1. A CHOSEN PEOPLE
a. When the people of Israel were told that they were chosen to be a special people, a holy nation, entrusted with a specific mission, what did they answer? Exodus 19:8.
“God had promised to be [Israel’s] God, to take them to Himself as a people, and to lead them to a large and good land; but they were ready to faint at every obstacle encountered in the way to that land. In a marvelous manner He had brought them out from their bondage in Egypt, that He might elevate and ennoble them and make them a praise in the earth.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 292.
b. After all the commandments of the holy Law of God were declared to the people, what did they say? Exodus 24:3, 7.
“God had chosen Israel as His people, and they had chosen Him as their King.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 293.
2. A LIGHT IN THE WORLD
a. Near the end of their pilgrimage, how were the conditions of the covenant repeated to the Israelites? Deuteronomy 4:1, 2.
“Through Moses [the Israelites] were warned against the temptations that would assail them in the future; and they were earnestly exhorted to remain separate from the surrounding nations and to worship God alone.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 294.
b. It was the purpose of God to set up Israel as a light in the world. What was Moses instructed to say to them? Deuteronomy 4:5–8.
“Through the Jewish nation it was God’s purpose to impart rich blessings to all peoples. . . . The nations of the world, through following corrupt practices, had lost the knowledge of God. Yet in His mercy God did not blot them out of existence. He purposed to give them opportunity for becoming acquainted with Him through His church. He designed that the principles revealed through His people should be the means of restoring the moral image of God in man.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 286.
c. On what condition would the Lord extend His merciful hand toward them? Deuteronomy 4:29–31.
d. What would happen to them were they to forget the covenant of the Lord and turn away from Him? Deuteronomy 4:23–27.
“Moses traced the evils that would result from a departure from the statutes of Jehovah. Calling heaven and earth to witness, he declared that if, after having dwelt long in the Land of Promise, the people should introduce corrupt forms of worship and bow down to graven images and should refuse to return to the worship of the true God, the anger of the Lord would be aroused, and they would be carried away captive and scattered among the heathen.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 295.
3. A DIVINE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
a. That Israel might be the light of the world, they needed to be an educated people. What duty was entrusted to the parents in Israel? Deuteronomy 6:6–9.
“God had commanded the Hebrews to teach their children His requirements and to make them acquainted with all His dealings with their fathers. This was one of the special duties of every parent—one that was not to be delegated to another. In the place of stranger lips the loving hearts of the father and mother were to give instruction to their children.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 592.
b. Is education necessary as a preparation for the gospel work? 2 Timothy 2:15.
“Christ is the ‘Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ (John 1:9). As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him every soul receives some ray of divine light. Not only intellectual but spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is manifest in every man’s experience. There is in his nature a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ. Cooperation with that power is man’s greatest need.”—Education, p. 29.
c. What knowledge do we need so that our light may shine brighter and brighter? Matthew 5:14–16.
“The minister, the missionary, the teacher, will find their influence with the people greatly increased when it is manifest that they possess the knowledge and skill required for the practical duties of everyday life.”—Ibid., p. 221.
4. THE GREATEST NEED OF THE WORLD
a. What is the greatest need of the world today? John 1:9–12.
“The world today is in crying need of a revelation of Christ Jesus in the person of His saints. God desires that His people shall stand before the world a holy people. Why?—because there is a world to be saved by the light of gospel truth; and as the message of truth that is to call men out of darkness into God’s marvelous light is given by the church, the lives of its members, sanctified by the Spirit of truth, are to bear witness to the verity of the messages proclaimed.
“God desires His people to place themselves in right relation to Him, that they may understand what He requires of them above all things else. They are to reveal to every struggling soul in the world what it means ‘to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly’ with their God (Micah 6:8). Wherever they are, at home or abroad, they are to be His commandment-keeping people. They are to have the assurance that their sins are forgiven, and that they are accepted as children of the Most High.”—Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 458, 459.
b. For what purpose has the present truth contained in the threefold message (Revelation 14:6–12) been entrusted to the Advent people? Isaiah 60:1, 2.
“The Lord in compassion is seeking to enlighten the understanding of those who are now groping in the darkness of error. He is delaying His judgments upon an impenitent world, in order that His light bearers may seek and save that which is lost. He is now calling upon His church on the earth to awake from the lethargy that Satan has sought to bring upon them, and fulfill their heaven-appointed work of enlightening the world. His message to His church at this time is, ‘Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee’ (Isaiah 60:1). To meet the conditions existing at the time when darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people, the church of God has been commissioned to cooperate with God in shedding abroad the light of Bible truth.”—Ibid., p. 458.
5. THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL AND THE LAST MESSAGE
a. What responsibility has the Lord placed upon every believer in the threefold message? Philippians 2:15, 16.
“The people of the world are worshiping false gods. They are to be turned from their false worship, not by hearing denunciation of their idols, but by beholding something better. God’s goodness is to be made known. ‘Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God’ (Isaiah 43:12). . . .
“We are to show to the world and to all the heavenly intelligences that we appreciate the wonderful love of God for fallen humanity. . . . Far more than we do, we need to speak of the precious chapters in our experience.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 299.
b. What does God intend to accomplish through His people today? Matthew 24:14.
“Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfillment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 111.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How were the conditions of the covenant with the people repeated to them as they were approaching Canaan?
2. How did God use the principles revealed through Israel as a means of restoring His moral image in men and women?
3. What would happen to them were they to forget the covenant of the Lord and turn away from Him?
4. What emphasis was placed on education so that Israel might be the light of the world?
5. How are the people of the world to be turned from false worship?