January 9 – 15, 2022
“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:9
Study Help: The Sanctified Life, 69–79; The Acts of the Apostles, 568–577
“To John the Lord Jesus opened the subjects that He saw would be needed by His people in the last days.” The Review and Herald, October 22, 1903
1 THE BELOVED DISCIPLE
1.a. Which of the disciples were the closest with Jesus? Mark 5:37; Matthew 17:1; John 13:23–26; 21:20–25. Of these three who was still closer, and why?
Note: “John and James, Andrew and Peter, with Philip, Nathanael, and Matthew, had been more closely connected with Him than the others, and had witnessed more of His miracles. Peter, James, and John stood in still nearer relationship to Him. They were almost constantly with Him, witnessing His miracles, and hearing His words. John pressed into still closer intimacy with Jesus, so that he is distinguished as the one whom Jesus loved. The Saviour loved them all, but John’s was the most receptive spirit. He was younger than the others, and with more of the child’s confiding trust he opened his heart to Jesus.” The Desire of Ages, 292
1.b. What subject especially attracted the attention of John? John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:11
Note: “The apostle John realized that brotherly love was waning in the church, and he dwelt particularly upon this point. Up to the day of his death he urged upon believers the constant exercise of love for one another.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 241
2 TRANSFORMED BY GRACE
2.a. What was the character of John like in his early experience in the gospel ministry? Mark 3:17; Luke 9:51–56
Note: “John and his brother [James] were called the ‘sons of thunder.’ John was a man of decided character, but he had learned lessons from the great Teacher. He had defects of character, and any slight shown to Jesus aroused his indignation and combativeness. His love for Christ was the love of a soul saved through the merits of Jesus; but with this love there were natural evil traits that had to be overcome. At one time he and his brother claimed the right to the highest position in the kingdom of heaven, and at another he forbade a man to cast out devils and heal diseases because he followed not with the disciples. At another time when he saw his Lord slighted by the Samaritans he wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume them. But Christ rebuked him, saying, ‘The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ ” The Signs of the Times, April 20, 1891
2.b. By what means was John, “the son of thunder,” transformed into an apostle of love? Hebrews 12:1, 2
Note: “John was a living illustration of sanctification. On the other hand, Judas possessed a form of godliness, while his character was more satanic than divine. He professed to be a disciple of Christ, but in words and in works denied Him.
“Judas had the same precious opportunities as had John to study and to imitate the Pattern. He listened to the lessons of Christ, and his character might have been transformed by divine grace. But while John was earnestly warring against his own faults and seeking to assimilate to Christ, Judas was violating his conscience, yielding to temptation, and fastening upon himself habits of dishonesty that would transform him into the image of Satan.” The Sanctified Life, 59, 60
“It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which Jesus said He would send into the world, that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect, as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like His, that one looking at him sees Christ’s own character shining out.” Our High Calling, 58
3 PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIANS
3a. What prediction of Jesus was fulfilled in the lives of the early Christians? John 15:20; 16:2
Note: “One after another the foremost of the builders fell by the hand of the enemy. Stephen was stoned; James was slain by the sword; Paul was beheaded; Peter was crucified; John was exiled. Yet the church grew. New workers took the place of those who fell, and stone after stone was added to the building. Thus slowly ascended the temple of the church of God.
“Centuries of fierce persecution followed the establishment of the Christian church, but there were never wanting men who counted the work of building God’s temple dearer than life itself. Of such it is written: ‘Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.’ Hebrews 11:36–38.” The Acts of the Apostles, 597, 598
3.b. What promises are made to those who are persecuted? Isaiah 43:2; Job 23:10
Note: “John was cast into a caldron of boiling oil; but the Lord preserved the life of His faithful servant, even as He preserved the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. As the words were spoken, Thus perish all who believe in that deceiver, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, John declared, My Master patiently submitted to all that Satan and his angels could devise to humiliate and torture Him. He gave His life to save the world. I am honored in being permitted to suffer for His sake. I am a weak, sinful man. Christ was holy, harmless, undefiled. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.
“These words had their influence, and John was removed from the caldron by the very men who had cast him in.
“Again the hand of persecution fell heavily upon the apostle. By the emperor’s decree John was banished to the Isle of Patmos, condemned ‘for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Revelation 1:9.” The Acts of the Apostles, 570
4 ON THE ISLE OF PATMOS
4.a. In order to silence the voice of John, what did the enemies of the gospel do to him after he had been saved from the boiling oil? Revelation 1:9
Note: “Again the enemies of truth sought to silence the voice of the faithful witness. John was banished to the Isle of Patmos. Here, they thought, he could no longer trouble Israel, and he must finally die of hardship and distress.” The Signs of the Times, March 22, 1905
“John, the beloved disciple, was exiled to lonely Patmos, that he might be separated from all strife, and even from the work he loved, and that the Lord might commune with him and open before him the closing scenes in this earth’s history.” The Review and Herald, June 14, 1887
“Patmos, a barren, rocky island in the Aegean Sea, had been chosen by the Roman government as a place of banishment for criminals; but to the servant of God this gloomy abode became the gate of heaven. Here, shut away from the busy scenes of life, and from the active labors of former years, he had the companionship of God and Christ and the heavenly angels, and from them he received instruction for the church for all future time. The events that would take place in the closing scenes of this earth’s history were outlined before him; and there he wrote out the visions he received from God.” The Acts of the Apostles, 570, 571
4.b. What was John specifically instructed to do while on Patmos? Revelation 1:11
Note: “The history of John affords a striking illustration of the way in which God can use aged workers. When John was exiled to the Isle of Patmos, there were many who thought him to be past service, an old and broken reed, ready to fall at any time. But the Lord saw fit to use him still. Though banished from the scenes of his former labor, he did not cease to bear witness to the truth. Even in Patmos he made friends and converts. His was a message of joy, proclaiming a risen Saviour who on high was interceding for His people until He should return to take them to Himself.” The Acts of the Apostles, 572, 573
5 THE LORD’S DAY
5.a. What account does John give us of his first vision on the Isle of Patmos? Revelation 1:10.
Note: “ ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.’ Did John here mean Sunday?—There is but one day called the Lord’s day, and that is the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath instituted at creation.” The Signs of the Times, May 13, 1897
“It was on the Sabbath that the Lord of glory appeared to the exiled apostle. The Sabbath was as sacredly observed by John on Patmos as when he was preaching to the people in the towns and cities of Judea. He claimed as his own the precious promises that had been given regarding that day.” The Acts of the Apostles, 581
5.b. What promise is given to those who respect and honor the Sabbath? Isaiah 56:6, 7; 58:13, 14
Note: “John remembered that one of these ten precepts called upon him to ‘remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ And the Lord’s day, the day on which Jehovah rested after the great work of creation, and which He blessed and sanctified, was as sacredly observed by him upon the lonely isle as it had been when he was among the churches, worshipping with them on that holy day.” The Signs of the Times, February 5, 1885
“To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative and redeeming power, it will be a delight.” The Desire of Ages, 289
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How did John become the beloved disciple?
2 How can we have the transformation experienced by John?
3 What will happen to all who follow Christ?
4 What is always the Christian’s duty?
Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.