July 19, 2003 – July 25, 2003
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” Hebrews 10:38.
Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 407, 408.
“We are still amidst the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities. Let us consider most earnestly the blessed hereafter. Let our faith pierce through every cloud of darkness and behold Him who died for the sins of the world. He has opened the gates of paradise to all who receive and believe on Him. To them He gives power to become the sons and daughters of God. Let the afflictions which pain us so grievously become instructive lessons, teaching us to press forward toward the mark of the prize of our high calling in Christ. Let us be encouraged by the thought that the Lord is soon to come. Let this hope gladden our hearts. ‘Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.’ Hebrews 10:37. Blessed are those servants who, when their Lord comes, shall be found watching.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 286.
1 What do we need to have joined with confidence (Hebrews 10:35), in order to receive the promise of God? Hebrews 10:36. Compare James 5:7, 8.
note: “You must learn in the school of Christ precious lessons of patience. Do not become discouraged, but keep at the work in all humility. It will drive you to Jesus; it will lead you to study the Pattern. You want to work as Jesus worked.
“Trials will come, it is true, even to those who are fully consecrated. The patience of the most patient will be severely tested. . . . Often silence is the severest rebuke that could be given to the one who has sinned with his lips.” Sons and Daughters of God, 88.
2 To whom will God render the reward of eternal life? Romans 2:7; Galatians 6:9.
note: “Heaven is worth everything to us. We must not run any risk in this matter. We must take no venture here. We must know that our steps are ordered by the Lord. May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the City of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God. And the welcome given to everyone who enters there will be, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34.” Child Guidance, 567.
3 What encouragement is given for our patient continuance? Hebrews 10:37.
note: “Be patient, Christian soldier. Yet a little while, and He that shall come, will come. The night of weary waiting, and watching, and mourning is nearly over. The reward will soon be given; the eternal day will dawn. There is no time to sleep now,—no time to indulge in useless regrets. He who ventures to slumber now will miss precious opportunities of doing good. We are granted the blessed privilege of gathering sheaves in the great harvest; and every soul saved will be an additional star in the crown of Jesus, our adorable Redeemer. Who is eager to lay off the armor, when by pushing the battle a little longer, he will achieve new victories and gather new trophies for eternity?” Review and Herald, October 25, 1881.
“Our Lord delays because of His long-suffering to usward, ‘not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ [11 Peter 3:9.] But when we, with all the redeemed, shall stand upon the sea of glass, with harps of gold and crowns of glory, and before us the immensity of eternity, then we shall see how short was the waiting period of probation. ‘Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.’ [Luke 12:37.]” Testimonies, vol. 5, 485.
4 How could Paul say, nineteen hundred years ago, “For yet a little while and he that shall come will come” (Hebrews 10:37)? 11 Thessalonians 2:1–3.
note: “The book of Hebrews, like a great part of the Bible, was written not simply to those who lived in the writer’s day, but for all time until Christ should come. Prophecy is given as a light ‘until the day dawn.’ 11 Peter 1:19. While the practical teaching connected therewith would be always applicable, the entire scope of the prophecy would only be met when that generation was reached to which it applied, and whose dangers, needs, and experiences accorded with the warnings and predictions. The book of Hebrews is of especial interest to those living in the last days. . . . That Paul did not believe that Christ’s coming was imminent in his day is shown by 11 Thessalonians 2:1–3, and yet he speaks in the first epistle as though it was near at hand. (See 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13–17; 5:23.) Those who were instructed as to the times and seasons, who heeded the prophetic portion of the word of God and the apostolic injunction, would not be deceived in this respect. Again, the same God who gave that word still lives, and his faithful servants, of whom there have always been some, always have and will bring forth the ‘meat in due season’ to the household of faith. Matthew 13:52; 24:45. When the time comes that the word is due, God will see that it is given.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, February 1890, 14, 15.
5 What will enable us to do the will of God? Hebrews 10:38, first part; Habakkuk 2:4.
note: “You gave yourself to God, to be His wholly, to serve and obey Him, and you took Christ as your Saviour. You could not yourself atone for your sins or change your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ’s sake did all this for you. By faith you became Christ’s, and by faith you are to grow up in Him—by giving and taking. You are to give all—your heart, your will, your service—give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all—Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper—to give you power to obey.” The Faith I Live By, 125.
6 What is said of those who draw back from their faith? Hebrews 10:38, last part. Compare Psalm 5:4.
note: “We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, ‘I am saved.’ When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayers, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance. As long as man is full of weakness—for of himself he cannot save his soul—he should never dare to say, ‘I am saved.’
“It is not he that putteth on the armor that can boast of the victory; for he has the battle to fight and victory to win. It is he that endureth unto the end that shall be saved.” Selected Messages,
Book 1, 314, 315.
7 What will be the fate of those who draw back? Hebrews 10:39, first part. Compare 11 Peter 2:20, 21.
note: “If we do not go forward from victory to victory, the soul will draw back to perdition. We should raise no human standard whereby to measure character. We have seen enough of what men call perfection here below. God’s holy law is the only thing by which we can determine whether we are keeping His way or not. If we are disobedient, our characters are out of harmony with God’s moral rule of government, and it is stating a falsehood to say, ‘I am saved.’ No one is saved who is a transgressor of the law of God, which is the foundation of His government in heaven and in earth.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 315.
8 What will happen to those who believe? Hebrews 10:39, last part; 1 Thessalonians 5:9.
note: “The Bible contains all that is needful for the saving of the soul, and at the same time it is adapted to strengthen and discipline the mind. . . . It will be found far more effective than any other book in guiding wisely in the affairs of this life, as well as in aiding the soul to climb the ladder that reaches to heaven. The Bible gives the true seeker an advanced mental drill; he comes from the contemplation of divine things with his faculties enriched. Self is humbled, while God and His truth are exalted. It is because men are unacquainted with the truths of the Bible that there is so much lifting up of man, and so little honor given to God. . . .
“God’s Word is the spiritual food by which the Christian must grow strong in spirit and in intellect, that he may do battle for truth and righteousness. The Bible teaches that every besetting sin must be put away, that the warfare against evil must be waged until every wrong is overcome. The human agent must place himself as a willing student in the school of Christ. As he accepts the grace freely offered him, the presence of the Saviour in the thoughts and in the heart will give him decision of purpose to lay aside every weight, that the heart may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Lift Him Up, 120.
9 When are the just to live by faith? Romans 1:16, 17; Hebrews 11:6.
note: “The follower of Christ must have faith abiding in the heart; for without this it is impossible to please God. Faith is the hand that takes hold of infinite help; it is the medium by which the renewed heart is made to beat in unison with the heart of Christ.” Messages to Young People, 102.
“Provision has been made for us to come into close connection with Christ and to enjoy the constant protection of the angels of God. Our faith must reach within the veil, where Jesus has entered for us. We must lay hold with firmer grasp on the unfailing promises of God. We must have faith that will not be denied, faith that will take hold of the unseen, faith that is steadfast, immovable. Such faith will bring the blessing of heaven to our souls.” My Life Today, 8.
10 What is faith? Hebrews 11:1. Compare 11 Corinthians 5:7.
note: “What is faith? [Hebrews 11:1 quoted.] It is an assent of the understanding to God’s words which binds the heart in willing consecration and service to God, Who gave the understanding, Who moved on the heart, Who first drew the mind to view Christ on the cross of Calvary. Faith is rendering to God the intellectual powers, abandonment of the mind and will to God, and making Christ the only door to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Faith and Works, 25.
11 Upon what does faith depend? Romans 10:17.
note: “[Romans 10:17 quoted.] The Scriptures are the great agency in the transformation of character. Christ prayed, ‘Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.’ John 17:17. If studied and obeyed, the word of God works in the heart, subduing every unholy attribute. The Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and the faith that springs up in the heart works by love to Christ, conforming us in body, soul, and spirit to His own image. Then God can use us to do His will. The power given us works from within outwardly, leading us to communicate to others the truth that has been communicated to us.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.
12 When one knows the Word of God and still has no faith, what is he virtually doing? 1 John 5:10.
note: “There are those who profess holiness, who declare that they are wholly the Lord’s, who claim a right to the promises of God, while refusing to render obedience to His commandments. These transgressors of the law claim everything that is promised to the children of God; but this is presumption on their part, for John tells us that true love for God will be revealed in obedience to all His commandments. It is not enough to believe the theory of truth, to make a profession of faith in Christ, to believe that Jesus is no impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. ‘He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments,’ John wrote, ‘is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.’ ‘He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him.’ 1 John 2:4, 5; 3:24.” The Acts of the Apostles, 562.