing that He Himself would suffer and die on Calvary at the hands of the race He was creating. What do we learn about God’s love from the decision that He made to go ahead with the creation anyway?

    How does the “Big Bang” theory compare with the Creation statement in Genesis 1:1? Might the “Big Bang” be a description of the way in which the universe came into existence at God’s Word? What issues or problems do you see in this idea? Why would it be dangerous to link our theology to any scientific theory, especially when science so often changes?

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 04:10:00 PM »

QUARTER 1, 2013









Introduction: In the Beginning of the Beginning

Open the Bible to the first book, first chapter, first line. Notice: it says nothing about Christ dying for our sins, nothing about the Second Coming, nothing about His bodily resurrection from the grave. It says nothing about the state of the dead, the Day of Atonement, or even the seventh-day Sabbath.

The first words of the Bible don’t talk about these teachings because they, and the truths associated with them, are meaningless apart from what the first words of the Bible do talk about-and that is, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Creation is the foundational truth of Scripture. All other biblical teachings-the Incarnation, the Cross, the Second Coming, and every other biblical teaching, as well-are founded upon the truth that our world was created by the Lord.

That’s why Creation appears not only in the opening pages of the Bible but in the first five books of Moses, in the prophets, in the Psalms, in the Gospels, in the Epistles, in Acts, and in Revelation. And, in almost all cases, the theological context demands that it be taken literally.

For instance, Paul wrote that “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come” (Rom. 5:14, NKJV). Paul not only links a literal Adam to a literal Jesus, but his context in Romans 5 ties that link to the plan of salvation, a crucial doctrine that we understand in the most literal sense, as well: we are fallen beings who face eternal destruction or eternal life-literally!

And here’s Jesus Himself quoting from Genesis 1 and 2: “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh’” (Matt. 19:4-6, NKJV). If Jesus accepted and taught the Creation account as literal, how can those who claim to be His followers do otherwise?

Our name, Seventh-day Adventist, itself bears direct witness to a six-day creation. Though some voices may urge us to incorporate evolution into our theology, Seventh-day Adventism and Darwinism are inherently contradictory. Logically one cannot hold both views at the same time.

Thus, this quarter’s lessons delve into the doctrine of creation as depicted in Genesis 1 and 2 and explores its implications for a number of our beliefs-including morality, sin, marriage, stewardship, and more. Although working on the assumption that the story is literal, the quarter will show, again and again, how the central message of the Bible is built upon the historical truth of the Creation story.

Take, for instance, the gospel. According to Scripture, humans were created better than we are now. Jesus came to rescue us from the death brought by the sin of Adam and Eve. But in an evolutionary model, the Lord incarnates into an evolved ape, created through the vicious and painfully murderous cycle of natural selection, all in order to abolish death, “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26). But how can death be the “enemy” if it was one of God’s chosen means for creating humans? The Lord must have expended plenty of dead Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neanderthalensis in order to finally get one in His own image (Homo sapiens). If evolution were true, then Jesus came to save humankind from the process that God used to create it in the first place.

We can see here that mixing biblical truths with non-biblical views generates logical absurdities that should be of concern to the honest seeker of truth. As we go through this quarter, we’ll see even more reasons why a literal six-day creation is essential to all that we believe and why to compromise on creation is to undermine the basis of the gospel and teachings that make us what we are.

L. James Gibson is director of the Geoscience Research Institute (www.grisda.org) in Loma Linda, California. He has written numerous articles on the relationship between Creation and science.


As we enter into this new quarter's Bible study, we do so with much encouragement. Many professing to believe the Bible have eaten from the same fruit Eve chose. Fruit that is offered up by the father of lies. They have bought into evolution or some portion of it. To do so is to reject the Bible as it reads.

This quarter, we will be presenting Bible evidence that reveals how important the creation story is to our message. And, as we always do, we shall present the topic centered in Christ. Some hold to creation and reject the gospel message. Both errors are fatal.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Richard Myers

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 04:28:18 PM »
Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth

SABBATH AFTERNOON



Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3; Ps. 19:1-3;John 1:1-3, 14;Col. 1:15, 16;John 2:7-11.

Memory Text: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

Only something greater than what it creates could have created it. Thus, only a Being greater than the universe could have created the universe. And that Being is the God who is revealed in the Bible, the God whom we worship and serve because, among other things, He is our Creator.

We also learn that this God-the One who created the universe, the One who has spun those billions of galaxies across the expanse of the cosmos-is the same One who came to earth, to live among us as a human being and, even more amazing, to bear in Himself the punishment for our sins.

Sometimes we hear of things that are “too good to be true.” What could be better, though, for us as sinful beings in a fallen, painful world than to know the wonderful truth of our Creator’s love, a love so great that He would come down in the person of Christ and link Himself to each of us with ties that never can be broken?

A great start for a new quarter and a new year!! As we progress through the lesson, we will see how it is that "creation" is vitally linked to the story of God's love for man and all other created beings. And, not only His love, but His creative power. Some may not be too interested in that aspect of God's character, but as we move along, it will be seen to be our greatest need. It was easy for God to take a bit of clay and form Adam, holy and undefiled, but it is not so easy for God to recreate you and me in His image.

In response to such a wondrous truth, how are we to live our lives?

If I were to answer the question, many would object.  Let us begin with the Bible and let Jesus answer that for us. "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5:44-48.

If we expect others to accept the Bible truth on creation, then we ourselves need to accept the Words of Jesus in regards to how we are to live our lives. To do so means to reject the "Evangelical gospel" that allows one to sin and be saved. The power to love our enemy comes from God. We do not possess such love until we are born of His Spirit. Thus, Jesus said "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:5-7.
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

Wally

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 05:44:58 PM »


Creation is the foundational truth of Scripture. All other biblical teachings-the Incarnation, the Cross, the Second Coming, and every other biblical teaching, as well-are founded upon the truth that our world was created by the Lord.

That’s why Creation appears not only in the opening pages of the Bible but in the first five books of Moses, in the prophets, in the Psalms, in the Gospels, in the Epistles, in Acts, and in Revelation. And, in almost all cases, the theological context demands that it be taken literally.


Our name, Seventh-day Adventist, itself bears direct witness to a six-day creation. Though some voices may urge us to incorporate evolution into our theology, Seventh-day Adventism and Darwinism are inherently contradictory. Logically one cannot hold both views at the same time.



Take, for instance, the gospel. According to Scripture, humans were created better than we are now. Jesus came to rescue us from the death brought by the sin of Adam and Eve. But in an evolutionary model, the Lord incarnates into an evolved ape, created through the vicious and painfully murderous cycle of natural selection, all in order to abolish death, “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26). But how can death be the “enemy” if it was one of God’s chosen means for creating humans? The Lord must have expended plenty of dead Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo neanderthalensis in order to finally get one in His own image (Homo sapiens). If evolution were true, then Jesus came to save humankind from the process that God used to create it in the first place.


L. James Gibson is director of the Geoscience Research Institute (www.grisda.org) in Loma Linda, California. He has written numerous articles on the relationship between Creation and science.

Right here at the beginning this author sets the tone for the quarter.  His logic is unassailable.  So many people fail to understand these points.  All of Scripture stands or falls on Genesis.  This is why the devil is trying so hard to cut the heart out of it.  I've tried and tried with some folks to get them to see this, but it's like talking to a brick wall.  Genesis 1 was clearly written to be understood literally.  The way the days are described in Hebrew always refer to literal, 24 hour days.  There are no exceptions.  But even with that fact before them, many will try to muddy the waters and make things appear otherwise.  And for what reason?  Only one that I can think of:  they don't want to be out of sync with the norms of modern science.  It's too embarrassing for them.  They fear them that can destroy the body, but have no fear of Him who can destroy body and soul in the lake of fire.

I'm looking forward to this quarter, and my only regret so far is that I'm not scheduled to lead the discussion next Sabbath.  :(
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 05:52:04 PM »
Lesson 1 *December 29-January 4



MONDAY December 31



Not just any kind of universe would be capable of supporting life. In fact, it seems that the universe must be extremely well-designed in order for life to exist. First, the building blocks of all matter-atoms-must be stable enough that stable material objects could be created. The stability of atoms depends on the forces that hold the parts of the atoms together. Atoms contain charged particles that both attract and repel each other. The forces of attraction and repulsion must be carefully balanced. If the attractive forces were too strong, only large atoms would form, and there would be no hydrogen. Without hydrogen, there would be no water, and thus no life. If the repulsive forces were too strong, only small atoms would form, such as hydrogen, and there would be no carbon or oxygen. Without oxygen, there would be no water and no life. Carbon is also essential for all forms of life as we know it.

Not only must the atoms be stable, but they must be able to interact with one another in order to form vast numbers of different chemical compounds. There must be a balance between the forces that hold the molecules together and the energy required to break up the molecule in order to permit the chemical reactions upon which life depends.

The precise fitness of our universe for life has gained the admiration of scientists and has led many of them to comment that the universe appears to be designed by an intelligent Being.

The world also must have been wisely designed in order for life to exist. The range of temperatures must be compatible with life; so, the distance from the sun, the speed of rotation, and the composition of the atmosphere must all be in appropriate balance. Many other details of the world must be carefully designed. Truly, God’s wisdom is shown in what He created.

This is devastating to the naturalistic world view, and I'm not sure how they try to explain it away.  Their favorite rescuing device is usually time.  Given enough time, they say, anything is possible.  In a sense, they worship time as their creator.   But precision does not normally occur in a random fashion; it must be planned.  And even if it does occur occasionally, there are too many precise elements in the universe for it to have happened by chance, no matter how much time is allowed.

I was just recently watching Dr. Veith's lectures on creation, and by the laws of probability there aren't enough atoms in the universe to allow for life to have arisen by chance.  I think the figure he used was 1 in 10 to the 80th power.  And yet people believe it because "scientists" say it is so--and they are all knowing, of course.  ::)
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 07:26:00 PM »
...they don't want to be out of sync with the norms of modern science.  It's too embarrassing for them.  They fear them that can destroy the body, but have no fear of Him who can destroy body and soul in the lake of fire.

I'm looking forward to this quarter, and my only regret so far is that I'm not scheduled to lead the discussion next Sabbath.  :(

We look forward to your thoughts, Wally. Others who are teaching will appreciate how others relate to the lessons.

You are right about the reason some reject simple Bible truth on creation. They face ridicule from colleagues in the world. When the world gets into higher education in professing Christian schools, then the ridicule comes from teachers in those schools.  For most who accept the Bible as truth, we do not need elaborate explanations, but many who have not learned that the Bible is God's inspired Word, these lessons will increase their faith in the Bible.
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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 08:49:49 PM »
SUNDAY December 30

In the Beginning


“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” Gen. 1:1

There are many deep truths in that simple text, one of the most profound being that the universe itself had a beginning. While that idea might not seem so radical to us today, it goes against the long-held belief in an eternally existing creation. Not until the twentieth century, when the “Big Bang” model of origins took hold, did the notion that the universe had a beginning gain general acceptance. Until then many believed that it had always existed. Many people resisted the concept of the universe having been created because that implied some sort of Creator. (In fact, the name “Big Bang” was intended to mock the notion of a created universe.) But the evidence that the universe had a beginning has become so strong that nearly all scientists have accepted it, at least for now (scientific views, even those once deemed sacrosanct, are often changed or refuted).

Read 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. 


What does that tell us about God and the creation of the universe?

As with Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 11:3 is full of mystery and things that are unexplainable by our present knowledge. Yet, the text does seem to tell us that the universe was not formed from pre-existing matter. The universe was created by the power of God’s Word; that is, both matter and energy were brought into existence by God’s power.

Creation from nothing is known as creation ex nihilo. We often credit humans with the creation of various things, but humans are incapable of creating from nothing. We can change the form of pre-existing matter, but we have no power to create ex nihilo. Only the supernatural power of God can do that. This is one of the most dramatic differences between God and humans and reminds us that our very existence depends on the Creator.

In fact, the verb created in Genesis 1:1 comes from a Hebrew root word that is used only in reference to the creative activity of God. Only God, not humans, can do that kind of creating (see also Rom. 4:17).

4:17   (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 


Why is a supernatural Creator, One who exists above and beyond the creation, the only logical explanation for the Creation? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.

When we enter into  a discussion about how the universe could be created if not by God, my mind cannot even begin to contemplate such things.  It would be similar to trying to contemplate how God could create by speaking things into existence.  I give up!  :)  There are some things that just are. The things God has revealed are for us. "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 29:29.

To think that the perfection seen in creation could be random does not make sense. It will be interesting to hear what others think as to why there needs to be a creator.  The Bible says that God is the creator. That is good enough for me. When it comes to why we can believe the Bible, that is a different matter. There is great evidence in support of God and His Word. We believe God is the creator by faith, but that faith is an intelligent faith, not a blind faith.

The author of our lesson will educate us in the things of science that will help us better understand why there must be a creator of creation.

We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2012, 10:09:37 PM »
MONDAY December 31

The Heavens Declare


“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Ps. 19:1-3.
(see also Rom. 1:19, 20).

  1:19   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 
  1:20   For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

How have you experienced the truth of these texts? How has modern science helped us to even more appreciate the power and wisdom of God as Creator?

Modern science tells us that the earth is 50,000,000 millions old and then they have the nerve to tell us that we came from monkeys.  We do not put much faith in modern science. Even when there is evidence that cancer can come from a virus, modern medical science continues to neglect the evidence that Leukemia Virus in dairy is infecting little children who are taught they need dairy to be healthy. But, the author of our lesson is looking to use the evidence that modern science has that supports Bible truth. Think about the ability we have to look deeper into the working of the human brain. Modern science is helping us to better understand the perfection that exists in the human mind. The ability that modern science has given us to look far away into deep space has given further evidence that no so modern science has been wrong in many of their theories that have been treated as fact.


Not just any kind of universe would be capable of supporting life. In fact, it seems that the universe must be extremely well-designed in order for life to exist. First, the building blocks of all matter-atoms-must be stable enough that stable material objects could be created. The stability of atoms depends on the forces that hold the parts of the atoms together. Atoms contain charged particles that both attract and repel each other. The forces of attraction and repulsion must be carefully balanced. If the attractive forces were too strong, only large atoms would form, and there would be no hydrogen. Without hydrogen, there would be no water, and thus no life. If the repulsive forces were too strong, only small atoms would form, such as hydrogen, and there would be no carbon or oxygen. Without oxygen, there would be no water and no life. Carbon is also essential for all forms of life as we know it.

Not only must the atoms be stable, but they must be able to interact with one another in order to form vast numbers of different chemical compounds. There must be a balance between the forces that hold the molecules together and the energy required to break up the molecule in order to permit the chemical reactions upon which life depends.

The precise fitness of our universe for life has gained the admiration of scientists and has led many of them to comment that the universe appears to be designed by an intelligent Being.

The world also must have been wisely designed in order for life to exist. The range of temperatures must be compatible with life; so, the distance from the sun, the speed of rotation, and the composition of the atmosphere must all be in appropriate balance. Many other details of the world must be carefully designed. Truly, God’s wisdom is shown in what He created.
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Richard Myers

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2012, 10:31:34 PM »
And yet people believe it because "scientists" say it is so--and they are all knowing, of course.  ::)

Wiser than Scripture. It is always amusing to listen to the "experts" talk about how many millions of years ago there was an ice age.   They have many who blindly accept such ridiculousness even though science does not allow for such "scientific" statements. They have no scientific evidence for such things.
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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2012, 10:55:34 PM »
TUESDAY January 1

The Power of His Word

Read Jeremiah 51:15, 16 and Psalm 33:6, 9.

 51:15   He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. 
 51:16   When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. 
  33:6   By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 
  33:9   For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

 In addition to wisdom, what other attribute of God is mentioned in the Creation? How was this attribute expressed in Creation? More important, what are the implications of this truth for us?

The answers to these three questions involves the Sabbath. In what way?


Though we cannot know exactly how God created, we are told that it was through His powerful word. All the energy in all parts of the universe had its origin in the word of God. All the energy in all our fuels came from God’s power. All the gravity throughout the universe, every star guided in its course, and every black hole result from God’s power.

Perhaps the greatest amount of energy is within the atom itself. We are justifiably impressed by the power of nuclear weapons, in which a small amount of matter is converted into a large amount of energy. Yet, scientists tell us that all matter contains large amounts of energy. If a small amount of matter can produce the vast energy of a nuclear weapon, consider the amount of energy stored in the material of the entire world! But that is as nothing when compared with the energy stored in the matter of the universe. Imagine the power of God utilized to bring the universe into existence.

Many scientists believe that anything God may do in the creation is restricted by the “laws of nature,” but this idea is contrary to the Bible. God is not restricted by natural law; instead, God has determined natural law. God’s power has not always followed the patterns that we call the “laws of nature.”

For example, one of the fundamental “laws of nature” is the “Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy.” This law states that the total amount of matter and energy in the universe remains constant. But how could the universe appear from nothing if this law were inviolable? God’s creative word is not bound by the “laws” of science. God is sovereign over all His creation and is free to carry out His will.

Dwell (the best that you can) on the size of the universe. Think about the incredible power needed in order to create it. And to think that the God who wields such power loves us, even died for us. How can you learn to draw comfort from this amazing truth?

With our dull minds, we do not value what God offers. With our dull minds, we do not realize that it is the power of God that saves us. That does not mean God can save us only by His power. That is not possible. We must choose God or He cannot save us no matter how powerful He is. We must want His power. What verse in Scripture tells us that we may have this power of His to overcome sin?
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 05:43:31 AM »
WEDNESDAY January 2

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth


Read

John 1:1-3, 14

  1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
  1:2   The same was in the beginning with God. 
  1:3   All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 
 1:14   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

Colossians 1:15,16

  1:15   Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 
  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: 

Hebrews 1:1, 2.

 How do the New Testament writers identify the Creator? What are the implications of the answer?

John refers to Jesus as the Word (&8220;Logos”) and equates Him with God. More specifically, Jesus is the One through whom all things were created. In John’s day, the term logos was commonly used to represent the creative principle. John’s readers would be familiar with the concept of logos as a creative principle or even as a creator. John applied this familiar concept to Jesus, identifying Him as the true Creator. Jesus, the Logos, the Incarnate One who lived among us, was not only present in the beginning, He was the One by whom the universe was created. This means that we could read Genesis 1:1 as “In the beginning, Jesus created the heavens and the earth.”

Paul’s words in Colossians 1 resonate with those of John in the identification of the Creator as Jesus Christ. By Him, all things were created. Paul adds two other attributes of Jesus. First, He is the image of the invisible God. In our sinful state, we cannot see God the Father, but we can see Jesus. If we want to know what God is like, we can study the life of Jesus. "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" John 14:9. Second, Paul calls Jesus the “firstborn” of creation. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature."  Col. 1:15. In this context, “firstborn” does not refer to origin but to status. The firstborn was the head of the family and the heir of the property. Jesus was the “firstborn” in the sense that, as Creator and through the Incarnation (His taking upon Himself our humanity), He is the rightful head of the human family. Jesus was not a created being; rather, from eternity He was one with the Father.

Jesus did not cease being God when He took upon Himself our humanity. He was and remains both human and divine. He possesses a dual nature, but unlike us, He was without sin. He is the only "sinless" One. Through Christ, we too, may possess a dual nature. When we are fully surrendered to Jesus, we become partakers of His divine nature. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.


Hebrews 1:1, 2 repeats the same points as in the Colossians passage. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 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." Hebrews 1:1,2. Jesus is appointed heir of all things and is the One by whom the world was created. In addition, He is the exact representation of the Father’s nature, another way of stating that He is the image of God.

How would you respond if someone were to ask you, “What is your God like?” What justification could you give for your answer?

Sadly when this questions is asked, we shall receive many answers that vary considerably. Little children will relate God to their earthly fathers. Some who have been taught that God is going to burn sinners in Hell for eternity will view God in this manner, harsh and beyond just.  The picture we have of God comes from what we have been told of God. The justification for our response ought to be a "thus saith the Lord."  In addition to Scripture, there are two other revelations of God that will form our understanding of Him. Both are important, so important that we need to pay particular attention to them.

Our lesson has already pointed out that nature testifies God. The Bible teaches this. Monday's lesson speaks of the heavens declaring the glory of God. And in the book of Romans we see that all are without excuse for knowing of God because the things seen in nature testify of His power, His creative power.  Nature is God's second Book.

More important, is what we read in 2 Corinthians 3:18. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." This is not a popular truth, for it is in direct contradiction to what is being preached in many professing Christian churches. Many do not believe they can be like Jesus. Few understand what conversion is. Even the pastors that baptized them are often ignorant of the power of grace to transform the life at conversion. Many have been buried alive and when they came up out of the water, they were not new creatures in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday's lesson concentrated on the power of His Word. That power is not restricted to creating worlds. No, it is the power the re-creates a sinner into a saint. God has made a promise to change us. In the Garden of Eden, there was no hope for Adam and Eve until Christ spoke within their hearing these words: "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." Genesis 3:15. Enmity is hatred. God has promised to give us something we do not possess in our fallen nature. He has promised to write His law upon our hearts and to give us a hatred of sin and Satan. It is a conditional promise. It is conditioned upon us accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We must give our hearts fully to Him. Then, He will, through the Holy Spirit dwell in our hearts. This promise is repeated throughout the Bible. It is the New Covenant promise repeated by Paul.

Our whole Christian experience is based on our understanding of God's character. Whether it be gotten from nature, Scripture, or from beholding converted Christians, it is by beholding His character that we learn of Him who created both the heavens and the Earth. And, by beholding we will be transformed in character to reflect His glory, His character. Such a precious promise!! 
We deny Jesus His reward when we sin.

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 07:07:58 AM »

With our dull minds, we do not value what God offers. With our dull minds, we do not realize that it is the power of God that saves us. That does not mean God can save us only by His power. That is not possible. We must choose God or He cannot save us no matter how powerful He is. We must want His power. What verse in Scripture tells us that we may have this power of His to overcome sin?

There are several but this is my favorite:

Ezekiel 36:24   For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 
  36:25   Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 
  36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
  36:27   And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].
Isaiah 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2012, 07:32:09 AM »
Amen!! What a precious promise!  It is God that sprinkles the water upon us. It is His power that cleanses the heart and makes it new. We must open the door. And when we do, Jesus comes in and we become partakers of His divine nature. As Jesus has two natures, both human and divine, so it will be with us when we allow Christ to dwell in our hearts. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.

When we receive Christ and His power in the life, we must remain in Him and He in us if we are to retain the power to resist sin. If we have not His Spirit, we can do no good thing. Self rises back up and we need to be re-converted.
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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2012, 07:35:54 AM »
Oh yes! Here is another: 2Co 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Isaiah 1:17  Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Peter L

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2012, 01:23:14 PM »
Sunday-In the Beginning

Quote
Read Hebrews 11:3. What does this verse tell us about God and the creation of the universe?
Hebrews 11:3 KJV
(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.
Psalms 33:6 KJV
(6)  By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

The Bible is clear that all things were created by the word of the Lord. With the word of God that powerful it should increase our faith.

Quote
When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the word. All its strength is yours. “Thy word,” says the psalmist, “have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” “By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” Psalm 119:11; 17:4. Ellen White {DA 123.4}
Revelation 3:20
(20)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 03:08:06 PM »
Amen, Peter!! "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14. Good to see your post!
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Peter L

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Re: First Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 1--Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 03:44:36 PM »
Sunday-In the Beginning
Quote
Why is a supernatural Creator, One who exists above and beyond the Creation, the only logical explanation for the Creation?

Evolution is an absurd teaching. That people would believe that the universe with all its complexities just happened by chance takes much more faith than believing in an intelligent creator. Even today we do not see any evolution, life today comes from life nowhere else showing creation.
Revelation 3:20
(20)  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.