July 2-8, 2000
MEMORY VERSE: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me.” Acts 1:8.
STUDY HELP: Christian Service, 250, 256.
INTRODUCTION: “The goodly fabric of character wrought out through divine power will receive light and glory from heaven, and will stand before the world as a witness pointing to the throne of the living God. Then the work will move forward with solidity and redoubled strength.” God’s Amazing Grace, 128.
“With One Accord”
1 How did the disciples prepare to receive the promised power of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:14.
NOTE: “It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers, 507.
2 What was the result of this preparation of the disciples’ hearts? Acts 2:1.
NOTE: “Under the Spirit’s teaching they received the final qualification, and went forth to their lifework. No longer were they ignorant and uncultured. No longer were they a collection of independent units or discordant, conflicting elements. No longer were their hopes set on worldly greatness. They were of ‘one accord,’ ‘of one heart and of one soul.’ Acts 2:46; 4:32. Christ filled their thoughts; the advancement of His kingdom was their aim. In mind and character they had become like their Master, and men ‘took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.’ Acts 4:13.” Acts of the Apostles, 45.
“That They May See Your Good Works”
3 What added power to the witness of the disciples? Acts 4:13.
NOTE: After the Saviour’s ascension, the sense of the divine presence, full of love and light, was still with them. It was a personal presence. Jesus, the Savior, who had walked and talked and prayed with them, Who had spoken hope and comfort to their hearts, had, while the message of peace was upon His lips, been taken from them into heaven. As the chariot of angels received Him, His words had come to them, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end.’ Matthew 28:20. He had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. They know that He was before the throne of God, their Friend and Saviour still; that His sympathies were unchanged; that He would forever be identified with suffering humanity. They knew that He was presenting before God the merit of His blood, showing His wounded hands and feet as a remembrance of the price He had paid for His redeemed ones; and this thought strengthened them to endure reproach for His sake.” Acts of the Apostles, 65.
4 What will be the effect of the witness of those in whose hearts Christ dwells? Matthew 5:16.
NOTE: “Great is the work and mission of women, especially those who are wives and mothers. They can be a blessing to all around them. They can have a powerful influence for good if they will let their light so shine that others may be led to glorify our heavenly Father. Women may have a transforming influence if they will only consent to yield their way and their will to God, and let Him control their mind, affections, and being. They can have an influence which will tend to refine and elevate those with whom they associate. But this class are generally unconscious of the power they possess. They exert an unconscious influence which seems to work out naturally from a sanctified life, a renewed heart. It is the fruit that grows naturally upon the good tree of divine planting. Self is forgotten, merged in the life of Christ. To be rich in good works is as natural as their breath. They live to do others good and yet are ready to say: We are unprofitable servants.” Testimonies vol. 2, 465.
“The Righteousness of God Which is by Faith”
5 What is God’s desire for the way we live our lives? Psalm 15:1, 2.
NOTE: “We must present the principles of truth, and let them work upon the hearts of the people. We may pick the leaves from a tree as often as we please, but this will not cause the tree to die; the next season the leaves will come out again as thick as before. But strike the axe at the root of the tree, and not only will the leaves fall off of themselves, but the tree will die. Those who accept the truth, in the love of it, will die to the world, and will become meek and lowly in heart like their divine Lord. Just as soon as the heart is right, the dress, the conversation, the life, will be in harmony with the Word of God.” My Life Today, 265.
6 By what principle may people lead righteous lives? Romans 1:17.
NOTE: “Righteousness is right-doing.” My Life Today, 272. “What is faith? It is simply taking God at His word; it is believing that God will do just as He has promised.” Signs of the Times, September 9, 1889.
7 Of what can the follower of God be completely confident? 1 Kings 8:56.
NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 161.
8 In what promise of complete salvation may we put our faith? Philippians 1:6.
NOTE: “He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The honor of God, the honor of Jesus Christ, is involved in the perfection of your character. Your work is to co-operate with Christ, that you may be complete in Him. In being united to Him by faith, believing and receiving Him, you become a part of Himself. Your character is His glory revealed in you. And when you shall appear in His presence, you will find the benediction awaiting you, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things: I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’” Southern Watchman, October 25, 1898.
“Ask Ye of the Lord Rain”
9 What promise is given to those who follow on to know the Lord? Hosea 6:3.
NOTE: “The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ. The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man.” Testimonies to Ministers, 506.
10 What command and what promise are given to God’s people? Zechariah 10:1.
NOTE: “Do not rest satisfied that in the ordinary course of the season, rain will fall. Ask for it. The growth and perfection of the seed rests not with the husbandman. God alone can ripen the harvest. But man’s co-operation is required. God’s work for us demands the action of our mind, the exercise of our faith. We must seek His favors with the whole heart if the showers of grace are to come to us. We should improve every opportunity of placing ourselves in the channel of blessing. Christ has said, ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.’ The convocations of the church, as in camp meetings, the assemblies of the home church, and all occasions where there is personal labor for souls, are God’s appointed opportunities for giving the early and the latter rain.” Testimonies to Ministers, 508.
“He that Watereth Shall be Watered also Himself”
11 What blessing will come to the one who shares God’s blessings with others? Proverbs 11:25.
NOTE: If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and wil souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, and will develop a rich experience.” Steps to Christ, 80.
12 What will be the effect on the character of the one who witnesses for Christ? 2 Corinthians 9:10.
NOTE: “The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christ-like loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer.” Steps to Christ, 80.