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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



Vol. 2No. 12
Branch Ensign

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

Lesson 47PART V --- THE BRANCH --- REVELATION 18:1March 2, 1968

MEMORY VERSE: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17.

STUDY HELP: Branch Lesson No. 7, May 22, 1958 (attached to last month's lessons)

STUDY AIM: To show that the message of Rev. 18:1 comes first to the church before going to the world in the Loud Cry.

INTRODUCTION: "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,…" Testimonies to Ministers, page 475.

1.  What is the purpose behind the coming of the promised Elijah? Matt. 17:11; Mal. 4:4, 5.

Note --- "'Elias truly shall come first and restore all things.' Matt 17:11. Inevitable, then, without his message we would die in out ignorance and in our sins -- never live to see the restoration completed." General Conference Special, page 22.

2.  What is Elijah's message to do? General Conference Special, page 12, 13.

Note --- "The day of the Lord, we are told in these verses (Mal. 3:1-3), is a day of refining, purifying, of sifting…All may for a surety know both 'the day' and the Elijah as he proclaims it, because to our surprise he will point out that all the prophets describe the day and also tell what the Lord would have us do (keep the feasts – 1 Cor. 5:7, 8) while it is approaching and subsequently while we are going through it, and because no one but Elijah can proclaim the day." General Conference Special, pages 12, 13. (parenthesis added)

3.  What is the message of Elijah? Branch Lesson No. 7, page 5.

Note --- "…since the last work on earth is the Judgment of the Living, the truth stands forth like the light of day that Elijah's message is the message of the Judgment of the Living, the last,…" General Conference Special, page 25, 26.

4.  Where is his message to be presented? General Conference Special, page 25.

Note --- "…the promised Elijah is to be the last prophet to the church today,…" Id. 25.

5.  How will it be received? General Conference Special, page 7, 8.

Note --- "It is therefore only to be expected that the predicted Elijah will be denounced as a false prophet, perhaps even as the anti-Christ, or what not." General Conference Special, page 7.

"Everything that can be done will be done to distort the Truth and thus distract and dishearten believers and draw their attention to something other than the message of Elijah." General Conference Special, page 8.

"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, 476.

6.  How does this correspond to the reception given the angel of Rev. 18:1?

ANSWER --- "In 1888 in the General Conference held at Minneapolis, Minn., the angel of Revelation 18 came down to do his work, and was ridiculed, criticized, and rejected, and when the message he brings again will swell into a loud cry, it will be ridiculed, and spoken against, and rejected by the majority." E.G. White, "In Taking up a Reproach."

Lesson 48PART VI --- THE BRANCH --- REVELATION 18:1March 9, 1968

MEMORY VERSE: "In the manifestation of that power which lightens the earth with the glory of God (Rev. 18:1), they will see only something which will arouse their fears, and they will brace themselves to resist it." Review and Herald Extra, Dec. 23, 1890.

STUDY HELP: Branch Lesson No. 7, May 25, 1958.

STUDY AIM: To show the work done by the message of Rev. 18:1 in the harvest.

INTRODUCTION: Read Lev. 23:10, 11, 14-17, 39. "Here we see commanded the observance of three harvest rites: (1) the ceremony of the wave-sheaf, at the beginning of the first harvest; (2) the ceremony of the wave-loaves, at the close of the first harvest; and (3) the feast of tabernacles, at the close of the second harvest. Being typical, these two grain harvests with their three literal sacraments, accordingly foreshadow two soul harvests with three spiritual rites,…" Tract 3, page 76.

1.  During what time is the earth lightened by the Rev. 18:1 angel? Branch Lesson No. 7, page 5.

2.  Where does the harvest (Rev. 18:1) begin? Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44:32; Branch Lesson No. 7, page 5.

3.  Who are reaped in the first harvest in the church? Rev. 14:1-4.

Note --- "Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people." Testimonies, Vol. 3, page 266. "Here the people are shown to be in a mixed state (tares and wheat commingled), with the time just ahead of them when on the one hand those who have sighed and cried for the abominations in their midst shall receive the mark of deliverance, while on the other hand those who have not sighed and cried shall be left without the mark, to perish (in their sins) under the angels' slaughter weapons. From this separation -- the one in the church -- come forth the first fruits (144,000 – Rev. 14:4)." Tract 3, pages 44, 45.

4.  Who make up the second fruits and from where are they gathered? Rev. 7:9.

Note --- "And they [the 144,000 who escape the slaying or abide the day (Isa. 66:16) in the separation of the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:30, 41), the harvest of the first-fruits (Rev. 14:4), the 'servants' of God (Rev. 7:3)] shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.' Isa. 66:20." The Shepherd's Rod, pocket edition, page 20.

5.  What is obvious from the study of this lesson? The Answerer, Book 2, page 42.

Note --- "…it is evident that the harvest and the Judgment are counterparts, and that they take place before probation closes – when the Lord suddenly comes to His temple to 'purify the sons of Levi.' Mal. 3:1-3. And as the Judgment of the dead is followed by the Judgment of the Living (Rev. 18:1), so the Judgment of the church is followed by the Judgment of the world. And 'if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?' (1 Peter 4:17)…" The Answerer, Book 2, page 42.

6.  In spite of the way in which the message is received by the majority, what promise do we have? The Answerer, Book 1, page 68; Branch Lesson No. 7, page 5.

Note --- "The light that was shed upon the waiting ones penetrated everywhere,…I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry." Early Writings, page 278.

Lesson 49PART VII --- THE BRANCH --- REVELATION 18:1March 16, 1968

MEMORY VERSE: "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." Heb. 10:38, 39.

STUDY HELP: Branch Lesson No. 7, May 25, 1958.

STUDY AIM: To show that the message of Rev. 18:1 being first to the church, therefore, incurs the "mark of the beast" first of all in the church.

INTRODUCTION: "…the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel…The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands, and conformed to worldly customs, will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time, the gold will be separated from the dross in the church." Testimonies, Vol. 5, pages 80, 81.

1.  How is the "mark of the beast" defined? Testimonies, Vol. 8, page 117.

Note --- "The sign, or seal, of God is revealed in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, the Lord's memorial of creation…The mark of the beast is the opposite of this, – the observance of the first day of the week." Testimonies, Vol. 8, page 117.

"John was called to behold a people distinct from those who worship the beast or his image by keeping the first day of the week. The observance of this day is the mark of the beast." Testimonies to Ministers, page 133.

2.  Does this constitute all there is to know upon this subject? Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 17.

Note --- "The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll;…" Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 17.

"The 'image of the beast' represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas. The 'mark of the beast' still remains to be defined." Great Controversy, page 445.

3.  To whom is the scroll unrolled? General Conference Special, page 8.

Note --- "…while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll is unrolled to him…" General Conference Special, page 8.

4.  How is his message received? See Lesson 47.

5.  What spirit do the enemies of the message manifest? 2 S.R. Jezreel Letter No. 5:5; Branch Lesson No. 7, page 5.

6.  Where does the "mark of the beast" first begin? Tract 9, page 63.

Note --- "While the Lord is now marking the first fruits of His kingdom (144,000), those in Laodicea, 'the ancient men'…are attempting to prevent them from receiving His mark, which is to keep them from perishing. And as prophecy shows, this war, when finished in Laodicea, spreads into Babylon as the Lord begins marking the second fruits of His kingdom…The present trouble in Laodicea is therefore to spread into Babylon…which shows that the same satanic power now working in Laodicea, will soon fully manifest itself, in consolidation with the beast,…" Tract 9, pages 63, 64.

7.  What is the difference between the 'mark of the beast' in the church and the 'mark of the beast' in the world? 2 S.R. Jezreel Letter No. 5:5. (See memory verse in next lesson)

Lesson 50PART VIII --- THE BRANCH --- REVELATION 18:1March 23, 1968

MEMORY VERSE: "The only difference between the two (marks) is that in the world the mark of the beast is enforced by civil law, whereas in the church it is not,…" 2 S.R. Jezreel Letter No. 5:5. "The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll,…" Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 17.

STUDY HELP: Branch Lesson No. 7, May 25, 1958.

STUDY AIM: To learn more about the mark of the beast now that the scroll has unrolled.

INTRODUCTION: "The Spirit of Prophecy says to train our youth to be medical missionaries (Counsels on Health, page 506-507), ministers (Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 135), language translators (Testimonies, Vol. 3, page 204), etc. But the leaders in the church say train for the army. As Christians we can do far more good for our nation, humanity, and the world, by training for Christian service than training to be soldiers. A soldier for Christ far exceeds any other type of soldier. Which side will you be on young man, young woman? Are you preparing to stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1), or to fall with the slain in the war? Will you stand with the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and your personal Saviour, or will you fall with the blind leaders of the blind? (Matt. 15:14)." – Youth Congress Special, The Mighty Angel of Rev. 18:1.

1.  Is keeping Sunday the only way to receive the mark of the beast? White House Recruiter, page 46:2; Branch Lesson No. 7, page 5.

2.  What is another way in which we can receive it? 2 S.R. Jezreel Letter No. 5:5; Branch Lesson No. 7, page 6, see introduction.

3.  In what way are we able to avoid it? White House Recruiter, page 46.

Note --- "As present-truth adherents in the first-fruit period, may God help us, Brother, Sister, to be either among or along with the first fruits, the 144,000. It is left to every one himself to determine his own destiny. And of this be certain, that the only unerring way of achieving eternity is in hearing and in following God's voice (Inspiration); in making your decision in the closet of secret prayer; and in abounding in close and reverent study of revealed Truth for this particular time (Judgment of the Living). Whereas the surest way of erring and of losing out is to give ear to the voice of men in the place of the voice of God." White House Recruiter, page 46. (parentheses ours)

4.  What does prophecy say will happen to the beast? Branch Lesson No. 7, page 6.

5.  What happens to those who listen to men instead of God? General Conference Special, page 8, Branch Lesson No. 7, page 6.

Note --- "The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and will thoroughly purge his floor…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." "The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust…These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together." Testimonies, Vol. 5, pages 80, 211.

6.  What promise of protection is given to God's people? Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, page 17:11.

Note --- "When the beast's decree is passed that no one can buy or sell, and should be killed for non-conformity, then God only can protect His people, the people whose names are written in 'The Book.' Such is His faithful promise: 'And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book.' Dan. 12:1." Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 17:11. See also Deut. 30:15-26; Ex. 15:26; 19:5; Deut. 7:15.


Purim celebrations at Mt. Carmel were enjoyed by all who attended. The school children enacted the story of Esther and Mordecai and the dramatic way in which the people of God were saved from the death-decree in Medo-Persia. A goodly number of visitors were present and, judging by the testimonies given after the play, they enjoyed the festival immensely. All who took part rejoiced at the victory God gave His people over their enemies in days of old and each look forward to the victory over the enemies of God's work today.


Beginning Friday, April 12, at sundown, the Feast of Unleavened Bread will be celebrated for seven days or until Friday, April 19, at sundown. See Lev. 23:5-8. Since the Seventh-day Sabbath follows Friday the seventh day of the Passover week, which is likewise a Sabbath (Lev. 23:8), this makes the Passover celebration an eight day affair, the same as in Paul's day at Philippi. See Acts 20:6; 1 Cor. 5:7, 8. "At Phillipi Paul tarried to keep the Passover…during the eight days of the feast he enjoyed peaceful and happy communion with them." Acts of the Apostles, pages 390-391.


Pentecost will be celebrated on June 2, beginning sundown June 1.


Continue to pray for the work and workers at Mt. Carmel that the Branch will continue to go forward and the 144,000 soon stand on Mt. Zion with the Lamb.


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