Basic theme: Revelation 14
The changes to the Teacher’s Edition of the Adult Sabbath School Study Guide (known popularly as the Sabbath School Quarterly) for January to March 2019 were much less than average in this lesson. In fact the lesson is almost untouched. I will review the changes that were interesting or substantive.
There were a couple small, helpful edits in the Overview and Main Themes I-III of the Commentary were completely untouched. The major changes for this week were mainly in Main Themes IV and V, read on.
In Main Themes IV a sentence was removed after the reference to John 12 and Rev 5. I had written, “The whole human race was judged in the Person of its representative, Jesus Christ.” I believe that is the significance of the cross when it is viewed from a legal perspective (a very common approach to salvation in the Bible). Jesus Christ experienced the blessings and curses of Israel’s covenant in our place. The issue of the gospel, then, becomes whether or not we accept the new history He has provided in our place (see my book Meet God Again, chapters 6-8 and 10 for further detail). The one sentence summarizing all that is gone. Later in the same paragraph, I note that the judgment at the end “ratifies the judgments we passed on ourselves in response to the hearing of the gospel (John 12:48).” The first eight words of the previous quote were changed to “examines our response. . . ,” which is true, but seems to leave us in more jeopardy. Fear of judgment was a major issue in my upbringing and it does not have positive spiritual outcomes. I was always afraid that the judgment would somehow overturn my best choices and efforts. There is no need to be afraid of the judgment if it is simply ratifying the choices we have already made. My comment may have been too brief anyway, but I’m sorry it is gone. Also my last sentence was removed. “In Rev 14:7, the second and third phases of judgment outlined above occur together.” That insight was also designed to ease fear of judgment. The judgment of the living is not a second jeopardy, it is that time in history (close of probation) when the final decisions of people on earth are being made and being ratified in heaven. This explanation is probably too brief, but I hope it will be helpful for teachers to know what I originally wrote and why.
Several small changes in the first paragraph of Main Themes V improved what I had originally written, so go with the Teacher’s Edition and not my original here.
Main Themes VI and Life Applications were untouched except for the addition of Matthew 10:42 in Life Application I, which I thought was helpful.
Again, for those who don’t have access to the standard printed edition of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide or the Teacher’s Edition for this quarter, you can access them online week by week at https://www.absg.adventist.org/. My original pre-edited Teacher’s Edition manuscript for this week is provided in the previous blog. You can also download audio of me teaching the lesson ahead of time each week at http://pineknoll.org/sabbath-school-lessons.