Lesson 9 | Sabbath, 26 February 2022
“Our great Exemplar was exalted to be equal with God. He was high commander in heaven. All the holy angels delighted to bow before Him. ‘And again, when He bringeth in the First-begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.’ Jesus took upon Himself our nature, laid aside His glory, majesty, and riches to perform His mission, to save that which was lost. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister unto others. Jesus, when reviled, abused, and insulted, did not retaliate. ‘Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 426.
PREPARING THE WAY
1. Who, like an angel, was to go before the Lord? Who preached the message of repentance that prepared the way for Him?
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
Matthew 11:7, 9, 10 And as they de- parted, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?… 9But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
“Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God had spoken to the world. Lessons must be given to humanity in the language of humanity. The Messenger of the covenant must speak. His voice must be heard in His own temple. Christ must come to utter words which should be clearly and definitely understood. He, the author of truth, must separate truth from the chaff of man’s utterance, which had made it of no effect. The principles of God’s government and the plan of redemption must be clearly defined. The lessons of the Old Testament must be fully set before men.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 34. “Pray, yes, pray with unshaken faith and trust. The Angel of the covenant, even our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Mediator who secures the acceptance of the prayers of His believing ones.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 179.
2. What other prophecy did the Lord give to prepare the people to receive the Messiah with all their hearts? How did Jesus confirm the fulfillment of this prophecy?
Malachi 4:5, 6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Matthew 11:12-14 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Luke 1:16, 17 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the dis- obedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
“The work of John was foretold by the prophet Malachi:… Malachi
4:5, 6. John the Baptist went forth in the spirit and power of Elijah, to prepare the way of the Lord, and to turn the people to the wisdom of the just. He was a representative of those living in the last days, to whom God has intrusted sacred truths to present before the people, to prepare the way for the second appearing of Christ. And the same principles of temperance which John practiced should be observed by those who in our day are to warn the world of the coming of the Son of man.” –Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, p. 39.
PREACHING THE LORD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS
3. What was going to be the essence of His preaching? How was this prophecy fulfilled in the Saviour’s amazing ministry?
Psalm 40:9, 10 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest. 10I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Luke 8:1 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him.
“With the sweet melody of song, in His childhood, youth, and manhood, Jesus corrected passionate, unadvised words and unbelieving, accusing utterances. When he was assailed by criticizers, His voice was raised in song: ‘… I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, Thou knowest. I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy loving-kindness and Thy truth from the great congregation. Withhold not Thou Thy tender mercies from me, O Lord; let Thy loving-kindness and thy truth continually preserve me.’” –The Youth’s Instructor, April 4, 1901.
“Real godliness is diffusive and communicative. The psalmist says: ‘I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation: I have not concealed Thy loving-kindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.’ Wherever the love of God is, there is always a desire to express it.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 543, 544.
4. What was His message? To whom did He pay special attention in His ministry?
Psalm 72:2, 4, 12, 13 He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment…. 4He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the op- pressor…. 12For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. 13He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.
Isaiah 61:1, 2, first The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken- hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord….
Luke 4:18, 19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
“For centuries preceding Christ’s first advent, darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people…. Multitudes were sitting in the shadow of death. Their only hope was for this gloom to be lifted, that God might be revealed.
“With prophetic vision David, the anointed of God, had foreseen that the coming of Christ should be ‘as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.’ 2 Samuel 23:4. And Hosea testified, ‘His going forth is prepared as the morning.’ Hosea 6:3. Quietly and gently the daylight breaks upon the earth, dispelling the shadow of darkness and waking the earth to life. So was the Sun of Righteousness to arise, ‘with healing in His wings.’ Malachi 4:2. The multitudes dwelling ‘in the land of the shadow of death’ were to see ‘a great light.’ Isaiah 9:2.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 687, 688.
THE GENTILES’ INTEREST AND TRUST
5. What was prophesied concerning the Messiah’s desire for the Gentiles in distant lands? What noble mission did He entrust to His disciples of all ages?
Isaiah 42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Matthew 12:21; 28:18-20 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust…. 28:18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen
“We read of One who walked this earth in meekness and lowliness, who went about ‘doing good’ (Acts 10:38), who spent His life in loving service, comforting the sorrowing, ministering to the needy, lifting up the bowed down. He had no home in this world, only as the kindness of His friends provided it for Him as a wayfarer. Yet it was heaven to be in His presence…. He was always patient and cheerful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace and health. He saw the needs of men and women, and to all He gives the invitation, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light’ Matthew 11:28-30.” –Selected Messages, book 2, p. 154.
6. Even who would recognize and bestow glory and honor on the Messiah? When was this prophecy fulfilled?
Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Matthew 21:9, 15, 16 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.… 15And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore dis- pleased, 16And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
“Prophecy had foretold that Christ should be proclaimed as king, and that word must be fulfilled. The priests and rulers of Israel refused to herald His glory, and God moved upon the children to be His witnesses. Had the voices of the children been silent, the very pillars of the temple would have sounded the Saviour’s praise.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 592, 593. “‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength,’ the psalmist says. The Lord will work through the words of even little children who have been instructed from their babyhood to love and fear Him. Through their instrumentality the Lord will teach men to be kind and tender-hearted, and to seek Him in simplicity of heart.” –Lake Union Herald, November 3, 1909.
“‘According to the light which has been given to me, when the heavenly intelligences see that men will no longer present the truth in simplicity as did Jesus, the very children will be moved upon by the Spirit of God, and will go forth proclaiming the truth for this time.’” –The Southern Work, p. 66.
HIGH PRIESTLY MINISTRY
7. Although He did not belong to the tribe of Levi, what office would the Messiah hold? For how long would He minister in that office?
Psalm 110:4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:16, 17 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
“Christ glorified not Himself in being made High Priest. God gave Him His appointment to the priesthood. He was to be an example to all the human family. He qualified Himself to be, not only the representative of the race, but their Advocate, so that every soul if he will may say, I have a Friend at court. He is a High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.” –(Manuscript 101, 1897) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 930.
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“It was the work of Christ to present the truth in the framework of the gospel, and to reveal the precepts and principles that He had given to fallen man. Every idea He presented was His own. He needed not to borrow thoughts from any, for He was the originator of all truth. He could present the ideas of prophets and philosophers, and preserve His originality; for all wisdom was His; He was the source, the fountain, of all truth. He was in advance of all, and by His teaching He became the spiritual leader for all ages.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 409.
“To all Christ has given the work of ministry. He is the King of glory, yet He declared, ‘The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.’ He is the Majesty of heaven, yet He willingly consented to come to this earth to do the work laid upon Him by His Father. He has ennobled labor. That He might set us an example of industry, He worked with His hands at the carpenter’s trade. From a very early age, He acted His part in sustaining the family. He realized that He was a part of the family firm, and willingly bore His share of the burdens.” –Messages to Young People, p. 211.
MISSIONARY REPORT FROM THE GENERAL CONFERENCE FAMILY DEPARTMENT
To be read on Sabbath, February 26, 2022
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, March 5, 2022
“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:16.
Cordial greetings to the beloved people of God. May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ dwell in every heart that yearns for His precious word and promises to be fulfilled to all.
The Family Department was created in 2012 during the delegates’ sessions in South Africa, for the purpose of strengthening the families among God’s people. As such, we have organized plans, goals, and objectives to enhance the well being and spiritual growth of the church’s families on every level, including health, finances, social harmony, mental health, and especially spiritual development, which is the key for families to be blessed and to be a blessing to others.
During the year, the Department sponsors conferences and events. The month of May is dedicated to the family worldwide in cooperation with the Evangelism Department and the Divisions, Unions, Fields, and local churches. Solutions are sought for difficult issues that the church families face.
For this purpose special articles and videos have been prepared and translated into English and Spanish. However, there have been increasing requests for these materials in other languages, so, with the help of God and believers who have voluntarily helped us with translation, video editing, proofreading, dubbing, etc., we have been able to produce these aids in eleven languages. The homes of the believers have been greatly blessed, many families have benefitted, and we have also reached homes that did not know about God’s word.
“The restoration and uplifting of humanity begins in the home. The work of parents underlies every other. Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are ‘the issues of life’ (Proverbs 4:23); and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 349.
Families around the world today have experienced some of the worst days on the face of the earth, including disasters related to the pandemic, economic upheavals, depression, and fear. While families have been great affected by all of these things, God’s people, as ambassadors of Jesus, have the sacred mission of taking the peace of Jesus into homes suffering under spiritual darkness; this can be successful only by being closely connected to Christ and one another.
To share the materials with families in more languages, we have had to operate with a lack of means to pay for equipment, translators, designers, editors, and printing, such as magazines, brochures, and articles, as well as video editing.
In addition, we want to reach more families in needy countries, so we need you to help us with this through your generous offerings. Financial resources can make it possible for many families to be blessed by the messages from the Lord for families, so that when Jesus comes He will greet those whose homes are strengthened by His grace.
“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25.
Thank you for your support of this important work and for your prayers and generous offerings. Let us continue to pray for all of the families in God’s church and for the spiritual edification of all who belong to the family of Christ.
“One well-ordered, well-disciplined family tells more in behalf of Christanity than all the sermons that can be preached.” –The Adventist Home, p. 32.
The Lord bless our families!
–Pastor Adalicio Fontes Souza
Leader of the General Conference Family Department