Lesson 12 March 11 - 17

Witnessing With Assurance

Memory Text: (Acts 1:8 NKJV) "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

"Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973,1978 & 1984 by the International Bible Society: Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House."

Sabbath Afternoon

(John 8:12 NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

(Mat 5:14 NIV) "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

(Isa 42:6 NIV) "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,


Recounting God's Saving Acts-Praising God

(Josh 24:1-15 NIV) Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. {2} Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods. {3} But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, {4} and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. {5} "'Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. {6} When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen as far as the Red Sea. {7} But they cried to the LORD for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the desert for a long time. {8} "'I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land. {9} When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you. {10} But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand. {11} "'Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. {12} I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you--also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. {13} So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.'

{Joshua 24:14-15} "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. {15} But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

(Josh 24:16-21 NIV) Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! {17} It was the LORD our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. {18} And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God." {19} Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. {20} If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you." {21} But the people said to Joshua, "No! We will serve the LORD."

(Josh 24:22 NIV) Then Joshua said, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD." "Yes, we are witnesses," they replied.

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 523

By Joshua's direction the ark had been brought from Shiloh. The occasion was one of great solemnity, and this symbol of God's presence would deepen the impression he wished to make upon the people. After presenting the goodness of God toward Israel, he called upon them, in the name of Jehovah, to choose whom they would serve. The worship of idols was still to some extent secretly practiced, and Joshua endeavored now to bring them to a decision that should banish this sin from Israel. "If it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah," he said, "choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua desired to lead them to serve God, not by compulsion, but willingly. Love to God is the very foundation of religion. To engage in His service merely from hope of reward or fear of punishment would avail nothing. Open apostasy would not be more offensive to God than hypocrisy and mere formal worship. {PP 523.1}

The aged leader urged the people to consider, in all its bearings, what he had set before them, and to decide if they really desired to live as did the degraded idolatrous nations around them. If it seemed evil to them to serve Jehovah, the source of power, the fountain of blessing, let them that day choose whom they would serve--"the gods which your fathers served," from whom Abraham was called out, "or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell." These last words were a keen rebuke to Israel. The gods of the Amorites had not been able to protect their worshipers. Because of their abominable and debasing sins, that wicked nation had been destroyed, and the good land which they once possessed had been given to God's people. What folly for Israel to choose the deities for whose worship the Amorites had been destroyed! "As for me and my house," said Joshua, "we will serve Jehovah." The same holy zeal that inspired the leader's heart was communicated to the people. His appeals

(p. 524) called forth the unhesitating response, "God forbid that we should forsake Jehovah, to serve other gods." {PP 523.2}

(Judg 5:10-11 NIV) "You who ride on white donkeys, sitting on your saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road, consider {11} the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the righteous acts of the LORD, the righteous acts of his warriors in Israel. "Then the people of the LORD went down to the city gates.

(1 Sam 12:7 NIV) Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the LORD as to all the righteous acts performed by the LORD for you and your fathers.

(Micah 6:5 NIV) My people, remember what Balak king of Moab counseled and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."

(Psa 103:1-8 NIV) Of David. Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. {2} Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-- {3} who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, {4} who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, {5} who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. {6} The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. {7} He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: {8} The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

(Psa 136:4 NIV) to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.

(Psa 136:1-3 NIV) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. {2} Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. {3} Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.

(Psa 136:26 NIV) Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

(Mal 3:13-18 NIV) "You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask, 'What have we said against you?' {14} "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? {15} But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'" {16} Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. {17} "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. {18} And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.


Israel's Mission To The Gentiles

(Gen 12:2-3 NIV) "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. {3} I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

(Exo 19:6 NIV) you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."

(Isa 9:6-7 NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. {7} Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

(Isa 11:1-9 NIV) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. {2} The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- {3} and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;

{Isa 11:4-8} but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. {5} Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. {6} The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. {7} The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. {8} The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. {9} They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

(Isa 53:10 NIV) Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

(2 Ki 5:2-3 NIV) Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman's wife. {3} She said to her mistress, "If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."

Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 878 (page number does not match!)

(Dan 3:16-18 NIV) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. {17} If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. {18} But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

(Dan 3:28-30 NIV) Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. {29} Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way." {30} Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

(Dan 6:25-27 NIV) Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language throughout the land: "May you prosper greatly! {26} "I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. "For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. {27} He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions."

Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1170

Associates Understood Faith.--These faithful Hebrews possessed great natural ability and intellectual culture, and they occupied a high position of honor; but all these advantages did not lead them to forget God. All their powers were yielded to the sanctifying influence of divine grace. By their godly example, their steadfast integrity, they showed forth the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. In their wonderful deliverance was displayed, before that vast assembly, the power and majesty of God. Jesus placed Himself by their side in the fiery furnace, and by the glory of His presence convinced the proud king of Babylon that it could be no other than the Son of God.

Ellen G. White Comments, SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1170 (continued)

The light of heaven had been shining forth from Daniel and his companions, until all their associates understood the faith which ennobled their lives and beautified their characters (RH Feb. 1, 1881). {4BC 1170.1}

Chapter 4 Men of Destiny Watched With Vigilance.--The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All kings, all nations, are His, under His rule and government. His resources are infinite. The wise man declares, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." {4BC 1170.2}

Those upon whose actions hang the destinies of nations, are watched over with a vigilance that knows no relaxation by Him who "giveth salvation unto kings," to whom belong "the shields of the earth" (RH March 28, 1907). {4BC 1170.3}

33. Some Today Like Nebuchadnezzar.--We are living in the last days of this earth's history, and we may be surprised at nothing in the line of apostasies and denials of the truth. Unbelief has now come to be a fine art, which men work at to the destruction of their souls. There is constant danger of there being shams in pulpit preachers, whose lives contradict the words they speak; but the voice of warning and of admonition will be heard as long as time shall last; and those who are guilty of transactions that should never be entered into, when reproved or counseled through the Lord's appointed agencies, will resist the message and refuse to be corrected. They will go on as did Pharaoh, and Nebuchadnezzar, until the Lord takes away their reason, and their hearts become unimpressible. The Lord's Word will come to them; but if they choose not to hear it, the Lord will make them responsible for their own ruin (NL No. 31, p. 1). {4BC 1170.4}

37. Nebuchadnezzar Thoroughly Converted.--In Daniel's life, the desire to glorify God was the most powerful of all motives. He realized that when standing in the presence of men of influence, a failure to acknowledge God as the source of his wisdom would have made him an unfaithful steward. And his constant recognition of the God of heaven before kings, princes, and statesmen, detracted not one iota from his influence. King Nebuchadnezzar, before whom Daniel so often honored the name of God, was finally thoroughly converted, and learned to "praise and extol and honour the King of heaven" (RH Jan. 11, 1906). {4BC 1170.5}

A Warm and Eloquent Testimony.--The king upon the Babylonian throne became a witness for God, giving his testimony, warm and eloquent, from a grateful heart that was partaking of the mercy and grace, the righteousness and peace, of the divine nature (YI Dec. 13, 1904). {4BC 1170.6}

Chapter 5 Presence of Unseen Guest Felt.--A Watcher, who was unrecognized, but whose presence was a power of condemnation, looked on this scene of profanation. Soon the unseen and uninvited Guest made His presence felt. At the moment when the sacrilegious revelry was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth, and wrote words of doom on the wall of the banqueting hall. Burning words followed the movements of the hand. "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin," was written in letters of flame. Few were the characters traced by that hand on the wall facing the king, but they showed that the power of God was there. {4BC 1170.7}

Belshazzar was afraid. His conscience was awakened. The fear and suspicion that always follow the course of the guilty seized him. When God makes men fear, they cannot hide the intensity of their (p. 1171) terror. Alarm seized the great men of the kingdom. Their blasphemous disrespect of sacred things was changed in a moment. A frantic terror overcame all self-control. . . . {4BC 1170.8}

(Jonah 3:5-10 NIV) The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. {6} When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. {7} Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. {8} But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. {9} Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." {10} When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.


The Call For Christian Witnessing

(John 3:13-18 NIV) No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man. {14} Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, {15} that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. {16} "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. {17} For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. {18} Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

(John 8:12-14 NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." {13} The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid." {14} Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.

(John 17:8 NIV) For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

(John 17:14-18 NIV) I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. {15} My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. {16} They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. {17} Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. {18} As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

The Desire of Ages, p. 70

The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother's knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor. {DA 70.1}

The question asked during the Saviour's ministry, "How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15. Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God's word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God's created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man. From His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life. {DA 70.2}

Thus to Jesus the significance of the word and the works of God was unfolded, as He was trying to understand the reason of things. Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His.

The Desire of Ages, p. 70 (continued)

From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth. {DA 70.3}

Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God. While the spirit is awed, the soul is invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through (p. 71) prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strengthen as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things. {DA 70.4}

(Psa 27:1 NIV) Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?

(John 8:12 KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(John 8:12 NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

(Mat 5:14 NIV) "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

(Acts 1:8 NIV) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

(Acts 2:11 NASB) Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God."

(Acts 2:41 NIV) Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

(Acts 2:46-47 NIV) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, {47} praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

(Acts 13:47-49 NIV) For this is what the Lord has commanded us: "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" {48} When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. {49} The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.


Every True Christian A Missionary

(John 4:39-42 NIV) Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." {40} So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. {41} And because of his words many more became believers. {42} They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

The Desire of Ages, p. 195

As soon as she had found the Saviour the Samaritan woman brought others to Him. She proved herself a more effective missionary than His own disciples. The disciples saw nothing in Samaria to indicate that it was an encouraging field. Their thoughts were fixed upon a great work to be done in the future. They did not see that right around them was a harvest to be gathered. But through the woman whom they despised, a whole cityful were brought to hear the Saviour. She carried the light at once to her countrymen. {DA 195.1}

This woman represents the working of a practical faith in Christ. Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life. {DA 195.2}

(John 4:14 NIV) but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

(Rev 22:17 NIV) The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

(Mark 5:19-20 NIV) Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." {20} So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

(Luke 8:38-39 NIV) The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, {39} "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

The Desire of Ages, pp. 339 - 340

The manifestation of supernatural power aroused the superstitions of the people, and excited their fears. Further calamities might follow from having this Stranger among them. They apprehended financial ruin, and determined to be freed from His presence. Those who had crossed the lake with Jesus told of all that had happened on the preceding night, of their peril in the tempest, and how the wind and the sea had been stilled. But their words were without effect. In terror the people thronged about Jesus, beseeching Him to depart from them, and He complied, taking ship at once for the opposite shore. {DA 339.1}

The people of Gergesa had before them the living evidence of Christ's power and mercy. They saw the men who had been restored to reason; but they were so fearful of endangering their earthly interests that He who had vanquished the prince of darkness before their eyes was treated as an intruder, and the Gift of heaven was turned from their doors. We have not the opportunity of turning from the person of Christ as had the Gergesenes; but still there are many who refuse to obey His word, because obedience would involve the sacrifice of some worldly interest. Lest His presence shall cause them pecuniary loss, many reject His grace, and drive His Spirit from them. {DA 339.2}

But far different was the feeling of the restored demoniacs. They desired the company of their deliverer. In His presence they felt secure from the demons that had tormented their lives and wasted their manhood. As Jesus was about to enter the boat, they kept close to His side, knelt at His feet, and begged Him to keep them near Him, where they might ever listen to His words. But Jesus bade them go home and tell what great things the Lord had done for them. {DA 339.3}

Here was a work for them to do,--to go to a heathen home, and tell of the blessing they had received from Jesus. It was hard for them to be separated from the Saviour.

The Desire of Ages, pp. 339 - 340 (continued)

Great difficulties were sure to beset them in association with their heathen countrymen. And their long isolation from society seemed to have disqualified them for the work He had indicated. But as soon as Jesus pointed out their duty they were ready to obey. Not only did they tell their own households and neighbors about Jesus, but they went throughout Decapolis, everywhere declaring His power to save, and describing how He had freed them from the demons. In doing this work they could receive a greater (p. 340) blessing than if, merely for benefit to themselves, they had remained in His presence. It is in working to spread the good news of salvation that we are brought near to the Saviour. {DA 339.4}

The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the region of Decapolis. For a few moments only these men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ. Not one sermon from His lips had ever fallen upon their ears. They could not instruct the people as the disciples who had been daily with Christ were able to do. But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. John, the beloved disciple, wrote: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." 1 John 1:1-3. As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell what we know, what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt. If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us. We can tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing. {DA 340.1}

Though the people of Gergesa had not received Jesus, He did not leave them to the darkness they had chosen. When they bade Him depart from them, they had not heard His words. They were ignorant of that which they were rejecting. Therefore He again sent the light to them, and by those to whom they would not refuse to listen. {DA 340.2}

In causing the destruction of the swine, it was Satan's purpose to turn the people away from the Saviour, and prevent the preaching of the gospel in that region. But this very occurrence roused the whole country as nothing else could have done, and directed attention to Christ. Though the Saviour Himself departed, the men whom He had healed remained as witnesses to His power. Those who had been mediums of the prince of darkness became channels of light, messengers of the Son of God. Men marveled as they listened to the wondrous news. A door was opened to the gospel throughout that region. When Jesus returned to Decapolis, the people flocked about Him, and for three (p. 341) days, not merely the inhabitants of one town, but thousands from all the surrounding region, heard the message of salvation. Even the power of demons is under the control of our Saviour, and the working of evil is overruled for good. {DA 340.3}

(John 12:23-25 NIV) Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. {24} I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. {25} The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

(John 12:32 NIV) But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

(1 Pet 3:1-4 NIV) Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, {2} when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. {3} Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. {4} Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

(1 Pet 3:7-9 NIV) Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. {8} Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. {9} Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

(Rev 12:17 NIV) Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

(Rev 14:6-12 NIV) Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people. {7} He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." {8} A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries." {9} A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, {10} he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. {11} And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." {12} This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.


Witnessing In John's Revelation

(Rev 1:5 NIV) and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

(Rev 3:14 NIV) "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

(Rev 2:10 NIV) Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

(Rev 2:13 NIV) I know where you live--where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city--where Satan lives.

(Rev 1:9 NIV) I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

(Rev 6:9 NIV) When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

(Rev 12:11 NIV) They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

(Rev 17:6 NIV) I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

(Rev 20:4 NIV) I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

(Rev 1:9 NIV) I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

(Rev 11:3-6 NIV) And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." {4} These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. {5} If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. {6} These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

The Great Controversy, p. 271

"Where also our Lord was crucified." This specification of the prophecy was also fulfilled by France. In no land had the spirit of enmity against Christ been more strikingly displayed. In no country had the truth encountered more bitter and cruel opposition. In the persecution which France had visited upon the confessors of the gospel, she had crucified Christ in the person of His disciples. {GC 271.1}

Century after century the blood of the saints had been shed. While the Waldenses laid down their lives upon the mountains of Piedmont "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ," similar witness to the truth had been borne by their brethren, the Albigenses of France. In the days of the Reformation its disciples had been put to death with horrible tortures. King and nobles, highborn women and delicate maidens, the pride and chivalry of the nation, had feasted their eyes upon the agonies of the martyrs of Jesus. The brave Huguenots, battling for those rights which the human heart holds most sacred, had poured out their blood on many a hard-fought field. The Protestants were counted as outlaws, a price was set upon their heads, and they were hunted down like wild beasts. {GC 271.2}

The "Church in the Desert," the few descendants of the ancient Christians that still lingered in France in the eighteenth century, hiding away in the mountains of the south, still cherished the faith of their fathers. As they ventured to meet by night on mountainside or lonely moor, they were chased by dragoons and dragged away to lifelong slavery in the galleys. The purest, the most refined, and the most intelligent of the French were chained, in horrible torture, amidst robbers and assassins. (See Wylie, b. 22, ch. 6.) Others, more mercifully dealt with, were shot down in cold blood, as, unarmed and helpless, they fell upon their (p. 272) knees in prayer. Hundreds of aged men, defenseless women, and innocent children were left dead upon the earth at their place of meeting. In traversing the mountainside or the forest, where they had been accustomed to assemble, it was not unusual to find "at every four paces, dead bodies dotting the sward, and corpses hanging suspended from the trees." Their country, laid waste with the sword, the ax, the fagot, "was converted into one vast, gloomy wilderness." "These atrocities were enacted . . . in no dark age, but in the brilliant era of Louis XIV. Science was then cultivated, letters flourished, the divines of the court and of the capital were learned and eloquent men, and greatly affected the graces of meekness and charity."--Ibid., b. 22, ch. 7. {GC 271.3}


(1 Sam 12:6-11 NIV) Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the LORD who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your forefathers up out of Egypt. {7} Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the LORD as to all the righteous acts performed by the LORD for you and your fathers. {8} "After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the LORD for help, and the LORD sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. {9} "But they forgot the LORD their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. {10} They cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.' {11} Then the LORD sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely.

(Psa 22:22 NIV) I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.

(Psa 40:1-3 NIV) For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. {2} He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. {3} He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

(Psa 136 NIV) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever. {2} Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. {3} Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. {4} to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. {5} who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. {6} who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever. {7} who made the great lights-- His love endures forever. {8} the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. {9} the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever. {10} to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures forever. {11} and brought Israel out from among them His love endures forever. {12} with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever. {13} to him who divided the Red Sea asunder His love endures forever. {14} and brought Israel through the midst of it, His love endures forever. {15} but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea; His love endures forever. {16} to him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever. {17} who struck down great kings, His love endures forever. {18} and killed mighty kings-- His love endures forever. {19} Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever. {20} and Og king of Bashan-- His love endures forever. {21} and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever. {22} an inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever. {23} to the One who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. {24} and freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever. {25} and who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever. {26} Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.

(2 Ki 5:20-27 NIV) Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, "My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him." {21} So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. "Is everything all right?" he asked. {22} "Everything is all right," Gehazi answered. "My master sent me to say, 'Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.'" {23} "By all means, take two talents," said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. {24} When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. {25} Then he went in and stood before his master Elisha. "Where have you been, Gehazi?" Elisha asked. "Your servant didn't go anywhere," Gehazi answered.

{2 Ki 5:26-27} But Elisha said to him, "Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants? {27} Naaman's leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever." Then Gehazi went from Elisha's presence and he was leprous, as white as snow.

(Deu 19:15 NIV) One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

(John 8:15-18 NIV) You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. {16} But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. {17} In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. {18} I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."

(John 12:47-49 NIV) "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. {48} There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. {49} For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.

(1 John 5:6-10 NIV) This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. {7} For there are three that testify: {8} the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

{1 John 5:9-10} We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. {10} Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

(Mat 10:32 NIV) "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

(John 3:11 NIV) I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

(John 7:37-39 NIV) On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. {38} Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." {39} By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

(Isa 42:5-7 NIV) This is what God the LORD says-- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: {6} "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, {7} to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

(Isa 55:1 NIV) "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

The Desire of Ages, chapters 37, 70, 73 (not included with lesson help)

Steps to Christ chapter The Work and the Life (not included with lesson help)

The Desire of Ages, p. 195 (see page 7 this lesson help)

Steps to Christ, pp. 80 - 81

If you will go to work as Christ designs that His disciples shall, and win souls for Him, you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things, and will hunger and thirst after righteousness. You will plead with God, and your faith will be strengthened, and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation. Encountering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible and prayer. You will grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, and will develop a rich experience. {SC 80.1}

The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who thus exercise the Christian graces will grow and will become strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, growing faith, and an increased power in prayer. The Spirit of God, moving upon their spirit, calls forth the sacred harmonies of the soul in answer to the divine touch. Those who thus devote themselves to unselfish effort for the good of others are most surely working out their own salvation. {SC 80.2}

The only way to grow in grace is to be disinterestedly doing the very work which Christ has enjoined upon us--to engage, to the extent of our ability, in helping and blessing those who need the help we can give them. Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life. Those who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and (p. 81) doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had. {SC 80.3}

The church of Christ is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. Its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. And the obligation rests upon all Christians. Everyone, to the extent of his talent and opportunity, is to fulfill the Saviour's commission. The love of Christ, revealed to us, makes us debtors to all who know Him not. God has given us light, not for ourselves alone, but to shed upon them. {SC 81.1}

If the followers of Christ were awake to duty, there would be thousands where there is one today proclaiming the gospel in heathen lands. And all who could not personally engage in the work, would yet sustain it with their means, their sympathy, and their prayers. And there would be far more earnest labor for souls in Christian countries. {SC 81.2}

We need not go to heathen lands, or even leave the narrow circle of the home, if it is there that our duty lies, in order to work for Christ. We can do this in the home circle, in the church, among those with whom we associate, and with whom we do business. {SC 81.3}

The greater part of our Saviour's life on earth was spent in patient toil in the carpenter's shop at Nazareth. Ministering angels attended the Lord of (p. 82) life as He walked side by side with peasants and laborers, unrecognized and unhonored. He was as faithfully fulfilling His mission while working at His humble trade as when He healed the sick or walked upon the storm-tossed waves of Galilee. So in the humblest duties and lowliest positions of life, we may walk and work with Jesus. {SC 81.4}