March 2, 2014 – March 8, 2014
The Gospel Potential
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.” John 16:12, 13.
Study Help: The Review and Herald, April 11, 1899; Selected Messages, Book 1, 110, 111.
“Their limited comprehension put a restraint on Him. He could not open to them the truths He longed to unfold; for while their hearts were closed to them, His unfolding of these truths would be labor lost. They must receive the Spirit before they could fully understand Christ’s lessons.” The Review and Herald, April 11, 1899.
1 HEARTS CLOSED
- Jesus had much to say to the disciples but many times He held back. Why? John 16:12.
Note: “As the disciples searched the prophecies that testified of Christ, they were brought into fellowship with the Deity, and learned of Him who had ascended to heaven to complete the work He had begun on earth. They recognized the fact that in Him dwelt knowledge which no human being, unaided by divine agency, could comprehend. They needed the help of Him whom kings, prophets, and righteous men had foretold. With amazement they read and reread the prophetic delineations of His character and work. How dimly had they comprehended the prophetic Scriptures! how slow they had been in taking in the great truths which testified of Christ! Looking upon Him in His humiliation, as He walked a man among men, they had not understood the mystery of His incarnation, the dual character of His nature. Their eyes were holden, so that they did not fully recognize divinity in humanity. But after they were illuminated by the Holy Spirit, how they longed to see Him again, and to place themselves at His feet! How they wished that they might come to Him, and have Him explain the Scriptures which they could not comprehend! How attentively would they listen to His words! What had Christ meant when He said, ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now’ (John 16:12)? How eager they were to know it all! They grieved that their faith had been so feeble, that their ideas had been so wide of the mark, that they had so failed of comprehending the reality.” The Desire of Ages, 507.
- Who is to teach us all things? John 14:26.
Note: “Ask God to reveal light and truth to you by His Holy Spirit, that you may understand what you read in His Word. When, after the resurrection, Christ walked with the disciples to Emmaus, He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. The same divine Teacher will enlighten our understanding if we keep the windows of the heart opened heavenward and closed earthward. The office of the Holy Spirit is to bring all things to our remembrance and to guide us into all truth.
“The Lord loves us, and we are to love Him with the whole heart. Ask Him to guide you into all truth. He will do this. He longs to do it. He is waiting for you to ask Him with true humility and a firm belief that He will hear and answer you.” That I May Know Him, 202.
2 THE DREAM AND THE MEASUREMENTS
The following is a dream Ellen White had in which she seemed to be in a meeting, presenting the necessity and importance of our receiving the Spirit. Selected Messages, Book 1, 109–111.
- What was being measured and by Whom? If the standard is reached, what will be received?
Note: “In my dream a sentinel stood at the door of an important building, and asked every one who came for entrance, ‘Have ye received the Holy Ghost?’ A measuring-line was in His hand, and only very, very few were admitted into the building. ‘Your size as a human being is nothing,’ he said. ‘But if you have reached the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus, according to the knowledge you have had, you will receive an appointment to sit with Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb; and through the eternal ages, you will never cease to learn of the blessings granted in the banquet prepared for you.’ ” Selected Messages, Book 1, 109.
- Who are refused entrance and why?
Note: “You may be tall and well-proportioned in self, but you cannot enter here. None can enter who are grown-up children, carrying with them the disposition, the habits, and the characteristics which pertain to children. If you have nurtured suspicions, criticism, temper, self-dignity, you cannot be admitted; for you would spoil the feast.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 110.
3 REQUIRED CLOTHING
- What is the required clothing and where does it come from? What else closes the door of admittance and why? Whose character are we to represent?
Note: “All who go in through this door have on the wedding garment, woven in the loom of heaven. Those who educate themselves to pick flaws in the characters of others, reveal a deformity that makes families unhappy, that turns souls from the truth to choose fables. Your leaven of distrust, your want of confidence, your power of accusing, closes against you the door of admittance. Within this door nothing can enter that could possibly mar the happiness of the dwellers by marring their perfect trust in one another. You cannot join the happy family in the heavenly courts; for I have wiped all tears from their eyes. You can never see the King in His beauty if you are not yourself a representative of His character.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 110.
- What needs to be given up and what needs to be taken? Is there something to which we need to submit?
Note: “When you give up your own will, your own wisdom, and learn of Christ, you will find admittance into the kingdom of God. He requires entire, unreserved surrender. Give up your life for Him to order, mold, and fashion. Take upon your neck His yoke. Submit to be led and taught by Him. Learn that unless you become as a little child, you can never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 110.
- What are the conditions of discipleship and what is it that you will forfeit by non-compliance?
Note: “Abiding in Christ is choosing only the disposition of Christ, so that His interests are identified with yours. Abide in Him, to be and to do only what He wills. These are the conditions of discipleship, and unless they are complied with, you can never find rest. Rest is in Christ; it cannot be as something apart from Him.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 110.
- What needs to be adjusted on our neck? When adjusted, what will happen? Who is it that desires our conception of spiritual things be purified?
Note: “The moment His yoke is adjusted to your neck, that moment it is found easy; then the heaviest spiritual labor can be performed, the heaviest burdens borne, because the Lord gives the strength and the power, and He gives gladness in doing the work. Mark the points: ‘Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart’ (Matthew 11:29). Who is it that speaks thus?—The Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. He desires that your conception of spiritual things shall be purified from the dross of selfishness, the defilement of a crooked, coarse, unsympathetic nature. You must have an inward, higher experience. You must obtain a growth in grace by abiding in Christ. When you are converted, you will not be a hindrance, but will strengthen your brethren.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 110, 111.
- There were two different responses to the angel’s words? Can you explain these responses? What is God’s reaction when the wicked forsake his way?
Note: “As these words were spoken, I saw that some turned sadly away and mingled with the scoffers. Others, with tears, all broken in heart, made confession to those whom they had bruised and wounded. They did not think of maintaining their own dignity, but asked at every step, ‘What must I do to be saved’ (Acts 16:30)? The answer was, ‘Repent, and be converted, that your sins may go beforehand to judgment, and be blotted out’ (Acts 3:19). Words were spoken which rebuked spiritual pride. This God will not tolerate. It is inconsistent with His word and with our profession of faith. Seek the Lord, all ye who are ministers of His. Seek Him while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. ‘Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon’ (Isaiah 55:7).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 111.
- What are we to grow in right now? II Peter 3:18.
Note: “The time has come when we must expect the Lord to do great things for us. Our efforts must not flag or weaken. We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. Before the work is closed up and the sealing of God’s people is finished, we shall receive the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Angels from heaven will be in our midst. The present is a fitting-up time for heaven when we must walk in full obedience to all the commands of God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 111.
- What was lifted up by Moses and what does that have to do with Jesus? Why? John 3:14, 15.
Note: “We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this. In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness. We should not despond, and fear that we have no Saviour, or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us. At this very time He is carrying on His work in our behalf, inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved. We dishonor Him by our unbelief. It is astonishing how we treat our very best Friend, how little confidence we repose in Him who is able to save to the uttermost, and who has given us every evidence of His great love. …
“If you are conscious of your sins, do not devote all your powers to mourning over them, but look and live. Jesus is our only Saviour; and although millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish. While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we must not be discouraged; we must rely upon a crucified and risen Saviour. Poor, sin-sick, discouraged soul, look and live. Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 351, 352.
Studies compiled by Judy Hallingstad. Judy is part of the LandMarks team and can be contacted by email at: email@example.com.