1. A MESSAGE FOR US
a. Why is it important that we apply to ourselves the message of the True Witness to Laodicea? Revelation 3:14–17; 1 Corinthians 8:2; 10:12.
“The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves.”—Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 99.
b. What shows that the Laodicean condition is not hopeless? Revelation 3:18. What will we need to do to apply the remedy? 1 Peter 5:6; Psalm 147:11.
“But the counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement; for the backslidden church may yet buy the gold of faith and love, may yet have the white robe of the righteousness of Christ, that the shame of their nakedness need not appear. Purity of heart, purity of motive, may yet characterize those who are halfhearted and who are striving to serve God and mammon. They may yet wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 966.
2. A WAKE–UP CALL
a. What must we do so that we can have a part in carrying the final message to the world? 1 Corinthians 15:34; Romans 13:11.
“We are living in the closing scenes of this earth’s history. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time—not a moment—to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard. Let no one say in his heart or by his works: ‘My Lord delayeth His coming.’ Let the message of Christ’s soon return sound forth in earnest words of warning. Let us persuade men and women everywhere to repent and flee from the wrath to come. Let us arouse them to immediate preparation, for we little know what is before us. Let ministers and lay members go forth into the ripening fields to tell the unconcerned and indifferent to seek the Lord while He may be found. The workers will find their harvest wherever they proclaim the forgotten truths of the Bible. They will find those who will accept the truth and will devote their lives to winning souls to Christ.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 252, 253.
b. What work is to be carried forward at this time? Nehemiah 2:18; Psalm 94:16.
“The Lord desires His people to arise and do their appointed work. The responsibility of warning the world rests not upon the ministry alone. The lay members of the church are to share in the work of soul saving. By means of missionary visits and by a wise distribution of our literature, many who have never been warned may be reached. Let companies be organized to search for souls. Let the church members visit their neighbors and open to them the Scriptures. Some may be set to work in the hedges, and thus, by wise planning, the truth may be preached in all districts. With perseverance in this work, increasing aptitude for it will come, and many will see fruit of their labors in the salvation of souls. These converted ones will, in turn, teach others. Thus the seed will be sown in many places, and the truth be proclaimed to all.”—The Review and Herald, January 25, 1912.
“We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do, but soon it will be more difficult than we imagine.”—Evangelism, p. 218.
3. REVIVING THE DRY BONES
a. In the vision given to Ezekiel about the valley of the dry bones, what did God promise to do with the dry bones? Ezekiel 37:5, 6. What was the source of power which gave life to the bones? Verses 13, 14.
“What power must we have from God that icy hearts, having only a legal religion, should see the better things provided for them—Christ and His righteousness! A life-giving message was needed to give life to the dry bones.”—Selected Messages, bk 3, p. 177.
“But not only does this simile of the dry bones apply to the world, but also to those who have been blessed with great light; for they also are like the skeletons of the valley. They have the form of men, the framework of the body; but they have not spiritual life. But the parable does not leave the dry bones merely knit together into the forms of men; for it is not enough that there is symmetry of limb and feature. The breath of life must vivify the bodies, that they may stand upright and spring into activity. These bones represent the house of Israel, the church of God, and the hope of the church is the vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit. The Lord must breathe upon the dry bones, that they may live.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, pp. 1165, 1166.
b. What does the work of revival involve? Revelation 3:19, 20; 2 Timothy 4:2.
“The angels of God are going from church to church, doing their duty; and Jesus Christ is knocking at the doors of your hearts for entrance. But the means that God has devised to awaken the church to a sense of their spiritual destitution have not been regarded. The voice of the True Witness has been heard in reproof but has not been obeyed. Men have chosen to follow their own way, instead of God’s way, because self was not crucified in them. Thus the light has had but little effect upon hearts and minds. ‘Be zealous, and repent.’”—The Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.
“Those who bear the message to the world should seek the Lord earnestly, that His Holy Spirit may be abundantly showered upon them. You have no time to lose. Pray for the power of God, that you may work with success for those nigh and afar off.”—Selected Messages, bk 1, pp. 92, 93.
4. LIFTING UP CHRIST
a. What is the one thing which absorbs the attention of God’s revived messengers? Psalm 17:15; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 2:1, 2.
“Deep, fervent piety at home, in the church, and in the neighborhood, will bring souls to behold wondrous things out of the law, and to see the glorious truth of Christ our righteousness. . . .
“Those who have the truth open before them for this time bear a solemn responsibility. They must proclaim repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. They must dwell upon the cross of Christ and call the attention of every soul to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Christ in His self-denial, Christ in His humiliation, Christ in His purity, His holiness, Christ in His matchless love—this is the theme that needs to be brought out in every discourse. I have been shown that there must be a great awakening among the people of God. Many are unconverted whose names are on the church books. Let these words be repeated by men who are consecrated to the work: [John 3:16 quoted].”—The Review and Herald, August 13, 1889.
“One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up all others, Christ our Righteousness.”—The Paulson Collection, p. 342.
b. How will the revived servant of the Lord react, despite opposition to the message of warning? Joel 2:17; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18.
“God has always wrought for His people in their greatest extremity, when there seemed the least hope that ruin could be averted. The designs of wicked men, the enemies of the church, are subject to His power and overruling providence. He can move upon the hearts of statesmen; the wrath of the turbulent and disaffected, the haters of God, His truth, and His people can be turned aside, even as the rivers of water are turned, if He orders it thus. Prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence. He who marshals the stars in order in the heavens, whose word controls the waves of the great deep, the same infinite Creator will work in behalf of His people if they call upon Him in faith. He will restrain the forces of darkness until the warning is given to the world and all who will heed it are prepared for the conflict.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 452, 453.
5. LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE
a. What great privilege do we have in preparation for Christ’s soon return? Luke 8:16; Isaiah 60:1.
“It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour’s love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.
b. In view of the soon coming of Christ, how should we be living today? 2 Peter 3:11, 12; Titus 2:11–13.
“Christ has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. It is His purpose that every Christian shall be surrounded with a spiritual atmosphere of light and peace. He desires that we shall reveal His own joy in our lives.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 419.
“The Lord is coming. Lift up your heads and rejoice. . . . This is the good, the joyful news which should electrify every soul, which should be repeated in our homes, and told to those whom we meet on the street. What more joyful news can be communicated!”—Evangelism, p. 218.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How is the Laodicean message full of encouragement for us?
2. What are some practical ways that lay members can reach out to the souls around them?
3. How can the vision of the dry bones apply to those who have great light?
4. In what ways will God overrule the powers of darkness, as His people pray in faith?
5. In what way will God’s people spread the message of joy for this time?