June 12, 2005 – June 18, 2005
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11.
Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 525–530; Testimonies, vol. 8, 319–324.
1 What cannot be used as an excuse for error or sin? Proverbs 16:25.
note: “Ignorance is no excuse for error or sin, when there is every opportunity to know the will of God. A man is traveling and comes to a place where there are several roads and a guideboard indicating where each one leads. If he disregards the guideboard, and takes whichever road seems to him to be right, he may be ever so sincere, but will in all probability find himself on the wrong road.
“God has given us His word that we may become acquainted with its teachings and know for ourselves what He requires of us. When the lawyer came to Jesus with the inquiry, ‘What shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ the Saviour referred him to the Scriptures, saying: ‘What is written in the law? how readest thou?’ [Luke 10:25, 26.] Ignorance will not excuse young or old, nor release them from the punishment due for the transgression of God’s law; because there is in their hands a faithful presentation of that law and of its principles and claims.” The Great Controversy, 597, 598.
2 What is the true foundation for every soul’s salvation? 11 Timothy 2:15, 16.
note: “It is not enough to have good intentions; it is not enough to do what a man thinks is right or what the minister tells him is right. His soul’s salvation is at stake, and he should search the Scriptures for himself. However strong may be his convictions, however confident he may be that the minister knows what is truth, this is not his foundation.” The Great Controversy, 598.
“The whole Bible is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ. Received, believed, obeyed, it is the great instrumentality in the transformation of character. And it is the only sure means of intellectual culture.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 319.
3 What is the first and highest duty of every individual with reasoning power? John 5:39; 12:35, 36.
note: “It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the Scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light and encourage others to follow his example. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought and comparing scripture with scripture. With divine help we are to form our opinions for ourselves as we are to answer for ourselves before God.” The Great Controversy, 598.
“The knowledge of God as revealed in His word is the knowledge to be given to our children. From the earliest dawn of reason they should be made familiar with the name and the life of Jesus. The very first lesson given them should be that God is their Father. Their very first training should teach them to render loving obedience.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 320.
4 List two things that, if done, would bring thousands into the fold of Christ. Mark 12:24; John 7:17; 11 Timothy 2:15; Matthew 5:15, 16.
note: “The truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in doubt and darkness by learned men, who, with a pretense of great wisdom, teach that the Scriptures have a mystical, a secret, spiritual meaning not apparent in the language employed. These men are false teachers. It was to such a class that Jesus declared: ‘Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.’ Mark 12:24. The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.” The Great Controversy, 598, 599.
5 With what attitude must we approach the study of the Scriptures to obtain the knowledge of our Father in heaven? Psalms 25:4, 5, 9; 86:11; Isaiah 66:1, 2.
note: “We should exert all the powers of the mind in the study of the Scriptures and should task the understanding to comprehend, as far as mortals can, the deep things of God; yet we must not forget that the docility and submission of a child is the true spirit of the learner. Scriptural difficulties can never be mastered by the same methods that are employed in grappling with philosophical problems. We should not engage in the study of the Bible with that self-reliance with which so many enter the domains of science, but with a prayerful dependence upon God and a sincere desire to learn His will. We must come with a humble and teachable spirit to obtain knowledge from the great I AM.” The Great Controversy, 599.
6 What will happen if we approach the study of the Bible without this attitude? 11 Thessalonians 2:9–12.
note: “Otherwise, evil angels will so blind our minds and harden our hearts that we shall not be impressed by the truth.” The Great Controversy, 599.
“Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.” Ibid., vii, viii.
7 On what does a proper understanding of Bible truth depend? Jeremiah 32:39; Matthew 5:16; 11:28–30.
note: “Many a portion of Scripture which learned men pronounce a mystery, or pass over as unimportant, is full of comfort and instruction to him who has been taught in the school of Christ. One reason why many theologians have no clearer understanding of God’s word is, they close their eyes to truths which they do not wish to practice. An understanding of Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness.” The Great Controversy, 599.
8 List two things that angels do for the earnest seeker after truth. Hebrews 1:14; 2:1–3, first part.
note: “It is the office of heavenly angels to prepare the heart so to comprehend God’s word that we shall be charmed with its beauty, admonished by its warnings, or animated and strengthened by its promises. We should make the psalmist’s petition our own: ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.’ Psalm 119:18. 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 Great Controversy, 600.
9 What two things does the Holy Spirit also do for the faithful student of the Word of God? John 14:26.
note: “Jesus promised His disciples: ‘The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ John 14:26. But the teachings of Christ must previously have been stored in the mind in order for the Spirit of God to bring them to our remembrance in the time of peril. ‘Thy word have I hid in mine heart,’ said David, ‘that I might not sin against Thee.’ Psalm 119:11.” The Great Controversy, 600.
10 In the final struggle between truth and error, what will assail the very pillars of the truth? 11 Peter 3:3–5; Jude 17–19.
note: “All who value their eternal interests should be on their guard against the inroads of skepticism. The very pillars of truth will be assailed. It is impossible to keep beyond the reach of the sarcasms and sophisms, the insidious and pestilent teachings, of modern infidelity. Satan adapts his temptations to all classes. He assails the illiterate with a jest or sneer, while he meets the educated with scientific objections and philosophical reasoning, alike calculated to excite distrust or contempt of the Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 600.
11 What is about to be decided in the history of this world? 11 Peter 3:10–12.
note: “We are living in the most solemn period of this world’s history. The destiny of earth’s teeming multitudes is about to be decided. Our own future well-being and also the salvation of other souls depend upon the course which we now pursue.” The Great Controversy, 601.
“When the work of the investigative judgment closes, the destiny of all will have been decided for life or death. Probation is ended a short time before the appearing of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. Christ in the Revelation, looking forward to that time, declares: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ [Revelation 22:11.]” Ibid., 490, 491.
12 Identify four things every follower of Christ should do. Acts 9:6; 11 Chronicles 7:14; Joshua 1:8; Isaiah 55:6, 7.
note: “We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth. Every follower of Christ should earnestly inquire: ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’ [Acts 9:6.] We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, with fasting and prayer, and to meditate much upon His word, especially upon the scenes of the judgment. We should now seek a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have not a moment to lose. Events of vital importance are taking place around us; we are on Satan’s enchanted ground. Sleep not, sentinels of God; the foe is lurking near, ready at any moment, should you become lax and drowsy, to spring upon you and make you his prey.” The Great Controversy, 601.
13 What will be revealed during the final testing time? Jeremiah 17:7, 8; Matthew 12:33.
note: “When the testing time shall come, those who have made God’s word their rule of life will be revealed. In summer there is no noticeable difference between evergreens and other trees; but when the blasts of winter come, the evergreens remain unchanged, while other trees are stripped of their foliage. So the falsehearted professor may not now be distinguished from the real Christian, but the time is just upon us when the difference will be apparent.” The Great Controversy, 602.
14 What effect will this time of trial, persecution, and testing have on the true Christian? Proverbs 3:13; Jeremiah 17:8; Psalm 119:99, 104.
note: “Let opposition arise, let bigotry and intolerance again bear sway, let persecution be kindled, and the halfhearted and hypocritical will waver and yield the faith; but the true Christian will stand firm as a rock, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, than in days of prosperity.” The Great Controversy, 602.