Creation

"The apostles endeavored to impart to these idolaters a knowledge of God the Creator, and of His Son, the Saviour of the human race. They first directed attention to the wonderful works of God,--the sun, the moon, and the stars, the beautiful order of the recurring seasons, the mighty snow-capped mountains, the lofty trees, and other varied wonders of nature, which showed a skill beyond human comprehension. Through these works of the Almighty, the apostles led the minds of the heathen to a contemplation of the great Ruler of the universe."--The Acts of the Apostles, p. 180.

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15.

God's First Book, the Book of Creation. The book of nature was given to man while he lived in the Garden of Eden. Through the things that God had made, he was to learn of His omnipotent power, His infinite wisdom, His boundless love and goodness. Before sin marred God's plan, these lessons on His character were perfectly revealed in the beauty and fragrance of the flowers, the singing of the birds, the gorgeous butterflies, the fruitful trees, the beautiful landscape, the clear, healthful air, the life-giving water, the happy contented beasts of the field, and above all in man, made in God's own perfect image. In earth and sea and sky God's character was manifest. 'On every leaf of the forest or stone of the mountains, in every shining star, ... God's name was written." "God's glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, 'the balancings of the clouds,' the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night, - all were open to the study of our first parents." PP 51. And all revealed the divine character of man's adorable Creator and his marvelous Teacher.

The book of nature is still a parable to teach us of heavenly realities, for "as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." Isa. 61:11.

After sin marred this fair world, nature everywhere revealed the presence and character of the evil one. "The atmosphere, once so mild and uniform in temperature, was now subject to marked changes." PP 61. Satan had become "the prince of the power of the air" Eph. 2:2, and the terrible conflict between good and evil, between Christ and Satan, was on, This conflict is still on, and this book of nature plainly reveals in death and decay on every hand. To understand this conflict so that we shall line up on God's side is the real objective of true nature study. Unless in our study and teaching of nature, the work of Christ not only as Creator but as Redeemer, is made plain, it cannot truthfully be called Christian education, even though it be so labelled.

When Adam and Eve witnessed signs of decay in drooping flower and falling leaf, we are told that they "mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead." PP 62. But they were not left without hope. The book of nature still revealed the love and character of God. In His mercy He has left many of nature's beauties. While nature reveals the presence of the enemy, it also teaches the lesson of redemption. Although death and decay are everywhere manifest, the trees shed their leaves only to put forth new ones in the freshness of the springtime. The plants die only to rise again in fresh verdure at the appointed time. Even man himself as he lays down his life, looks forward to the resurrection, when he shall come forth in immortal youth and glory. Each yearly round demonstrates the spring, summer, autumn, and winter of life, and the resurrection morning. And all show God's gracious care and imperishable love toward all the works of His hand.

"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." Rom. 1:19, 20; 2:13-16; Ps. 19:1-3. In fact, so fully is the plan of redemption made known in the book of nature, that some will be saved who have never known any other book of God. "Among the heathen are those who, .... though ignorant of the written law of God .... have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required.... and they are recognized as the children of God." DA 638. Some have never known of the great Sacrifice made for their salvation, and when they see the nail prints in the hands of Christ, they ask, "What are those wounds in Thine hands?" Then He shall answer, "Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends." "My harlot's house." Zech. 13:6. See also PK 376,377. The Path to the Throne of God: By Sarah Peck

Creation Week & The Removal of the Human Family From the Garden:

Genesis - Chapter 1

1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which [were] under the firmament from the waters which [were] above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.
1:10 And God called the dry [land] Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that [it was] good.
1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.
1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.
1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.
1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

 


Genesis - Chapter 2

2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
2:4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
2:5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
2:6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
2:7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
2:10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
2:11 The name of the first [is] Pison: that [is] it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where [there is] gold;
2:12 And the gold of that land [is] good: there [is] bdellium and the onyx stone.
2:13 And the name of the second river [is] Gihon: the same [is] it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
2:14 And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates.
2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.
2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
2:23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.



Genesis - Chapter 3

3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?
3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.
3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;
3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.
3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

 

 

Eden

"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15.

Although everything God had made was in the perfection of beauty, and there seemed nothing wanting upon the earth which God had created to make Adam and Eve happy, yet He manifested His great love to them by planting a garden especially for them. A portion of their time was to be occupied in the happy employment of dressing the garden, and a portion in receiving the visits of angels, listening to their instruction, and in happy meditation. Their labor was not wearisome but pleasant and invigorating. This beautiful garden was to be their home.


In this garden the Lord placed trees of every variety for usefulness and beauty. There were trees laden with luxuriant fruit, of rich fragrance, beautiful to the eye, and pleasant to the taste, designed of God to be food for the holy pair. There were the lovely vines which grew upright, laden with their burden of fruit, unlike anything man has seen since the fall. The fruit was very large and of different colors; some nearly black, some purple, red, pink, and light green. This beautiful and luxuriant growth of fruit upon the branches of the vine was called grapes. They did not trail upon the ground, although not supported by trellises, but the weight of the fruit bowed them down. It was the happy labor of Adam and Eve to form beautiful bowers from the branches of the vine and train them, forming dwellings of nature's beautiful, living trees and foliage, laden with fragrant fruit.


It was the design of God that man should find happiness in the employment of tending the things He had created, and that his wants should be met with the fruits of the trees of the garden.


Had happiness consisted in doing nothing, man, in his state of holy innocence, would have been left unemployed. But He who created man knew what would be for his happiness; and no sooner had He created him than He gave him his appointed work. The promise of future glory, and the decree that man must toil for his daily bread, came from the same throne. - {Conflict and Courage pg.12 par.5}

Someone to Share

"It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Genesis 2:18.

After the creation of Adam every living creature was brought before him to receive its name; he saw that to each had been given a companion, but among them "there was not found an help meet for him." Among all the creatures that God had made on the earth, there was not one equal to man. And God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him." Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of the same nature to love and to be loved.


God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided "an help meet for him"--a helper corresponding to him--one who was fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self; showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it" (Ephesians 5:29). "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one" (Genesis 2:24).


God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. "Marriage is honorable" (Hebrews 13:4); it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man's social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature. {Conflict and Courage pg.14 par.4}

A Chance to Choose

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:17.

Our first parents, though created innocent and holy, were not placed beyond the possibility of wrongdoing. . . . They were to enjoy communion with God and with holy angels; but before they could be rendered eternally secure, their loyalty must be tested. At the very beginning of man's existence a check was placed upon the desire for self-indulgence, the fatal passion that lay at the foundation of Satan's fall. The tree of knowledge, which stood near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our first parents. While permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death. They were also to be exposed to the temptations of Satan; but if they endured the trial, they would finally be placed beyond his power, to enjoy perpetual favor with God.


God might have created man without the power to transgress His law; He might have withheld the hand of Adam from touching the forbidden fruit; but in that case man would have been, not a free moral agent, but a mere automation. Without freedom of choice, his obedience would not have been voluntary, but forced. There could have been no development of character. . . . It would have been unworthy of man as an intelligent being, and would have sustained Satan's charge of God's arbitrary rule.


God made man upright; He gave him noble traits of character, with no bias toward evil. He endowed him with high intellectual powers, and presented before him the strongest possible inducements to be true to his allegiance. Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he was to have access to the tree of life.


So long as they remained loyal to the divine law, their capacity to know, to enjoy, and to love would continually increase. They would be constantly gaining new treasures of knowledge, discovering fresh springs of happiness, and obtaining clearer and yet clearer conceptions of the immeasurable, unfailing love of God. - {Conflict and Courage pg.13 par.5}

Deceived!

"And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1.

To man, the crowning work of creation, God has given power to understand His requirements, to comprehend the justice and beneficence of His law, and its sacred claims upon him; and of man unswerving obedience is required.


Like the angels, the dwellers in Eden had been placed upon probation; their happy estate could be retained only on condition of fidelity to the Creator's law. They could obey and live, or disobey and perish.


The angels had cautioned Eve to beware of separating herself from her husband while occupied in their daily labor in the garden; with him she would be in less danger from temptation than if she were alone. But absorbed in her pleasing task, she unconsciously wandered from his side. . . . She soon found herself gazing with mingled curiosity and admiration upon the forbidden tree. The fruit was very beautiful, and she questioned with herself why God had withheld it from them. Now was the tempter's opportunity. As if he were able to discern the workings of her mind, he addressed her: "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?".


The tempter intimated that the divine warning was not to be actually fulfilled; it was designed merely to intimidate them.


Such has been Satan's work from the days of Adam to the present, and he has pursued it with great success. He tempts men to distrust God's love and to doubt His wisdom. He is constantly seeking to excite a spirit of irreverent curiosity, a restless, inquisitive desire to penetrate the secrets of divine wisdom and power. In their efforts to search out what God has been pleased to withhold, multitudes overlook the truths which He has revealed, and which are essential to salvation.


Eve really believed the words of Satan, but her belief did not save her from the penalty of sin. She disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall. In the judgment men will not be condemned because they conscientiously believed a lie, but because they did not believe the truth, because they neglected the opportunity of learning what is truth. - {Conflict and Courage pg.15 par.7}

Used by Satan

"She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." Genesis 3:6.

Having herself transgressed, she [Eve] became the agent of Satan working the ruin of her husband. In a state of strange, unnatural excitement, with her hands filled with the forbidden fruit, she sought his presence, and related all that had occurred.


An expression of sadness came over the face of Adam. He appeared astonished and alarmed. To the words of Eve he replied that this must be the foe against whom they had been warned; and by the divine sentence she must die. In answer she urged him to eat, repeating the words of the serpent, that they should not surely die. She reasoned that this must be true, for she felt no evidence of God's displeasure, but on the contrary realized a delicious, exhilarating influence, thrilling every faculty with new life, such, she imagined, as inspired the heavenly messengers.


Adam understood that his companion had transgressed the command of God, disregarded the only prohibition laid upon them as a test of their fidelity and love. There was a terrible struggle in his mind. He mourned that he had permitted Eve to wander from his side. But now the deed was done; he must be separated from her whose society had been his joy. How could he have it thus? Adam had enjoyed the companionship of God and of holy angels. He had looked upon the glory of the Creator. He understood the high destiny opened to the human race should they remain faithful to God. Yet all these blessings were lost sight of in the fear of losing that one gift which in his eyes outvalued every other. Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator--all were overborne by love to Eve. She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation. . . . He resolved to share her fate; if she must die, he would die with her. After all, he reasoned, might not the words of the wise serpent be true? Eve was before him, as beautiful and apparently as innocent as before this act of disobedience. She expressed greater love for him than before. No sign of death appeared in her, and he decided to brave the consequences. He seized the fruit and quickly ate. - {Conflict and Courage pg.16 par.4}