Sabbath, June 15, 2013
“Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 119.
Cities of refuge
1. What was symbolized by the cities of refuge established during the partitioning of Canaan?
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 9:9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
”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.
2. Why is it very dangerous to delay in making Jesus our refuge?
Hebrews 3:14, 15 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
“He who fled to the city of refuge could make no delay…. There was no time to say farewell to loved ones. His life was at stake, and every other interest must be sacrificed to the one purpose–to reach the place of safety….
“The sinner is exposed to eternal death, until he finds a hiding place in Christ; and as loitering and carelessness might rob the fugitive of his only chance for life, so delays and indifference may prove the ruin of the soul. Satan, the great adversary, is on the track of every transgressor of God’s holy law, and he who is not sensible of his danger, and does not earnestly seek shelter in the eternal refuge, will fall a prey to the destroyer.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 517.
3. When we have once found refuge in Jesus, what danger awaits us if we do not abide in Him?
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
“The prisoner who at any time went outside the city of refuge was abandoned to the avenger of blood. Thus the people were taught to adhere to the methods which infinite wisdom appointed for their security. Even so, it is not enough that the sinner believe in Christ for the pardon of sin; he must, by faith and obedience, abide in Him. ‘For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.’ Hebrews 10:26, 27.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 517.
“Through the plan of salvation, Jesus is breaking Satan’s hold upon the human family and rescuing souls from his power. All the hatred and malignity of the archrebel is stirred as he beholds the evidence of Christ’s supremacy, and with fiendish power and cunning he works to wrest from Him the remnant of the children of men who have accepted His salvation.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 470.
Protected by God
4. How does Satan react when one takes Jesus as his refuge?
James 4:7, 8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
“So we may resist temptation, and force Satan to depart from us. Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God, and by the apostle He says to us, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.’ James 4:7, 8. We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but ‘the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10. Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 130, 131.
5. What invitation does Jesus extend to everyone? How can one abide in Him?
John 15:9, 10 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
“Do you ask, ‘How am I to abide in Christ?’ In the same way as you received Him at first. ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.’ ‘The just shall live by faith.’ Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 10:38. You gave yourself to God, to be His wholly, to serve and obey Him, and you took Christ as your Saviour. You could not yourself atone for your sins or change your heart; but having given yourself to God, you believe that He for Christ’s sake did all this for you. By faith you became Christ’s, and by faith you are to grow up in Him–by giving and taking. You are to give all–your heart, your will, your service–give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all–Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper–to give you power to obey.” –Steps to Christ, pp. 69, 70.
6. What encouraging words of Jesus can the tempted and tested soul hear?
John 6:37-39 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
“The omnipotent power of the Holy Spirit is the defense of every contrite soul. Not one that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. The Saviour is by the side of His tempted and tried ones. With Him there can be no such thing as failure, loss, impossibility, or defeat; we can do all things through Him who strengthens us. When temptations and trials come, do not wait to adjust all the difficulties, but look to Jesus, your helper.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 490-493.
7. On the day of the Lord, what will those who did not make Jesus their refuge cry? But what will the redeemed exclaim?
Revelation 6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Isaiah 25:9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
“… ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved! Why did I not flee to the Stronghold for refuge? Why have I trifled with my soul’s salvation, and done despite to the Spirit of grace?’ ” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 48.
“If we stand in the great day of the Lord, with Christ as our refuge, our high tower, we must put away all envy, all strife for the supremacy. We must utterly destroy the roots of these unholy things, that they may not again spring up into life. We must place ourselves wholly on the side of the Lord.” –Last Day Events, p. 190.
“Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts. The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something besides an imaginary religion, a religion of words and forms, where truth is kept in the outer court. God calls for a revival and a reformation.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 626.
For personal study
- Psalm 7:1; 34:8, 22