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.
The 7th Reformation Message
VOL. 4 NO. 3
BRANCH SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS
That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these Lessons are, as a Christian service, mailed without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
The Universal Publishing Association
Lesson 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Lesson 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Lesson 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Lesson 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Mail Bag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Announcements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Poem - Victory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
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"Whenever the people of God are growing in grace, they will be constantly obtaining a clearer understanding of His word. They will discern new light and beauty in its sacred truths. This has been true in the history of the church in all ages, and thus it will continue to the end. But as real spiritual life declines, it has ever been the tendency to cease to advance in the knowledge of the truth ... When no new questions are started by investigation of the Scriptures, when no difference of opinion arises which will set men to searching the Bible for themselves, to make sure that they have the truth, there will be many now, as in ancient times, who will hold to tradition, and worship they know not what."
– Counsels to Writers and Editors, 38, 39.
"… If a message comes that you do not understand, take pains that you may hear the reasons the messenger may give, comparing scripture with scripture, that you may know whether or not it is sustained by the Word of God."
– T.S.S.W., 65, 66.
The Seventh Step
MEMORY GEM: "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life." Prov. 6:23.
STUDY AIM: To understand the message which brings the Reformation to a climax.
INTRODUCTION: "When ... thorough reformation takes place then the cleansing fountain shall be opened to the whole house of David. In that day the wicked shall be cut off … and the false teachers, 'prophets,' shall feel ashamed of having ever taught their private interpretations of the Scriptures. Then shall men fully realize that though they could be taught by men to keep cattle, yet no man could teach them to prophesy; that this office is restricted to the Spirit of Prophecy, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of private interpretation."
– Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44, page 48
NOTE --- "The number seven indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time..." – A.A., page 585.
NOTE --- "Complete vision (complete plan of salvation) is in the stone message that is laid before Joshua." – Ex. Council Letter No. 5, page 6.
NOTE --- "Solemn are the scenes connected with the closing work of the atonement. Momentous are the interests involved therein. The judgment is now passing in the sanctuary above. For many years this work has been in progress (for the dead). Soon – none know how soon – it will pass to the cases of the LIVING." – Great Controversy, page 490.
Lesson 1, page 2
NOTE --- "The number 'six' is not a perfect number … 'Seven' is the perfect, Biblical number. The question is, Why was not the seventh portion included in this prophecy (Eze. 4)? Because the six were polluted; defiled with ... man's thoughts (even DSDA was defiled by man's thoughts – a false 42 months theory by Florence Houteff) ... It is not to be so with the seventh, for it is the last; it must be pure. This portion, pure and undefiled, is represented by the angel of Rev. 18:1 ..." – Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, page 126.
NOTE --- "This verse (Eze. 20:37) is somewhat involved and needs to be elucidated with the help of another scripture ... Lev. 21:32. To determine the Lord's part, the tithe, the Lord's lambs (etc.) ... were made to pass under the rod. Each tenth then was taken and set aside for the Lord. The statement ... 'to pass under the rod,' therefore, means to separate His very elect from among the multitude, from among the 'tares,' ... And being separated, they are counted. So it is that the 144,000 ... are a separate and numbered company ... When God causes His people to thus pass under the rod, He will then bring them into the bond of 'the covenant which He made with Abraham ... Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance'." – 2 T.G. 1:7, 8.
"God has made plain that whosoever will, may come 'into the bond of the covenant' ... In His law God has made known the principles that underlie all true prosperity, both of nations and of individuals. To the Israelites Moses declared of this law: 'This is your wisdom and your understanding.' 'The blessings thus assured to Israel are, on the same conditions and in the same degree, assured to every nation and to every individual under the broad heavens." – P.K., p. 500.
NOTE --- "The only law of Moses ... that we can possibly be admonished to remember (at the present time), is the third part of his law: the moral law ... We therefore need to search out and do the things contained in the moral law of Moses – 'The commandments, and the statutes and the judgments. '... This system of worship, therefore, is truly the Righteousness by faith that brings the Righteousness of Christ in the people of God … Yes, be convinced of the truth which I have tried to present to you, for it is your life, your prosperity, your health and happiness, your eternity." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 37:15-25.
"This truth, you see, supersedes all truths, for without it your other truths (steps of the Reformation) will not profit you, will not take you into the Kingdom. It is the last mile of all the miles of our faith through life that takes us home." – Id., No. 44, page 51.
The 7th-Day Sabbath
MEMORY GEM: "For not the hearers of the law are Just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." Rom. 2:13.
STUDY AIM: To understand the first feast restored to God's church - the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Lev. 23:1-3.
STUDY HELP: Testimonies, Vol. 6, pages 349-368.
INTRODUCTION: "The Sabbath is a golden clasp that unites God and His people. But the Sabbath command has been broken. God's holy day has been desecrated. The Sabbath has been torn from its place by the man of sin, and a common working day has been exalted in Its stead. A breach has been made in the law, and this breach is to be repaired. The true Sabbath is to be exalted to its rightful position as God's rest day ... God has called us to uplift the standard of His downtrodden Sabbath. How important, then, that our example in Sabbathkeeping should be right." – Testimonies Vol. 6, pages 351-353.
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NOTE --- "The largest tangible gift ever bestowed upon mankind is the beautiful earth and the 'fullness thereof,' crowned with the Eternal Day of Rest..." – Tract 13, page 10
NOTE --- "The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation." – Patriarchs and Prophets, page 301.
NOTE --- "The seal of God's law is found in the fourth commandment. This only, of all the ten, brings to view both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It declares Him to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and thus shows His claim to severance and worship above all others. Aside from this precept, there is nothing in the Decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given." – Great Controversy, page 452.
NOTE --- "The Hebrews were forever to keep holy ... not a seventh, but the seventh, day of each week, the Sabbath ..." – Answerer Book 3, page 9.
"…. the Sabbath doctrine is the only Bible doctrine that can possibly be
Lesson 2, page 2
designated as ... 'continual,' 'perpetual.' and 'everlasting,' – from time immemorial to time eternal..." – Tract 3, page 31.
NOTE --- "... those who are trying to make the world believe that Christ nailed the Ten Commandments to the cross of Calvary ... are either dishonest in what they say, or else are ignorant of what the Scriptures teach ... Who then could have done away with the law? Certainly not the Lord, not the prophets, and not the apostles, for they all kept and taught the ten-commandment law, and all laid special emphasis on its immutability and therefore irrevocable validity." – Symbolic Code, Vol. 13, Nos. 11&12, pages 12, 14.
NOTE --- "The enemy of God and man (Satan) desired to erase the knowledge of the Creator from the minds of this earth's inhabitants. To do this he incited the 'Edict of Constantine.' March 7, 321 A.D., when he instituted the first Sunday law (G.C. 682)." – God's Covenant, pages 2, 3.
NOTE --- "The Lord gave me the following view in 1847 ... I saw a temple, which I entered ... In the holiest I saw an ark ... In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of stone ... and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four, and on the other six. The four on the first table shone brighter than the other six. But the fourth, the Sabbath commandment, shone above them all ... I saw that the Sabbath commandment was not nailed to the cross. If it was, the other nine ... were; and we are at liberty to break them all ... I saw that God had not changed the Sabbath, for He never changes." – E.W. 32, 33.
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The Passover – Lord's Supper
MEMORY GEM: "And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt." Ex. 13:9.
STUDY AIM: To understand the significance of the Passover, how and why it should be observed today.
INTRODUCTION: "Again the people were reminded of the sacred obligation of the Sabbath. Yearly feasts were appointed, at which all the men of the nation were to assemble before the Lord, bringing to him their offerings of gratitude. These laws were to be recorded by Moses, and carefully treasured as the foundation of the national law, and, with the ten precepts which they were given to illustrate, the condition of the fulfillment of God's promises to Israel." – Patriarchs and Prophets, page 311.
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NOTE --- "The first of these festivals, the Passover ... occurred in Abib, the first mouth of the Jewish year, corresponding to the last of March and the beginning of April." – Patriarchs and Prophets, page 537.
NOTE --- "In commemoration of this great deliverance, a feast was to be observed yearly by the people of Israel in all future generations. 'This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever'." – Id., page 274.
NOTE --- "On the fourteenth day of the month (Abib), at even, the Passover was celebrated. Its solemn, impressive ceremonies commemorating the deliverance from bondage in Egypt, and pointing forward to the sacrifice that should deliver from the bondage of sin." – Id., page 539.
"The slaying of the Passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ." – Great Controversy, page 399.
NOTE --- "These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the
Lesson 3, page 2
time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which for fifteen long centuries the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world'." – Id., page 399.
"When the Saviour yielded up his life on Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased, and the ordinance of the Lord's Supper was instituted as a memorial of the same event of which the Passover had been a type." – P.P. 539.
NOTE --- "Pagan feasts ... have been substituted for God's Feast Days which point to the Creator of All things -- Sunday, in honor of the Sun instead of the seventh-day Sabbath honoring the creator; Easter, honoring the Goddess of Spring, instead of the Passover which points to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God — all these are designed to take away the knowledge of creation and the redemption of man through the shed blood of the Son of God." – Our Passover Lamb, page 2.
NOTE --- "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." – Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, Nos. 6&7, page 12.
"The Lord's Supper was ordained in remembrance of the Lord's sacrifice, not to cleanse the partakers of it from their sins but to cleanse them from sinners, as is seen from the Passover in Egypt and from the fact that thereafter Judas no longer walked with the disciples." – 1 T.G.r. 3:3, 4.
NOTE --- "... the Communion service was not to be a season of sorrowing. This was not its purpose. As the Lord's disciples gather about His table, they are not to remember and lament their shortcomings. They are not to dwell upon their past religious experience, whether that experience has been elevating or depressing. They are not to recall the differences between them and their brethren. The preparatory service has embraced all this. The self-examination, the confession of sin, the reconciling of differences, has all been done. Now they come to meet with Christ. They are not to stand in the shadow of the cross, but in its saving light. They are to open the soul to the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness." – Desire of Ages, page 659.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
MEMORY GEM: "The sacred statutes which Satan had hated and sought to destroy will be honored throughout a sinless universe." – P.P. 342.
STUDY AIM: To understand the significance of the "wave-sheaf" offered during the feast of unleavened bread. Lev. 23:10, 11; See S.D.A. B.C. Vol. 1, p. 804.
INTRODUCTION: "The Passover was followed by the seven days' feast of unleavened bread. The first and the seventh day were days of holy convocation, when no servile work was to be performed. On the second day of the feast, the first-fruits of the year's harvest were presented before God." – P.P. 539.
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NOTE --- "For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had, been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves." – Desire of Ages, page 786.
NOTE --- "The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest." – D.A., p. 786.
"Being of cut stalks of grain, the wave-sheaf signified fruits to be harvested. And as the sheaf was to be offered before the sickle was put to the grain and gathered into sheaves, it obviously pointed forward to a spiritual harvest of first fruits to be gathered." – Tract 3, page 76.
NOTE --- "… it (D.S.D.A. Ass'n. – Judah) purports itself to be the FIRST of the first fruits (WAVE-SHEAF) of the living." – The Lev. of D.S.D.A., page 3.
NOTE --- "With the emergence of this vanguard (first of the first fruits –
Lesson 4, page 2
wave-sheaf) and its army, the first fruits ... 'the 144,000' ... the reign of antitypical David begins." – Id., page 3.
NOTE --- Read Nah. 1:15. "Here you see that the announcement of this log-expected event is to be made by someone's publications. Moreover he publishes peace and thus announces the restoration of the Kingdom ... Those who keep God's solemn 'feasts' and perform their vows shall have this peace. None others shall." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 42, page 41.
"... if they will not submit themselves to Inspiration, how will they ever know the truth? And how will they ever get into the Kingdom." – 3 Ans., p. 34.
NOTE --- "Calling all Davidians, Adventists and Reformers (12 Tribes) ... We cannot too strongly urge each one, as rapidly as possible to lay plans ... for Passover services and days of unleavened bread ..." – C.A.D.A.R., page 1.
NOTE --- "The lamb was to be eaten with bitter herbs, as pointing back to the bitterness of the bondage in Egypt. So when we feed upon Christ, it should be with contrition of heart, because of our sins. The use of unleavened bread also was significant. It was expressly enjoined in the law of the Passover, and as strictly observed by the Jews in their practice, that no leaven should be found in their houses during the feast. In like manner the leaven of sin must be put away from all who would receive life and nourishment from Christ." – Patriarchs and Prophets, page 278.
"Remember, unless all leaven is out of your house, you are not prepared to partake of the Passover supper. All such articles as sauerkraut, cheese (including cottage cheese), butter-milk, sour-cream, butter, salad dressings containing vinegar, soya butter, yeast, soda, baking powder, etc., contain leaven and must be out of our houses before sundown on Abib 14 ... Dry beans, peas and all grains are not to be eaten, but may remain in the house unless they are cooked. When cooked, these articles become leavened within a short period of time." – B.L.R.
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To Whom This May Concern:
Dear Brethren, will you please send to me without delay copies of your message for this time. I would like to investigate these messages. I have in my possession "Timely Greetings, the Only Peace of Mind", "The Pre-Eleventh Hour Extra", "The Great Controversy Over the Shepherd's Rod". Please send me as many others as you can. There were a group of Davidian SDA to teach me once but I thought I beheld some falsehood. Perhaps I was too hasty. Today I am not even attending the SDA Church because I've fallen spiritually. Please pray for my family and myself that we will know the truth, for then we can be free. I am desperate. I have realized for a long time the sad condition of the church and I have longed for a message of Reformation. I do hope I can soon rejoice in the fullness of truth.
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I have received "Branch Sabbath School Lessons" Vol. 3, Nos. 5, 6 and 7, and am fully convinced of the truths contained therein ... In the announcements on the back of lesson 7 I was utterly amazed to see Florence Houteff denounced as an Achan. This is the only thing I have ever read of this discord and am most dismayed to see that such a thing could happen. Would you please explain how this state of affairs came about so that I can shake my thoughts and emotions back into place and try to be at one with truth ... I have been out of contact with your people since about 1960, during which time the Lord has brought me fully to my knees and has humbled my heart. Your Branch lessons are the first contact with Davidian believers in this time. That these came at all convinces me that the Lord has not yet forsaken me because of my unrighteousness. I seek harmony with God's people and feel this can only come with understanding. Is there a branch of the "Branch" in Australia, how can I contact them. I have been a "loner" for 29 years ... Also I would like to know that the Lord's tithes are doing His work. Would you please bring me up to date on all that has happened amongst, and to, God's people since 1960 ... Please pray for my soul.
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I received your letter of May 15 ... Yesterday my former minister of the Church of God called at my home with a letter I had sent to the Church Headquarters in Pasadena, in which I wrote them that I believed Pentecost should be held on Sunday the 25th (of May) and not on Monday, the 26th as the Church of God commands. He asked me if I planned to attend the services on Monday the 26th and when I said no, he disfellowshipped me and now I am a member of no church. But that is not the first time. When as a member of a Baptist church in 1950 I started keeping Saturday as a Sabbath I was removed from all church duties, so I attended an S.D.A. church and became a member. 15 years later after studying in the Sabbath School lessons about the tabernacle and its services I tried to find out how to observe the annual sabbaths and went to a local rabbi and asked if I could be a member of his congregation and not deny Christ but they didn't want me. Then I discovered that the Church of God led by Mr. Armstrong kept the feast days so ... I became a member, and while studying about Pentecost a few months ago I became convinced that the Church of God was counting wrong, and if I counted correctly Pentecost would be on Sunday not Monday. So when I saw in the last S.S. Lesson that you were keeping Pentecost on the 25th I was very pleased especially after I learned from previous S.S. Lessons that you were keeping the feast days. I am glad now that I gave offerings to the Shepherd's Rod years ago for if my name had not been on your mailing list, you would not have known of me and your lessons came at the right moment to help me. Thank you.
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I have corresponded with you while I was in London, England, about 4 years ago. Just a few days ago a friend lent me your book entitled "The Man On The White Horse." I have found it rather inspiring. Can you please send me some of your literature. Thank you.
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All are reminded that the real issue involved in signing the Forms being sent out, is whether Davidians will sign the Claim Form and place their stamp of approval on the 1962 dissolution by the few, or sign the Waiver Form – Retainer Form – and vote against the dissolution and refuse to call back the second tithe which belongs to God.
All are admonished to look beyond apparent good intentions to divide the remaining assets among Second-Tithers to the subtle attempt to legalize the 1962 dissolution.
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Next New Moon will be observed June 17 beginning at sundown on June 16.
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New articles for Campmeeting will be ready for the field soon. Those interested in new Tracts and Answerer Books should make requests to the Printing Department.
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Good used clothing and Spirit of Prophecy Books are needed for distribution through the Dorcas Society.
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All emphases and parentheses used throughout these Sabbath School Lessons are ours unless otherwise stated after the reference.
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Please make correction on page 18 of Sabbath School Lesson, Vol. 4, No. 2, under Announcements – (Abib 15) should read (Iyar 15).
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When you can lovingly and patiently bear with any disorder, irregularity. and unpunctuality, or
When you are content with any food, any raiment, any society, any solitude and interruption, by
the will of God,
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good work, when
you never long for commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown,
When you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility and
endure it as Jesus endured,
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your tastes offended, your
advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed and you take it all patiently and in silence,
When you are forgotten or neglected, or purposely set at naught and you smile inwardly,
glorifying the insult or the oversight, because thereby counted worthy to suffer for Christ,