February 22, 2009 – February 28, 2009
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” Isaiah 43:1.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 8, 9–18; The Desire of Ages, 476–484.
“It is your privilege to trust in the love of Jesus for salvation, in the fullest, surest, noblest manner; to say, He loves me, He receives me; I will trust Him, for He gave His life for me.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 517.
1 What evidence do we have of the pre-existence of Christ as Creator and God Himself? Isaiah 48:12, 13; Revelation 22:12, 13; John 1:1–3, 14; I John 5:20.
Note: “If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity. God over all, blessed forevermore.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126.
“Although Christ’s divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions ‘human’ and ‘divine’ were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. His deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty.” Ibid., 1129.
2 What responsibility does this knowledge bring to us? Isaiah 43:10, 11; Acts 1:8; I John 2:1–6.
Note: “ ‘Ye are My witnesses,’ [Isaiah 43:10] said Jesus, and in each act of our lives we should inquire: How will our course affect the interests of the Redeemer’s kingdom? If you are indeed Christ’s disciple, you will choose to walk in His footsteps, however painful this may be to your natural feelings.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 367.
3 What prophecies point to salvation from sin? Isaiah 46:12, 13; 49:6–8; 56:1. What does the New Testament say about this promise? Matthew 1:21; John 8:12.
Note: “In the words, ‘I am the light of the world,’ [John 8:12] Jesus declared Himself the Messiah. The aged Simeon, in the temple where Christ was now teaching, had spoken of Him as ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.’ Luke 2:32. In these words he was applying to Him a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared, ‘It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.’ Isaiah 49:6, R.V. This prophecy was generally understood as spoken of the Messiah, and when Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world,’ [John 8:12] the people could not fail to recognize His claim to be the Promised One.” The Desire of Ages, 465.
4 Which prophecy of Isaiah began its fulfillment in Nazareth? Isaiah 61:1–3; Luke 4:16–21. When the people in the synagogue heard Christ, how did they react? Luke 4:28–30.
Note: “The Jews, because their understanding was darkened by selfish prejudice, could not harmonize the strange power and authority of Christ’s convicting words, with His humble life and appearance. They did not appreciate the fact that real greatness can afford to go without display. This man’s poverty and humility seemed wholly inconsistent with his claims to the great honor and power of the Messiah. That He should announce Himself as the Son of God, they deemed intolerable blasphemy. They questioned, if he were the Messiah, why was He so unpretending? What would become of their nation if he were satisfied to be without the force of arms? When and how would the glory and power, so long anticipated, bring the nations as subjects to the city of the Jews? Had not the priests taught that they were to bear rule over all the earth? and could it be possible that the great religious teachers were in error? The Lord had answered their query through Isaiah: ‘O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.’ [Isaiah 3:12.]” The Review and Herald, February 7, 1888.
5 How did Isaiah depict Christ’s mission as the true shepherd? Isaiah 40:11. With what declaration did Christ confirm this prophecy of Isaiah? John 10:7–15.
Note: “In all ages, philosophers and teachers have been presenting to the world theories by which to satisfy the soul’s need. Every heathen nation has had its great teachers and religious systems offering some other means of redemption than Christ, turning the eyes of men away from the Father’s face, and filling their hearts with fear of Him who has given them only blessing. The trend of their work is to rob God of that which is His own, both by creation and by redemption. … It is the gospel of the grace of God alone that can uplift the soul. The contemplation of the love of God manifested in His Son will stir the heart and arouse the powers of the soul as nothing else can. Christ came that He might recreate the image of God in man; and whoever turns men away from Christ is turning them away from the source of true development; he is defrauding them of the hope and purpose and glory of life. He is a thief and a robber.” The Desire of Ages, 478.
6 What did Isaiah write about Christ’s willingness to lead His people? Isaiah 30:21; 48:17. What did Christ say in confirmation of the words of Isaiah? John 16:13; 8:32.
Note: “While it is true that the Lord guides individuals, it is also true that He is leading out a people, not a few separate individuals here and there, one believing this thing, another that. Angels of God are doing the work committed to their trust. The third angel is leading out and purifying a people, and they should move with him unitedly.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 488.
7 According to His prophetic promise, on what conditions is Christ willing to dwell with us? Isaiah 57:15; John 14:23. What blessings belong to those who have His presence? I Peter 5:6, 7.
Note: “The presence of God is guaranteed to the Christian. This Rock of faith is the living presence of God. The weakest may depend upon it. Those who think themselves the strongest may become the weakest unless they depend on Christ as their efficiency, their worthiness. This is the Rock upon which we may build successfully.” Sons and Daughters of God, 77.
8 What should we always bear in mind about Christ’s promises? Isaiah 43:1, 2; Romans 8:31; Hebrews 2:14, 15.
Note: “When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour. Our footsteps slide, and the proud waters go over our souls. Jesus did not bid Peter come to Him that he should perish; He does not call us to follow Him, and then forsake us.” The Desire of Ages, 382.
“In [the promises of God’s word] He is speaking to us individually, speaking as directly as if we could listen to His voice. It is in these promises that Christ communicates to us His grace and power. They are leaves from that tree which is ‘for the healing of the nations.’ Revelation 22:2. … Nothing besides can impart the courage and faith which give vital energy to the whole being.” The Ministry of Healing, 122.
9 What reformative work does the Messiah want to accomplish through His followers? Isaiah 29:18, 19; 62:10.
Note: “In ministry to the poor there is a wide field of service for women as well as for men. The efficient cook, the housekeeper, the seamstress, the nurse—the help of all is needed. Let the members of poor households be taught how to cook, how to make and mend their own clothing, how to nurse the sick, how to care properly for the home. Let boys and girls be thoroughly taught some useful trade or occupation.
“Missionary families are needed to settle in the waste places. Let farmers, financiers, builders, and those who are skilled in various arts and crafts, go to neglected fields, to improve the land, to establish industries, to prepare humble homes for themselves, and to help their neighbors.
“The rough places of nature, the wild places, God has made attractive by placing beautiful things among the most unsightly. This is the work we are called to do. Even the desert places of the earth, where the outlook appears to be forbidding, may become as the garden of God.” The Ministry of Healing, 194.
10 Describe some further aspects of the Messiah’s work and explain how we are to be colaborers in this work. Isaiah 42:16–20.
Note: “The work outlined in these scriptures is the work before us. The terms ‘My servant,’ ‘Israel,’ ‘the Lord’s servant,’ mean anyone that the Lord may select and appoint to do a certain work. He makes them ministers of His will, though some who are selected may be as ignorant of His will as was Nebuchadnezzar.
“God will work for those of His people who will submit themselves to the working of the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 138.
“In Christ were united the human and the divine. His mission was to reconcile God and man, to unite the finite with the infinite. This was the only way in which fallen men could be exalted through the merits of the blood of Christ to be partakers of the divine nature.” Ibid., vol. 2, 201.
“Jesus stood before the people as a living expositor of the prophecies concerning Himself. Explaining the words He had read, He spoke of the Messiah as a reliever of the oppressed, a liberator of captives, a healer of the afflicted, restoring sight to the blind, and revealing to the world the light of truth. His impressive manner and the wonderful import of His words thrilled the hearers with a power they had never felt before. The tide of divine influence broke every barrier down; like Moses, they beheld the Invisible. As their hearts were moved upon by the Holy Spirit, they responded with fervent amens and praises to the Lord.
“But when Jesus announced, ‘This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,’ [Luke 4:21] they were suddenly recalled to think of themselves, and of the claims of Him who had been addressing them. They, Israelites, children of Abraham, had been represented as in bondage. They had been addressed as prisoners to be delivered from the power of evil; as in darkness, and needing the light of truth. Their pride was offended, and their fears were roused. The words of Jesus indicated that His work for them was to be altogether different from what they desired. Their deeds might be investigated too closely. Notwithstanding their exactness in outward ceremonies, they shrank from inspection by those clear, searching eyes. Who is this Jesus? they questioned. He who had claimed for Himself the glory of the Messiah was the son of a carpenter, and had worked at His trade with His father Joseph. They had seen Him toiling up and down the hills, they were acquainted with His brothers and sisters, and knew His life and labors. They had seen Him develop from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood. Although His life had been spotless, they would not believe that He was the Promised One.” The Desire of Ages, 237.
“As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ, so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teaching of the word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.” The Desire of Ages, 232.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.