MEMORY VERSE: "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, last part.
INTRODUCTION: "The promise of Christ’s Second Coming was ever to be kept fresh in the minds of His disciples. The same Jesus whom they had seen ascending into heaven, would come again, to take to Himself those who here below give themselves to His service. The same voice that had said to them, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end,’ would bid them welcome to His presence in the heavenly kingdom." Acts of the Apostles, 33.
- What promise was made to the disciples as they watched the Lord ascending to heaven? Acts 1:10–11.
NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 832.
- What does the Bible tell us about the identity of "this same Jesus"? John 1:1–3, Titus 2:13.
NOTE: "In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived." Desire of Ages,530.
"It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, ‘I AM THAT I AM..." Desire of Ages, 24.
"The Word Was Made Flesh and Dwelt Among Us"
- How complete was Christ’s assumption of human nature? Hebrews 2:11, 14–18.
NOTE: "If He did not have man’s nature, He could not be our example. If He was not a partaker of our nature, He could not have been tempted as man has been. If it were not possible for Him to yield to temptation, He could not be our helper. It was a solemn reality that Christ came to fight the battles as man, in man’s behalf. His temptation and victory tell us that humanity must copy the Pattern; man must become a partaker of the divine nature." Selected Messages, Book 1,408. (See also Desire of Ages, 117.)
- In taking upon Himself man’s fallen nature, did Jesus participate in man’s sin? Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 5:7–9.
NOTE: "In taking upon Himself man’s nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. He was subject to the infirmities and weaknesses by which man is encompassed, ‘that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. (Matthew 8: 17.) He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He knew no sin. He was the Lamb ‘without blemish and without spot.’ (1 Peter 1:19.) Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Saviour’s head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope." Selected Messages, Book 1, 256.
"Even As I Also Overcame"
- What was the secret of Christ’s victory over temptation? Hebrews 5:7.
NOTE: "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, ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.’ 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." Review and Herald, December 22, 1891.
- What example did Jesus give of "the faith of Jesus"? John 11:41–42.
NOTE: "For any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received. We need look for no outward evidence of the blessing. The gift is in the promise, and we may go about our work assured that what God has promised He is able to perform, and that the gift, which we already possess, will be realized when we need it most. To live thus by the word of God means the surrender to Him of the whole life. There will be felt a continual sense of need and dependence, a drawing out of the heart after God. Prayer is a necessity; for it is the life of the soul." Education, 258.
"Looking Unto Jesus"
- How may we receive all things that are needed for us to attain to eternal life and godliness? 2 Peter 1:3–4.
NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 123.
- What was Peter able to do by "looking unto Jesus;" and what happened when he looked away? Matthew 14:24–31.
NOTE: "When trouble comes upon us, how often we are like Peter! We look upon the waves, instead of keeping our eyes fixed upon the Saviour. Our footsteps slide, and the proud waters go over our souls. Desire of Ages, 382.
"Ask and Ye Shall Receive"
- In order to receive God’s blessings, what must we do? Matthew 7:7.
NOTE: See Steps to Christ, 94.
- What are the conditions under which we must ask? James 4:3; 1 John 3:22.
NOTE: "He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal." Education, 257.
"True faith rests on the promises contained in the word of God, and those only who obey the Word, can claim the glorious promises contained in it. ‘If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ John 15:7. Whatsoever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’ 1 John 3:22." Experience and Views of Ellen G. White, 59.
"When Ye Pray, Believe That Ye Receive"
- What further condition must we fulfil for answered prayer? Matthew 21:22.
NOTE: "’Ye let go of the arm of the Lord too soon. Press your petitions to the throne, and hold on by strong faith. The promises are sure. Believe ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them.’ I was then pointed to Elijah. He was subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly. His faith endured the trial. Seven times he prayed before the Lord, and at last the cloud was seen. I saw that we had doubted the sure promises, and wounded the Saviour by our lack of faith." Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 127.
- What does James say of the one who does not believe that his prayer will be answered? James 1:6–7.
NOTE: "True faith lays hold of and claims the promised blessing before it is realized and felt. We must send up our petitions in faith within the second veil, and let our faith take hold of the promised blessing, and claim it as ours. We are then to believe that we receive the blessing, because our faith has hold of it, and according to the Word it is ours. ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ Mark 11:24. Here is faith, naked faith, to believe that we receive the blessing, even before we realize it. When the promised blessing is realized and enjoyed, faith is swallowed up." Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 126.
- In presenting our requests to God, what must we not forget to do? Philippians 4:6. Compare John 11:41–42.
NOTE: "Not because we see or feel that God hears us are we to believe. We are to trust in His promises. When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it." Desire of Ages, 200.