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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.
 
Benjamin L. Roden

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BRANCH SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS


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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 ASSN.
New Mt. Carmel Center
Rt. 7, Box 471-B
Waco, Texas 76705


THE MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB





Volume 7Numbers 5-7


CONTENTS



Lesson  1 – The Chosen People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4


Lesson  2 – The Marriage of the King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9


Lesson  3 – "Unto Us a Son Is Given" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14


Lesson  4 – "Behold the Lamb of God" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Lesson  5 – The Marriage of the Lamb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


Lesson  6 – A New Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28


Lesson  7 – "Hear Ye the Rod" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33


Lesson  8 – The Branch and Joshua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38


Lesson  9 – The 144,000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44


Lesson 10 – The Three Seals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51


Lesson 11 – The Invitation to the Wedding Supper . . . . . . . . . . . 57


Lesson 12 – "Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh" . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63


Lesson 13 – The Family Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68


Letters From Around the World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75




HOLY CONVOCATIONS

NEW MOON . . . . . . . . . . . . Aug. 8

FEAST OF TRUMPETS . . . . . . . .Sep. 6

DAY OF ATONEMENT . . . . . . . .Sep. 15

FEAST OF TABERNACLES . Sept. 20-Sep. 27




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crossing the red sea

Lesson 1




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The
Chosen People



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Memory Gem


"Love to man is the earthward manifestation of the love of God." – The Desire of Ages, p. 641.


Introduction


"With their loins girt, with sandaled feet, and staff in hand, the people of Israel had stood, hushed, awed, yet expectant, awaiting the royal mandate that should bid them go forth. Before the morning broke, they were on their way....That day completed the history revealed to Abraham in prophetic vision centuries before: 'Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. Genesis 15:13, 14. The four hundred years had been fulfilled. And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies." – Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 281, 282.



Question 1

While Israel was in slavery in Egypt, what did God purpose to do through Moses? Ex. 3:1-12.


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Note – " 'And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died; and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them. 'The time for Israel's deliverance had come. But God's purpose was to be accomplished in a manner to pour contempt on human pride. The deliverer was to go forth as a humble shepherd, with only a rod in his hand; but God would make that rod the symbol of His power. Leading his flocks one day near Horeb, 'the mountain of God,' Moses saw a bush in flames, branches, foliage, and trunk, all burning, yet seeming not to be consumed. He drew near to view the wonderful sight, when a voice from out of the flame called him by name. With trembling lips he answered, 'Here am I.' He was warned not to approach irreverently: 'Put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground....I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' It was He who, as the Angel of the covenant, had revealed Himself to the fathers in ages past. 'And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.'....As Moses waited in reverent awe before God, the words continued: 'I have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey....Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel Out of Egypt.' " – Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 251, 252.


Question 2
What question did Moses ask of God? Ex. 3:13-15


Question 3

By what means did the Lord choose to deliver Israel from Egypt? Deut. 4:33, 34; 5:15; 16:20-22; 7:17-19; 26:8; 34:10-12


Note – "The time had fully come when God would have Moses exchange the shepherd's staff, for the rod of God, which he would make powerful in accomplishing signs and wonders, in delivering his people from oppression, and in preserving them when pursued by their enemies." – Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 188


"It is God's purpose to manifest through His people the principles of His kingdom. That in life and character they may reveal these principles, He desires to separate them from the customs, habits, and practices of the world. He seeks to bring them near to Himself, that He may make known to them His


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will. This was His purpose in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt....With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm God brought out the Hebrew host from the land of bondage. Wonderful was the deliverance He wrought for them, punishing their enemies, who refused to listen to His word, with total destruction. God desired to take His people apart from the world and prepare them to receive His word. From Egypt He led them to Mount Sinai, where He revealed to them His glory....Beside these rocks, immovable except by the power of the divine will, God communicated with men. And that His word might ever be clear and distinct in their minds, He proclaimed amid thunder and lightning and with terrible majesty the law which He had given in Eden and which was the transcript of His character. And the words were written on tables of stone by the finger of God. Thus the will of the infinite God was revealed to a people who were called to make known to every nation, kindred, and tongue the principles of His government in heaven and in earth." – Testimonies, Vol. 6, pp. 9, 10


Question 4

At what specific time did the children of Israel come forth from Egyptian bondage? Ex. 12:40, 41


Note – "Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. 'Afterward,' He said, 'shall they come out with great substance.' Gen. 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh's proud empire battled in vain. On 'the selfsame day' appointed in the divine promise, 'it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.' Ex. 12:41." – The Desire of Ages, p. 32


"In Genesis 15:13 we read that the Lord said to Abraham, 'Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.' This text raises the questions whether the 400 years refer to the time of affliction or sojourning, or both, and what the relation of the 400 years is to the 430 years of Exodus 12:40, 41, and Galatians 3:16,17. The statement in Exodus 12:40, that 'the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years,' gives the impression that the Israelites, from Jacob's entry into Egypt to the Exodus, actually spent 430 years in the country of the Nile. That this impression cannot be correct is obvious from Paul's inspired interpretation presented in Galatians 3:16, 17, where the 430 years are said to cover the period beginning when God made His covenant with Abraham until the law was promulgated at Sinai. Paul seems to refer to the first promise made by God to Abraham when he was called to leave Haran. Genesis 12:1-3. At that time the 430 years began, when Abraham was seventy-five years old (chapter 12:4).


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while the 400 years of the prophecy of Genesis 15:13 began thirty years later, when Abraham was 105 and his son Isaac five years old (chapter 21:5). At that time Ishmael, who 'was born after the flesh persecuted him [Isaac] that was born after the Spirit' (Galatians 4:29; Genesis 21:9-11), beginning a time of affliction of Abraham's seed which intermittently would be continued until the time of the Exodus. Isaac had not only troubles with his half brother Ishmael, but also with the Philistines (Genesis 26:15, 20, 21); Jacob fled for his life from Esau (Genesis 27:41-43), and later from Laban (Genesis 31:21), and then was again in jeopardy from Esau (Genesis 32:8); Joseph was sold into slavery by his brethren (Genesis 37:28), and the children of Israel were oppressed by the Egyptians for many decades (Exodus 1:14). The time from Abraham's call to Jacob's entry into Egypt was 215 years, being the total of (1) twenty-five years lying between Abraham's call and the birth of Isaac (Genesis 12:4; 21:5), (2) sixty years lying between Isaac's birth and Jacob's birth (Genesis 25:26), and (3) the age of Jacob at the time of his migration into Egypt (Genesis 47:9). This leaves the remaining 215 years of the 430 as the actual time the Hebrews spent in Egypt. Hence the 430 years of Exodus 12:40 includes the sojourn of the patriarchs in Canaan as well as their stay in Egypt. Since in the time of Moses, Palestine was part of the Egyptian Empire, it is not strange to find an author of that period including Canaan in the term 'Egypt.'" – Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 759, 760. (Parentheses and brackets belong to quotation)


Question 5

Why did God choose to deliver Israel and make them a separate people? Deut. 4:36, 37; 7:6-8; Jer. 31:1-3; Hos. 11:1, 4


Note – "Tenderly had the Lord dealt with Israel in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and in their journey to the Promised Land. 'In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.' Isaiah 63:9." – Prophets and Kings, p. 312


Question 6
What new name did God reveal to Israel at the end of the 430 years? Ex. 6:1-6.


Note – "'Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.' 'The Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.' 'I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.' 'My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, saith Jehovah.' Jeremiah 31:3, A.R.V., 11, 13, A.V., 14, A.R.V." – Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 278.


Question 7

What did God do with this "new name"? Num. 6:22-27.


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Note – "He remembered His holy promises, and Abraham His servant. And He brought forth His people with joy, and His chosen with gladness: and gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labor of the people; that they might observe His statutes, and keep His laws.' Psalm 105:43-45. God surrounded Israel with every facility, gave them every privilege, that would make them an honor to His name and a blessing to surrounding nations. If they would walk in the ways of obedience, He promised to make them 'high above all nations which He hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honor,' 'All people of the earth,' He said, 'shall hear that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.' The nations which shall hear all these statutes shall say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' Deuteronomy 26:19; 28:10; 4:6." – Education, p. 40.


"To those who reverence His holy day the Sabbath is a sign that God recognizes them as His chosen people. It is a pledge that He will fulfill to them His covenant. Every soul who accepts the sign of God's government places himself under the divine, everlasting covenant. He fastens himself to the golden chain of obedience, every link of which is a promise. The fourth commandment alone of all the ten contains the seal of the great Lawgiver, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Those who obey this commandment take upon themselves His name, and all the blessings it involves are theirs. 'The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel saying unto them, 'The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; And I will bless them.' Numbers 6;22-27." – Testimonies, Vol. 6, pp. 350, 351.


"'Gather the children.' 'Make them know the statutes of God, and His laws. ' ...'Put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.'…'And all the peoples of the earth shall see that thou art called by the Name of Jehovah.'" – Ministry of Healing, p. 404.





"It is part of God's plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask." The Great Controversy, p. 525.





Lesson 2




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The Marriage
of
The King



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mount sinai




Memory Gem


"Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him." – Exodus 23:20, 21.


Introduction


"At the foot of Sinai they (Israel) had entered into covenant relationship with Him as His 'peculiar treasure... above all people.' Solemnly they had promised to follow in the path of obedience. 'All that the Lord hath spoken we will do,' they had said....And when, a few days afterward, God's law was spoken from Sinai, and additional instruction in the form of statutes and judgments was communicated through Moses, the Israelites with one voice had again promised, 'All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.' At the ratification of the covenant, the people had once more united in declaring, 'All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.' Exodus 24:3, 7. God had chosen Israel as His people, and they had chosen Him as their King." – Prophets and Kings, p. 293.



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Question 1

What did God make with the Israelites when they arrived at Sinai? Ex. 19:1-8; Deut. 5:1-4; 7:6-13; 11:1-17; Ex. 34:1-27, See Introduction.


Note – "After the children of Israel left Rephidim, they came to the 'desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount....' The people here entered into a solemn covenant with God and accepted Him as their ruler, by which they became the peculiar subjects of His divine authority."The Story of Redemption, p. 137.


"The covenant that God made with His people at Sinai is to be our refuge and defense. The Lord said to Moses: 'Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:....' This covenant is of just as much force today as it was when the Lord made it with ancient Israel." – The Southern Watchman, Mar. 1, 1904. See S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 1103.


Question 2

Upon accepting this "covenant," into what special relationship did Israel enter with God? Jer. 2:2; Isa. 54:5.


Note – "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord, I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. " – Jeremiah 2:2. (R.S.V.)


"I am married unto you." – Jeremiah 3:14. "By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity..." – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 307.


"I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." The close and sacred relation of God to His people is represented under the figure of marriage. Idolatry being spiritual adultery, the displeasure of God against it is fitly called jealousy.

'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 306.


" 'Thy Maker is thy husband; Jehovah of hosts is His name: And the Holy One of Israel is thy Redeemer; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.'... Isaiah 54:5. A.R.V." – Ministry of Healing, p. 202.


Question 3

As a result of this marriage what did Israel become? Eze. 16:6-14; Ex.19:6 first part; Num. 24:1-9; Deut. 17:14-20.


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Note – "Soon after the encampment at Sinai, Moses was called up into the mountain to meet with God. Alone he climbed the steep and rugged path, and drew near to the cloud that marked the place of Jehovah's presence. Israel was now to be taken into a close and peculiar relation to the Most High, – to be incorporated as a church and a nation under the government of God (a theocracy)." – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 303.


"In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.'... 'And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.' Ex. 19:1; 20:1-3. Here is where the 430 years ended, beginning with Abraham going out of Ur. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 760. Here is where Moses organized a church, when he appointed seventy elders, and where God spoke to the people Himself. The experience at Sinai is a symbol of re-organization of the church (a theocracy), – God Himself takes charge of the flock." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 100.


"The government of Israel was characterized by the most thorough organization, wonderful alike for its completeness and its simplicity. The order so strikingly displayed in the perfection and arrangements of all God's created works was manifest in the Hebrew economy. God was the center of authority and government, the sovereign of Israel. Moses stood as their visible leader, by God's appointment, to administer the laws in His name." – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 374.


"The children of Israel were to occupy all the territory which God appointed them. Those nations that rejected the worship and service of the true God were to be dispossessed. But it was God's purpose that by the revelation of His character through Israel men should be drawn unto Him. To all the world the gospel invitation was to be given... As the numbers of Israel increased they were to enlarge their borders, until their kingdom should embrace the world." – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 290.


Question 4
At this time, what did God ask Israel to do for Him? Ex. 25:8; Ps. 19:4,5.


Note – "God commanded Moses for Israel, 'Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them' (Ex. 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them." – The Desire of Ages, p. 23. (Paren. belong to quotation.)


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Question 5

What wonderful gift did God choose to give to the world through His wife, Israel? John 3:16,17.


Note – "The scheme of redemption far exceeds the comprehension of the human mind. The great condescension on the part of God is a mystery that is beyond our fathoming. The greatness of the plan cannot be fully comprehended, nor could infinite Wisdom devise a plan that would surpass it. It could only be successful by the clothing of divinity with humanity, by Christ becoming man, and suffering the wrath which sin has made because of the transgression of God's law .... This is the heavenly science of redemption, of saving men from eternal ruin, and can be carried out only through the incarnation of the Son of God in humanity, through His triumph over sin and death, and in seeking to fathom this plan all finite intelligences are baffled (Letter 43, 1895)." – S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1133. (Parenthesis belong to quote.)


Question 6

Between the marriage and the arrival of this Promised Son, how did 'God's wife behave herself? Eze. 16:15-34; Jer. 2:4-8, 20-28, 31, 32; 3:20.


Note – "The sin of Israel in departing from the Lord is presented under this figure (the violation of the marriage vow); and the wonderful love of God which they thus despised is touchingly portrayed: 'I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest Mine.' 'And thou wast exceeding beautiful and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee .... But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown.' 'As a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me. O house of Israel, saith the Lord;' 'as a wife that committed adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!' Ezekiel 16:8, 13-15, 32; Jeremiah 8:20." – The Great Controversy, pp. 381, 382.


Question 7

What measures did God use to bring His wife to her senses? Hos. 2:6-13; Eze. 16:35-43; Jer. 2:9; 3:11-14, 21-25; 7:8-14; 25:4-11.


Note – "Just as God chastened her in olden time by permitting Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, to abolish the ceremonial system by destroying ancient Jerusalem and its temple, just so did He chasten her in the Christian era by permitting Rome to gain control over her and to supplant her true religious system by a counterfeit – a pagan priesthood and a pagan sabbath.


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Then was His word fulfilled: 'I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.'…these ordinances (her feast days, her sabbaths, etc.) were part of. 'a compacted prophecy of the gospel, a presentation in which were bound up the promises of redemption' (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 14)..." – The Latest News for "Mother", Tract No. 4, p. 25. (Parentheses belong to quotation.)


"In the terrible judgments brought upon the ten tribes the Lord had a wise and merciful purpose. That which He could no longer do through them in the land of their fathers He would seek to accomplish by scattering them among the heathen. His plan for the salvation of all who should choose to avail themselves of pardon through the Saviour of the human race must yet be fulfilled; and in the afflictions brought upon Israel, He was preparing the way for His glory to be revealed to the nations of earth. Not all who were carried captive were impenitent. Among them were some who had remained true to God, and others who had humbled themselves before Him. Through these, 'the sons of the living God' (Hosea 1:10), He would bring multitudes in the Assyrian realm to a knowledge of the attributes of His character and the beneficence of His law." – Prophets and Kings, p. 292. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)


"The dark years of destruction and death marking the end of the kingdom of Judah would have brought despair to the stoutest heart had it not been for the encouragements in the prophetic utterances of God's messengers. Through Jeremiah in Jerusalem, through Daniel in the court of Babylon, through Ezekiel on the banks of the Chebar, the Lord in mercy made clear His eternal purpose and gave assurance of His willingness to fulfill to His chosen people the promises recorded in the writings of Moses. That which He had said He would do for those who should prove true to Him, He would surely bring to pass. 'The word of God...liveth and abideth forever,' 1 Peter 1:23." – Prophets and Kings, p. 464.





"When the redeemed stand before God, precious souls will respond to their names who are there because of the faithful, patient efforts put forth in their behalf, the entreaties and earnest persuasions to flee to the Stronghold. Thus those who in this world have been laborers together with God will receive their reward." – Testimonies, Vol. 8, pp. 196, 197.





The Child is born

Lesson 3




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"Unto Us
A Son Is Given"



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Memory Gem


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6.


Introduction


"The apostle Paul says: 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man (as the representative of the human race}, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow' (Phil. 2:5-10). The humiliation of the man Christ Jesus is incomprehensible to the human mind; but His divinity and His existence before the world was formed can never be doubted by those who believe the Word of God .... In consenting to become man, Christ manifested a humility that is the marvel of the heavenly intelligences. The act of consenting to be a man would be no humiliation were it not for the fact of Christ's exalted pre-existence.


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We must open our understanding to realize that Christ laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, His high command, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might meet man where he was, and bring to the human family moral power to become the sons and daughters of God. To redeem man, Christ became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." – Selected Messages, Book 1, pp. 243, 244. (Brackets and parenthesis belong to quotation)



Question 1
When was God's Son born? Gal. 4:4; Matt. 2:1.


Note – "When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.' Gal. 4:4, 5. The Saviour's coming was foretold in Eden. When Adam and Eve first heard the promise, they looked for its speedy fulfillment. They joyfully welcomed their first-born son, hoping that he might be the Deliverer. But the fulfillment of the promise tarried. Those who first received it died without the sight. From the days of Enoch the promise was repeated through patriarchs and prophets, keeping alive the hope of His appearing, and yet He came not. The prophecy of Daniel revealed the time of His advent, but not all rightly interpreted the message. Century after century passed away; the voices of the prophets ceased. The hand of the oppressor was heavy upon Israel, and many were ready to exclaim, 'The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth.' Ezek. 12:22. But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God's purposes know no haste and no delay. Through the symbols of the great darkness and the smoking furnace, God had revealed to Abraham the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and had declared that the time of their sojourning should be four hundred years. 'Afterward,' He said, 'shall they come out with great substance.' Gen. 15:14. Against that word, all the power of Pharaoh's proud empire battled in vain. On 'the selfsame day' appointed in the divine promise, 'it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.' Ex. 12:41. So in heaven's council the hour for the coming of Christ had been determined. When the great clock of time pointed to that hour, Jesus was born in Bethlehem." – The Desire of Ages, pp. 31,32.


Question 2
What prophecy predicted where God's Son was to be born? Mic. 5:2.


Note – "Thus, through patriarchs and prophets, as well as through types and symbols, God spoke to the world concerning the coming of a Deliverer from sin. A long line of inspired prophecy pointed to the advent of 'the Desire of all nations.' Haggai 2:7. Even the very place of His birth, and the time of His appearance, were minutely specified. The Son of David must be born in


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David's city. Out of Bethlehem, said the prophet, 'shall He come forth that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.' Micah 5:2, margin. 'And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah, Art in no wise least among the princes of Judah: For out of thee shall come forth a Governor, Which shall be Shepherd of My people Israel.' Matthew 2:6, R.V." – Prophets and Kings, p. 697.


Question 3
In what way did God arrange for this prophecy to be fulfilled? Luke 2:1-7.


Note – "Angels attend Joseph and Mary as they journey from their home in Nazareth to the city of David. The decree of imperial Rome for the enrollment of the peoples of her vast dominion has extended to the dwellers among the hills of Galilee. As in old time Cyrus was called to the throne of the world's empire that he might set free the captives of the Lord, so Caesar Augustus is made the agent for the fulfillment of God's purpose in bringing the mother of Jesus to Bethlehem. She is of the lineage of David, and the Son of David must be born in David's city. Out of Bethlehem, said the prophet, 'shall He come forth.… that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of eternity.' Micah 5:2, margin." – The Desire of Ages, p. 44.


Question 4
What was to be given to this child? Luke 1;26-38; Matt. 1:18-25.


Question 5
Was God's wife aware that this Godchild had arrived? Isa. 66:7.


Note – "For more than a thousand years the Jewish people had awaited the Saviour's coming. Upon this event they had rested their brightest hopes. In song and prophecy, in temple rite and household prayer, they had enshrined His name. And yet at His coming they knew Him not. The Beloved of heaven was to them 'as a root out of a dry ground;' He had 'no form nor comeliness;' and they saw in Him no beauty that they should desire Him. 'He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.' Isa. 53:2; John 1:11." – Ibid., p. 27.


"…Jerusalem was not preparing to welcome her Redeemer." – Ibid., p. 44.


"At the time of Christ's first advent the priests and scribes of the Holy City, to whom were entrusted the oracles of God, might have discerned the signs of the times and proclaimed the coming of the Promised One. The prophecy of Micah designated His birthplace; Daniel specified the time of His advent .... God committed these prophecies to the Jewish leaders; they were without excuse if they did not know and declare to the people that the Messiah's coming was at hand. Their ignorance was the result of sinful neglect. The Jews were building


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monuments for the slain prophets of God, while by their deference to the great men of earth they were paying homage to the servants of Satan. Absorbed in their ambitious strife for place and power among men, they lost sight of the divine honors proffered them by the King of heaven. With profound and reverent interest the elders of Israel should have been studying the place, the time, the circumstances, of the greatest event in the world's history – the coming of the Son of God to accomplish the redemption of man. All the people should have been watching and waiting that they might be among the first to welcome the world's Redeemer. But, lo, at Bethlehem two weary travelers from the hills of Nazareth traverse the whole length of the narrow street to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a place of rest and shelter for the night. No doors are open to receive them. In a wretched hovel prepared for cattle, they at last find refuge, and there the Saviour of the world is born." – The Great Controversy, p. 313.


"For a woman to be delivered of a child before she travails and before her pain comes, is an incredible thing – a miracle. And that is just what happened to the church when the Lord was born in the manger of Bethlehem: The church knew not her visitation, and though she felt no need of a Saviour (travailed not), yet she brought forth the child." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 45 (Revised), p. 15. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation.)


"The Jewish church, the church into which and by which Jesus was born, Inspiration declares, neither travailed nor had pain; that is, she felt neither need of nor burden for a Saviour, and yet in spite of it, He was born." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 49, p. 7.


"This woman 'brought forth before she travailed; before her pain came she was delivered of a man child.' The woman is the Old Testament church in the days of Christ. Christ is the man child whom she brought forth, but she travailed not, neither did she have pain. That is, she knew Him not; she felt no pain of deliverance. As it would be a miracle for a woman to give birth to a child in this way, so it was a miracle that Christ was born to that unworthy mother (Jewish church: Because she had backslidden)." – Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 179. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation.)


Question 6

The devil being more alert than the church, what was he planning to do at this time? Rev. 12:3, 4; Matt. 2:1-12.


Note – "The line of prophecy in which these symbols are found begins with Revelation 12, with the dragon that sought to destroy Christ at His birth. The dragon is said to be Satan (Revelation 12:9); he it was that moved upon Herod


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to put the Saviour to death." – The Great Controversy, p. 438. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation.)


Question 7
How did God preserve His Son? Matt. 2: 13-23.


Note – "The wise men had not penetrated Herod's design toward Jesus. When the object of their journey was accomplished, they prepared to return to Jerusalem, intending to acquaint him with their success. But in a dream they received a divine message to hold no further communication with him. Avoiding Jerusalem, they set out for their own country by another route. In like manner Joseph received warning to flee into Egypt with Mary and the child. And the angel said, 'Be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him.' Joseph obeyed without delay, setting out on the journey by night for greater security .... Herod in Jerusalem impatiently awaited the return of the wise men. As time passed, and they did not appear, his suspicions were aroused. The unwillingness of the rabbis to point out the Messiah's birthplace seemed to indicate that they had penetrated his design, and that the magi had purposely avoided him. He was maddened at the thought .... Soldiers were at once sent to Bethlehem, with orders to put to death all the children of two years and under .... This calamity the Jews had brought upon themselves. If they had been walking in faithfulness and humility before God, He would in a signal manner have made the wrath of the king harmless to them. But they had separated themselves from God by their sins, and had rejected the Holy Spirit, which was their only shield. They had not studied the Scriptures with a desire to conform to the will of God. They had searched for prophecies which could be interpreted to exalt themselves, and to show how God despised all other nations. It was their proud boast that the Messiah was to come as a king, conquering His enemies, and treading down the heathen in His wrath. Thus they had excited the hatred of their rulers. Through their misrepresentation of Christ's mission, Satan had purposed to compass the destruction of the Saviour; but instead of this, it returned upon their own heads. Such was the Saviour's reception when He came to the earth. There seemed to be no place of rest or safety for the infant Redeemer. God could not trust His beloved Son with men, even while carrying forward His work for their salvation. He commissioned angels to attend Jesus and protect Him till He should accomplish His mission on earth, and die by the hands of those whom He came to save." – The Great Controversy, pp. 64-67.


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Lesson 4




star


"Behold
The Lamb of God"



star
John baptizes Jesus




Memory Gem


"…John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." – John 1:29.


Introduction


"In every stage of this earth's history God has had His agencies to carry forward His work, which must be done in His appointed way. John the Baptist had a special work, for which he was born and to which he was appointed – the work of preparing the way of the Lord." – Manuscript 112, 1901. Quoted in S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1115.



Question 1

Who was sent to announce the work of Jesus? Luke 1:5-17, 57, 67-80; 3:1-18; Isa. 40:3-5; Matt. 3:1-12. See Introduction.


Note – "John was to go forth as Jehovah's messenger, to bring to men the light of God. He must give a new direction to their thoughts. He must impress them with the holiness of God's requirements, and their need of His perfect


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righteousness.… As a prophet, John was 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.'.... John proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, and called the people to repentance. As a symbol of cleansing from sin, he baptized them in the waters of the Jordan. Thus by a significant object lesson he declared that those who claimed to be the chosen people of God were defiled by sin, and that without purification of heart and life they could have no part in the Messiah's kingdom .... In the time of John the Baptist, Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make manifest to men their sin. Only as they were willing to be purged from sin could they enter into fellowship with Him. Only the pure in heart could abide in His presence. Thus the Baptist declared God's message to Israel. Many gave heed to his instruction. Many sacrificed all in order to obey. Multitudes followed this new teacher from place to place, and not a few, cherished the hope that he might be the Messiah. But as John saw the people turning to him, he sought every opportunity of directing their faith to Him who was to come." – The Desire of Ages, pp. 100, 101, 104, 108.


Question 2
In what terms did John introduce Jesus to the people? John 1:29-36.


Note – "John had been deeply moved as he saw Jesus bowed as a suppliant, pleading with tears for the approval of the Father. As the glory of God encircled Him, and the voice from heaven was heard, John recognized the token which God had promised. He knew that it was the world's Redeemer whom he had baptized. The Holy Spirit rested upon him, and with outstretched hand pointing to Jesus, he cried, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' None among the hearers, and not even the speaker himself, discerned the import of these words, 'the Lamb of God.' Upon Mount Moriah, Abraham had heard the question of his son, 'My father....where is the lamb for a burnt offering?' The father answered, 'My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.' Gen. 22:7, 8. And in the ram divinely provided in the place of Isaac, Abraham saw a symbol of Him who was to die for the sins of men. The Holy Spirit through Isaiah, taking up the illustration, prophesied of the Saviour, 'He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,' 'and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all' (Isa. 53:7, 6). – Ibid., pp. 112, 113. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation.)


"When at the baptism of Jesus, John pointed to Him as the Lamb of God, a new light was shed upon the Messiah's work. The prophet's mind was directed to the words of Isaiah, 'He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter.' Isa. 53:7. During the weeks that followed, John with new interest studied the prophecies and the teaching of the sacrificial service. He did not distinguish clearly the two phases of Christ's work, – as a suffering sacrifice and a conquering king,


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- but he saw that His coming had a deeper significance than priests or people had discerned. When he beheld Jesus among the throng on His return from the desert, he confidently looked for Him to give the people some sign of His true character. Almost impatiently he waited to hear the Saviour declare His mission; but no word was spoken, no sign given. Jesus did not respond to the Baptist's announcement of Him, but mingled with the disciples of John, giving no outward evidence of His special work, and taking no measures to bring Himself to notice. The next day John sees Jesus coming. With the light of the glory of God resting upon him, the prophet stretches out his hands, declaring, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! …. On the following day, while two disciples were standing near, John again saw Jesus among the people. Again the face of the prophet was lighted up with glory from the Unseen, as he cried, 'Behold the Lamb of God!' The words thrilled the hearts of the disciples. They did not fully understand them. What meant the name that John had given Him, – 'the Lamb of God'? John himself had not explained it." – Ibid., pp. 136-138.


Question 3
To what did John liken himself? John 3:22-36.


Note – "The disciples of John came to him with their grievances, saying, 'Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him.' Through these words, Satan brought temptation upon John. Though John's mission seemed about to close, it was still possible for him to hinder the work of Christ. If he had sympathized with himself, and expressed grief or disappointment at being superceded, he would have sown the seeds of dissension, would have encouraged envy and jealousy, and would seriously have impeded the progress of the gospel .... He said, 'A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice.' John represented himself as the friend who acted as a messenger between the betrothed parties, preparing the way for the marriage. When the bridegroom had received his bride, the mission of the friend was fulfilled. He rejoiced in the happiness of those whose union he had promoted. So John had been called to direct the people to Jesus, and it was his joy to witness the success of the Saviour's work. He said, 'This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." – The Desire of Ages, p. 179.


Question 4

Did Jesus acknowledge being the Bridegroom? Matt. 9:14, 15; Mark 2:18-20; Luke 5:33-35.


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Note – "The disciples of John had not a clear understanding of Christ's work; they thought there might be some foundation for the charges of the Pharisees. They observed many of the rules prescribed by the rabbis, and even hoped to be justified by the works of the law. Fasting was practiced by the Jews as an act of merit, and the most rigid among them fasted two days in every week. The Pharisees and John's disciples were fasting when the latter came to Jesus with the inquiry, 'Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but Thy disciples fast not?' Very tenderly Jesus answered them. He did not try to correct their erroneous conception of fasting, but only to set them right in regard to His own mission. And He did this by employing the same figure that the Baptist himself had used in his testimony to Jesus, John had said, 'He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.' John 3:29. The disciples of John could not fail to recall these words of their teacher, as, taking up the illustration, Jesus said, 'Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?' The Prince of heaven was among His people. The greatest gift of God had been given to the world .... It was a bright picture which the words of Christ had called up, but across it lay a heavy shadow, which His eye alone discerned. 'The days will come,' He said, 'when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.' When they should see their Lord betrayed and crucified, the disciples would mourn and fast. In His last words to them in the upper chamber, He said, 'A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me. Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.' John 16:19, 20" – Ibid., pp. 276, 277.


Question 5

To what had Jesus looked forward when attending the marriage feast at Cana? John 2:1-11; Rev. 19:6, 7, 9.


Note – "A Jewish marriage was an impressive occasion, and its joy was not displeasing to the Son of man. By attending this feast, Jesus honored marriage as a divine institution. In both the Old and the New Testament, the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people. To the mind of Jesus the gladness of the wedding festivities pointed forward to the rejoicing of that day when He shall bring home His bride to the Father's house, and the redeemed with the Redeemer shall sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb. He says, 'As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.' Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken;.,. but thou shalt be called My Delight;...for the Lord delighteth in thee.' 'He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.' Isa. 62:5, 4, margin; Zeph. 3:


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17. When the vision of heavenly things was granted to John the apostle, he wrote: 'I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.' 'Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.' Rev. 19:6, 7, 9." – Ibid., p. 151.


Question 6
What did Jesus say He would do when He returned to Heaven? John 14:1-3.


Note – "Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father's house. Those who accept the teachings of God's word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode .... Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God." – The Adventist Home, pp. 541, 542.


"We are homeward bound. He who loved us so much as to die for us hath builded for us a city. The New Jerusalem is our place of rest." – Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 287.





"In His parting conversation with His disciples on the night before the crucifixion, the Saviour made no reference to the suffering that He had endured and must yet endure. He did not speak of the humiliation that was before Him, but sought to bring to their minds that which would strengthen their faith, leading them to look forward to the joys that await the overcomer. He rejoiced in the consciousness that He could and would do more for His followers than He had promised; that from Him would flow forth love and compassion, cleansing the soul-temple, and making men like Him in character; that His truth, armed with the power of the Spirit, would go forth conquering and to conquer." – The Acts of the Apostles, p. 23.



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Christ the King

Lesson 5




star


The Marriage
of
The Lamb



star




Memory Gem


"And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord." – Hosea 2:19, 20.


Introduction


"Christ honored the marriage relation by making it also a symbol of the union between Him and His redeemed ones. He Himself is the Bridegroom; the bride is the church, of which, as His chosen one, He says, 'Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.'" – The Adventist Home, p. 26.



Question 1
What kind of church did Paul wish to present to Christ? 2 Cor. 11:2.


Note – "In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman – a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church." – The Great Controversy, p. 381.


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Question 2

Because of the poor spiritual condition of His church, what did Christ say He would do? Hos. 2:14, 15.


Note – "Notice that the Lord visits the church not when she is in good spiritual standing with Him, but when she is in her greatest idolatry. Indeed, He could not visit her at a more opportune time, because only when she is in greatest darkness can she possibly discern light. And her condition, you know, can never improve unless He should call on her." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 6, p. 21.


"This prediction was made over a thousand years before she lost her vineyards, and before she 'fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.' Rev. 12:6. But while she was there in fugitive retreat from her own land, God spoke 'comfortably unto her.' In other words, she, like the wayward prodigal, had to have a bitter experience, longing again for home, before the Lord could do anything for her. Thus at the end of her exile, His overtures of love and mercy were to strike in her a truly responsive chord.' – The Latest News for "Mother", Tract No. 4, pp. 26, 27.


"Having brought her into as strait and embarrassing circumstances as one can be in, God promises to allure her, and to bring her into the wilderness, there to speak comfortably to her. Specifically speaking, having emerged from the 'great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world' (Matt. 24:21), God brings her, not into her vineyard, not in the Promised Land, but into the 'wilderness' (into the lands of the Gentiles), there to speak comfortably to her, and to help her reform. After this comforting meeting takes place she is to have her vineyards from thence, and the Valley of Achor for a door of hope; there she is to sing and rejoice as in the days of her youth, and as in the day she came out of Egypt." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 21, p. 12. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 3
What is God to make with His people at this time? Hosea 2:18; Jer. 31:31-33.


Question 4
Into what special relationship will God's church then enter? Hos. 2:19, 20, 16.


Note – "In symbolic language Hosea set before the ten tribes God's plan of restoring to every penitent soul who would unite with His church on earth, the blessings granted Israel in the days of their loyalty to Him in the Promised Land. Referring to Israel as one to whom He longed to show mercy, the Lord declared, 'I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably


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unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call Me Ishi ['My husband,' margin]; and shalt call Me no more Baali ['My lord,' margin]. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.' Hosea 2:14-17. In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with His commandment-keeping people is to be renewed. 'In that day will I make a covenant for them.... And I will betroth them unto Me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord,'" – Prophets and Kings, pp. 298, 299. (Brackets belong to quotation)


"In both the Old and the New Testament the marriage relation is employed to represent the tender and sacred union that exists between Christ and His people, the redeemed ones whom He has purchased at the cost of Calvary, 'Fear not,' He says; 'thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.' 'Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you.' Isaiah 54:4, 5; Jeremiah 3:14. In the 'Song of Songs' we hear the bride's voice saying, 'My beloved is mine, and I am His.' And He who is to her 'the chiefest among ten thousand,' speaks to His chosen one, 'Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.' Song of Solomon 2:16; 5:10; 4:7." – The Mount of Blessing, p. 64.


"Very close and sacred is the relation between Christ and His church – He the bridegroom, and the church the bride; He the head, and the church the body. Connection with Christ, then, involves connection with His church." – Education, p. 268.


Question 5

When and where does the marriage take place and what does it signify? Rev. 4:1, 2; 5:1-14; Luke 19:12-15; Heb. 9:11-28.


Note – "I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne .... and we heard His lovely voice saying, 'Wait here; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.' Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. There I beheld Jesus, a great High Priest, standing before the Father." – Early Writings, p. 55.


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"I saw that while Jesus was in the most holy place He would be married to the New Jerusalem; and after His work should be accomplished in the holiest, He would descend to the earth in kingly power and take to Himself the precious ones who had patiently waited His return." – Ibid., p. 251.


"Every case had been decided for life or death. While Jesus had been ministering in the sanctuary, the judgment had been going on for the righteous dead, and then for the righteous living. Christ had received His kingdom, having made atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The subjects of the kingdom were made up. The marriage of the Lamb was consummated. And the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was given to Jesus and the heirs of salvation, and Jesus was to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords." – Ibid., p. 280.


"'The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom." – The Great Controversy, p. 426.


"….it is true that the marriage of Christ is a 'union of humanity with divinity,' it is also true that the marriage is 'the reception of His kingdom,' for humanity makes up the Kingdom. Therefore, the marriage is equivalent to the coronation….The reception of His Kingdom takes place in heaven while the saints are still on earth, as Daniel was shown: 'I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.' Dan. 7:13, 14. Bringing into prophetic focus this same event, Jesus declared parabolically: 'A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a kingdom, and to return.' Luke 19:12. Note that He receives the Kingdom (acquires ownership of it) while He is away, not when He returns ….So, the marriage is the coronation of Christ, which takes place in the heavenly temple when all His subjects on earth are made ready, while the work is drawing to completion, and probation to a close. Obviously, then, the marriage takes place before He comes to 'receive' the saints unto Himself (John 14:3), and before they meet Him 'in the air.' 1 Thess. 4:16, 17." – The Answerer, Book No. 2, pp. 87, 88. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)


Question 6
How did John the Revelator describe this glorious event? Rev. 19:5-9.


Note – "Friends, do you wish a crown of eternal life? 'Let us be glad and rejoice,' therefore, 'and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is


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come, and his wife hath made herself ready.' Rev. 19:1. All who are willing to forsake all that they have, to share all that He has, are making themselves ready. They are changing their own self-righteousness for His righteousness. 'And to her (His church) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.' Rev. 19:8. The righteousness of the saints is the message of Christ's Righteousness.' – The Man On The White Horse, pp. 24, 25. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)



Lesson 6




star


A
New Name



star
Bible




Memory Gem


"And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." – Isaiah 62:2.


Introduction


"The righteousness of Zion shall be so pronounced that the Gentiles shall be attracted by it, and all their kings by her glory. It is for this very reason that the present church name will not then be befitting her. As you know, there are now hundreds of church names in the world, – as many names as there are isms, all of which are named by the mouth of men, although God recognizes but one church. Many of the names even suggest Divine competition. For instance, do not the names,


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'Church of Christ,' and 'Church of God,' make Christ and God competitors? Whatever the 'new name' be, it will entirely befit the church in her righteousness as here projected. We are now living in a confused world. Some are of Paul and some of Apollos, of Cephas, Peter, John, and James, some of God and some of Christ. Christians are thus bickering and quarreling among themselves, one speaking against the faith of another, and at the same time all are trying to convert to Christ the non-Christian world: What darkness" – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 42 (revised), pp. 4, 5.



Question 1
What is God's church to receive at the time of her marriage? Isa. 62:1-5.


Note – "A new name is to be given to His people as a body, and perhaps even as individuals also just as it was in the cases of Abraham, Sarah, and Jacob. For after our characters are changed God may wish to give us names that would be indicative of that fact if our present names should not then be fitting. God is going to make His people so glorious that kings who now glory in their power will then acknowledge the glory of His people. Consequently, if we are to be among that people, then we are going to be made known in all the world even to all kings at the time when God makes His people known, and our names will be classed forever among the names of the great men of the Scriptures. Do you actually realize that?" – The Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, No. 3, p. 4.


"The name is a new one to the Gentiles which is in harmony with a righteous and holy people who are married to a Holy God. They are no longer to be called by the familiar name Christian, or the present name of the S.D.A. church, but rather by a new name." – The Man On The White Horse, p. 12.


Question 2
What sort of person must we be in order to receive this new name? Rev. 2:17.


Note – "The church here projected is to be made up only of a righteous spirit-led people (overcomers), her new name is doubtless to express this fact. Wonderful, indeed, is to be the Lord's 'crown of glory, ' and His 'royal diadem.' You certainly cannot afford to let this glory get away from you." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 42 (Revised), p. 5.


"Your obeying 'all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments' of the moral law of Moses, you see, is your evidence that you have been born again, that you have been endowed with power from above, that you are endowed to choose the good and to refuse the evil, that you are the children of


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God. Keeping the commandments and the statutes in the Lord, then, is the light and shield of your life. It is the outward sign that by the life of Christ you have overcome the Enemy of your soul and body. This system of worship, therefore, is truly the Righteousness by faith that brings the righteousness of Christ in the people of God." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 37, p. 24.


Question 3

Why is it necessary for the church to receive a new name, and what will become of the old one? Isa. 48:11; 65:15.


Note – "A new name. ' Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting .... God Himself with His own mouth gives the name so it can not be counterfeited .... Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name. The old name, being polluted, could no longer be retained. There is no one to go by the old name, for the ones who were not worthy of having the new name have perished .... The name only remains for a curse. In Isa. 65:15, we read: 'And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: For the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.' The old order of things being changed. The watchmen who were unfaithful have perished. 'I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence,' Isa. 62:6. (These are the watchmen under the new name.)" – The Shepherds Rod, Vol. 1, p. 155. (Parenthesis belong)


"Looking forward to this day of purification, Zechariah prophesies: 'In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: …and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.' Zech. 14:20, 21. Envisioning the same scene, the prophet Isaiah declares: 'And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; thou shalt be called Hephzibah... The holy people.' Isa. 62:2-4, 12. 'But ye …that forsake the Lord, that forget My holy mountain .... ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.' Isa. 65:11, 15. 'The people that doth not understand shall fall.' Hos, 4:14. 'Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.' Dan. 12:10." – The Judgment and the Harvest, Tract No. 3, pp. 74, 75.


"Speaking of the church, he (Isaiah) declares: 'And ye shall leave your name


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for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.' Isa. 65:15. Plainly, therefore... the Lord is to perform a duel work among His professed people, some of whom will be made free because of their faithfulness, and some of whom will be slain because of their wickedness. The delivered ones will then be called by another name." – War News Forecast, Tract No. 14, p. 18.


Question 4
To whom does this new name belong that is given to the overcomer? Rev. 3:12.


Note – "... the Lord revealed to John what is the condition of nearness in His kingdom. 'To him that overcometh,' Christ said, 'will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.' 'Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, ... and I will write upon him My new name.' Rev. 3:21, 12." – The Desire of Ages, p. 549.


"Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own 'new name' (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, 'Holiness to the Lord.'" – The Great Controversy, p. 646. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)


Question 5
Why do many desire to have the Lord's name? Isa. 4:1.


Note – " 'And upon his heads [churches] the name of blasphemy.' That is, resistance of known truth, expression of defiant impiety and irreverence towards God, or things held sacred – mocking God's personality and authority. The prophet Isaiah, looking forward to this time of wholesale deception, headed by so-called spiritual guides, says: 'And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.' (Isa. 4:1) It is an admitted fact among Bible students that churches are symbolized by 'women.' Pure woman – pure church, as in Jeremiah 6:2, Revelation 12:1; vile woman – corrupt church, as in Revelation 17:4, 5. Isaiah says, there are 'seven' women.... They say, 'We will eat our own bread.' That is, they want to have their own way; they care not for God's way (Word). 'We will wear our own apparel'; that is, they want their own plans in preference to God's plans or His righteousness. Thereby, they clothed themselves with self-righteousness. Their aim is to be called by the one man's name; that is, by the name of Christ (Christians) to take away their reproach. People have come to suppose they can do most anything under the guise of Christianity and get away with it. God will let them continue their course until they, like Belshazzar, have passed the boundary line of divine grace, and then He will call them to


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account." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 98. (Brackets and parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 6

What specific group of people did Sister White see bearing Jesus' new name? Rev. 14:1; 7:1-8.


Note – "The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name. At our happy, holy state the wicked were enraged, and would rush violently up to lay hands on us to thrust us into prison, when we would stretch forth the hand in the name of the Lord, and they would fall helpless to the ground." – Early Writings, p. 15.


Question 7

How is Jesus' new name to be revealed to the 144,000? Isa. 62:2; Amos 3:7; Deut. 32:1-3; Jer. 15:19; Eze. 3:17; 33:7.


Note – "Let us ever bear in mind that we of ourselves know nothing about God's plans except as told through His appointed servants, the prophets.…" – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 7, p. 7.


"The name comes through a message. God's voice, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me." Rev. 3:20.... 'Today if you will hear his voice (mouthpiece, Truth), harden not your hearts.' Hebrews 4: 7." – The New Name --- Isaiah 62:2, p. 4. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)


"In the parable it was those that had oil in their vessels with their lamps that went in to the marriage. Those who, with a knowledge of the truth (of the new name of Jesus revealed through Inspiration) from the Scriptures, had also the Spirit and grace of God, and who, in the night of their bitter trial, had patiently waited, searching the Bible for clearer light .... And all who through the testimony of the Scriptures accept the same truths, following Christ by faith as He enters in before God to perform the last work of mediation, and at its close to receive His kingdom – all these are represented as going in to the marriage." – The Great Controversy, pp. 427, 428.


"Now you see that every additional timely Truth brings an additional timely name. And you who have not been baptized in the name of the Church, but in the name of Christ through the Truth of the Spirit, you who are not tied to any man, but to Christ, cannot help going on with the Spirit of Prophecy Who unfolds the Truth and names Its people." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 34, p. 25.


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Special Note – "Are our people reviewing the past and the present and the future, as it is unfolding before the world? Are they heeding the messages of warning given them? Is it our greatest concern today that our lives shall be refined and purified, and that we shall reflect the similitude of the divine? This must be the experience of all who join that company who are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. They must be arrayed in the righteousness of Christ (pure, unadulterated truth – T.M. 65). His (new) name must be written in their foreheads. They must rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Christ has engraved the names of His people on the palms of His hands. He will never lose His interest in any dependent soul. Say to the church members that there is need of thorough consecration to God. Let all understand that they must make a covenant with God by sacrifice. We need the blessings of the gospel every day and every hour. Every proof of the Lord's power, His presence, and His love, is to be recognized with grateful thanks. Happiness is to be achieved by the right action of the soul toward God. I thank the Lord for this precious thought. Let Him be glorified by the sentiments expressed and by the actions performed." – Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 56.




crossing the red sea

Lesson 7




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"Hear ye
The Rod"



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Memory Gem


"The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and Who hath appointed it." – Micah 6:9.


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Introduction


"The Association's literature, The Shepherd's Rod Series, draws its title from the rod of Moses the shepherd of Midian. In the exodus of his day, it was that rod which emancipated the children of Israel from the Egyptians and later smote the waters of the Red Sea, providing a haven of refuge for the fugitives and setting a death-trap for their pursuers. For this reason the literature takes the name 'Shepherd's Rod' to identify and distinguish its special work, of which Isaiah wrote: 'And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall he left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea' (Isa. 11:11); and to call attention to the singular fulfillment of Micah's prophecy: 'The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: Hear ye the rod, and Who hath appointed it.' Mic. 6:9." – The Leviticus of The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists, p. 4. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)



Question 1

"What are God's people counseled to do if they would know about the new name? Mic. 6:9; 7:14.


Note – "Here is a Rod which speaks; and its voice, the scripture points out, is the voice of God to His people. And since 'The Shepherd's Rod,' the publications which contain the message of 'the great and dreadful day of the Lord,' is the only Rod that has ever spoken, then it is the 'Rod' publications which the Lord demands all to hear. Some may call the publications 'offshoot,' others may call them 'rubbish'... but the Lord titles them the 'Rod,' and His counsel is that we hear Its voice. In truth, since the Rod is a symbol of authority, correction, and deliverance, then what other title could more fittingly signify that It is to deliver the penitent and do away with the impenitent? It was the shepherd's rod that freed ancient Israel, and the Lord has chosen 'The Shepherd's Rod' to deliver modern Israel." – General Conference Special, pp. 35, 36, (1954 Edition)


"Note it is the Lord's voice. The voice is crying in the 'city'. (City, or Jerusalem are symbols of God's church the same as 'mountain', the difference between the symbols being that 'mountain' means the entire denomination, but 'city' means the leading part of that body.) By what means is the Lord's voice crying in the city (church)? The last part of the verse answers the question: 'Hear ye the rod.' To hear a rod, it must be the kind that can speak. The only rod God's people have ever been asked to hear is this 'Shepherd's Rod',….


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Again, note 'The men of wisdom shall see thy name'. The wisdom mentioned is not that which the world can give, but a heavenly one .... The same thought is brought over in the seventh chapter, verse 14. 'Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.' 'Feed thy people with thy rod': The verb 'feed' is to be understood as spiritual food, and that food (truth) is found in the 'Rod' .... Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead are used as symbols of good spiritual pasture." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 242, 243. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 2

When did the Rod tell us the church was to receive this new name? Isa. 62:2; Mic. 7:15; Eze. 4:4-6.


Note – "The prophecy by Ezekiel gives the information in detail from the beginning of Luther's reformation to Ezekiel 9, marking of the 144, 000, and unrolling of the scroll .... It makes it clear that there is a 430 year period from the reformation by Luther to the purification of the church..." – Ibid., p. 116.


" 'A new name,' Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting (purification of the church) .... The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period .... Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name." – Ibid., p. 155.


"1525; – The beginning of Luther's Reformation – when Luther had a following: the city of Worms having accepted the Reform faith." – Details of the 430 Year Prophecy According to Abraham and Ezekiel 4 – In Three Steps, p. 1.


"This (marriage of Martin Luther, a Catholic priest, to Katherine von Bora, a Catholic nun, on June 13, 1525) was the real beginning of the Protestant parsonage." – Martin Luther, by Dallman, p. 253.



"1525 A.D. Luther marries – starts the Protestant Parsonage .... Four hundred and thirty years to the call to the marriage supper...in 1955...the new name...of the Bridegroom..." – Branch Sabbath School Lesson, Vol. 7, Nos. 1-4, p. 14.


Question 3
What other information did the Rod give us concerning the new name? Matt. 13:30.


Note – "Israel is spelled with six letters. Had this name been more or less it would spoil the picture. Why? Because the six letters indicate the sixth section .... Had the name been of seven letters, it would denote 'close of


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probation', instead of 'beginning of harvest'. Israel, in the time of harvest, will receive a new name by the mouth of the Lord. Read Isa. 62:2. Whatever that name may be, we are sure it will be perfect, to finish the picture of probationary time, as well as to indicate the end of all the redeemed, or close of probation." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 233.


"Let both (wheat and tares) 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. Those who have been members of the same family are separated. A mark is placed upon the righteous." – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 234.


"….the 144, 000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) of the harvest, they are the 'escaped' of Isaiah 66:19 and of Ezekiel 9. This separation of the tares from the wheat in the church is to signalize the beginning of the final harvest of earth – the end of the world. Then will have come the time for the denominational name to cease, for all her idols to be cut off, and for a new name (Isa. 62:2) to be given to those who escape." – War News Forecast, Tract No. 14, pp. 19, 20. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"Israel, the bride-to-be, finds out the new name at the introduction (the beginning of harvest), and in the time of, or during the harvest she accepts the 'wooing'... and receives the name first by 'promise' – conditional upon her faithfulness in betrothment, (as individuals) and second at the time of the marriage – the promise is fulfilled to the faithful (church as a body receives the New name…)." – The New Name --- Isaiah 62:2, p. 1. (Paren. theirs)


"The Bridegroom, being a man of sterling morals, introduced Himself to Israel (in) 1955, by revealing His new name, as any proper man even of the world would do. He woos her by His words of love .... And then in betrothment, she claims His name 'by promise'. Some break the betrothment – step off the platform, and reject the Man's name .... Finally (the Bridegroom), takes the 'proven faithful' in marriage, at which time the name becomes hers forevermore .... the Lord reveals His new name before the slaughter as well as before the marriage: to save the bride from destruction. His new name is placed in her forehead such as was the 'blood on the doorpost' anciently…thus 'sealing' – designating, her for the marriage." – Ibid.. p. 2.


Question 4

In introducing us to the Bridegroom and His new name, what anti-type was the Rod fulfilling? John 1:29-36; 3:29, 30.


Note – "The work of John the Baptist, and the work of those who in the last days go forth in the Spirit and power of Elijah to arouse the people from their apathy, are in many respects the same. His work is a type of the work that


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must be done in this age." – Southern Watchman, March 21. 1905. (General Conference Special, p. 43, 1950 Edition)


"….the work of John the Baptist. He was to proclaim, not the setting up of the Kingdom, but the coming of the King. But in announcing the one, he incidentally had to answer questions concerning the other. When speaking of the coming King, he expressed himself in terms of revealed Truth. But when circumstantially alluding to the coming. Kingdom, on which there was no special light in his day, he necessarily expressed himself in terms of the doctrines as then commonly understood." – The Answerer, Book No. 2, p. 79.


"John the Baptist was given a work similar to ours, and although he had no assurance that he would continue living, yet he heroically finished his work. We cannot afford to do otherwise. Our zeal should be correspondingly greater, for our privileges and promises are greater than were his." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 42 (Unrevised), p. 19.


"True, verse three (of Isaiah chap. 40) found fulfillment in the work of John the Baptist; but the verses preceding and also the verses following, definitely apply to the people in the latter days and only partially to the people in John's day. Therefore, the truth stands out boldly that the direct fulfillment of this chapter is found in our time, thus making John's work an ensample of our work – John's work the type, ours the antitype." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 36 (Revised), p. 4.


"….the work of John was not sufficient to lay the foundation of the Christian church. When he had fulfilled his mission, another work was to be done, which his testimony could not accomplish. His disciples did not understand this. When they saw Christ coming in to take the work, they were jealous and dissatisfied. The same dangers still exist .... From time to time the Lord will bring in different agencies, through whom His purpose can best be accomplished. Happy are they who are willing for self to be humbled, saying with John the Baptist, 'He must increase, but I must decrease.'" – The Desire of Ages, pp. 181, 182.


"The message presented here (in the Shepherd's Rod) does not bring any new doctrines, or contradict the ones we have, but it does magnify them by showing their true magnitude and importance. Neither does it call for a new movement but it proves that this same movement would merge into a greater one." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 234.


"Provisional in set-up as well as in name, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association exists solely to accomplish a divinely appointed work within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, wherein it therefore strictly confines its


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activities. As its work there within draws to a close, and the 'servants of our God' (Rev. 7:3) are sealed, its name will be changed (Isa. 56:5; 62:2; 65:15) and its purpose and its work will become all-embracing to the gospel (Matt. 17:11; Acts 3:21; Isa. 61:4-7)." – The Leviticus of D.S.D.A. Preface. (Paren. belong to quotation)




Lesson 8




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The Branch
and
Joshua



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The Branch and Joshua




Memory Gem


"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.


Introduction


"Analysis of ancient and modern history, both sacred and secular, prove that sealed, or prophetic truth has never been revealed through the educational system of the world, or by the wisdom of man, but only by the power of God. If anything is true, it is this one thing. Said Jesus: 'When He, the Spirit of Truth, is Come, He will guide you into all truth.' (John 16:13.) Christ plainly declares, that we are led into truth, not by wisdom of man but by the Spirit of God. Not into some truth, but into all truth. When God reveals truth, He is able to lead His servants in all truth, and does not allow such instruments to mix His truth with error. Though they may not understand all, yet the message they bear is the truth and nothing but the


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truth. Therefore, such truths are originally revealed by inspiration only. When the time divinely appointed is fulfilled, then God calls servants of His own choice, and by the Spirit of Truth reveals a portion of His Word to them. Usually in the form of a message which they must first bear to the church." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 12, 13.(Paren. belong to quote)



Question 1

What method did God use to reveal the secret of His new name to His servant? Rev. 2:17.


Question 2
What do the Scriptures call this white stone? Matt. 13:45, 46.


Note – "The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain .... There are some who seem to be always seeking for the heavenly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. They have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. They do not take up the cross and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and sacrifice. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they cannot enter there. Almost but not wholly saved means to be not almost but wholly lost .... But Christ as the precious pearl, and our privilege of possessing this heavenly treasure, is the theme on which we most need to dwell. It is the Holy Spirit that reveals to men the preciousness of the goodly pearl." – Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 115-118.


Question 3
Who is the overcomer pictured here in the Revelation? Rev. 2:17; Zech. 3:1-5.


Note – "A most forcible and impressive illustration of the work of Satan and the work of Christ, and the power of our Mediator to vanquish the accuser of His people, is given in the prophecy of Zechariah. In holy vision the prophet beholds Joshua the high priest, 'clothed with filthy garments,' standing before the Angel of the Lord, entreating the mercy of God in behalf of His people who are in deep affliction. Satan stands at his right hand to resist him .... In his filthy garments, symbolizing the sins of the people, which he bears as their representative, he stands before the Angel, confessing their guilt, yet pointing to their repentance and humiliation, relying upon the mercy of a sin-pardoning Redeemer and in faith claiming the promises of God. Then the Angel, who is Christ Himself, the Saviour of sinners, puts to silence the accuser of His people, declaring: 'The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath


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chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire'….As the intercession of Joshua is accepted, the command is given, 'Take away the filthy garments from him,' and to Joshua the Angel declares, 'Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment.' 'So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments.' His own sins and those of His people were pardoned. Israel were clothed with 'change of raiment' – the righteousness of Christ imputed to them." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 467-469.


"The first one to be given the garment (of Christ's righteousness) is (antitypical) Joshua, the high priest, the highest official in the church. If he has not the garment, then no one else has it either. From this we see that the genuine revival and reformation starts at the head, not at the feet, and that before one is given the right to put the garment on, his iniquity is taken away – he repents of his sins (overcomes), and the Lord blots them out." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 (Revised), p. 23.


Question 4

What is laid before Joshua and what does it represent? Zech. 3:9; Rev. 5:6; Isa. 28:16; Gen. 49:24; Deut. 32:3, 4; Matt. 21:42; 1 Cor. 10:4.


Note – "Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.' Isa. 28-16,17. Moses prophesied of the Messiah. '... from thence is the Shepherd the Stone of Israel.' Gen. 49:24. 'He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked;... then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation .... Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful.' Deut. 32:4, 15, 18. 'All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made.' John 1:3. 'There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God... who is a rock save our God. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me.' 1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:32; 23:3. 'For thou art my rock and my fortress .... my God is the rock of my refuge.' Ps. 31:3; 94:22; 118:22. These Scriptures explain why Paul wrote: ' .... for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.' 1 Cor. 10:4. When Jesus asked Peter, 'whom say ye that I am?', Peter answered: '...Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' Jesus then said: '...Upon this rock will I build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' Matt. 16:15, 16, 18. Upon this rock of Truth, that the Father (v.17) revealed to Peter through the Spirit (not flesh and blood) that Jesus was the Son of God, is what


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Jesus said He would build His church upon. It is plain to see that the fact, that Jesus is the Son of God as revealed through the Spirit, is the rock Christ builds His church on... 'But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name .... Those who believed on Christ's name revealed through the Spirit, 'to them gave He power to become the sons of God.'…, 'Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, the Stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?….' Matt. 21:42, To those who do not have the Truth He says: 'Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.' Matt. 21:43,44.... The Lord's word is certain and His promises sure for He says: ' .... For behold the stone (message) that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." – The Stone, pp. 8, 9. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"Complete vision (complete plan of salvation through Christ the Lamb of God) is in the stone-message (in which is written the new name of Jesus) that is laid before Joshua." – Executive Council Letter, No. 5, p. 6.


Question 5
What is the name written (engraved) in the stone? Zech. 3:8.


Note – "The Lord declares that it is certain He will bring forth His servant the BRANCH, for the BRANCH is engraved (written, Ex. 28:11) in the stone (message) that He laid before Joshua." – The Stone, p. 9. (Paren. belong to quotation)


Question 6

Can we be sure that the name "Branch" really is the name of Christ? Isa. 11:1; Jer. 23:5, 6.


Note – "Through the promised Seed, the God of Israel was to bring deliverance to Zion. 'There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.' 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.' Isaiah 11:1; 7:14, 15." – Prophets and Kings, p. 695.


"Mary pondered the broad and far-reaching prophecy of Simeon. As she looked upon the child in her arms, and recalled the words spoken by the shepherds of Bethlehem, she was full of grateful joy and bright hope. Simeon's words called


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to her mind the prophetic utterances of Isaiah: 'There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord…. And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins. '.... Yet Mary did not understand Christ's mission. Simeon had prophesied of Him as a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as a glory to Israel." – The Desire of Ages, p. 56.


"Reports have reached the rulers in Jerusalem that Jesus is approaching the city with a great concourse of people. But they have no welcome for the Son of God. In fear they go out to meet Him .... They inquire the cause of the tumultuous rejoicing. As they question, 'Who is this?' the disciples, filled with the spirit of inspiration, answer this question. In eloquent strains they repeat the prophecies concerning Christ: Adam will tell you, It is the seed of the woman that shall bruise the serpent's head. Ask Abraham, he will tell you, It is 'Melchizedek King of Salem,' King of Peace. Gen. l4:18. Jacob will tell you, He is Shiloh of the tribe of Judah. Isaiah will tell you, 'Immanuel,' 'Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.' Isa. 7:14; 9:6. Jeremiah will tell you, The Branch of David, 'the Lord our Righteousness.' Jer. 23:6. Daniel will tell you, He is the Messiah. Hosea will tell you, He is 'the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is His memorial,' Hosea 12:5. John the Baptist will tell you, He is 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' John 1:29. The great Jehovah has proclaimed from His throne, 'This is My beloved Son.' Matt. 3:17. We, His disciples, declare, This is Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of life, the Redeemer of the world. And the prince of the powers of darkness acknowledges Him, saying, 'I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.' Mark 1:24." – The Desire of Ages, pp. 578, 579.


Question 7

Since the name "Branch" is recorded in the Old Testament how do we know that it applies to our day? Zech. 3:8, 9; 6:12; Isa. 4:1-3.


Note – "The work of Christ as man's intercessor is presented in that beautiful prophecy of Zechariah concerning Him 'whose name is the Branch.' Says the prophet: 'He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His [the Father's] throne; and He shall be a priest upon His throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between Them both.' Zechariah 6:12, 13." – The Great Controversy, p. 415. (Brackets belong to quotation)


"Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience


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of God's people in the closing up of the great day of atonement." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 472.


"In the time of the end the people of God will sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land .... As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, 'Take away the filthy garments,' and the encouraging words are spoken, 'Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.'. .. The spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, faithful children of God .... These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb, having the Father's name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth….Now is reached the complete fulfillment of the words of the Angel: 'Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth My Servant the Branch,' Zechariah 3:8. Christ is revealed as the Redeemer and Deliverer of His people. Now indeed are the 'remnant 'men wondered at,' as the tears and humiliation of their pilgrimage give place to joy and honor in the presence of God and the Lamb. 'In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.' Isaiah 4:2, 3." – Prophets and Kings, pp. 590-592.





"God can and will do a great work for every human being who will open the heart to the Word of God, and let it enter the soul temple and expel every idol. Summoned to the effort, mind and heart take in the wonderful disclosures of the revealed will of God. The soul that is converted will be made stronger to resist evil. In the study of the Bible the converted soul eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God which He himself interprets as the receiving and doing of His words that are spirit and life. The Word is made flesh, and dwells among us, in those who receive the Holy precepts of the Word of God." – Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 378.



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The 144,000

Lesson 9




star


The 144,000



star




Memory Gem


"Let us strive with all the power God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand." – Review and Herald, March 9, 1905.


Introduction


"When men pick up this theory and that theory, when they are curious to know something it is not necessary for them to know, God is not leading them. It is not His plan that His people shall present something which they have to suppose, which is not taught in the Word. It is not His will that they shall get into controversy over questions which will not help them spiritually, such as, Who is to compose the hundred and forty-four thousand? This those who are the elect of God will in a short time know without question." – Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 174.



Question 1

Who is judged first in the time of the Judgment of the Living? Zeph, 1:12, 14; Deut.32:36; Ps. 135:14; Rom. 3:3-6; 1 Pet. 4:17.


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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 Atonement. So in the great day of final atonement (in the time of Joshua and the Branch – 5T 472) and investigative judgment (of the living) the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period." – The Great Controversy, p. 480.


"The church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 83.


"…we should never be content with a sinful life. It is a thought that should arouse Christians to greater zeal and earnestness in overcoming evil, that every defect in character, every point in which they fail to meet the divine standard, is an open door by which Satan can enter to tempt and destroy them; and, furthermore, that every failure and defect on their part gives occasion to the tempter and his agents to reproach Christ. We are to exert every energy of the soul in the work of overcoming, and to look to Jesus for strength to do what we cannot do of ourselves. No sin can be tolerated in those who shall walk with Christ in white. The filthy garments are to be removed, and Christ's robe of righteousness is to be placed upon us. By repentance and faith we are enabled to render obedience to all the commandments of God, and are found without blame before Him. Those who shall meet the approval of God are now afflicting their souls, confessing their sins, and earnestly pleading for pardon through Jesus their Advocate. Their attention is fixed upon Him, their hopes, their faith, are centered on Him, and when the command is given, 'Take away the filthy garments, and clothe him with change of raiment, and set a fair miter upon his head,' they are prepared to give Him all the glory of their salvation. Zechariah's vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing up of the great Day of Atonement. The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts. Satan numbers the world as his subjects, he has gained control of the apostate churches; but here is a little company that are resisting his supremacy. If he could blot them from the earth, his triumph would be complete. As he influenced the heathen nations to destroy Israel, so in the near future he will stir up the wicked powers of earth to destroy the


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people of God. All will be required to render obedience to human edicts in violation of the divine law. Those who will be true to God and to duty will be menaced, denounced, and proscribed. They will 'be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends.' Their only hope is in the mercy of God; their only defense will be prayer. As Joshua was pleading before the Angel, so the remnant church, with brokenness of heart and earnest faith, will plead for pardon and deliverance through Jesus their Advocate." – Ibid., pp. 472, 473.


Question 2

In the judgment of the church what is brought to view? Ps.1:1-6; Matt. 13:24-30; Rev. 14:14-16; Joel 3:13 first part; 2:24.


Note – "But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor .... Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat… When trees without fruit are cut down as cumberers of the ground, when multitudes of false brethren are distinguished from the true, then the hidden ones will be revealed to view..." – Ibid., pp. 80, 81.


"This time of judgment is also called the 'time of harvest.' ...The words of our Master (in Matt. 13:30) are in perfect harmony with the typical day of atonement, foretelling that it is a day of separating the tares from the wheat, or cutting off of the unrepentant sinners from among God's people (purification of the church). Therefore, the harvest (Judgment of the Living) commences with the closing work for the church." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 164. (Second parenthesis belongs to quotation)


Question 3

Who are these hidden ones that will be revealed in the closing work for the church? Rev. 14:1-4; 7:1-4.


Note – "The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing (marking time – Eze. 9:3, 4) time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people." – Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266.


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"….in the time between the 'latter rain' of truth (the Shepherd's Rod message – Joel 2:23) and the 'outpouring' of the Spirit's power (on Mt. Zion at Pentecost time – Acts 2:1-4), there will be sealed (by a message) a consecrated number (144,000) who will escape from among the 'slain of the Lord." – The Answerer, Book 1, p. 91.


"Plainly, then, among God's people those who fail to receive the seal, are, in the figure of the parable, represented by 'tares,' and are appointed unto destruction, whereas those who receive the seal and who escape the destruction, are symbolized by the 'wheat,' and are destined for the barn – the kingdom (Matt. 13:30). As the 'tares' and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest, and as the harvest is the end of the world (Matt. 13:30, 39), obviously the 144,000 are called the first fruits because they are the class of saints (wheat) first to be separated from the tares." – Behold I Make All Things New, Tract No. 9, pp. 54, 55. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"Obviously they are called fruits because they are the result of the 'harvest, ' the work which separates the tares from the wheat. The word 'first' connotes that they are the first crop (group) to be harvested – separated from the 'tares,' for Jesus explains that the harvest is the time in which to separate the tares from the wheat .... The harvest is variously termed: (1) the purification of the church (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80); (2) the closing work for the church (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 286); (3) the time in which the bad fish are cast out, and the good put into vessels (Mart. 13:47,48); (4) the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14); (5) purifying the temple (Mal. 3:1-3); (6) Judgment in the House of God (1 Pet. 4:17; Dan. 7:10). This is Truth positive, you know, and every Seventh-day Adventist knows it, too." – The Jezreel Letters, No. 3, p. 1. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"These 144,000 'servants of God,' being the first increment of the harvest, are called 'firstfruits.' And as all of them are 'of all the tribes of the children of Israel' (Rev. 7:4), they are therefore necessarily harvested from the Israel of today – the Church Itself." – The White House Recruiter, p. 33. (Paren. theirs)


Question 4
What enables the 144,000 to pass the Judgment? Rev. 7:3, 4; 2 Tim. 2:19; Eze. 9:4.


Note – "Not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed. There are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads. They had the light of truth, they knew their Master's will, they understood every point of our faith, but they had not corresponding works .... The most exalted of the redeemed host (the 144,000) that stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they have come up through great tribulation….


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everyone must deliver his soul by his own righteousness." – Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 213-215.


"…the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God .... is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side .... Those who receive the pure mark of truth (of the Judgment of the Living), wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done' in the church." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 266, 267.


"The seal is the permit; it places their names in the Lamb's book of Life, and thus it grants to them the right to appear before the Father in the judgment; not in person, but in figure; thus having their sins blotted out (on the antitypical day of atonement)." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p 184.


Question 5

Are any resurrected saints to be included in this special numbered company? Rev. 14: 1-5; 15:2-4.


Note – "...the living righteous will receive the seal of God prior to the close of probation; also... these will enjoy special honors in the kingdom of God." – Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 66.


"Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus' coming. The living saints 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses' did when he came down from Mount Sinai." – Early Writings, p. 15.


"A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob's trouble. (The saints who have died are still in their graves during the time of trouble. See following paragraph, 2 SM 263.) Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed." – Ibid., pp. 36, 37.


"Dear Brother: I hardly know what to say to you. The news of your wife's death was to me overwhelming. I could hardly believe it and can hardly believe it now. God gave me a view last Sabbath night which I will write.... I saw that she was sealed and would come up at the voice of God and stand


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upon the earth, and would be with the 144,000 (not one of the 144,000, but rather standing with them on the earth – on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem). I saw we need not mourn for her; she would rest in the time of trouble, and all that we could mourn for was our loss in being deprived of her company. I saw her death would result in good." – Selected Messages, Book 2, p. 263.


"Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire, – so resplendent is it with the glory of God, – are gathered the company that have 'gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.' With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, 'having the harps of God,' they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed from among men' ….'These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth.'….These, having been translated from the earth from among the living are counted as 'the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.'... 'These are they which came out of great tribulation;' they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble (in which they, like Jacob of old, will have their name changed, showing them to be overcomers); they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have 'washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' 'In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault' before God." – The Great Controversy, pp. 648, 649.


Question 6

What else has been revealed about this special company? Rev. 7:4-8; Isa. 4:2; 56:8; 66:19, 20; Rev. 7:9; 18:4.


Note – "The 144,000, let us note, are not from the Gentile nations, but strictly from the church, from the twelve tribes of Israel – from the descendants of Jacob (Rev, 7:3-8)." – The Jezreel Letters, No. 3, p. 1. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)


"Please note that John says the 144,000 are lineal descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel. Read Rev. 7:4-8. They have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, joining the Christian church. As virgins (Rev. 14:4; Matt. 25:1-13; COL 406:2, 3) they are found in God's true church (the one teaching the Sabbath and Sanctuary truth) when they are sealed as first-fruits, not being contaminated with spiritual Babylon and her false doctrines. The first 12,000 sealed are from the tribe of Judah (Rev. 7:5), and we conclude that some are descendants of the early Christian Jews who lost their Jewish identity and who are not now known as Jews, but Christians. However, some may yet be known as Jews." – The Man On The White Horse, p. 43.


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"The work...to be accomplished in the last days is foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah (56:1, 2, 6, 7) .... These words apply in the Christian age, as shown by the context: 'The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.' Verse 8. Here is foreshadowed the gathering in of the Gentiles by the Gospel." – The Great Controversy, p. 451.


"…. the antitypical Pre-pentecostal harvest takes place in a self-deceived church, the Laodicean, 'the house of God'; and through miracle-working power manifested by Heaven itself in the angels (Matt. 13:39), it yields the 144,000, the first fruits of those who are never to die .... the 144,000 guileless servants of God (Rev. 14:5), composing the government of God in its beginning...are instrumental in the eventual overthrow of all earthly governments ....[by] the achieving of their crowning work of lightening the earth with glory (Rev. 18:1), of 'preaching this gospel of the kingdom in all the world for a witness unto all nations, 'thereby gathering God's people, the second fruits, tare-free ('My people'), out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4). Out of every nation and kindred and tongue and people (whom Babylon rules), they bring 'their brethren' into the church purified (Isa. 66:19, 20), the kingdom of God on earth in its infant restoration." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 46, pp. 28, 31, 32. (Paren. theirs)


Special Note – "The Lord has a people on the earth, who follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. He has his thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Such will stand with him on Mount Zion (in Jerusalem, Rev. 14:1). But they must stand on this earth, girded with the whole armor, ready to engage in the work of saving those who are ready to perish. Heavenly angels conduct this search, and spiritual activity is demanded of all who believe present truth, that they may join the angels in their work. We need not wait till we are translated to follow Christ. God's people may do this here below. We shall follow the Lamb of God in the courts above only if we follow him here. Following him in heaven depends on our keeping his commandments now. We are not to follow Christ fitfully or capriciously, only when it is for our advantage. We must choose to follow him. In daily life we must follow his example, as a flock trustfully follows its shepherd. We are to follow him by suffering for his sake, saying, at every step, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.' His life practice must be our life practice. And as we thus seek to be like him, and to bring our wills into conformity to his will, we shall reveal him. Are we following Christ with unswerving loyalty, keeping his life of perfect obedience, of purity and self-sacrifice, ever before us, that, by beholding, we may become changed into his image? Do we strive to imitate his fidelity? If we educate ourselves to say, Be thou my Pattern; if by the eye of faith we see him as a living Saviour, we shall be strengthened to follow him. Then with the undefiled we shall follow him in the future life. As eye-and


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heart-witnesses, we can bear testimony to his majesty; for by faith we have been with him in the holy mount." – Review and Herald, April 12, 1898.




Lesson 10




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The
Three Seals



star
The three seals




Memory Gem


"In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 127.


Introduction


"The mystery concerning the sealing of the 144,000 is probably peer to any vexed Bible subject. Theory has crowded theory, only the more to mystify and confuse the truth of it. No Christian denomination seems to have escaped the controversy which, in giving rise to many divergent views, has only increased the rift in the Protestant lute. This has been exceedingly regrettable, and very much the more so among us as Seventh-day Adventists, for long ago the messenger of the Lord admonished us to 'strive with all the power God has given us to be among the 144,000' (The Review and Herald, March 9, 1905), and then graciously placed in our hands the necessary knowledge for the time then present as to when and where, why and what, the sealing is.' – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol.1 (pocket edition), p. 7. (Parenthesis belong to quotation)



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Question 1
With what have the followers of God been sealed down through the ages? Eph. 1:13.


Note – "...the saints of God are sealed with present truth in all ages, and whatever that present truth is, that is the seal." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 28.


Question 2
By what three special seals are the 144,000 to be sealed? Rev. 3:12.


Note – "The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name." – Early Writings, p. 15.


Question 3
What comprises the first seal the 144,000 receive and how was it brought to their attention? Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 83:18; Isa. l2:1-5; Rev. 14:9-12; 11:19.


"Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship." – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 305.


"The seal of God's law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to reverence and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given." – The Great Controversy, p. 452.


"In Revelation 14, men are called upon to worship the Creator; and the prophecy brings to view a class that, as the result of the threefold message, are keeping the commandments of God." – Ibid., p. 437.


"After Jesus opened the door of the most holy, the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God's law." – Early Writings, p. 254.


"The Sabbath has been present truth since 1845, and being the seal of the law of God, has been sealing the law among the people of God ever since that year. Isa. 8:16, 'Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.' This has been the work of the third angel (given to Sister White – see Early Writings, pp. 2.54-258), and for this reason the third angel has no seal (in the symbolism), for the seal is in the law ....This is the seal of the 144,000, but


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all the saved under the third angel (whether they be from the dead or the living) are sealed with the Sabbath seal (giving them the name of God – Jehovah – in their foreheads)." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 29.


Question 4

What is the second seal the 144,000 receive and who revealed this seal to them? Rev. 3:12; 7:1-8; Mic. 6:9.


Note – "The bottles of God's wrath cannot be poured out to destroy the wicked and their works until all the people of God have been judged, and the cases of the living as well as the dead are decided. And even after the saints are sealed with the seal of the living God, His elect will have trials individually. Personal afflictions will come; but the furnace is closely watched by an eye that will not suffer the gold to be consumed. The indelible mark of God is upon them. God can plead that His own name is written there. The Lord has shut them in. Their destination is inscribed – 'GOD, NEW JERUSALEM.' They are God's property, His possession." – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 446.


"The Holy City, the New Jerusalem...is the capitol and representative of the kingdom..." – The Great Controversy, p. 426.


"Since there is but one Mount Zion and one Jerusalem on earth, and since every prophet of the Bible predicts that the gathering of the people is the returning of them to the Promised Land, the land which He gave to their fathers, then the firstfruits, the 144, 000 are the first to return." – The Jezreel Letters, No. 3, p. 3.


"We go back to the angel of Revelation 7, the one in which we are most interested at the present time ....To get the proper understanding of the third angel's message we shall divide it into three periods: (1) Beginning of the proclamation of the true Sabbath, Rev. l4:6-ll; (2) Reformation, and sealing of the 144,000, Rev. 7:1-8; (3) The Loud Cry, Rev. 18:1. The truth of the sealing (144,000) being made known, it is evident that we are in the second period." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 22, 32. (Paren. belong to quote)


"…the angel (message) of Rev. 7:1-8 ascended from the East with the Truth about the New Jerusalem or Kingdom message. (Palestine is known as the Middle East to all the world.) So the 144,000 are sealed by the Davidian kingdom truth which God sent to His people through the Shepherd's Rod message and its author, Bro. V.T. Houteff." – The Stone, p. 4.


Question 5

What is the third and last seal the 144,000 need? Rev. 3:12; Eze. 9:3, 4; Rev. 18:1.


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Note – "These two messages – the Sabbath and Sanctuary truth and the New Jerusalem or kingdom message – only give us the knowledge of two sealing truths. The full and complete sealing truth ('And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice...Saying, Hurt not...till we [one more after him] have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.' – Rev. 7:2, 3.) is taught by the threefold. Since both of His former servants (Sr. White and Bro. Houteff) are in the grave, it becomes evident that, for His people to have the knowledge of the third sealing truth (the truth of His new name), there must necessarily be the third inspired message through which God reveals the third sealing truth." – The Stone, p. 4. (Last parenthesis belongs to quotation)


"The first two seals are sufficient for the saints that go into the grave. But the 144,000 never die, therefore must have three seals." – The New Name --- Isa 62:2, p. 3.


"We know that Jesus' new name is BRANCH .... Branch's seal-name is received by those who accept the judgment of the Living message in every facet. This third seal-name completes the plan of re-creation --- restoration of all things….Every additional Truth brings an additional timely name….Thus it is that there are ONLY three steps, divisions, periods, from the beginning of the Seventh-day Advent movement to the close of probation: each step produces its seal-name until the 144,000 are all perfectly sealed...and united --- three to create and three to restore --- righteousness." – Ibid., pp. 2, 3.


Question 6
When did the third sealing message arrive? Rev. 14:16; Joel 3:13; Matt. 13:30.


Note – "...the latter rain, as Joel shows, is directly applicable to the last message -- the message of today (Joel 2:23). Thus only (with the former rain being the writings of Sister White, and the 'latter rain' being the Rod) can both former and latter fall at the same time, as required by Joel 2:23. And the Spirit's power, being subsequent to the former and latter rain, is therefore yet future." – The Answerer, Book 1, pp. 87, 88. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"So in the time between the 'latter rain' of truth (the second sealing message – the Rod) and the 'outpouring' of the Spirit's power (when the 144,000 stand on Mount Zion – Pentecost time), there will be SEALED (by the message of Jesus' new name, Branch) a consecrated number (144,000) who will escape from among the 'slain of the Lord." – Ibid., p. 91.


"Israel (144,000), in the time of harvest (Judgment of the Living – 1 Pet. 4:17), will receive a new name (BRANCH) by the mouth of the Lord." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 233.


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"Those who obey God's Judgment message rather than the beast's decree receive GOD'S MARK. And those who obey the beasts decree rather than God's message receive the beast's mark. These two different marks, you see separate the worshipers of God from the worshipers of men. And since Jesus declares that the separation takes place during the harvest...you now see that the 'harvest' and the 'Judgment' for the living are synonymous terms .... It is now left up to every individual member of the church to either take heed to God's Judgment message and receive His mark of deliverance, or to give heed to men's vain talk and die under the slaughter weapons of the angels." – The Jezreel Letters, No. 2, p. 5.


"In the issue of the contest all Christendom will be divided into two great classes – those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark. Although church and state will unite their power to compel 'all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond' (Revelation 13:16), to receive 'the mark of the beast,' yet the people of God will not receive it. The prophet of Patmos beholds 'them that had gotten the victory over the beast (144,000), and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God' and singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Revelation 15:2, 3." – The Great Controversy, p. 450. (First parenthesis belongs to quotation)


Question 7


How many progressive steps or phases of the Seventh-day Adventist Church history are involved in the sealing and marking work for the 144,000? Rev. 3:12; (1) Rev. 14:6-13; (2) Verses 14, 15; (3) Verses 16, 17.


Note – "The 144, 000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads were the words, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name."- Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 59. See also Life Sketches, p. 65.


"To get the proper understanding of the third angel's message we shall divide it into three periods: (1) Beginning of the proclamation of the true Sabbath, Rev. 14:6-11; (2) Reformation, and sealing of the 144,000, Rev. 7:1-8; (3) The Loud Cry, Rev. 18:1." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 32.


Question 8


Since the 144,000 must be marked by having the three names written on them before they can give the Loud Cry message to the world, under which name are they finally sealed? Isa. 62:2; Rev. 2:17; 3:12, third part.


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Note – "Your next problem in your progress of life would be to find the proper name of that commandment-keeping people, a name that would actually by practice express that they are 'the remnant,' for a Divinely inspired name must in actuality point out the people whom Inspiration here recommends. Any other name on them would be misleading, and the same name on any other people would be misleading, too. Let us not neglect to note, too, that the name of a people is not really a name but a title. And titles, you know, change as fast as Truth unfolds, as fast as Truth advances from one phase of the gospel work to another." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No, 34, p. 23.


Question 9

The third phase of the work of the harvest (Judgment of the Living) in the church is when she gets her name changed. What is the name? Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 3:8.


Note – "Israel is spelled with six letters. Had this name been more or less it would spoil the picture. Why? Because the six letters indicate the sixth section. Israel the true (the 144,000) are sealed at the close of the fifth section. Had the name been of seven letters, it would denote 'close of probation', instead of 'beginning of harvest'. Israel, in the time of harvest, will receive a new name by the mouth of the Lord. Read Isa. 62:2. Whatever that name may be, we are sure it will be perfect, to finish the picture of probationary time, as well as to indicate the end of all the redeemed, or close of probation." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 233. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation)


"The work of Christ as man's intercessor is presented in that beautiful prophecy of Zechariah concerning Him 'whose name is the Branch.'" – The Great Controversy, p. 415.


Question 10


Since we see that the new name of Jesus is the six letter word Branch, when did the name arrive? Matt. 13:30; Eze. 9:3, 4; Zech. 6:11-13; Matt. 25:6; Rev.14:15 (last part), verse 16.


Note – " 'A new name.'...God Himself with His own mouth gives the name so it can not be counterfeited. The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period ....Thus the church is reorganized under a new name." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, p. 155.


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Behold, I stand at the door and knock

Lesson 11




star


The Invitation
to the
Wedding Supper



star




Memory Gem


"And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." Revelation 19:9.


Introduction


"Under the parable of the great supper, our Saviour shows that many will choose the world above Himself, and will, as the result, lose heaven. The gracious invitation of our Saviour was slighted. He had been to the trouble and expense to make great preparation at an immense sacrifice. Then he sent his invitation; but 'they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' The Lord then turns from the wealthy and world-loving, whose lands and oxen and wives were of so great value in their estimation as to outweigh the advantages they would gain by accepting the gracious invitation he had given them to eat of his supper. The master of the house is angry, and turns from those who have thus insulted his bounty offered them, and he invites a class who are not full, who are not in possession of lands and houses, but who are poor and hungry, who are maimed and halt and blind,


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and who will appreciate the bounties provided, and in return will render the master sincere gratitude, unfeigned love and devotion. Still there is room. The command is then given: 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.' Here is a class rejected of God because they despised the invitation of the Master....God will not be trifled with. If those who have the light reject it, or neglect to follow it out, it will become darkness to them." – Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 39,40.



Question 1

How does Jesus' parables, concerning the marriage supper, as related by Matthew and Luke Compare? Matt.22:1-10; Luke 14:15-24.


Note – "The parable of Matthew 22 is also told in Luke 14. Matthew gives one aspect, and Luke, another. Between the two we get a complete present truth lesson." – The Great Supper, p. 2.


Comparison Of The Two Parables


1. Matt. 22:2 The Kingdom of Heaven
  Luke 14:15 The Kingdom of God

  Matt. 22:2 'a marriage for his son'
  Luke 14:16 'a great supper'

2. Matt. 22:3 'sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden'
  Luke 14:17 - 'sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden'

  Matt. 22:3 'they would not come'
  Luke 14:18 'all with one consent began to make excuse'

3. Matt. 22:4 Again he sent forth other servants
  Luke 14:21, 22 Said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes.

  Matt. 22:7 'he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city'
  Luke 14:24 'none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper'

Question 2

To whom do these parables apply? Matt. 22:2; Luke 14:16.


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Note – "God has a people (church) upon the earth who in faith and holy hope are tracing down the roll of fast-fulfilling prophecy and are seeking to purify their souls by obeying the truth, that they may not be found without the wedding garment when Christ shall appear." – Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 307.


"In the parable of Matthew 22 where the figure of the marriage is introduced, the Spirit of Prophecy applies it to the Jewish people, and then to the GENTILES (C.O.L. 307). But in Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 307 the parable of the wedding garment is applied to the church when Jesus appears," – The Marriage of the King's Son, p. 2.


"The last message of mercy is now going forth. It is a token of the longsuffering and compassion of God. Come, is the invitation now given. Come, for all things are now ready. This is mercy's last call. Next will come the vengeance of an offended God." – Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 225.


"By camp meetings held in the cities thousands will be called out (into the Seventh-day Adventist church where they will be given the opportunity) to hear the invitation to the feast: 'Come; for all things are now ready. ' Luke 14:17." – Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 72.


"Where Vol. 2 of the Testimonies says, 'This is mercy's last call', does not mean to say that the message S.D.A.'s were giving to the world was the very last. Rather, Vol. 6, p. 72 shows that the Advent message was to call many out where they could hear the invitation (message) at supper time. In other words, the Testimonies are saying that the parable of Luke 14 represents mercy's last call, of which the message beginning in 1844 was one phase that was to bring us to another phase." – The Great Supper, p. 3.


Question 3

By whom is this first call made and how is it received? Matt. 22:3; Luke 14:17-20; Mic. 6:9; Rev. 3:14, 15, 17-20.


Note – "In this parable it is made known that in the closing hours of probationary time (at supper time, about the end of the day), Heaven is to send a message to them that were bidden, to them that already know the Gospel of Christ, to the members of the Church. The servant is to inform them that everything is now ready, that they should now come in for the great and long expected supper, – a supper which they are to eat in the Master's mansion (the Kingdom), not in their own....Those here mentioned did not excuse themselves from accepting the Gospel of Christ, but they excused themselves from going into the Master's mansion, from taking their seats at His table! Yes, according to the parable, those who had money to buy land, oxen, and houses, also to marry at the time the last call for the supper came, all excused


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themselves with one consent .... At the times when new truths have been introduced millions have lost out only because they were too well satisfied with what they had. They saw need of nothing better, or else they were too proud to accept unpopular Truth from one of God's own appointed messengers." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 11, pp. 8-10.


"This Association shall be known provisionally as The Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, the prophetic offspring of the parent Seventh-day Adventist, the Laodicean, church ('wherein it therefore strictly confines its activities' Preface)....it is dedicated to the work of announcing (through the Shepherd's Rod literature) and bringing forth the restoration...of David's kingdom in antitype, upon the throne of which Christ, 'the son of David,' is to sit." – The Leviticus of The Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, p. 3.


Question 4
To whom is the second call directed? Matt. 22:4; Luke 14:21, 22.


Note – "The second group of servants (the second call, 'Again...other servants,') were sent with a Message to those who had been bidden, saying that really now had come time to proceed to the wedding....Please take note that at the FIRST CALL the wedding feast was not prepared (in Matt. 22), whereas the SECOND group of servants were commanded to say that now the feast is prepared....Since this parable is applicable to the purification of the church and the setting up of the Kingdom, and there are TWO CALLS (messages), TWO different GROUPS of servants sent to those who had been bidden, it is plain to see that there are three divisions. 1. The ones that had previously been 'bidden'. Those already in the gospel church, S.D.A. Matt. 22:3. 2. The servants the King sent at supper time (Davidian SDA) to warn those who had been bidden to prepare for the wedding. Verse 3. 3. The OTHER servants (The Branch) that were sent to tell those who were 'bidden' that the wedding supper is prepared, and all things are now ready." – The Marriage of the King's Son, p. 3. (All except 2nd parenthesis belong to quote)


"Matthew 22 shows two movements (calls) to those that had been bidden before the Lord becomes wroth with the remnant, verses 1-4, whereas Luke 14 shows the ones bidden and His servant who proclaimed his message to the rich at supper time (verses 16-21, first part) before the Lord gets angry. Then the other servant is sent to gather the poor (first fruits) and then he is sent out into the highways and hedges to gather in the great multitude. Please note that the Lord sends a servant (V.T. Houteff) to the rich, the Laodicean church, S.D.A., but he is refused. Another servant is sent to the poor which they accept. One call is to the rich at supper time and when the servant shows his Lord 'these things' (finishes his work), the Lord sends forth another servant to the poor. Therefore there are two servants sent, two calls to them that had been


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bidden, the church. One whom the rich refused and one whom the poor accept." – The Great Supper, p. 9. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"The Lord is angry with the conditions in the Laodicean church because of their refusal to hear the Shepherd's Rod of Micah 6:9, and now the command to the Branch is 'go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city (the church)..." – Blow Ye the Trumpet in Zion, p. 1. (Paren. belong to quote)


"And though they who first hear the call may excuse themselves... 'the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind' from 'the streets and lanes of the city'...will respond." – The Leviticus of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, p. 12.


Question 5

What does the Lord do about those who refuse His invitation? Matt. 22:7; Luke 14:24; Rev. 3:16; Isa. 66:15-17; Eze. 9:5, 6; Zech. 13:8, 9.


Note – "As soon as they excused themselves, probation closed for them, they had no other chance of tasting His supper. Probation, nevertheless, remained open for those who had not yet been bidden....The church seems too well versed as to the time probation closes for the world, but not at all informed that probation for her members closes at the very time they reject a heaven-sent message." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 11, p. 11.


"The master of the house is angry, and turns from those who have thus insulted his bounty offered them, and he invites a class who are not full..." – Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 39, 40.


"The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: 'Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.' HERE WE SEE THAT THE CHURCH – the Lord's sanctuary – WAS THE FIRST TO FEEL THE STROKE OF THE WRATH OF GOD. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do


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evil. He is too merciful to visit HIS PEOPLE in judgment. Thus 'Peace and safety' is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.


Question 6
Where does the final call go out to? Matt. 22:9, 10; Luke 14:22, 23; Rev. 18:4; 7:9.


Note – "...those who escape and enter into the Kingdom are mostly from among the common people, those from the streets and lanes…' '…In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them.' – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 80. '...Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel's Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud cry. – Review and Herald, Nov. 18, 1908." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 35 (Revised), pp. 21, 22. (Brackets belong to quotation)


"Upon us there rests the solemn responsibility of presenting the truth to unbelievers in the most forcible manner.... The Lord calls upon us to come to the banquet of truth, and then go out into the highways and hedges, and compel souls to come in, by presenting the great and wonderful offering that Christ has made to the world." – Evangelism, p. 143.


"The third call to the feast represents the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles." – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 309.


"Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church (the 144,000) is to enter upon her final conflict. 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." – Prophets and Kings, p. 725.


"No plainer language can be employed by which to declare that the Loud Cry is proclaimed by a pure ministry and that after this separation or purification…takes place, then it is that the work is finished in all the world, that then are the saints truly called out of Babylon into a sinless place – into the church purified, the ark for today, the only place where the plagues do not fall." – The Jezreel Letters, No. 5, p. 1.


READ: Micah 4:1-3; Isaiah 11:10; 42:1; 49:22; 54:3; 60:3, 5, 11; 66:19, 20.


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Lesson 12



star

"Behold
The Bridegroom
Cometh"


star
Behold the Bridegroom Cometh




Memory Gem


"And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." – Matthew 25:6.


Introduction


"I am often referred to the parable of the ten virgins, five of whom were wise, and five foolish. This parable has been and will be fulfilled to the very letter, for it has a special application to this time, and, like the third angel's message, has been fulfilled and will continue to be present truth till the close of time." – Review and Herald, Aug. 19, 1890.



Question 1

In what parable do we find an illustration of those who are waiting for the marriage supper of the Lamb? Matt. 25:1.


Note – "As Christ sat looking upon the party that waited for the bridegroom, He told His disciples the story of the ten virgins, by their experience illustrating the experience of the church that shall live just before His second coming." – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 406.


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Question 2
In what condition is the church here pictured? Matt. 25:2-5; Rev. 3:14-19.


Note – "In the parable, all the ten virgins went out to meet the bridegroom. All had lamps and vessels for oil. For a time there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ's second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ's near approach, and confidently expect His appearing. But as in the parable, so it is now. A time of waiting intervenes, faith is tried; and when the cry is heard, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,' many are unready." Ibid., p. 408.


"The virgins are a figure of the church. Number 'ten,' has the symbolic meaning of universal (the church as a body). Note that they are all 'virgins.' The 144,000 are designated by the same word. (See Rev. 14:4.) The word 'virgins,' signify that the class represented by them (ten), are not those who are called out from Babylon (fallen churches) at the time the 'cry' is made. For, if they were to come out of Babylon by the call 'Come out of her, my people' (Rev. 18:4), they would have been defiled with 'women' (fallen churches), and therefore, could not be called 'virgins.' Thus, the message of the 'Midnight Cry' must find them in the house of God – virgins....The number, 'ten', represents the church as a body prior to the commencement of the judgment of the living – in the sealing period of the 144,000, and before the 'Loud Cry' of the Third Angel's Message....The five wise virgins were they who trusted in God and His word only; having no confidence in man, and were hungry for truth, searching for light, and gladly accepting it when it came. Thus they received the seal of God's approval....They are God's servants, kings and priests – 144,000 in number. The five foolish virgins are they who had confidence in men; they were willing that others should think and study for them....They saw no necessity for more light – prophets, truth or message. " – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 181, 185. (Parentheses theirs)


Question 3

Since all ten virgins are asleep what is it that awakens them? Matt. 25:6; Isa. 52:1, 2; 1 Cor. 15:34.


Note – "At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power....To those who go out to meet the Bridegroom is this message given." – Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 415, 420.


"…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. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the


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earth was lightened with his glory....The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel's message, as it swells to a loud cry....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." – Early Writings, p. 277.


"An announcement is made that the Bridegroom cometh. All the virgins are awakened by it. If the announcement were to come from the General Conference you know that all the members would fill their vessels with oil and all would have it. The facts are, though, that the cry does not come from there. All trimmed their lamps, we are told. What is the implication in that? We may conclude that while the cry goes out the people trim their lamps with the oil that is in them. In other words, they begin to apply their message to the change in circumstances or events. But what happens? The lamps go out. That indicates that what we had expected to happen does not happen; instead, something else takes place....They will then realize that the oil in their lamps (the Judgment of the Dead message) is not sufficient to guide them through this situation. Then they will long for the extra oil (additional light -the message of the judgment for the Living) which had previously been available to them but they had failed to obtain it." – The Symbolic Code, Vol. 11, No. 12, pp. 13, 14. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 4

If the cry does not come from the General Conference, from within the church (which is asleep), who, then, is it that gives the cry? Matt. 25:6; Rev. 22:17; 19:7-10; Amos 3:7.


Note – "At midnight the cry is heard, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' The sleepers, suddenly awaking, spring to their feet. They see the procession moving on, bright with torches and glad with music. They hear the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride." – Christ's Object Lessons, p. 406.


Question 5
Who is the bride? Rev. 21:9-27, 2.


Note – "It is the duty of the people of God to have their lamps trimmed and burning, to be as men that wait for the Bridegroom, when He shall return from the wedding." – Selected Messages, Book 1, p. 189.


"….the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride." – The Great Controversy, p. 427.


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"The cry was, 'Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.' This cry was not to the bride but to the virgins. The virgins can only represent the guests. Who is the bride? Let us turn to Revelation 21 (verses 9, 10) for help in identifying who is the bride....The Lamb's wife is the city. John saw the foundations, and the walls and the buildings of the Holy City; he did not see people. He called the city the Lamb's wife. If the city is the Lamb's wife, and if the virgins are the ones who are to meet the Bridegroom, then who is the bride? -- The Kingdom must be the bride." – The Symbolic Code, Vol. 11, No. 12, p. 15.


"The marriage represents the reception by Christ of His kingdom. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is the capitol and representative of the kingdom, is called the 'bride, the Lamb's wife. " – The Great Controversy, p. 426.


"…while it is true that the marriage of Christ is a 'union of humanity with divinity,' it is also true that the marriage is 'the reception of His kingdom,' for humanity makes up the Kingdom. Therefore, the marriage is equivalent to the coronation; the Kingdom itself, to the city, or bride; and the guests, to the saints, or subjects of the Kingdom." – The Answerer, Book 2, p. 87.


"The time had come, and David (the type) by solemn rite, was consecrated to his office as God's vicegerent. The scepter was placed in his hands. The covenant of his righteous sovereignty was written, and the people gave their pledges of loyalty. The diadem was placed upon his brow, and the coronation ceremony was over. Israel had a king by divine appointment. He who had waited patiently for the Lord, beheld the promise of God fulfilled. 'And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him." – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 702.


For "in the place (New Mt. Carmel Center) where it was said unto them, Ye are NOT my people (Florence Houteff and followers), THERE it shall be said unto them (The Branch), Ye ARE the sons of the living God." – Hosea 1:10.


"Then shall the children of Judah (Davidians) and the children of Israel (Seventh-day Adventists) be gathered together, and APPOINT THEMSELVES ONE HEAD, and they shall come up out of the land..." – Hosea 1:11.


"What can all this mean? (Zech. 6:11-13) -- Just this: Joshua is Heaven's appointed judge, ruler (vicegerent). He himself is crowned (coronated) as such….Here is seen an organization having a Leader and an under leader – the Lord (The Branch) and Joshua. Thus it is that whatever is to be bound on earth, is also to be bound in Heaven…" – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 (Revised), p. 26.


"Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of


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Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijab, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD. And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God." – Zech. 6:11-15.


"Therefore, at the end of the 120 years from the year 1850 when the First Testimony was written to the Church by E.G. White, Judah (DSDA) and Israel (SDA) are gathered together June 14, 1970, New Mt. Carmel Center, Waco, Texas, in the WILDERNESS (for the marriage) to appoint themselves ONE HEAD." – Crowned In The Wilderness, p. 4. (See Hosea 2:14, 15)


"AFTERWARD shall the children of Israel RETURN, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord...in the LATTER DAYS." – Hosea 3:5.


Question 6
Upon awaking what do the ten virgins learn? Zech. 6:12, 13.


Note – "The Lord, the Bridegroom -- the Harvester, introduced Himself to the '10 virgins' as THE BRANCH (new name) at the beginning of harvest…The Branch is God's voice. As it was in Joshua's day so it is now: it is a test of faith to accept Joshua's words as from God. The Lord of Hosts talked only to Joshua (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 493)....The new name is revealed to all 10 virgins; but only 5 accept it as being the identity of their Lord, THE BRANCH, and consequently are the ones who go into the marriage and are saved from Ezekiel 9's destruction. Sad to say, the others find out too late that BRANCH is the mark necessary to escape....The name comes through a message. God's voice, 'Behold, I stand at the door (on the outside) and knock, if any man hear my voice (Joshua with the new name – Branch) and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me'. Rev. 3: 20....'To-day if you will hear his voice (mouthpiece, Truth), harden not your hearts.' Hebrews 4:7." – The New Name --- Isaiah 62:2, pp. 1, 4. (First and fifth parentheses belong to quotation)


"…if you are aware that your garments are filthy, and your iniquity not blotted out; if you realize that you are to walk in God's ways as He directs


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through the Joshua of today....then keep advancing in the light, and for certain you shall finally stand on Mt. Zion with the Lamb." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 (Revised), p. 28.


"The wise will not let the enemies of Truth fool them. Rather they will do their level best to disillusion these pretended friends, and to encourage them to let the Recruiter anoint their eyes so they may see that in that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel [God's denomination of today]." – The White House Recruiter, p. 53. (Brackets belong to quotation)




The Family Tree

Lesson 13





star




The
Family Tree





star




Memory Gem


"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. Isaiah 11:1.


Introduction


"The Bible portrays a tree that is symbolic of God's true church today. This tree...is called the family tree. With the prophetic knowledge of this tree we are able to prove to the world who God's true Israel of

today really is. No other church or denomination can lay claim to the distinction of living out the fulfillment of this symbolic prophecy besides the Seventh-day Adventist people. The leaves of this tree are not only for the healing of God's people, but is also healing for the nations." – The Healing of the Nations, p. 2.



Question 1
What prophecy of Christ is portrayed in the book of Isaiah? Isa. 53:1-10.


Question 2
What is this plant that refers to Christ? Isa. 11:1.


Note – "In this illustration there are three persons brought to view: Jesse (the father of David), the rod (David), and the Branch (Christ), The relationship shows that David (the rod) is not Christ (the Branch), for the 'rod' sprang from the stem of Jesse, and the Branch from the rod – a fact which is born out in the cry of the multitude when Christ entered Jerusalem. They shouted: 'Hosannah to the son of David.' Matt. 21:15." – Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour, pp. 45, 46. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"This prophecy was written by Isaiah, the Gospel prophet, some three hundred years or more after David's time and yet it is written in future tense – 'there shall come forth a rod.' If Isaiah was only prophesying of the coming of the Messiah and was only showing that He would come through the lineage of King David, why did he use Jesse's name in the prophecy? And why did he say rod instead of David? And why did he put shall come before rod when the Messiah was the only one of the three to come after his time? The other two were many years before him. Why did he not then put shall only before BRANCH? and make the prophecy read, 'And there was a rod that came out of the stem of Jesse and a BRANCH shall grow out of his roots.' To answer these many questions in the shortest way possible would be to say that this entire symbolism has a definite meaning and fulfillment some time after Isaiah's time." – The Healing of the Nations, p. 3.


"Therefore, Isaiah must have been referring to these three persons in antitype pointing out God's true people of today." – The Man On The White Horse, p. 50.


Question 3

How does Jeremiah describe this same event? Jer. 23:5, 6.


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Note – "This is in the days for the salvation of Judah and Israel, the time in which they are saved -- probationary time." – Ibid., p. 29.


Question 4


Just when can we look for this prophecy of an antitypical David and the Branch to be fulfilled? Jer. 23:5, 6; Isa. 11:1, 10, 11, 16; 55:1-5; Jer. 30:1-9, 4; Eze. 34:1, 2 ,20-31; 37:21-28; Hos. 1:10, 11; 3:4, 5; Ps. 89:3, 4.


Note – "As ancient David is in his grave, the king here promised must be an antitypical David....Otherwise, in order to fulfill the prophecies, ancient David must necessarily rise from his grave..." – Behold I Make All Things New, Tract No. 9, p. 43.


"Since this (Eze. 37:24, 25) is the addition to the 'Third Angel's Message' (Early Writings, p. 277) and since it is the message of the hour, consequently the day of the Davidian Kingdom is at hand." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 2, p. 15. (Last parenthesis belongs to quotation)


"This very message, therefore, is the message of 'Righteousness by Faith' to them that believe. In the day the 'righteous branch' is raised, Judah and Israel shall be saved, and they shall dwell safely. Yes, the day is here when God's vengeance is to fall upon His adversaries, and the once trodden-down kingdoms of Judah and Israel are to rise to prominence and power....Plainly this is the final harvest of the earth, the gathering of the people from all countries. It is the day in which to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This is to be the second and last Exodus Movement. So great will it be that it will entirely eclipse the Movement of Moses' day." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 30 (Revised), pp. 18, 19.


"The final overthrow of all earthly dominions is plainly foretold in the word of truth. In the prophecy uttered when sentence from God was pronounced upon the last king of Israel is given the message: 'Thus sayeth the Lord God; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown:...exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.' Ezekiel 21:26, 27. The crown removed from Israel passed successively to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. God says, 'It shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.' That time is at hand....The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world.... 'Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.' Jeremiah 30:7." – Education, pp. 179-181.


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"As 'God has promised that where the shepherds are not true He will take charge of the flock Himself' (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300; Jer, 3:17), and as the descendants of Jacob, again becoming a kingdom, appoint to themselves one head (Hos. 1:11), 'David their king' (Hos. 3:5), 'and seek the Lord their God, 'it is evident that the church, in the time of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message will be a Theocracy." – Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour, Tract No. 8., p. 43. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"Since therefore from the 'stem' of Jesse came the 'rod' (David), and from the rod sprang the Branch (Christ), David the visible king and Christ the invisible King of kings shall 'in that day' – in our time – constitute the 'ensign, ' and 'to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest [or His resting place, – the location where the 'rod' or ensign stands – the kingdom] shall be glorious.' Yea 'I will make the place of My feet glorious' (Isa. 60:13), saith the Lord ....Thus His church, or kingdom, is again reflected without 'spot or wrinkle, or any such thing' (Eph. 5:27), a theocracy of peace, safety, and invincibility, under the rule of one shepherd and a king – David, His servant," – Ibid., p. 47. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 5

Who is this antitypical David? Isa. 11:1; Eze. 19:10-14; Ps. 68:27 (See this Scripture in the Hebrew text); Zech. 8:23.


Note – "...keep in mind that 'en' as a prefix means 'in or into.' Webster. But 'en' as a suffix, means 'out of.'...consider that 'rod' refers to David and 'en' means 'out of;' we will see that the two, 'Rod' and 'en' -- Roden, refers to a ruler 'out of' David, or in other words, from the house or lineage of David. Still further, his name, 'Roden, 'discloses that (in antitype) he is of the house of David – - the 'ruler, 'or Roden, according to the Hebrew definition. Prophetically speaking, as it was declared, the name of Cyrus, king of Persia was found in the Bible (Isa. 45:1-8), so it is with him who is to deliver God's people now. 'For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me....Surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.' Isa. 45:4, 24. 'Let students put to the stretch their mental faculties that they may comprehend the forty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. – Counsels to Teachers, p. 455:3." – The Man On The White Horse, p. 52. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 6

How did Jesus describe those who will not accept this antitypical David? Luke 19:12-14.


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Note – "The 'certain nobleman' in this parable, is Christ, Himself, Who, soon after His resurrection, departed to the heaven of heavens, 'the far country,' to be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. His ten servants, who are to occupy till His coming, represent, manifestly, the ministry at the closing of the gospel dispensation. And His citizens, accordingly, represent the laity....As they 'sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us,' the only conclusion admissible is that shortly before His return, Christ shall inform His 'citizens' that He is taking 'the reins in His own hands' to set up His kingdom, and that they, upon hearing the announcement, shall refuse to submit themselves to the one through whom He is to rule. Observe that in the message which they 'sent after Him,' his servants did not say, 'We will not have You to reign over us,' but rather, 'we will not have this man to reign over us.' What they objected to was Christ's reigning over them through someone else. Clearly, then, before He is coronated, and prior to His return to reckon with His servants, He appoints a 'man' to reign over them in His stead. Whereupon they say to Him, by their attitude and stand toward His message, 'We will not have this man to reign over us,' although 'this man,' as we now see, is the antitypical David (the 'simple means'), the visible king." – Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour, Tract No. 8, pp. 70,71. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


Question 7


What glorious prospect is set before those who do accept David and the Branch? Jer. 33:15, 16; Hos. 2:16-23; Isa. 54:5, 11-17; Rev. 3:12; 14:1; Obad. 21; Dan. 7:27; Eze. 36:24-38; Isa. 62:1-12.


Note – "Not by any temporary failure of Israel, however, was the plan of the ages for the redemption of mankind to be frustrated. Those to whom the prophet was speaking, might not heed the message given; but the purposes of Jehovah were nevertheless to move steadily forward to their complete fulfillment. 'From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same,' the Lord declared through His messenger, 'My name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the heathen.' Malachi 1:11." – Prophets and Kings, pp. 705, 706.


"That which God purposed to do for the world through Israel, the chosen nation, He will finally accomplish through His church on earth today. He has 'let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen,' even to His covenant-keeping people, who faithfully 'render Him the fruits in their seasons.' Never has the Lord been without true representatives on this earth who have made His interests their own. These witnesses for God are numbered among spiritual Israel, and to them will be fulfilled all the covenant promises made by Jehovah to His


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ancient people. To-day the church of God is free to carry forward to completion the divine plan for the salvation of a lost race." – Ibid., pp. 713, 714.


"The prophet (Isaiah) was permitted to look down the centuries to the time of the advent of the promised Messiah....Looking on still farther through the ages, the prophet beheld the literal fulfillment of these glorious promises. He saw the bearers of the glad tidings of salvation going to the ends of the earth, to every kindred and people....The prophet heard the voice of God calling His church to her appointed work, that the way might be prepared for the ushering in of His everlasting kingdom....These prophecies...are today meeting fulfillment..." – Ibid., pp. 373-375.


"Plainly he (Jeremiah) foresaw the downfall of the kingdom and a scattering of the inhabitants of Judah among the nations; but with the eye of faith he looked beyond all this to the times of restoration. Ringing in his ears was the divine promise: 'I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds....Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.' Jeremiah 23:3-6. Thus prophecies of on-coming judgment were mingled with promises of final and glorious deliverance." – Ibid., pp. 426, 427. (Emphasis belongs to quotation)


" 'In that day,' says Isaiah, 'there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people....And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:10-12. The day of deliverance is at hand." – Ibid., p. 376.


"Then it is that the redeemed from among men will receive their promised inheritance, Thus God's purpose for Israel will meet with literal fulfillment. That which God purposes, man is powerless to disannul. Even amid the working of evil, God's purposes have been moving steadily forward to their accomplishment. It was thus with the house of Israel throughout the history of the divided monarchy; it is thus with spiritual Israel today. The seer of Patmos, looking down through the ages to the time of this restoration of Israel testified: 'I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands....And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many


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waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him.' 'He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.' Revelation 7:9-12; 19:6, 7; 17:14." – Ibid., pp. 720, 721.



SUMMARY


"In printing...en...(is) a space half as wide as an em; used as a unit of measurement. An 'em...used as a unit of measure of printed matter...(is) commonly used as a standard of measurement.' Webster. Therefore, by adding two 'ens' together we have one 'em,' a standard of measurement. Since the name 'Roden' means ruler, then by taking the 'en' of the name Roden (or ruler), Heaven's representative on earth, and joining it with the 'En' of the Great Ruler (or Roden in Hebrew) in Heaven, the Son of God, we have an 'em' on earth -- God's standard of measurement for all printed matter. Also, consider that 'em' is 'The portion of a line formerly occupied by the letter m, then a square type used as a unit of measure for printed matter.' Webster. Hence, the 144,000 rulers (Rodens in Hebrew) -- are 'kings and priests,' Rev.5:10 with their crowns passed to them by Joshua...are standing in a perfect 'em' (square) on Mt. Zion... -- The two sticks joined as the finished product, seeing 'eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion' Isa. 52;8. Therefore the 144,000 are perfectly united with the Great Ruler (or, 'Roden,' in Hebrew) of the universe, as His wife....the BRANCH....she the Lord our righteousness' ....Then, the church will be the standard of measurement for all the nations, 'in those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely:…' 'And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name (in the last days...) which the mouth (or mouthpiece) of the Lord shall name.' Isa. 62:2." – The Man On The White Horse, pp. 43, 44. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"…. Christ is a 'type'...the work done in His name, the Branch, is the antitype...Jesus brought a reform among the Jews in His day, and we are bringing a revival and reformation...in Israel, the church today, in His new name the Branch. Branch...is the new name of Jesus that seals...or 'marks'...the 144,000 Branches, the remnant of the twelve tribes of Israel, who stand with the Lamb (BRANCH) on Mt. Zion....They speak a pure language; 'These are they which follow the Lamb (Branch) whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. '....The 144,000 are without guile (false doctrine), in their mouths. They are not defiled by Babylon's traditions. They speak only Bible Truth, and since they are the first-fruits, it must be that they are the Lord's ministry in the time of the Loud Cry, who bring into the Lord's


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house 'a great multitude which no man could number of all nations.' ...of second-fruits, or grapes...Therefore, Brethren, no longer follow tradition and vain imaginations, but rather, teach the Truth as it is in Jesus, the Branch. The bride, the Lamb's (Branch's) wife, is evidently the church whose righteousness the Gentiles see and all nations her glory; the church that goes by her Husband's 'new name,' the Branch, which the mouth (mouthpiece) of the Lord names. Some say that if you claim to be a Branch, you are anti-Christ. To such an one we say, did you ever hear of a young lady going by her own name after she was legally married to her husband? Were those who were called Christians first at Antioch...anti-Christ, or were they the true followers of our Saviour? Jesus says, 'I am the vine, ye are the branches. 'John 15:5." – Ibid., pp. 50, 51. (Parentheses belong to quotation)


"Thus it is that THE BRANCH calls His wife first, then together they complete their family by calling the Great Multitude -- the children, the end of the redeemed." – The New Name --- Isaiah 62:2, p. 1.





Letters from Around the World


Dear Brother Roden,

I came in receipt of a photostatic copy of your pamphlet "We're Fed Up! CATHOLICS CRUCIFYING NIXON. I find on the whole the contents quite acceptable, but I would like to state that Seventh-day Adventists, Davidian or otherwise, should keep themselves out of the grip of politics, in what, shape or form it comes ….This leads me to the asking of a few questions, and I hope that you would care to answer them. You quoted E.G. White, so I take it that you regard her writings, all or in part as the Spirit of Prophecy, given by the grace of God to His people, not all in the S.D.A. church (?) in these last days? How do you regard the Seventh-day Adventist church? Is the Angel of Revelation 18 (as quoted in your pamphlet) already doing a work, e.g. are we at the present time under the early or the latter rain? Has the time of the investigative judgment passed? I would like to know whether you have any literature on those topics available, or what. Looking forward to your reply, I remain, Your Brother in Christ,

Australia


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Dear Mr. Roden:

Thank You for the "Branch Sabbath School Lessons," I enjoy them. I am a Seventh-Day Adventist. I would like to know if you have other members near me, if so will you send their name and address. I would like to look someone up, and have a heart to heart talk with them....Enclosed you will find $1.00 to help pay for postage. Thank you,

Minnesota


Dearest Brother in great NAME of Our Saviour,

Benjamin Roden receive our greetings from here at _______. It is a great pleasure to write you this letter hoping that you will receive it. Well I must thank our heavenly Father very much for the gift of the three books that you sent me. I received Branch Sabbath School Lessons and God's Holy Feasts and Marvelous Prophecies of Jerusalem Fulfilled, and also I praise our heavenly Father for His great light of feasts coming through you....Well Brother for your kindness may you send me more literature and feast calendar for this year and also send some books that will help me concerning Spirit of Prophecy because here in Kenya we are not having books of Spirit of Prophecy. Please let me receive your reply soon.

Kenya


Dear Bro. Roden,

I am fairly new in the Faith, and I just recently learned of giving tithes, so here is mine....My 13-year old daughter and I are studying in Brother _____ group. He has opened up a lot of the message to us, but it seems we can't learn fast enough, even though we devote at least an hour every day to studies. I feel a great urgency to learn as much as possible because it seems the Last Days are closer than we think. I want to be ready when the time comes. Will you please send anything you have to help us?…I think I should close for now. I will be writing again soon to let you know more...and how much God's message means to us. Our prayers are with you,

Massachusetts


Dear Christian Friends:

Holy greetings coming to you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Before proceeding I would like to register my sincere thanks and appreciation to this organization for publishing this nice Christian magazine. Receiving one copy of this "Branch" magazine from a friend of mine, I really enjoyed reading it. It was an old copy (1971), but I learned more from this copy. While reading at the end of this booklet, I learned that it is sent out free to those who desire spiritual Inspiration as I would like to put it. I therefore take this time to write you for several copies since I believe that my Sunday School class will enjoy it. I also want you to please keep my name and address on your mailing list so I may receive this booklet regularly....Yours in Christ,

Liberia


Dear Bro. & Sis.

"We're Fed Up! Catholics Crucifying Nixon." You said what many believe. Each week I try to reach from 300 to 500 homes with literature. Sometimes people talk with me at the door and sometimes they invite me in. I would like it if you sent me about 500 of them....I want to when people show interest to present them with a copy....Sincerely,

Michigan


Dear Brother Roden,

If you wish to send me some extra copies free of charge of your publication "Catholics Crucifying Nixon" I and a friend will put them around London._____ sent one on to me...Yours sincerely,

England


Distinguished Misters:

It is for me a pleasure to write you a greeting and inform you about your lessons that you send me. These lessons would be better for me if they were in Spanish, because for me it is too problematic to understand them, because I don't know English.


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If it can be possible, I want that you send me the lessons in Spanish….My family and I are waiting your message in Spanish for to study. Attentively,

Dominican Republic


Dear Sirs:

I received the Branch Sabbath School Quarterly now and than for every quarter I guess. I look them over but haven't put too much interest in what they say or tell. But have noticed along that you quote in notes from sources called Shepherd's Rod Vol. so and so. In this last one I became curious to know what those volumes are like....Ever since or soon after I became a SDA I've heard of the Shepherd's Rod and as an offshoot. And in late years I notice SDA leaders call everyone an offshoot that dares to go against rules laid down in Takoma Park and therefore I'm out, not from being disfellowshiped as some are but I asked my name to be taken off of the books....I decided I had no desire to continue on with it on "the road to Egypt"....I did like the pamphlet – We're Fed up: etc., this is the first I've read that the Catholics were in on the wrecking of Nixon....Sincerely for truth,

Tennessee


Dear Brother Roden:

I am a friend of _____ and every few weeks we come together to study Bro. Houteff's and your writings. Would you please put me on your mailing list for the Sabbath School lessons? Is there any other literature available? I thank you in advance for your trouble. God bless you:

Canada


Dear Brother;

I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian who is seeking further knowledge on the Jewish holy days and their relationship to us as Christians in this day. I would appreciate any information that you can supply me with, as I need to make some important decisions and develop my thinking in this area. I thank you for your kindness in this matter and look forward to hearing from you in the near future. Your brother in Christ,

California


My Dear Bro. Roden,

Received the Sabbath School Quarterly and tracts on Nixon, Isa. 6:3, The Loud Cry, and The Covenant, also God's Holy Feasts. Will you send me more literature on God's Holy Feasts there are some members who are willing to keep them, also some of Bro. Houteff's books, Timely Greetings, etc....I am happy you never leave me out although you did not hear from me, you are indeed a "true Christian." May God continue to bless you,

Trinidad


Universal Publishing Assn.

Please send me all you can of the magazines about how the Catholics treated Nixon. I am nearly 77 years old and losing my sight very quickly….Thank you a million times,

Oklahoma


Dear Bro. Roden,

Greetings from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ....I must thank you for the "Jezreel Letters" which you have sent to me. You cannot imagine how these have help many of us in the spiritual sense....We are engaged in a lot of study these days, which calls for a deep research into the writings of the "Rod" message, so we would like if you can send us some….God has been blessing us richly in these studies, and believe me all that we need now is a supply of this literature in which we can keep on advancing in this mighty truths. Yours in Christ,

Trinidad


Dear Elder Roden,

We are so happy to hear from you about the impact of the task in which we are going to have an active part. May the Spirit stir our hearts to the fullest extent. This tract, "We're Fed Up" is a revelation to us in India...Please send us about 200


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pieces of the tracts and 100 pieces of the Sabbath School Lessons....Yours in the great task assigned to us in proclaiming the truth of the Kingdom through the Branch,

India


Dear Mr. Roden,

Thank you for your letter of July 1. I would like to visit your church, if you have one, perhaps some Sabbath in the near future. I assume you do have Sabbath services. I suppose you should regard me as a "staunch, organizational-minded SDA" as I do adhere wholeheartedly to the organized denomination. As devoted as I am to the organized church, I do believe in Christian fellowship with all. I am pained at the self-righteous, contemptible attitude of many Adventists in regards to "offshoots" as I am distressed that the church should be plagued with "Offshoots." Nevertheless, regardless of personal opinion, I love to have fellowship and share viewpoints with any and all Adventists. Hence, I look forward to meeting your fine people and thus obtaining a first hand account of your organization so as to offset untrue rumors. Thank you once again for your letter. Yours because of Him,

Texas


Dear Bro. Roden,

Accept greetings in the worthy name of Jesus our Righteous Branch. This is my first letter to you. I have about you and reading some of your pamphlets. I found them spiritually enlightening. I have met one Bro. _____ and have been studying with him and others and enjoyed these studies immensely. I am always thirsty for more and I am still thirsting. It's nearly three years ago I made a personal decision to follow Christ and started at a Pentecostal Church, but in a terrible deception. I prayed to the Lord to lead me on to the truth. I ended up in the S.D.A. Church. I found the Church a dead church.…to me the people believed the Sabbath, nothing is wrong with that, but the doctrines have been discarded. As I studied with this small and diligent group I am now in I began to understand more clearly. I still have a long way to go but thank God for Bro. _____ and the others. I hope to hear from you. There is lots more to say but next time. God bless you Bro. Roden. I close in the name of Jesus Christ, Who is the head of all things in heaven and earth, the Righteous Branch – Amen.

England


Dear Friends the Branch,

Christian Greetings, I have never thanked you for the Crucifying Nixon book. So I will thank you at this time and for the Sabbath School Lessons. We believe in the 10 commandments including the Sabbath, also in keeping the Feasts. Yours in the Blessed Hope,

California


To the Branch:

Please send me a sample of your tracts as I once was a Seventh-Day Adventist. Thanking you in anticipation. Yours in the Blessed Hope,

New Zealand


Mr. Roden,

I want to thank you for the letter you have written to me. If I had the money, I would come in person to visit and study with you about the Sunday Law and the Energy Bill S622. As you know, 1976 isn't too far off. It will be here before we know it. That doesn't give me much time to study the wonderful truths revealed by the Mighty Angel of Revelation 18:1 by mail, mail takes too long. I would get more of the study if I could study with someone who knows about the truths, if you know what I mean. Thanks again for the letter.

Florida


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BRANCH FIELD REPORT

FROM

VIENNA, AUSTRIA


Site of the 52nd General Conference World Session




Greetings and peace be with you in the precious name of our Lord, Saviour and High Priest even Messiah The Branch. This first Sabbath of the Session promised to be rainy, overcast, damp and wet. Such days are not too good, indeed not too good at all to give out literature unless you want to get wet and get the literature wet and ruined at the same time. We got the literature ready for distribution. We collated the Transplanted Heart with the Pentecost tract for our German brethren and the Transplanted Heart with the Greet and Dreadful Day for our English-speaking brethren. We prayed that since we had the Elijah message that the Lord would not let it rain after reading 1 Kings 17:1. We went on faith from that point. He made the weather clear up in time enough to get to the session in time to get to the people as they were coming out. So we praised The Branch for that because we did pray that His will be done. Bro. James Shaw (from Israel) and Bro. Fitzpatrick (from England) covered the main entrance from the back and Bro. Simon (from England) and myself (Bro. Davis from U.S.A.) covered the main entrance from the front. Believe me The Branch made His presence felt today. It is amazing that a Laodicean is a Laodicean no matter what part of the world they come from, all are the same and act the same way. They actually called the police on the Sabbath day to try and stop us but the police told us that we were not breaking any law and that we were perfectly within our right. Praise The Branch again. We gave out about half the literature that we have here. I found that the young people are more receptive to the literature and we have had interesting conversations with them. Some of the young people from England are looking forward to meeting with us once we get there after the session is over. We are living by the Grace of God here and the prayers of the Branches in our behalf. We know that the Lord is for us so who is so mighty to be against us? The Brothers here are very good workers, their hard work has been an inspiration to me. Give my greetings to the workers at Mt. Carmel and to the Branches on behalf of the Branch mission workers in Vienna. Continue to keep us in your prayers that the Lord may be indeed glorified in the work done here. May the Lord bless you and keep you in His power as the work goes forward under the direction of the Mighty Angel is my prayer in The Branch name.

Bro. Sidney Davis




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