January 30 — February 6
Memory Verse: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2: 13.
Study Help: Great Controversy, pages 61 – 78.
Introduction: “The Bible is the most ancient and the most comprehensive history that men possess. It came fresh from the Fountain of eternal truth, and throughout the ages a divine hand has preserved its purity. It lights up the far-distant past, where human research seeks in vain to penetrate. In God’s word only do we behold the power that laid the foundations of the earth and that stretched out the heavens. Here only do we find an authentic account of the origin of nations. Here only is given a history of our race unsullied by human pride or prejudice. In the word of God the mind finds subjects for the deepest thought, the loftiest aspirations. Here we may hold communion with patriarchs and prophets, and listen to the voice of the Eternal as He speaks with men. Here we behold the Majesty of heaven as He humbled Himself to become our substitute and surety, to cope single-handed with the powers of darkness and to gain the victory in our behalf. A reverent contemplation of such themes as these cannot fail to soften, purify, and ennoble the heart, and at the same time to inspire the mind with new strength and vigor.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 52-53.
- MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY
- What assurance are we given that God’s Word will not pass away? Matthew 5: 18, Matthew 24: 35, Luke 16: 17.
NOTE: “The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. They saw, as never before, the force of the Saviour’s words: ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.’ Matthew 5: 18. The law of God, being a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, must forever endure, ‘as a faithful witness in heaven.’ Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. Says the psalmist: ‘Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.’ ‘All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever.’ Psalms 119: 89; 111: 7 – 8.” Great Controversy, 434.
- How does Jesus describe those who both hear and do the things found in the Word of God? Matthew 7: 24 – 27.
NOTE: “The law of God will be satisfied with nothing short of perfection, of perfect and entire obedience to all its claims. To come halfway to its requirements, and not render perfect and thorough obedience, will avail nothing. The worldling and the infidel admire consistency and have ever been powerfully convicted that God was of a truth with His people when their works correspond with their faith. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Every tree is known by its own fruits. Our words, our actions, are the fruit we bear. There are many who hear the sayings of Christ, but do them not. They make a profession, but their fruits are such as to disgust unbelievers. . . Their words and acts are wrong, and yet they seem to be blinded to their destitute, wretched condition. I was shown that the following Scripture is applicable to those who are under such a deception: ‘Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ Here is the greatest deception that can affect the human mind; these persons believe that they are right when they are wrong. They think that they are doing a great work in their religious life, but Jesus finally tears off their self-righteous covering and vividly presents before them the true picture of themselves in all their wrongs and deformity of religious character. They are found wanting when it is forever too late to have their wants supplied.” Testimonies Volume 1, 416 – 417.
- How were the things that God revealed to Moses passed on to future generations? Deuteronomy 31: 24 – 26.
NOTE: “As the years rolled on, and he [Moses] wandered with his flocks in solitary places, pondering upon the oppressed condition of his people, he recounted the dealings of God with his fathers and the promises that were the heritage of the chosen nation, and his prayers for Israel ascended by day and by night. Heavenly angels shed their light around him. Here, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis. The long years spent amid the desert solitudes were rich in blessing, not alone to Moses and his people, but to the world in all succeeding ages.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 251.
“Not only was Moses gaining a preparation for the great work before him, but during this time, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the book of Genesis and also the book of Job, which would be read with the deepest interest by the people of God until the close of time.” Sings of the Times, February 19,1880.
See also Spiritual Gifts Volume 4A, 65 and Review & Sabbath Herald, December 18, 1894.
- How were the messages of other prophets handed down to future generations? Isaiah 30: 8, Jeremiah 30: 2.
NOTE: “The Lord directed Jeremiah, saying: ‘Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.’ ” Testimonies Volume 4, 176.
See also Prophets and Kings, 52.
- What example has been given to show that God has preserved His law? 2 Chronicles 34: 14 – 16.
NOTE: “It was the observance of the statutes recorded by Moses, especially those given in the book of the covenant, which forms a part of Deuteronomy, that had made the reign of Hezekiah so prosperous. But Manasseh had dared set aside these statutes; and during his reign the temple copy of the book of the law, through careless neglect, had become lost. Thus for many years the people generally were deprived of its instruction. The long-lost manuscript was found in the temple by Hilkiah, the high priest, while the building was undergoing extensive repairs in harmony with King Josiah’s plan for the preservation of the sacred structure. The high priest handed the precious volume to Shaphan, a learned scribe, who read it and then took it to the king with the story of its discovery. Josiah was deeply stirred as he heard read for the first time the exhortations and warnings recorded in this ancient manuscript. Never before had he realised so fully the plainness with which God had set before Israel ‘life and death, blessing and cursing’ (Deuteronomy 30:19): and how repeatedly they had been urged to choose the way of life, that they might become a praise in the earth, a blessing to all nations…The encouragements offered as the reward of obedience were accompanied by prophecies of judgments against the disobedient; and as the king heard the inspired words, he recognised, in the picture set before him, conditions that were similar to those actually existing in his kingdom. In connection with these prophetic portrayals of departure from God, he was startled to find plain statements to the effect that the day of calamity would follow swiftly and that there would be no remedy. The language was plain; there could be no mistaking the meaning of the words.” Prophets and Kings, 392-393.
- How did the Lord preserve the messages given through Jeremiah? Jeremiah 36: 10 – 28.
NOTE: “The burning of the roll was not the end of the matter. The written words were more easily disposed of than the reproof and warning they contained and the swift-coming punishment God had pronounced against rebellious Israel. But even the written roll was reproduced. ‘Take thee again another roll,’ the Lord commanded His servant, ‘and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned.’ The record of the prophecies concerning Judah and Jerusalem had been reduced to ashes; but the words were still living in the heart of Jeremiah, ‘as a burning fire,’ and the prophet was permitted to reproduce that which the wrath of man would fain have destroyed. Taking another roll, Jeremiah gave it to Baruch, ‘who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.’ Verses 28,32. The wrath of man had sought to prevent the labours of the prophet of God; but the very means by which Jehoiakim had endeavoured to limit the influence of the servant of Jehovah, gave further opportunity for making plain the divine requirements.” Prophets and Kings, 436- 437.
- What insights have we been given about the production of the New Testament? Luke 1: 1 – 4.
NOTE: “Why do we need a Matthew, a Mark, a Luke, a John, a Paul, and all the writers who have borne testimony in regard to the life and ministry of the Saviour? Why could not one of the disciples have written a complete record and thus have given us a connected account of Christ’s earthly life? Why does one writer bring in points that another does not mention? Why, if these points are essential, did not all these writers mention them? It is because the minds of men differ. Not all comprehend things in exactly the same way. Certain Scripture truths appeal much more strongly to the minds of some than of others. . . . The Gospels differ, but the records of all blend in one harmonious whole. So today the Lord does not impress all minds in the same way. Often through unusual experiences, under special circumstances, He gives to some Bible students views of truth that others do not grasp.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 432.
- How does Peter describe the writings of Paul and their source? 2 Peter 3: 15.
NOTE: “In order to accomplish the work which God requires of them, ministers need to be qualified for their position. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, speaks thus concerning his ministry: ‘Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: whereunto I also labour, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily.’ No less sacred appreciation of and devotion to the work of the ministry does God require of His servants who are living so near the end of all things.” Testimonies Volume 2, 501- 502.
- How were the inspired counsels of Paul circulated among the churches? Colossians 4: 16.
NOTE: “The absence of Paul from the churches of his care was partially supplied by communications weighty and powerful, which were received generally as the word of God to them through His obedient servant. These epistles were read in the churches.” Spirit of Prophecy Volume 3, 415. See also Sketches from the Life of Paul, 153.
- With what strong warning against tampering with God’s Word does the Bible close? Revelation 22: 18 – 19.
NOTE: See Great Controversy, page 268.
- What prophecy foretold that God’s Word would continue to bear its witness even during the Great Tribulation of the Dark Ages? Revelation 11: 3.
NOTE: See Great Controversy, 267-268. (Read pages 265 – 288.)
- What was the purpose for preserving these accounts of the history of God’s people? 1 Corinthians 10: 11.
NOTE: “I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan. Their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness because of their transgressions. Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people. . . . The sins and iniquities of rebellious Israel are recorded and the picture presented before us as a warning that if we imitate their example of transgression and depart from God we shall fall as surely as did they. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ ” Testimonies Volume 1, 609.
- What counsel are we given in the light of the example of the saints of old? Hebrews 12: 1 – 2.
NOTE: “Their example should quicken our zeal and increase our faith.” Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, October 18, 1881.