December 20, 2003 – December 26, 2003
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 11 Timothy 2:15.
Suggested Reading: Our High Calling, 205.
“We must cherish carefully the words of our God lest we be contaminated by the deceptive workings of those who have left the faith. We are to resist their spirit and influence with the same weapon our Master used when assailed by the prince of darkness—‘It is written.’ [Matthew 4:4–10.] We should learn to use the Word of God skillfully. The exhortation is, ‘Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ [11 Timothy 2:15.] There must be diligent work and earnest prayer and faith to meet the winding error of false teachers and seducers; for ‘in the last days perilous times shall come.’ [11 Timothy 3:1.]” Review and Herald, January 10, 1888.
1 Show that man was not created with an immortal soul. Since death was brought on humanity through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, how only can immortality be obtained?
note: “God, in counsel with His Son, formed the plan of creating man in His own image. Man was to be placed upon probation. He was to be tested and proved; if he should bear the test of God, and remain loyal and true through the first trial, he was not to be beset with continual temptations, but was to be exalted equal with the angels and made, thenceforth, immortal.” Confrontation, 10.
“He [Jesus] humbled Himself, and took mortality upon Him. As a member of the human family, He was mortal; but as a God, He was the fountain of life to the world. . . . He yielded up His life a sacrifice, that man should not eternally die.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1127.
(See Genesis 2:16, 17; Romans 6:23; 5:19.)
2 Because of sin, what has passed upon all men? What knowledge do the dead have? What bearing does Christ’s resurrection have upon the death and life of His saints?
note: “After Adam and Eve brought death into the world by their disobedience, a costly sacrifice was provided for the human race. A higher value than that they originally possessed was placed upon them. By giving Christ, His only-begotten Son, as a ransom for the world, God gave all heaven.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 299.
“Christ’s resurrection proves that he has power over death and the grave. He is willing and able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him.” Review and Herald, August 13, 1889.
(See Romans 5:12; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; 1 Corinthians 15:20–23.)
3 How did Paul speak of the judgment? Who compose the heavenly judgment court? What are used as the judgment proceeds? By what is every case decided? Who will execute the judgment determined upon?
note: “In 1844 our great High Priest entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to begin the work of the investigative judgment. The cases of the righteous dead have been passing in review before God. When that work shall be completed, judgment is to be pronounced upon the living. How precious, how important are these solemn moments! Each of us has a case pending in the court of heaven. We are individually to be judged according to the deeds done in the body.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 125.
“At this time [the millenium] the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. . . . It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.” The Faith I Live By, 354.
(See Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:12; 22:12; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; John 5:26, 27.)
4 How many resurrections are there? Who are raised in the first resurrection? Who in the second? How many years intervene between them? In connection with what event are the righteous raised? What has made the resurrection possible?
note: “Soon he will appear the second time to declare that there is no more sacrifice for sin. His believing ones have made their calling and their election sure. They come forth at the first resurrection.” The Youth’s Instructor, July 25, 1901.
“Oh, what a scene will we then see—some coming forth to life eternal at the first resurrection! Upon them the second death shall have no power. And then at the end of a thousand years the wicked dead come forth.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 342.
(See Revelation 20:4–6; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; John 11:25, 26.)
5 Who brought the angels into existence? Describe their work and power. What will be the work of the holy angels at the time of Christ’s Second Coming and the resurrection of the righteous?
note: “When the earthborn children know it not, they have the angels of light as their companions; for the heavenly messengers are sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. A silent witness guards every soul that lives, seeking to win and draw him to Christ. The angels never leave the tempted one a prey to the enemy who would destroy the souls of men if permitted to do so. As long as there is hope, until they resist the Holy Spirit to their eternal ruin, men are guarded by heavenly intelligences.” Our High Calling, 23.
(See Colossians 1:16; Psalm 103:20, 21; Matthew 25:31; 24:31.)
6 What falsehood is the foundation for spiritualism? Cite texts which prove that the dead do not appear to living friends and loved ones. Where do fallen angels meet their doom?
note: “Satan instigated others to rebel, and after they were cast out of heaven he bound them together in a confederacy to do all the evil possible to man, as the only means of striking God. Excluded from heaven, he resolved to be avenged by injuring the workmanship of God. Around the standard of rebellion that he planted, evil workers of all generations have rallied. Evil angels have united with evil men in a warfare against Christ’s kingdom.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1119.
(See Genesis 3:4; Revelation 16:14; 20:7–9; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Matthew 25:41.)
7 What change did Jesus say must take place in order to be saved? Who alone can change the heart? Then what can be said of this same individual?
note: “If there is nothing more in all the Scriptures which point out definitely the way to heaven, we have it here in these words [John 3:1–16]. They tell us what conversion is. They tell us what we must do in order to be saved. And, my friends, I want to tell you that this strikes directly at the root of the surface work in the religious world. It strikes directly against the idea that you can become a child of God without any particular change. There is a decided change wrought in us if the truth of God has found a place in our hearts, for it has a sanctifying power upon life and upon character. When we see the fruits of righteousness in those who claim to have advanced truth, as we claim to have it, then there will be a course of action which testifies that we have learned of Christ.” Faith and Works, 63.
(See Matthew 18:2, 3; 1 John 1:9; Ezekiel 36:26.)
8 Why was Jesus baptized? In following the Lord by baptism into death, what is necessary on the part of the believer? What should precede baptism? What power belongs to the believer as he comes forth from his watery grave?
note: “Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account. He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do. His life of suffering and patient endurance after His baptism was also an example to us.” The Desire of Ages, 111.
“All who live have sins to wash away. . . . True repentance of sin, faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, and baptism into His death, to be raised out of the water to live a new life, are the first steps in the new birth. . . . We are safe in following the example of Christ.” The Youth’s Instructor, February 1874.
(See Matthew 3:13–15; Colossians 3:1–3; Philippians 3:10; Ephesians 1:18–20.)
9 In serving others, whose example are we following? State the real lesson conveyed in the ordinance of footwashing. What double significance attaches to the memorial presented by the Lord in the broken bread and the wine?
note: “The object of this service [footwashing] is to call to mind the humility of our Lord, and the lessons He has given in washing the feet of His disciples. There is in man a disposition to esteem himself more highly than his brother, to work for himself, to serve himself, to seek the highest place; and often evil-surmisings and bitterness of spirit spring up over mere trifles. This ordinance preceding the Lord’s Supper is to clear away these misunderstandings, to bring man out of his selfishness, down from his stilts of self-exaltation, to the humility of spirit that will lead him to wash his brother’s feet.” Review and Herald, May 31, 1898.
“This is a special service; and in its observance there is to be a peaceful, grateful heart. Inasmuch as this service, in the bread and wine, represents the body the Lord gave for the sin of the world, the ministration of the sacrament is commemorative of Christ’s humiliation, betrayal, and sufferings, as an offered sacrifice. In symbol, Christ is set forth crucified among us. The representative of Christ is present.” Ibid., June 28, 1898.
(See Philippians 2:6, 7; John 13:3–17; Matthew 26:26–29; 1 Corinthians 11:26.)
10 In how many things should the Christian be temperate? Name three things mentioned by the Saviour against which His people in the last generation must guard.
note: “In the family circle and in the church we should place Christian temperance on an elevated platform. It should be a living, working element, reforming habits, dispositions, and characters.” Child Guidance, 400.
“As we near the close of time, we must rise higher and still higher upon the question of health reform and Christian temperance, presenting it in a more positive and decided manner. We must strive continually to educate the people, not only by our words, but by our practice. Precept and practice combined have a telling influence.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 443.
(See 1 Corinthians 9:25; Luke 21:34.)
11 To whom belongs all power? When the commands of earthly powers conflict with the commandments of God, what is the duty of the Christian?
note: “It is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai, and afterward engraved on stone with His own finger. . . . He who has God’s law written in the heart will obey God rather than men, and will sooner disobey all men than deviate in the least from the commandment of God. God’s people, taught by the inspiration of truth, and led by a good conscience to live by every word of God, will take His law, written in their hearts, as the only authority which they can acknowledge or consent to obey. The wisdom and authority of the divine law are supreme.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 361.
(See Romans 13:1–7; Acts 5:29; 4:19.)
12 What prompts the selfish love of money? What is of more value than all the wealth of the world? Why does God hate covetousness? What would be the result if all the tithe were brought into the treasury? Describe the nature of vows to God.
note: “It is God who gives men power to get wealth, and He has bestowed this ability, not as a means of gratifying self, but as a means of returning to God His own. With this object it is not a sin to acquire means. Money is to be earned by labor. Every youth should be trained to habits of industry. The Bible condemns no man for being rich if he has acquired his riches honestly. It is the selfish love of money wrongfully employed that is the root of all evil. Wealth will prove a blessing if we regard it as the Lord’s, to be received with thankfulness and with thankfulness returned to the Giver.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 452, 453.
“Should means flow into the treasury exactly according to God’s plan,— a tenth of all the increase,—there would be abundance to carry forward His work.” Ibid., vol. 5, 150.
(See 1 Timothy 6:5–11; Ephesians 5:5; Romans 8:32; Malachi 3:10; Numbers 30:1, 2; Deuteronomy 23:21–23.)