2017 2nd Quarter
Lesson 3, April 8-14, A Royal Priesthood
Friday, April 14
“The terms of this oneness between God and man in the great covenant of redemption were arranged with Christ from all eternity. The covenant of grace was revealed to the patriarchs. The covenant made with Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the law was spoken on Sinai was a covenant confirmed by God in Christ, the very same gospel which is preached to us. ‘The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.’ The covenant of grace is not a new truth, for it existed in the mind of God from all eternity. This is why it is called the everlasting covenant. The plan of redemption was not conceived after the fall of man to cure the dreadful evil; the apostle Paul speaks of the gospel, the preaching of Jesus Christ, as ‘the revelation of the mystery, which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith.’ (Revised Version.)” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, August 24, 1891, emphasis added.)
“The Jews thought themselves superior to any other people because they were the descendants of Abraham. No others, they thought, had a right to the promises or the love of God. They had been specially blessed by the Lord, but it was that they might in their turn be a blessing to others. But this they had lost sight of. In their pride and self-sufficiency they built a wall between themselves and the surrounding nations. But with all their advantages, the Jewish priests and rulers were ignorant of the Scriptures. They failed to see their true import. They stood in important and responsible positions, as the leading men of the nation, but they were in need of understanding the first principles of pure and undefiled religion. They should have been willing to minister to those around them, but they passed by on the other side, unheeding their wants.” (Ellen White, Signs of the Times, September 9, 1897, emphasis added.)
“Although the work in foreign fields has not advanced as it should have advanced, yet that which has been accomplished affords reason for gratitude and ground for encouragement. Much less means has been spent in these fields than in the home fields, and the work has been done under the hardest pressure and without proper facilities. Yet, considering the help that has been sent to these fields, the result is indeed surprising. Our missionary success has been fully proportionate to our self-denying, self-sacrificing effort. God alone can estimate the work accomplished as the gospel message has been proclaimed in clear, straight lines. New fields have been entered, and aggressive work has been done. The seeds of truth have been sown, the light has flashed upon many minds, bringing enlarged views of God and a more correct estimate as to the character to be formed. Thousands have been brought to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. They have been imbued with the faith that works by love and purifies the soul.
“The value of these spiritual advantages is beyond our comprehension. What line can sound the depths of the word preached? What balances can correctly weigh the influence of those who are converted to the truth? In their turn they become missionaries to work for others. In many places houses of worship have been erected. The Bible, the precious Bible, is studied. The tabernacle of God is with men, and He dwells with them.
“Let us rejoice that a work which God can approve has been done in these fields. In the name of the Lord let us lift up our voices in praise and thanksgiving for the results of work abroad.
“And still our General, who never makes a mistake, says to us: ‘Advance. Enter new territory. Lift up the standard in every land. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”‘
“Our watchword is to be: Onward, ever onward. The angels of God will go before us to prepare the way. Our burden for the ‘regions beyond’ can never be laid down until the whole earth shall be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” (Ellen White, Vol. 6, Testimonies for the Church, 28, 29, emphasis added.)