Bible Study Guide- December 8–14, 2002
Steps to Life
MEMORY VERSE: "I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.
SUGGESTED READING: The Great Controversy, 479–491; Testimonies, vol. 4, 384–387; Patriarchs and Prophets, 355–357.
INTRODUCTION: "The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day of Atonement." Patriarchs and Prophets, 357.
1 Of what was the earthly sanctuary a type or pattern? Hebrews 8:5.
NOTE: "That sanctuary, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy." Patriarchs and Prophets, 357.
2 Why are the children of God no longer to look to the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:24; 8:1, 2.
NOTE: "When Jesus at His ascension entered by His own blood into the heavenly sanctuary to shed upon His disciples the blessings of His mediation, the Jews were left in total darkness to continue their useless sacrifices and offerings. The ministration of types and shadows had ceased. That door by which men had formerly found access to God was no longer open." The Great Controversy, 430.
3 As the earthly sanctuary was cleansed and the sins were removed, what must be done in the heavenly sanctuary, and when? Daniel 8:14; Hebrews 9:23.
NOTE: "As the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. This necessitates an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of his atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigative Judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem his people; for when he comes, his reward is with him to give to every man according to his works. [Revelation 22:12.]" The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 266.
4 Why must we continue to be watchful, even after we have asked for forgiveness and been accepted by God? Ezekiel 33:13. Compare Romans 10:3; Hebrews 10:38.
NOTE: "Many have an idea that they must do some part of the work alone. They have trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, but now they seek by their own efforts to live aright. But every such effort must fail. Jesus says, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing.’ [John 15:5.] Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness,—all depend upon our union with Christ. It is by communion with Him, daily, hourly,—by abiding in Him,—that we are to grow in grace. He is not only the Author, but the Finisher of our faith. It is Christ first and last and always. He is to be with us, not only at the beginning and the end of our course, but at every step of the way. David says, ‘I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.’ Psalm 16:8." Steps to Christ, 69.
5 As repentant sinners, how can we remain forgiven to the very end of our time in this world? Matthew 24:13; Revelation 3:5.
NOTE: "All whose names shall at last be found written in the Lamb’s book of life, will fight manfully the battles of the Lord. They will labor most earnestly to discern and put away temptations and every evil thing. They will feel that the eye of God is upon them, and that the strictest fidelity is required. As faithful sentinels they will keep the passage barred that Satan may not pass them disguised as an angel of light to work his work of death in their midst. . . .
"The white-robed ones who surround the throne of God, are not composed of that company who were lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, and who choose to drift with the current rather than to breast the waves of opposition. All who remain pure and uncorrupted from the spirit and influence prevailing at this time, will have stern conflicts. They will come through great tribulation; they will wash their robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb." Review and Herald, October 16, 1883.
6 When Christ ascended to heaven, which apartment of the sanctuary did He enter? Hebrews 9:24. Compare Hebrews 9:1, 2; Revelation 4:5; 8:3, 4.
NOTE: "The holy places of the sanctuary in heaven are represented by the two apartments in the sanctuary on earth. . . . In vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven [Revelation 4:5; 8:3 quoted]. Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the ‘seven lamps of fire’ and ‘the golden altar,’ represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth." The Great Controversy, 414.
"For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record." Ibid., 421.
7 In 1844, which apartment was opened for the closing work of the atonement? Revelation 11:19. Compare Hebrews 9:3, 4.
NOTE: "‘The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.’ Revelation 11:19. The ark of God’s testament is in the holy of holies, the second apartment of the sanctuary. In the ministration of the earthly tabernacle, which served ‘unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,’ [Hebrews 8:5] this apartment was opened only upon the great Day of Atonement for the cleansing of the sanctuary. Therefore the announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement." The Great Controversy, 433.
8 How is the work of atonement related to the judgment? Revelation 14:6, 7.
NOTE: "The announcement, ‘The hour of His judgment is come,’ [Revelation 14:7] points to the closing work of Christ’s ministration for the salvation of men. It heralds a truth which must be proclaimed until the Saviour’s intercession shall cease and He shall return to the earth to take His people to Himself. The work of judgment which began in 1844 must continue until the cases of all are decided, both of the living and the dead; hence it will extend to the close of human probation." The Great Controversy, 435, 436.
9 What assurance is given to those who are faithful till the end of Christ’s intercession? Isaiah 43:25.
NOTE: "All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law
of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life." The Great Controversy, 483.
"By virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin." Patriarchs and Prophets, 357, 358.
10 What is required of us before our sins can be blotted out, and what follows the blotting out of sins? Acts 3:19–21.
NOTE: "A solemn responsibility rests upon those who know the truth, that all their works shall correspond with their faith, and that their lives shall be refined and sanctified, and they be prepared for the work that must rapidly be done in these closing days of the message. They have no time or strength to spend in the indulgence of appetite. The words should come to us now with impelling earnestness: [Acts 3:19 quoted]. There are many among us who are deficient in spirituality and who, unless they are wholly converted, will certainly be lost. Can you afford to run the risk?
"Pride and weakness of faith are depriving many of the rich blessings of God." Testimonies, vol. 9, 154, 155.
"Many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.
"I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God." Early Writings, 71.
11 In what sense are we who profess the present truth now being measured? Revelation 11:1.
NOTE: "The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate. . . ." "Ellen G. White Comments," Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 972.
12 While the door of probation remains open, what is our privilege today? Hebrews 10:19–23; 4:16.
NOTE: "This is the great day of atonement. How much better it is for us to afflict our souls than to be engaged in strife for the highest place, causing heart-burning and discord. Never think or speak evil. When tempted to do this, go by yourself, and ask God to help you to overcome this hateful sin. Humble yourselves in the sight of God, and He will lift you up. Let us praise God that when we humble ourselves, His merciful hand lifts us up." Review and Herald, December 31, 1901.
"The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer,—how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven." The Desire of Ages, 113.
November 2002 Table of Contents