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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

VOLUME 6, NUMBERS 4-6


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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 binds.

THE UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING ASSN.

New Mt. Carmel Center

Rt. 7, Box 471-B

Waco, Texas 76705


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Table of Contents

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Lesson 1June 26

MEMORY VERSE:   "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Rev. 1:3.


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Introduction


"In view of the testimony of Inspiration, how dare men teach that the Revelation is a mystery, beyond the reach of human understanding? It is a mystery revealed, a book opened. The study of the Revelation directs the mind to the prophecies of Daniel, and both present most important instruction, given of God to men, concerning events to take place at the close of this world's history. To John were opened scenes of deep and thrilling interest in the experience of the church. He saw the position, dangers, conflicts, and final deliverance of the people of God. He records the closing messages which are to ripen the harvest of the earth, either as sheaves for the heavenly garner or as fagots for the fires of destruction. Subjects of vast importance were revealed to him, especially for the last church, that those who should turn from error to truth might be instructed concerning the perils and conflicts before them. None need be in darkness in regard to what is coming upon the earth." The Great Controversy, pages 341, 342.


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Question 1
What was shown to John, and of what was he to bear record? Rev. 1:1, 2.


NOTE --- "The Bible is its own expositor. Scripture is to be compared with Scripture. The student should learn to view the word as a whole, and to see the relation of its parts. He should gain a knowledge of its grand central theme, of God's original purpose for the world, of the rise of the great controversy, and of the work of redemption. He should understand the nature of the two principles that are contending for supremacy, and should learn to trace their working through the records of history and prophecy, to the great consummation. He should see how this controversy enters into every phase of human experience; how in every act of life he himself reveals the one or the other of the two antagonistic motives; and how, whether he will or not, he is even now deciding upon which side of the controversy he will be found. Every part of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. The Old Testament no less than the New should receive attention....The book of Revelation, in connection with the book of Daniel, especially demands our study. Let every God-fearing teacher consider how most clearly to comprehend and to present the gospel that our Saviour came in person to make known to His servant John – 'The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.' Revelation 1:1. None should become discouraged in the study of the Revelation because of its apparently mystical symbols. 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.' James 1:5." Education, pages 190, 191.


"In figures and symbols, subjects of vast importance were presented to John, which he was to record, that the people of God living in his age and in future ages might have an intelligent understanding of the perils and conflicts before them." The Acts of the Apostles, page 583.


Question 2
Who are said to be blessed? Rev. 1:3.


NOTE --- "Says the prophet: 'Blessed is he that readeth' – there are those who will not read; the blessing is not for them. 'And they that hear' – there are some, also, who refuse to hear anything concerning the prophecies; the blessing is not for this class. 'And keep those things which are written therein' – many refuse to heed the warnings and instructions contained in the Revelation; none of these can claim the blessing promised. All who ridicule the subjects of the prophecy, and mock at the symbols here solemnly given, all who refuse to reform their lives, and prepare for the coming of the Son of man, will be unblessed." The Controversy, page 341:2.


Question 3
To whom did John address the things he was shown? Rev. 1:4.


Question 4
From where does all grace and peace come? Rev. 1:4, 5.


NOTE --- "Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings. We did not seek for it, but it was sent in search of us. God rejoices to bestow His grace upon us, not because we are worthy, but because we are so utterly unworthy. Our only claim to His mercy is our great need." Ministry of Healing, page 161:2.

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Question 5

Who has washed us from our sins and what kind of witness is He? Rev. 1:5; Heb. 9:14, 15; Rev. 7:14.


NOTE --- "The wonderful symbol of the living bird dipped in the blood of the bird slain and then set free to its joyous life (Lev. 14:4-8), is to us the symbol of the atonement. There was death and life blended, presenting to the searcher for truth and hidden treasure, the union of the pardoning blood with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer. The bird slain was over living water; that flowing stream was a symbol of the ever flowing, ever cleansing efficacy of the blood of Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world…We are to have free access to the atoning blood of Christ. This we must regard as the most precious privilege, the greatest blessing, ever granted to sinful man." Sons and Daughters of God, page 226:2, 3.


"The efficacy of the blood of Christ was to be presented to the people with freshness and power, that their faith might lay hold upon its merits. As the high priest sprinkled the warm blood upon the mercy seat, while the fragrant cloud of incense ascended before God, so while we confess our sins and plead the efficacy of Christ's atoning blood, our prayers are to ascend to heaven, fragrant with the merits of our Saviour's character. Notwithstanding our unworthiness, we are ever to bear in mind that there is One that can take away sin, and save the sinner. Every sin acknowledged before God with a contrite heart, He will remove. This faith is the life of the church." Testimonies to Ministers, pages 92, 93.


"The smitten rock was a figure of Christ, and through this symbol the most precious spiritual truths are taught. As the life-giving waters flowed from the smitten rock, so from Christ, 'smitten of God,' 'wounded for our transgressions,' 'bruised for our iniquities,' the stream of salvation flows for a lost race. As the rock had been once smitten, so Christ was not to be sacrificed a second time; and it is only necessary for those who seek the blessings of his grace to ask in the name of Jesus, pouring forth the heart's desire in penitential prayer. Such prayer will bring before the Lord of hosts the wounds of Jesus, and then will flow forth afresh the life-giving blood, symbolized by the flowing of the living water for Israel." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 411:3.


Question 6
What has His sacrifice enabled us to be? Rev. 1:6; 1 Pet. 2:5.


NOTE --- "The spotless robe of Christ's righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. Their names are retained in the Lamb's book of life, enrolled among the faithful of all ages. They have resisted the wiles of the deceiver; they have not

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been turned from their loyalty by the dragons roar. Now they are eternally secure from the tempter's devices. Their sins are transferred to the originator of sin. And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. 'A fair miter' is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 475:2.


Question 7
How many will be able to see Christ when He comes? Rev. 1:7.


NOTE --- "Those who derided His claim to be the Son of God are speechless now. There is the haughty Herod who jeered at His royal title, and bade the mocking soldiers crown Him king. There are the very men who with impious hands placed upon His form the purple robe, upon His sacred brow the thorny crown, and in His unresisting hand the mimic scepter, and bowed before Him in blasphemous mockery. The men who smote and spit upon the Prince of life, now turn from His piercing gaze, and seek to flee from the overpowering glory of His presence. Those who drove the nails through His hands and feet, the soldier who pierced His side, behold these marks with terror and remorse." The Great Controversy, page 643:2.


Question 8
What claim does Jesus make? Rev. 1:8; Isa. 41:4; Rev. 21:6.


NOTE --- "Of ourselves we have no power to repent of sin. Unless we accept divine aid we cannot take the first step toward the Saviour. He says, 'I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end'...in the salvation of every soul." Manuscript 26a, 1892. See Selected Messages, Book 1, page 381:2.


"Despondency in God's service is sinful and unreasonable. He knows our every necessity. To the omnipotence of the King of kings our covenant-keeping God unites the gentleness and care of the tender shepherd. His power is absolute, and it is the pledge of the sure fulfillment of His promises to all who trust in Him. He has means for the removal of every difficulty, that those who serve Him and respect the means He employs may be sustained. His love is as far above all other love as the heavens are above the earth. He watches over His children with a love that is measureless and everlasting." Ministry of Healing, pages 481, 482.


Question 9
Where was John when he had this vision? Why? Rev. 1:9.


NOTE --- "John was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil (by decree of the emperor Domitian); but the Lord preserved the life of His faithful servant, even as He preserved the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace,..and John was removed from the cauldron by the very men who had cast him in. Again the

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hand of persecution fell heavily upon the apostle. By the emperor's decree John was banished to the isle of Patmos, condemned 'for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.' Here, his enemies thought, his influence would no longer be felt, and he must finally die of hardship and distress. Patmos, a barren, rocky island in the Aegean Sea, had been chosen by the Roman government as a place of banishment for criminals; but to the servant of God this gloomy abode became the gate of heaven. Here, shut away from the busy scenes of life, and from the active labors of former years, he had the companionship of God and Christ and the heavenly angels, and from them he received instruction for the church for all future time." The Acts of the Apostles, pages 570, 571.


John on Patmos

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Lesson 2July 3

MEMORY VERSE:   "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. Amen; and have, the keys of hell and of death." Rev. 1:18.


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Introduction


"In the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end. Here is the complement of the book of Daniel. One is a prophecy; the other a revelation. The book that was sealed is not the Revelation, but that portion of the prophecy of Daniel relating to the last days. The angel commanded, 'But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.' It was Christ who bade the apostle record that which was to be opened before him. 'What thou seest, write in a book,' He commanded, 'and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia..." The Acts of the Apostles, page 585:1, 2.


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Question 1
When was John in the Spirit? Rev. 1:10.


NOTE --- "To receive The Revelation, the last book of the Bible John was twice taken in the Spirit....This (Rev. 1:10) is John's first time in the Spirit, and while in it he received chapters 1, 2, and 3....This (Rev. 4:2) is John's second time in the Spirit, the time he received chapters 4 to 22." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 12, page 21.


Question 2
What was John told to write? Rev. 1:11, 19.


NOTE --- "The first nine verses of chapter 1 contain John's introduction to the book, and is a brief summary of what he saw. The remaining verses of chapter 1 contain the Lord's introduction to The Revelation, after which in chapters 2 and 3 is given a special message to be delivered to the seven churches. This is all John saw while he was in the Spirit the first time." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 12, page 21.

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Question 3
To whom was the writing to be sent? Rev. 1:11.


Question 4
What did John see as he turned around? Rev. 1:12.


NOTE --- "John was strengthened to live in the presence of his glorified Lord. Then before his wondering vision were opened the glories of heaven. He was permitted to see the throne of God, and looking beyond the conflicts of earth, to behold the white-robed throng of the redeemed. He heard the music of the heavenly angels, and the triumphant songs of those who had overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. In the revelation given to him there was unfolded scene after scene of thrilling interest in the experience of the people of God, and the history of the church was foretold to the very close of time. In figures and symbols. subjects of vast importance were presented to John, which he was to record, that the people of God living in his age and in future ages might have an intelligent understanding of the perils and conflicts before them." The Acts of the Apostles, pages 582, 583.



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Question 5
Who stood in the midst of the candlesticks? Rev. 1:13.


NOTE --- "Richly favored was this beloved disciple. He had seen His Master in Gethsemane, His face marked with the blood-drops of agony, His 'visage…marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.' He had seen Him in the hands of the Roman soldiers, clothed with an old purple robe and crowned with thorns. He had seen Him hanging on the cross of Calvary, the object of cruel mockery and abuse. Now John is once more permitted to behold his Lord. But how changed is His appearance! He is no longer a man of sorrows, despised and humiliated by men. He is clothed in a garment of heavenly brightness." The Acts of the Apostles, page 582:1.


Question 6
What description is given of the Son of man? Rev. 1:14-16.


NOTE --- "His (the Son of man's) hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire....His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness." Early Writings, page 16.


"He is clothed in a garment of heavenly brightness. 'His head and His hairs' are 'white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes...as a flame of fire; and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.' His voice is like the music of many waters. His countenance shines as the sun." The Acts of the Apostles, page 582.


"Then that voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard, saying: 'Your conflict is ended." The Great Controversy, page 646:1.


Question 7
From where did the sharp two-edged sword come? Rev. 1:16; Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12.


NOTE --- "In His hand are seven stars, and out of His mouth issues a sharp two-edged sword, an emblem of the power of His word." The Acts of the Apostles, page 582:1.


"The shield of faith must be in our hand, the helmet of salvation on our brow; and with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, we are to cut our way through the obstructions and entanglements of sin." The Acts of the Apostles, page 502:2.


"It is the naked truth that like a sharp, two-edged sword cuts both ways. It is

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this that will arouse those who are dead in trespasses and sins." Testimonies, Vol. 9, page 143.


Question 8
How did the appearance of the Son of man affect John? Rev. 1:17.


Question 9

How does this description compare with some of the other prophets? Ex. 3:1-6; Eze. 1: 28; Dan. 8:17; Acts 9:1-4.


NOTE -- "When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead; he was not able to endure the sight. But when mortal shall have put on immortality, the ransomed ones are like Jesus, for they see Him as He is." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 467:1.


Question 10
What keys are held by the Son of man? Rev. 1:18.


NOTE --- "Christ has all power in heaven and in earth. He is the Great Physician, upon whom we are to call when suffering from physical or spiritual disease. Over the winds and the waves and over men possessed with demons, He showed that He possessed absolute control. To Him have been given the keys of death and of hell. Principalities and powers were made subject to Him, even while in His humiliation…." Notebook Leaflets, Christian Experience, No. 2. See Selected Messages, Book 1, page 83:2.


"As Christ is the one who secures Satan's captivity, thereby ushering in the millennium, He alone can be fittingly symbolized by the 'angel...having the key of the bottomless pit,' and by the 'star' to whom the 'key' was given. And as the 'giving' of a thing to any certain one must precede the 'having' of it by that one, the verbs 'given' (Rev. 9:1) and 'having' (Rev. 20:1; 1:18) point, of course, to two different times. Obviously, therefore, Christ received the 'key' at the sounding of the fifth trumpet – sometime before the millennium. Hence at the commencement of the millennium He already has it. Christ's mission being to bring deliverance from the prison house of sin and of death (the bottomless pit), and to do so through the preaching of the gospel, the key, therefore, must be figurative of the gospel, the only power that is able to set free those who are imprisoned in The 'Bottomless Pit."' Final Warning, Tract No. 5, page 60:1, 2.


Question 11

What do the seven stars and the seven candlesticks represent? Rev. 1:20; Ex. 25:31-40; Zech. 4:2; Matt. 5:15; Phil. 2:15.


NOTE --- "God's ministers are symbolized by the seven stars, which He

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who is the first and the last has under His special care and protection. The sweet influence that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with these ministers of God, who are to represent the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under God's control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power." Gospel Workers, pages 13, 14.


"Christ is spoken of as walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches. He is in constant communication with His people. He knows their true state. He observes their order, their piety, their devotion. Although He is high priest and mediator in the sanctuary above, yet He is represented as walking up and down in the midst of His churches on the earth. With untiring wakefulness and unremitting vigilance, He watches to see whether the light of any of His sentinels is burning dim or going out." The Acts of the Apostles, page 586:1.



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"The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God's hand had directed the great Advent Movement, and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people….Light from the sanctuary illumined the past, the present, and the future."


The Great Controversy, p. 423.

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Lesson 3July 10

MEMORY VERSE:   "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Rev. 2: 7.


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Introduction


"Christ ascended to heaven and sent His Holy Spirit to give power to the work of His disciples. Thousands were converted in a day. In a single generation the gospel was carried to every nation under heaven. But little by little a change came. The church lost her first love. She became selfish and easeloving. The Spirit of worldliness was cherished. The enemy cast his spell upon those to whom God had given light for a world in darkness, light which should have shone forth in good works. The world was robbed of the blessings that God desired men to receive. Is not the same thing repeated in this generation?" Testimonies, Vol. 8, page 26:3, 4.


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Question 1
To whom is this first message sent and by Whom is it addressed? Rev. 2:1; 1:13-18.


NOTE --- "...the church at Ephesus...the Lord Jesus used as a symbol of the entire Christian church in the apostolic age...." The Acts of the Apostles, page 578:1.


"'These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.' These words are spoken to the teachers in the church, – those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with God's ministers, who are to reveal the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under His control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light

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is to shine forth. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father, they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world." The Acts of the Apostles, pages 586, 587. Also Testimonies, Vol. 6, pages 413, 414.


"These 'seven churches' were also symbolized by 'seven candlesticks', and the leadership of the same churches, by 'seven angels.'...Note the message is addressed to the Angel (leadership), and not to the candlestick (the church as a body.) Therefore, the condemnation is not to the candlestick, but to the angel." Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 94:1. (Parentheses belong to quote.)


Question 2

What commendation did the Lord have for Ephesus and what does He know of each one? Rev. 2:2, 3; 1 John 4:1; Gal. 6:9; Ps. 1:6.


NOTE --- "It will be found in the day of final settlement that God was acquainted with everyone by name. There is an unseen witness to every action of the life. 'I know thy works,' says He that 'walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.' It is known what opportunities have been slighted, how untiring have been the efforts of the Good Shepherd to search out those who were wandering in crooked ways, and to bring them back to the path of safety and peace." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 435:1.


'I know thy works' (not thy profession), says the True Witness. God is now sifting His people, testing their purposes and their motives. Many will be but as chaff – no wheat, no value in them." Testimonies, Vol. 4, page 51:1. (Parenthesis belong to quotation.)


"It will require much diligence and a continual struggle to keep evil out of our churches. There must be rigid, impartial discipline exercised; for some who have a semblance of religion will seek to undermine the faith of others and will privily work to exalt themselves." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 538:1.


Question 3
Why did Jesus have somewhat against Ephesus? Rev. 2:4.


NOTE --- "At the time when John was given this revelation, many, had lost their first love of gospel truth. But in His mercy God did not leave the church to continue in a backslidden state. In a message of infinite tenderness He revealed His love for them, and His desire that they should make sure work of eternity. 'Remember,' He pleaded, 'from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works." The Acts of the Apostles, page 587:1.


"The Lord Jesus, on the Mount of Olives, plainly stated that 'because iniquity

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shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.' He speaks of a class who have fallen from a high state of spirituality. Let such utterances as these come home with solemn, searching power to our hearts. Where is the fervor, the devotion to God, that corresponds to the greatness of the truth which we claim to believe?" Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 538:2.


"When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man's best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit. But He will not accept those who claim to have faith in Him, and yet are disloyal to His Father's commandment. We hear a great deal about faith, but we need to hear a great deal more about works. Many are deceiving their own souls by living an easy-going, accommodating, crossless religion. But Jesus says. 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." Signs of the Times, June 16, 1890. See Selected Messages, Book 1, page 382:2.


Question 4

How only could the church keep the candlestick from being removed? Rev. 2:5; Matt. 21:40, 41; Mark 12:9.


NOTE --- "…when in Revelation 2:5 the Lord sternly addresses one group of leaders, warning them that unless they repent and do their first works, He will come unto them quickly and remove the candlestick out of their control, He makes that fate entirely conditional on their own response to His cutting rebuke." The Answerer, Book 1, page 32:2.


"The losing of the first love is specified as a moral fall. The loss of this love is represented as something that will affect the entire religious life. Of those who have lost this love, God says that unless they repent, He will come to them, and remove their candlestick out of its place." Manuscript 1, 1906.


"'Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.' A knowledge of the state of the backslider from God seems to be hidden from him. Has the candlestick been removed out of its place? I call upon all who are resting unconcerned in their present state of spiritual deadness, to arouse and arise from the dead, and Christ will give them light. Many rest as content as though the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night were sheltering and guiding them. Many profess to know God, and yet deny Him in their works. They reckon themselves among God's peculiar, chosen people, who have a special, solemn message entrusted to their keeping to sanctify their lives and to give to the world, and yet the power of the truth is scarcely felt or manifested in our midst in zealous work for God. How great is our darkness, and we know it not! The light has not diminished, but we walk not in its rays." Testimonies to Ministers, pages 450, 451.

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"The Saviour watches for a response to His offers of love and forgiveness, with a more tender compassion than that which moves the heart of an earthly parent to forgive a wayward, suffering son. He cries after the wanderer, 'Return unto me, and I will return unto you.' But if the erring one persistently refuses to heed the voice that calls him with pitying, tender love, he will at last be left in darkness. The heart that has long slighted God's mercy, becomes hardened in sin, and is no longer susceptible to the influence of the grace of God. Fearful will be the doom of that soul of whom the pleading Saviour shall finally declare, He 'is joined to idols; let him alone.' It will be more tolerable in the day of Judgment for the cities of the plain than for those who have known the love of Christ, and yet have turned away to choose the pleasures of a world of sin." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 165:2.


Question 5
For what were they commended? Rev. 2:6.


NOTE --- "The doctrine is now largely taught, that the gospel of Christ has made the law of God of no effect; that by 'believing' we are released from the necessity of being doers of the Word. But this is the doctrine of the Nicolatians, which Christ so unsparingly condemned." Special Testimonies, Jan. 2, 1912.


Question 6
What are those who have ears counseled to do? Rev. 2:7.


NOTE --- "Christ is ever sending messages to those who listen for His voice." Ministry of Healing, page 509:3.


Question 7
What will be given to the overcomer? Rev. 2:7; 22:2, 14; Gen. 3:22.


NOTE --- "I then saw Jesus leading His people to the tree of life, and again we heard His lovely voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying, 'The leaves of this tree are for the healing of the nations. Eat ye all of it.' Upon the tree of life was most beautiful fruit, of which the saints could partake freely." Early Writings, page 289:1.


Question 8
Do we as God's people today, find ourselves in a similar situation to those in Ephesus?


ANSWER --- "A company was presented before me....They were waiting and watching. Their eyes were directed heavenward, and the words of their Master, were upon their lips: 'What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.' 'Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.' The Lord intimates a delay before the morning

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finally dawns. But He would not have them give way to weariness, nor relax their earnest watchfulness, because the morning does not open upon them as soon as they expected. They were encouraging one another by repeating these words: 'The first and second watches are past. We are in the third watch, waiting and watching for the Master's return. There remains but a little period of watching now.' I saw some becoming weary; their eyes were directed downward, and they were engrossed with earthly things, and were unfaithful in watching. They were saying: 'In the first watch we expected our Master, but were disappointed. We thought surely He would come in the second watch, but that passed, and He came not. We may be again disappointed. We need not be so particular. He may not come in the following watch. We are in the third watch, and now we think it best to lay up our treasure on the earth, that we may be secure against want.' Many were sleeping, stupefied with the cares of this life and allured by the deceitfulness of riches from their waiting, watching position. Angels were represented to me as looking on with intense interest to mark the appearance of the weary yet faithful watchers, lest they be too sorely tried, and sink under the toil and hardships made doubly severe because their brethren had been diverted from their watch, and become drunk with worldly cares and beguiled by worldly prosperity. These heavenly angels grieved that those who were once watching should, by their indolence and unfaithfulness, increase the trial and burden of those who were earnestly and perseveringly endeavoring to maintain their waiting, watching position....I saw that watch after watch was in the past. Because of this, should there be a lack of vigilance? Oh no! There is the greater necessity of unceasing watchfulness, for now the moments are fewer than before the passing of the first watch. Now the period of waiting is necessarily shorter than at first. If we watched with unabated vigilance then, how much more need of double watchfulness in the second watch. The passing of the second watch has brought us to the third, and now it is inexcusable to abate our watchfulness. The third watch calls for threefold earnestness. To become impatient now would be to lose all our earnest, persevering watching heretofore. The long night of gloom is trying; but the morning is deferred in mercy, because if the Master should come, so many would be found unready. God's unwillingness to have His people perish has been the reason for so long delay....I hope, my dear brethren and sisters, that you will not pass your eye over these words without thoroughly considering their import." Testimonies, Vol. 2, pages 192-194.




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"Only those who have been diligent students of the scriptures, and who have received the love of the truth, will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive." The Great Controversy, p. 625:2.

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Lesson 4July 17

MEMORY VERSE:   "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Rev. 2:11.


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Introduction


"The history of the early church testified to the fulfillment of the Saviour's words. The powers of earth and hell arrayed themselves against Christ in the person of His followers. Paganism foresaw that should the gospel triumph, her temples and altars would be swept away; therefore she summoned her forces to destroy Christianity. The fires of persecution were kindled....These persecutions, beginning under Nero about the time of the martyrdom of Paul, continued with greater or less fury for centuries....Like God's servants of old, many were 'tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.' These called to mind the words of their Master, that when persecuted for Christ's sake, they were to be exceeding glad, for great would be their reward in heaven; for so the prophets had been persecuted before them. They rejoiced that they were accounted worthy to suffer for the truth, and songs of triumph ascended from the midst of crackling flames. Looking upward by faith, they saw Christ and angels leaning over the battlements of heaven, gazing upon them with the deepest interest and regarding their steadfastness with approval. A voice came down to them from the throne of God, 'Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.'" The Great Controversy, pages 39-41.


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Question 1

How did Christ describe Himself in addressing His letter to the church in Smyrna? Rev. 2:8; 1:8, 11; Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 48:12.

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NOTE --- "Jesus was the light of his people, – the light of the world, before he came to earth in the form of humanity. The first gleam of light that pierced the gloom in which sin had wrapped the world, came from Christ. And from him has come every ray of heaven's brightness that has fallen upon the inhabitants of the earth. In the plan of redemption, Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, – the First and the Last." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 367:3.


Question 2

What did Christ know concerning Smyrna's condition? Rev. 2:9 first part; James 2:5; 1 Tim. 6:18, 19; Luke 12:21.


NOTE --- "Christ declared that the gospel is to be preached to the poor. Never does God's truth put on an aspect of greater loveliness than when brought to the needy and destitute. Then it is that the light of the gospel shines forth in its most radiant clearness, lighting up the hut of the peasant and the rude cottage of the laborer. Angels of God are there, and their presence makes the crust of bread and the cup of water a banquet. Those who have been neglected and abandoned by the world are raised to be sons and daughters of the Most High. Lifted above any position that earth can give, they sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. They may have no earthly treasure, but they have found the pearl of great price." Review and Herald, July 21, 1910.


Question 3
Who were of the synagogue of Satan? Rev. 2:9 last part; 12:15.


NOTE --- "Satan has a large confederacy, his church. Christ calls them the synagogue of Satan because the members are the children of sin. The members of Satan's church have been constantly working to cast off the divine law, and confuse the distinction between good and evil. Satan is working with great power in and through the children of disobedience to exalt treason and apostasy as truth and loyalty. And at this time the power of his satanic inspiration is moving the living agencies to carry out the great rebellion against God that commenced in heaven." Testimonies to Ministers, page 16:1.


"To blaspheme is for one to speak lightly of God, to work hypocrisy, to profess to be something other than what one actually is." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 18, page 17:1.


"In the hope of destroying the woman, the serpent at first persecuted her. Failing, though, to reach his goal, he suddenly reversed his tactics. He ceased the persecution and began instead to befriend her. But at what cost to the woman! Cunningly he cast water as a flood after her, seeming to put forth a mighty effort to refresh her, when in actuality it was a mighty effort thereby to destroy her. The figurative words of Inspiration explain that the compulsory Christianizing of the Gentiles and the pouring of them into the church during the fourth

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century of the Christian era, was not in reality a friendly act. Rather it was like a devastating torrent to drown the saving power of Christianity." To The Seven Churches, Tract No. 15, page 86:2, 3.


"…the Lord says: 'I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews [Christians], and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.' (Rev. 2:9.) 'Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.' (1 Tim. 1:20.) 'Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.' (Ezek. 20:27.) 'Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.' (Isa. 65:7.) Disobedience to the Word of God is blasphemy." The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 89:1.


Question 4

What is offered to those who endure all things without fear and prove faithful unto death? Rev. 2:10; Matt. 24:13; Mark 13:13; See Introduction.


NOTE --- "There is to be no despondency in God's service. Our faith is to endure the pressure brought to bear upon it. God is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the strength they need. He will more than fulfill the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him." Testimonies, Vol. 8, page 11:1.


"Then I saw a very great number of angels bring from the city glorious crowns, – a crown for every saint, with his name written thereon. As Jesus called for the crowns, angels presented them to Him, and with His own right hand the lovely Jesus placed the crowns on the heads of the saints." Early Writings, page 288:1.


Question 5
What promise is here made to the overcomer? Rev. 2:11.


NOTE --- "While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the holy city. Upon those that had part in the first resurrection the second death has no power. While God is to the wicked a consuming fire He is to His people both a sun and a shield." The Great Controversy, page 673:3.



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Lesson 5July 24

MEMORY VERSE:   "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Rev. 2:17.


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Introduction


"'The eye of the Lord is upon all the work, all the plans, all the imaginings of every mind; He sees beneath the surface of things, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is not a deed of darkness, not a plan, not an imagination of the heart, not a thought of the mind, but that He reads it as an open book. Every act, every word, every motive, is faithfully chronicled in the records of the great Heart-searcher, who said, 'I know thy works.'" Life Sketches, page 322:3.


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Question 1

What is the sword the Author of the message to Pergamos has? Rev. 2:12; Josh. 5:13, 14; Rev. 1:16; 19:15, 21; Ps. 149:6; Heb. 4:12, 13.


NOTE --- "We need now the sword of the Lord to cut the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites, and passions. May it pierce and divide in a far greater degree than it has ever yet done. May all the proud be cast down. May the carnally secure be drawn from the refuge of lies with which they have sought to deceive the people of God. May it cut away their self-righteousness and open the eyes of the blind, that they may see that they are not whole in the sight of God." Testimonies to Ministers, page 414:2.


"A message must be given that shall startle them from the lethargy which enchains their senses. Moral renovation must take place, else souls will perish in their sins. Let the message of truth, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cut its way to the heart. Make appeals that will arouse the careless and bring foolish, wandering minds back to God." Testimonies, Vol. 7, page 155:2.

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"Let the truth do the cutting; the word of God is as a sharp, two-edged sword, and will cut its way to the heart." Testimonies, Vol. 9, page 239:2.


Question 2
Where did Pergamos dwell? Rev. 2:13; Ps. 1:1.


NOTE --- "Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God. Professed saints and avowed unbelievers take their stand with these parties. This is no time for the people of God to be weaklings. We cannot afford to be off guard for one moment." Testimonies, Vol. 8, page 42:2.


"The world over, cities are becoming hotbeds of vice. On every hand are the sights and sounds of evil. Everywhere are enticements to sensuality and dissipation. The tide of corruption and crime is continually swelling. Every day brings the record of violence, – robberies, murders, suicides, and crimes unnamable." Ministry of Healing, page 363:2.


Question 3
Whose doctrine did they have among them? Rev. 2:14, 15.


NOTE --- "This is intended as a warning to the people of God living in the last days. If they follow after righteousness and true holiness, if they keep all the commandments of God, Satan and his agents will not be permitted to overcome them. All the opposition of their bitterest foes will prove powerless to destroy or uproot the vine of God's own planting. Satan understands what Balaam learned by sad experience, that there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither divination against Israel, while iniquity is not cherished among them; therefore his power and influence will ever be employed to mar their unity and defile the purity of their characters. His snares are laid in a thousand ways to weaken their power for good." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 599:1.


Question 4
In what way would God fight against them if they would not repent? Rev. 2:16.


NOTE --- "Let ministers and people remember that gospel truth ruins if it does not save." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 134:1.


"...the Bible is the best friend to its friends, It is a terrible enemy to its enemies. When Truth cannot save, it kills." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 15, page 10.


Question 5
Of what is the overcomer to eat? Rev. 2:17 first part.

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NOTE --- "'The children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.' For forty years they were daily reminded by this miraculous provision, of God's unfailing care and tender love. In the words of the psalmist, God gave them 'of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angel's food,' – that is, food provided for them by the angels. Sustained by 'the corn of heaven,' they were daily taught that, having God's promise, they were as secure from want as if surrounded by fields of waving grain on the fertile plains of Canaan. The manna, falling from heaven for the sustenance of Israel, was a type of Him who came from God to give life to the world. Said Jesus, 'I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven....If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.' And among the promises of blessing to God's people in the future life it is written, 'To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 297;l, 2; 1958 Edition.


"The giver of the manna was standing among them. It was Christ Himself who had led the Hebrews through the wilderness, and had daily fed them with the bread from heaven. That food was a type of the real bread from heaven. The life-giving Spirit, flowing from the infinite fullness of God, is the true manna." The Desire of Ages, page 386:0.


Question 6
What is written in the white stone? Rev. 2:17 last part; Zech. 3:8, 9; Rev. 3:12.


NOTE --- "I wish I could portray the beauty of the Christian life. Beginning in the morning of life, controlled by the laws of nature and of God, the Christian moves steadily onward and upward, daily drawing nearer his heavenly home, where await for him a crown of life, and a new name, 'which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Messages to Young People, p. 95.


"For many centuries the knowledge of Jesus' new name has remained a secret [hidden] and now at the proper time He reveals it....For says Inspiration: '....To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna and I will give him a white stone and in the stone a new name written.' Rev. 2:17. The Son of God is the bread of life (manna) and the knowledge of Him is the gospel – the pearl [white stone] of great price (Matt. 13:46)." The Stone, page 4. (Parentheses belong to quote, brackets added.)



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Lesson 6July 31

MEMORY VERSE:   "...that which ye have already hold fast till I come." Rev. 2:25.


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Introduction


"In the time of the end, the people of God will sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. With tears they will warn the wicked of their danger in trampling upon the divine law, and with unutterable sorrow they will humble themselves before the Lord in penitence. The wicked will mock their sorrow and ridicule their solemn appeals. But the anguish and humiliation of God's people is unmistakable evidence that they are regaining strength and nobility of character lost in consequence of sin." – Prophets and Kings, page 590:2.


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Question 1
How was the church in Thyatira commended? Rev. 2:18, 19.


NOTE --- "True grace, which is of inestimable value, and which will endure the test of trial, and adversity, is only obtained through faith, and humble, prayerful obedience. Graces that endure the proofs of affliction and persecution, and evidence their soundness and sincerity, are the gold which is tried in the fire and found genuine." Testimonies, Vol. 4, page 89:1.


Question 2

Who was permitted to teach in Thyatira and what did the Lord say He would do to her? Rev. 2:20-23; Prov. 1:24-32.


NOTE --- "How few realize the power of an unconsecrated woman. I was carried back to the time of Ahab. God would have been with Ahab if he had walked in the counsel of heaven. But Ahab did not do this. He married a woman given to idolatry. Jezebel had more power over the king than God had. She led him into idolatry, and with him the people." Manuscript 29, 1911.

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"The influence of Jezebel over Ahab was greater than the influence of the Spirit of God, however powerful and convincing the evidence from heaven." Manuscript 19, 1906.


"This determined, infuriated woman executes her work of madness by slaying the Lord's prophets." Testimonies, Vol. 3, page 276:2.


Question 3

What would all the churches know? Rev.2:23; 1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Chron. 28:9; Ps. 7:9; 62:12; Matt. 16:27.


NOTE --- "He who sifts all motives and reads all hearts is proving, and trying, and sifting His people, especially those who have light and knowledge, and who are engaged in His sacred work. God is a searcher of hearts and a trier of the reins, and will accept nothing less than entire devotion to the work and consecration to Himself." Testimonies, Vol. 3, page 191:3.


Question 4
What were the faithful admonished to do? Rev. 2:24, 25; Acts 15:27-29; Heb. 10:23.


NOTE --- "The Holy Spirit saw good not to impose the ceremonial law on the Gentile converts, and the mind of the apostles regarding this matter was as the mind of the Spirit of God. James presided at the council, and his final decision was, 'Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God. '...The Gentile converts, however, were to give up the customs that were inconsistent with the principles of Christianity. The apostles and elders therefore agreed to instruct the Gentiles by letter to abstain from meats offered to idols, from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood. They were to be urged to keep the commandments, and to lead holy lives." The Acts of the Apostles, pages 194, 195.


"Our fathers are not accountable for the light they never received, or for the messages of warning they never heard....Special truths have been adapted to the conditions of the nations as they have existed. The present truth, which is a test to the people of this generation, was not a test to the people of generations far back. If the light which now shines upon us...had been given to the generations of the past, God would have held them accountable for that light. We are accountable only for the light that shines upon us." Review and Herald, July 13, 1897.


Question 5

Who was to have power over the nations? Rev. 2:26; Matt. 19:28; Luke22:29, 30; 1 Cor. 6:3.


Question 6

How are the nations to be ruled and what

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becomes of them? Rev. 2:27; Dan. 2:44; Obad. 17-21; Isa. 60:12.


NOTE --- "From the foregoing scriptures, we see that as a result of rejecting the truth proclaimed by His church, the wicked go to destruction. And echoing this prophetic pronouncement of their doom, Christ declares: 'And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.' Rev. 2:26, 27. 'He that overcometh' being the one who is to 'rule' 'the nations' 'with a rod of iron' and the need and the work of overcoming being not His but His followers', the truth is obvious that the Lord will have a victorious nation – a kingdom through which He will manifest His great power…" Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour, Tract No. 8, pages 64, 65.


"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." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 251:2.


Question 7
What else was the overcomer to receive? Rev. 2:28, 29; 2 Pet. 1:19; Rev.22:16.


NOTE --- "The day-star has risen upon us, and we are to flash its light upon the pathway of those in darkness," Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 24.


"In the hour of our deepest trial, Jesus will be our bright and morning star." Historical Sketches, page 129.



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"Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will."


The Great Controversy, p. 595.

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Lesson 7August 7

MEMORY VERSE:   "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." Rev. 3:3.


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Introduction


"In the message to the church at Sardis two parties are presented – those who have a name to live, but are dead; and those who are striving to overcome. Study this message, found in the third chapter of Revelation....To the church of the present day this message is sent. I call upon our church members to read the whole of the third chapter of Revelation, and to make an application of it." Review and Herald, Aug. 20, 1903.


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Question 1
What condemnation was placed upon Sardis by the Lord? Rev. 3:1.


NOTE --- "When the Saviour pointed out to His followers the signs of His return, He foretold the state of backsliding that would exist just prior to His second advent. There would be, as in the days of Noah, the activity and stir of worldly business and pleasure-seeking – buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage – with forgetfulness of God and the future life….The condition of the church at this time is pointed out in the Saviour's words in the Revelation, 'Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.' And to those who refuse to arouse from their careless security, the solemn warning is addressed, 'If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.' It was needful that men should be awakened to their danger; that they should be roused to prepare for the solemn events connected with the close of probation." The Great Controversy, page 309, 310.

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"God calls upon this church to make a change. They had a name to live, but their words were destitute of the love of Jesus. Oh, how many have fallen because they trusted in their profession for salvation! How many are lost by their effort to keep up a name! If one has the reputation of being a successful evangelist, a gifted preacher, a man of prayer, a man of faith, a man of special devotion, there is positive danger that he will make shipwreck of faith when tried by the little tests that God suffers to come. Often his great effort will be to maintain his reputation." Letter 48, 1903.


"In Sardis many had been converted....The truth had been received as a bright and shining light. But some had forgotten the wonderful manner in which they had received the truth." Manuscript 34, 1905.


Question 2
What needed to be strengthened? Rev. 3:2.


NOTE --- "A cold, hard-hearted Pharisaism has taken possession of many of the professed followers of Christ, and the love of Jesus is dead. "...Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.' Here the problem is solved. The persons here described have had light that would have prompted them to altogether different works, if they had followed the light and had strengthened the things that remained that were ready to die....Many have heard and received the word of life, and have been strongly moved by the truth, but have allowed their souls to become cold, their faith dim, through self-righteousness, self-importance, and pride in the possession of a knowledge of truth which they fail to practice. The truth which is not put in practice, loses its power." Testimonies to Ministers, pages 352, 353.


"'Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die' (Rev. 3:2). This is our work. There are many ready to die spiritually, and the Lord calls upon us to strengthen them. God's people are to be firm to duty. They are to be bound together by the bonds of Christian fellowship and are to be strengthened in the faith by speaking often to one another about the precious truths entrusted to them....They are to unite upon the importance of obedience to God's law." Letter 179, 1902.


Question 3

What will happen to those who do not watch? Rev. 3:3; Matt. 25:13; Mark 13:32-37; 1 Thess. 5:6; Luke 12:40.


NOTE --- "Upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth, upon all who make this world their home, the day of God will come as a snare. It comes to them as a prowling thief....When the scorner, the rejecter of truth, has become presumptuous; when the routine of work in the various money-making lines is carried on without regard to principle: when the student is eagerly

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seeking knowledge of everything but his Bible, Christ comes as a thief." The Desire of Ages, page 635:2, 3.


Question 4
Who were found worthy in Sardis? Rev. 3:4.


NOTE --- "'Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy' (verse 4). Because of their faith this honor is bestowed on them. In this life they did not boast, nor lift up their souls unto vanity. With intensity of desire, with a pure, holy faith, they grasped the promise of eternal riches. Their one desire was to be like Christ. Ever they kept the standard of righteousness uplifted. To them is given an eternal weight of glory, because on the earth they walked with God, keeping themselves unspotted from the world, revealing to their fellow beings the righteousness of Christ." Review and Herald, Aug. 10, 1905.


"No outward adorning can compare in value or loveliness with that 'meek and quiet spirit,' the 'fine linen, white and clean,' which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This apparel will make them beautiful and beloved here, and will hereafter be their badge of admission to the palace of the King." The Acts of the Apostles, pages 523, 524.


"These souls overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Amid the moral pollution that prevailed on every hand, they held fast their integrity. And why? They were partakers of the divine nature, and thus they escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. They became rich in faith, heirs to an inheritance of more value than the gold of Ophir." Counsels on Health, page 424:1.


"Christ will clothe His faithful ones with His own righteousness, that He may present them to His Father 'a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.'" The Great Controversy, page 484:2.


Question 5

Who is to receive this white raiment and what does Christ promise to do for them? Rev. 3:5; Matt. 10:32.


NOTE --- "Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God's remembrance....All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith

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claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life." The Great Controversy, page 483.



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"The spiritual restoration of which the work carried forward in Nehemiah's day was a symbol, is outlined in the words of Isaiah: 'They shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities.' 'They that shall be of thee shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.' The prophet here describes a people who, in a time of general departure from truth and righteousness are seeking to restore the principles that are the foundation of the kingdom of God."


Prophets and Kings, pp. 677, 678.

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Lesson 8August 4

MEMORY VERSE:   "...behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it..." Rev. 3:8.


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Introduction


"…the church which of all the seven churches is the only one that is white, without condemnation – [is] –the Philadelphian church (Rev. 3:7)....the Millerite, or 'First Advent Movement,' being the only one that never cast out any of its brethren, is consequently the only church which can be represented by the white chariot, and the only one worthy of the name 'Philadelphia' – 'brotherly love." The Great Paradox of the Ages, Tract No. 2, pages 30, 31.


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Question 1
How is Jesus referred to when speaking to the angel of Philadelphia? Rev. 3:7.


NOTE --- "He (Paul) exalted Christ, the proper understanding of whose ministry is the key that unlocks the Old Testament Scriptures, giving access to their rich treasures." The Acts of the Apostles, page 229.


Question 2
What is set before each one? Rev. 3:8.


NOTE --- "Sabbath, March 24, 1849, we had a sweet and very interesting meeting with the brethren at Topsham, Maine. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us, and I was taken off in the Spirit to the city of the living God. Then I was shown that the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ relating to the shut door could not be separated, and that the time for the commandments of God to shine out with all their importance, and for God's people to be tried on the Sabbath truth, was when the door was opened in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary, where the ark is, in which are contained the ten commandments. This door was not opened until the mediation of Jesus was finished in the holy place of the sanctuary in 1844. Then

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Jesus rose up and shut the door of the holy place, and opened the door into the most holy, and passed within the second veil, where He now stands by the ark, and where the faith of Israel now reaches. I saw that Jesus had shut the door of the most holy place, and no man can open it; and that He had opened the door into the most holy, and no man can shut it, and that since Jesus has opened the door into the most holy place, which contains the ark, the commandments have been shining out to God's people, and they are being tested on the Sabbath question." Early Writings, page 42:1, 2.


"Jesus says: 'Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.' Revelation 3:8. Light is shining from that door, and it is our privilege to receive it if we will. Let us direct our eyes within that open door and try to receive all that Christ is willing to bestow." Testimonies, Vol. 9, page 182:2.


"The Christian himself may close this door by indulgence in sin, or by rejection of heaven's light. He may turn away his ears from hearing the message of truth, and in this way sever the connection between God and his soul…Neither man nor Satan can close this door which Christ has opened for us." Review and Herald, Mar. 26, 1889.


"Whenever tempted, we have this open door to behold. No power can hide from us the light of the glory which shines from the threshold of heaven along the whole length of the ladder we are to climb; for the Lord has given us strength in His strength, courage in His courage, light in His light. When the powers of darkness are overcome, when the light of the glory of God floods the world, we shall see and understand more clearly than we do today. If we only realized that the glory of God is found about us, that heaven is nearer to earth than we suppose, we should have a heaven in our homes while preparing for the heaven above." Manuscript 92, 1901.


Question 3
How much strength did the Philadelphian church have? Rev. 3:8.


Question 4
Who will worship at the saint's feet? Rev. 3:9; Isa. 49:22, 23; Ps. 72:1-11; Mic. 7:16, 17.


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. Then it was that the synagogue of Satan knew that God had loved us who could wash one another's feet and salute the brethren with a holy kiss, and they worshiped at our feet." Early Writings, page 15:1.

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"Then kings and nobles, the mighty man, and the poor man, and the mean man, alike, cry there most bitterly. They who in the days of their prosperity despised Christ and the humble ones who followed in His footsteps, men who would not humble their dignity to bow to Christ, who hated His despised cross, are now prostrate in the mire of the earth. Their greatness has all at once left them, and they do not hesitate to bow to the earth at the feet of the saints." Testimonies, Vol. 2, pages 41, 42.


"I saw that the priests who are leading on their flock to death are soon to be arrested in their dreadful career. The plagues of God are coming, but it will not be sufficient for the false shepherd's to be tormented with one or two of these plagues. God's hand at that time will be stretched out still in wrath and justice and will not be brought to Himself again until His purposes are fully accomplished, and the hireling priests are led to worship at the feet of the saints, and to acknowledge that God has loved them because they held fast the truth and kept God's commandments, and until all the unrighteous ones are destroyed from the earth." Early Writings, page 124:1.


Question 5

Why does the hour of temptation come upon all the world, and why does Christ keep His people at this time? Rev. 3:10.


NOTE --- "God's great object in the working out of His providences is to try men, to give them opportunity to develop character. Thus He proves whether they are obedient or disobedient to His commands." Christ's Object Lessons, page 283:2.


"In the time of trial before us, God's pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. Christ will say to His faithful ones, 'Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.' Isaiah 26:20." Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 404:2.


"What are the chambers in which they are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself." Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908.


Question 6
What is the danger if we do not hold fast? Rev. 3:11; 1 Cor. 9:24-27.


NOTE --- "Do not forget that the Enemy who seeks to take your crown is mightier than you, and that therefore if you are not absolutely settled on the message, then by all means rather than to study with its enemies, go study

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with its friends....Do all to make sure that someone does not cheat you of a message from the Lord. Let 'no man take thy crown.' Rev. 3:11. Remember that if there is someone ready to undermine one truth, there is another one ready to undermine another truth, and so on and on." The Answerer, Book 5, pages 53, 54.


"God is raising up men to go forth to labor in the harvest-field, and if they are humble, devoted, and godly, they will take the crowns which those ministers lose, who concerning the faith are reprobate." Testimonies, Vol. 1, page 441:1.


Question 7
What is the overcomer to become and what is he to receive? Rev. 3:12, 13.


NOTE --- "The pure and holy garments are not prepared to be put on by anyone after he has entered the gate of the city. All who enter will have on the robe of Christ's righteousness, and the name of God will be seen in their foreheads. This name is the symbol which the apostle saw in vision, and signifies the yielding of the mind to intelligent and loyal obedience to all of God's commandments." The Youth's Instructor, Aug. 18, 1886.


"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, page 15:1.


"1. GOD. God's seal-name is received by those who recognize His Law, especially the Sabbath; the teaching of the Sabbath restored the 'seal' to man and gave birth to Modern Israel -- S.D.A..…2. NEW JERUSALEM. New Jerusalem's seal-name is received by those who believe in the Davidian message -- the Kingdom (Jerusalem) restored....3. JESUS' NEW NAME. BRANCH...Branch's seal-name is received by those who accept the Judgment of the Living message in every facet." The New Name, page 2.


"Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts." Early Writings, page 58.



eos


"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."

– Matthew 10:32.

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Lesson 9August 21

MEMORY VERSE:   "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." Rev. 3:19.


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Introduction


"Some think that the word Laodicea signifies the judging of the people, or, according to Cruden, a just people. This church exists in the time of the judgment and the proclamation of the final warning messages preceding Christ's second coming….This is a time of great profession, with but little vital godliness and true piety." Bible Readings for the Home, page 285.


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Question 1
Who sent a message to the Laodicean angel? Rev. 3:14.


NOTE --- "While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct." Testimonies, Vol. 3, page 253.


"Now, if Truth is what makes sinners free, and if It comes only through Inspiration, if Christendom fails to recognize Heaven's system of bringing saving Truth, then what is to be its fate? You know the answer. The lukewarm (satisfied) Laodiceans who presume to be rich and increased with goods, have no need for more Truth or for prophets, and know not that they are wretched, and poor, and blind, and, miserable, and naked, though it is Christ Himself Who says what they are. Finally if they do not believe Him, then whom could they possibly believe, and if they thus continue, then what chance do they stand? None whatever. They hardly stand a chance. To overlook this charge, and say we have need of nothing, is to insult the Lord." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 24, page 21.

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Question 2

What is the condition of the Laodicean angel and to whom does it apply? Rev. 3:15; See Introduction.


NOTE --- "To the idlers in the Lord's vineyard the Laodicean message is sent." Manuscript 26, 1905.


"The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to all who have had great light and many opportunities, and yet have not appreciated them." Review and Herald, March 11, 1902.


"The message to the church of the Laodiceans is a startling denunciation, and. is applicable to the people of God at the present time.....The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest, in that deception." Testimonies, Vol. 3, pages 252, 253.


"I was shown that the testimony to the Laodiceans applies to God's le at the present time, and the reason it has not accomplished a greater work is because of the hardness of their hearts." Testimonies, Vol. 1, page l86:l.


"The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst." Notebook Leaflets, Edu. No. 6, page 3.


"The message to the Laodiceans is applicable to Seventh-day Adventists who have had great light and have not walked in the light." Letter 16, 1893. See Selected Messages, Book 2, page 66.


"Laodicea may be infallibly recognized amidst the many 'isms' of Christendom by the work she is doing – declaring the judgment. Indeed, this mark of identification is pointed out by the very name Laodicea, compounded of the two Greek words lao and dekei, the one meaning 'people,' also 'speak,' the other meaning 'judgment,' the two in one meaning the people declaring judgment. The church, therefore, which declares, 'Fear God, and give glory, to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come' (Rev. 14:7), is evidently the one called Laodicea. And it is almost as well known outside Seventh-day Adventist circles as within, that the Seventh-day Adventist church is endeavoring to carry the judgment message of Revelation 14:7, and is therefore unchallenged in her claim to the title, Laodicea. Since, therefore, the Seventh-day Adventist church is the only one proclaiming the judgment, and since each of the seven messages is addressed to the angel of the respective churches, the message to Laodicea is accordingly addressed to the Seventh-day Adventist Angel." The Answerer, Book 1, pages 11, 12.


Question 3
What is to befall those who remain lukewarm? Rev. 3:16.

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offer up your prayers or your expressions of love to God. He cannot endorse your teaching of His word or your spiritual work in any wise. He cannot present your religious exercises with the request that grace be given you." Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 408:2.


"To those who do not practice it, the Word of God is a dead letter. Christ says of such, 'I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot. I will spue thee out of my mouth.' He cannot present their case to the Father." Manuscript 163a, 1898.


"Christ sees that which man does not see. He sees the sins which, if not repented of, will exhaust the patience of a long-suffering God. Christ cannot take up the names of those who are satisfied in their own self- sufficiency. He cannot importune in behalf of a people who feel no need of His help, who aim to know and possess everything." Review and Herald, July 23, 1889.


"God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm, will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children." Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.


"They can never be reached by Heaven, not even by the Lord Himself. If they thus continue, then the only thing Christ can do is to spue them out of His mouth, never again to mention their names at the Throne of Grace." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 revised, page 20:4.


Question 4
What do the Laodiceans think of themselves? What do they not know? Rev. 3:17.


NOTE --- "What is the shame of this nakedness and poverty? It is the shame of clothing ourselves with self-righteousness, and of separating ourselves from God, when He has made ample provision for all to receive His blessing." Historical Sketches, page 139.


"What is it that constitutes the wretchedness, the nakedness, of those who feel rich and increased with goods? – It is the want of the righteousness of Christ. In their own righteousness they are represented as clothed with filthy rags, and yet in this condition they flatter themselves that they are clothed upon with Christ's righteousness." Review and Herald, Aug. 7, 1894.


"By the words, 'I am rich, and increased with goods,' the angel of Laodicea is saying that he has good understanding of the Bible and has the 'Testimonies for the Church,' and that these make him rich. And that in addition to these, he has other denominational publications, his increase. He thus deceives himself

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that he has the whole truth to carry him right on through the Pearly Gates, that he needs nothing more. The Lord's counsel, however, that he buy of Him gold that is tried in the fire so that he may be rich, unveils the fact that the Laodiceans' riches are not 'pure gold' and that their so-called increase is not an increase of Truth, but worthless, uninspired interpretations not tried in the fire. The angel of Laodicea is naked, too. He has not the wedding garment on – he has not the righteousness of Christ. And his being naked, not having on any clothes, denotes that he has no righteousness save his own – the righteousness with which he was born – his bare skin. Moreover, he is spiritually blind....what makes a man spiritually blind....negligence of making proper use of spiritual light makes the offender blind…" Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 revised, pages 18, 19.



eos




"Between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah will come the last great conflict ofthe controversy between truth and error. Upon this battle we are now entering, – a battle not between rival churches contending for the supremacy, but between the religion of the Bible and the religions of fable and tradition."


Prophets and Kings, page 625:2.

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Lesson 10August 28

MEMORY VERSE:   "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.


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Introduction


"God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children." Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.


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Question 1

What are the Laodiceans counseled to buy in order to remedy their situation? Rev. 3:18; Isa. 55:1-4; Matt. 13:44; 2 Cor. 5:3.


NOTE --- "Buy faith and love, the precious, beautiful attributes of our Redeemer, which will enable us to find our way into the hearts of those who do not know Him, who are cold and alienated from Him through unbelief and sin. He invites us to buy the white raiment, which is His glorious righteousness; and the eyesalve, that we may discern spiritual things." The Bible Echo, Jan. 15. 1892.


"The gold that Jesus would have us buy of Him is gold tried in the fire; it is the gold of faith and love, that has no defiling substance mingled with it. The white raiment is the righteousness of Christ, the wedding garment which Christ alone can give. The eyesalve is the true spiritual discernment that is so wanting among us, for spiritual things must be spiritually discerned." Review and Herald, Apr. 1, 1890.


"The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise." Testimonies, Vol. 4, page 88.

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"The eye is the sensitive conscience, the inner light, of the mind. Upon its correct view of things the spiritual healthfulness of the whole soul and being depends. The 'eyesalve,' the Word of God, makes the conscience smart under its application; for it convicts of sin." Review and Herald, Nov. 23, 1894.


"The gold that He offers is without alloy, more precious than that of Ophir; for it is faith and love. The white raiment He invites the soul to wear is His own robe of righteousness; and the oil for anointing is the oil of His grace, which will give spiritual eyesight to the soul in blindness and darkness, that he may distinguish between the workings of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy." Review and Herald, Aug. 7, 1894.


"The gold tried in the fire obviously represents inspired Truth for this time, the only truth that saves, the only kind God would sell." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 20, page 20:2.


Question 2
Why do we need the white raiment and how can we get it? Rev. 3:18.


NOTE --- "God's Righteousness, you see, is His integrity, His sure promises, His might to perform. He guarantees His promises; they never fail. To have the righteousness of the Lord, therefore, is to have His integrity and faithfulness, and these we can never have so long as we mistrust Him. Never so long as we doubt His Word, for to doubt is nothing short of calling Him a liar! To doubt is the greatest offense one can commit! No one can doubt God and still receive His blessings and promises. To have the Righteousness of the Lord, therefore, is to implicitly trust Him without reservation." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 35, page 6:3.


Question 3

Whom does God rebuke and chasten? Rev. 3:19; Deut. 8:5; Prov. 3:11, 12; Heb. 12:5-29.


NOTE --- "The Lord reproves wrongs in His people, but is this an evidence that He has rejected them? – No. There are errors in the church, and the Lord points them out by His own ordained agencies, not always through the testimonies. Now shall we seize these reproofs and make capitol of them and say that God is not imparting to them His light and love? – No. The very work that God is trying to do for them shows that He loves them, and wants to draw them away from paths of danger." Letter 11, 1890.


"We have no discouraging message for the church. Although reproofs and cautions and corrections have been made, yet the church has stood as God's instrumentality to diffuse light." Unbound Manuscript 37.


"There is hope for our churches if they will heed the message to the Laodiceans." Manuscript 139, 1908.

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Question 4
Where is Christ pictured as standing in relation to the church? Rev. 3:20.


NOTE --- "The church was defective, and in need of stern reproof and chastisement; and John was inspired to record messages of warning and reproof and entreaty to those who, losing sight of the fundamental principles of the gospel, should imperil their hope of salvation. But always the words of rebuke that God finds it necessary to send are spoken in tender love, and with the promise of peace to every penitent believer." The Acts of the Apostles, page 587.


"Every warning, reproof, and entreaty in the word of God or through His messengers is a knock at the door of the heart. It is the voice of Jesus asking for entrance. With every knock unheeded, the disposition to open becomes weaker. The impressions of the Holy Spirit, if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth." The Desire of Ages, page 490.


"The messages of 'warning, reproof, and entreaty' of Joshua is the voice of God to His people. It is written: 'Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, today, after so long a time; as it is said, today if ye will hear his voice harden not your hearts.' Heb. 4:7." The Remnant Church and Babylon, page 4.


"Our Redeemer sends His messengers to bear a testimony to His people. He says: '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.'…But many refuse to receive Him. The Holy Spirit waits to soften and subdue hearts; but they are not willing to open the door and let the Saviour in for fear that He will require something of them. And so Jesus of Nazareth passes by. He longs to bestow on them the rich blessings of His grace, but they refuse to accept them. What a terrible thing it is to exclude Christ from His own temple! What a loss to the church!" Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 262:2.


Question 5
What is needed to save the church from being spued out and what does it entail?


ANSWER --- "A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a

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reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit (the Spirit of Prophecy)." Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902. See Christ Our Righteousness, page 121.


Question 6
What will Christ do for those who open the door? Rev. 3:20.


Question 7
What award will be given to the overcomer? Rev. 3:21, 22.



eos


The work of restoration and reform carried on by the returned exiles, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, presents a picture of a work of spiritual restoration that is to be wrought in the closing days of this earth's history.

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Lesson 11September 4

MEMORY VERSE:   "…they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." Matt. 25:10.


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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.


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Question 1
In what parable did Christ illustrate the Laodicean church? 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, page 406.


"In the parable, the ten virgins had lamps, but only five of them had the saving oil with which to keep their lamps burning. This represents the condition of the church….The name 'foolish virgins', represents the character of those who have not the genuine heart-work wrought by the Spirit of God. The coming of Christ does not change the foolish virgins into wise ones....They had all the light, all the knowledge, but they failed to obtain the oil of grace; they did not receive the truth in its sanctifying power....The state of the church represented by the foolish virgins, is also spoken of as the Laodicean state." Review and Herald, Aug 19, 1890.


"…there are in the Bible at least two previews of a people who will mistakenly, think they have need of nothing more: (1) the five foolish virgins, who think the oil in their lamps is enough to give them light clear to the Kingdom,

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but who, being mistaken, fail to reach their goal (see Matthew 25:1-13); (2) the Laodiceans, who think they have need of nothing, although the Lord says they have need of everything, and who thus doom themselves to be spued out of His mouth. (See Revelation 3:14-18. )" The Answerer, Book 1, pages 80, 81. (Parentheses belong to quotation)



10 virgins

Question 2
What is the oil that the virgins needed in order to get in the door? Matt. 25:2-4, 7-10.


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. They have no oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are destitute of the Holy Spirit." Christ's Object Lessons, page 408.


"The 'oil' is a symbol of the Spirit of God in the form of a message (truth); for, it is the substance that gives the light (the prophetic word of God)." The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 182. (Parentheses belong to quotation.)

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"…the lamp filled with oil denotes the individual's reservoir of Truth in action. Truth that meets his needs only for the time then present. The extra oil in the vessels, therefore, represents additional Truth, Truth that takes up where the old Truth leaves off. In other words, the oil in the lamps and the oil in the vessels represent two revealed truths, at two different times, one following the other. For example, while the judgment for the Dead is Truth in action, the judgment for the Living is Truth to go into action as soon as the Judgment for the Dead is over." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21 revised, page 6.


"Now is the time for the careless to arouse from their slumber. Now is the time to entreat that souls shall not only hear the word of God, but without delay secure oil in their vessels with their lamps. That oil is the righteousness of Christ. It represents character, and character is not transferable. No man can secure it for another. Each must obtain for himself a character purified from every stain of sin." Testimonies to Ministers, pages 233, 234.


"They (the foolish virgins) are not willing to exchange their own self-righteousness, which is unrighteousness. for the righteousness of Christ, which is pure, unadulterated truth." Testimonies to Ministers, page 65.


Question 3
What is the "cry" that arouses the sleeping virgins? Matt. 25:5-7; Isa. 52:1-3; Rev. 18: 1.


NOTE --- "The 'Midnight Cry' was first proclaimed prior to 1844, and the coming of the 'Bridegroom' was Christ's coming to the Most Holy place in the heavenly sanctuary for the investigative judgment of the saints. The investigation being in two sections; first, the judgment for the dead, and the second for the living, the 'cry' must be repeated, otherwise we would have no present truth for the time of the judgment of the living. The 'cry' for the living being of greater importance to the world than the one for the dead, and as the 'virgins' are a figure of the living church, the parable must have a direct application to the church at this present time, – the coming of the bridegroom for the judgment of the living." The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 181:2.


"…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 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, page 277.

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Question 4
Who is it that gives this cry to the church? Matt. 25:6; Rev. 22:17; 19:7-10; Amos 3:7.


NOTE --- "...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, page 427.


"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, page 406.


Question 5

Where are the virgins to go when they are told to "go ye out"? Mark 13:14-20; Luke 21:25, 26, 28-36; Isa. 2:1-3; Mic.4:l, 2; Zech. 14:5.


NOTE --- "It is no time now for God's people to be fixing their affections or laying up their treasure in the world. The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath, will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains." Testimonies, Vol. 5, pages 464, 465.


"WHICH MOUNTAINS, BRETHREN? 'For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle….AND YE SHALL FLEE TO THE VALLEY OF THE MOUNTAINS...' Zech. 14:2, 5. '...And it shall come to pass in the LAST DAYS that the MOUNTAIN of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains...And many people shall go and say, COME YE. and let us go up TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD...for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from JERUSALEM.' Isa. 2:1-3. 'DELIVER THYSELF, O ZION, (S.D.A.) THAT DWELLEST WITH THE DAUGHTER OF BABYLON (civil Babylon, USA, that makes image to beast).' Zech. 2:7." MOVE General Conference to JERUSALEM, page 2. (Parentheses and emphases belong.)


"Having thus opened the way for the re-establishment of the house of Judah, His people, who before-hand have been informed of it through present Truth, will flee to the valley, to where the Lord's feet stand....There are several facts in this scripture Itself which prove that this event is pre-millennial: (1) Note that the Lord's feet stand on the mount in the day of the war in which Jerusalem is taken by the wicked nations; (2) Those that flee to the valley do

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not descend from Heaven. (3) They can not be the wicked for they do not flee away from the Lord, but flee to Him, to where His feet stand." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 19 revised, pages 4, 5.


"If after a time the Lord says, Move away from Washington, we are to move. We are pilgrims and strangers in this earth, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. When the Lord tells us to move, we are to obey, however inconvenient and inconsistent such a command may seem to us to be." Review and Herald, Aug. 11, 1903.


Question 6
What sign is given that the time is at hand? Matt. 24:32, 33; Zech. 3:8; 6:12.


NOTE --- "Observe that the 25th chapter (parable of the virgins) is a continuation of the 24th (the signs of the Lord's coming in Judgment for the Living." The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 181.


"If you do not understand this 'parable' of the 'tender branch,' now is the learning time, during the lull in the Mideast War, for after it resumes times will be very hard….The Branch has gone ahead to Israel to prepare the way for the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that 'out of Zion...the law…the word...from Jerusalem.'...The Branch has arranged for you to be on hand when the law goes forth from Zion!" The Star and the Trumpet, pages 3, 4.


Concerning The Branch, Ellen G. White says:


"The work of Christ as man's intercessor (for the living – wise virgins) is presented, in that beautiful prophecy of Zechariah concerning Him 'whose name is The Branch" The Great Controversy, page 415.


"Zechariah's vision...applies with peculiar force to the experience of God's people in the closing up of the great day of atonement (for the living)." Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 472.


Question 7

In view of this, what counsel is given by Inspiration to the church? Isa. 52:1, 7, 8; Nah. 1:15; 1 Cor. 5:7, 8.


NOTE --- "Be in the class of the five wise virgins my brethren and avail yourselves of this extra oil now before your lamps go out and the door closes forever (Mart. 25:10). 'Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.' Rev. 3:18. Sigh and cry for the abominations that be done in the church (Ezek. 9:4), that you may prove yourselves worthy to carry the message to her.… 'O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall

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no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off' (Nah. 1:15, last part)…" Why Perish?, Tract No. 6, page 42:1.


"Applying the 'eyesalve' (Rev. 3:18), they shall 'behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!' And beholding Him, they shall accept His message and know the truth, and the truth shall make them free, and shall save them from being spued out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16). Therefore, only as they awake and give heed to the voice of the True Witness, and turn their steps toward the gates of the Kingdom, may they ever hope to participate in the divine eventuality: 'O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.' Here in prophetic utterance is not only a promise to purify the church but also a suggestive statement as to what constitutes 'meat in due season' for men today....They are enjoined to fix their vision upon the feet of him who brings 'good tidings' (message from the Lord), who publishes 'peace' (the peace of Christ's Kingdom)...." War News Forecast, Tract No. 14, pages 21, 22. (Parentheses belong to quotation.)



eos


"All who trust to the boastful decisions of human reason, and imagine that they can explain divine mysteries, and arrive at truth unaided by the wisdom of God, are entangled in the snare of Satan."

The Great Controversy, p. 601.

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Lesson 12September 11

MEMORY VERSE:   "And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" Zech. 3:2.


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Introduction


"In the kingdom of God, position is not gained through favoritism. It is not earned, nor is it received through an arbitrary bestowal. It is the result of character. The crown and the throne are the tokens of a condition attained; they are the tokens of self-conquest through our Lord Jesus Christ….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, page 549.


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Question 1

In the letters sent to the seven churches what promises were made to the overcomer? Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7.


Question 2
How is this overcomer depicted at the time of the ten virgins? Matt. 24:45-47.


NOTE --- "'Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them...meat in due season' – present truth?...Note, that there is a question as to whom this faithful servant could be. If that people to whom primarily this gospel was committed had been faithful, then the following promise would have been theirs: 'Blessed is that

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servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That He shall make him ruler over all His goods.'.…The significance of 'all His goods' is the finishing of the gospel, bringing everlasting righteousness, and ushering in the kingdom of Christ! What a wonderful promise!" The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 179:1.


Question 3
Who is this faithful and wise servant? Zech. 3:1-7.


NOTE --- "The first one to be given the garment (of Christ's Righteousness) is Joshua, the high priest, the highest official in the church. If he has not the garment, then no one else has it either....Not only is he clothed in a white garment, but he is also crowned with a fair mitre. And what could such a mitre denote other than the authority vested in him as Heaven's appointed ruler? As such he is clothed from his head to his feet, 'and the angel of the Lord stood by.' What a gift! and what a bodyguard for one to have in a world such as ours!" Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 revised, pages 23, 24.


"Whereas antitypical Ezekiel is depicted as the Judge, at the same time, Zechariah says he is 'Joshua.' In the symbolism of joining the two sticks, Ezekiel calls God's servant 'David.' In John (chapter 10) Jesus says he is the 'porter' who opens the Door to the Kingdom. Luke states he is the 'one' left in charge of the work and His citizens are so displeased with the 'one,' to the point where they hate the Lord for it and send Him a message saying so. Malachi states that the 'one' the Lord puts in charge, with whom His citizens are displeased is 'Elijah.' '…Joshua of old was chosen to lead Israel....into the Promised land and to purify the camp....So it is with antitypical Joshua. All these are depicted as one and the same individual who brings to the church the message of Christ's Righteousness, the Investigative Judgment of the Living…" The Man On The White Horse, pages 28, 29. (Parenthesis belong)


Question 4

What method did the Lord use to reveal His new name to Joshua? Rev. 2:17; Zech. 3:8, 9.


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, page 9. (Parenthesis belong to quotation.)


Question 5

When was this new name revealed to the ten virgins? Isa. 62:2; Deut. 31:22-30; 32:1-4; 34:5, 9; Josh. 1:1-3, 5-8; Matt. 13:30; Rev. 14:16.

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NOTE --- "Israel is spelled with six letters....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....It will be perfect to finish the picture of probationary time…to indicate the end of all the redeemed, or close of probation." The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, page 233:3.


"'A new name.' Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting, as explained. 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 as explained on the chart on pages 112-13. Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name." The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, Fireside Edition, page 155:1.


"The Lord, the Bridegroom -- the Harvester, introduced Himself to the '10 virgins' as THE BRANCH (new name) at the beginning of harvest, Sept. – Oct. 1955. 1-2-3-4-5-6 -- six letter name -- B-R-A-N-C-H." The New Name, page 1. (Parenthesis belongs to quotation.)


"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 in to the marriage..." The New Name, page 4.


"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, page 493:1." The New Name, page 4.


Question 6
Is Joshua to be the only overcomer? Rev. 14:1-4, 15:2, 3; 7:9; Zech. 6:12-15.


NOTE --- "God's commandment-keeping people are described by the prophet as 'men wondered at.' We are to be a people distinct from the world. The eyes of the world are upon us, and we are observed by many of whom we have no knowledge...The angels of heaven are looking upon us. 'We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men' (1 Cor. 4:9)." Review and Herald, June 18, 1889.


"Not only Joshua, but also those who sit before him (the congregation) are admonished to hear this charge. And what kind of men are they? – Men wondered at....Verse 14 reveals that Joshua is to pass the crowns on to his helpers whom the Lord Himself names....What can all this mean? – Just this: Joshua is Heaven's appointed judge, ruler. He himself is crowned as such. And in response to the Lord's Own command, Joshua crowns (authorizes) his helpers

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whom the Lord Himself names....So it is that His 'Watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion,' Isa. 52:8. Then His people shall be called 'The Holy people, The redeemed of the Lord,' 'Sought out, a city not forsaken' (Isa. 62:12)." Timely Greetings, Vol. l, No. 8 revised. Pages 24, 26, 27. (Parentheses belong to quotation.)


"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, page 15.


Question 7
How is the work of Joshua paralleled in the call to the ten virgins? Zech. 3:10; Matt. 25:6.


NOTE --- "In that day (in the day of the Branch), saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine (John 15:1) and under the fig tree." Zech. 3:10.


"'In that day,' in the day this purification takes place, the gospel work is to be quickly finished by having every member of the Lord's house call his neighbor (Go ye out) to his own patch of land, to that which God has pre-ordained that everyone should have (in the mountains of Israel – the land of our fathers Jer. 3:18; 7:7; Eze. 36:28). Every member, therefore, is to be a missionary in one capacity or in another. This indeed is the layman's movement that shall finish the gospel work." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 revised, p. 25.



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"If light and truth is within our reach, and we neglect to improve the privilege of hearing and seeing it, we virtually reject it; we are choosing darkness rather than light."

The Great Controversy, p. 597.

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Lesson 13September 13

MEMORY VERSE:   "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." Isa. 52:1.


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Introduction


"I have been deeply impressed by scenes that have recently passed before me in the night season. There seemed to be a great movement – a work of revival – going forward in many places. Our people were moving into line, responding to God's call." Life Sketches, page 425.


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Question 1
What is needed by the church today?


ANSWER --- "God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children." Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.


Question 2

Where in the Scriptures do we find a picture of such a revival and reformation? Hag. 1:1-4; Ezra 6:19-21; Neh. 10:28-32; Hag.1:12-14.


NOTE --- "These verses tell us that just as soon as all the people gave heed to the messengers of God, just that soon the Spirit of the Lord stirred their energies, and then immediately all went to work. We, too, will have just such an experience if we now settle it in our minds that from this hour on we will pay strict attention to the message of God and serve the Lord our God with whole heart and soul." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 13, page 10:1.


"Here you see a record of complete revival and reformation such as had never

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been. The things that were revived are these: (1) The house of God was rebuilt and the sacred services re-instituted; (2) the old wastes were rebuilt, and the city reinhabited. The reforms which took place were: (1) The priests and the Levites were all purified; (2) all the children of the captivity separated themselves from the filthiness of the heathen; (3) all 'entered into a curse and into an oath, to walk in God's law,' to observe His judgments and His statutes, not to give their daughters to the people of the land, nor take their daughters for wives for their sons; (4) they made Sabbath observance a strict rule; and (5) they liberally pledged to support the work of God with their means….That revival and reformation of that day is a type of revival and reformation to take place in our day…" Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 10, page 22.


Question 3
Who do we see bringing such a revival and reformation today? Mal. 4:5, 6.


NOTE --- "Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: 'Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.' Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: 'You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message." Testimonies to Ministers, page 475.


"Now, it appears somewhat puzzling that the hearts either of the fathers or of the children need to be turned toward the other. But if we consider that the work of Elijah is not of a domestic nature, but spiritual, then we shall see that Elijah's message is to intensify in the heart of the parents, as well as in the hearts of the children, a burden for the salvation of the other. Parents are very anxious to labor with other people's children but seldom with their own. Likewise children are anxious to preach to others, but not so anxious to their own parents. Elijah's message of revival and reformation, however, will place burden of saving souls primarily where it belongs. His message will be seen to be of real importance rather than a theory. And when its followers fully realize that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is at the door, they will be seen pleading first for those who are nearest their hearts." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 8, pages 16, 17.


Question 4
What does Elijah bring to the attention of his hearers? Mal. 4:4; Isa. 52:1, 7; Nah. 1:15.


NOTE --- "In our study of this prophecy we learned that this happens when the Assyrian falls, but the Lord's call to the church in Isaiah 52 to awake comes first. After she awakes she is to behold something and she is to do something. What is she to do? - - She is to keep her solemn feasts. She is to perform her vows. From this we understand that at the close of the Assyrian period

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and in the time when the wicked no longer will be in the church, God's people in it are to keep their solemn feasts and perform their vows. The Lord's Supper being one of the solemn feasts, it will be celebrated next in the time when the wicked are no more to pass through the church. Do you not see that we are now closer to it than when we first believed?" The Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, Nos. 6 & 7, page 12.


"And looking forward to the time of 'the great and dreadful day of the Lord,' the time just ahead of us, the Lord admonishes the people who will be living at that time: 'Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.' Mal. 4:4….not only the Sabbath but also the whole law is to be kept now and forever by both Jew and Gentile…" The Answerer, Book 3, pages 88, 89.


Question 5
How will some react to this message of Elijah? Isa. 53:1.


NOTE --- "In the manifestation of the power that lightens the earth with its glory, they will see only something which in their blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideals, they will oppose the work. Why, they say, should we not know the Spirit of God, when we have been in the work so many years?" Bible Training School, 1907. (Reprinted in Review and Herald, Nov. 1, 1918)


"I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people." Early Writings, page 270.


Question 6
What comes about as a result of this revival and reformation? Zech. 12:8.


NOTE --- "Obviously, then, as a result of this revival and reformation within the Laodicean church, another church emerges of which Joshua is in charge, not the angel of Laodicea. In it there are to be neither 'tares' (Matt. 13:30), 'bad fish' (Matt. 13:47, 48), or 'goats' (Matt. 25:32). The Laodicean, the seventh, is the last that is commingled with hypocrites, saints and sinners. Who is to bring this revival and reformation, this great change? – The BRANCH. According to Isaiah 11:1 to 5, the Branch is the Lord, the Son of David….Here is seen genuine revival and reformation accompanied by the purification of the church. The Lord is to have a pure church and a clean

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people." Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 8 revised, pages 24, 25.


"Those who have rendered supreme homage to 'science falsely so called' will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal....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, and with hosannas range under the banner of Christ. Those who have been timid and self-distrustful will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church, will be as David – willing to do and dare." Testimonies, Vol. 5, pages 80, 81.


"And just as David, the eighth son of Jesse, was not chosen until the succession of his seven brothers had one by one passed in review, so the 'house of David' (Zech. 12:8; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 81), the church freed from 'the tares,' the eighth church in the New Testament succession was not to come into being until the succession of seven had passed one by one." The Answerer, Book 1, page 33.


Question 7

What picture is given of the church purified that is to give the Loud Cry to the world? Song of S. 6:10; Eph. 5:27.


NOTE --- "Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church 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, page 725.


"His church is to be a temple…hewed and squared by the divine measurement and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions the bright, clear, beams of the Sun of Righteousness. The church is to be fed with manna from heaven and to be kept under the sole guardianship of His grace. Clad in complete armor of light and righteousness, she enters upon her final conflict." Testimonies to Ministers, page 17.


"The message of Christ's righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other....This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel." Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 19.



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THE CHURCH WALKING WITH THE WORLD



The Church and the World walked far apart

    on the changing shores of time,

The World was singing a giddy song,

    And the Church a hymn sublime.

"Come, give me your hand," said the merry World,

    "And walk with me this way!"

But the good Church hid her snowy hands

    And solemnly answered "Nay,

I will not give you my hand at all,

    And I will not walk with you;

Your way is the way that leads to death;

    your words are all untrue."



"Nay, walk with me but a little space,"

    Said the World with a kindly air;

"The road I walk is a pleasant road,

    And the sun shines always there;

Your path is thorny and rough and rude,

    But mine is broad and plain;

My way is paved with flowers and dews,

    And, yours with tears and pain;

The sky to me is always blue,

    No want, no toil I know;

The sky above you is always dark,

    Your lot is a lot of woe;

There's room enough for you and me

    To travel side by side."



Half shyly the Church approached the World,

    And gave him her hand of snow;

And the old World grasped it and walked along,

    Saying, in accents low,

"Your dress is too simple to please my taste;

    I will give you pearls to wear,

Rich velvets an silks for your graceful form,

    And diamonds to deck your hair."

The Church looked down at her plain white robes,

    And then at the dazzling World,

And blushed as she saw his handsome lip

    with a smile contemptuous curled.

"I will change my dress for a costlier one,"

    Said the Church, with a smile of grace;

Then her pure white garments drifted away,

    And the world gave, in their place,

Beautiful satins and shining silks,

    Roses and gems and costly pearls;

While over her forehead her bright hair fell

    Crisped in a thousand curls.



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"Your house is too plain," said the proud old World,

    "I'll build you one like mine;

With walls of marble and towers of gold,

    And furniture ever so fine."

So he built her a costly and beautiful house;

    Most splendid it was to behold;

Her sons and her beautiful daughters dwelt there

    Gleaming in purple and gold;

Rich fairs and shows in the halls were held,

    And the World and his children were there.

Laughter and music and feasts were heard

    In the place that was meant for prayer.

There were cushioned seats for the rich and the gay,

    To sit in their pomp and pride;

But the poor who were clad in shabby array,

    Sat meekly down outside.



"You give too much to the poor," said the World.

    "Far more than you ought to do;

If they are in need of shelter and food,

    Why need it trouble you?...

Go, take your money and buy rich robes,

    Buy horses and carriages fine;

Buy pearls and jewels and dainty food

    Buy the rarest and costliest wines

My children, they dote on all these things,

    And if you their love would win.

You must do as they do, and walk in the ways

    That they are walking in."

So the poor were turned from her door in scorn,

    And she heard not the orphan's cry.

But she drew her beautiful robes aside,

    As the widows went weeping by.



Then the sons of the World and the Sons of the Church

    Walked closely hand and heart,

And only the Master, who knoweth all,

    Could tell the two apart.

Then the Church sat down at her ease, and said,

    "I am rich and my goods increased;

I have need of nothing, or aught to do,

    But to laugh, and dance, and feast."

The sly world heard, and he laughed in his sleeve,

    And mockingly said, aside –

"The Church is fallen, the beautiful Church;

    And her shame is her boast and her pride."



The angel drew near to the mercy seat,

    And whispered in sighs her name;


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Then the loud anthems of rapture were hushed,

    And heads were covered with shame;

And a voice was heard at last by the Church

    From Him who sat on the throne,

"I know thy works, and how thou hast said,

    'I am rich,' and hast not known

That thou art naked, and poor and blind,

    And wretched before My face;

Therefore from my presence cast I thee out,

    And blot thy name from its place."



– Matilda C. Edwards.




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A Sad Word




"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Zephaniah 2:3.


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Mailbag



Dear Elder Roden,


Recently, I have picked up some information from some Adventist friend about "The Branch"; also included was some of your views on the scriptures which are quite parallel to Seventh-day Adventist teachings. These teachings are quite strange to me in view of what I have learned as a Mormon, for the Mormon completely ignore things like the Passover, and the Washing of the feet. However, they do washings in the Temple Ordinances. I think that the thing that surprised me the most, is that you were referred to as King David -- whom the scriptures prophesied. The reason why this caught my interest is because the L.D.S. Church (Mormon) teach about a David in their prophecies. This David as I have been taught is also to be of the seed of David and that he is supposed to govern Israel in Jerusalem during the last days. It was the prophet Joseph Smith who prophesied this; also another L.D.S. member in good standing, by the name of Sidney Sperry had commented to a great extent about this David in his book, "The Voice of Israel's Prophets." Some say that Joseph Smith was the antitypical David, but Sidney Sperry brought out his belief of him being someone in the future. So consequently, Joseph Smith must have believed that also or he wouldn't have prophesied it to be fulfilled in the last days. What is it that you base your belief, that you are this man? Please tell me more about yourself and your convictions. What are your plans about Jerusalem? Or is this Jerusalem or Israel to be anti-typical and remain, in the States? You are probably a little curious about me. You are most likely wondering why would I – a Mormon – be tangled up with the Adventists. Well, I have been very active and studious for nine years in the L.D.S. Church when I heard about the Sabbath from a friend. Needless to say, I accepted the Sabbath as well as a few other teachings which I have found among the curious association amid the Seventh-day Adventists. I am still attending the L.D.S. Church regularly because I believe that my work is among them. In fact, if you are truly this man, King David, then I think that by all means, you should be brought to the attention of the now prophet of the Mormon Church, Joseph Fielding Smith. The Lord's will must be done. I would like very much to correspond with you and to learn more about your teachings. Would you please write to me right away? Thank you. May the Lord watch over you and keep you. Sincerely yours,


Washington



Dear Brethren,


This is to let you know that I was literally blessed when I was handed your literature on PENTECOST FIRE this I have studied over and over because so little is said about this subject in the S.D.A. Church. I would be very thankful if you could send me as much literature as possible so I would be able to spread the truth

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here in these churches that need to know more about subjects like these. Thanking you in advance for your kind cooperation in this matter and for an early reply. Knowing that all our efforts here would be blessed of God in finishing the work. Yours faithfully,


Trinidad



Dear BRANCH,


Thank you for the Lessons and Tract No. 2. I was very surprised to find my first letter written to you printed in one of the lessons. It was wonderful to re-read it and to see the difference in my knowledge of the Lord since that time. For I was really confused concerning the latter par of Rev. 14 but thanks to your help it is clear now. May we all praise the Lord for influencing us through His instruments to search the Scriptures for ourselves until the darkness little by little melts away. I hope you keep supplying me with precious truth which is necessary for the 144,000 to find their way to the Kingdom. I also noticed that you have printed Tract No. 3 and it is available. I'm enclosing three dollars for sending me one and if you have other numbers also or any other material that you think is useful for me please send them along….May the Lord be with you furthering the truth,


California



CONVOCATIONS FOR THE YEAR


1972


NEW MOON..................................................... JAN. 17

NEW MOON..................................................... FEB. 16

FEAST OF PURIM............................................ FEB. 29

SHUSHAN PURIM............................................. MAR. 1

NEW MOON..................................................... MAR. 16

PASSOVER (Lord's Supper)................................MAR. 30

FEAST OF UNLEAVENED
   BREAD........................................... MAR. 30 – APR. 5

NEW MOON..................................................... APR. 15

SECOND PASSOVER....................................... APR. 29

FEAST OF UNLEAVENED
   BREAD (2nd month)......................... APR. 29 – MAY 6

NEW MOON..................................................... MAY 14

PENTECOST..................................................... MAY 21

NEW MOON..................................................... JUNE 13

NEW MOON..................................................... JULY 12


* Each Feast day begins at sundown of the night before.

All emphases and parentheses used throughout these lessons are ours unless otherwise stated at the close of the quotation.

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We thank our readers of the Branch Sabbath School Lessons for the many letters expressing their feelings about the "new look" in the lessons. We are ever trying to improve the appearance of our publications as well as bringing vital truths to the fore. We would encourage each and every one to write in and let us know your opinions concerning the style as well as the contents of the lessons.


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We take this opportunity to thank all those who have answered the calls for Bibles and used clothing. We have been sending boxes of clothes, in large numbers, to the Philippine Islands during the last two months. Our people there are in poor circumstances due to a number of hurricanes and tornadoes that have caused tremendous damage in the area. Bibles are being sent out continuously, but we are still receiving requests for Bibles and Spirit of Prophecy books almost every week.


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tracttract The two new camp tracts for 1971, "The Scroll and the Stone" and "Shock – The Truth About the Texas Supreme Court" (pictured here), are in the process of being brought to the attention of our Seventh-day Adventist brethren. We take this opportunity to praise the Lord for the many inquiries that have come in to the Office, here at Mt. Carmel, showing that the virgins are indeed awaking. Some 100,000 pieces have already been printed of these tracts and anyone wishing to distribute them to our Seventh-day Adventist brethren should write in to the Office for supplies.


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Continue to send all tithes and offerings to The Branch, Rte. 7, Box 471-B, Waco, Texas 76705 U.S.A. The Sabbath School Lessons are increasing with every issue and your faithful support of the Lord's harvest work is appreciated. Thank you.


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