Special Sabbath School Offering for
EMERGING COUNTRIES OF THE AMERICAS
Let your generous offerings reflect God’s love for people in every culture!
Sabbath, November 4, 2017
“Thus will be fulfilled Christ’s promise to His disciples, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.’ John 14:3. Those who have loved Him and waited for Him, He will crown with glory and honor and immortality. The righteous dead will come forth from their graves, and those who are alive will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. They will hear the voice of Jesus, sweeter than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying to them, Your warfare is accomplished. ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ Matthew 25:34. Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord’s return.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 34.
Enoch proclaimed Jesus’ coming in glory
1. What did Enoch see and warn about way back in his time?
Jude 1:14, 15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
“Enoch had been troubled in regard to the dead. It had seemed to him that the righteous and the wicked would go to the dust together, and that this would be their end. He could not see the life of the just beyond the grave. In prophetic vision he was instructed concerning the death of Christ, and was shown His coming in glory, attended by all the holy angels, to ransom His people from the grave. He also saw the corrupt state of the world when Christ should appear the second time–that there would be a boastful, presumptuous, self-willed generation, denying the only God and the Lord Jesus Christ, trampling upon the law, and despising the atonement. He saw the righteous crowned with glory and honor, and the wicked banished from the presence of the Lord, and destroyed by fire.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 85, 86.
Job believed that he would see the Lord
2. What other patriarch had the firm conviction that the Redeemer would come and that he would rejoice to see Him?
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
“The doctrine of the second advent is the very keynote of the Sacred Scriptures…. Enoch, only the seventh in descent from them that dwelt in Eden, he who for three centuries on earth walked with his God, was permitted to behold from afar the coming of the Deliverer. ‘Behold,’ he declared, ‘the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all.’ Jude 14, 15. The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:… in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.’ Job 19:25-27.” –The Great Controversy, p. 299.
The Lord’s coming with fire
3. What was the firm belief even of the psalmist Asaph? How did he describe the future powerful manifestation of God?
Psalm 50:1-3 The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. 2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. 3Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
“The King of kings descends upon the cloud, wrapped in flaming fire. The heavens are rolled together as a scroll, the earth trembles before Him, and every mountain and island is moved out of its place.
“Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. Not now a ‘man of sorrows,’ to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead. ‘Faithful and True,’ ‘in righteousness he doth judge and make war.’… No human pen can portray the scene; no mortal mind is adequate to conceive its splendor. ‘His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light.’ Habakkuk 3:3, 4. As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head, but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 349.
Gathering the saints
4. What will the Lord do for His saints who have made and kept their covenant of loyalty to Him?
Psalm 50:4-6 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. 5Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. 6And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.
“When Christ shall come the earth will tremble before Him, and the heavens will be rolled together as a scroll, and every mountain and every island will be moved out of its place. ‘Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.’ Psalm 50:3-6. In view of the great day of God, we can see that our only safety will be found in departing from all sin and iniquity. Those who continue in sin will be found among the condemned and perishing.” –Faith and Works, pp. 116, 117.
Jesus tells of His departure
5. What did Jesus say to the officers who were sent to arrest Him? How did He repeat that message just before the crucifixion in a conversation with His disciples?
John 7:33, 34; 13:33, 36 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come…. 13:33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come;…. 36Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
“The leaders of the Pharisees, who were anxiously watching the course of events, caught the expressions of sympathy among the throng. Hurrying away to the chief priests, they laid their plans to arrest Him. They arranged, however, to take Him when He was alone; for they dared not seize Him in the presence of the people. Again Jesus made it manifest that He read their purpose. ‘Yet a little while am I with you,’ He said, ‘and then I go unto Him that sent Me. Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.’ Soon He would find a refuge beyond the reach of their scorn and hate. He would ascend to the Father, to be again the Adored of the angels; and thither His murderers could never come.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 457, 458.
“Soon the Saviour of the world will find a refuge from the persecution of His enemies, where their scorn and hate will be powerless to harm Him. He will ascend to His Father, to be again the Adored of angels; and thither His murderers can never come.” –Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, p. 343.
Jesus’ promise to return
6. Did Jesus tell His disciples only about His leaving? What did He add to comfort and strengthen them in their faith?
John 14:2-4 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
“He spoke to them also words of hope and courage. ‘… If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.’ John 14:1-4. For your sake I came into the world; for you I have been working.
“When I go away I shall still work earnestly for you. I came to the world to reveal Myself to you, that you might believe. I go to My Father and yours to cooperate with Him in your behalf.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 21, 22.
“… Sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home. There Jesus will lead us beside the living stream flowing from the throne of God and will explain to us the dark providences through which on this earth He brought us in order to perfect our characters. There we shall behold with undimmed vision the beauties of Eden restored.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 254.
His return confirmed by angels
7. What good news did the disciples hear in the moment when He ascended? According to what they heard, will Jesus’ coming be a spiritual or a real, personal one?
Acts 1:9-11 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
“The disciples were still looking earnestly toward heaven when, ‘behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ Acts 1:10, 11.
“The promise of Christ’s second coming was ever to be kept fresh in the minds of His disciples. The same Jesus whom they had seen ascending into heaven, would come again, to take to Himself those who here below give themselves to His service. The same voice that had said to them, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end,’ would bid them welcome to His presence in the heavenly kingdom.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 33.
For additional study
“Christ’s favorite theme was the paternal tenderness and abundant grace of God; He dwelt much upon the holiness of His character and His law; He presented Himself to the people as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let these be the themes of Christ’s ministers. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Make plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Tell the people of Christ’s life of self-denial and sacrifice; of His humiliation and death; of His resurrection and ascension; of His intercession for them in the courts of God; of His promise, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.’ John 14:3.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 40.