July 9 – 15, 2017
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 463–470.
“As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light.” Education, 29.
1 THE LIGHT PROPHESIED
- What reveals Christ’s work in the creation of the world? Genesis 1:1, 2; John 1:1–3.
- How did the Holy Spirit refer to Jesus through the prophet Isaiah? Isaiah 49:6.
- How did Simeon identify Jesus when He was brought to the Temple for dedication? Luke 2:25–33.
Note: “[Luke 2:32 quoted.] In these words he [Simeon] was applying to Him [Christ] a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared ‘It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth’ (Isaiah 49:6, R.V.).” The Desire of Ages, 465.
2 THE LIGHT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
- How were the children of Israel guided in the desert? Exodus 13:21, 22.
Note: “In the manifestation of God to His people, light had ever been a symbol of His presence. At the creative word in the beginning, light had shone out of darkness. Light had been enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, leading the vast armies of Israel.” The Desire of Ages, 464.
- How did God show that He protects His own? Psalm 105:39; Isaiah 4:5, 6.
Note: “In one of the most beautiful and comforting passages of Isaiah’s prophecy, reference is made to the pillar of cloud and of fire to represent God’s care for His people in the great final struggle with the powers of evil.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 283.
- How did Moses and the people react to the divine light of Christ upon Mt. Sinai? Exodus 19:16–18; 20:18, 19; Hebrews 12:21.
Note: “So terrible were the tokens of Jehovah’s presence that the hosts of Israel shook with fear, and fell upon their faces before the Lord. Even Moses exclaimed, ‘I exceedingly fear and quake’ (Hebrews 12:21).” Patriarchs and Prophets, 304.
- How did Christ manifest His presence in the tabernacle? Exodus 40:3, 4, 34, 35.
- What happened at the dedication of the Temple constructed by Solomon? 2Chronicles 7:1.
3 THE LIGHT REJECTED
- When the Light of the world did come, what was the reaction of the Jews? John 1:11; 8:12, 13.
Note: “To the Pharisees and rulers this claim [‘I am the light of the world’] seemed an arrogant assumption. That a man like themselves should make such pretensions they could not tolerate.” The Desire of Ages, 465.
- What comprehensive declaration did Jesus make to the unbelieving Pharisees? John 8:14–18.
- What marked contrast existed between Christ and the unbelieving Pharisees? John 8:19–23.
- What was to be the fatal consequence of the Jewish rulers’ rejection of Christ? John 8:24; Matthew 23:38.
- What other question did the Pharisees ask Jesus? John 8:25, first part. With what intention did they ask the question?
Note: “Seeming to ignore His words, they demanded, ‘Who art Thou’ (John 8:25, first part)? They were bent upon forcing Him to declare Himself the Christ. His appearance and His work were so at variance with the expectations of the people, that, as His wily enemies believed, a direct announcement of Himself as the Messiah would cause Him to be rejected as an impostor.” The Desire of Ages, 465.
- How did the Saviour answer them, and what was the effect of His answer upon the sincere listeners? John 8:25, last part, 26–30.
4 BONDAGE vs. LIBERTY
- What did Christ say to the Jews who accepted Him? John 8:31, 32. How did the unbelievers react to His words? John 8:33.
Note: “Among His hearers many were drawn to Him in faith, and to them He said, ‘If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8:31, 32).
“These words offended the Pharisees. The nation’s long subjection to a foreign yoke, they disregarded, and angrily exclaimed, ‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free?’ Jesus looked upon these men, the slaves of malice, whose thoughts were bent upon revenge, and sadly answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin’ (verses 33, 34). They were in the worst kind of bondage—ruled by the spirit of evil.
“Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness.” The Desire of Ages, 466.
- Describe the only process by which we can be made free from sin? John 8:36.
Note: “Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed’ (John 8:36). ‘The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’ sets us ‘free from the law of sin and death’ (Romans 8:2). …
“The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. ‘The truth shall make you free’ (John 8:32); and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is ‘the law of liberty’ (James 2:12).” The Desire of Ages, 466.
5 THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
- What do the words of Christ in John 8:12 mean?
Note: “God is light; and in the words, ‘I am the light of the world’ (John 8:12, first part), Christ declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who at the beginning had caused ‘the light to shine out of darkness’ (2 Corinthians 4:6). He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given.” The Desire of Ages, 464.
- What did Paul write about the light? 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Note: “As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul.
“ ‘That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9). The world has had its great teachers, men of giant intellect and wonderful research, men whose utterances have stimulated thought, and opened to view vast fields of knowledge; and these men have been honored as guides and benefactors of their race. But there is One who stands higher than they. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God’ (verse 12).” The Desire of Ages, 464.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How did Jesus manifest Himself to His people in the desert?
2 Who proclaimed the law at Sinai?
3 How did Jesus manifest Himself at the dedication of the Temple built by Solomon?
4 What did Simeon say about Jesus?
5 How do the sincere react to Christ’s message?
Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.