Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Sabbath School Insights No. 11, Qtr 2-06

Special Insights No. 11

Second Quarter 2006 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

“The Holy Spirit”

(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)

“The Restorer of the Image of God in Man”

[Expanded title from the Sabbath School author’s  companion book, New by the Spirit.]


For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.... (Romans 8:29).



This lesson covers the entire Bible—from beginning to end. Sunday’s lesson asks us to read Genesis 1, in which God emphatically said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.... So God created man [Adam] in His own image” (vss. 26, 27). In Revelation 19:7, John heard the “voice of a great multitude” “saying.... Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” Over thousands of years, the great “Restorer” in His mercy and patience, through insult and rejection, has wooed His Bride-to-be. But in the last book in the Bible, in one small verse, we see that the Lamb’s Bride is finally ready for the wedding—her image has been restored as it was on the day of Creation.


Author Wallenkampf states: “Young people are commonly advised not to marry anyone in order to change the character of the spouse..... But God’s plan is diametrically different. He marries all who come to Him through the forensic declaration of justification by faith.....  and through the power of the Spirit, He sets about to change them..... All who accept His plan of salvation he plans to restore ‘to the image of His Son.’.... to recreate everyone who is willing” (op cit., p. 101, 102). And these are the “operative” words: “who is willing.”


What are the characteristics of “Our image”? One study Bible states that in one view, based on Hebrew grammar and other factors, God created man as “statues” or “living symbols of Himself to represent His reign,” as did the emperors of old. But what kind of “symbol” would every human (except One) be as a representation of God? Sin came into the world with the first Adam and continues it’s wicked work to this day. There must be something else. Ellen White says that “in order to work the restoration of the fallen, it was necessary that man’s will should come into harmony with the divine will. God purposed that men should conform to the divine Model..... from the manger to Calvary [Jesus] represent[ed] the character of God before the world! It was by fulfilling the law that Christ made known the Father to the world” (Sabbath-School Worker, Nov. 1, 1895). God did not make us as “statues,” but He gave us the freedom to choose—to allow His Spirit to work within us, or to reject His wonderful gift of salvation that He has given to the whole world, to “all.”


If, at the 1888 General Conference Session, the delegates had accepted the message of restoration presented by two young ministers, E. J. Waggoner and A. T. Jones, the Bride (the Church) would have been equipped to make herself ready for the wedding. But before the next year’s General Conference Session rolled around, it was clear that the message, which Ellen White referred to as the “third angel’s message in verity,” was opposed by the brethren. In her closing remarks at the 1889 Session she had sad, but strong words for the delegates:


“There has been a departure from God among us, and the zealous work of repentance and return to our first love essential to restoration to God and regeneration of heart has not yet been done. Infidelity to God has been making its inroads in our ranks; for it is the fashion to depart from Christ, and give place to skepticism. The cry of the heart has been, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” Baal, Baal, is the choice..... The true religion, the only religion of the Bible,.... that advocates righteousness by the faith of the Son of God, has been slighted, spoken against, ridiculed. It has been denounced as leading to enthusiasm and fanaticism. Take it back while it is not too late for wrongs to be righted; for you have sinned against God..... The love of Christ is the force and power of every message that ever fell from human lips. What kind of future is before us, if we shall fail to come into the unity of the faith.” (You may read her entire talk in the 1888 Materials, pp. 439-446.)


Wallenkampf, in his book, What Every Adventist Should Know About 1888, sums up the restoration process: “Fellowship* with God is based on faith—on complete confidence or trust in Him. Such trust leads to wholehearted commitment, just as a loving wife commits herself to her husband and vice versa. This surrender brings the most exhilarating pleasure and joy to both.


“As spiritually alive members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we will today enjoy, or at least seek, such a sweet and peace-imparting fellowship with Jesus. Then the experience of righteousness by faith is ours, and only then have you and I in reality accepted, and not rejected, the 1888 message” (pp. 88, 89).


“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’.... Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).

Carol Kawamoto


*Wallenkampf preferred the word “fellowship” rather than “relationship” when referring to a “Christian’s connection with God.” If you would like a short article explaining his reasoning write to me at:


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