June 22-28, 2003
MEMORY VERSE: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25.
SUGGESTED READING: Testimonies, vol. 5, 630, 631.
INTRODUCTION: “The sacrificial heifer [see Numbers 19] was conducted without the camp and slain in the most imposing manner. Thus Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that Christ did not die for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind. He proclaims to a fallen world that He has come to be their Redeemer and urges them to accept the salvation He offers them. The heifer having been slain in a most solemn manner, the priest, clothed in pure white garments, took the blood in his hands as it issued from the body of the victim and cast it toward the temple seven times. ‘And having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.’ [Hebrews 10:21, 22.]” Testimonies, vol. 4, 121.
1 How does faith come to us? 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.
“The truths of the word of God meet man’s great practical necessity—the conversion of the soul through faith. These grand principles are not to be thought too pure and holy to be brought into the daily life. They are truths which reach to heaven and compass eternity, yet their vital influence is to be woven into human experience. They are to permeate all the great things and all the little things of life.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 100.
2 What is necessary to obtain full assurance of faith? Hebrews 10:22.
NOTE: “Many people mistake strong feeling for an assurance of faith, though they are essentially different. Strong feeling may be an accompaniment of faith, though it is not faith itself. And many suppose that there can be no faith without a happy state of feeling, which is a great mistake. Paul had great faith, though circumstances caused him to have great heaviness and continual sorrow of heart. (Romans 9:2.) Compare Isaiah 50:10; Matthew 5:4. Faith rests entirely upon the word of God, but feeling is often the outgrowth of impressions, produced in various ways. Self-complacency, deep satisfaction over one’s own experience, is very often mistaken for assurance of faith, while, oftentimes, the individual has no faith at all—no clear conception of the teachings of God’s Word. Full assurance of genuine faith is unwavering confidence in God, with knowledge of his word and implicit belief of the word. The clearer the word is to our understanding, the better is the chance for full assurance of faith; for how can we have faith in that of which we are ignorant? The mystical system of interpreting the Scriptures, by which they are made to mean anything that can be imagined, precludes faith. Under that system the mind is filled only with fancies, while faith is something substantial.” International Sabbath School Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Co., Oakland, California, July 8, 1889, 45, 46.
3 What should we desire to be done to the heart? Hebrews 10:22.
NOTE: “God gave special directions to Moses in regard to the children of Israel having nothing unsightly or unclean about their dwellings, lest He should pass by and see their uncleanness and be offended, and refuse to go out to co-operate with them in their battles against the enemy.” Testimonies to Southern Africa, 86, 87.
“Truth never places her delicate feet in a path of uncleanness or impurity. . . . He who was so particular that the children of Israel should cherish habits of cleanliness will not sanction any impurity in the homes of His people today. God looks with disfavor on uncleanness of any kind.” My Life Today, 129.
4 What are we told is sprinkled upon the heart to purify it? Hebrews 10:22. Compare 1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 12:24.
NOTE: “The passover pointed backward to the deliverance of the children of Israel, and was also typical, pointing forward to Christ, the Lamb of God, slain for the redemption of fallen man. The blood sprinkled upon the door-posts prefigured the atoning blood of Christ, and also the continual dependence of sinful man upon the merits of that blood for safety from the power of Satan, and for final redemption.” The Signs of the Times, March 25, 1880.
5 How is the blood of Christ applied to our hearts? Jude 1:20, 21. Compare Colossians 2:6, 7.
NOTE: “When the law was proclaimed from Sinai, God made known to men the holiness of His character, that by contrast they might see the sinfulness of their own. The law was given to convict them of sin, and reveal their need of a Saviour. It would do this as its principles were applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit. This work it is still to do. In the life of Christ the principles of the law are made plain; and as the Holy Spirit of God touches the heart, as the light of Christ reveals to men their need of His cleansing blood and His justifying righteousness, the law is still an agent in bringing us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. ‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.’ Psalm 19:7.” [Emphasis supplied.] The Desire of Ages, 308.
6 What is meant by “our bodies washed with pure water”? Hebrews 10:22, last part. Compare Titus 3:5; Acts 22:16.
NOTE: “There is outward evidence testifying to the inward transformation that has taken place. The rite of baptism proclaims to all men the intention of each candidate to enter into the privileges and to accept the responsibilities that follow upon conversion. . . . In the physical world water is an important and valuable cleansing agent, and it is a fitting symbol of the cleansing of the life from sin.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 463.
7 How should we hold our profession of faith? Hebrews 10:23.
NOTE: “What is our profession? We profess to be following Christ. We claim to be Christians. Do we, then, reveal the Christlikeness? Do we serve the Saviour intelligently? Does the love of God continually flow from us to others? Do we, in word and action, confess our Redeemer? Do we conform our lives to His holy principles? Are we pure and undefiled? Christians must hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end. It is not enough to profess the faith. There must be a patient endurance of all trials and a brave resistance to all temptations. Faith can be maintained only by bringing the Christian religion to the test of practice, thus demonstrating its transforming power and the faithfulness of its promises (Manuscript 42, 1901).” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 928, 929.
” ‘Hold fast’ . . . does not mean, Hold fast to your sins; but, Hold fast to the comfort, the faith, the hope, that God has given you in His Word. Never be discouraged. A discouraged man can do nothing. Satan is seeking to discourage you, telling you it is of no use to serve God, that it does not pay, and that it is just as well to have pleasure and enjoyment in this world. But ‘what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ [Mark 8:36.] You may have worldly pleasure at the expense of the future world; but can you afford to pay such a price?” Ibid., 959.
8 What is said of him that wavereth? James 1:6.
NOTE: “Some men have no firmness of character. They are like a ball of putty and can be pressed into any conceivable shape. . . . This weakness, indecision, and inefficiency must be overcome. There is an indomitableness about true Christian character which cannot be molded or subdued by adverse circumstances. Men must have moral backbone, an integrity which cannot be flattered, bribed, or terrified.” Sons and Daughters of God, 210.
9 What is meant by considering one another? Hebrews 10:24.
NOTE: “You will often meet with souls that are under the stress of temptation. You know not how severely Satan may be wrestling with them. Beware lest you discourage such souls and thus give the tempter an advantage.
“Whenever you see or hear something that needs to be corrected, seek the Lord for wisdom and grace, that in trying to be faithful you may not be severe.
“It is always humiliating to have one’s errors pointed out. Do not make the experience more bitter by needless censure. Unkind criticism brings discouragement, making life sunless and unhappy.
“My brethren, prevail by love rather than by severity. When one at fault becomes conscious of his error, be careful not to destroy his self-respect. Do not seek to bruise and wound, but rather to bind up and heal.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 265.
10 Unto what are we to provoke (stimulate or incite) one another? Hebrews 10:24.
NOTE: “The Christian pilgrim cannot be sour, gloomy, depressed. It is a misrepresentation of the Christian faith to be surly, unreasonable, or sour in spirit. . . . Heed the apostle’s admonition to provoke one another unto love and good works. How can you do this?—By conscientious, consistent behavior. Occasionally pause to sum up the results of such a course, to ascertain whether it is the wisest course to pursue. You will find that careful regard for one another’s needs, kindly words of sympathy, and thoughtful assistance in helping others in their work, encourage not only them, but yourselves as well, because you thus become laborers together with God.” Bible Training School, February 1, 1910.
11 Why is faithfulness in social meetings encouraged? Hebrews 10:25.
NOTE: “If Christians would associate together, speaking to each other of the love of God, and of the precious truths of redemption, their own hearts would be refreshed, and they would refresh one another.” The Faith I Live By, 246.
“Our camp meetings . . . are to promote spiritual life among our own people. . . .
“God has committed to our hands a most sacred work, and we need to meet together to receive instruction, that we may be fitted to perform this work. We need to understand what part we shall individually be called upon to act in building up the cause of God in the earth . . . . We need to meet together and receive the divine touch, that we may understand our work in the home. . . . We need to understand in regard to the division of labor and how each part of the work is to be carried forward. Each one should understand the part he is to act, that there may be harmony of plan and of labor in the combined work of all.” [Emphasis supplied.] Testimonies, vol. 6, 32, 33.
12 What is the “day approaching” mentioned in Hebrews 10:25? Compare Romans 13:11; Philippians 4:5.
NOTE: “Shall we say we have been deceived in regard to the doctrine of Christ’s near coming? Shall we declare that all our talking of his appearing has been in vain? Shall we say that all our work to make ready a people, prepared for his coming, has been for nought?—Never. We are not to become impatient and fretful, because time still lingers. We are to wait patiently for the work of God to be accomplished. ‘But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.’ [Jeremiah 31:33.] ‘Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; and let us consider one another to provoke’—unto doubts and unbelief, and apostasy?—No, but ‘unto love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.’ [Hebrews 10:23–25.]
“We must have a knowledge of the Scriptures, that we may trace down the lines of prophecy, and understand the specifications given by the prophets, and by Christ and the apostles; that we may not be ignorant; but be able to see that the day is approaching, so that with increased zeal and effort, we may exhort one another to faithfulness, piety, and holiness.” Review and Herald, July 31, 1888.