March 19, 2017 – March 25, 2017
“They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities” (Isaiah 61:4).
Study Help: The Adventist Home, 326–339.
“Christ came to adjust truths that had been misplaced and made to serve the cause of error. He recalled them, repeated them, placed them in their proper position in the framework of truth, and bade them stand fast forever. Thus it was with the law of God, with the Sabbath, and with the marriage institution.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 21.
1 THE SABBATH—THE BREACH IN GOD’S LAW
- What significance is there in repairing the breach made in God’s Law? Isaiah 58:12; I Kings 18:30; Nehemiah 2:17.
Note: “In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. God’s remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue.” Prophets and Kings, 678.
“The Sabbath commandment is placed in the midst of the Decalogue, and it was instituted in Eden at the same time that God instituted the marriage relation. God gave the Sabbath as a memorial of His creative power and works. … He made its observance obligatory upon man, in order that he might contemplate the works of God, dwell upon His goodness, His mercy, and love, and through nature look up to nature’s God. If man had always observed the Sabbath, there would never have been an unbeliever, and infidel, or an atheist in the world.” The Signs of the Times, February 13, 1896.
2 MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY UNIT
- What was the original design of God in regard to marriage? Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6.
Note: “When the Pharisees … questioned Him concerning the lawfulness of divorce, Jesus pointed His hearers back to the marriage institution as ordained at creation. ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts,’ He said, Moses ‘suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so’ (Matthew 19:8). He referred them to the blessed days of Eden when God pronounced all things ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31). Then marriage and the Sabbath had their origin, twin institutions for the glory of God in the benefit of humanity. Then, as the Creator joined the hands of the holy pair in wedlock, saying, A man shall ‘leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one,’ He enunciated the law of marriage for all the children of Adam to the close of time (Genesis 2:24). That which the eternal Father Himself had pronounced good was the law of highest blessing and development for man.” The Adventist Home, 340, 341.
“Marriage was from the creation, constituted by God, a divine ordinance. The marriage institution was made in Eden. The Sabbath of the fourth commandment was instituted in Eden, when the foundations of the world were laid, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Then let this, God’s institution of marriage, stand before you as firm as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 160, 161.
- How will both the divine institution of marriage and the family relationship be restored in the last days? Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11; Acts 3:20, 21.
Note: “There were two institutions founded in Eden that were not lost in the fall—the Sabbath and the marriage relation. These were carried by man beyond the gates of paradise. He who loves and observes the Sabbath, and maintains the purity of the marriage institution, thereby proves himself the friend of man and the friend of God. He who by precept or example lessens the obligation of these sacred institutions is the enemy of both God and man, and is using his influence and his God-given talents to bring in a state of confusion and moral corruption.” The Signs of the Times, February 28, 1884.
3 PRACTICING ABSTEMIOUSNESS IN DIET
- What type of lifestyle should those preparing for Jesus’ soon return maintain? I Corinthians 9:25; 10:31; Luke 4:2–4.
Note: “John the Baptist went forth in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the way of the Lord, and to turn the people to the wisdom of the just. He was a representative of those living in the last days, to whom God has intrusted sacred truths to present before the people, to prepare the way for the second appearing of Christ. And the same principles of temperance which John practiced should be observed by those who in our day are to warn the world of the coming of the Son of man.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 39.
“As our first parents lost Eden through the indulgence of appetite, our only hope of regaining Eden is through the firm denial of appetite and passion. Abstemiousness in diet and control of all the passions will preserve the intellect and give mental and moral vigor, enabling men to bring all their propensities under the control of the higher powers and to discern between right and wrong, the sacred and the common.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 491.
- What kind of diet was originally given to Adam? Genesis 1:29; 3:18.
Note: “We must study God’s original plan for man’s diet. He who created man and who understands his needs appointed Adam his food. ‘Behold,’ He said, ‘I have given you every herb yielding seed, … and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food’ (Genesis 1:29, ARV). Upon leaving Eden to gain his livelihood by tilling the earth under the curse of sin, man received permission to eat also ‘the herb of the field’ (Genesis 3:18).
“Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet.” The Ministry of Healing, 295, 296.
- What attitude in regard to diet is detrimental to the spiritual experience? Isaiah 22:13, 14.
4 A CHANGE OF HEART
- Before God can begin a work of restoration with each of us, what must first take place? Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 32:5; I John 1:9.
Note: “If we have sinned against the Lord, we shall never have peace and restoration to His favor without full confession and reformation in regard to the very things in which we have been remiss. Not until we have used every means in our power to repair the evil, can God approve and bless us. The path of confession is humiliating, but it is the only way by which we can receive strength to overcome. All the dropped stitches may never be picked up so that our work shall be as perfect and God-pleasing as it should have been; but every effort should be made to do this so far as it is possible to accomplish it.” The Review and Herald, May 22, 1888.
- What has God promised to do with the hearts of those who desire to serve Him? Ezekiel 36:26.
- How all-absorbing is the truth to the converted Christian? Romans 10:10; Mark 12:30. What will be the constant prayer? Psalm 139:23, 24.
Note: “Truth must become truth to the receiver, to all intents and purposes. It must be stamped on the heart. … The heart is the citadel of the being, and until that is wholly on the Lord’s side the enemy will gain constant victories over us through his subtle temptations.” In Heavenly Places, 140.
“God looks at the heart; ‘all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’ (Hebrews 4:13). Will He be satisfied with anything but truth in the inward parts? Every truly converted soul will carry the unmistakable marks that the carnal mind is subdued.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 163.
5 AN ENDURING MESSAGE
- How do the righteous regard the message of truth in contrast to the wicked? Proverbs 4:19, 18; 2 Peter 3:18.
Note: “The sanctified soul will not be content to remain in ignorance, but will desire to walk in the light and to seek for greater light. As a miner digs for gold and silver, so the follower of Christ will seek for truth as for hidden treasures, and will press from light to a greater light, ever increasing in knowledge. He will continually grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Self must be overcome. Every defect of character must be discerned in God’s great mirror.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 317.
- How long will truth endure? Psalms 100:5; 117:2; Proverbs 12:19. How long will the work of reformation continue?
Note: “The Reformation did not, as many suppose, end with Luther. It is to be continued to the close of this world’s history. Luther had a great work to do in reflecting to others the light which God had permitted to shine upon him; yet he did not receive all the light which was to be given to the world. From that time to this, new light has been continually shining upon the Scriptures, and new truths have been constantly unfolding.” The Story of Redemption, 353.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 When was the Sabbath given to humanity, and what was its purpose?
2 What happens in society when people disregard God’s Sabbath and His design for marriage?
3 How does temperance or the lack of temperance affect our choices?
4 What should we realize about the condition of our heart if we are constantly failing when tempted?
5 If we are truly sanctified, what will be our attitude toward light, or knowledge?
Copyright © 2016 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.