1. THE CENTRAL THEME OF OUR MESSAGE
a. As we studied earlier, what is the special message that we as Seventh Day Adventist reformers should be giving to the world? Revelation 14:6–12.
b. Like the early church, what should be the central theme of our message to the world? Acts 5:42; 1 Corinthians 2:2.
“Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world. The proclamation of the third angel’s message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath truth. This truth, with others included in the message, is to be proclaimed; but the great center of attraction, Christ Jesus, must not be left out. It is at the cross of Christ that mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other. The sinner must be led to look to Calvary; with the simple faith of a little child he must trust in the merits of the Saviour, accepting His righteousness, believing in His mercy.”—Gospel Workers, pp. 156, 157.
2. CHRIST THE ONLY SAVIOUR
a. Since the gospel is all about Christ (Romans 1:1–3), what knowledge must we first obtain and then go and preach it to the world? 2 Peter 3:18; Philippians 3:7, 8.
“No man can succeed in the service of God unless his whole heart is in the work and he counts all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 273.
b. Why is the knowledge of the true Christ very important? Matthew 24:24. How do false Christs and false prophets appear before the people? 2 Corinthians 11:13–15; Matthew 7:15.
“Fallen angels upon earth form confederations with evil men. In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God’s holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God and deify him.”—The Review and Herald, September 12, 1893.
c. Why is it important that the Christ we believe in and preach is the true Christ preached by the original apostles? John 14:6; Acts 4:10–12.
“There is only one way to heaven. We must walk in the footsteps of Jesus, doing His works, even as He did the works of His Father. We must study His ways, not man’s ways; we must obey His will, not our own.
. . . He is the Way, the Truth, the Life.”—Our Father Cares, p. 264.
“If you are conscious of your sins, do not devote all your powers to mourning over them, but look and live. Jesus is our only Saviour; and . . . not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish. While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we must not be discouraged; we must rely upon a crucified and risen Saviour. Poor, sin-sick, discouraged soul, look and live. Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 352.
3. MARKS OF THE TRUE CHRIST
a. How does Inspiration explain the blending of the divine and human natures in the person of Jesus Christ? Philippians 2:5–8.
“[The Author of our salvation] voluntarily assumed human nature. It was His own act, and by His own consent. He clothed His divinity with humanity. He was all the while as God, but He did not appear as God. He veiled the demonstrations of Deity which had commanded the homage, and called forth the admiration, of the universe of God. He was God while upon earth, but He divested Himself of the form of God, and in its stead took the form and fashion of a man. He walked the earth as a man. For our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. He laid aside His glory and His majesty. He was God, but the glories of the form of God He for a while relinquished.”—The Review and Herald, July 5, 1887.
b. Regarding His humanity, how old was Jesus when His parents lost Him for three days during the Passover feast, and how old was He when He was baptized by John the Baptist? Luke 2:42, 43; 3:21–23.
“We want to comprehend so far as possible the truly human nature of our Lord. The divine and human were linked in Christ, and both were complete.”—Selected Messages, bk. 3, p. 135.
c. Regarding His divinity, how far back in time did He exist? Micah 5:2; John 17:5, 24.
“Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. . . .
“Christ is the preexistent, self-existent Son of God. . . . In speaking of His preexistence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. . . .
“His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.”—The Faith I Live By, p. 46.
4. MARKS OF THE TRUE CHRIST (CONTINUED)
a. How did Jesus explain the fact that He was the self-existent God that appeared to Moses in Mount Horeb? John 8:58 (compare with Exodus 3:14, 15).
“With solemn dignity Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM’ (John 8:58). . . . The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One, He who had been promised to Israel, ‘whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity’ (Micah 5:2, margin).”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 469, 470.
“It was Christ who from the bush on Mount Horeb spoke to Moses saying, ‘I AM THAT I AM. . . . Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you’ (Exodus 3:14). This was the pledge of Israel’s deliverance. So when He came ‘in the likeness of men,’ He declared Himself the I AM. The Child of Bethlehem, the meek and lowly Saviour, is God ‘manifest in the flesh’ (1 Timothy 3:16).”—Ibid., p.24.
b. How did Jesus express the truth that as a divine being He has the same divine nature, substance, and attributes as God the Father? John 10:27–30; Colossians 1:18, 19.
“Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6).”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34.
“[John 10:21–30 quoted.]. . . The Jews had never before heard such words from human lips, and a convicting influence attended them; for it seemed that divinity flashed through humanity as Jesus said, ‘I and my Father are one.’ The words of Christ were full of deep meaning as He put forth the claim that He and the Father were of one substance, possessing the same attributes.”—The Signs of the Times, November 27, 1893.
5. A DIVINE COCREATOR WITH THE FATHER
a. By whom was the world created, and what significance does this fact have regarding the preexistence of Christ? John 1:2, 3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15–17.
“If Christ made all things, He existed before all things. The words spoken in regard to this are so decisive that no one need be left in doubt. Christ was God essentially and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 247.
b. How does God, the Father, acknowledge the deity of Christ, and what assurance does this assertion give us? Hebrews 1:8–12.
“‘He that believeth in Me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ (John 11:25, 26). Christ here looks forward to the time of His second coming. Then the righteous dead shall be raised incorruptible, and the living righteous shall be translated to heaven without seeing death. The miracle which Christ was about to perform, in raising Lazarus from the dead, would represent the resurrection of all the righteous dead. By His word and His works He declared Himself the Author of the resurrection. He who Himself was soon to die upon the cross stood with the keys of death, a conqueror of the grave, and asserted His right and power to give eternal life.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 530.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is to be the center of the message that we are to bring to the world?
2. How can you recognize a false Christ who claims to be the true Christ?
3. Which person of the Godhead appeared to Moses on Mount Horeb?
4. How can you prove from the Bible that Jesus was a cocreator with the Father?
5. If Jesus is our Creator, what does this fact tell us about Him?