Sabbath, June 22, 2013

“In our character building we must build on Christ. He is the sure foundation–a foundation which can never be moved. The tempest of temptation and trial cannot move the building which is riveted to the Eternal Rock.” –Child Guidance, p. 166.

The Rock in prophecy

1. In what settings does the Old Testament refer to Jesus as the Rock for protection and refuge? According to the Spirit of prophecy, who is represented by the expressions “Rock of Israel” and “Rock of my refuge”?

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.

Psalm 94:22 But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deuteronomy 32:4.

“Centuries before the Saviour’s advent Moses had pointed to the Rock of Israel’s salvation. The psalmist had sung of ‘the Rock of my strength.’” –The Desire of Ages, p. 413.

“The same beautiful and expressive figures are carried throughout the Bible. Centuries before the advent of Christ, Moses pointed to Him as the rock of Israel’s salvation (Deuteronomy 32:15); the psalmist sang of Him as ‘my Redeemer,’ ‘the rock of my strength,’ ‘the rock that is higher than I,’ ‘a rock of habitation,’ ‘rock of my heart,’ ‘rock of my refuge.’… Isaiah describes Him as the ‘rock of ages,’ and ‘the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ Isaiah 26:4; 32:2.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 413.

A sure foundation

2. For what other reason is the spiritual Rock considered important in prophecy?

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

“In infinite wisdom, God chose the foundation stone, and laid it Himself. He called it ‘a sure foundation.’ The entire world may lay upon it their burdens and griefs; it can endure them all. With perfect safety they may build upon it.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 598.

3. Why is the foundation we choose for our faith so important? Who is the only one elected by the Lord?

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

“Christ is a ‘tried stone.’ Those who trust in Him, He never disappoints. He has borne every test. He has endured the pressure of Adam’s guilt, and the guilt of his posterity, and has come off more than conqueror of the powers of evil. He has borne the burdens cast upon Him by every repenting sinner. In Christ the guilty heart has found relief. He is the sure foundation. All who make Him their dependence rest in perfect security.

“In Isaiah’s prophecy, Christ is declared to be both a sure foundation and a stone of stumbling. The apostle Peter, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, clearly shows to whom Christ is a foundation stone, and to whom a rock of offense.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 598, 599.

“The great principles of the law, of the very nature of God, are embodied in the words of Christ on the mount. Whoever builds upon them is building upon Christ, the Rock of Ages. In receiving the word, we receive Christ. And only those who thus receive His words are building upon Him. ‘Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 3:11. ‘There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ Acts 4:12. Christ, the Word, the revelation of God–the manifestation of His character, His law, His love, His life–is the only foundation upon which we can build a character that will endure.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, pp. 148, 150.

4. Besides what was presented in the Old Testament, what was revealed to the apostle Peter regarding the Stone?

1 Peter 2:3-5 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

“Christ, the true foundation, is a living stone; His life is imparted to all that are built upon Him. ‘Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ ‘Each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord.’ 1 Peter 2:5, R.V.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 150.

“Peter himself, writing by inspiration, applies this prophecy to Jesus. He says, ‘If ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious: unto whom coming, a living stone, rejected indeed of men, but with God elect, precious, ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house.’ 1 Peter 2:3-5, R.V.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 413.

The spiritual, living Rock

5. According to the divine proclamation, from whom did the water come to quench the people’s thirst? Was this usual?

Numbers 20:7, 8 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

“From the smitten rock in Horeb first flowed the living stream that refreshed Israel in the desert. During all their wanderings, wherever the need existed, they were supplied with water by a miracle of God’s mercy. The water did not, however, continue to flow from Horeb. Wherever in their journeyings they wanted water, there from the clefts of the rock it gushed out beside their encampment.

“It was Christ, by the power of His word, that caused the refreshing stream to flow for Israel.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 411.

6. Who was the spiritual Rock to whom the apostle Paul refers?

1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 

“That rock was a symbol of Him who by His death would cause living streams of salvation to flow to all who are athirst. Christ’s words were the water of life. There in the presence of the assembled multitude He set Himself apart to be smitten, that the water of life might flow to the world. In smiting Christ, Satan thought to destroy the Prince of life; but from the smitten rock there flowed living water. As Jesus thus spoke to the people, their hearts thrilled with a strange awe, and many were ready to exclaim, with the woman of Samaria, ‘Give me this water, that I thirst not.’ John 4:15.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 454.

“The smitten rock was a figure of Christ, and through this symbol the most precious spiritual truths are taught. As the life-giving waters flowed from the smitten rock, so from Christ, ‘smitten of God,’ ‘wounded for our transgressions,’ ‘bruised for our iniquities’ (Isaiah 53:4, 5), the stream of salvation flows for a lost race. As the rock had been once smitten, so Christ was to be ‘once offered to bear the sins of many.’” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 411.

Being broken on the Rock

7. Just as waves break upon the rocks, what must “self” do? On the verge of Christ’s second coming, why is it so important to break oneself on the Rock?

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

“‘Behold,’ Simeon had said, ‘this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against.’ They must fall who would rise again. We must fall upon the Rock and be broken before we can be uplifted in Christ. Self must be dethroned, pride must be humbled, if we would know the glory of the spiritual kingdom….

“To those who believe, Christ is the sure foundation. These are they who fall upon the Rock and are broken. Submission to Christ and faith in Him are here represented. To fall upon the Rock and be broken is to give up our self-righteousness and to go to Christ with the humility of a child, repenting of our transgressions, and believing in His forgiving love. And so also it is by faith and obedience that we build on Christ as our foundation.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 56, 57, 599.

For meditation

“The question that should come home to each of us is, Upon what foundation am I building? We have the privilege of striving for immortal life; and it is of the greatest importance that we dig deep, removing all the rubbish, and build on the solid rock, Christ Jesus. He is the sure foundation. ‘Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 3:11. In Him alone is our salvation. ‘There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ Acts 4:12.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 61.

For personal study

  • Isaiah 26:4
  • Psalm 31:3

“Every day we are building character. Let us build on the Rock, Christ Jesus. This sure foundation will stand for every one of us.” –The Upward Look, p. 247.

“‘Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 3:11. ‘Upon this rock,’ said Jesus, ‘I will build My church.’ In the presence of God, and all the heavenly intelligences, in the presence of the unseen army of hell, Christ founded His church upon the living Rock….

“For six thousand years, faith has builded upon Christ. For six thousand years the floods and tempests of satanic wrath have beaten upon the Rock of our salvation; but it stands unmoved.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 413.

“The class represented by the foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit’s working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus…. The Spirit works upon man’s heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 411.