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Second Quarter 2017 (March 25–June 23)
COMMENTARY ON "FEED MY SHEEP": FIRST AND SECOND PETER
Week 8: May 13–19
COMMENTARY ON "JESUS IN THE WRITINGS OF PETER"
Following is a combined commentary on the material included in the Bible Study Guide with references as necessary to the supplemental passages included in the E. G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all biblical quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Monday, May 15th The Passion of Christ
Let’s begin with Monday’s lesson, where some important points are to be learned. In Monday’s lesson, the author quotes the following from Ellen White:
The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. —Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 753.
There are four statements in this passage from EGW that need to be addressed individually.
First, “… Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb.”
This is patently false. Christ knew he would be raised on the third day and made references to that during his ministry. John 2:17-22 states:
His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me." 18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Secondly, “Hope did not … tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice.”
Jesus knew his sacrifice would be sufficient and accepted by the Father. There is no passage in the New Testament (or the entire Bible, for that matter) that states that Jesus’ sacrifice would be insufficient for the sins of the world. He knew that he was the Lamb without blemish that was slain from the foundation of the earth. 1 Peter 1:19-20 tell us:
...but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you
Third, “He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal.” Even when faced with being forsaken by the Father on the cross, Jesus never understood it to be eternal. He knew that, although forsaken at the cross, he and his blood would be accepted in heaven when he ascended to his Father. Even before the scripture was written, Jesus knew that he would return to the glory he once shared with the Father. John 17:1-5 states:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus never thought that separation from the Father would be eternal.
Fourth, “Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race.” The mercy of Christ will always plead for the guilty race. There never will be a time that we must stand before a holy God without Christ as our mediator\intercessor. Hebrews 7:25 tells us,
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
We need not fear, nor spread the lie that Christ’s intercession will ever come to an end.
Ellen White was, at this point in her life, a false prophet, telling lies about God and Christ. The Great Controversy, from which this teaching is found, remains as one of the primary sources of Adventist doctrine, and upon close inspection does not live up to the standard of Biblical prophecy.
Tuesday, May 16th The Resurrection of Jesus
Today the lesson author quotes Ellen White again, this time from The Desire of Ages, another key source for Adventist doctrine.
“To the Christian, death is but a sleep, a moment of silence and darkness. The life is hid with Christ in God, and ‘when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.’ John 8:51, 52; Col. 3:4. . . . [A]t His second coming all the precious dead shall hear His voice, and shall come forth to glorious, immortal life.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 787.
The lesson author states,
Without that [hope of the resurrection], what hope do we have, especially because we know that contrary to popular Christian belief, the dead are in an unconscious sleep in the grave? (Pg. 67, Standard Quarterly)
First Thessalonians tells us that Jesus will “bring with him those who have fallen asleep” and then that we who are left, “will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thess. 4:14-17 tells us,
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (Emphases mine.)
When we die, our spirits, which is our essence, go to be with Christ. As Paul so clearly states in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8,
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Without the help of Ellen White, or ANY other author, simply allow the word to enter and find lodging in your heart.
He also states in Philippians 1:21-24,
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.
Wednesday, May 17th Jesus as the Messiah
There are no concerns observed in Wednesday’s lesson.
Thursday, May 18th Jesus, the Divine Messiah
The lesson author states that,
Jesus is described as the beloved Son (2 Pet. 1:17), and some of Jesus’ authority as Lord, and His heavenly status, comes from this special relationship that He has with God the Father. (Pg. 69 of Standard Quarterly)
His authority as Lord and his heavenly status do not come from a “special relationship” that Jesus has with the Father. His authority as Lord comes from the fact that he is the Lord God Almighty, not from a special relationship. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, he is one in essence (one being) with the Father and the Spirit. In John 8:58 Jesus uses the very name of God Almighty, Yahweh, when describing himself. He states, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” In Response, the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but he hid himself and went out of the temple. (v59). (See Exodus 3:14.)
The lesson author also comments that,
Seventh-day Adventists include the doctrine of the Trinity as one of their 28 fundamental beliefs. Thus, we see in Peter a clear depiction of Jesus, not only as the Messiah but as God Himself.
Yet the fundamental beliefs never state that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one being, one in essence. Not simply one in purpose, united to accomplish the salvation of mankind. The Adventist fundamental belief allows that the three persons of the Godhead are three different beings, not three persons in one being. Adventism is not as clear as the Westminster confession of faith or the Creed of Chalcedon, on the doctrine of the Trinity. The Adventist fundamental belief leaves out too much information on the Trinity that the Christian church has struggled with for millennia.
Friday, May 19th Further Thought
After reading Friday’s lesson, read these two passages to get a brief glimpse of who Jesus truly is.