Lesson 5 *July 26 - August 1

Matthew 10: Jesus and His Disciples

Memory Text: Matthew 10:31 NIV 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

“Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION”. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.

Sabbath Afternoon

John 14:6 NIV 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.


The Kingdom of Heaven Is Near

Matthew 10:7 NKJV 7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'

Luke 17:21 NKJV 21 "nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

Matthew 3:2 NKJV 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

Luke 1:32-33 NKJV 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."


Missionary Instructions

Read Matthew chapter 10

Matthew 10:16 NKJV 16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Matthew 10:2-4 NKJV 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.


Gentiles and Jews

Matthew 10:5-6 NKJV 5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, April 19, 1892

April 19, 1892 Christ's Instruction to His

Followers.[SERMON AT NORTH FITZROY, AUSTRALIA, JAN. 9, 1892.] - By Mrs. E. G. White.

     Text.--"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom unto Israel? And he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:4-8. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 1}

     Jesus spoke these words just before his ascension to heaven; for the record says, "When he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." These were the last words of the Saviour to his disciples, and in them we see the commission which was given them, and the work that they were to do. They were to be witnesses unto Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth. The very same charge has been given to us as was given to them, and how desirous should we be to fulfill our Lord's commission to save those that are lost and to glorify God in the world. It seems strange that Christ should direct the disciples to begin their work in Jerusalem, the very place where the spirit of Satan had been most manifest in opposition and enmity to the Prince of life. It was there that he had been hunted, persecuted, denied, and betrayed. It was there that he had suffered in the judgment hall, there he had been mocked, insulted, scourged, there he had been put to grief and shame, and lifted up to die on the cross. It was there that the priests and rulers, who had not responded to his divine teaching and mission, had mocked him who was dying to redeem the children of men. There it was that they had railed on him, and reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying,

"Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God." {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 2}

     The chief priests and rulers who rejected the Son of God had gone from one degree of blindness to another in their hardness and unbelief. They had refused the first rays of divine light, and at last by their own perversity and stubbornness they were completely blinded to the evidences of the divinity of Christ. Brethren, it is a terrible thing to refuse to receive the first ray of light; for you will thus be led to reject greater light. After truth has once appealed to your heart in vain, the succeeding evidences of its sacred character will become dimmer to your understanding, and how great is your darkness. By rejection of light, the perception will become blunted, and you will have no power to discern between the sacred and the common. Then grieve not the Holy Spirit of God. This was the condition of those who rejected the Saviour. Because of their stubborn refusal of his teachings, they were led at last to crucify the Son of God. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 3}

     In Jerusalem where our Lord had been crucified, the disciples were to begin their work as witnesses of Christ. From this city their work was to extend through all Judea and Samaria, unto the uttermost parts of the earth. But it was not so strange that they were to begin to preach the gospel in this wicked city, when we remember that they were to tarry at Jerusalem until they should be indued with power from on high. They were to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Man of himself can do nothing. His only efficiency is in Christ. The Lord has said to his disciples, "Without me ye can do nothing." We cannot win souls to Christ unless we ourselves are acquainted with God. The only way by which we shall draw men to Christ is by drawing nigh to God ourselves. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 4}

     While Jesus was with his disciples, he had instructed them as to how to go forth to gather sheaves for the heavenly garner. They had listened to his discourses; they had heard his daily teaching; they had walked and talked with the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world, and from his daily instruction, they had learned of the Master how to work for the elevation of humanity. Jesus had looked upon the fields, and had said to his disciples. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest." "And when he had called his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. . . . These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." They were to go where Christ himself had been, where he had made friends in the cities of Judea. In fulfilling his command, for the first time they were alone in the work, and without the Master. How many times did they long to have a few words with Jesus. How much they wanted to have his counsel and sympathy in the different cases that were brought to their attention. He had given them power to glorify God, to heal the sick, to cast out devils, to preach the glad tidings of salvation to the poor. But they were to go to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The time had not yet come to go to the Gentiles and to the Samaritans,

and if they had first preached the gospel to these, they would have lost their influence among the Jews who were first to hear the message of God. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 5}

     Among the children of Israel there were many who were hungering and thirsting for light and knowledge, and Jesus sent forth his disciples two and two, that they might bring the tiding of his love to these longing hearts. Why is it that we have departed from the method of labor which was instituted by the great Teacher? Why is it that the laborers in his cause today are not sent forth two and two? "O," you say, "we have not laborers enough to occupy the field." Then occupy less territory. Send forth the laborers into the places where the way seems to be opened, and teach the precious truth for this time. Can we not see the wisdom of having two go together to preach the gospel? One may be an excellent preacher, but he may be in need of education in personal labor out of the desk. No minister is sufficiently equipped for his work who does not know how to meet the people at their homes, and come into close relation to their needs. The people should be allowed to ask questions concerning subjects presented that seem to be obscure to them. The light of God is to be brought before their vision. How often when this has been done, and the minister has been able to answer their inquiries, has a flood of light broken into some darkened mind, and hearts have been comforted together in the faith of the gospel. This is the way we are to work in order to flash the light into the minds of those who are seeking a knowledge of the way of salvation. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 6}

     We must have the light of Christ in our own hearts in order to give it to others. We want the light to practice by, a living principle in the soul, that the character may be transformed. The preacher cannot bring the people to a higher standard than he himself reaches. But when the laborer for God works in humility, God will bless and strengthen him, and crown his labors with success. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 7}

     We are to learn that humility is before honor. The apostle writes. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." We are not to have a put on humility. There is such a thing as humility on stilts, a humility that parades itself before men to be seen of them. The humility that God will honor is that humility which is the result of the soul's realization of its helplessness. This is the lesson that the workers in all branches of the cause need to learn. When this is learned, they will exert an influence that will be a savor of life unto life. We want to be joined to Christ by living faith. There are too many who are satisfied with having their names on the church book, while their names are not registered in the books of heaven. It is not your profession, but your course of action, that will determine whether or not you are Christians. We are nearing the judgment, and we should strive to spend the little time that intervenes between the present and the coming of Christ, in an intelligent manner. We should seek to have the mind filled with valuable knowledge, not with wood, hay, and stubble. By wise cultivation our ability should increase, that we may have growing power to understand the sacred teachings of Christ. We are to become teachers of the mysteries of the gospel. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 8}

     The exhortation that Paul gave to Timothy should be heeded by every young man who would become a co-laborer with Christ. He says, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." This is the line along which you should educate yourselves.

But if you are indolent, and satisfied with seeking merely the superficial side of truth, you will miss the mark. Jesus has commanded, "Search the Scriptures." We are to feed on the word of God, to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 9}

     When the disciples went forth, they were to preach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and they were not to burden themselves with money or scrip. The Saviour added, "Into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go hence." There is no question as to where you shall take up your abode when you go forth to preach the gospel, or what shall be the character of the people with whom you are to dwell. You are to go the best place, among the people who can be a blessing to you, and whom you can benefit, those who will receive your instruction, and whose influence will tell on the side of truth. Then you can work with courage. {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 10}

     "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." {RH, April 19, 1892 par. 11}

Ellen G. White, Signs of the Times, July 18, 1900

July 18, 1900 "My Witnesses." No. 1.

     And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest." {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 1}

     In His work Christ met those who were longing for a better way, those who were hungering and thirsting for the bread of life and the water of salvation. The world was dark, and full of sin and sorrow; surely there was need of light from heaven. The Redeemer saw that the time had come to set men apart to go forth to labor for the people. He knew that those who were to do this work must obtain an individual experience while He was yet with them to instruct them, and correct any errors they might reveal in their manner of working. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 2}

     The Saviour called to Him the twelve disciples who since the beginning of His public ministry had been with Him, hearing His words of instruction and warning, witnessing His deeds of mercy and compassion. With solemn reverential awe the disciples came to receive their commission, to be honored by being made laborers together with their Lord and Master. They were to be imbued with the Spirit of Christ. This was to fit them to engage in the great and solemn work, of bearing to men the message of salvation. They were to work as Christ worked, to shine as lights amid the moral darkness that had enveloped the world. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 3}

     Look upon the touching scene! Behold the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory, surrounded by the twelve whom He had chosen, not men learned in the schools of the rabbis, but men who had been learning of the greatest Teacher the world had ever known, simple, humble, true-hearted men, needing to be instructed in patience and tenderness in order to be fitted for the trust placed upon them. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 4}

     Christ is about to ordain His disciples for their work. By these feeble agencies, through His Word and Spirit, He designs to place salvation within the reach of all. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 5}

     God and the holy angels beheld this scene with interest and with great gladness. The Father knew that from these men divine light would shine forth, that the words spoken by them as they witnessed for the truth would echo from generation to generation. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 6}

     Christ gave His disciples "power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease." And He commanded them: "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves; for the workman is worthy of his meat." {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 7}

     "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not." Christ knew that, should the disciples make a specialty of laboring for the Samaritans or the Gentiles, they would prejudice the Pharisees against them, and their way would be hedged up at its very commencement. They would be involved in controversy and would become discouraged; for more than human wisdom would be required to meet the arguments of the men who would not receive any evidence, however clear and forcible, that did not coincide with their ideas. The scribes and Pharisees believed that God was a God of the Jews only, and not of the Gentiles. In their blindness they had built up a barrier between themselves and every other nation. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 8}

     It was the Saviour's design to show His disciples that God is a God of Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, free and bond. But the disciples received slowly the truth that all nations, tongues, and peoples were to receive the Gospel. Until they had a clearer perception of God's plan, they were not to labor for the Gentiles or for the Samaritans. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 9}

     The Redeemer was sorely tried by the traditions that clung to His chosen disciples. When Jesus was with them, they were not made afraid by the caviling of the priests and rulers. They saw the effect of His words upon the people. They saw how easily He thwarted His enemies when they tried to confuse and perplex Him. Jewish doctrine and maxims could have little influence over them when the Saviour was by their side, for He would always present them the truth just as it reads in the Old Testament Scriptures. But when separated from their Master, they were perplexed and unsettled by the arguments of the priests, who talked to the disciples as they never dared talk to Christ. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 10}

     This weakness on the part of the disciples made it necessary for Christ to reprove them. At times, dull of comprehension, they failed to understand His words.

How tenderly He worked with them as He tried to teach them! If, unable to grasp the full import of His words, they came to Him for help, He at once rolled away the cloud, and made His meaning so clear that they could not but see it. He rejoiced when He could lead their minds, step by step, to comprehend the spiritual lessons He sought to teach them. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 11}

     For many months the men who received the Gospel commission had been beside the Saviour. They must now be separated from Him for a short time; for there were lessons they needed to learn in regard to meeting opposition. They must begin to understand what they would have to meet when Christ was no longer by their side in human form. {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 12}

     Christ knew that as the disciples went forth in the power of the Spirit, to withstand the agencies working against the truth, they would gain strength and courage. He would follow them at every step, and in time of need His Spirit would bring His words to their remembrance. By living the truth before them He had trained them for service more effectually than He could have done had He been continually dwelling upon doctrine. He knew that when they were separated from Him, the words He had spoken to them would flash into their minds when they were in conflict with the powers of darkness. Mrs. E. G. White. - {ST, July 18, 1900 par. 13}

John 10:10 NKJV 10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


A Holistic Ministry

Matthew 10:7-8 NKJV 7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Luke 4:18-19 NKJV 18 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."

Luke 4:19 NIV 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Luke 4:19 NKJV 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."

Leviticus 25:8-54 NKJV 8 'And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 'Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.

Leviticus 25:10-54 10 'And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 'That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 'For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. 13 'In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 'And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 'According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 'According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 'Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God. 18 'So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety. 19 'Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety. 20 'And if you say, "What shall we eat in the seventh year, since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?" 21 'Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years. 22 'And you shall sow in the eighth year, and eat old produce until the ninth year; until its produce comes in, you shall eat of the old harvest. 23 'The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24 'And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land. 25 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 'Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 'then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28 'But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession. 29 'If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 'But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 'However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 'Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33 'And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 'But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession. 35 'If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 'Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 'You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.

Leviticus 25:38-54 38 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. 39 'And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. 40 'As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 'And then he shall depart from you-he and his children with him-and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. 42 'For they are My servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. 43 'You shall not rule over him with rigor, but you shall fear your God. 44 'And as for your male and female slaves whom you may have-from the nations that are around you, from them you may buy male and female slaves. 45 'Moreover you may buy the children of the strangers who dwell among you, and their families who are with you, which they beget in your land; and they shall become your property. 46 'And you may take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them as a possession; they shall be your permanent slaves. But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor. 47 'Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger's family, 48 'after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 'or his uncle or his uncle's son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 'Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 'If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 'And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 'He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 'And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee-he and his children with him.

Ellen G. White, Education, p. 43

 By the devout in Israel, fully a month of every year was occupied in this way. It was a period free from care and labor, and almost wholly devoted, in the truest sense, to purposes of education. {Ed 43.1}

     In apportioning the inheritance of His people, it was God's purpose to teach them, and through them the people of after generations, correct principles concerning the ownership of the land. The land of Canaan was divided among the whole people, the Levites only, as ministers of the sanctuary, being excepted. Though one might for a season dispose of his possession, he could not barter away the inheritance of his children. When able to do so, he was at liberty at any time to redeem it; debts were remitted every seventh year, and in the fiftieth, or year of jubilee, all landed property reverted to the original owner. Thus every family was secured in its possession, and a safeguard was afforded against the extremes either of wealth or of poverty. {Ed 43.2}


By the distribution of the land among the people, God provided for them, as for the dwellers in Eden, the occupation most favorable to development--the care of plants and animals. A further provision for education was the suspension of agricultural labor every seventh year, the land lying fallow, and its spontaneous products being left to the poor. Thus was given opportunity for more extended study, for social intercourse and worship, and for the exercise of benevolence, so often crowded out by life's cares and labors. (p. 44) {Ed 43.3}


Do Not Be Afraid of Them

Matthew 10:22 NKJV 22 "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

Romans 5:3-4 NIV 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

James 1:3 NIV 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Romans 5:3-4 NKJV 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

James 1:3 NKJV 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Matthew 10:19 NIV 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,

Matthew 10:30-31 NIV 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:19 NKJV 19 "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;

Matthew 10:30-31 NKJV 30 "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:38-39 NKJV 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.


The Desire of Ages, pp. 349-358

Chap. 37 - The First Evangelists The apostles were members of the family of Jesus, and they had accompanied Him as He traveled on foot through Galilee. They had shared with Him the toils and hardships that overtook them. They had listened to His discourses, they had walked and talked with the Son of God, and from His daily instruction they had learned how to work for the elevation of humanity. As Jesus ministered to the vast multitudes that gathered about Him, His disciples were in attendance, eager to do His bidding and to lighten His labor. They assisted in arranging the people, bringing the afflicted ones to the Saviour, and promoting the comfort of all. They watched for interested hearers, explained the Scriptures to them, and in various ways worked for their spiritual benefit. They taught what they had learned of Jesus, and were every day obtaining a rich experience. But they needed also an experience in laboring alone. They were still in need of much instruction, great patience and tenderness. Now, while He was personally with them, to point out their errors, and counsel and correct them, the Saviour sent them forth as His representatives. {DA 349.1}

     While they had been with Him, the disciples had often been perplexed by the teaching of the priests and Pharisees, but they had brought their perplexities to Jesus. He had set before them the truths of Scripture in contrast with tradition. Thus He had strengthened their confidence in God's word, and in a great measure had set them free from their fear of the rabbis and their bondage to tradition. In the (p. 350) training of the disciples the example of the Saviour's life was far more effective than any mere doctrinal instruction. When they were separated from Him, every look and tone and word came back to them. Often when in conflict with the enemies of the gospel, they repeated His words, and as they saw their effect upon the people, they rejoiced greatly. {DA 349.2}

     Calling the twelve about Him, Jesus bade them go out two and two through the towns and villages. None were sent forth alone, but brother was associated with brother, friend with friend. Thus they could help and encourage each other, counseling and praying together, each one's strength supplementing the other's weakness. In the same manner He afterward sent forth the seventy. It was the Saviour's purpose that the messengers of the gospel should be associated in this way. In our own time evangelistic work would be far more successful if this example were more closely followed. {DA 350.1}

     The disciples' message was the same as that of John the Baptist and of Christ Himself: "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." They were to enter into no controversy with the people as to whether Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah; but in His name they were to do the same works of mercy as He had done. He bade them, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." {DA 350.2}

     During His ministry Jesus devoted more time to healing the sick than to preaching. His miracles testified to the truth of His words, that He came not to destroy but to save. His righteousness went before Him, and the glory of the Lord was His rearward. Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him. Where He had passed, the objects of His compassion were rejoicing in health, and making trial of their new-found powers. Crowds were collecting around them to hear from their lips the works that the Lord had wrought. His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever looked upon. Why should they not love Jesus, and sound His praise? As He passed through the towns and cities He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy wherever He went. {DA 350.3}

     The followers of Christ are to labor as He did. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the suffering and afflicted. We are to minister to the despairing, and inspire hope in the hopeless. And to us also the promise will be fulfilled, "Thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward." Isa. 58:8. The love of Christ, manifested in unselfish ministry, will be more effective in reforming the evildoer than will the sword or the court of (p. 351) justice. These are necessary to strike terror to the lawbreaker, but the loving missionary can do more than this. Often the heart will harden under reproof; but it will melt under the love of Christ. The missionary cannot only relieve physical maladies, but he can lead the sinner to the Great Physician, who can cleanse the soul from the leprosy of sin. Through His servants, God designs that the sick, the unfortunate, those possessed of evil spirits, shall hear His voice. Through His human agencies He desires to be a Comforter such as the world knows not. {DA 350.4}

     The disciples on their first missionary tour were to go only to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel." If they had now preached the gospel to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, they would have lost their influence with the Jews. By exciting the prejudice of the Pharisees they would have involved themselves in controversy which would have discouraged them at the outset of their labors. Even the apostles were slow to understand that the gospel was to be carried to all nations. Until they themselves could grasp this truth they were not prepared to labor for the Gentiles. If the Jews would receive the gospel, God purposed to make them His messengers to the Gentiles. Therefore they were first to hear the message. {DA 351.1}

     All over the field of Christ's labor there were souls awakened to their need, and hungering and thirsting for the truth. The time had come to send the tidings of His love to these longing hearts. To all these the disciples were to go as His representatives. The believers would thus be led to look upon them as divinely appointed teachers, and when the Saviour should be taken from them they would not be left without instructors. {DA 351.2}

     On this first tour the disciples were to go only where Jesus had been before them, and had made friends. Their preparation for the journey was to be of the simplest kind. Nothing must be allowed to divert their minds from their great work, or in any way excite opposition and close the door for further labor. They were not to adopt the dress of the religious teachers, nor use any guise in apparel to distinguish them from the humble peasants. They were not to enter into the synagogues and call the people together for public service; their efforts were to be put forth in house-to-house labor.

They were not to waste time in needless salutations, or in going from house to house for entertainment. But in every place they were to accept the hospitality of those who were worthy, those who would welcome them heartily as if entertaining Christ Himself. They were to enter the dwelling with the beautiful salutation, "Peace be to this house." Luke 10:5. That home would be blessed by their prayers, their (p. 352) songs of praise, and the opening of the Scriptures in the family circle. {DA 351.3}

     These disciples were to be heralds of the truth, to prepare the way for the coming of their Master. The message they had to bear was the word of eternal life, and the destiny of men depended upon their reception or rejection of it. To impress the people with its solemnity, Jesus bade His disciples, "Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." {DA 352.1}

     Now the Saviour's eye penetrates the future; He beholds the broader fields in which, after His death, the disciples are to be witnesses for Him. His prophetic glance takes in the experience of His servants through all the ages till He shall come the second time. He shows His followers the conflicts they must meet; He reveals the character and plan of the battle. He lays open before them the perils they must encounter, the self-denial that will be required. He desires them to count the cost, that they may not be taken unawares by the enemy. Their warfare is not to be waged against flesh and blood, but "against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Eph. 6:12, R. V. They are to contend with supernatural forces, but they are assured of supernatural help. All the intelligences of heaven are in this army. And more than angels are in the ranks. The Holy Spirit, the representative of the Captain of the Lord's host, comes down to direct the battle. Our infirmities may be many, our sins and mistakes grievous; but the grace of God is for all who seek it with contrition. The power of Omnipotence is enlisted in behalf of those who trust in God. {DA 352.2}

     "Behold," said Jesus, "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Christ Himself did not suppress one word of truth, but He spoke it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact, and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, that refused to receive Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. They rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness, and sorrow so deep that it broke His heart. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He always bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save. {DA 353.1}

     The servants of Christ are not to act out the dictates of the natural heart. They need to have close communion with God, lest, under provocation, self rise up, and they pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting,

that are not as dew or the still showers that refresh the withering plants. This is what Satan wants them to do; for these are his methods. It is the dragon that is wroth; it is the spirit of Satan that is revealed in anger and accusing. But God's servants are to be representatives of Him. He desires them to deal only in the currency of heaven, the truth that bears His own image and superscription. The power by which they are to overcome evil is the power of Christ. The glory of Christ is their strength. They are to fix their eyes upon His loveliness. Then they can present the gospel with divine tact and gentleness. And the spirit that is kept gentle under provocation will speak more effectively in favor of the truth than will any argument, however forcible. {DA 353.2}

     Those who are brought in controversy with the enemies of truth have to meet, not only men, but Satan and his agents. Let them remember the Saviour's words, "Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves." Luke 10:3. Let them rest in the love of God, and the spirit will be kept calm, even under personal abuse. The Lord will clothe them with a divine panoply. His Holy Spirit will influence the mind and heart, so that their voices shall not catch the notes of the baying of the wolves. {DA 353.3}

     Continuing His instruction to His disciples, Jesus said, "Beware of men." They were not to put implicit confidence in those who knew not God, and open to them their counsels; for this would give Satan's agents an advantage. Man's inventions often counterwork God's plans. Those who build the temple of the Lord are to build according to the pattern shown in the mount,--the divine similitude. God is dishonored and the gospel is betrayed when His servants depend on the counsel of men who are not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Worldly wisdom is foolishness with God. Those who rely upon it will surely err. {DA 354.1}

     "They will deliver you up to councils, . . . yea and before governors and kings shall ye be brought for My sake, for a testimony to them and to the Gentiles." Matt. 10:17, 18, R. V. Persecution will spread the light. The servants of Christ will be brought before the great men of the world, who, but for this, might never hear the gospel. The truth has been misrepresented to these men. They have listened to false charges concerning the faith of Christ's disciples. Often their only means of learning its real character is the testimony of those who are brought to trial for their faith. Under examination these are required to answer, and their judges to listen to the testimony borne. God's grace will be dispensed to His servants to meet the emergency. "It shall be given you," says Jesus, "in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." As the Spirit of God illuminates the minds of His servants, the truth will be presented in its divine power and preciousness. Those who reject the truth will stand to accuse and oppress the disciples. But under loss and suffering, even unto death, the Lord's children are to reveal the meekness of their divine Example. Thus will be seen the contrast between Satan's agents and the representatives of Christ. The Saviour will be lifted up before the rulers and the people. {DA 354.2}

     The disciples were not endowed with the courage and fortitude of the martyrs until such grace was needed. Then the Saviour's promise was fulfilled. When Peter and John testified before the Sanhedrin council, men "marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13. Of Stephen it is written that "all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

" Men "were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." Acts 6:15, 10. And Paul, writing of his own trial at the court of the Caesars, says, "At my first defense no one took my (p. 355) part, but all forsook me. . . . But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me; that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." 2 Tim. 4:16, 17, R. V. {DA 354.3}

     The servants of Christ were to prepare no set speech to present when brought to trial. Their preparation was to be made day by day in treasuring up the precious truths of God's word, and through prayer strengthening their faith. When they were brought into trial, the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance the very truths that would be needed. {DA 355.1}

     A daily, earnest striving to know God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, would bring power and efficiency to the soul. The knowledge obtained by diligent searching of the Scriptures would be flashed into the memory at the right time. But if any had neglected to acquaint themselves with the words of Christ, if they had never tested the power of His grace in trial, they could not expect that the Holy Spirit would bring His words to their remembrance. They were to serve God daily with undivided affection, and then trust Him. {DA 355.2}

     So bitter would be the enmity to the gospel that even the tenderest earthly ties would be disregarded. The disciples of Christ would be betrayed to death by the members of their own households. "Ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake," He added; "but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Mark 13:13. But He bade them not to expose themselves unnecessarily to persecution. He Himself often left one field of labor for another, in order to escape from those who were seeking His life. When He was rejected at Nazareth, and His own townsmen tried to kill Him, He went down to Capernaum, and there the people were astonished at His teaching; "for His word was with power." Luke 4:32. So His servants were not to be discouraged by persecution, but to seek a place where they could still labor for the salvation of souls. {DA 355.3}

     The servant is not above his master. The Prince of heaven was called Beelzebub, and His disciples will be misrepresented in like manner. But whatever the danger, Christ's followers must avow their principles. They should scorn concealment. They cannot remain uncommitted until assured of safety in confessing the truth. They are set as watchmen, to warn men of their peril. The truth received from Christ must be imparted to all, freely and openly. Jesus said, "What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." {DA 355.4}

     Jesus Himself never purchased peace by compromise. His heart overflowed with love for the whole human race, but He was never indulgent to their sins. He was too much their friend to remain silent while they were pursuing a course that would ruin their souls,--the souls He had purchased with His own blood. He labored that man should be true to himself, true to his higher and eternal interest. The servants of Christ are called to the same work, and they should beware lest, in seeking to prevent discord, they surrender the truth. They are to "follow after the things which make for peace" (Rom. 14:19); but real peace can never be secured by compromising principle. And no man can be true to principle without exciting opposition. A Christianity that is spiritual will be opposed by the children of disobedience. But Jesus bade His disciples, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul."

Those who are true to God need not fear the power of men nor the enmity of Satan. In Christ their eternal life is secure. Their only fear should be lest they surrender the truth, and thus betray the trust with which God has honored them. {DA 356.1}

     It is Satan's work to fill men's hearts with doubt. He leads them to look upon God as a stern judge. He tempts them to sin, and then to regard themselves as too vile to approach their heavenly Father or to excite His pity. The Lord understands all this. Jesus assures His disciples of God's sympathy for them in their needs and weaknesses. Not a sigh is breathed, not a pain felt, not a grief pierces the soul, but the throb vibrates to the Father's heart. {DA 356.2}

     The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy intelligences, all waiting to do His will. Through channels which we cannot discern He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. But it is in this speck of a world, in the souls that He gave His only-begotten Son to save, that His interest and the interest of all heaven is centered. God is bending from His throne to hear the cry of the oppressed. To every sincere prayer He answers, "Here am I." He uplifts the distressed and downtrodden. In all our afflictions He is afflicted. In every temptation and every trial the angel of His presence is near to deliver. {DA 356.3}

     Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father's notice. Satan's hatred against God leads him to hate every object of the Saviour's care. He seeks to mar the handiwork of God, and he delights in destroying (p. 357) even the dumb creatures. It is only through God's protecting care that the birds are preserved to gladden us with their songs of joy. But He does not forget even the sparrows. "Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows." {DA 356.4}

     Jesus continues: As you confess Me before men, so I will confess you before God and the holy angels. You are to be My witnesses upon earth, channels through which My grace can flow for the healing of the world. So I will be your representative in heaven. The Father beholds not your faulty character, but He sees you as clothed in My perfection. I am the medium through which Heaven's blessings shall come to you. And everyone who confesses Me by sharing My sacrifice for the lost shall be confessed as a sharer in the glory and joy of the redeemed. {DA 357.1}

     He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him. He cannot communicate that which he has not received. The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession. Men may deny Christ by evilspeaking, by foolish talking, by words that are untruthful or unkind. They may deny Him by shunning life's burdens, by the pursuit of sinful pleasure. They may deny Him by conforming to the world, by uncourteous behavior, by the love of their own opinions, by justifying self, by cherishing doubt, borrowing trouble, and dwelling in darkness. In all these ways they declare that Christ is not in them. And "whosoever shall deny Me before men," He says, "him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven." {DA 357.2}

     The Saviour bade His disciples not to hope that the world's enmity to the gospel would be overcome, and that after a time its opposition would cease. He said, "I came not to send peace, but a sword." This creating of strife is not the effect of the gospel, but the result of opposition to it. Of all persecution the hardest to bear is variance in the home, the estrangement of dearest earthly friends. But Jesus declares, "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me." {DA 357.3}

     The mission of Christ's servants is a high honor, and a sacred trust. "He that receiveth you," He says, "receiveth Me, and he that receiveth (p. 358) Me receiveth Him that sent Me." No act of kindness shown to them in His name will fail to be recognized and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition He includes the feeblest and lowliest of the family of God: "Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones"--those who are as children in their faith and their knowledge of Christ--"a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in nowise lose his reward." {DA 357.4}

     Thus the Saviour ended His instruction. In the name of Christ the chosen twelve went out, as He had gone, "to preach the gospel to the poor, . . . to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18, 19. {DA 358.1}

Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church, vol. 4, p. 234

When Christ sent out the twelve, He commanded them: "And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." They were warned to beware of men, for they should be delivered up to the councils and scourged in the synagogues. {4T 234.1}

     Men's hearts are no softer today than when Christ was upon the earth. They will do all in their power to aid the great adversary in making it as hard as possible for the servants of Christ, just as the people did with Christ when He was upon the earth. They will scourge with the tongue of slander and falsehood. They will criticize, and turn against the servant of God the very efforts he is leading them to make. They will, with their evil surmisings, see fraud and dishonesty where all is right and where perfect integrity exists. They lay selfish motives to the charge of God's servants, when He Himself is leading them, and when they would give even their lives if God required, if by so doing they could advance His cause. They who have done the least, and made the least investment in the cause of truth, are the most forward to express lack of faith in the integrity of the servants of God who are placed in a position to bear financial responsibilities in the great work. They who have confidence in the work of God are willing to venture something for its advancement, and (p. 235) their spiritual prosperity will be in proportion to their works of faith. God's word is our standard, but how few follow it!

Our religion will be of but little worth to our fellow men if it is only theoretical and not practical. The influence of the world and of selfishness is carried about by many who profess to be following the Bible. They are like a cloud, chilling the atmosphere in which others move. {4T 234.2}