1. ADAM, THE FIRST EVANGELIST
a. How was the message of the eternal gospel first preached to Adam and Eve? Genesis 3:15; (compare Galatians 3:16).
“Although gloom and darkness hung, like the pall of death, over the future, yet in the promise of the Redeemer, the Star of hope lighted up the dark future. . . .
“What love! What amazing condescension! The King of glory proposed to humble Himself to fallen humanity! He would place His feet in Adam’s steps. He would take man’s fallen nature, and engage to cope with the strong foe who triumphed over Adam. He would overcome Satan, and in thus doing He would open the way for the redemption from the disgrace of Adam’s failure and fall, of all those who would believe on Him.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, pp. 1084, 1085.
b. As the first bearer of the gospel message, how would Adam have shared this message with his children? Deuteronomy 6:6, 7.
“[Adam] had been commanded to instruct his posterity in the way of the Lord; and he carefully treasured what God had revealed to him, and repeated it to succeeding generations.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 82.
2. ABEL AND SETH
a. What kind of men did God have among Adam’s descendants?
“Notwithstanding the prevailing iniquity, there was a line of holy men who, elevated and ennobled by communion with God, lived as in the companionship of heaven. They were men of massive intellect, of wonderful attainments. They had a great and holy mission—to develop a character of righteousness, to teach a lesson of godliness, not only to the men of their time, but for future generations.”— Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 84.
b. In what way was Abel a faithful witness of the gospel message? Genesis 4:4, 10; 1 John 3:12; Hebrews 11:4.
“Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.”—Ibid., p. 72.
c. What encouragement can we gain from the life of Seth? Genesis 4:25.
“Seth was of more noble stature than Cain or Abel, and resembled Adam more closely than did his other sons. He was a worthy character, following in the steps of Abel. Yet he inherited no more natural goodness than did Cain. Concerning the creation of Adam it is said, ‘In the likeness of God made He him’ (Genesis 5:1); but man, after the Fall, ‘begat a son in his own likeness, after his image’ (verse 3). While Adam was created sinless, in the likeness of God, Seth, like Cain, inherited the fallen nature of his parents. But he received also the knowledge of the Redeemer and instruction in righteousness. By divine grace he served and honored God; and he labored, as Abel would have done, had he lived, to turn the minds of sinful men to revere and obey their Creator.”—Ibid., p. 80.
a. What prophetic truths were preached by Enoch? Jude 14, 15.
“Enoch became a preacher of righteousness, making known to the people what God had revealed to him.”—Ibid., p. 86.
b. What was the foundation of Enoch’s faithfulness as an evangelist? Genesis 5:22. How do you understand the statement “Enoch walked with God”?
“Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had a work to do for God in the world. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of the Lord. His heart was in harmony with God’s will; for ‘can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ (Amos 3:3). . . .
“Distressed by the increasing wickedness of the ungodly, and fearing that their infidelity might lessen his reverence for God, Enoch avoided constant association with them, and spent much time in solitude, giving himself to meditation and prayer. Thus he waited before the Lord, seeking a clearer knowledge of His will, that he might perform it.”—Ibid., p. 85.
c. What parallel can be drawn between Enoch and the living righteous at the coming of Christ? Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
“The godly character of this prophet [Enoch] represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be ‘redeemed from the earth’ (Revelation 14:3) at the time of Christ’s second advent. Then, as in the world before the Flood, iniquity will prevail. . . . But like Enoch, God’s people will seek for purity of heart and conformity to His will, until they shall reflect the likeness of Christ. Like Enoch, they will warn the world of the Lord’s second coming and of the judgments to be visited upon transgression, and by their holy conversation and example they will condemn the sins of the ungodly. As Enoch was translated to heaven before the destruction of the world by water, so the living righteous will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire.”—Ibid., pp. 88, 89.
4. NOAH, A TEACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
a. Who does the Bible refer to as the “sons of God,” and what should be their attitude? Romans 8:14; 1 John 3:1; 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17, 18.
b. After the death of Adam, what error of the “sons of God” shows that the distinction between the servants of the Lord and the servants of Satan was rapidly disappearing? Genesis 6:1, 2.
“The children of Seth, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of Cain’s descendants, displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements that were now constantly before them, and they lost their peculiar, holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them in spirit and in deeds; the restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, ‘and they took them wives of all which they chose’ (Genesis 6:2). The children of Seth went ‘in the way of Cain’ (Jude 11); they fixed their minds upon worldly prosperity and enjoyment and neglected the commandments of the Lord.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 81, 82.
c. Due to the prevailing wickedness of humanity, who did God call to preach a message of warning? Genesis 6:5–8; 2 Peter 2:5. How does this parallel with our days? Matthew 24:37–39; 2 Peter 3:3–6.
“Before the Flood God sent Noah to warn the world, that the people might be led to repentance, and thus escape the threatened destruction. . . . For a hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised.”—Ibid., p. 102.
“The sins that called for vengeance upon the antediluvian world exist today. The fear of God is banished from the hearts of men, and His law is treated with indifference and contempt. The intense worldliness of that generation is equaled by that of the generation now living.”—Ibid., p. 101.
5. NOAH, A SPOKESMAN FOR CHRIST
a. Who was speaking through Noah, and how? Hebrews 1:1; 2 Peter 1:21.
“[1 John 3:8 quoted.] Christ was engaged in this warfare in Noah’s day. It was His voice that spoke to the inhabitants of the old world in messages of warning, reproof, and invitation. He gave the people a probation of one hundred and twenty years, in which they might have repented. But they chose the deceptions of Satan, and perished in the waters of the Flood.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E.G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1089.
b. As Noah was moved by the Spirit to preach, how does the Bible describe his hearers? 1 Peter 3:18–20; 4:6; Isaiah 42:7.
c. What would the gospel message have done for Noah’s hearers, and what will it do for us if we accept it? Isaiah 61:1; Ephesians 2:1–5.
“As God raised Christ from the dead, that He might bring life and immortality to light through the gospel, and thus save His people from their sins, so Christ has raised fallen human beings to spiritual life, quickening them with His life, filling their hearts with hope and joy.”—The Review and Herald, March 31, 1904.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How did Adam’s descendants keep alive the story of creation and the fall of Adam and Eve?
2. How can we use Adam’s method of evangelism in our lives today?
3. What was Enoch’s message to his generation?
4. How did Christ, through Noah, warn the people who were chained in sin?
5. For how long did the Holy Spirit strive in Noah’s day with those who were “dead in trespasses and sins”?