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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from the Epistles of Peter (I)

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Lesson 13 Sabbath, June 29, 2024

Be Sober, Be Vigilant

MEMORY TEXT: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

“From the days of Adam to our own time, our great enemy has been exercising his power to oppress and destroy. He is now preparing for his last campaign against the church.”—The Great Controversy, p. 510.

Suggested Readings:   Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 126, 127
  The Great Controversy, pp. 39-48

Sunday June 23


a. What serious admonition did Peter write in the conclusion of his first epistle? 1 Peter 5:8.

“Satan is constantly at work, but few have any idea of his activity and subtlety. The people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. . . . Satan’s step is noiseless, his movements stealthy, and his batteries masked. He does not venture to show himself openly, lest he arouse the Christian’s dormant energies and send him to God in prayer. . . .

“Man is Satan’s captive and is naturally inclined to follow his suggestions and do his bidding. He has in himself no power to oppose effectual resistance to evil. . . . It is only through Christ that Satan’s power is limited.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 293, 294.

b. What did Peter later learn as the secret that would have helped him be victorious in the palace of Caiaphas at Jesus’ trial? Matthew 26:38, 40, 41.

“Self-confidence leads to neglect of watchfulness and of humble, penitential prayer. There are outward temptations to be shunned and inward foes and perplexities to be overcome, for Satan adapts his temptations to the different characters and temperaments of individuals.”—Ibid., vol. 3, p. 445.

Monday June 24


a. Aside from coming with characteristics of a lion, name another way the enemy of our souls often approaches his prey. 2 Corinthians 11:14.

“Satan is constantly seeking the ruin of those who are ignorant concerning his devices, yet feel no special need of the prayers and counsel of experienced and godly friends. Many of the youth who come to _____ with good resolutions to live Christian lives fall in with a class of young people who take them by the hand and, under the guise of friendship, lead them directly into Satan’s snare. The enemy does not always come as a roaring lion; he frequently appears as an angel of light, assuming friendly airs, presenting peculiar temptations which it is difficult for the inexperienced to withstand.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 207.

b. Through what avenues of the soul is Satan gaining the most success, especially in this age of nearly universal mobile phone and Internet access? 1 Peter 2:11; 1 John 2:16.

“Many of the young . . . read everything they can obtain. Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. Novels are eagerly perused by many, and, as the result, their imagination becomes defiled. . . . Photographs of females in a state of nudity are frequently circulated [especially online]. . . . The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions. Then follow sins and crimes which drag beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the beasts, sinking them at last in perdition. Avoid reading and seeing things which will suggest impure thoughts. Cultivate the moral and intellectual powers. . . .

“I appeal to parents to control the reading [and Internet access] of their children.”—Ibid., vol. 2, p. 410. [Bracketed words added.]

“Through appetite, Satan controls the mind and the whole being.”—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 37.

“Many Christian mothers, who, by their example and by the education which they are giving their children, are preparing them to become gluttons and winebibbers. Children are frequently indulged in eating what they choose and when they choose, without reference to health.”—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 235.

Tuesday June 25


a. What must every Christian have in order to resist Satan? 1 Peter 5:9 (first part); James 4:7.

“[Eve] disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall. In the judgment men will not be condemned because they conscientiously believed a lie, but because they did not believe the truth, because they neglected the opportunity of learning what is truth.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 55.

“When they have merely a theory, a shallow faith they cannot explain, a sudden temptation will cause them to drift away with the current bearing toward the world.”—Our High Calling, p. 332.

b. What makes many Christians easy prey for Satan, even though they claim to believe the Word of God? Proverbs 19:2; Hosea 4:6 (first part); compare to Romans 10:17; 15:4.

“Temptations often appear irresistible because, through neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one cannot readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons.”—The Great Controversy, p. 600.

c. What truth should be an encouragement for every soul under siege by Satan’s attacks? 1 Peter 5:9, 10; 1:6, 7; 2 Corinthians 4:17.

“Peter wrote to the believers at a time of peculiar trial to the church. Many had already become partakers of Christ’s sufferings, and soon the church was to undergo a period of terrible persecution. . . . Soon grievous wolves were to enter in, not sparing the flock. But none of these things were to bring discouragement to those whose hopes were centered in Christ. With words of encouragement and good cheer Peter directed the minds of the believers from present trials . . . ‘to an inheritance incorruptible . . .’ ‘The God of all grace,’ he fervently prayed, ‘who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.’ ”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 528.

Wednesday June 26


a. To what episodes in history does Peter compare the Christian church as being scattered in “Babylon” and oppressed by earthly powers? Daniel 3:1–6; Esther 3:8; 1 Peter 5:13.

“In a land where idol worship was of universal prevalence, the beautiful and priceless image in the plain of Dura, representing the glory of Babylon, . . . should be consecrated as an object of worship. . . . A decree went forth that on the day of the dedication all should show their supreme loyalty to the Babylonian power by bowing before the image. . . .

“On that eventful day the powers of darkness seemed to be gaining a signal triumph. . . .

“But God decreed otherwise. Not all had bowed the knee to the idolatrous symbol of human power. . . .

“Pointing to the fiery furnace, [the king] reminded them of the punishment awaiting them if they should persist in their refusal to obey his will. But firmly the Hebrews testified to their allegiance to the God of heaven.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 505-507.

“The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by Ahasuerus against the Jews. Today the enemies of the true church see in the little company keeping the Sabbath commandment, a Mordecai at the gate. The reverence of God’s people for His law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are trampling on His Sabbath.

“Satan will arouse indignation against the minority who refuse to accept popular customs and traditions.”—Ibid., p. 605.

“The powers of earth and hell arrayed themselves against Christ in the person of His followers. Paganism foresaw that should the gospel triumph, her temples and altars would be swept away; therefore she summoned her forces to destroy Christianity.”—The Great Controversy, p. 39.

b. Why is there little or no persecution in most places today? John 15:19.

“It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world. Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the early church, and the spirit of persecution will be revived, and the fires of persecution will be rekindled.”—Ibid., p. 48.

Thursday June 27


a. Who helped Peter in writing his epistle? 1 Peter 5:12.

b. How do we know that Silvanus was an active missionary and coworker with Peter and Paul (who most likely helped them with Greek grammar in writing some of their epistles)? 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1. How was this paralleled in the life of Ellen G. White?

“While my husband lived, he acted as a helper and counselor in the sending out of the messages that were given to me. . . . The instruction I received in vision was faithfully written out by me. . . .

“Afterward we examined the matter together, my husband correcting grammatical errors and eliminating needless repetition. Then it was carefully copied for the persons addressed, or for the printer. . . .

“After my husband’s death, faithful helpers joined me, who labored untiringly in the work of copying the testimonies and preparing articles for publication.

“But the reports that are circulated, that any of my helpers are permitted to add matter or change the meaning of the messages I write out, are not true.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 50.

c. What good Christian custom was set up by the apostles and should still be practiced among believers today? 1 Peter 5:14.

“The holy salutation . . . should ever be considered in its true character. It is a holy kiss. It should be regarded as a sign of fellowship to Christian friends when parting, and when meeting again after a separation of weeks or months. . . . There can be no appearance of evil when the holy kiss is given at a proper time and place.”—Early Writings, p. 117.

Friday June 28


1. How does self-confidence often precede a fall into temptation?

2. How can my passions or appetite cause me to fall prey to Satan’s wiles?

3. Why would more frequent and consecrated personal Bible study help me?

4. Explain the balance between good public relations vs. wrong compromise.

5. What can I do to help the church advance in spreading the gospel?

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