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Sabbath Bible Lessons

The Plan of Redemption and the Sanctuary Service

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Lesson 2 Sabbath, January 8, 2011

The Origin of Evil

“[The Lord said unto the seventy:] I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

“Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and who stood highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven.”—The Great Controversy, p. 493.

Suggested Readings:   Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 33–43. 
  The Story of Redemption, pp. 13–19. 

Sunday January 2

1. THE ORIGIN OF SIN

a. Who was the originator of sin? John 8:44; 1 John 3:8.

“Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, ‘son of the morning,’ was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 35.

b. How does the Bible describe the original character of Lucifer and the sinful thoughts that arose in his mind? Ezekiel 28:15, 17.

c. In what sense did Lucifer exalt himself? Isaiah 14:13, 14. Using the symbol of the prince of Tyrus, how does Ezekiel describe Lucifer’s self-exaltation? Ezekiel 28:2.

“Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined. To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels.”—Ibid., p. 36.


Monday January 3

2. WAR IN HEAVEN

a. Who sided with Lucifer against God’s sovereignty? Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4.

“Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 37.

b. Describe the result of Lucifer’s rebellion and the warning we should take from it. Revelation 12:7–9.

“All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father, to have each case determined. Satan unblushingly made known his dissatisfaction that Christ should be preferred before Him. He stood up proudly and urged that he should be equal with God and should be taken into conference with the Father and understand His purposes. God informed Satan, that to His Son alone He would reveal His secret purposes, and He required all the family in heaven, even Satan, to yield Him implicit, unquestioned obedience; but that he (Satan) had proved himself unworthy of a place in heaven. Then Satan exultingly pointed to his sympathizers, comprising nearly one half of all the angels, and exclaimed, ‘These are with me! Will you expel these also and make such a void in heaven?’ He then declared that he was prepared to resist the authority of Christ and to defend his place in heaven by force of might, strength against strength.”—The Story of Redemption, p. 18.

“Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by them unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ.”—Selected Messages, bk. 2, p. 394.


Tuesday January 4

3. THE LAW OF GOD UNDER ATTACK

a. In that war of arguments, what was Lucifer’s false claim about God and His law? John 8:44 (last part).

“[Lucifer] had sought to falsify the word of God and had misrepresented His plan of government, claiming that God was not just in imposing laws upon the angels; that in requiring submission and obedience from His creatures, He was seeking merely the exaltation of Himself.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 42.

“Before he was expelled from heaven, Satan had an acquaintance with God. He knew His character; but ever since then, his effort has been to misrepresent that character. It is at his suggestion that religion has been made a series of penances and mortifications, or of splendid sights and pageantries. There are many forms of religion instituted by the enemy of God, that are as Christless as was the offering of Cain.”—The Signs of the Times, March 3, 1898.

b. What other sins were manifest in Lucifer’s early rebellion? Isaiah 14:13. Besides using self-exaltation and covetousness, what other transgression did Lucifer commit from the early phase of his rebellion? John 8:44 (first part).

“[Lucifer] had artfully presented his side of the question, employing sophistry and fraud to secure his objects. His power to deceive was very great. By disguising himself in a cloak of falsehood, he had gained an advantage. All his acts were so clothed with mystery that it was difficult to disclose to the angels the true nature of his work.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 41.

c. Explain why we need not be deceived by Satan’s charges against God’s law and character. Psalm 119:7–12, 18.

“The law of God is the only true standard of moral perfection. That law was practically exemplified in the life of Christ. He says of Himself, ‘I have kept my Father’s commandments’ (John 15:10). Nothing short of this obedience will meet the requirements of God’s word. ‘He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’ (1 John 2:6). We cannot plead that we are unable to do this, for we have the assurance, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ (2 Corinthians 12:9).”—The Sanctified Life, pp. 80, 81.


Wednesday January 5

4. EXPELLED FROM HEAVEN

a. When Satan and his angels were expelled from heaven, where were they exiled? Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:9. Why was Satan exiled and not destroyed?

“Even when it was decided that he could no longer remain in heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since the service of love can alone be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. Evil must be permitted to come to maturity. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages Satan must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might forever be placed beyond all question.

“Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature and terrible results of sin. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government and His law is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 498, 499.

b. What claim and what title has Satan falsely maintained ever since he was thrown to the earth? Luke 4:6; John 14:30.

“When Satan declared to Christ, The kingdom and glory of the world are delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, he stated what was true only in part, and he declared it to serve his own purpose of deception. Satan’s dominion was that wrested from Adam, but Adam was the vicegerent of the Creator. His was not an independent rule. The earth is God’s, and He has committed all things to His Son. Adam was to reign subject to Christ. When Adam betrayed his sovereignty into Satan’s hands, Christ still remained the rightful King.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 129.


Thursday January 6

5. SATAN’S INFLUENCE IN THIS WORLD

a. What name does the Bible use to depict the spiritual and social atmosphere of Satan’s domain? Matthew 16:18; 23:15; 2 Peter 2:4 (first part).

b. What is the main occupation of Satan and his angels which has been ever since they were hurled down to the earth? Revelation 12:9. Give an example showing how the powers of hell operate. Luke 11:24–26.

“Ever since his fall, Satan has worked by means of deception.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 31.

“[Satan’s] spirit now reigns in the children of disobedience. Like him they seek to break down the restraints of the law of God and promise men liberty through transgression of its precepts.”—The Great Controversy, p. 500.

c. What will be the outcome of the war between light and darkness? Revelation 17:14; 19:11–16.

“The warfare against God’s law, which was begun in heaven, will be continued until the end of time. Every man will be tested. Obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world. All will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men. . . .

“Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 763.


Friday January 7

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. How did Lucifer “light bearer” become Satan “adversary”?

2. How did he sow discontentment among the angels?

3. With what sins did he begin his rebellion against God?

4. Why would it have been too early to destroy Satan when he had to be expelled from heaven?

5. How has he continued his rebellion after he was confined to this earth?

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