July 13, 2008 – July 19, 2008
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.
Study Help: Child Guidance, 511–515.
“We must search the Scriptures, not merely rush through a chapter and repeat it, taking no pains to understand it, but we must dig for the jewel of truth which will enrich the mind, and fortify the soul against the wiles and temptations of the archdeceiver.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 19.
1 How did Christ illustrate belief in Him as the personal Saviour? Matthew 7:24, 25.
Note: “It is not enough, He [Christ] says, for you to hear My words. By obedience you must make them the foundation of your character. Self is but shifting sand. If you build upon human theories and inventions, your house will fall. By the winds of temptation, the tempests of trial, it will be swept away. But these principles that I have given will endure. Receive Me; build on My words.” The Desire of Ages, 314.
2 On the other hand, how did He illustrate the theoretical religion without practice? Matthew 7:26, 27.
Note: “The reason why our people have not more power is that they profess the truth, but do not practice it. … The service of God is made a secondary matter, while worldly interests receive prompt attention. … If we realize the importance of the truth which we profess to believe we should feel that we have a sacred mission to fulfill, a responsibility involving eternal results. All temporal interests would yield to this.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 613, 614.
3 In His interview with the Jews, what promise did Jesus make? John 8:31, 32.
Note: “The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame—the power of the word. God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His promises are ours: ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ ‘If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.’ John 8:32; 7:17, R. V. Through faith in these promises, every man may be delivered from the snares of error and the control of sin.” The Desire of Ages, 258.
4 In His intercessory prayer, how did Christ define the truth? John 17:17. How does it work in our sanctification?
Note: “ ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Romans 10:17. The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.
“You need to be sanctified by the truth, having your mind elevated above every personal consideration and every selfish interest.
“I point you to the life of Jesus as a perfect pattern. His life was characterized by disinterested benevolence. Precious Saviour! What sacrifices has He made for us that we should not perish, but have everlasting life! Heaven will be cheap enough if we resign every selfish interest to obtain it. Can we afford to have our own way, and take ourselves out of the hands of God, because it is more pleasing to the natural heart? God requires perfect submission and perfect obedience. Eternal life is worth everything to us. You may come in close connection with God if you will agonize to enter in at the strait gate.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 218.
5 What figure of speech is used to illustrate God’s word? Ephesians 5:26, 27.
Note: “In giving us His word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential for our salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have been changed into the same image. Their spirit burns within them as they speak of His character, telling what Christ is to them, and what they are to Christ. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation. As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 133, 134.
“Trust in its fullness comes to us through constant communion with God. By eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ we gain spiritual strength. Christ supplies the lifeblood of the heart, and Christ and the Holy Spirit give nerve power. Begotten again unto a lively hope, imbued with the quickening power of a new nature, the soul is enabled to rise higher and still higher.” Counsels on Health, 593.
6 How does Jeremiah depict God’s word and our feeble appreciation of it? Jeremiah 2:13.
Note: “The many contradictory opinions in regard to what the Bible teaches do not arise from any obscurity in the book itself, but from blindness and prejudice on the part of interpreters. Men ignore the plain statements of the Bible to follow their own perverted reason. Priding themselves on their intellectual attainments, they overlook the simplicity of truth; they forsake the fountain of living waters to drink of the poisonous stream of error.” Review and Herald, January 27, 1885.
“There is far too much self-complacency among those who engage in Sabbath school work, too much machinery and routine, and all this tends to lead the soul away from the Fountain of living water.” Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, 74.
7 What must we realize and appreciate about God’s word? Psalm 12:6.
Note: “There are professed Christians who read the Bible without a fine perception of the gems they are handling. There are portions of Scripture that they are not sure are inspired, and they think that in God’s word there are errors and human reasoning. With the lamp of life in their very hands, they stumble. They interpret the Scriptures to suit themselves; they cannot appreciate the wisdom of God, and their own human wisdom is the light that guides them.” The Bible Echo, August 26, 1895.
8 What inspired symbolism is used to refer to God’s word? Psalm 119:105.
Note: “Those who study the word of God with hearts open to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, will not remain in darkness as to the meaning of the word. ‘If any man willeth to do His will,’ Christ said, ‘he shall know of the teaching whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself.’ John 7:17, R.V. All who come to Christ for a clearer knowledge of the truth will receive it. He will unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, and these mysteries will be understood by the heart that longs to know the truth. A heavenly light will shine into the soul temple, and will be revealed to others as the bright shining of a lamp on a dark path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 36.
9 How does Zechariah employ a similar comparison? Zechariah 4:1–6, 12–14.
Note: “From the two olive trees the golden oil was emptied through the golden pipes into the bowl of the candlestick, and thence into the golden lamps that gave light to the sanctuary. So from the holy ones that stand in God’s presence His Spirit is imparted to the human instrumentalities who are consecrated to His service. The mission of the two anointed ones is to communicate to God’s people that heavenly grace which alone can make His word a lamp to the feet and a light to the path.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 408.
10 How does Revelation 11:1–4 parallel with Zechariah’s prophecy?
Note: “The two witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Both are important testimonies to the origin and perpetuity of the law of God. Both are witnesses also to the plan of salvation. The types, sacrifices, and prophecies of the Old Testament point forward to a Saviour to come. The Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament tell of a Saviour who has come in the exact manner foretold by type and prophecy.” The Great Controversy, 267.
11 What does it mean to “prophesy clothed in sackcloth”? Revelation 11:3.
Note: “[Revelation 11:3 quoted.] During the greater part of this period, God’s witnesses remained in a state of obscurity. The papal power sought to hide from the people the word of truth, and set before them false witnesses to contradict its testimony. When the Bible was proscribed by religious and secular authority; when its testimony was perverted, and every effort made that men and demons could invent to turn the minds of the people from it; when those who dared proclaim its sacred truths were hunted, betrayed, tortured, buried in dungeon cells, martyred for their faith, or compelled to flee to mountain fastnesses, and to dens and caves of the earth—then the faithful witnesses prophesied in sackcloth. Yet they continued their testimony throughout the entire period of 1260 years. In the darkest times there were faithful men who loved God’s word and were jealous for His honor. To these loyal servants were given wisdom, power, and authority to declare His truth during the whole of this time.” The Great Controversy, 267, 268.
“The life of God, which gives life to the world, is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons. By His word He stilled the sea and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God as He had spoken it to all the Old Testament writers. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ. It is our only source of power.
“This word does not repress activity. It opens before the conscientious searcher channels for activity. It does not leave men in uncertainty, without an object, but places before them the highest of all aims—the winning of souls to Christ. It puts in the hand a lamp that lights the way to heaven. It tells of unsearchable riches, treasure beyond estimate.
“The word of God is the standard of character. In giving us this word, God has put us in possession of every truth essential to salvation. Thousands have drawn water from these wells of life, yet there is no diminishing of the supply. Thousands have set the Lord before them, and by beholding have become changed into the same image. But these searchers have not exhausted these grand and holy themes. Thousands more may engage in the work of searching out the mysteries of salvation.
“As the worker studies the life of Christ, and the character of His mission is dwelt upon, each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediatorial work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last; and looking to heaven with its unnumbered years, he will exclaim, ‘Great is the mystery of godliness!’ I Timothy 3:16.” Gospel Workers, 250, 251.
“It is of the greatest importance that you continually search the Scriptures, storing the mind with the truths of God. You may be separated from the companionship of Christians and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. You need the treasures of God’s Word hidden in your heart.
“All over the field of revelation are scattered grains of gold—the sayings of the wisdom of God. If you are wise, you will gather up these precious grains of truth. Make the promises of God your own. Then when test and trial come, these promises will be to you glad springs of heavenly comfort.
“Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed. …
“The heart that is stored with the precious truths of God’s Word is fortified against the temptation of Satan, against impure thoughts and unholy actions.
“Keep close to the Scriptures. The more you search and explain the Word, the more your mind and heart will be fortified with the blessed words of encouragement and promise.
“Let us commit its precious promises to memory, so that, when we are deprived of our Bibles, we may still be in possession of the Word of God.” My Life Today, 28.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.