May 12-18, 2002
MEMORY VERSE: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:15–17.
INTRODUCTION: None of us can have a secure hope of being ready for Jesus to come, of being ready for that final redemption unless we become earnest students of the Bible. “Those who endeavor to obey all of the commandments of God . . . can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His Word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict. To every soul will come the searching test: Shall I obey God rather than men? The decisive hour is even now at hand. Are our feet planted on the rock of God’s immutable word? Are we prepared to stand firm in defense of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus?” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.
1 How many people in this world will the devil and his angels deceive in the last days? Revelation 12:9. (See also Revelation 13:3, 14; 16:13, 14; 17:2, 15; 18:3, 23; 19:20.)
NOTE: “Heresies are now arising among the people of God, and they will continue to arise. As we near the end of time, falsehood will be so mingled with truth, that only those who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be able to distinguish truth from error. We need to make every effort to keep the way of the Lord. We must in no case turn from His guidance to put our trust in man. The Lord’s angels are appointed to keep strict watch over those who put their faith in the Lord, and these angels are to be our special help in every time of need. Every day we are to come to the Lord with full assurance of faith, and to look to Him for wisdom. The ministers who teach the truth for this time are to strengthen their hearts by studying the word of God. ‘It is the spirit that quickeneth,’ Christ said, ‘the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.’ (John 6:63).” Manuscript Releases, vol. 7, 359.
2 How may the devil’s deceptions be unmasked? Matthew 4:3, 4; Psalm 119:104.
NOTE: “The efficiency of the cross guards the redeemed race from the danger of a second fall. The life and death of Christ effectually unveils the deceptions of Satan, and refutes his claims. The sacrifice of Christ for a fallen world draws not only men, but angels, unto Him in bonds of indissoluble union.” Bible Echo, July 15, 1893.
“In the warfare ensuing, Satan for a time seemed to hold the advantage. He could lie; God could not lie. He could move in a thousand crooked and deceiving ways to gain a desired object; God must pursue the straightforward course of truth and righteousness. For a time Satan triumphed in an apparent victory. But God would unmask the enemy and reveal him in his true character. Christ, in taking the nature of man, was divinity clothed in humanity. He came as the light of the world, to shine upon and scatter the thick darkness of Satan’s deceptions and reveal his workings to the children of men. Christ practiced the most rigid self-denial in resisting the manifold temptations of the adversary. He conquered Satan in the long fast of the wilderness, and when he came to Him as an angel of light, offering the dominion of the world in exchange for His worship; He made sacrifices that will never be required of man, as man can never attain to His exalted character. His whole earthly life was a demonstration of perfect submission to His Father’s will. The course of Christ and that of Satan present the complete contrast of the life of an obedient with that of a disloyal son.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 77, 78.
3 Why is it that Christians are so often surprised into sin? Psalm 119:11, 105, 130.
NOTE: “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. Thus ‘when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.’ Isaiah 59:19.” The Great Controversy, 600.
4 What has Jesus promised us for the hour of temptation? John 14:26; Matthew 10:19.
5 Which believers are promised deliverance from all sin and the power over sinful habit? John 8:30–36.
6 How does this promise of freedom from sin distinguish the children of God (the true church) from the children of the devil (the synagogue of Satan)? 1 John 3:4–10.
7 Does the Word of God contain sufficient instruction to bring the Christian to spiritual perfection? 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; 3:14.
8 Why is it not a good habit to be in a hurry when studying the Word of God? 1 Timothy 4:13–16.
NOTE: “As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God’s Word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the Word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another’s mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know ‘what saith the Lord.’” The Desire of Ages, 390.
9 Which Christians will find themselves unable to understand the Word? John 8:43, 44. Compare Hosea 14:9.
NOTE: “They profess to be followers of Christ, but they do not know Him by an experimental knowledge. They do not practice religion. They do not seek to be Christians in the same way in which they would learn a trade. They profess to believe advanced truth; but it is evident that they keep it in the outer court; for it has no sanctifying power on life and character. They do not realize how much is at stake; for the salvation of their own souls and that of others is imperiled. They do not realize that in order to be a savor of life unto life they must be under spiritual discipline and training, learning in the school of Christ. Without this spiritual discipline, they become inefficient, ignorant, and undeveloped, and see no necessity for the spiritual training and knowledge which would qualify them to hold positions of influence and usefulness. If they do not consecrate themselves wholly to God, becoming learners in His school, they will do haphazard work that will result in injury to the church.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 255.
“The great educating book is the Bible, and yet it is little read or practiced. O that every individual would seek to make of himself all that he could, improving his opportunities to the very best of his ability, purposing to use every power which God has given him, not simply to advance his temporal affairs, but to advance his spiritual interests. O that all might search diligently to know what is truth, to study earnestly that they might have correct language and cultivated voices, that they might present the truth in all its elevated and ennobling beauty. . . . The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom; and when God is not depended upon, the result of education is only to elevate ungodliness.” Ibid., 256, 258.
10 Who does God promise to enable to understand His Word? James 1:5; John 16:13; Matthew 7:7, 8.
NOTE: “The more we look at the promises of the Word of God, the brighter they grow. The more we practice them, the deeper will be our understanding of them. Our position and faith is in the Bible. And never do we want any soul to bring in the Testimonies ahead of the Bible.—Manuscript 7, 1894.” Evangelism, 256.
“The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it.” Ibid., . 256, 257.
“It is through the exercise of the faculty of faith that we are enabled to receive and practice the Word of God. No excuse can be accepted, no plea of justification received for the failure to know and understand the will of the Lord.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 341.
“The Holy Spirit has been given to us as an aid in the study of the Word.” Ibid., 433.
“We should search the Scriptures diligently in order that we may have an understanding of the claims that Christ has upon us, and that we may have right views of the truth. Our wills must be subdued, and brought into harmony with the will of God.” Lift Him Up, 238.
11 What symbol did Jesus use to show the indispensable nature of Bible Study? John 6:53, 58, 63.
NOTE: “In every command and in every promise of the Word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the promise realized. He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 38.
“The great work to be done . . . is to win souls to Christ. Men must see Jesus on the cross, they must look and live. It is not your ideas they must feed upon, but it is the flesh and blood of the Son of God. He says, ‘My flesh is meat indeed’ (John 6:55).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 178.
12 What great treasure, that Adam and Eve lost in the Garden of Eden, is restored to those who study the Bible? Revelation 22:14.
NOTE: “The relation of the Word to the believer is a vital matter. Appropriating the Word to our spiritual necessities is the eating of the leaves of the tree of life that are for the healing of the nations. Study the Word, and practice the Word, for it is your life.”—Ellen G. White Letter 4, 1902.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 44.
“In His life on earth, Christ could have made disclosures which would have eclipsed and assigned to oblivion all human discoveries. He could have opened door after door to mysterious things, and many revelations of eternal realities would have been the sure result. He could have uttered words which would have been as a key to unlock mysteries that would have captivated the minds of generations to the close of time. But Christ does not open the numerous doors at which human curiosity has been striving to obtain entrance. He does not spread for men a feast that would prove deleterious to their highest interests. He came to plant for men, not the tree of knowledge, but the tree of life.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 33.