Bible Study Guide- November 17-23, 2002
Phases of Present Truth
Steps to Life
Phases of Present Truth
MEMORY VERSE: "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth." 2 Peter 1:12
SUGGESTED READING: The Desire of Ages, 632–636; The Great Controversy, 355–374.
INTRODUCTION: "There was a present truth—a truth at that time of special importance—in the days of Christ, of Paul, of Luther; there is a present truth for the church today." Signs of the Times, June 21, 1883.
1 How do the teachings of Christ harmonize with teachings of Old Testament scripture? Matthew 22:36–40; 5:17–19; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18.
NOTE: "The teaching of Christ in the gospel is in perfect harmony with the teaching of Christ through the prophets in the Old Testament. The prophets spoke through the messengers of Christ in the Old Testament as much as the apostles voiced His messages in the New Testament, and there is no contradiction between their teachings." Selected Messages, Book 1, 345.
2 What clarification did Jesus give about his teachings? John 7:16.
NOTE: "[Jesus answered] My words are in perfect harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures, and with the law spoken from Sinai. I am not preaching a new doctrine. I am presenting old truths rescued from the framework of error, and placed in a new setting (Manuscript 33, 1911)." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1136.
3 What present truth was taught after Christ’s ascension? 1 John 1:1–3; 2 Peter 1:12, 15, 16.
NOTE: "When, after His ascension, the Holy Spirit brought His teachings to the remembrance of the disciples, their slumbering senses awoke. The meaning of these truths flashed upon their minds as a new revelation, and truth, pure and unadulterated, made a place for itself. Then the wonderful experience of His life became theirs. The Word bore testimony through them, the men of His appointment, and they proclaimed the mighty truth, ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, . . . full of grace and truth.’ ‘And of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.’ John 1:14, 16." The Acts of the Apostles, 520.
4 In what way does that truth affect us today? John 17:17–20.
NOTE: "We are to be brought into a sacred nearness with the world’s Redeemer. We are to be one with Christ as He is one with the Father. What a wonderful change the people of God experience in coming into unity with the Son of God! We are to have our tastes, inclinations, ambitions, and passions all subdued, and brought into harmony with the mind and spirit of Christ. This is the very work that the Lord is willing to do for those who believe in Him. Our life and deportment are to have a molding power in the world. The spirit of Christ is to have a controlling influence over the life of His followers, so that they will speak and act like Jesus. Christ says, ‘The glory which thou gavest Me I have given them.’ . . .
"The grace of Christ is to work a wonderful transformation in the life and character of its receiver; and if we are truly the disciples of Christ, the world will see that divine power has done something for us; for while we are in the world, we shall not be of it." My Life Today, 252.
5 What did Paul say about the plan of redemption which was more fully revealed in the gospel of Christ? Ephesians 3:3–6, 9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 16:25, 26.
NOTE: "Jesus longed to unfold the deep mysteries of the truth which had been hid for ages, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs with the Jews, and ‘partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.’ Ephesians 3:6. This truth the disciples were slow to learn, and the divine Teacher gave them lesson upon lesson." The Desire of Ages, 402.
"Give yourself to the Lord for purification and sanctification. A godly example will tell more for the truth than the greatest eloquence, unaccompanied by a well-ordered life. Trim the lamp of the soul, and replenish it with the oil of the Spirit. Seek from Christ that grace, that clearness of comprehension, which will enable you to do successful work. Learn from Him what it means to work for those for whom He gave His life." Gospel Workers, 104, 105.
6 When the mystery of God (light given to the Gentiles) is completed, what will happen? Matthew 24:14.
NOTE: "Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory." The Acts of the Apostles, 111.
7 What final verdict will be declared at that time? Revelation 22:10, 11.
NOTE: "The gospel dispensation is the last period of probation that will ever be granted to men. Those who live under this dispensation of test and trial and yet are not led to repent and obey will perish with the disloyal. There is no second trial. The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life. Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins. We are indebted to Christ for the grace which makes us complete in Him (Manuscript 40, 1900)." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 971, 972.
8 How can we know that Christ’s second coming is close? Matthew 24:32–39.
NOTE: "Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come." The Great Controversy, 37.
9 In our day what notable religious revival marks the beginning of the present truth, and how is it described? Revelation 14:6.
NOTE: "A great religious awakening under the proclamation of Christ’s soon coming is foretold in the prophecy of the first angel’s message of Revelation 14. . . .
"The fact that an angel is said to be the herald of this warning is significant. By the purity, the glory, and the power of the heavenly messenger, divine wisdom has been pleased to represent the exalted character of the work to be accomplished by the message and the power and glory that were to attend it. And the angel’s flight ‘in the midst of heaven,’ the ‘loud voice’ with which the warning is uttered, and its promulgation to all ‘that dwell on the earth,’—‘to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,’—give evidence of the rapidity and world-wide extent of the movement." The Great Controversy, 355.
10 In what way does the first angel’s message exalt God’s law and prepare a people for Christ’s return? 1 John 3:2, 3; Psalm 19:7.
NOTE: "The message proclaimed by the angel flying in the midst of heaven is the everlasting gospel, the same gospel that was declared in Eden when God said to the serpent, ‘I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel’ (Genesis 3:15). Here was the first promise of a Saviour who would stand on the field of battle to contest the power of Satan and prevail against him. Christ came to our world to represent the character of God as it is represented in His holy law; for His law is a transcript of His character. Christ was both the law and the gospel. The angel that proclaims the everlasting gospel proclaims the law of God; for the gospel of salvation brings men to obedience of the law, whereby their characters are formed after the divine similitude." Selected Messages, Book 2, 106.
11 To whom is the commission given to teach the first angel’s message? Matthew 28:19, 20.
NOTE: "As His representatives among men, God does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took humanity that He might reach humanity. A divine-human Saviour was needed to bring salvation to the world. And to men and women has been committed the sacred trust of making known ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ.’ Ephesians 3:8.
"In His wisdom the Lord brings those who are seeking for truth into touch with fellow beings who know the truth. It is the plan of Heaven that those who have received light shall impart it to those in darkness. Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great Source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart." The Acts of the Apostles, 134.
12 What will be the experience of the end-day remnant? Matthew 24:9.
NOTE: "Whoever sees the repulsive character of sin, and in strength from above resists temptation, will assuredly arouse the wrath of Satan and his subjects. Hatred of the pure principles of truth, and reproach and persecution of its advocates, will exist as long as sin and sinners remain. The followers of Christ and the servants of Satan cannot harmonize." The Great Controversy, 507.
13 How is the end-day remnant distinguished from the rest of the world? Revelation 12:17.
NOTE: "I [Ellen White] was shown in regard to the remnant people of God taking a name. Two classes were presented before me. One class embraced the great bodies of professed Christians. They were trampling upon God’s law and bowing to a papal institution. They were keeping the first day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord. The other class, who were but few in number, were bowing to the great Lawgiver. They were keeping the fourth commandment. The peculiar and prominent features of their faith were the observance of the seventh day, and waiting for the appearing of our Lord from heaven." Testimonies, vol. 1, 223.
"Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. . . .
"Their only hope is in the mercy of God; their only defense will be prayer." Ibid., vol. 5, 472.
October 2002 Table of Contents