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
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
"Though it is the crowning work of our salvation and of the setting up of the kingdom of Christ on earth, yet the 'investigative judgment' is one of the least understood and most mystified and confused Bible subjects of the age. Were it not essential to our salvation, the enemy would not have expended every possible effort to envelop it in darkness. Imperative, then, is the unremitting need to search the Scriptures 'as for hidden treasure,' and to beseech God for the guidance of His Spirit in order rightly to understand this all important subject. In vain, though, any search for truth unless the motive be to learn and to do the will of God." – Tract No, 3, page 3.
"Let us once and forever realize that the Devil is more shrewd than we can imagine. He is not particular what you believe so long as he can keep you ignorant of revealed Truth. This is what he is now doing... using men of influence, men who can put on the best front, men who are clever, who know how to gain the confidence of the people, men who can easily and quietly lead the Church away from God's messages for today, the message of the Judgment for the Living – the purification of the church, the cleansing of the sanctuary." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 30, pp. 15,16.
NOTE --- "Truth reveals that with the breaking of the first seal with the opening of the first section of the book – the Judgment begins. It is also self-evident that at the Judgment throne of God... the Apocalyptic symbolism depicts the nations and peoples, saints and sinners, churches and prelates, Satan and his angels, – the past, the present, and the future. Thus 'all the books of the Bible meet and end in the Revelation.' – The Acts of the Apostles, p. 285." – Tract No. 15, pages 33, 34.
NOTE --- "As to the book sealed with seven seals, the only book that 'no man in heaven, nor in earth... was able to open... neither to look thereon.' save the Lion of the tribe of Judah, it unquestionably is the book in which the deeds of mankind are chronicled, as the seals themselves disclose. This fact Inspiration again confirms: 'Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah.' – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 294. What the book contains, now becomes exceedingly clear: It contains the history of the world and the deeds of all mankind. And, of course, logic rules that the opening of the book, the Judicial Investigation of the deeds of the professed people of God should begin, as The Revelation itself discloses." – Id., pages 26,27.
Lesson 1, page 2
NOTE --- "As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have 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 Controvery, p. 483.
"When the judgment opened in 1844, as previously explained, the investigation began with the dead, and when that part of the work is finished, then commences the judgment of the living." – 2 S.R. 164.
"The contents of the Seven Seals... comprehends all mankind, and must begin with Adam, the first man on earth. This fact is again particularly noticeable from the fact that the things which the first five seals revealed are covered in one, two, or three veres respectively whereas the last two seals (which contain the things that pertain to the Judgment of the living, to the people who must know that their cases are on trial) are quite long: The record of the things which the sixth seal reveals is 22 verses long, and the seventh seal is 15 chapters long." – 2 T.G. 12:30,31. (paren. theirs)
NOTE --- "Before any can enter the mansions of the blessed, their cases must be investigated, and their characters and their deeds must pass in review before God. All are to be judged according to the things written in the books and to be rewarded as their works have been." – Great Controversy, page 548.
That the Bible teaches of a coming judgment no one can deny. We need therefore only give the reason for it... the judgment takes place among... the dead, then among the living. In the judgment the decision is made as to who are worthy of eternal life, and who of eternal death... who are to come up in the first resurrection and who in the second; also who are to be translated when Jesus comes... and who are to perish at the brightness of His coming... This... first aspect of the judgment... being only a book work... a work that does not disturb either the dead in the graves or the living in the church, it takes place in heaven. The second aspect is not a book work but an actual separation of the dead on the resurrection day, and of the living on the day of purification – the righteous dead are raised, and the unrighteous left in their graves, the righteous living are sealed to live eternally, and the unrighteous left to die... Thus the worthy dead are judged to rise in the first resurrection... the unworthy in the second... whereas the worthy living are judged to live on... the unworthy... to die. And this is the simple reason for the judgment." – 5 Ans. 30,31.
NOTE --- "All will be judged according to the light that has been given. The Lord sends forth His ambassadors with a message of salvation, and those who hear He will hold responsible for the way in which they treat the words of His servants." – Acts of the Apostles, page 232.
"God will not condemn any at the judgment because they honestly believed a lie, or conscientiously cherished error; but it will be because they neglected opportunities of making themselves acquainted with truth." – T.M. 437.
NOTE --- "I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message... This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel's message in 1844." – E.W. 277.
NOTE "The 'Midnight Cry' was first proclaimed prior to 1844, and the coming of the 'Bridegroom' was Christ's coming to the Most Holy place in the heavenly sanctuary for the investigative judgment of the saints. The investigation
Lesson 2, page 2
being in two sections; first, the judgment for the dead, and the second for the living, the cry must be repeated, otherwise we would have no present truth for the time of the judgment of the living. The 'cry' for the living being of a greater importance to the world than the one for the dead..." – 2 SR 181.
"...the message of the Judgment for the Living, (is) the 'addition to the third message'." – Jezreel Letter, No. 3, page 2.
NOTE --- "...since there was a special message for the Judgment concerning the Dead, it is even more important that there should be a special message concerning the Judgment for the Living..." – Jezreel Letter, No. 4, p. 2.
"...when our High Priest shall begin the atonement for the living, there must be a message of present truth... Unless the close of the judgment for the dead and the commencement for the living be made known to us, we would have no present truth while the judgment for the living is in session. Neither would such judgment be legal or just... Therefore, a revelation of the judgment for the living, is of as great importance as the revelation of the gospel itself. For the judgment (blotting out the sins) is the crowning act in the gospel of Christ." – Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pages 164,220. (paren. theirs)
"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... the ten commandment law is the judgment of the dead. 'Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not ALL sleep, but we shall all be changed... How can some be changed without seeing death?... Inspiration solves the greatest of all mysteries. Since the ten commandments condemns the sinner to die and all have sinned (Rom. 3:23), there must be another law whereby man may be judged righteous. This law is the Judgment for the living... Think this through Brethren and Sisters and act fast that all may be ready to give the TRANSLATION phase of the third message to the world." – The Final Atonement, p. 6,8.
SPECIAL NOTE --- "...we Seventh-day Adventists have heretofore not known and not taught these additional aspects of the Judgment, but only because Truth is ever timely, ever unfolding as time goes on. So it is that our knowledge of one phase of a message is followed by God's revealing another phase of it. How glad and how anxious, then, ought we to be to keep pace with the unfolding of the Scroll, as we keep pace with time. And how joyous we should be to know that God has not forsaken us..." – The White House Recruiter, pp. 29,30.
ANS. --- "...to say that a Scripture means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit of Truth." – R&H, Oct. 21, 1890.
"The 'Midnight Cry' was first proclaimed prior to 1844... the coming of the 'Bridegroom' was Christ's coming to the Most Holy place in the heavenly sanctuary for the investigative judgment... The investigation being in two sections; first, the judgment for the dead, and the second for the living, the 'cry' must be REPEATED, otherwise we would have no present truth for the time of the judgment of the living... as the 'virgins' are a figure of the living church, the parable must have a direct application to the church at this present time, – the coming of the bridegroom for the judgment of the living... The messages being of the same event, judgment, both (for the living and for the dead) are called the 'midnight cry'." – 2 S.R. 181. (paren. theirs)
TEN VIRGINS – ten – symbolic of universal "the church as a body" they are not "defiled with 'women' (fallen churches)." 2 SR 181. But "are figurative of the
Lesson 3, page 2
church while the tares are still commingled with wheat." 1 TG 16:29.
NOTE --- "The message of the church of the Laodiceans is a startling denunciation and is applicable to the people of God at the present time... The people slumber on..." 3 T. 252,254. "The state of the church represented by the foolish virgins is also spoken of as the Laodicean state." R&H, Aug. 19, 1890. "...Laodicea, compounded of... two Greek words lao and dekei... the two in one meaning the people declaring judgment... the Seventh-day Adventist church is endeavoring to carry the judgment message of Revelation 14:7, and is therefore unchallenged in her claim to the title, Laodicea." – 1 Ans. p. 11.
NOTE --- "As the message of the judgment for the dead was the present truth since 1844, at the beginning of the judgment for the living (when the cry was made), it became present truth no longer... their lamps went out." 2 SR 183.
NOTE --- "At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed..." COL 415. "the church is asleep and the Lord (Christ in the messenger whom He sends – COL 79) is calling her to awake..." 12 SC 6&7, p. 11. "To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given." C.O.L. 420.
NOTE "This parable... contains three periods of time: First, the period of sowing the seed -- the time of Christ's ministry; second, the period of growing -- the time from the ascension of Christ to the harvest; third, the time of harvest -- a short period of time 'at the end of the world'..." – 2 TG 44:32,33.
" 'The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved'... shows that the harvest is a period of time, having a beginning and ending, and that during its time men are saved." – The Answerer, Book 2, p. 36.
" '...in the time between the 'latter rain' of truth and the 'outpouring' of the Spirit's power (during the harvest of the first-fruits), there will be sealed (by a message) a consecrated number who will escape..." – Id., Book 1, p. 91.
ANS. --- "The harvest is the loud-cry of the third angel's message. (Rev. 18:1)." 1 S.R. 104. "...the message of the Judgment of the Living, (is) the 'addition to the third message'." – Jezreel Letter, No. 3, page 2.
"Let both grow together until the harvest... The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers, His own from among the tares." TM 234.
"The work of the harvest, very obviously, is synonymous with the Judgment
Lesson 4, page 2
that decides who are tares and who are wheat -- who are to be burned and destroyed as noxious weeds, and who are as precious wheat to be admitted into the 'the barn,' the Kingdom." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44, page 33.
"...the harvest and the Judgment are counterparts..." – 2 Ans., p. 42.
NOTE --- "It (the harvest) commences in the church (for the firstfruits -- the 144,000) and ends in Babylon (for the second fruits -- the great multitude)." – 2 T.G. 44:33.
NOTE --- "...as we are told that there are two classes of people in the church ('wheat' and 'tares'...) it is evident that the Investigative Judgment... of the dead affects only the heavenly sanctuary... But when the, Judgment ('harvest') of the living shall begin, then of necessity the sanctuary on earth will be cleansed from the hypocrites, and the sanctuary in heaven from their names in its records." – The Answerer, Book 3, page 6.
"With the judgment of the dead... the work of separation takes place in the books in the heavenly sanctuary; whereas with the judgment of the living, the separation takes place among the people in the church as well as among their names in the books in the heavenly sanctuary, thus showing that both sanctuaries will finally be cleansed." – Tract No. 3, page 47.
NOTE --- "...the work of reaping is not done in a moment; it takes time... FIRST the sickle is put to the grain (by presenting the message of the Judgment of the Living), and NEXT the grain is bound into sheaves (by the decision that is made to follow the truth), THEN threshed (tested), AFTER WHICH it is put into the barn (Kingdom); and THEREAFTER the chaff and the tares are destroyed... Consequently, the tares are separated from among the wheat before, not after, the end of probationary time (before Christ's second coming in the clouds)." – Id., 65,66.
"That part of the Investigative Judgment of the living, by which is determined who are to have their sins blotted out and... be given eternal life, is paralleled on earth by the work of the angel with the writer's inkhorn,' who is charged to 'mark' (seal)... And the work of the five others who FOLLOW on to slay... is paralleled in heaven by the blotting out of the sinner's names..." – 2 Ans. 41.
Dear Brethren of the Branch:
Greetings to you all in the blessed hope of our God. I am convinced for this short period I am receiving letters mail after mail... I can see the people of the Branch are God's people, and I can see the brethren of the Branch has a faith that will not shrink. I am enjoying every moment of your Sabbath School Lessons... the Branch has a message... it brings to my mind, comfort and hope. I don't know how you all good people find my address or who aquaint me to you all, I say it was for a wise purpose I must say amen and amen, I am learning the good way of salvation... I have never see such a great faith like this...
I am very pleased with the S.S. lessons you have sent me, this being the second one I have received. Please don't stop sending them. I have been greatly impressed by your teachings. May God bless you
Dear Mr. Roden:
Could we have been so mistakened about the Branch teachings? Is it possible we've been honestly deceived? In fact my attitude towards your beliefs have been very strongly against what I thought and still do think somewhat, a mixed mess of interpretations too deep to clearly understand. I could never grasp your first simple lessons so why go on deeper – to me it was utterly confusing... After Mr. Houteff's death it left a very bad taste in my mouth – I felt worse after every meeting of anyone's I attended, so I put it all on the shelf... I was about to throw your last lesson sheets in the trash can at the Post Office, but something kept me from it. So out of pure curiosity I brought it home – The lessons are still above my head but the little blue sheet ("As Birds Flying"); that was straight to the point and simple "a child can understand." I remember June 5, 1967 very well – my whole family does and what a brief war! Those Israelites really had something didn't they? They certainly did! Now I hope you will pardon my frankness about my view of your views in your teachings and please forgive me if I've been too dumb to see and too shortsighted to think. For the very first time and I sincerely mean this is the first time I've begun to believe you may have something although most of your teaching is a mystery
to me – and its possible you are honestly wrong in some points or have cleverly put various texts together to make things sound true, but be that as it may that little blue sheet on the Israel-Arab war, June 1967 has changed my attitude concerning you and your Branch teachings. Yours to keep eyes and ears open and may even go further.
It has been a pleasure for me writing to you being the first time. I thank you for all the correspondence you have sent for me and may I say I am still looking forward for these correspondences monthly. I have written this letter to inform you of my new address... Please any further communications must be sent to the new address mentioned above. I end this letter... with joy in the Lord.
I have been led by the Lord to you for truth. I search with an open mind and true heart. The Saviour Jesus Christ has opened my eyes to my function and duties and I believe fully to be one of the 144,000, although I feel I am in no case worthy of this gift and honor. But the Lord blesses I pray with a sincere heart that I will find the truth and accept it. I wish to receive all of the Timely Greetings, I have read Ellen G. White and I cannot find any cause to disbelieve any of her doctrine. Also I am familiar with the history of this doctrine, and I wish to search it out, so please start in the beginning and send me everything that this message concerns. I have enclosed my tithes and have not missed paying them since I have found this message. So please send all of this message, I would like all of the oil of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th angel's messages.
Words cannot adequately tell how much I am enjoying your Branch Sabbath School Lessons. The diagrams and illustrations are most helpful in understanding the Bible truths and the prophecies...
Three of our Australian believers have just returned from a trip to the World Youth Congress held by our Seventh-day Adventist brethren in Zurich, Switzerland. Their European tour also enabled them to meet with believers in England. We hope in the next issue of the Sabbath School Lessons to have a firsthand report of their endeavors and how the Lord has blessed them and their efforts as they have labored for Him.
Our California field-worker and his wife are paying a visit to Mt. Carmel on their way home from an extended missionary trip which has taken them to the western and central states and Canada. This trip enabled them to make many interesting contacts with those interested in the message of present truth.
Our brethren in foreign countries are rallying to the call for a firm stand against the house of Achan. But for the help of God, our enemies would have stopped these faithful believers (in the message brought by Bro. V. T. Houteff) from having a voice in the second tithe question.
The long hot spell of Texas weather has now broken and we have had several good rains here at Mt. Carmel. The Lord has wondrously blessed us with rain in time of need, especially on the feast days. (See Zech 14:17,18.) The fall crops are being planted in the gardens. The school children have been participating in hauling loads of fertilizer from the neighboring chicken farms. Our own chickens are doing well and calls for our eggs are coming from far and near, throughout the city of Waco.
The next new moon will be observed Oct. 13, beginning at sundown on Oct. 12.
All emphases and parentheses used throughout the Sabbath School Lessons are ours unless stated otherwise after the reference.
O, solemn thought! and can it be