That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
BRANCH SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS
VOL. 4, NO. 6
That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these Lessons are, as a Christian service, mailed without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary – the ties that bind.
The Universal Publishing Association
Mt. Carmel Center
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"The many grievous spiritual epidemics now afflicting the Christian church, are caused in large part by Christians unwittingly wresting, garbling, and perverting the Scriptures. This practice, the Devil has spawned and nurtured in order to head off Present Truth, destroy faith in the Scriptures, deceive souls, and increase infidelity, hoping thereby to cut off the human race from the knowledge of the only true and living God, and thus finally from the face of the earth.
"Brother, Sister, upon each of us squarely falls the momentous responsibility of deciding whether we will choose to follow the prophets of God in both the Old and New Testament periods, or to join God's adversaries who advocate uninspired interpretations of the Scriptures, and who along with all their sympathizers will, if they continue in their evil course, become guilty, with the Jews, of the shed blood of the prophets." – Tract No. 6, pages 25, 26.
MEMORY GEM: "And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Daniel 8:14.
STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, pages 324-329; Tract No. 3, pages 20-42.
STUDY AIM: To dispel any confusion that may exist concerning the time of the fulfillment of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14.
INTRODUCTION: "To William Miller and his colaborers it was given to preach the warning in America...The testimony of the prophecies which seemed to point to the coming of Christ in...1844 took deep hold of the minds of the people. As the message went from state to state, there was everywhere awakened widespread interests. Many were convinced that the arguments from the prophetic periods were correct, and sacrificing their pride of opinion, they joyfully received the truth. Some ministers laid aside their sectarian views and feelings, left their salaries and their churches, and united in proclaiming the coming of Jesus. There were comparatively few ministers, however, who would accept this message; therefore it was largely committed to humble laymen...Though opposed by Satan, the work went steadily forward, and the advent truth was accepted by many thousands." – Great Controversy, page 368.
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NOTE --- "The prophecy which seemed most clearly to reveal the time of the second advent was that of Daniel 8:14...Following his rule of making Scripture its own interpreter, Miller learned that a day in symbolic prophecy represents a year (Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6)..." – Great Controversy, page 324.
NOTE --- "From Daniel 7 it was seen that the throne of judgment or of cleansing was not to be set up until sometime after the little-horn power came into existence. From...Daniel 8:11, 12 and Daniel 11:31, the reader will observe that both scriptures are speaking of the same power. And Christ, predicting the signs of the end of the world (Matt. 24:15, 16)... place(s) the work of this power in the future from His time….Still further, the angel instructed Daniel that at the time of the end shall be the vision...These two facts carry sweeping proof that the 2300-day period could not terminate until, following Christ's time, the daily be cast out and the abomination set up: for both of these events were to take place within the 2300 days...the polluting of the holy place, the terminating of the 2300 days, and the cleansing of the sanctuary (therefore) could not have taken place before Christ's time." – Tract No. 3, pages 24-26.
Lesson 1, page 2
"…he (Miller) saw that the period of 2300 prophetic days, or literal years, would extend far beyond the close of the Jewish dispensation, hence it could not refer to the sanctuary of that dispensation." – Great Controversy, p. 324.
NOTE --- "The angel had been sent to Daniel for the express purpose of explaining to him the point which he had failed to understand in the vision of the eighth chapter, the statement relative to time...Seventy weeks, representing 490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But from what were they cut off? As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together." – Id., page 326.
NOTE --- "In the seventh chapter of Ezra the decree is found...In its completest form it was issued by Artaxerxes, king of Persia, 457 B.C. But in Ezra 6:14 the house of the Lord at Jerusalem is said to have been built 'according to the commandment...of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.' These three kings, in originating, reaffirming, and completing the decree, brought it to the perfection required by the prophecy to mark the beginning of the 2300 years. Taking 457 B.C., the time when the decree was completed, as the date of the commandment, every specification of the prophecy concerning the seventy weeks was seen to have been fulfilled." – Id., pages 326, 327.
NOTE --- "...from the going forth of the commandment [found in Ezra 7:21-27] to restore and to build Jerusalem [the beginning of the 2300 days], unto the Messiah the Prince ("The word 'Messiah' signifies 'the Anointed One'. In the autumn of A.D. 27 Christ was baptized by John and received the anointing of the Spirit." – G.C. 327)...shall be seven weeks [49 years], and three-score and two weeks (434 years],' totaling 483 years in all...'shall Messiah be cut off…and the people of the prince [the Romans] that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary [fulfilled by Titus about 70 A.D.]...And He [Christ] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week ('The 'week' here brought to view is the last one of the seventy...During this time, extending from A.D. 27 to A.D. 34, Christ, at first in person and afterward by His disciples, extended the gospel invitation especially to the Jews.' G.C. 327)...in the midst of the week…He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease [by the sacrifice of Himself],.. He shall make it [the temple in Jerusalem] desolate'...Counting forward 2300 years from...457 B.C., the terminus is...1844 A.D." 3 Tract, pp. 40, 41.
MEMORY GEM: "And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter." Rev. 10:10.
STUDY AIM: To understand the reason for the disappointment of 1844.
INTRODUCTION: "The saints anxiously waited for their Lord with fasting, watching, and almost constant prayer. Even some sinners looked forward to the time with terror; but the great mass manifested the spirit of Satan in their opposition to the message...Many who professed to be looking for Christ had no part in the work of the message. The glory of God which they had witnessed, the humility and deep devotion of the waiting ones, and the overwhelming weight of evidence, caused them to profess to receive the truth; but they had not been converted; they were not ready for the coming of their Lord." – Early Writings, pages 238, 239.
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NOTE --- "Jesus did not come to the earth as the waiting, joyful company expected, to cleanse the sanctuary by purifying the earth by fire." – E.W. 243.
"I was shown the grievous disappointment of the people of God that they did not see Jesus at the expected time. They knew not why their Saviour did not come; for they could see no evidence that prophetic time had not ended." – Id., 250.
"The time to which they looked, expecting deliverance, passed; they were still upon the earth, and the effects of the curse never seemed more visible. They had placed their affections on heaven, and in sweet anticipation had tasted immortal deliverance; but their hopes were not realized." – Id., 239.
"The disappointment of the first disciples well represent the disappointment of those who expected their Lord in 1844." – Id., 244.
"The surpassing joy with which the all-engrossing thought that Christ was coming in the autumn of 1844 A.D. possessed the believers then, was indeed as 'sweet as honey' to them. But when the longingly awaited hour came, and failed their joyous expectations, the sweet of hope turned to the 'bitter' of disappointment. It did so not only because they had still longer to remain on
Lesson 2, page 2
this cursed and hapless earth, sin-convulsed and death-weary, instead of entering into a land where there is 'no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither…any more pain' (Rev. 21:4), but also because they were mocked by the wicked multitude, who hated the idea that the world was then coming to an end." – Tract No 5, page 101. (paren. theirs)
NOTE --- "In common with the rest of the Christian world, Adventists then held that the earth, or some portion of it, was the sanctuary. They understood that the cleansing of the sanctuary was the purification of the earth by the fires of the last great day, and that this would take place at the second advent. Hence the conclusion that Christ would return to the earth in 1844...The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844." – Great Controversy, pages 409, 423.
"…Jesus...sent His angels to direct their minds that they might follow Him where He was. He showed them that this earth is not the sanctuary, but that He must enter the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary to make an atonement for His people and to receive the kingdom from His Father, and that He would then return to the earth and take them to dwell with Him forever." – Early Writings, page 244.
NOTE --- "...God designed to prove them. His hand covered a mistake in the reckoning of the prophetic periods ('It would test the hearts of those who had professed to receive the warning. In the face of their disappointment would they rashly give up their experience and cast away their confidence in God's word? or would they in prayer and humility, seek to discern where they had failed to comprehend the significance of the prophecy?' – G.C. 353.) Those who were looking for their Lord did not discover this mistake, and the most learned men who opposed the time also failed to see it. (How many had moved from fear, or from impulse and excitement? How many were half-hearted and unbelieving?...When called to endure the scoffs and reproach of the world, and the test of delay and disappointment, would they renounce the faith? Because they did not immediately understand the dealings of God with them, would they cast aside truths sustained by the clearest testimony of His word? – G.C. 354.)...The passing of the time was well calculated to reveal such hearts." – Early Writings, page 235.
MEMORY GEM: "…behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it…" Rev. 3:8.
STUDY AIM: To show that only those who advance with PRESENT TRUTH can ever hope to understand the plan of salvation and experience its benefits.
INTRODUCTION: "Having given the warning of the judgment near, they felt that their work for the world was done (Read Zech. 1:11 – 'The horses' answer, 'We have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest,' reveals that the movement thought its work finished and probation closed. In other words, it thought that salvation through the gospel had closed and that the preaching of it could no longer make the earth produce converts...the Millerite Movement is the only one which has gone with a message to every Christian mission in the world...and thought, mistakenly, that in so doing, the last gospel invitation had been sounded...' 6 Tract, pages 63, 64), and they lost their burden of soul for the salvation of sinners, while the bold and blasphemous scoffing of the ungodly seemed to them another evidence that the Spirit of God had been withdrawn from the rejecters of His mercy. All this confirmed them in the belief that probation had ended, or as they then expressed it, 'the door of mercy was shut'." – Great Controversy, page 429.
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NOTE --- "A great religious awakening under the proclamation of Christ's soon coming is foretold in the prophecy of the first angel's message of Revelation 14." G.C. 355. "Thousands were led to embrace the truth preached by William Miller...And as the Spirit of God rested upon them, they helped to sound the cry, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come'." – E.W. 233.
NOTE --- "Those who proclaimed this warning gave the RIGHT MESSAGE AT THE RIGHT TIME. But...Miller and his associates preached the message based on Daniel 8:14 and Revelation 14:7, and failed to see that there were still other messages brought to view in Revelation 14, which were also to be given before the advent of the Lord." – Great Controversy, pages 352, 353.
NOTE --- "All classes of second advent believers agree, that the angel brought to view in the 6th, and 7th verses of this chapter, represents the advent message,
Lesson 3, page 2
to the church and world. If this is true, then all FIVE of the angels brought to view in this chapter represent FIVE DISTINCT MESSAGES PRIOR TO THE ADVENT, or we are left without a rule to interpret this chapter." – W.L.F., 10, 11.
NOTE --- "For a time after the disappointment in 1844, I did hold in common with the Advent body, that the door of mercy was then forever closed to the world. This position was taken before my first vision...I am still a believer in the shut door theory, but not in the sense in which we at first employed the term...There was a shut door in Noah's day...There was a shut door in the days of Abraham. Mercy ceased to plead with the inhabitants of Sodom...There was a shut door in Christ's day...I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angel's messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness. And those who accepted it and received the Holy Spirit…and who afterward renounced, their faith...thereby rejected the Spirit of God, and it no longer pleaded with them…No reference is made to those who had not seen the light, and therefore were not guilty of its rejection." – Id., page 28.
"But clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question. They now saw that they were correct in believing that the end of the 2300 days in 1844 marked an important crisis. But while it was true that that door of hope and mercy by which men had for eighteen hundred years found access to God, was closed, another door was opened, and forgiveness of sins was offered to men through the intercession of Christ in the most holy. One part of His ministration had closed, only to give place to another." – G.C., pages 429, 430.
NOTE --- "I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil...Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him...Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way...a cloudy chariot...came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest...There I beheld Jesus a great High Priest, standing before the father...Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray...Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost...the company who were still bowed before the throne...did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne…I saw them look up to the throne, and pray...Satan would breathe upon them an unholy influence...Satan's object was to keep them deceived…" – E.W. 55, 56.
MEMORY GEM: "...the time of the dead (came), that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great..." Rev. 11:18.
STUDY AIM: To show the work of cleansing being done in the books of Heaven for the dead.
INTRODUCTION: "In the sanctuary construction and service, is revealed the plan of salvation. The first apartment, called the holy place...was a place for confession of sin...The second apartment, within the veil, called the 'most holy'...was open only in the seventh month, and tenth day of the month, in each year; there redemption from the condemnation of the law was assured...It was called the day of atonement, judgment, or cleansing of the Sanctuary...This was a day for the blotting out of sins accumulated during the year...The entire system – priest, sacrifice, and service – was a type of Christ and His administration in the heavenly sanctuary...While the services in the earthly sanctuary were in force, the heavenly served as a depository for confessed, sins. The same is true even under Christ's administration while in the holy apartment, until He entered into the most holy." – 2 S.R. 187, 188.
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NOTE --- "The arrangement and the scene, as described by John, proves that it is the judgment in session; for it is held in the 'Holy of Holies' – typified by the earthly sanctuary and its service...There we behold the Great Judge (God the Father), the Advocate (the Lamb – Jesus Christ the righteous), a jury (the twenty-four elders – clothed with the righteousness of Christ – white robes); a representation of those who are to be judged (the four beasts); the light and truth which they have kept (the seven lamps); the reward which is to be granted to those who are judged (sea of glass); and the book containing the names of all the righteous...Because the book contains the names of all who are sealed with the seal of God (His truth) it is called the book of seals, also the Lamb's Book of Life." – 2 S.R. 199. (paren. theirs)
NOTE --- "In the typical service only those who had come before God with confession and repentance, and whose sins, through the blood of the sin offering, were transferred to the sanctuary, had a part in the service of the Day of
Lesson 4, page 2
Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God...As the books of record are opened in the judgment the lives of all who believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living." – Great Controversy, pages 480, 483.
NOTE --- "In the temple in heaven, the dwelling place of God, His throne is established in righteousness and judgment. In the most holy place is His law...the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgment." – Id., pages 415, 482.
"All are to be judged by the ten commandments. Therefore the Sabbath and Sanctuary truth of the three angels of Rev. 14, beginning in 1844 at the end of the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14...constitute the judgment for the dead...Sr. White was given light on the third angel's message – the Judgment of the dead. All who break the ten commandments must die and go through the grave, 'sin is the transgression of the law.' 1 John 3:4 and 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.' Rom. 3:23. Therefore all must die and pass through the grave. Here again we see the ten commandment law is the Judgment of the dead." – The Final Atonement, pages 5, 6.
NOTE --- "In the great day of final award, the dead are to be 'judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.' Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin." – Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 357, 358.
"…in the heavenly courts when the names entered in the book of life come up in review before the judge of all the earth. The divine Intercessor presents the plea that all who have overcome through faith in His blood be forgiven their transgressions...In consequence of Adam's sin, death passed upon the whole human race. All alike go down into the grave. And through the provisions of the plan of salvation, all are to be brought forth from their graves...But a distinction is made between the two classes that are brought forth. 'All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' John 5:28, 29." – Great Controversy, pp. 483, 484, 544.
How can a year go by SO FAST? Just about 1 year ago, I rec'd your tract 'The Star and The Trumpet," thru open car window while at camp meeting. I kept wanting to write and never did, so here I am at last. Please send me 1 each of whatever literature you have. Also please explain your position and all about yourself, as I am rather uninformed about you. I believe you were in some way connected with the Shepherd's Rod, right? Whatever took place that they "went out"? You may reach me at _____.
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I am carefully studying the publications you so kindly mailed to me and am overjoyed to see so clearly revealed God's call to migrate to Israel. For many years I have felt that God had a purpose for putting the statutes and judgments in the Bible, and have often wondered about, but never understood His holy feasts. l have generally been dissatisfied with religion because it always seemed lacking in completeness. Now with God's will revealed regarding keeping His feasts, laws, statutes and judgments I give thanks to Him for His infinite wisdom and compassion. At last I can honestly say; this is it! This is what I have been yearning, searching for so long, and never knowing till now what it was I sought. I want to answer the call to migrate to Israel and would like to know the details...I never have been a member of any church, having always shunned them as it appeared the regular churchgoer was a bigger hypocrite than those who did not attend church. At an early age (10-14) my mother tried to teach us the sabbath truth but it was not until I was 16 that God began to take a noticeable hand in my life. At this time I read the Davidian literature…and was firmly convinced of its message. After corresponding with Mt. Carmel Center for some time I was advised to seek to be baptized into the SDA church, or, failing this to then seek baptism by a Davidian minister. The SDA church refused membership because of my Davidian beliefs and at the same time both Mr. Carmel and a Mr. _____ whom they had put me in contact with ceased to correspond. This left me with no contact with any Adventist whatever. It is with shame that I confess that after some time in this position I became aware that I had backslidden. Since this realization I have had a long and sore battle with the cares of this world...A few months ago my pleas for His help in finding righteousness had been answered when the Branch Sabbath School Lessons started arriving in the post...There are three things I desire now. 1. A fuller understanding of the feasts, laws, statutes and judgments, by doing them, 2. Baptism into the Branch. 3. To migrate to
Israel, the better to hasten my Lord's kingdom. Please tell me what are my chances.
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I been reading some of your literature which a friend of mine in _____ is receiving, in turn he let me read them and I must tell you I am very interested in knowing more about it all. Please send me if possible "The Great Controversy Over The Shepherd's Rod," "The Man On The White Horse," etc. Is there a branch of The Branch near ______ or _____ ? Thank you so much.
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Dear Sister Roden:
How glad we were to hear from you all...Well let me say praise God from whom all blessings flow, we are all well and happy in the Branch message because it is sweeter and sweeter every day we live, yes my dear God have taken care of us through the war...I was not afraid, because I know he has promised to take care of His own...We pray and ask the Lord if it is His will to please bring you all back soon...Up to now God has blessed our store-house and garden, we don't need anything...Pray for me that I may have Christ lift me up at all times.
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Dear Bro. Roden:
I guess I have never written before to express my gratitude to Mt. Carmel for the Sabbath School Lessons. They are deeply instructive, and converting, and in my opinion there is not one Branch believer who cannot be a preacher of Present Truth, with these wonderful helps. Always when I study these lessons, the Holy Spirit impresses my heart with a new determination, a new awareness of very Present Truth, and a fervent desire to overcome be the cost what it may. Phil. 3:10-14 is much in my mind. The Lord make His face to shine upon you is my prayer.
We are happy to announce that with this issue of the Sabbath School Lessons, we have doubled our output of lessons in the last six months. Not only has the mailing list doubled, but the lessons are now entering twice as many foreign countries (53) as a year ago. This does not include our camp-meeting literature which is sent to virtually every country where there are Sabbath-keepers. We can truly thank the Lord for the advancement of His work.
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The cabinet shop is getting underway and our young people will have an opportunity to learn a worthwhile trade.
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Hebrew classes are in the sixth week; attendance and interest is encouraging.
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Requests are still being made for good clean clothing for our Dorcas Society to distribute to needy believers both here in the States and Overseas. Hurricane Camille has struck the States of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana and we will be needing clothing for our brethren and sisters in these areas. Several boxes were shipped out last week to U.S. and foreign believers. Our sisters here at Mt. Carmel have been working overtime making garments for the Dorcas needs. We would appreciate help in replenishing our supplies.
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Next new moon will be observed Sept. 13, beginning at sundown on Sept. 12.
Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) will be held on Sept. 22, beginning at sundown on Sept. 21.
The Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated Sept. 27, beginning at sundown on Sept. 26 and go for eight days (Lev. 23:34-36) through Oct. 4 inclusive.
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All emphases and parentheses used throughout the Sabbath School Lessons are ours unless stated otherwise after the references. Note: The brackets used in Note #5 in Lesson 1 belong to the author.
"There is a line by us not seen.
Which crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God's patience and His wrath.
"To cross that limit is to die,
To die, as if by stealth;
It may not pale the beaming eye,
Nor quench the glowing health.
"The conscience may be still at ease,
The spirit light and gay;
That which is pleasing – still may please,
And care be thrust away.
"But on that forehead God hath set
Indelibly a mark;
By man unseen, for man as yet
Is blind and in the dark.
"Oh, where is that mysterious bourn,
By which each path is crossed.
Beyond which God Himself hath sworn
That he who goes is lost?
"How long may men go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin
The confines of despair?
"An answer from the sky is sent,
Ye who from God depart,
While it is called today – repent
And harden not your heart!"