December 2, 2007 – December 8, 2007
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 446-449; Prophets and Kings, 605, 606.
“God is leading a people out from the world upon the exalted platform of eternal truth, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. He will discipline and fit up His people. They will not be at variance, one believing one thing, and another having faith and views entirely opposite, each moving independently of the body. Through the diversity of the gifts and governments that He has placed in the church, they will all come to the unity of the faith…
“He has given His people a straight chain of Bible truth, clear and connected. This truth is of heavenly origin and has been searched for as for hidden treasure. It has been dug out through careful searching of the Scriptures and through much prayer.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 446, 447.
“Let none seek to tear away the foundations of our faith—the foundations that were laid at the beginning of our work by prayerful study of the word and by revelation. Upon these foundations we have been building … Men may suppose that they have found a new way and that they can lay a stronger foundation than that which has been laid. But this is a great deception. Other foundation can no man lay than that which has been laid.
“In the past many have undertaken the building of a new faith, the establishment of new principles. But how long did their building stand? It soon fell, for it was not founded upon the Rock….
“So we are to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. Words of power have been sent by God and by Christ to this people, bringing them out from the world, point by point, into the clear light of present truth. With lips touched with holy fire, God’s servants have proclaimed the message. The divine utterance has set its seal to the genuineness of the truth proclaimed.” Ibid., vol. 8, 297.
“Let all be careful not to make an outcry against the only people who are fulfilling the description given of the remnant people who keep the commandments of God and have faith in Jesus, who are exalting the standard of righteousness in these last days.
“God has a distinct people, a church on earth, second to none, but superior to all in their facilities to teach the truth, to vindicate the law of God. God has divinely appointed agencies—men whom He is leading, who have borne the heat and burden of the day, who are cooperating with heavenly instrumentalities to advance the kingdom of Christ in our world. Let all unite with these chosen agents, and be found at last among those who have the patience of the saints, who keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 58.
1 What far-reaching truth was given in response to Peter’s confession of faith in Christ? Matthew 16:13–19. Compare Ephesians 2:19–22.
Note: “To those who believe, Christ is a sure foundation. Upon this living stone, Jews and Gentiles alike may build. It is broad enough for all and strong enough to sustain the weight and burden of the whole world.” The Acts of the Apostles, 175.
2 How did Christ begin to lay the foundation of His church? John 1:36–51.
Note: “With the calling of John and Andrew and Simon, of Philip and Nathanael, began the foundation of the Christian church.” The Desire of Ages, 141.
3 After Christ’s ascension to heaven, who was to be His representative in this world? John 14:16–18.
Note: “When Christ gave His disciples the promise of the Spirit, He was nearing the close of His earthly ministry. He was standing in the shadow of the cross, with a full realization of the load of guilt that was to rest upon Him as the Sin Bearer. Before offering Himself as the sacrificial victim, He instructed His disciples regarding a most essential and com-
plete gift which He was to bestow upon His followers—the gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of His grace. [John 14:16, 17 quoted.] The Saviour was pointing forward to the time when the Holy Spirit should come to do a mighty work as His representative.” The Acts of the Apostles, 47.
4 What rich endowments were promised to the church with the coming of the Spirit? I Corinthians 12:7–11. Compare John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26.
Note: “These gifts are said to be ‘set in the church,’ and if a gift is bestowed upon even one member of the church, it may be said that that gift is ‘in the church,’ or that the church ‘has’ it. So the last generation was to have, and it is believed does now have, the testimony of Jesus, or the gift of prophecy.” Uriah Smith, “Introduction,” Patriarchs and Prophets, 28.
“We call upon you to take your stand on the Lord’s side, and act your part as a loyal subject of the kingdom. Acknowledge the gift that has been placed in the church for the guidance of God’s people in the closing days of earth’s history. From the beginning the church of God has had the gift of prophecy in her midst as a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 83.
“The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. [I Corinthians 12:8–11 quoted.] All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 327.
5 What assurance of His continuing presence did Christ give to His disciples? Matthew 28:20, last part.
Note: “Christ’s visible presence was about to be withdrawn from the disciples, but a new endowment of power was to be theirs. The Holy Spirit was to be given them in its fullness, sealing them for their work. ‘Behold,’ the Saviour said, ‘I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ Luke 24:49.” The Acts of the Apostles, 30.
6 What symbol did Christ use to represent the church to John? Revelation 12:1.
Note: “…a woman, a figure which is used in the Scriptures as the symbol of a church. A virtuous woman represents a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 233.
7 What action did Satan take against the woman and her children? Revelation 12:17, first part.
Note: “The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance. Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected. In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words: ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 12:17.” The Great Controversy, 592.
8 What marks of identity are provided to distinguish the remnant church? Revelation 12:17, last part; 19:10, last part.
Note: “Those who are living amid the perils of the last days, days which are characterized by the masses turning from the truth of God to fables, will have close work to turn from the fables which are prepared for them on every hand, and have an appetite to feast upon unpopular truth. Those who turn from these fables to truth are despised, hated, and persecuted by those who are presenting fables to the people for their reception. Satan is at war with the remnant who are endeavoring to keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 105.
9 What did the angel declare that John’s brethren, the prophets, possessed? Revelation 19:10; 22:9.
Note: “Revelation 19:10 and 22:9 quoted.] … The thought expressed is the same in both these passages. In one, however, John’s ‘brethren’ are said to have ‘the testimony of Jesus’; in the other these ‘brethren’ are called ‘the prophets.’
“Therefore it is the prophets who have ‘the testimony of Jesus.’” R. W. Munson, “The Prophetic Gift,” “Appendix,” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 243.
10 What further marks of identity does the remnant church possess? Revelation 14:12, 13.
Note: “This is the people that are repairing the breach in the law of God. They see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment has been supplanted by a spurious sabbath, a day that has no sanction in the Word of God. Amid great opposition they become loyal to their God, and take their position under the standard of the third angel.
“As the end approaches, the testimonies of God’s servants will become more decided and more powerful, flashing the light of truth upon the systems of error and oppression that have so long held the supremacy. The Lord has sent us messages for this time to establish Christianity upon an eternal basis, and all who believe present truth must stand, not in their own wisdom, but in God; and raise up the foundation of many generations. These will be registered in the books of heaven as repairers of the breach, the restorers of paths to dwell in. We are to maintain the truth because it is truth, in the face of the bitterest opposition.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1152.
11 In what Christian movement of these times have the gift of prophecy and the other marks of prophetic identity been manifest?
Note: “Seventh-day Adventists believe in the gifts of the Spirit. They believe that the varied operations of the Spirit of God, having been expressly set in the church (I Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4), were designed to continue therein to the end, because they are not limited, and God has never withdrawn them from the church; just as they believed that the original blessing placed in the beginning upon the seventh day, is there still, because God never has withdrawn it, nor placed it upon any other day. …
“They believe that they have in their midst a special manifestation, answering to one at least of these gifts which have been placed in the Christian church. This is found in the visions [of Ellen White], as published. . . . Every test which can be brought to bear upon such manifestations, proves these genuine. The evidence which supports them, internal and external, is conclusive. They agree with the word of God and with themselves.” Uriah Smith, “The Visions—Objections Answered,” Review and Herald, June 12, 1866.
12 What message had been entrusted to the advent people? Revelation 14:6–13. Compare Matthew 24:14.
Note: “God has a church on earth who are lifting up the downtrodden law, and presenting to the world the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. The church is the depositary of the wealth of the riches of the grace of Christ, and through the church eventually will be made manifest the final and full display of the love of God to the world that is to be lightened with its glory. The prayer of Christ that His church may be one as He was one with His Father will finally be answered. The rich dowry of the Holy Spirit will be given, and through its constant supply to the people of God they will become witnesses in the world of the power of God unto salvation.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 50.
13 What did Jesus say concerning the triumph of His church? Matthew 16:18, last part. Compare Joel 2:32.
Note: “I [Ellen White] warn the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be careful how you receive every new notion and those who claim to have great light. The character of their work seems to be to accuse and to tear down. . . .
“Let the believers heed the voice of the angel who has said to the church, ‘Press together.’ In unity is your strength. Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous. God hath a church, and Christ hath declared, ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18). The messengers the Lord sends bear the divine credentials. I [Ellen White] have tender feelings toward you, but come to the light, I beseech of you.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 69.
“Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 52.