July 22, 2007 – July 28, 2007
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 98−105.
“Did those who profess to be looking for Christ but realize how near is the end of all work for the salvation of souls, they would sacrifice their possessions as freely as did the members of the early church. ‘The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own. . . . As many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet.’ [Acts 4:32, 34, 35.] Those who had money or possessions freely sacrificed them to the existing emergency. The believers had one common interest—the success of the mission intrusted [sic] to them. Their love for Christ was far greater than their love for money. They acted out their faith, and by their works testified that they accounted the souls of men of more worth than any earthly treasure. Have we not even greater reason to sacrifice than they had? Have we not far less time than they in which to accomplish our work?” Review and Herald, December 6, 1887.
1 When did Peter say the restoration of all things would take place? Acts 3:20, 21. Who does he say has spoken of this time? Verse 21, last part.
note: “When the Saviour was about to be separated from His disciples, He comforted them in their sorrow with the assurance that He would come again: ‘Let not your heart be troubled. . . . In My Father’s house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.’ John 14:1−3. ‘The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him.’ ‘Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations.’ Matthew 25:31, 32.
“The angels who lingered upon Olivet after Christ’s ascension repeated to the disciples the promise of His return: ‘This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ Acts 1:11. And the apostle Paul, speaking by the Spirit of Inspiration, testified: ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Says the prophet of Patmos: ‘Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.’ Revelation 1:7. [Emphasis in original.]
“About His coming cluster the glories of that ‘restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.’ Acts 3:21. Then the long-continued rule of evil shall be broken.” The Great Controversy, 301.
2 What promise was made to Abraham? Genesis 17:7, 8. Who are heirs of this promise made to Abraham? Hebrews 11:9.
note: “There was given to Abraham the promise, especially dear to the people of that age, of a numerous posterity and of national greatness: ‘I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.’ [Genesis 12:2.] And to this was added the assurance, precious above every other to the inheritor of faith, that of his line the Redeemer of the world should come: ‘In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.’ [Verse 3.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 125.
3 Did Isaac and Jacob receive the promise while they were living? Hebrews 11:9−13. For what did they look? Verses 10, 16.
note: “It is recorded of the holy men of old that God was not ashamed to be called their God. The reason assigned is that instead of coveting earthly possessions or seeking happiness in worldly plans or aspirations they placed their all upon the altar of God and made disposition of it to build up His kingdom. They lived only for God’s glory and declared plainly that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth, seeking a better country, that is, an heavenly. Their conduct proclaimed their faith. God could entrust to them His truth and could leave the world to receive from them a knowledge of His will.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 188.
4 To what time did Job look for final deliverance? Job 19:25−27.
note: “One of the most solemn and yet most glorious truths revealed in the Bible is that of Christ’s second coming to complete the great work of redemption. . . . The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: . . . in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.’ Job 19:25−27.” The Great Controversy, 299.
5 What was revealed to Balaam when he was seeking to prophesy against Israel? Numbers 24:17, 19.
note: “All the world should wonder at the marvelous work of God in behalf of His people—that a man [Balaam] determined to pursue a sinful course should be so controlled by divine power as to utter, instead of imprecations, the richest and most precious promises, in the language of sublime and impassioned poetry. . . .
“Balaam uttered a most beautiful and sublime prophecy of the world’s Redeemer and the final destruction of the enemies of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 449, 451.
6 What does the Psalmist say about the coming of the Lord? Psalm 50:3−6; 97:3−6; 37:10, 11, 29.
note: “Mercy and truth are promised to the humble and penitent, but judgments are prepared for the sinful and rebellious. ‘Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne.’ [Psalm 89:14.] A wicked and adulterous people will not escape the wrath of God and the punishment they have justly earned. Man has fallen; and it will be the work of a lifetime, be it longer or shorter, to recover from that fall, and regain, through Christ, the image of the divine, which he lost by sin and continued transgression. God requires a thorough transformation of soul, body, and spirit in order to regain the estate lost through Adam. The Lord mercifully sends rays of light to show man his true condition. If he will not walk in the light he manifests a pleasure in darkness. He will not come to the light lest his deeds shall be reproved.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 448, 449.
“The psalmist had in mind the . . . final restoration of man’s original inheritance when he declared, ‘The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.’ Psalm 37:29.
“This hope of redemption through the advent of the Son of God as Saviour and King, has never become extinct in the hearts of men.” Prophets and Kings, 682.
7 What warning is given by Zephaniah? Zephaniah 2:3. Why were they commanded to seek the Lord? Verses 1, 2.
note: “We are near the close of time. I [Ellen White] have been shown that the retributive judgments of God are already in the land. The Lord has given us warning of the events about to take place. Light is shining from His word; yet darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people. ‘When they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them; . . . and they shall not escape.’ [1 Thessalonians 5:3.]
“It is our duty to inquire the cause of this terrible darkness, that we may shun the course by which men have brought upon themselves so great delusion. God has given the world an opportunity to learn and to obey His will. He has given them, in His word, the light of truth; He has sent them warning, counsel, and admonition; but few will obey His voice. Like the Jewish nation, the majority, even of professed Christians, pride themselves on their superior advantages, but make no returns to God for these great blessings. In infinite mercy a last warning message has been sent to the world, announcing that Christ is at the door and calling attention to God’s broken law. But as the antediluvians rejected with scorn the warning of Noah, so will the pleasure lovers of today reject the message of God’s faithful servants. The world pursues its unvarying round, absorbed as ever in its business and its pleasures, while the wrath of God is about to be visited on the transgressors of His law.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 99, 100.
8 What did Jesus say His people should do after they saw certain signs in the heavens? Luke 21:28.
note: “The attention of the people should be called to the momentous event which is so near at hand. The signs of the times should be kept fresh before their minds. The prophetic visions of Daniel and John foretell a period of moral darkness and declension; but at the time of the end, the time in which we are now living, the vision was to speak and not lie. When the signs predicted begin to come to pass, the waiting, watching ones are bidden to look up and lift up their heads and rejoice because their redemption draweth nigh.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 9, 10.
9 What does Paul say of the coming of the Lord? Hebrews 9:28.
note: “The very best preparation we can have for his second coming, is to rest with firm faith, with trust and unshaken confidence, in the great salvation brought to us at his first advent. We must believe that Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. Is he your personal Saviour? Are you, because the love of Jesus is abiding in your heart, saved from making mistakes and errors? Is the love of Christ a living, active agent in your soul, correcting, reforming, refining you, and purifying you from your wrong practices? There is need of cultivating every grace that Jesus, through his suffering and death, has brought within your reach. You are to manifest the grace that has been so richly provided for you, in the small as well as in the large concerns of life.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 7, 1893.
10 What admonition did Jesus leave for His people? Mark 13:35−37.
note: “Jesus has left us this warning: ‘Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.’ [Mark 13:35, 36.] The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 205.
11 What effect should this theme have on all believers? 1 Thessalonians 4:18.
note: “We know that as trials press closer and closer, the hope grows stronger. The beams of the Sun of Righteousness shall shine into your heart with their healing power. Look beyond the clouds to the brightness, even the light of the Sun of Righteousness. Thank God that in the tempest of trial the anchor holds. We have an ever-living, ever-prevailing Intercessor, who is pleading our individual cases before the Father. The joys of an eternal reward have been purchased at an infinite cost.
“May the Lord comfort and strengthen and bless you is my [Ellen White] daily prayer. Oh, when we see the King in His beauty, what a day of gladness that will be. We will rest in the rich promises of God. He will never fail us, but be to us a present help in every time of need.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 249, 250.
12 How can we comfort one another? Hebrews 10:25.
note: “If there is ever one time above another when men need to preserve their connection with God, it is when they are called to bear special responsibility. It is not safe for us, when going into battle, to cast away our weapons. It is then that we need to be equipped with the whole armor of God. Every piece is essential.
“Never entertain the thought that you can be Christians and yet withdraw within yourselves. Each one is a part of the great web of humanity, and the nature and quality of your experience will be largely determined by the experiences of those with whom you associate. Jesus says: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst.’ Matthew 18:20. Then let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhort one another; and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 190.