August 18–August 24, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14.
STUDY HELPS: Christ’s Object Lessons, 225–237; Testimonies, vol. 8, 19–23; The Great Controversy, 603–612.
INTRODUCTION: “Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 111.
1 What great work did Christ say will be completed before He returns? Matthew 24:14.
NOTE: “Our work has been marked out for us by our heavenly Father. We are to take our Bibles and go forth to warn the world. We are to be God’s helping hands in saving souls—channels through which His love is day by day to flow to the perishing.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 150.
2 Why must everyone hear the gospel before probation closes? Romans 10:14.
NOTE: “But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. The decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently.” The Great Controversy, 605.
3 What is the final message that is to be given to the world? Revelation 14:6–12.
NOTE: “God has given the messages of Revelation 14 their place in the line of prophecy, and their work is not to cease till the close of this earth’s history.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 804.
4 When and to what extent is the final message to be preached? Revelation 14:6.
NOTE: “The message of Revelation 14, proclaiming that the hour of God’s judgment is come, is given in the time of the end; and the angel of Revelation 10 is represented as having one foot on the sea and one foot on the land, showing that the message will be carried to distant lands, the ocean will be crossed, and the islands of the sea will hear the proclamation of the last message of warning. . . .” Maranatha, 18.
5 What will be the climax of the final message? Revelation 18:1.
NOTE: “The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel’s message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold. The advent movement of 1840–44 was a glorious manifestation of the power of God; the first angel’s message was carried to every missionary station in the world, and in some countries there was the greatest religious interest which has been witnessed in any land since the Reformation of the sixteenth century; but these are to be exceeded by the mighty movement under the last warning of the third angel.” The Great Controversy, 611.
“God still has a people in Babylon; and before the visitation of his judgments these faithful ones must be called out, that they partake not of her sins and ‘receive not of her plagues.’ Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” Ibid., 604.
6 What resulted from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Acts 2:41–43.
NOTE: “As they [the disciples] proclaimed the truth as it is in Jesus, hearts yielded to the power of the message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Backsliders were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. Those who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions. The prophecy was fulfilled: The weak shall be ‘as David,’ and the house of David ‘as the angel of the Lord.’ Every Christian saw in his brother the divine similitude of love and benevolence. One interest prevailed. One subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The only ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 19, 20.
7 How widely was the gospel proclaimed in apostolic times? Mark 16:20.
NOTE: “[Mark 16:20 quoted.] Notwithstanding the fierce opposition that the disciples met, in a short time the gospel of the kingdom had been sounded to all the inhabited parts of the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 15.
8 How great a manifestation of Divine power are we to expect in the last days? Joel 2:28, 29.
NOTE: “If this prophecy of Joel met a partial fulfillment in the days of the apostles, we are living in a time when it is to be even more evidently manifest to the people of God. He will so bestow His Spirit upon His people that they will become a light amid the moral darkness; and great light will be reflected in all parts of the world. O that our faith might be increased, that the Lord might work mightily with His people (MS 49, 1908).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1175.
“I [Ellen White] heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. . . . I asked what had made this great change. An angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’” Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 177.
9 What qualifications will those who give the last warning message have? 1 Corinthians 12:7–10.
NOTE: “The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. . . . All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised. . . .
“The gifts are already ours in Christ, but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 327.
10 What urgency encompasses the final warning? Luke 14:23.
NOTE: “The things of this world are soon to perish. This is not discerned by those who have not been divinely enlightened, who have not kept pace with the work of God. Consecrated men and women must go forth to sound the warning in the highways and the byways. I urge my brethren and sisters not to engage in work that will hinder them from proclaiming the gospel of Christ. You are God’s spokesmen. You are to speak the truth in love to perishing souls.” Colporteur Ministry, 24.
11 What standard has God set for His people to reach to hasten Christ’s return? Matthew 5:48; Deuteronomy 13:18; 2 Peter 3:11, 12, 14.
NOTE: “God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. The living God has given in His holy law a transcript of His character. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ; and what is the standard He has given for all who believe in Him? [Matthew 5:48 quoted.] As God is perfect in His high sphere of action, so man may be perfect in his human sphere.
“The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. There is opened before us a path of continual advancement. We have an object to reach, a standard to gain, which includes everything good and pure and noble and elevated. There should be continual striving and constant progress onward and upward toward perfection of character. . . .” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 365.