July 6, 2008 – July 12, 2008
“Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.
Study Help: Child Guidance, 505–510; The Desire of Ages, 660, 661.
“The Bible contains a simple and complete system of theology and philosophy. It is the book that makes us wise unto salvation. It tells us how to reach the abodes of eternal happiness. It tells us of the love of God as shown in the plan of redemption, imparting the knowledge essential for all—the knowledge of Christ.” The Signs of the Times, June 25, 1902.
1 What was the most important tree in the Garden of Eden? Genesis 2:9. What property made it so important? Genesis 3:22–24.
Note: “In the midst of Eden grew the tree of life, whose fruit had the power of perpetuating life. Had Adam remained obedient to God, he would have continued to enjoy free access to this tree and would have lived forever.” The Great Controversy, 532, 533.
2 What was promised to the faithful of the period of Ephesus? Revelation 2:7.
Note: “Not all the conditions of that first school of Eden will be found in the school of the future life. No tree of knowledge of good and evil will afford opportunity for temptation. No tempter is there, no possibility of wrong. Every character has withstood the testing of evil, and none are longer susceptible to its power.
“[Revelation 2:7 quoted.] The giving of the tree of life in Eden was conditional, and it was finally withdrawn. But the gifts of the future life are absolute and eternal.” Education, 302.
3 To what does God’s word compare heavenly wisdom? Proverbs 3:13–18.
Note: “The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is an exaltation above everything else that is esteemed on earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education. It is the key that opens the portals of the heavenly city. This knowledge it is God’s purpose that all who put on Christ shall possess.” The Ministry of Healing, 457.
4 What is said about the tree of life in the New Earth? Revelation 22:2, 14. How can we enjoy it even now?
Note: “In his efforts to reach God’s ideal for him, the Christian is to despair of nothing. Moral and spiritual perfection, through the grace and power of Christ, is promised to all. Jesus is the source of power, the fountain of life. He brings us to His word, and from the tree of life presents to us leaves for the healing of sin-sick souls. He leads us to the throne of God, and puts into our mouth a prayer through which we are brought into close contact with Himself. In our behalf He sets in operation the all-powerful agencies of heaven. At every step we touch His living power.” The Acts of the Apostles, 478.
“Teachers need an intimate acquaintance with the word of God. The Bible, and the Bible alone, should be their counselor. The word of God is as the leaves of the tree of life. Here is met every want of those who love its teachings and bring them into the practical life. Many of the students who come to our schools are unconverted, though they may have been baptized. They do not know what it means to be sanctified through a belief of the truth. They should be taught to search and understand the Bible, to receive its truths into the heart and carry them out in the daily life. Thus they will become strong in the Lord; for spiritual sinew and muscle are nourished by the bread of life.” Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, 352, 353.
“The Bible, and the Bible alone, is to be the rule of our faith. It is a leaf from the tree of life, and by eating it, by receiving it into our minds, we shall grow strong to do the will of God. By our Christlike characters we shall show that we believe the word, that we cleave to the Bible as the only guide to heaven.” Review and Herald, May 4, 1897.
5 What is written about Christ and God’s word? John 1:14; II Timothy 3:16.
Note: “The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (II Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.
“The Ten Commandments were spoken by God Himself, and were written by His own hand. They are of divine, and not human composition. But the Bible, with its God-given truths expressed in the language of men, presents a union of the divine and the human. Such a union existed in the nature of Christ, who was the Son of God and the Son of man. Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ John 1:14.” The Great Controversy, v, vi.
6 What are we instructed to do? Hebrews 12:1, 2. What will be the result?
Note: “No man is so high in power and authority but that Satan will assail him with temptation. And the more responsible the position a man occupies the fiercer and more determined are the assaults of the enemy. Let God’s servants in every place study His word, looking constantly to Jesus that they may be changed into His image. The inexhaustible fullness and the all-sufficiency of Christ are at our command if we walk before God in humility and contrition.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 281.
“In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the single-hearted purpose that should characterize the Christian’s race for eternal life: ‘Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.’ Hebrews 12:1, 2. Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality.” The Acts of the Apostles, 312.
7 What special provision was granted to the Israelites in the wilderness, and what reveals its superiority over any other food? Exodus 16:14, 15.
Note: “The education of the Israelites included all their habits of life. Everything that concerned their well-being was the subject of divine solicitude, and came within the province of divine law. Even in providing their food, God sought their highest good. The manna with which He fed them in the wilderness was of a nature to promote physical, mental, and moral strength. Though so many of them rebelled against the restriction of their diet, and longed to return to the days when, they said, ‘We sat by the fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full’ (Exodus 16:3), yet the wisdom of God’s choice for them was vindicated in a manner they could not gainsay. Notwithstanding the hardships of their wilderness life, there was not a feeble one in all their tribes.” Education, 38.
8 What comparison did Christ make between the manna and Himself? John 6:48–51.
Note: “They [the Jews] had referred Him [Jesus] to the manna which their fathers ate in the wilderness, as if the furnishing of that food was a greater miracle than Jesus had wrought; but He now declared unto them that the temporal food then given from heaven was but a meager gift compared with the blessing of eternal life which He now offered them. The food eaten then sustained the strength, but did not prevent the approach of death, nor insure immortal life. The bread that the Son of God offered to man was death-destroying, giving in the end immortal life to the body.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 281.
“As the human agent presses forward in the path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, as he receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, he will feed on the bread of life. The word is spirit and life, and if it is brought into the daily practice it will ennoble the whole nature of man. There will be opened to his soul such a view of the Saviour’s love as portrayed by the pen of Inspiration that his heart will be melted into tenderness and contrition.” Medical Ministry, 124.
9 What timeless explanation did Christ provide for our benefit? John 6:63.
Note: “When men submit entirely to God, eating the bread of life and drinking the water of salvation, they will grow up into Christ. Their characters are composed of that which the mind eats and drinks. Through the Word of life, which they receive and obey, they become partakers of the divine nature.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1135.
10 What else is included in this figurative language? John 6:56–58.
Note: “To the death of Christ we owe even this earthly life. The bread we eat is the purchase of His broken body. The water we drink is bought by His spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and the blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament. …
“[John 6:54, 56, 57 quoted.] To the holy Communion this scripture in a special sense applies. As faith contemplates our Lord’s great sacrifice, the soul assimilates the spiritual life of Christ. That soul will receive spiritual strength from every Communion. The service forms a living connection by which the believer is bound up with Christ, and thus bound up with the Father. In a special sense it forms a connection between dependent human beings and God.” The Desire of Ages, 660, 661.
“In the study of the Bible the student should be led to see the power of God’s word. In the creation, ‘He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.’ He ‘calleth those things which be not as though they were’ (Psalm 33:9; Romans 4:17); for when He calls them, they are.
“How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world—Enoch, pure in heart, holy in life, holding fast his faith in the triumph of righteousness against a corrupt and scoffing generation; Noah and his household against the men of his time, men of the greatest physical and mental strength and the most debased in morals; the children of Israel at the Red Sea, a helpless, terrified multitude of slaves, against the mightiest army of the mightiest nation on the globe; David, a shepherd lad, having God’s promise of the throne, against Saul, the established monarch, bent on holding fast his power; Shadrach and his companions in the fire, and Nebuchadnezzar on the throne; Daniel among the lions, his enemies in the high places of the kingdom; Jesus on the cross, and the Jewish priests and rulers forcing even the Roman governor to work their will; Paul in chains led to a criminal’s death, Nero the despot of a world empire.
“Such examples are not found in the Bible only. They abound in every record of human progress. The Vaudois and the Huguenots, Wycliffe and Huss, Jerome and Luther, Tyndale and Knox, Zinzendorf and Wesley, with multitudes of others, have witnessed to the power of God’s word against human power and policy in support of evil. These are the world’s true nobility.” Education, 254.
“Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God’s word. All its strength is ours. ‘Thy word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.’ ‘By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.’ Psalms 119:11; 17:4.” Temperance, 107.
“The secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him and keep his covenant. We need faith in God, that under the sanctifying power of God’s word, the principles of human brotherhood may be manifested. We need the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Its power upon mind and heart will enable us to present the truths of God’s holy word. Sound doctrines brought into actual contact with human souls will result in sound and elevating practises [sic]. The truth as it is in Jesus must be cherished. Then Christians will not be Christians in name only. The love of Christ will pervade their lives.” Review and Herald, February 28, 1899.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.