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Fourth Quarter 2016 (September 24–December 30)


Week 1: September 24–30


Following is a combined commentary on the material included in the Bible Study Guide with references as necessary to the supplemental passages included in the E. G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons.

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all biblical quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV).



Sabbath Afternoon, Sept. 24: Introduction



Without providing an overview or introduction to the book of Job today's lesson, which begins a whole new quarter, moves directly into "The End" by associating Job's story with our own and by introducing the words of Jesus concerning the death of Lazarus where he gives comforting words of assurance to his sister Martha:

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:23-27)



Before you or anyone else studies the book of Job you should at least know how things begin but that is not what has been done here. Instead, we are given John 11:25 as a memory text that provides no indication of why God allowed the trials that Job faced in the book of Job.

Furthermore, unless we explore the context of the memory text provided we really don't get an understanding of why Jesus said what he did to Martha the sister of Lazarus who had just died. When John 11:26 is included we see that Jesus said something very interesting. Jesus said to Martha "Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha replied in the affirmative. Therefore, according to Jesus' words to her she never would experience the death Jesus was talking about. While this does raise some interesting issues for those whose lives are centered around Adventist theology, this certainly is a poor way to introduce a person to a study of the book of Job.

The book of Job is begins with an introduction to Job and his family in Job 1:1-5. Then God's purpose begins where God orchestrates and challenges Satan (Job 1:6-12) which this:

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8)

This one verse is the key for understanding everything that follows. However, until we come to chapter thirty-eight neither Job or we have any idea what message God intends for us to learn. Not until we come to Job chapter forty-two does Job understand and express what we must all know:

Then Job answered the LORD and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:1-6)



  1. What Job learns and expresses in his repentance is the same we must all know and acknowledge. When you know in your heart that you also cannot answer the questions God put to Job in the book of Job chapters thirty-eight through forty-one you will also become a person who knows that God is and can only be totally, without any limits of any sort, absolutely sovereign.
  2. Whatever else you may see in the way of sub-themes in the book of Job you must acknowledge God's infinite sovereignty in the same way Job does.
  3. There will come a time where every knee shall bow before Jesus for the glory of God the Father, Rom. 11:14; Phil. 2:10-11 & Isaiah 45:23.




Sunday, Sept. 25: Happily Ever After?



Today's theme passage, Job 42:10-17, begins with the phrase; 'And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends.' and ends with; 'And Job died, an old man, and full of days'.



The lesson seems more interested in maintaining Adventist doctrine than in the study of what God and God's inspired Scripture says about Job in the book of Job. Here is how Job is described in Scripture:

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. (Job 1:1 )

And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8)

A 'blameless and upright man' is the definition of a righteous person. Consider what it means when God describes someone as a righteous person. Job lived "happily ever after" because he repented and acknowledged God's total sovereignty. Job did this before God restored his fortunes. The Apostle Paul said it this way:

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:10-13)

A righteous person such as Job would know what Paul said here:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:38-39)






Monday, Sept. 26: Unhappy Endings



This lesson quote, founded upon Adventist doctrine includes a false understanding of God's unlimited sovereignty It expresses an extremely negative view of how this present life ends for a righteous person:

"As we can see, the Bible is full of stories that don’t have happy endings. And that’s because life itself is full of stories that don’t have happy endings. Whether martyred for a good cause, or dying from a horrible disease, or having a life reduced to pain and misery, many people don’t come through their trials as triumphant as Job did. In fact, to be honest, how often do things work out well, as they did for Job? And we don’t need the Bible to know this terrible fact. Who among us doesn’t know of unhappy endings?"

Today's lesson parallels that of yesterday.



If you are someone whose sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ shed at Calvary you are safe within the kingdom of God. Regardless of the trials, sickness or suffering you have experienced your life does have a happy ending. Long life, good health, riches or fame are not the measure of a life that has a happy ending.

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:19-21)

The above lesson quote contains claims that must be confronted for the wrongs they teach. With certainty we often do need Scripture to separate fact from fiction, especially when we are experiencing and troubled with the worse of trials. Each and every saint of God should know that their lives do have a happy ending because they can never be separated from the love of God and the promises of God.

These quotes from Scripture outline some of the terrible things that have occurred to the saints of God yet the context of these passages affirms that their lives, and ours when secure in the kingdom of God, do and does have a happy ending regardless of the difficulties of this present life:

Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Heb. 11:36-40)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Rom. 8:31-36)




Tuesday, Sept. 27: The (Partial) Restoration



The lesson reveals the Adventist lack of understanding God's unlimited sovereignty:

"And, as far as we know, Job never learned of the reasons behind all the calamities that befell him. Yes, he got more children, but what about his sorrow and mourning for those whom he lost? What about the scars that, no doubt, he carried for the rest of his life? Job had a happy ending, but it’s not a completely happy ending. Too many loose ends remain, too many unanswered questions."



In the underlined portion the "we" are those Adventist scholars including the author who wrote this quarterly lesson. They are the ones who don't understand the "reasons" for all that had befallen Job. Instead of seeking understanding speculation is made on "the scars that, no doubt, he carried for the rest of his life". Speculations, no matter how scholarly sounding, can not reveal the mind of God. Most assuredly, how Job responded to the trials Satan inflicted upon him was fully in the mind of God when he challenged Satan. God was not 'winging it' and reacting to a developing situation.

The only possible way to understand God and his purposes is for us to know and understand his inspired holy Scriptures. And it is one of the roles of the Holy Spirit who indwells born-again saints of God to provide that understanding, John 16:12-15.

Job 42:1-6 reveals that Job did understand what God was teaching him. He did learn the reason for the calamities that had befallen him.

While this is hard at times to grasp it is profoundly simple; God is sovereign.






Wednesday, Sept. 28: The Final Kingdom



Today's purported lesson topic is eschatology, the study of "last-day events, about end times", with the primary reference being an Ellen G. White quote. The lesson does end well with this:

"Indeed, the book of Job ended with his death. The good news for us, and for Job, is that the end of the book of Job is not the end of Job’s story. And our death is not the end of ours, either."



Today's quarterly lesson drops any pretense of being a study of the book of Job and merely mentions that Job died at the end of his life. While Job isn't mentioned here we can certainly include him in the roster of the heroes of the faith recorded in the book of Hebrews:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Heb. 11:1-3)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:1-2)

Neither our faith nor Job's can be placed upon anything other than Jesus Christ. There is nothing we do that can be added to the salvation of any of us. Job's faith was not founded upon himself when he fell upon his knees and repented of that very thing....self.






Thursday, Sept. 29: The Resurrection and the Life



The quarterly lesson for today begins with this statement:

"One of the themes in the book of Job deals with the question of death. How could it not? Any book that looks at human suffering would, of course, have to look at death, the source of so much of our suffering. Job asks if the dead will live again, and then he says that he waits for his change to come. The Hebrew word for “wait” also implies the idea of hope. It’s not just waiting for something, it is hoping for it."



The lesson author seems to have things backwards. For a righteous person, death is the end of suffering.

Job, being a truly righteous person in the sight of God, would have known what what was expressed by the Apostle Paul:

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. (2 Tim. 1:8-12)

When Job finally did die, like all others who are righteous in the sight of God, he was taken to a place where he experienced comfort awaiting the resurrection:

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. (Luke 16:22-25)






Friday, Sept. 30: Further Thought



Today's lesson includes this:

"And though today we have the privilege of knowing “present truth” (2 Pet. 1:12) and certainly have been given more light on issues than Job had, we still have to learn to live with unanswered questions too."

Question: What is the truth of Adventist "Present Truth"?



While Adventism stresses certain things such their version of Sabbath Keeping and what is called the Health message, the one unique doctrine that sets Adventists apart from all those who simply claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is what is variously known as Investigative Judgment and/or the Sanctuary Doctrine.

Historically and biblically the Day of Atonement has always been determined by the Jewish religious leaders (Levitical priests or Rabbis in modern times) by first knowing the Jewish New Year date, Rosh Hashanah. In 1844 this put the beginning of Day of Atonement on the evening of September 22nd and ended on the evening of September 23rd. William Miller, subsequently, Ellen G. White had the wrong date regardless of the year picked.

When William Miller's predictions failed a guy wondering through a corn field 'dreamed up' without any biblical support that Jesus had moved from the Holy Place, through the veil and into the Holy of Holies. It is well understood that the Holy of Holies compartment behind the veil of the Earthly Sanctuary was only holy because God was there.j

When Jesus ascended into heaven and sat down at the side of the Father forever. There is no possible holier place to be than at the side of the Father. Jesus has never departed from there or gone to another location:

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Heb. 10:11-14)



  1. Jesus has been located in the holiest possible place for there to be in the universe or heaven for nearly two thousand years.
  2. Nothing happened in heaven on Oct. 22, 1844. Here on earth, following this "Great Disappointment" only fools failed to repent of their error.
  3. Since the foundation for Adventism is untrue and not founded upon Scripture there can be no truth in their "present truth" intended to support this false doctrine.
  4. It should also be noted that the quarterly lessons for this week are a poor way to begin a serious study of the book of Job.







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4th Quarter: The Book of Job