Sabbath, April 11, 2015
“The influence of the Holy Spirit is needed that the work may be properly balanced and that it may move forward solidly in every line.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 291.
1. Who is the Helper for all who earnestly proclaim the truth for this time?
Hebrews 1:14; 2:4 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?… 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
“The Lord desires us to proclaim the third angel’s message with power in these cities…. As we work with all the strength that God grants us, and in humility of heart, putting our entire trust in Him, our labors will not be without fruit. Our determined efforts to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth for this time will be seconded by holy angels, and many souls will be saved. The Lord never forsakes His faithful messengers. He sends to their aid heavenly agencies and accompanies their labors with the power of His Holy Spirit to convince and to convert. All heaven will endorse your appeals.” –Evangelism, p. 38.
“If you will seek the Lord, putting away all evil speaking and all selfishness, and continuing instant in prayer, the Lord will draw nigh to you. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that gives efficacy to your efforts and your appeals. Humble yourselves before God, that in His strength you may rise to a higher standard.” –(Manuscript 20, 1905) Evangelism, p. 285.
2. What examples in the Old Testament show that God’s word must be carefully studied before one is able to teach it?
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
“No one is able to explain the Scriptures without the aid of the Holy Spirit. But when you take up the Word of God with a humble, teachable heart, the angels of God will be by your side to impress you with evidences of the truth. When the Spirit of God rests upon you, there will be no feeling of envy or jealousy in examining another’s position; there will be no spirit of accusation and criticism, such as Satan inspired in the hearts of the Jewish leaders against Christ. As Christ said to Nicodemus, so I say to you, ‘Ye must be born again.’ ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ John 3:7, 3. You must have the divine mold before you can discern the sacred claims of the truth. Unless the teacher is a learner in the school of Christ, he is not fitted to teach others.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 411, 412.
3. What experience of the apostles can be ours?
1 Corinthians 2:12, 13 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
“In his ministry the apostle Paul had taught the people ‘not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’ The truths that he proclaimed had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, ‘for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God…. Which things,’ declared Paul, ‘we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.’ 1 Corinthians 2:4, 10-13.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 402.
“Their teaching was a second edition of the teachings of Christ, the utterance of simple, grand truths that flashed light into darkened minds, and converted thousands in a day. The disciples began to understand that Christ was their Advocate in the heavenly courts, and that He was glorified. They could speak because the Holy Spirit gave them utterance.” –(Manuscript 32, 1900) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1056.
Preparing hearts for the message
4. How does the Holy Spirit work with newly instructed souls so they receive the truth?
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
2 Corinthians 4:5, 6 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
“It is the efficiency of the Holy Spirit that makes the ministry of the word effective. When Christ speaks through the minister, the Holy Spirit prepares the hearts of the listeners to receive the word. The Holy Spirit is not a servant, but a controlling power. He causes the truth to shine into minds, and speaks through every discourse where the minister surrenders himself to the divine working. It is the Spirit that surrounds the soul with a holy atmosphere, and speaks to the impenitent through words of warning, pointing them to Him who takes away the sin of the world.” –Gospel Workers, p. 155.
Zeal is essential
5. What did the Christians do every day? Knowing that we are laboring with God’s assistance for eternal goals, how diligent should we be in missionary readiness and activity?
Acts 2:46, 47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
“Zeal for the glory of God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a longing to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today than in the time of the apostles?” –(Signs of the Times, February 17, 1914) Evangelism, p. 698.
“The Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to exalt the Lord alone, and guided the pens of the sacred historians, that the record of the words and works of Christ might be given to the world. Today this Spirit is constantly at work, seeking to draw the attention of men to the great sacrifice made upon the cross of Calvary, to unfold to the world the love of God to man, and to open to the convicted soul the promises of the Scriptures.” –Gospel Workers, p. 286.
6. How did God prepare each of His disciples for evangelistic work? How grateful to God are we that we can use the talent He has given us for His supreme service?
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
“Before He left His disciples, Christ ‘breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.’ John 20:22. Again He said, ‘Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you.’ Luke 24:49. But not until after the ascension was the gift received in its fullness. Not until through faith and prayer the disciples had surrendered themselves fully for His working was the outpouring of the Spirit received. Then in a special sense the goods of heaven were committed to the followers of Christ….
“The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit…. All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 327.
7. What will be the fruit of the Lord’s servants’ labor? How will this benefit His church?
James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
“As God’s children devote themselves to this work, many will lay hold of the hand stretched out to save them. They are constrained to turn from their evil ways. Some of the rescued ones may, through faith in Christ, rise to high places of service and be entrusted with responsibilities in the work of saving souls. They know by experience the necessities of those for whom they labor, and they know how to help them; they know what means can best be used to recover the perishing. They are filled with gratitude to God for the blessings they have received; their hearts are quickened by love, and their energies are strengthened to lift up others who can never rise without help. Taking the Bible as their guide and the Holy Spirit as their Helper and Comforter, they find a new career opening before them. Every one of these souls that is added to the force of workers, provided with facilities and instruction as to how to save souls for Christ, becomes a co-laborer with those who brought him the light of truth. Thus God is honored and His truth advanced.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 260.
For personal study
“The promise of the Spirit is not appreciated as it should be. Its fulfillment is not realized as it might be. It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talents, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner be won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 328.
“We are to cooperate with the three highest powers in heaven–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost–and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.” –(Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 51