December 29- January 4, 2003
MEMORY VERSE: “[God] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” Hebrews 1:2
SUGGESTED READING: “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 921, 922; Fundamentals of Christian Education, 404.
INTRODUCTION: “God gives us sufficient evidence to enable us to accept the truth understandingly; but he does not propose to remove all occasion for doubt and unbelief. Should he do this, there would no longer be a necessity for the exercise of faith; for we would be able to walk by sight. All who with a teachable spirit study the word of God, may learn therefrom the way of salvation; yet they may not be able to understand every portion of the Sacred Record. The apostle Peter declares that in the epistles of Paul, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, there are ‘some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.’ Whatever is clearly established by the word of God we should accept, without attempting to meet every doubt which Satan may suggest, or with our finite understanding to fathom the counsels of the infinite One, or to criticise the manifestations of his grace or power.” The Signs of the Times, June 23, 1887.
1 By whom did God speak in times past? Hebrews 1:1.
NOTE: “Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles spoke as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and they plainly stated that they spoke not by their own power, nor in their own name. They desired that no credit might be ascribed to them, that no one might regard them as the originators of anything whereof they might glory. They were jealous for the honor of God, to whom all praise belongs. They declared that their ability and the messages they brought, were given them as delegates of the power of God. God was their authority and sufficiency. Jesus had imparted a knowledge of God to patriarchs, prophets, and apostles. The revelations of the Old Testament were emphatically the unfoldings of the gospel, the unveiling of the purpose and will of the infinite Father. Through the holy men of old, Christ labored for the salvation of fallen humanity. And when he came to the world it was with the same message of redemption from sin, and restoration to the favor of God.” Review and Herald, January 7, 1890.
2 In what different ways has God spoken to men? Genesis 15:1; 18:1, 2; 19:1; 20:3; Numbers 12:6–8.
NOTE: “In every period of this earth’s history, God has had His men of opportunity, to whom He has said, ‘Ye are My witnesses.’ In every age there have been devout men, who gathered up the rays of light as they flashed upon their pathway, and who spoke to the people the words of God. Enoch, Noah, Moses, Daniel, and the long roll of patriarchs and prophets,—these were ministers of righteousness. They were not infallible; they were weak, erring men; but the Lord wrought through them as they gave themselves to His service.” Gospel Workers, 13.
3 By whom has the Lord spoken in these last days? Hebrews 1:2, first part.
NOTE: “The words which God spoke to Israel by His Son were spoken for us also in these last days. The same Jesus who, upon the mount, taught His disciples the far-reaching principles of the law of God, instructed ancient Israel from the cloudy pillar and from the tabernacle, by the mouth of Moses and Joshua. . . . Religion in the days of Moses and Joshua was the same as religion today.” The Signs of the Times, May 26, 1881.
“The whole Bible is a revelation; for all revelation to men comes through Christ, and all centers in Him. God has spoken unto us by His Son, whose we are by creation and by redemption. Christ came to John exiled on the Isle of Patmos to give him the truth for these last days, to show him that which must shortly come to pass. Jesus Christ is the great trustee of divine revelation. It is through Him that we have a knowledge of what we are to look for in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. God gave this revelation to Christ, and Christ communicated the same to John.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 150.
4 What do the words “in these last days” mean? Acts 2:17; 1 Peter 1:5.
NOTE: “All the great events and solemn transactions of Old Testament history have been, and are, repeating themselves in the church in these last days. . . . We are under the influence of the whole. What manner of persons ought we to be to whom all this rich light of inheritance has been given. Concentrating all the influence of the past with new and increased light of the present, accrued power is given to all who will follow the light. Their faith will increase, and be brought into exercise at the present time, awakening an energy and an intensely increased earnestness, and through dependence upon God for His power to replenish the world and send the light of the Sun of Righteousness to the ends of the earth.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 339. [Emphasis supplied.]
5 To what is the Son appointed heir? Hebrews 1:2, middle part.
NOTE: “[Jesus] chose his life of suffering, his dreadful death, and, in the way appointed by his Father, to become a lawful heir to the kingdoms of earth, and have them given into his hands as an everlasting possession.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 34, 35.
6 Are any others heirs with Him? Romans 8:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 3:21–23.
NOTE: “God loves His obedient children. He has a kingdom prepared, not for disloyal subjects, but for His children whom He has tested and tried in a world marred and corrupted by sin. As obedient children, we have the privilege of relationship with God. ‘If children,’ He says, ‘then heirs’ to an immortal inheritance. . . . Christ and His people are one (Letter 119, 1897).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1077.
7 By whom were the worlds made? Hebrews 1:2, last part. Compare John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:16.
NOTE: “The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. [John 1:1, 2 quoted.] Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. . . . And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: ‘The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.’ Proverbs 8:22–30.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 34.
8 In whose glory and image is the Son? Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:15, first part.
NOTE: “In Him [Jesus] is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 115.
“Jesus, the express image of the Father’s person, the effulgence of His glory; the self-denying Redeemer, throughout His pilgrimage of love on earth, was a living representation of the character of the law of God. In His life it is made manifest that heaven-born love, Christlike principles, underlie the laws of eternal rectitude.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 49.
9 How only can we learn and understand the glory and fullness of God’s power and grace? John 1:18; 14:7–9; 1 John 5:20.
NOTE: “What speech is to thought, so is Christ to the invisible Father. He is the manifestation of the Father, and is called the Word of God. God sent His Son into the world, His divinity clothed with humanity, that man might bear the image of the invisible God. He made known in His words, His character, His power and majesty, the nature and attributes of God.” That I May Know Him, 38.
10 How could a being of such glory and power purge our sins by the sacrifice of himself? John 1:14; Philippians 2:6–8.
NOTE: “By his obedience to all the commandments of God, Christ wrought out a redemption for man. This was not done by going out of himself to another, but by taking humanity into himself. Thus Christ gave to humanity an existence out of himself. To bring humanity into Christ, to bring the fallen race into oneness with divinity, is the work of redemption. Christ took human nature that men might be one with him as he is one with the Father, that God may love man as he loves his only begotten Son, that men may be partakers of the divine nature, and be complete in him.” Review and Herald, April 5, 1906.
11 Where is this mighty One now sitting? Hebrews 1:3, last part; 8:1.
NOTE: “The Lord Jesus lays His hand upon the eternal throne of God with all the ease and assurance of one who rules and reigns, putting on His head the crown of deity. He sits at the right hand of God and receives supreme honor as God, the glory He had before the world was. He distributes His gifts to all who by faith shall claim them. . . .” That I May Know Him, 338.
“Christ is a living Saviour. Today he sits at the right hand of God as our advocate, making intercession for us; and he calls upon us to look unto him and be saved. But it has ever been the tempter’s determined purpose to eclipse Jesus from the view, that men may be led to lean upon the arm of humanity for help and strength; and he has so well accomplished his purpose that men, turning their eyes from Jesus, in whom all hope of eternal life is centered, look to their fellow men for aid and guidance.” Review and Herald, September 29, 1896.
12 Who were commanded to worship Christ? Hebrews 1:6.
NOTE: “Our great Exemplar was exalted to be equal with God. He was high commander in heaven. All the holy angels delighted to bow before Him.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 426.
13 What are the angels in their nature? Hebrews 1:7.
NOTE: “When Christ ascended to the Father, He did not leave His followers without help. The Holy Spirit, as His representative, and the heavenly angels, as ministering spirits, are sent forth to aid those who against great odds are fighting the good fight of faith.” Messages to Young People, 17.
“Good angels are ministering spirits, exerting a heavenly influence upon heart and mind . . . .” Review and Herald, July 19, 1887.