TRUTH FOR TODAY

Lesson 1: September 29-October 5
Lesson 2: October 6-12
Lesson 3: October 13-19
Lesson 4: October 20-26
Lesson 5: October 27-November 2
Lesson 6: November 3-9
Lesson 7: November 10-16
Lesson 8: November 17-23
Lesson 9: November 24-30
Lesson 10: December 1-7
Lesson 11: December 8-14
Lesson 12: December 15-21
Lesson 13: December 22-28

Lesson 11: December 8-14

‘Ye shall afflict your souls’

 

MEMORY VERSE: ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.’ Revelation 3:19.                    

STUDY HELP:  Ye Shall Receive Power, page 359.

LESSON SCRIPTURE:  1 John 3:1-9.

LESSON AIM: To study what it means to afflict your soul.

 

Introduction

 

‘In the typical day of atonement, every man was required to afflict his soul before God. He was not to afflict the souls of others, but the work was between God and his own soul. The same work of self-examination and humiliation is required of each of us now; and I entreat you to make thorough work for eternity. “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near.”’ Signs of the Times, May 29, 1884.

 

‘Ye shall afflict your souls’

 

1. In order to become at one with God, what were God’s people required to do? Leviticus 16:29-31; Leviticus 23:27, 32; Numbers 29:7.

NOTE: ‘While the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart. The light, frivolous spirit indulged by so many professed Christians must be put away. There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another. Though all nations are to pass in judgment before God, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being upon the earth. Everyone must be tested and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgement is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress. Soon, none know how soon, it will pass to the cases of the living. In the awful presence of God our lives are to come up in review. At this time above all others it behoves every soul to heed the Saviour’s admonition: “Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” Mark 13:33.’ Counsels for the Church, page 348.

 

2. How does God’s Word emphasise the vital importance of true repentance? Acts 3:19. Note Luke 13:3, 5.

NOTE: ‘I have seen an angel standing with scales in his hands weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God, especially the young. In one scale were the thoughts and interest tending heavenward; in the other were the thoughts and interest tending to earth. And in this scale were thrown all the reading of storybooks, thoughts of dress and show, vanity, pride, etc. Oh, what a solemn moment! The angels of God standing with scales, weighing the thoughts of His professed children, those who claim to be dead to the world and alive to God. The scale filled with thoughts of earth, vanity, and pride quickly went down, notwithstanding weight after weight rolled from the scale. The one with the thoughts and interest tending to heaven went quickly up as the other went down, and oh, how light it was! I can relate this as I saw it; but never can I give the solemn and vivid impression stamped upon my mind, as I saw the angel with the scales weighing the thoughts and interest of the people of God. Said the angel: “Can such enter heaven? No, no, never. Tell them the hope they now possess is vain, and unless they speedily repent, and obtain salvation, they must perish.” A form of godliness will not save any. All must have a deep and living experience. This alone will save them in the time of trouble. Then their work will be tried of what sort it is; and if it is gold, silver, and precious stones, they will be hid as in the secret of the Lord’s pavilion. But if their work is wood, hay, and stubble, nothing can shield them from the fierceness of Jehovah’s wrath.’ Counsels for the Church, pages 41-42.

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