Weekly Insights about the Quarterly Lessons from the 1888 Message Study Committee.
Friday, July 03, 2020
1888 Message Study : Why Witness?
THIRD QUARTER 2020
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #1
JULY 4, 2020
"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son." 1 John 5:9-10, NKJV.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-- the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 1 John 1:1-2, NKJV.
God's love is revealed in the gospel, in His ultimate sacrifice of Himself in Christ, providing salvation for all mankind in Jesus. His love never gives up, therefore there are multiple opportunities for salvation of the individual.
To enter in to eﬀective witnessing, we must ourselves have grasped and appreciated not only the magnitude of the love of God for the world, giving eternal life to all the race in Christ, but His love toward us individually. God revealed His love for mankind by indwelling the fallen sinful flesh that Christ took, to redeem it. When we know this love by personal experience, we can then share the ministry of Christ as He lives in us. Love is the highest and sweetest motivation.
Said another way, when our very identity is determined by who we are in Christ, then His happiness and joy are ours, and we experience deliverance through Him. We then rejoice with heaven over one sinner who repents, who turns to Him, to experience what we have personally witnessed.
The self-sacrifice of Christ, His Faith in humanity, is what drives our faithfulness. We can only be full of faith if we are full of Christ, accepting of His indwelling through the Holy Spirit.
As the church grasps and believes the magnitude, the comprehensive reach, the amazing gift that was given to the world in Christ, each member will be better equipped to experience and share this gift with others. This personal sharing will bring massive growth to the church.
The very best reason for witnessing is the love of God. The very best witness is the Holy Spirit in the heart.
"Our influence upon others depends not so much upon what we say as upon what we are. Men may combat and defy our logic; they may resist our appeals; but a life of disinterestedlove is an argument they cannot gainsay. A consistent life, characterized by the meekness of Christ, is a power in the world." DA 141.5*
"Now what books are necessary? Here I can give you exact and definite information. You need a fairly large library, not less than sixty-six books; but they are not very expensive, and I doubt not that you have them already. They are the books of the Old and the New Testament. It is absolutely impossible for you to learn to witness for Christ from any other books than these. I will not disparage commentaries, any more than the good men who have written them; but remember this one thing: You are called to be a witness, and a witness must tell what heknows, and must not repeat what somebody else has already said.You do not want to be a phonograph. Some other man may have given a good testimony, but that testimony is his, not yours. If he has written it down, then everybody can read it for himself, and he can continue to witness after he is dead. It is his own voice. But if you or I repeat that testimony, we are not witnessing, but are merely echoing. God wants fresh testimony from every individual, and not the repetition of what somebody else has said better than we can. If he could speak better than me, then it is folly for us to ape him. God sends us to tell what we have seen, even though it be but little. If we do not know much, then we cannot testify much; but the little that we know, if we do indeed know it, is just as eﬀective as the same amount spoken by the most learned man in the world; and if we speak that which we do not absolutely know for ourselves as the direct revelation from God, then our talk is worse than useless. In such a case we cannot know but that we are leading the people astray." October 4, 1900 EJW, PTUK 628-9}.
"'Beloved, now are we the sons of God."' 1 John 3:2. 'As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.' John 1:12. This is an altogether diﬀerent state from that described in the third verse as 'children.' In that state we were 'a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord.' Isaish 30:9. Believing on Jesus, and receiving the adoption of sons, we are described 'as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.' 1 Peter1:14. Christ said, 'I delight to do Thy will, O My God; yea, Thy law is within My heart.' Psalms40:8.
Therefore, since He becomes our substitute … literally taking our place, not instead of us, butcoming into us, and living our life in us and for us, it necessarily follows that the same law mustbe within our hearts when we receive the adoption of sons.
The Witness of the Spirit
'It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.' 1 John 5:6. 'Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father,' or, Father, Father. Oh, what joy and peace come with the entering of the Spirit into the heart as a permanent resident; not as a guest merely, but as sole proprietor! Being justified by faith wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we 'joy in God,' rejoicing even intribulations, having hope that never disappoints, because 'the love of God is shed abroad in ourhearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.' Romans 5:1-5. Then we can love even as Goddoes; we have the same love, because we have the Divine nature. 'The Spirit itself bearethwitness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.' 'He that believeth hath the witness inhimself.'"1900 EJW, GTI 170-1.