Bible Study Guides – “A Merciful and Faithful High Priest”

February 13-19, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4: 15, 16.

STUDY HELP: The Faith I Live By, 199–218; Great Controversy, 420–432.

INTRODUCTION: “Though the ministration was to be removed from the earthly to the heavenly temple; though the sanctuary and our great High Priest would be invisible to human sight, yet the disciples were to suffer no loss thereby. They would realize no break in their communion, and no diminution of power because of the Saviour’s absence. While Jesus ministers in the sanctuary above, He is still, by His Spirit, the Minister of the church on earth. He is withdrawn from the eye of sense, but His parting promise is fulfilled, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ Matthew 28:20. While He delegates His power to inferior ministers, His energizing presence is still with His church.” Desire of Ages, 166.

“The Lamb of God”

1 By what means was a sinner able to find pardon in Old Testament times? Genesis 4:4; Leviticus 4:32, 33.

NOTE: “Abel grasped the great principles of redemption. He saw himself a sinner, and he saw sin and its penalty, death, standing between his soul and communion with God. He brought the slain victim, the sacrificed life, thus acknowledging the claims of the law that had been transgressed. Through the shed blood he looked to the future sacrifice, Christ dying on the cross of Calvary; and trusting in the atonement that was there to be made, he had the witness that he was righteous, and his offering accepted.” Conflict and Courage, 24.

2 What shows that these sacrifices had no power in them to cleanse the sinner from his sin? Hebrews 10:1–4.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 424, 425.

3 To whom did the sacrificial system look forward? John 1:35, 36; Isaiah 53:4–6.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 25.

“Our Great High Priest”

4 What qualification was essential to fit Christ to be our High Priest? Hebrews 2:17, 18.

NOTE: “Christ saw man’s fearful danger, and He determined to save him by the sacrifice of Himself. That He might accomplish His purpose of love for the fallen race, He became bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.” Reflecting Christ, 17. (See Selected Messages, Book 3, 197, 198.)

5 What sacrifice does Christ offer as our great High Priest? Hebrews 9:12–14.

NOTE: “In the sacrificial offering on every altar was seen a Redeemer. With the cloud of incense arose from every contrite heart the prayer that God would accept their offerings as showing faith in the coming Saviour. Our Saviour has come and shed His blood as a sacrifice, and now He pleads that blood before His Father in the sanctuary in heaven. It is now, as anciently, only through the merits of that blood that the transgressor of God’s law can find pardon. It is by exercising repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Review and Herald, March 2, 1886.

“An Advocate With the Father”

6 Of what interest is the priesthood of Christ to the Christian? Hebrews 9:24, Hebrews 4:15, 16; Romans 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5.

NOTE: “Christ is spoken of as walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. (Revelation 1: 13) Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches. He is in constant communication with His people. He knows their true state. He observes their order, their piety, their devotion. Although He is high priest and mediator in the sanctuary above, yet He is represented as walking up and down in the midst of His churches on the earth. With untiring wakefulness and unremitting vigilance, He watches to see whether the light of any of His sentinels is burning dim or going out. If the candlesticks were left to mere human care, the flickering flame would languish and die; but He is the true watchman in the Lord’s house, the true warden of the temple courts. His continued care and sustaining grace are the source of life and light.” Acts of the Apostles, 586.

7 While it is God’s desire that Christians should, by reliance on His power, no longer sin, how does Christ help those who fall into sin? 1 John 2:1, 2.

NOTE: “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, ‘whither the forerunner is for us entered.’ Hebrews 6: 20. There the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. The salvation of man is accomplished at an infinite expense to heaven; the sacrifice made is equal to the broadest demands of the broken law of God. Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God.” The Great Controversy, 489.

“I Am the Bread of Life”

What item of furniture was found in the Holy Place on its northern side? Exodus 25:23–30.

NOTE: “The table of shewbread stood on the north. With its ornamental crown, it was overlaid with pure gold. On this table the priests were, each Sabbath, to place twelve cakes, arranged in two piles, and sprinkled with frankincense. The loaves that were removed, being accounted holy, were to be eaten by the priests.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 348.

“The making of the shewbread symbolizes Christ’s experience. The process of making the bread for the table of shewbread started with a kernel of wheat which had to fall to the ground and die, producing a sprout and finally a stalk of wheat. ‘Nazareth’ means ‘sprout’ or ‘branch’. Like a growing sprout, Christ lived in Nazareth to prepare Him to be the living bread for the world. Just as the farmer cultivates the seeds he plants with toil and sweat, Christ’s life was wrought with suffering and tears. Also, after the harvest, the farmer grinds the grain with a millstone; likewise, Christ’s soul was pressed and ground by the weight of the world’s sins. In Jewish times,
when the shewbread was baking, the side of the bread was poked with a long fork that resembled a spear to test if the bread was done. In the Israelite camp, cooking on the Sabbath was prohibited, but the sanctuary’s bread was to be baked on Sabbath morning. (See Leviticus 24: 8.) Symbolically, on Sabbath morning, God’s people were to eat an abundant supply of heavenly food. The priests, who represent church leaders today, must personally experience the heavenly food and share it with the people every Sabbath morning.” Behold the Lamb, David Kang, 56.

9 How did Christ describe Himself? John 6:47–51.

NOTE: “No human agent can supply that which will satisfy the hunger and thirst of the soul. But Jesus says, …‘I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.’ John 6:35…The more we know of God, the higher will be our ideal of character and the more earnest our longing to reflect His likeness. A divine element combines with the human when the soul reaches out after God and the longing heart can say, ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.’ Psalm 62:5.…The continual cry of the heart is, ‘More of Thee,’ and ever the Spirit’s answer is, ‘Much more.’ Romans 5:9, 10…It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should ‘all the fullness dwell,’ and ‘in Him ye are made full.’ Colossians 1:19, R.V.; 2:10, R.V. Christ is the great depository of justifying righteousness and sanctifying grace. All may come to Him, and receive of His fullness.” The Faith I Live By, 109.

“I Am the Light of the World”

10 What was to be found on the south side of the Holy place of the sanctuary? Exodus 25:31–37.

NOTE: “On the south was the seven-branched candlestick, with its seven lamps. Its branches were ornamented with exquisitely wrought flowers, resembling lilies, and the whole was made from one solid piece of gold. There being no windows in the tabernacle, the lamps were never all extinguished at one time, but shed their light by day and by night.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 348.

“The golden candlestick is composed of seven branches. This represents Christ, the perfect Light and Truth…As a candlestick’s function is to shed light, Christ brightened the world through His life and ministry. Olive oil was used as fuel to light the candlestick, and it represents the Holy Spirit. ‘Gethsemane’ means ‘the place where oil is pressed.’ In order to give us the Holy Spirit, Christ bore our sins and walked the path of affliction. Light represents His presence, and God lives in us through His Word. Thus light also represents God’s Word or the truth. In the sanctuary there were no windows. In other words, there was no light from the outside. The candlestick was its only source of light. Likewise, no light from the outside world should come into our souls; only Christ, the true Light, should be allowed in.” Behold the Lamb, David Kang, 52, 53.

11 To what did Jesus compare Himself? John 8:12.

NOTE: “Jesus is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He is the light of the world, and He bids us come unto Him, and learn of Him. Jesus was the great Teacher. He could
have made disclosures on the sciences that would have placed the discoveries of the greatest men in the background as utter littleness; but this was not His mission or His work. He had come to seek and to save that which was lost, and He could not permit Himself to be turned from His one object. He allowed nothing to divert Him. This work He has given into our hands. Shall we do it?” Christian Education, 80.

12 What further understanding of the candlestick did Christ give? Matthew 5:14–16. (See also Revelation 2:5.)

NOTE: “When we cease to fulfill our mission, when the candlestick refuses to reflect light, and the great truths committed to us individually in trust for the world, are not given to them, then the candlestick will be removed. ‘I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place.’ Another will be placed in his stead and will shine. Let prayer be ascending now without delay to Him who walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Take not thy Holy Spirit from us. ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.… Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways: and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.’” Review and Herald, June 7, 1887.

“The Incense with the Prayers of the Saints”

13 What item of furniture was placed in the Holy Place before the second veil? Exodus 30:1–10.

NOTE: “There is an inexhaustible fund of perfect obedience accruing from His obedience. In heaven His merits, His self-denial and self-sacrifice, are treasured as incense to be offered up with the prayers of His people. As the sinner’s sincere, humble prayers ascend to the throne of God, Christ mingles with them the merits of His own life of perfect obedience. Our prayers are made fragrant by this incense. Christ has pledged Himself to intercede in our behalf, and the Father always hears the Son.” Sons and Daughters of God, 22.

14 What picture are we given of this work in the heavenly sanctuary? Revelation 8:3, 4.

NOTE: “The religious services, the prayers, the praise, the penitent confession of sin ascend from true believers as incense to the heavenly sanctuary, but passing through the corrupt channels of humanity, they are so defiled that unless purified by blood, they can never be of value with God. They ascend not in spotless purity, and unless the Intercessor, who is at God’s right hand, presents and purifies all by His righteousness, it is not acceptable to God. All incense from earthly tabernacles must be moist with the cleansing drops of the blood of Christ. He holds before the Father the censer of His own merits, in which there is no taint of earthly corruption. He gathers into this censer the prayers, the praise, and the confessions of His people, and with these He puts His own spotless righteousness. Then, perfumed with the merits of Christ’s propitiation, the incense comes up before God wholly and entirely acceptable. Then gracious answers are returned.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 344.