Sabbath, May 17, 2008
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossian 3:16.
1. About what were the Hebrew Christians admonished? What was the custom of some of them? Why should they be more faithful in this matter?
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
“Some are indulging lustful appetite which wars against the soul and is a constant hindrance to their spiritual advancement. They constantly bear an accusing conscience, and if straight truths are talked they are prepared to be offended. They are self-condemned and feel that subjects have been purposely selected to touch their case. They feel grieved and injured, and withdraw themselves from the assemblies of the saints. They forsake the assembling of themselves together, for then their consciences are not so disturbed. They soon lose their interest in the meetings and their love for the truth, and, unless they entirely reform, will go back and take their position with the rebel host who stand under the black banner of Satan. If these will crucify fleshly lusts which war against the soul, they will get out of the way, where the arrows of truth will pass harmlessly by them. But while they indulge lustful appetite, and thus cherish their idols, they make themselves a mark for the arrows of truth to hit, and if truth is spoken at all, they must be wounded. Some think that they cannot reform, that health would be sacrificed should they attempt to leave the use of tea, tobacco, and flesh meats. This is the suggestion of Satan. It is these hurtful stimulants that are surely undermining the constitution and preparing the system for acute diseases by impairing Nature’s fine machinery and battering down her fortifications erected against disease and premature decay.” – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 548, 549.
2. If we willfully persist in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, what solemn reality must we face?
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
3. Only what is left for those who sin willfully?
Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Zephaniah 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
“The confession was forced from his guilty soul by an awful sense of condemnation and a fearful looking for of judgment. The consequences that were to result to him filled him with terror, but there was no deep, heartbreaking grief in his soul, that he had betrayed the spotless Son of God and denied the Holy One of Israel. Pharaoh, when suffering under the judgments of God, acknowledged his sin in order to escape further punishment, but returned to his defiance of Heaven as soon as the plagues were stayed. These all lamented the results of sin, but did not sorrow for the sin itself.” – Steps to Christ, p. 24.
4. What happened to anyone who disregarded the Law of Moses?
Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.
5. What, then, of the person who despises the Son of God?
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
“We are living in the most solemn period of this world’s history. The destiny of earth’s teeming multitudes is about to be decided. Our own future well-being and also the salvation of other souls depend upon the course which we now pursue. We need to be guided by the Spirit of truth. Every follower of Christ should earnestly inquire: ‘Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?’ We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, with fasting and prayer, and to meditate much upon His word, especially upon the scenes of the judgment. We should now seek a deep and living experience in the things of God. We have not a moment to lose. Events of vital importance are taking place around us; we are on Satan’s enchanted ground. Sleep not, sentinels of God; the foe is lurking near, ready at any moment, should you become lax and drowsy, to spring upon you and make you his prey.” – The Great Controversy, p. 601.
6. To whom alone does vengeance belong and who will be the final judge of His people?
Hebrews 10:30, 31 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
7. Of what previous experiences did the apostle remind the Hebrew Christians?
Hebrews 10:32, 33 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
8. What experience did they have in common with Apostle Paul? How did they endure their loss and why?
Hebrews 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
9. How did they receive the promise of God, and what were they admonished not to do?
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
“That this admonition is addressed to the church in the last days is evident from the words pointing to the nearness of the Lord’s coming: ‘For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry.’ And it is plainly implied that there would be a seeming delay and that the Lord would appear to tarry. The instruction here given is especially adapted to the experience of Adventists at this time. The people here addressed were in danger of making shipwreck of faith. They had done the will of God in following the guidance of His Spirit and His word; yet they could not understand His purpose in their past experience, nor could they discern the pathway before them, and they were tempted to doubt whether God had indeed been leading them. At this time the words were applicable: ‘Now the just shall live by faith.’ As the bright light of the ‘midnight cry’ had shone upon their pathway, and they had seen the prophecies unsealed and the rapidly fulfilling signs telling that the coming of Christ was near, they had walked, as it were, by sight. But now, bowed down by disappointed hopes, they could stand only by faith in God and in His word. The scoffing world were saying: ‘You have been deceived. Give up your faith, and say that the advent movement was of Satan.’ But God’s word declared: ‘If any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.’ To renounce their faith now, and deny the power of the Holy Spirit which had attended the message, would be drawing back toward perdition. They were encouraged to steadfastness by the words of Paul: ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence;’ ‘ye have need of patience,’ ‘for yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.’ Their only safe course was to cherish the light which they had already received of God, hold fast to His promises, and continue to search the Scriptures, and patiently wait and watch to receive further light.” – The Great Controversy, p. 408.
10. What do Christians who are waiting for the second coming of Christ need? How would Apostle Paul react to the news that some of them have gone away from the faith?
Hebrews 10:36-38 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
“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.’ 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, p. 69.
11. With what hope and conviction did Apostle Paul end his writing on this subject?
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.