5: Resurrections Before the Cross-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plans

Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class, Sabbath October 29, 2022.

Main Theme: While Grace is found in the Old and New Testaments, the power of the the resurrection is found in both the Old and New Testaments.

Read in Class: Jude 9, and Like 9:28-36. Discuss the common thread of these passages.

Study: What evidences do you find in these texts for the bodily resurrection of Moses?

Apply: Moses was not allowed to enter the earthly Canaan (Deut. 34:1-4) but was taken into the heavenly Canaan. What does this teach about how God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20, NKJV)?

Share: Your friend asks how Moses got to go to heaven before Jesus even died for Him? What do you tell your friend? Hint: Revelation 13:8.

Read in Class: 1 Kings 17:8-24 and 2 Kings 4:18-37. Discuss the common thread of these passages.

Study: What similarities and differences do you see in these two resurrections?

Apply: These are great stories, but for each one of these two accounts, how many untold others didn’t have something so miraculous happen? What should this sad fact teach us about just how central to our faith is the promised resurrection at the end of time?

Share: Your friend asks why we don’t see modern day resurrections? (I have heard claims that they still happen today.) What do you tell your friend? Hint: See Can God Still Work Miracles Today.

Read in Class: Luke 7:11-7 and Mark 5:35-43. Discuss the common thread in these passages.

Study: What can we learn about death from Christ’s words, “The child is not dead, but sleeping”?

Apply: Jesus’ words, “Do not fear, only believe” (Mark 5:36, NRSV), are still meaningful for us today. How can we learn to do that, even amid fearful situations, which are the most important times to keep believing?

Share: Your friend asks, why you think Jesus chose to raise the widow’s son, and the young girl? What purpose might it have served other than just demonstrating the resurrection power? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: John 11:1-44. Discuss the main point of this passage.

Study:  In what sense was Jesus “glorified” by the sickness and death of Lazarus (John 11:4)?

Apply: Read John 11:25,-26. In one line Jesus talks about believers dying, and in the next He talks about believers never dying. What is Jesus teaching us here, and why is the understanding that death is an unconscious sleep so crucial in understanding Christ’s words? And why do His words offer us, as beings destined to the grave, so much hope?

Share: Your friend asks you why Jesus waited for Lazarus to be dead four days before raising him? What do you tell your friend, and how could this be related to Jesus telling the people earlier that the girls was just asleep?

Hint: “When Christ raised to life the daughter of Jairus, He had said, “The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” Mark 5:39. As she had been sick only  a short time, and was raised immediately after death, the Pharisees declared that the child had not been dead; that Christ Himself had said she was only asleep. They had tried to make it appear that Christ could not cure disease, that there was foul play about His miracles. But in this case, none could deny that Lazarus was dead.” –Desire of Ages, Pages 534-535.

3: Understanding Human Nature-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School class on Sabbath, October 15, 2022.

Main Theme: The Bible does not teach the natural immortality of the soul. The soul is mortal until the resurrection, when those who are saved put on immortality. See 1 Timothy 6:15-16, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.

Read in Class: Genesis 1:24-27 and Genesis 2:7, 19. Discuss the main idea of these passages.

Study: What are the similarities and differences between how God created animals and humans?

Apply: How close and personal did God get in creating man? In what ways were mankind made in the image of God?

Share: Your friend says that the Bible appears to be sexist in the way it portrays male and female roles. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Ezekiel 18:4 and Matthew 10:28. Discuss the common thread of these texts.

Study: What do these verses teach us about human nature and the soul? Is the soul that sins immortal?

Apply: When threatened with death if we do not obey man over God, how do these passages help you choose who to remain loyal to?

Share: Your friend says she died for a while on the operating table and saw a bright light which she believes meant she went to heaven for a while while she was dead. How do you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Ecclesiastes 12:5-7. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What is the spirit that returns to God? See Job 27:3 KJV and Psalm 104:29 KJV.

Apply: We often say that death is just part of life. Why is that so wrong? Death is the opposite of life, the enemy of life. What great hope, then, is found in this verse: “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26, NKJV)?

Share: Your friend is reading Ecclesiastes 12:7 and says, “See, this verse says the body dies and the spirit returns to God who gave it. This says that we have two parts: the body and the spirit. So when we die, our spirit goes to heaven.” How do you respond to your friend?

Read in Class: Read in Class, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, Job 14:12,19. Discuss the main idea of these passages.

Study: What can we learn from the passages about the condition of those who are dead? See also Death in Light of the Cross.

Apply: Are you afraid to die? Why or why not should we be afraid to die?

Share: Can you think of someone who would be encouraged about this week’s study and the hope we have in the resurrection? How can you share this hope with the this week?

13: Christ in the Crucible-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School Class on Sabbath, September 24, 2022.

Main Theme: Jesus loved us so much He was willing to say goodbye to life forever if that’s what it to save us. Our appreciate for His amazing love makes it possible for us to love the way He loves.

Read in Class: Matthew 27:45-51. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What made Jesus ask His Father why He was forsaking Him? What made Jesus think He was forsaken? See Agape in the Crucible.

Apply: Considering how deeply Christ suffered on the cross, what exactly makes sin so offensive to you?

Share: Your friend asks you how the cross of Christ has changed your life? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Luke 2:7, 22-24, and Matthew 2:13-18. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What do we see in these verses that gives us an indication of the kind of life Jesus faced from the start?

Apply: In what ways can you identify with Jesus’ childhood? How does what He endured as a child give you hope? See the chapter, As a Child, in Desire of Ages.

Share: Your friend asks you why God allowed innocent babies to be destroyed by Herod? How could the birth of Jesus possibly bring peace and goodwill towards the poor grieving parents? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Luke 4:21-30. What is the main idea of this passage?

Study: How does this passage help us understand the suffering and rejection Jesus faced on earth?

Apply: What can you learn from Christ that can help you better cope with the pain of rejection? What does His example show you? How can you apply it to your own life?

Share: Your friend tells you it is not practical for God to expect us to loved people who do not love us in return. What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:33-36, and Luke 22:41-44. What is the common thread of these passages?

Study: What do we learn from these passages about how Christ suffered in Gethsemane?

Apply: Dwell upon what was happening to Jesus in Gethsemane. Already the sins of the world were starting to fall upon Him. Try to imagine what that must have been like. No human being has ever been called to go through anything like this before or since. What does this tell us about God’s love for us? What hope can you draw from this for yourself?

Share: What is the most important thing you have learned while studying the Sabbath School lesson in the last 13 weeks?

11: Waiting in the Crucible-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School class, September 10, 2022.

Main Theme: It may not seem like it to us, but God’s time is always perfect. That is why we need to wait on Him.

Read in Class: Romans 15:4-5, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 37:7, Romans 5:3-5. Discuss the common thread in these passages.

Study: What are these verses saying to us? What does patience lead to?

Apply: What things are you desperately waiting for? How can you learn to surrender everything to God and to His timing? Are you willing to pray your way into an attitude of complete surrender and submission to the Lord.

Share: Your friend says she was praying and waiting for God to heal her father, but He never did, and her father died. Another couple have been waiting for a long time to have a child, but have been unable to have children. Meanwhile they lament the fact that so many abusive parents are allowed to have children while they have none. What do you tell each of your friends? What examples found in the Bible might you use for each case?

Read in Class: Romans 5:6 and Galatians 4:4 and Daniel 9:24-27. What is the common thread of these two passages?

Study: What do these passages tell us about God’s timing? What was the time period for Daniel 9 and why such a long time?

Apply: What examples can you find in the Bible of God’s doing things in His own time that can help you learn to trust that He will do for you what’s right in His own time, as well? (Think, for instance, about Abraham and Sarah and the promise of a son.) At the same time, ask yourself, “What might I be doing that could be delaying the answer to a prayer that could have been answered long ago?”

Share: Your friend says in 2 Peter 3:12 it tells us to hasten Jesus’ second coming. If God’s timing is always perfect why do we need to hasten His coming? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Samuel 26:8-11. Discuss the most important idea in this passage.

Study: Why doesn’t David kill Saul and just become king? After all, God has already anointed him as king, and taken the kingdom from Saul. What is there to wait for?

Apply: How much patience and trust in God do you have when you are waiting for a job, promotion, soulmate, or other?

Share: Your friend says David should have taken Abishai’s advice. How do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Kings 19:1-9. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: After such a powerful intervention by the Lord on Mount Carmel, Elijah should have been full of faith and trust; instead, he runs in fear for his life. What lesson can we learn from this bad example?

Apply: Have you ever been tempted to run away from a situation instead of waiting on the Lord to take care of things? What did you do? How did it turn out? What did you learn?

Share: Can you think of someone who has been waiting a long time for a certain blessing? How can you encourage them this week?

 At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen. Isaiah 60:22 NLT

7: Indestructible Hope-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School class, Sabbath August 13, 2022.

Main Theme: Understanding God’s love gives us hope in our crucible.

Read in Class: Habakkuk 1:1-4. What did Habakkuk face?

Study: How does the introduction to the promised destruction of Babylon in Habakkuk 2:2-3 give hope?

Apply: Read Habakkuk 3:16-19. What does Habakkuk identify as his reasons for hope? What is the hope of God’s people as we wait for the last prophetic scenes to unfold? How can you make this hope your own?

Share: Your friend tells you they feel just like Habakkuk, when he said there was no justice. The court system is a joke and the wicked get away with everything, and the righteous suffer. What do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Isaiah 41:8-14. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What reasons for hope can you identify for people waiting eagerly for future deliverance? How does this promise help us as we wait for our exile on earth to end?

Apply: How does knowing that the God of this universe is close enough to hold your hand, change the way that you live? How does it change how you cope with your crucible?

Share: Your friend asks, “what if those who are against us claim the promise of Isaiah 41:8-14? What if our enemies believe we are the ones in verse 12 who will become nonexistent? How do we know if this is really talking about us? How do you answer your friend?

Read in Class: Jeremiah 29:1-14. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What specific sources of hope are provided in verses, 4,7, and 10?

Apply: Read Jeremiah 29:11-14, saying your name after the word you, as if God is making these promises to you personally. Apply these promises for yourself in whatever your present struggles might be.

Share: Your friend points out that the promise in Jeremiah 29:11 was given to the Jews. Your friend asks why the same people who claim the promises in the Old Testament turn around and say the commandments in the Old Testament were only for the Jews? What do you tell your friend?

Read in Class: Hebrews 12:1-13. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: In verses 5-13, what is our source of discipline? What should be our response to discipline? What is the goal of discipline?

Apply: Read through Hebrews 12:1-13 again. Make a list of all the reasons you can identify with as grounds for hope. How have you experienced this hope in your own times of spiritual “education”?

Share: Do you have a sharable testimony on how it has gone the last week or so when you have reached out to encourage a friend with a thought from the recent lessons?

4: Seeing the Goldsmith’s Face-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt for Sabbath School Class, July 23, 2022.

Main Theme: God uses trials to perfect our character.

Read in Class: Job 23:1-10. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What is the essence of Job’s struggle? What doesn’t he see? Why does he take on faith despite his trials?

Apply: In your own experience, how do trials refine and purify? What other ways could you be refined, other than through suffering?

Share: A friend says God was just using Job as a “guinea pig.” Which was very mean of God. What do you tell your friend? For some ideas on how to respond read, “Was Job Just a Guinea Pig?”

Read in Class: Matthew 25:31-46. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What criteria is used for separating the sheep and the goats?

Apply:  What kind of person are you in stress, or when no-one’s looking? What does the answer tell you about the change you need to make? 

Share: Your friend says that we only love God as much as the person on earth whom we love the least. Do you agree with your friend? Why or why not?

Read in Class: Daniel 12:1-10. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study:  What can we tell in these verses about the character of God’s people during these times?

Apply: What do the wise understand that the wicked don’t? What kind of wisdom is implied here?

Share: Your friend says she is confused about the state of the dead. How could you use Daniel 12?

Read in Class: Ephesians 4:11-16. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: What point is Paul making here? What role does he give for community?

Apply: What is the difference in a community revealing the fullness of Christ, and an individual revealing the fullness of Christ? See Ephesians 3:10.

Share: Share a brief testimony about someone who showed you Christ’s loving character when while they were in a crucible of sorts.

3: The Birdcage-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class July 16, 2022.

Main Theme: God leads His people into situations where He knows there will be suffering, for a greater good.

Read in Class: Exodus 14. Discuss the main idea of this passage.

Study: Why did God bring the Israelites to a place where He knew they would be terrified? In verse 31 what lesson did the Israelites learn from this experience? 

Apply: Why is trusting God sometimes so hard, even though we may know many of the wonderful promises He has for us? Recount some difficult situation you believe the Lord led you into in order to teach you to “believe” in and to “fear” Him.

Share: Your friend says, “In the Bible we read about faith moving mountains, and God opening up the sea, but we never see that today.” How do you reply to your friend?

Read in Class: Exodus 15:22-27 and Exodus 17:1-7. What common thread do we find in these passages?

Study: What did God reveal to Israel about Himself at Marah and at Rephidim? What lessons should they have learned?

Apply: In Rephidim, what question did the children of Israel ask? Exod. 17:7. Have you ever asked the same question? If so, why? How did you feel, and what lessons did you learn after you had it answered? How many times do we need to get it answered before we stop asking it altogether?

Share: Your friend says she wonders how a piece of wood made the water sweet. Any ideas? Here is one idea.

Read in Class: Luke 4:1-13. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What lessons can you learn from this account about how to overcome temptation and not give in to sin?

Apply: What resources did Jesus use to overcome temptation? Which of these resources have you used to overcome temptations?

Share: Your friend asks you why the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted? Does God lead us into temptation? What do you share with your friend?

Read in Class: 1 Peter 1:6-9. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What ultimate assurance does Peter seek to give these people amid their trials? What does this hope mean for us, too?

Apply: How have you benefited by your trials?

Share: Can you think of someone going through a particularly difficult trial? Can you reach out to them this week with a visit, phone call, or card, offering them encouragement and hope from the Bible?

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NLT

9: Jacob the Supplanter-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

Prepared by William Earnhardt, For Sabbath School Class, Sabbath, May 28, 2022.

Main Theme: Jacob deceives and then gets deceived, thus learning what goes around comes around.

Read Together: Genesis 25: 21-34. Discuss the main theme of this passage.

Study: What qualities of Jacob predispositioned him to be more worthy than Esau of Isaac’s blessings?

Apply: Jacob wanted something good, something of value, and that was admirable (especially compared to his brother’s attitude). Yet, he used deception and lies to get it. How can we avoid falling into a similar trap of doing bad so that “good” may come?

Share: Your friend says its okay to tell a white lie in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Do you agree with your friend? Why or why not?

Read Together: Genesis 29:20-30. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: How and why does God allow for Laban’s deception? What lessons did Jacob learn?

Apply: How can we avoid justifying doing something bad so that good may come? 

Share: Your friend asks if God let Jacob get deceived so that he would then realize and be convicted of his own lies. What do you tell your friend?

Read Together: Genesis 30:15-22. Summarize this passage.

Study: How are we to understand the meaning of what takes place here?

Apply: How does this story reveal that God’s purpose will be fulfilled despite human errors?

Share: Your friend asks why God was so good to Leah when Leah was deceptive? What do you share with your friend?

Read Together: Genesis 30:25-32. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What is going on here, and what kind of reasoning does Jacob use? What is Laban’s response?

Apply: Have you ever been cheated by an employer? How did you deal with it?

Share: Think of someone who would be encouraged by this week’s message. How can you share it with them this week?

1: The Creation-Sabbath School Lesson Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath, April 2, 2022.

Main Theme: Our creation is not an act of chance but rather an act of grace. God loved us into existence.
April 2, 2022

Read Together: Genesis 1:1-4. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What is the significance of the phrase “it was very good” in the creation account?

Apply: Think about the vast power of God, who upholds the cosmos, and yet can be so near to each of us. Why is this amazing truth so amazing?

Share: Your friend says that the earth may have created by God over millions of years. Maybe each day was a thousand or million years. How do you answer your friend?

Read Together Exodus 20:8-11. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: Why is the seventh-day Sabbath related to Creation? How does this connection impact how we keep the Sabbath?

Apply: How by resting on the Sabbath day are we experiencing the rest and salvation that we have in Jesus now and that will be fulfilled, ultimately, in the creation of the new heaven and new earth?

Share: Your friend says that Sunday observance is the New Testament memorial to creation. What do you share with your friend? Hint: Romans 6:3-6 gives us baptism as the memorial to creation instead of Sunday observance.

Read Together Genesis 1:26-29 and Genesis 2:7. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What is the connection between these two different versions in regard to the creation of humanity?

Apply: How does the creation story affect your sense of self-worth compared to the theory of evolution?

Share: Your friend asks you, “Since we are made in the image of God” does that give us any responsibility in caring for the planet?

Read Together Genesis 2:15-17. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What is man’s duty toward creation and toward God? How do these two duties relate to each other?

Apply: Think about all that you have been given by God. What are your responsibilities with what you have been given?

Share: Can you think of someone who is searching for a purpose to their life? How can you share some truths from this week’s lesson to give them hope and purpose?

12: Receiving an Unshakeable Kingdom-Sabbath School Teaching Plan

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Prepared by William Earnhardt, for Sabbath School Class, Sabbath, March 19,2022.

Main Theme: Jesus has received a kingdom and is going to share it with us.

Read Together: Hebrews 12:22-24 and Daniel 7:13-14. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: If this is a celebration, why is God described as a judge? How can a judge be part of or a reason for a celebration?

Apply: How does what we studied today help us understand that God’s judgment in the three angels’ messages is “good news” for this time (Rev. 14:67; compare with Deut. 32:361 Chron. 16:33-35)?

Share: Your friend tells you the judgement scares them? What hope can you share with your friend?

Read Together: Hebrews 12:26-27 and Psalm 96:9-10. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: What is the purpose of God’s shaking the heavens and the earth? What does this mean?

Apply: Why is the promise that one day justice will be done, and the evil that has been so prevalent in our world will one day be destroyed, such a hopeful promise for us all, especially those who have suffered directly at the hands of evil?

Share: Your friend has watched too many mystery shows, and laments to you how so many people have gotten away with such heinous crimes without ever being brought to justice. How do you respond to your friend?

Read Together: Hebrews 12:27, Psalm 21:7 and Psalm 62:2. Define the main idea of this passage.

Study: What are the things that will not be shaken?

Apply:  How well are you doing now in terms of being shaken or not shaken? What choices can you make to get help in being unmoved? Share your thoughts.

Share: A church member asks, “How do we know we will not be shaken out? Will whole churches be shaken? If so, what hope do we have?” How do you respond to your fellow church member?

Read Together: Hebrews 12:28 and Hebrews 13:15-16. Define the main idea of these passages.

Study: How do we offer God acceptable worship?

Apply:  How could our spiritual sacrifices to God be corrupted? Share your thoughts.

Share: Who can you invite to Sabbath School next week?

“During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place. The apostle Paul points to this judgment as an event that follows the second advent. ‘Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.’ 1 Corinthians 4:5. Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, ‘judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.’ Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:46. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.

Satan also and evil angels are judged by Christ and His people. Says Paul: ‘Know ye not that we shall judge angels?’ Verse 3. And Jude declares that ‘the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.’ Jude 6.” — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 660, 661.