At creation, there was no need of the Bible with its line of tragedy and its record of sin, therefore bringing a message of salvation. Man was one with God – an extension of Himself – His family. There was no sin, the whole of creation pulsed with one beat, one divine beat, beautiful in its journey of time – whatever time was at that point!
But tragically sin did enter our world. Oh, if we only had another story, but we don’t. We cannot go back and start over again. In fact we are about at the end of the journey of sin and so soon to see Jesus come back to eradicate sin completely and to renew His divine/human family relationship all over again.
Sadly, when sin did enter, man was not able to have a knowledge of God. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” —Isaiah 59:2. Unaided, we were completely shut off and detached from our Creator, our Maker, our God.
This was very real to Job in his time of severe trial. “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” —Job 11:7-9
Further on in his trial, he just couldn’t discern God. “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him.” —Job 23:8,9
Yet further, Job tries to comprehend God’s greatness and majesty, but it eludes him, it makes it impossible for simple humanity to find him out. “Behold, God is great, and we know Him not, neither can the number of His years be searched out…Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice…” —Job 36:26;37:23
Even Solomon in all his wisdom just could not grasp it and he was very certain mankind couldn’t grasp it either. “Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.” —Ecclesiastes 8:17
By the time we get to the New Testament, man hasn’t been able to penetrate any deeper than Job or Solomon. Paul would have been one of the greatest spiritual leaders, but even he could not comprehend the things of God. Writing to the Romans, he shares his nothingness. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”—Romans 11:33
When writing to the Corinthians, he also stresses his lack of understanding. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” — I Corinthians 2:7-12
Come much closer to our day, the Spirit of Prophecy confirms the limitations of man’s knowledge and understanding. “Neither by searching the recesses of the earth nor in vain endeavors to penetrate the mysteries of God's being, is wisdom found. It is found, rather, in humbly receiving the revelation that He has been pleased to give, and in conforming the life to His will. Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked that we might answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God and to teach us that our wisdom is limited; that in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension of finite beings.” —Ministry of Healing, p.431
Sin Brought Darkness and Ignorance
Sadly, when sin entered this world, the devil gained access to the mind of man and the result was darkness, spiritual darkness, separation from God and ignorance of God’s word. “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” —Ephesians 4:18
Two verses in particular reveal the separation from God, the second in Isaiah of which is already referred to but repeated here because of it’s solemnity. “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life… But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” —Genesis 3:24; Isaiah 59:2
“The devotees of science have been defeated and disheartened in their efforts to find out God.” —Testimonies for the Church, vol.8, p.317
“In their pride of intellect and human wisdom may be found the reason why the gospel message met with comparatively little success among the Athenians. The worldly-wise men who come to Christ as poor lost sinners, will become wise unto salvation; but those who come as distinguished men, extolling their own wisdom, will fail of receiving the light and knowledge that He alone can give.” —Acts of the Apostles, p.240
“Sin not only shuts us away from God, but destroys in the human soul both the desire and the capacity for knowing Him.” —Education, p.28,29
Yes, without God, without the recognition of His Maker, man is left to his own defeat, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” —Romans 1:22
But there is another element to this. Deep down inside humanity, there is an inbuilt need for a belonging - a divine presence, but all too often, people search in their own way, in their own capacity with unaided intellect, making their own gods. Sin distorts the goal of looking for that divine presence that God would have every human being achieve. Sin still leaves the human soul with emotions and the desire to worship, but this longing without God leads man to his final achievement, an extension of his own personality. The devil will capture the desires, the emotions and the will, to selfish pleasing and bend those emotions and will to his own end – idol worship.
“And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves. Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.” —Hosea 13:2,3
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” —Psalm 115:4-8
The sad reality of the search in vain for God and putting up their idols is that they will inevitably be without God. “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” —Ephesians 2:12
But those who respond to that longing for a divine presence with an honest and searching heart, will be rewarded with the true divine presence of the Holy Spirit. He will never leave a soul searching in vain when their hearts are open to His leading – He will penetrate through that ignorance that the devil would have us bound in.
“So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” —Proverbs 2:2-5
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” —James 1:5,6
“Jesus…desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him.” —Steps to Christ, p.115
“The more the Bible is studied, the deeper will be your knowledge of God. The truths of His word will be written in your soul, making an ineffaceable impression.” —Counsels on Health, p.371
All True Knowledge is from God
So for us to have a peace about the situation we find our world in, that deep longing has to be fulfilled with the One and only that can offer a peace that is out of this world. All true knowledge is available and imparted to every human-being by revelation from God through His word. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge… For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” —Proverbs 1:7;2:6
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea…O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! ” —Kabakkuk 2:14; Romans 11:33
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” —II Corinthians 4:6
So God gives knowledge by revelation of His word, but not only knowledge, He gives a deep knowledge of even secrets. “He revealeth the deep and secret things… The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” —Daniel 2:22; Deuteronomy 29:29
“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” —Ephesians 3:3-5
Our Ongoing Responsibility
With the above information, sin does not have to have its hold on any one of us. Yes, ignorance and darkness came upon the earth when our first parents fell, but it can be broken. If we search with an honest heart, longing for divine light, it shall be given us. Our God will never let us down, but once we have received His light into our hearts , are well grounded in our faith in Christ Jesus, we will be richly rewarded. It doesn’t end there, we then have the responsibility to share our faith with those we come in contact with in our varied ways, with our varied talents. “Not only will the student himself be benefited by a study of the word of God. His study is life and salvation to all with whom he associates. He will feel a sacred responsibility to impart the knowledge that he receives.” — Counsels on Health, p.372
“The children of God are called to be representatives of Christ, showing forth the goodness and mercy of the Lord. As Jesus has revealed to us the true character of the Father, so we are to reveal Christ to a world that does not know His tender, pitying love. ‘As Thou hast sent Me into the world,’ said Jesus, ‘even so have I also sent them into the world.’ ‘I in them, and Thou in Me; . . . that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me.’” —Steps to Christ p.115
The apostle Paul says to the disciples of Jesus, "Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ," "known and read of all men." —2 Corinthians 3:3, 2. In every one of His children, Jesus sends a letter to the world. If you are Christ's follower, He sends in you a letter to the family, the village, the street, where you live. Jesus, dwelling in you, desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with Him. Perhaps they do not read the Bible, or do not hear the voice that speaks to them in its pages; they do not see the love of God through His works. But if you are a true representative of Jesus, it may be that through you they will be led to understand something of His goodness and be won to love and serve Him.
Christians are set as light bearers on the way to heaven. They are to reflect to the world the light shining upon them from Christ. Their life and character should be such that through them others will get a right conception of Christ and of His service.” —Steps to Christ, p.115
We have so much at our disposal to know and understand the great plan of salvation. God revealed and preserved in His word to us that we have a hope that is “the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” —I Peter 3:15
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.” —Romans 16:25-27
“The whole Bible is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Received, believed, obeyed, it is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character. And it is the only sure means of intellectual culture.” —Testimonies for the Church, vol.8, p.319