Sabbath, March 15, 2008
“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” Genesis 15:5.
1. By whom did God swear when making promise to Abraham?
Hebrews 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.
2. On what other occasion did God make that oath?
Hebrews 6:14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
Genesis 22:15-17 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
“I was bidden by the angel to notice that God swears by Himself. Genesis 22:16; Hebrews 6:13, 17. He swore to Abraham (Genesis 26:3), to Isaac (Psalm 105:9; Jeremiah 11:5), and to David (Psalm 132:11; Acts 2:30). God required of the children of Israel an oath between man and man. Exodus 22:10, 11. Jesus submitted to the oath in the hour of His trial. The high priest said unto Him: ‘I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said unto him: ‘Thou hast said.’ If Jesus in His teachings to His disciples referred to the judicial oath, He would have reproved the high priest, and there enforced His teachings, for the good of His followers present. Satan has been pleased that some have viewed oath taking in a wrong light; for it has given him opportunity to oppress them and take from them their Lord’s money. The stewards of God must be more wise, lay their plans, and prepare themselves to withstand Satan’s devices; for he is to make greater efforts than ever before.” – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 202, 203.
3. How do men usually end all their disputes?
Hebrews 6:15, 16 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
Exodus 22:11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
4. Should Christian swear in the name of God?
Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
“I saw that if there is anyone on earth who can consistently testify under oath, it is the Christian. He lives in the light of God’s countenance. He grows strong in His strength. And when matters of importance must be decided by law, there is no one who can so well appeal to God as the Christian.” – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 202.
5. Why did God confirm His promise to Abraham with an oath?
Hebrews 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.
“Hope and courage are essential to perfect service for God. These are the fruit of faith. Despondency is sinful and unreasonable. God is able and willing ‘more abundantly’ (Hebrews 6:17) to bestow upon His servants the strength they need for test and trial. The plans of the enemies of His work may seemto be well laid and firmly established, but God can overthrow the strongest of these. And this He does in His own time and way, when He sees that the faith of His servants has been sufficiently tested.” – Prophets and Kings, p. 164.
6. What were the two immutable things contained in the promise of God to Abraham?
Hebrews 6:18 (first part) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation…
Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.
“Another compact–called in Scripture the ‘old’ covenant–was formed between God and Israel at Sinai, and was then ratified by the blood of a sacrifice. The Abrahamic covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ, and it is called the ‘second,’ or ‘new,’ covenant, because the blood by which it was sealed was shed after the blood of the first covenant. That the new covenant was valid in the days of Abraham is evident from the fact that it was then confirmed both by the promise and by the oath of God–the ‘two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie.’ Hebrews 6:18.” – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 371.
7. What does this promise mean to us who have fled this world to find refuge in God?
Hebrews 6:18 (second part) … who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
“The cities of refuge appointed for God’s ancient people were a symbol of the refuge provided in Christ. The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God’s law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.’ ‘Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us;’ that ‘we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.’ Romans 8:1, 34; Hebrews 6:18.” – Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 516, 517.
8. How did the apostle describe our hope which enters into the Most Holy Place?
Hebrews 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
“Our faith must pierce beyond the veil, seeing things that are invisible. No one else can look for you. You must behold for yourself. In the place of murmuring for blessings that are withheld, let us remember and appreciate the blessings already bestowed (MS 42, 1901).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 930.
9. Who entered into the most Holy Place for us and with what authority?
Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
“Thither the faith of Christ’s disciples followed Him as He ascended from their sight. Here their hopes centered, ‘which hope we have,’ said Paul, ‘as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever.’ ‘Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.’ Hebrews 6:19, 20; 9:12.” – The Great Controversy, p. 421.