Monday, January 14, 2013

"The Creation Completed"

Sabbath School Today
With the 1888 Message Dynamic
Lesson 3: "The Creation Completed"
Why did God create the earth to be inhabited by the lower orders of creatures climaxing in His highest achievement Adam and Eve? Is there something missing in our understanding of the Creator which can be set right by the dynamics of the 1888 message?
"God made two great lights": the sun "to rule the day, and the" moon "to rule the night" (Gen. 1:16; Jer. 31:35). The purpose of the celestial bodies is to divide the light from the darkness, continuing and rendering permanent the distinction established on the first day, when the light of day was divided from the darkness of night by the earth rotating on its axis and revolving in its orbit.
The moon has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun so that we know that it is still shining somewhere even though we cannot see it. The sun has no light of its own because God maintains its energy (Col. 1:17). Although we cannot see the face of God, we know that He lives and that His glory is still shining, because we can see God's glorious creative power manifested in the sunlight by day and the soft beautiful moonlight by night.
Life comes from the immediate actions of God. "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth" (Gen. 1:20 ESV). There is no suggestion that the waters caused life, but were made to swarm, teem with life by His creative Word.
Fishes swarm in the sea in untold millions, yet the cod, the salmon, the mackerel are as distinct as though they were in different seas. So among birds: the robin does not mate with the sparrow, nor the sparrow with the wren. Likewise, "God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind" (Gen. 1:24). Not only has no animal shown any tendency toward development into a higher species, but none ever changes its kind to the slightest degree. To believe that man has evolved from lower orders of creation, requires a degree of simple credulity that is not found among those who believe the Bible.
When God created man, the union of the body (formed of constituents of the earth), and the gift of the spirit of life (received from God, the Source of life), formed the man himself "a living soul" (Gen. 2:7). The term "living soul" is not, however, distinctive. It is applied to the lower animals as well as to man. The same Hebrew words that in Genesis 2:7 are translated "living soul," are in Genesis 1:24 translated "living creature." It would be as proper to translate Genesis 1:24 thus, "And God said, let the earth bring forth the living soul after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth, after his kind." The lower animals are called living souls. Also, animals and man have the same breath of life (Gen. 7:21, 22).
But this doesn't mean that man is no better than a beast. There is a vast difference. "God said, Let Us make man in our image, after Our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). God "made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor" (Psalm 8:5). God made man "to be a companionfor God and the angels. Yet he is as dependent upon God for life as are the beasts over which he was given dominion. [1]
What was God's purpose in creating the animals and man? God made man to rule and in that respect he was to be an associate with God. "For in that He put all in subjection under him" (Heb. 2:8). Man has been given the freedom to choose for himself. "It is this freedom of will that gives to man the possibility of being a companion of God." [2] God will not force man against his will.
If we follow the Divine love of God in creation, it leads us to the answer as to why God created the earth and its living inhabitants. Adam came forth from the hand of the Creator an innocent adult [3] with the potential of continuous growth and progression in his comprehension of God. [4] "Adam in his sinless state was ever so innocent, but he certainly did not have the mind ofagape." [5] He wasn't willing to die for Eve, but rather chose to die in despair with her.
Thus he failed in the purpose for which God had created him. Adam in his original state of innocence was given the freedom to choose and progress in his comprehension of Divine love and thus be a revelation to the universe of true companionship with God. His learning curve was to commence with this earth as his dominion. Having successfully passed his apprenticeship on earth, there would have been infinite possibilities.
There are things about God's agape so amazing, that the universe did not comprehend. Adam's failure did not frustrate God's purpose to fully reveal Himself.
Christ did not have the sinless mind of Adam before the Fall. It is ever so true that innocent Adam had no self-centeredness or rebellion against God. Consequently, Adam was not "under the law." But Christ was "made of a woman, made under the law" (Gal. 4:4).
In contrast to Adam, Christ had the "mind" of agape because He is God. He "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3). He was "like every child of Adam" in accepting "the results of the working of the great law of heredity." [6] To say that Christ "had" the sinless nature or the sinless mind of the pre-Fall Adam is a pathetic failure to grasp reality.
Christ took our sinful nature, which included taking a "self" that needed to be denied constantly. It's not a sin to have a "self" if self is denied. It's a sin toyield to self. There is no selfishness until self is indulged. And Jesus perfectly denied self--even to the death on the cross. Since Adam in his sinless state had no self that had to be denied, there is a vast difference between the nature which Christ "took" and Adam's sinless nature. Jesus fought a constant battle that Adam never knew in his sinless state.
It wasn't until the cross of Christ that the universe comprehended the amazing love of God, which Adam should have demonstrated for Eve. If you love, you love forever, for as Abraham Lincoln said, "Love is eternal." Love has its source in God, for the Bible says that "God is love" (1 John 4:8), and He is eternal.
--Paul E. Penno
[1] Ellet J. Waggoner, "The Soul, Resurrection, and Punishment," The Present Truth, August 2, 1894, p. 485.
[2] Ibid.
[3] "Had Adam and Eve never disobeyed their Creator, had they remained in the path of perfect rectitude, they could have known and understood God. But when they listened to the voice of the tempter, and sinned against God, the light of the garments of heavenly innocence departed from them; and in parting with the garments of innocence, they drew about them the dark robes of ignorance of God" (Ellen G. White, Conflict and Courage, chapter 11).
[4] "Man is capable of everlasting progression, providing he submits himself to the power of God's life" (Waggoner, op. cit.).
[5] Robert J. Wieland, The 1888 Message: An Introduction, Revised & Enlarged (1997), p. 67.
[6] Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 48.
Please forward these messages to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. 

"Sabbath School Today" is on the Internet at:
To subscribe send an e-mail message with "subscribe" in the body of the message to