Friday, January 25, 2013

Creation, A Bible Theme

First Quarter 2013 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
Creation, A Bible Theme 
For the week of Jan. 26, 2013
Creation, A Biblical Theme
One of the most powerful series of public evangelistic meetings ever witnessed in modern times took place in the small town of Armidale, Australia, some 107 years ago. Ellen White wrote of this experience in a Review and Herald article dated January 7, 1896: 
"The evening discourses, given by Elders Prescott, Corliss, and Daniel’s, all presented the truth as it is in Jesus Christ. Hardly a discourse was given during the whole meeting that could be called a doctrinal sermon. In every sermon Christ was preached, and as the great and mysterious truths regarding his presence and work in the hearts of men were made clear and plain, the truths regarding his second coming, his relation to the Sabbath, his work as Creator, and his relation to man as the source of life, appeared in a glorious and convincing light that sent conviction to many hearts. With solemnity the people said, 'We have listened to truth tonight.'"
These were no ordinary meetings, she observed in a letter to her son Edson, dated November 18, 1895:
"God has said in the heavenly courts to His heavenly intelligences, 'Let there be spiritual light to shine amid the moral darkness of accumulated error and fables, and reveal truth. The Messenger of the covenant has come, and the Sun of Righteousness to arise and shine forth upon the the eager listeners.' "
Ellen White observed that while no sermon during the series could be termed a doctrinal sermon, the doctrines were indeed presented, as they are in Christ.
With these thoughts in mind, will you pause with me in prayer? 
Kind Father, this quarter people from nearly every nation, tribe, tongue, and people on earth are studying the creation account individually and collectively. One hundred seven years ago heaven said, 'Let there be spiritual light to shine amid the moral darkness . . . and reveal truth.' Today we are asking that once again, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you permit spiritual light to shine from heaven into our minds, that we might comprehend the truth of the Creation story as it is in Jesus. And I pray that when it shines, it will not be as before, when He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
Every story has a context, or setting, in which the story took place. Like all other stories, the creation story also has a setting which is revealed through a careful study of the Word.
Before the Creation of our world, there was darkness. Why? God did not say, "Let there be darkness." He said, "Let there be light." And he divided the light from the darkness.
1 John 1:5 says, "God is light and in him is no darkness at all" and Ephesians 6:12 says that we wrestle against "principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Thus, the setting for the Creation of our world was an atmosphere of darkness, brought on by Lucifer who had deceived nearly one half of the heavenly host. After the Father called a special meeting of the heavenly host to explain more fully Christ's relation to Himself and explaining their plan to create our world, Lucifer was filled with discontent.
"Concealing his real purposes, [Lucifer] assembled the angelic host. He introduced his subject, which was himself" The Story of Redemption p. 14. There was contention among the angels, which led to war, and "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon;  . . . So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" Rev. 12:7-9, excerpts.
Hence it was that within a short time of Day One of Creation, Satan was cast to the earth with his angels. 
"And God said, 'Let there be light' " Gen. 1:3. Let the character of God be revealed in contrast to the character of Satan.
"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" 2 Cor. 4:6.
Hence, on Day One of Creation God not only commanded physical light to shine on our planet in its embryonic form, He revealed Christ, the Creator, the self-existent one, equal with God from the days of eternity past. Christ and the Father were one.
Day One reveals God at work in the birthing room of our planet. As He laid the unsightly granite rock foundations of our earth and caused water to flow through these channels as a river of life to the ends of the earth, the Scripture reveals He was thinking of us: 
"My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God!" Psalm 139:15-17.
How precious, indeed! As Christ was constructing the foundation of our earth, He was thinking of us!
Paul says, "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" 1 Cor. 3:11. 
We have yet only begun to consider how Christ is revealed in Creation, but just as the original granite rocks contain hidden treasures -- microscopic halo evidences that "He spoke and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast" Ps. 33: 6, 9, so the Word of the Lord stands sure. And before Jesus comes, His power as Creator and Redeemer will be proclaimed with a loud voice:
"Fear God and give glory to Him,  . . . and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water" Rev. 14:7.
-Patti Guthrie