SDA Sabbath School Lessons
March 30, 1996
#13 Study of Bible Prophecy
Read for This Week's Study: Rev. 3:14-22
Memory Text: 2 Peter 1:20, 21
Bible prophecy strengthens our faith and enlightens us in regard to our Christian duty in the light of events predicted to occur in the future.
Bible prophecy is objective evidence that God exists and that the Bible is His inspired revelation. (See 1 Peter 1:16-19.) It is often pointed out that it is not possible to prove the existence of God or the inspiration of the Bible. The Christian faith is precisely that, a religion of faith. Even so, the Lord has not left us without strong supporting evidence to strengthen our faith. Fulfilled Bible prophecy is one of the greatest evidences that our faith in God, our confidence in the saving power of Jesus Christ, and our belief in the messages of His Word are based on objective realities. (See Isa. 46:9, 10.)
Study of Bible prophecy involves first identifying the kind of prophecy being studied: prophecy with a local application only (Ezek. 26:7), prophecy with dual applications (Jeremiah 4), or apocalyptic prophecy that focuses on the end-time (Daniel 2). In the study of apocalyptic prophecy, it is important to interpret the symbolism by the use of similar symbolism used elsewhere in Scripture. As in all kinds of Bible study, the Bible is its own interpreter.
- Sunday March 24:The Spiritual State of the Church (Rev. 3:14-17).
- Daniel and Revelation are the Bible's two prime examples of apocalyptic prophecy.
- Seventh-day Adventists have consistently interpreted apocalyptic prophecy by identifying, wherever possible, fulfillments in history.
- Our purpose in this lesson is to study the prophecy regarding Laodicea, the last-day church (Rev. 3:14-22). The seven churches represent seven periods of church history. (Compare Rev. 1:1, 3, 19.)
- Compare other Bible passages that parallel John's description of the last-day church: "Neither cold nor hot. . . ." (Rev. 3:15-17). Compare Lev. 18:24-30; Jer. 3:1-10; Hosea 10:1, 2; Amos 6:1; Matt. 22:11-13.
- Monday March 25: "Gold Refined by Fire" (Rev. 3:18).
- Tuesday March 26: "White Robes to Clothe You" (Rev. 3:18, RSV).
- What do white robes represent in the book of Revelation? Rev. 3:4, 5; Rev. 6:11; Rev. 7:9, 13, 14; Rev. 12:1; Rev. 19:7, 8; Rev. 22:14, (RSV).
- The symbol of white robes is common in Scripture. The earthly high priest and his sons wore "holy garments" (Exod. 28:2, RSV), including a linen robe (Lev. 16:4; Exod. 28:39, 40).
- Paul referred to believers in Christ as having "put on Christ" (Gal. 3:27). We must "put on the whole armor of God" (Eph. 6:11).
- In the book of Revelation, the white robes represent both vindication in the pre-advent judgment (Rev. 6:11) and Christ's character bestowed upon His People and manifested in their good works (Rev. 3: 5; 19:7, 8).
- Wednesday March 27: "Salve to Anoint Your Eyes" (Rev. 3:18, RSV).
- What light do the following passages throw on the meaning of "eyesalve" (KJV)?
Ps. 119:18, Ps. 119:105; John 14:26; 16:8-15; Eph. 1:18; Eph. 3:16-19; 1 John 2:20, 27.
- When our spiritual eyes are opened, we can discern between truth and error, purity and impurity. Knowledge of the Word is indispensable to the Christian, but that knowledge is spiritually impotent unless fashioned and activated by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirt.
- How can you be sure to receive daily the gold, the white raiment, and the eyesalve of which Jesus spoke?
- Thursday March 28: Christ is Knocking at Your Heart's Door (Rev. 3:19-22).
- Study Bible passages that enable you to understand more fully the following sentences:
- "I reprove and discipline those whom I love" (Rev. 3:19, NRSV): Heb 12:3-11.
- "Be earnest, therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19, NRSV): Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25.
- "I am standing at the door, knocking" (Rev. 3:20, NRSV): Song of Sol. 5:2; Luke 12:36; 13:25.
- "I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me" (Rev. 3:20, NRSV): John 14:18, 23; 15:26; 16:13.
- "To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on His throne" (Rev. 3:21, NRSV): Rev. 2:7, 17, 26; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 John 3:3.
- Have you received the Savior into your heart? Have you responded to His knocking?
- Friday March 29:
Matt. 19:28; 25:31; Luke 1:32, 33; 1 Cor. 6:2; Heb. 8:1, 2; Rev. 5:10; 20:4. Read Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 141-146.
- Discussion Questions:
- How can we determine whether the rebuke to Laodicea regarding spiritual lukewarmness applies to us individually?
- What relationship do you see between this quarter's lessons on Bible study and the message to Laodicea?
- What connection do you see between the counsel of Revelation 3:18 and the teaching of the Epistle to the Romans?
- How does the message to Laodicea suggest a tactful approach to the person who is often ready to criticize others, but is apparently unaware of his own weaknesses.
Study of symbolic Bible prophecy involves careful interpretation of each symbol by comparing other passages that employ the same symbolism. Using this method, we have discovered the meaning of the symbols used in the message to the church of Laodicea. The heart of the message is Christ's willingness to impart to us faith that works by love, the gift of His indwelling righteousness, and the spiritual enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, who clarifies the Word for us. As we daily open our heart's door, Jesus comes in to dwell with us and to empower us for vibrant Christian living.
HTML code added by Bob and Bryan Hanson.
Last updated on February 22, 1996.