Lesson 16 | Sabbath, 16 October 2021
“Everyone who is connected with God will impart light to others. If there are any who have no light to give, it is because they have no connection with the Source of light.” –(Historical Sketches, p. 291) Christian Service, p. 21.
Called to serve and preach
1. What was one reason why Jesus called His disciples? Why do you think He repeated His promise to them after the miracle of the draught of fish?
Mark 1:16-18. Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.17And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
Luke 5:8-10. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
“Every youth should be taught the necessity and the power of application. Upon this, far more than upon genius or talent, does success depend. Without application the most brilliant talents avail little, while with rightly directed effort persons of very ordinary natural abilities have accomplished wonders. And genius, at whose achievements we marvel, is almost invariably united with untiring, concentrated effort.” –Education, p. 232.
“To the early church had been entrusted a constantly enlarging work–that of establishing centers of light and blessing wherever there were honest souls willing to give themselves to the service of Christ.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 90.
2. For what tasks did He select and ordain the twelve disciples? How were they equipped to fulfill their mission?
Mark 3:13,14; 6:7, 12,13. And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.14And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach…. 6:7And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits…. 12And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
“It was at the ordination of the Twelve that the first step was taken in the organization of the church that after Christ’s departure was to carry on His work on the earth. Of this ordination the record says, ‘He goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto Him whom He would: and they came unto Him. And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach.’ Mark 3:13, 14.
“Look upon the touching scene. Behold the Majesty of heaven surrounded by the Twelve whom He has chosen. He is about to set them apart for their work. By these feeble agencies, through His word and Spirit, He designs to place salvation within the reach of all.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 18.
Others called to preach
3. Why did Jesus appoint seventy more preachers? How does the need of today compare with that in the disciples’ time?
Luke 10:1, 2. After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
“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.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 419.
“God has appointed His children to give light to others, and if they fail to do it, and souls are left in the darkness of error because of their failure to do that which they might have done, had they been vitalized by the Holy Spirit, they will be accountable to God. We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light, in order that we may show forth the praises of Christ.” –(Review and Herald, December 12, 1893) Christian Service, p. 21.
4. With what enthusiasm did the seventy return and tell Jesus about their experiences? How is it possible for God’s people to have similar success today?
Luke 10:17-19. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
“Many have an idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His recognized followers on earth. Jesus is the friend of sinners; and His heart is touched with their woe. He has all power, both in heaven and on earth; but He respects the means that He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men; He directs sinners to the church, which He has made a channel of light to the world.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 122.
“The one soul whom He sought to help became a means of reaching others and bringing them to the Saviour. This is ever the way that the work of God has made progress on the earth. Let your light shine, and other lights will be kindled.” –Gospel Workers, p. 195.
The great commission and promise
5. Even before He ascended to heaven, what great commission did the Lord give to His disciples? In addition to His followers’ mission, what great promise did He give them? How did the kingdom of heaven advance?
Matthew 28:18-20. And 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.
Mark 16:15, 16, 20. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned…. 20And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
“Before ascending to heaven, Christ gave His disciples their commission. He told them that they were to be the executors of the will in which He bequeathed to the world the treasures of eternal life.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 27.
“Every follower of Jesus has a work to do as a missionary for Christ, in the family, in the neighborhood, in the town or city where he lives. All who are consecrated to God are channels of light. God makes them instruments of righteousness to communicate to others the light of truth.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 632.
“The followers of Christ are to be the light of the world; but God does not bid them make an effort to shine. He does not approve of any self-satisfied endeavor to display superior goodness. He desires that their souls shall be imbued with the principles of heaven; then, as they come in contact with the world, they will reveal the light that is in them. Their steadfast fidelity in every act of life will be a means of illumination.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 36.
6. What will happen when God’s servants preach the gospel everywhere? Besides to His disciples, to whom did the Lord entrust this wonderful commission?
Matthew 24:14. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
“God requires His people to shine as lights in the world. It is not merely the ministers who are required to do this, but every disciple of Christ.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 122.
“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to ‘the principalities and powers in heavenly places,’ the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 9.
“As the rays of the sun penetrate to the remotest corners of the globe, so God designs that the light of the gospel shall extend to every soul upon the earth. If the church of Christ were fulfilling the purpose of our Lord, light would be shed upon all that sit in darkness and in the region and shadow of death.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 42.
7. What resources are given to the preachers of the gospel? What blessings come to them as well as those to whom they minister?
Acts 1:8. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
“As the divine endowment–the power of the Holy Spirit–was given to the disciples, so it will today be given to all who seek aright. This power alone is able to make us wise unto salvation and to fit us for the courts above. Christ wants to give us a blessing that will make us holy. ‘These things have I spoken unto you,’ He says, ‘that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ John 15:11. Joy in the Holy Spirit is health-giving, life-giving joy. In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world.
“As God so liberally bestows His gifts on you, remember that it is in order that you may return them to the Giver, multiplied by being imparted. Bring into the lives of others light and joy and peace. Every day we need the discipline of self-humiliation, that we may be prepared to receive the heavenly gift, not to hoard it, not to rob God’s children of His blessing, but to give it in all its rich fullness to others. When more than now shall we need a heart open to receive, aching, as it were, with its longing to impart?” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 273.
For additional study
The Holy Spirit was to descend on those who love Christ. By this they would be qualified, in and through the glorification of their Head, to receive every endowment necessary for the fulfilling of their mission. The Life-giver held in His hand not only the keys of death but a whole heaven of rich blessings. All power in heaven and earth was given to Him, and having taken His place in the heavenly courts, He could dispense these blessings to all who receive Him. The church was baptized with the Spirit’s power. The disciples were fitted to go forth and proclaim Christ, first in Jerusalem, where the shameful work of dishonoring the rightful King had been done, and then to the uttermost parts of the earth. The evidence of the enthronement of Christ in His mediatorial kingdom was given.” –My Life Today, p. 47.