Bible Study Guides – God Requires Faithfulness, Part 1

June 25, 2006 – July 1, 2006

Key Text

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 4, 463–476.


“Oh, that every soul would prostrate himself before God, and yield self unreservedly, and solemnly vow that with Heaven’s help he would henceforth keep his lips from all guile, and sanctified; that he would keep the life and the course of action sanctified; that soul, body, and spirit should ever be sanctified unto the Lord. If thorough work were done, what a missionary company we should have with which to work these cities! Oh, what numbers we could have to send into places where the people have never heard the third angel’s message!” Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 370.

1 For what purpose did Christ sanctify himself? John 17:19.

note: “It [Bible sanctification] is not merely a show or outside work. It is sanctification received through the channel of truth. It is truth received in the heart, and practically carried out in the life.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 339.

“Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, and in no case are His followers to allow themselves to lose sight of Christ, who is their example in all things. He said, [John 17:19 quoted]. Jesus presents the truth before His children that they may look upon it, and by beholding it, may become changed, being transformed by His grace from transgression to obedience, from impurity to purity, from sin to heart-holiness and righteousness of life.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 262.

2 By what means are we to be sanctified? John 17:17.

note: “We must be sanctified through the truth, be wholly consecrated to God, and so live out our holy profession that the Lord can shed increasing light upon us, and that we may see light in His light, and be strengthened with His strength. Every moment that we are not on our watch we are liable to be beset by the enemy and are in great danger of being overcome by the powers of darkness. Satan commissions his angels to be vigilant and overthrow all they can; to find out the waywardness and besetting sins of those who profess the truth, and throw darkness around them, that they may cease to be watchful, take a course that will dishonor the cause they profess to love, and bring sorrow upon the church. The souls of these misguided, unwatchful ones grow darker, and the light of heaven fades from them. They cannot discover their besetting sins, and Satan weaves his net about them, and they are taken in his snare.” Early Writings, 105.

3 What is it to sanctify anything? Exodus 19:23, 12, 13.

note: “The oil so much needed by those who are represented as foolish virgins [Matthew 25:1–13], is not something to be put on the outside. They need to bring the truth into the sanctuary of the soul, that it may cleanse, refine, and sanctify. It is not theory that they need; it is the sacred teachings of the Bible, which are not uncertain, disconnected doctrines, but are living truths, that involve eternal interests that center in Christ. In Him is the complete system of divine truth. The salvation of the soul, through faith in Christ, is the ground and pillar of the truth.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 16.

“All our capabilities, all our powers, are the purchased possession of Christ. Our intellectual and moral powers are capable, when not misapplied, of honoring and glorifying God. The tongue is to be educated to speak right words, the eye to discern right things; the heart is to be surrendered to Christ, that he may purify, refine, and sanctify it through the truth, in order that from its treasures we may bring forth good things. We may, if we choose, abuse our faculties; for God will not compel any one to do righteousness. We are free moral agents; and yet let us bear in mind that we are the property of Christ both by creation and by redemption. The talents we have are his gifts, and whether we have few or many talents, we are to devote them to God.” The Youth’s Instructor, January 11, 1894.

4 When a person is thus sanctified, what work will be wrought in him? 11 Corinthians 10:5.

note: “The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it. The words ‘flesh’ or ‘fleshly’ or ‘carnal lusts’ embrace the lower, corrupt nature; the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God. We are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as His purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness.” The Adventist Home, 127.

5 Upon what will the sanctified person’s mind dwell? Philippians 4:8.

note: “You need to be sanctified through the truth. . . . Will you see the work to be done for you and take hold of it without delay, that your influence may be saving? Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. . . .

“There are enough profitable subjects upon which to meditate and converse. The conversation of the Christian should be in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour. Meditation upon heavenly things is profitable, and will ever be accompanied with the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Our calling is holy, our profession exalted. God is purifying unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. He is sitting as a refiner and purifier of silver. When the dross and tin are removed, then His image will be perfectly reflected in us. . . . When the truth has a sanctifying influence upon our hearts and lives, we can render to God acceptable service and can glorify Him upon the earth, being partakers of the divine nature and having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 317.

6 What was the law respecting the sanctifying of a man’s substance to the Lord? If he chose to exchange that which he had sanctified, how much was he to add to it? Leviticus 27:14–19.

note: “According to the amount bestowed will be the amount required. The larger the capital entrusted, the more valuable is the gift which God requires to be returned to Him. If a Christian has ten or twenty thousand dollars, God’s claims are imperative upon him, not only to give his proportion according to the tithing system, but to present his sin offerings and thank offerings to God. The Levitical dispensation was distinguished in a remarkable manner by the sanctification of property. When we speak of the tithe as the standard of the Jewish contributions to religious purposes, we do not speak understandingly. The Lord kept His claims paramount, and in almost every article they were reminded of the Giver by being required to make returns to Him. They were required to pay a ransom for their firstborn son, for the first fruits of their flocks, and for the first gathering of the harvest. They were required to leave the corners of their harvest fields for the destitute. Whatever dropped from their hands in reaping was left for the poor, and once in every seven years their lands were allowed to produce spontaneously for the needy. Then there were the sacrificial offerings, the trespass offerings, the sin offerings, and the remission of all debts every seventh year. There were also numerous expenses for hospitalities and gifts to the poor, and there were assessments upon their property.

“At stated periods, in order to preserve the integrity of the law, the people were interviewed as to whether they had faithfully performed their vows or not. A conscientious few made returns to God of about one third of all their income for the benefit of religious interests and for the poor. These exactions were not from a particular class of the people, but from all, the requirement being proportioned according to the amount possessed. Besides all these systematic and regular donations there were special objects calling for freewill offerings, such as the tabernacle built in the wilderness and the temple erected at Jerusalem. These drafts were made by God upon the people for their own good, as well as to sustain His service.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 467, 468.

7 Could that which had been sanctified be taken back, and no equivalent given? Leviticus 27:28, 29.

note: “The Lord declared that he required his husbandmen to give him the returns of his vineyard. Men are not to use their possessions as their own, but only as intrusted to them. The Lord’s portion is to be faithfully returned to him. ‘All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord. And if a man will at all redeem aught of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’ [Leviticus 27:30–33.]

“The statutes regarding the Lord’s portion were often repeated that the people might not forget them. They were to return to God his rental money. This he claimed as his portion. Their physical and mental powers as well as their money were to be used for him. His vineyard was to be faithfully cultivated, so that a large income could be returned to him in tithes and offerings. A portion was to be set apart for the sustenance of the ministry, and was to be used for no other purpose. Gifts and offerings were to be made to relieve the necessity of the church. Means was to be appropriated for the relief of the poor and suffering.” Review and Herald, July 17, 1900.

8 Does the Lord require men to devote their substance to His service, and make offerings to Him? Psalm 76:11.

note: “God has given man a part to act in accomplishing the salvation of his fellow men. He can work in connection with Christ by doing acts of mercy and beneficence. But he cannot redeem them, not being able to satisfy the claims of insulted justice. This the Son of God alone can do, by laying aside His honor and glory, clothing His divinity with humanity, and coming to earth to humiliate Himself and shed His blood in behalf of the human race.

“In commissioning His disciples to go ‘into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ [Mark 16:15.] Christ assigned to men the work of spreading the gospel. But while some go forth to preach, He calls upon others to answer to His claims upon them for tithes and offerings with which to support the ministry and to spread the printed truth all over the land. This is God’s means of exalting man. It is just the work which he needs, for it will stir the deepest sympathies of his heart and call into exercise the highest capabilities of the mind.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 472.

9 Under what circumstances do men usually make vows? Psalm 66:13, 14.

note: “Christ says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing,’ and He has provided the Holy Spirit as a present help in every time of need. [John 15:5.] But many have a feeble religious experience because, instead of seeking the Lord for the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, they make flesh their arm. Let the people of God be educated to turn to God when in trouble and gain strength from the promises that are yea and amen to every trusting soul. . . .

“The promises of God are full and abundant, and there is no need for anyone to depend upon humanity for strength. To all that call upon Him, God is near to help and succor. And He is greatly dishonored when, after inviting our confidence, we turn from Him—the only One who will not misunderstand us, the only One who can give unerring counsel—to men who in their human weakness are liable to lead us astray.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 381, 382.