July 12, 2003 – July 18, 2003
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.” Hebrews 10:35.
Suggested Reading: Steps to Christ, 124, 125.
“Many who are sincerely seeking for holiness of heart and purity of life seem perplexed and discouraged. They are constantly looking to themselves, and lamenting their lack of faith; and because they have no faith, they feel that they cannot claim the blessing of God. These persons mistake feeling for faith. They look above the simplicity of true faith, and thus bring great darkness upon their souls. They should turn the mind from self, to dwell upon the mercy and goodness of God and to recount His promises, and then simply believe that He will fulfill His word. We are not to trust in our faith, but in the promises of God. When we repent of our past transgressions of His law, and resolve to render obedience in the future, we should believe that God for Christ’s sake accepts us, and forgives our sins.
“Darkness and discouragement will sometimes come upon the soul and threaten to overwhelm us, but we should not cast away our confidence. We must keep the eye fixed on Jesus, feeling or no feeling. We should seek to faithfully perform every known duty, and then calmly rest in the promises of God.” The Sanctified Life, 89.
1 What should be done, especially in view of the approach of the day of the Lord? Hebrews 10:25. Compare Romans 13:11.
note: “Great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.” Early Writings, 114.
2 Instead of apostatizing, what were the Hebrews exhorted to do? Hebrews 10:32.
note: “The dealings of God with His people should be often repeated. How frequently were the waymarks set up by the Lord in His dealings with ancient Israel! Lest they should forget the history of the past, He commanded Moses to frame these events into song, that parents might teach them to their children. They were to gather up memorials and to lay them up in sight. Special pains were taken to preserve them, that when the children should inquire concerning these things, the whole story might be repeated. Thus the providential dealings and the marked goodness and mercy of God in His care and deliverance of His people were kept in mind. . . . For His people in this generation the Lord has wrought as a wonder-working God. The past history of the cause of God needs to be often brought before the people, young and old. We need often to recount God’s goodness and to praise Him for His wonderful works.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 364, 365.
3 Of what did this “fight of afflictions” (verse 32) consist? Hebrews 10:33.
note: “God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty. Often the gospel laborer carries on his work amid storms of persecution, bitter opposition, and unjust reproach. At such times let him remember that the experience to be gained in the furnace of trial and affliction is worth all the pain it costs. Thus God brings His children near to Him, that He may show them their weakness and His strength. He teaches them to lean on Him. Thus He prepares them to meet emergencies, to fill positions of trust, and to accomplish the great purpose for which their powers were given them.” The Acts of the Apostles, 574, 575.
4 In their suffering, of what were the Hebrews made partakers? 1 Peter 4:12–14.
note: “Trial is part of the education given in the school of Christ, to purify God’s children from the dross of earthliness. It is because God is leading His children that trying experiences come to them. Trials and obstacles are His chosen methods of discipline, and His appointed conditions of success. He who reads the hearts of men knows their weaknesses better than they themselves can know them. He sees that some have qualifications which, if rightly directed, could be used in the advancement of His work. In His providence He brings these souls into different positions and varied circumstances, that they may discover the defects that are concealed from their own knowledge. He gives them opportunity to overcome these defects and to fit themselves for service. Often He permits the fires of affliction to burn, that they may be purified.” The Acts of the Apostles, 524.
5 What did their affliction cause the Hebrews to know? 11 Corinthians 12:9.
note: “Those who look within for comfort will become weary and disappointed. A sense of our weakness and unworthiness should lead us with humility of heart to plead the atoning sacrifice of Christ. As we rely upon His merits we shall find rest and peace and joy. He saves to the uttermost all who come unto God by Him.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 200.
6 How did the Hebrews show the possession of the Spirit of Christ? Hebrews 10:34.
note: “God’s great moral standard of righteousness is to be met. His law requires your heart’s supreme affection for your Maker. It requires you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,’ is a positive declaration; but ‘Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven,’ is equally positive. [Matthew 6:19, 20.] Laying up treasure in Heaven points out the duty of an unselfish use of our means. We are stewards of God’s possessions, and shall we prove unfaithful? We shall be called to give an account of our stewardship. It is not ours to use for the gratification of corrupt desires, for selfish indulgences. God has placed his goods in our hands for the purpose of sustaining his cause on earth, for the salvation of the lost, and for his own honor. All Heaven is watching with interest to see what use we are making of God’s intrusted talents. If we lay up treasure in Heaven, we shall use the Lord’s goods to bless humanity, and all that is so used the Lord will place to our account in the bank that never fails.” The Signs of the Times, December 1, 1887.
7 Of what are those who know Christ exhorted? Hebrews 10:35.
note: “Christians may have the joy of communion with Christ; they may have the light of His love, the perpetual comfort of His presence. Every step in life may bring us closer to Jesus, may give us a deeper experience of His love, and may bring us one step nearer to the blessed home of peace. Then let us not cast away our confidence, but have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us,’ and He will help us to the end. 1 Samuel 7:12. Let us look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord has done to comfort us and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. Let us keep fresh in our memory all the tender mercies that God has shown us,—the tears He has wiped away, the pains He has soothed, the anxieties removed, the fears dispelled, the wants supplied, the blessings bestowed,—thus strengthening ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage.” Steps to Christ, 125.
8 What is necessary, if we would receive the reward spoken of in Hebrews 10:35? Hebrews 3:6.
note: “Oh, my brethren, hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. The light of God’s truth is not to be dimmed. It is to shine amidst the darkness of error that enshrouds our world. The word of God is to be opened to those in the high places of the earth, as well as to those in the more lowly.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 11.
9 What is the condition of those who have no confidence? 1 John 4:18.
note: “There are many who desire to love and serve God, and yet when afflictions come upon them, they do not discern the love of God in it, but the hand of the enemy. They mourn and murmur and complain; but this is not the fruit of love to God in the soul. If we have perfect love, we shall know that God is not seeking to injure us, but that in the midst of trials, and griefs, and pains, He is seeking to make us perfect, and to test the quality of our faith. When we cease to worry about the future, and begin to believe that God loves us, and means to do us good, we shall trust Him as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, and our will will be swallowed up in the will of God.
“Through an abiding Christ you will become Christlike in character. The Lord desires you to stand by His side, as a kind, patient, humble son of God. The Lord designs that the laborers in His service shall represent His love. . . .” Sons and Daughters of God, 193.
10 Where will the fearful have their part at last? Revelation 21:8.
note: “The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them.
“It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. ‘All this,’ cries the lost soul, ‘I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.’ All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: ‘We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.’ [Luke 19:14.]” The Great Controversy, 668.
11 What exhortation and assurance does the prophet Isaiah give? Isaiah 26:4. Compare Ephesians 6:10.
note: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I beseech the people of God to depend upon the Lord for strength. Beware how you place men where God should be. We are not safe in taking men as our authority or our guide, for they will surely disappoint us. . . .
“We are to be one with Christ as He is one with the Father, and the Father will love us as He loves His Son. We may have the same help that Christ had, we may have strength for every emergency; for God will be our front guard and our rearward. He will shut us in on every side, and when we are brought before rulers, before the authorities of the earth, we need not meditate beforehand of what we shall say. God will teach us in the day of our need. Now may God help us to come to the feet of Jesus and learn of Him, before we seek to become teachers of others.” Review and Herald, February 18, 1890.
12 As we trust in the Lord, what should be our response? Isaiah 12:2; Philippians 4:4.
note: “Is not this indeed a royal path we are traveling, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in? Can there be provided a better path? A safer way? No! No! Then let us practice the instruction given. Let us see our Saviour as our refuge, as our shield on our right hand to defend us from the arrows of Satan.
“Temptations will assail, cares and darkness will oppress. When heart and flesh are ready to fail, who throws around us His everlasting arms? Who applies the precious promise? Who brings to our remembrance words of assurance and hope? Whose grace is given in rich measure to those who ask it in sincerity and truth? Who is it imputes to us His righteousness and saves us from sin? Whose light rolls back the fog and mist and brings us into the sunshine of His presence? O who but Jesus? Then love Him, then praise Him.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 244.