That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
BRANCH SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS
That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these Lessons are, as a Christian service, mailed without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
THE UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING ASSN.
A STUDY INTO THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 14
Vol. 4, No. 12,13
C O N T E N T S
LESSON 1 – PROPHECY FULFILLED .........................................4
LESSON 2 – A CITY DIVIDED .............................................6
LESSON 3 – THE BATTLE FOR THE HILL OF ZION ............................8
LESSON 4 – THE MOUNT OF OLIVES .......................................10
LESSON 5 – "LIVING WATERS" ...........................................12
LESSON 6 – A KINGDOM OF PEACE.........................................14
LESSON 7 – WORSHIP IN JERUSALEM ......................................16
LESSON 8 – HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD ....................................18
MAIL BAG .............................................................20
CONVOCATIONS FOR THE YEAR ............................................23
MEMORY GEM: "For I will take you from among the heathen and gather you out of all countries and will bring you into your own land." Eze. 36:24.
STUDY AIM: To show that prophecy has been fulfilled in the return of the Jews to their homeland.
INTRODUCTION: "The history which the great I AM has marked out in His word, uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tells us where we are today in the procession of the ages, and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order. " – Education, page 178.
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NOTE --- "The cursing of the fig-tree was an acted parable. That barren tree, flaunting its pretentious foliage in the very face of Christ, was a symbol of the Jewish nation.... Withered beneath the Saviour's curse, standing forth sere and blasted, dried up by the roots, the fig tree showed what the Jewish people would be when the grace of God was removed from them. Refusing to impart blessing, they would no longer receive it. 'O Israel,' the Lord says, 'thou hast destroyed thyself.' " – Desire of Ages, pages 582, 583.
"They (the Jewish nation) determined that they would not receive Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. They rejected the Light of the world, and henceforth their lives were surrounded with darkness as the darkness of midnight. The doom foretold came upon the Jewish nation. Their own fierce passions, uncontrolled, wrought their ruin. In their blind rage they destroyed one another. Their rebellious, stubborn pride brought upon them the wrath of their Roman conquerors. Jerusalem was destroyed, the temple laid in ruins, and its site plowed like a field (see Micah 3:12). The children of Judah perished by the most horrible forms of death. Millions were sold, to serve as bondmen in heathen lands." – Prophets and Kings, pages 712, 713 (parentheses added).
"Like wrecks on a desert shore, they were scattered among the nations. For eighteen hundred years the Jews have wandered from land to land throughout the world ... Maligned, hated, persecuted, from century to century theirs has been a heritage of suffering." – Acts of the Apostles, page 379.
Lesson 1, page 2
NOTE --- "That which God purposed to do for the world through Israel, the chosen nation, He will finally accomplish through His church on earth to-day…. Never has the Lord been without true representatives on the earth who have made His interests their own. These witnesses for God are numbered among spiritual Israel, and to them will be fulfilled all the covenant promises made by Jehovah to His ancient people." – Prophets and Kings, pages 713, 714.
NOTE --- "The modern migratory movement (of the Jews to Palestine) began in the 1890's from Russia. It received strong impetus when, as a result of the Dreyfus affair in France, Theodore Herzl became the exponent of modern political Zionism, which desires the rebirth of the Jewish people as a self-governing body in their historic home…. After the war (World War I) Zionist sentiment promoted large scale Jewish emigration to Palestine. The Zionist movement was strengthened by Nazi Germany's anti-Semitic persecution and by the extermination of some five million Jews during World War II .... On May 15, 1948, the British abandoned their mandate; this step was followed by the proclamation of the new state of Israel .... " – Universal World Reference Encyclopedia, see under Jews.
NOTE --- "In view of the fact that this scripture is now being unfolded, and also the fact that there is but one people, one nation (the descendants of the ancient scribes, priests, and Pharisees who rejected the Lord and who have not even to this day accepted Him, that are hardly desired anywhere in the world) that is now doing all she can to gather together in Palestine – in view of all this, the present-day Jews are that undesired nation .... Yes, the universally hated Jew is the only nation that has been scattered throughout the Gentile world, and is the only one that is now gathering together in Palestine. – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 22, page 25 (parentheses belong to quote).
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MEMORY GEM: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2 Peter 1:19.
STUDY AIM: To show how Jerusalem, the spoil of the 1948 war, was taken from the Jews and divided in half by the United Nations in fulfillment of prophecy.
INTRODUCTION: "... Sr. White wrote: 'I also was shown that old Jerusalem would never be built up.' E.W. 75:2. Either Sr. White did not know what she was talking about or she meant something else, for Jerusalem is being built. Hundreds of beautiful structures – commercial buildings, residences and apartments – are being built.... Yes, Jerusalem is being built up. If you were in Jerusalem one quick look would explain to you what Sr. White meant; for Old Jerusalem is in Trans-Jordan territory and there is no building going on there; but just across the line in Israel, Jerusalem is a modern city with much building in progress." – The Stone, Nov. 24, 1958, page 1.
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NOTE --- "As you know, the subject matter contained in this chapter actually begins in chapter twelve and runs through chapter fourteen. To ascertain who is referred to by the pronoun 'thee' in this verse, we must go back to chapter thirteen. There we find that 'thee' refers to Jerusalem." – Timely Greetings Vol. 1, No. 19, page 3, paragraph 2.
NOTE --- "It is the spoil of Jerusalem, then, that shall be divided in the midst of her: " - Ibid., page 3.
NOTE --- "In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with His commandment-keeping people is to be renewed. 'In that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely…. ' … And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the
Lesson 2, page 2
waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; and they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God." – Prophets and Kings, pages 299, 300,
"Just before the kingdom of Judah is established in Jerusalem, the city shall be besieged, the houses shall be rifled and women ravished. Not all, though, shall go into captivity." "In view of the fact that Jerusalem is to be protected by a wall of fire (Zech. 2:5) while the house of Judah reigns there, it is definite that the battle here described must be fought before the house of Judah is established. In that battle the nations will defeat the rulers of the Promised Land. Then it is that the house of Judah commences to be set up." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 19, pages 8, 3, 4.
NOTE --- "Warfare in 1948 split Jerusalem between Israel and Jordan ('…thy land shall be divided by line... ' Amos 7:17)." National Geographic, Dec. 1968 (parentheses added).
"Britain had announced... it would terminate its mandate (of Palestine) on May 16, 1948.... On Friday, May 14… before a distinguished gathering in Tel Aviv, David Ben Gurion, head of the Provisional Government, basing himself on the historic rights of the Jewish people and the authority of the United Nations decision, called the State of Israel into being.... The great news was marred by the invasion of Israel's territory by the Arab nations. Israel was to be reborn in battle, even while it craved and needed peace.... Five regular armies had been poised for weeks on the borders of Palestine, waiting for the British mandate to expire.... The invasion began, from every direction except the sea, during the night between the 14th and 15th of May .... Most spectacular was the defense within and around the Old City of Jerusalem…. The United Nations now belatedly attempted to end the fighting. It... succeeded in arranging a four-weeks truce beginning June 11. At its expiration, July 9, the Arabs, still confident, resumed fighting. The Jews, however, were now better equipped, their army better coordinated. They scored victory after victory.... The Moslem nations more readily agreed to a second truce on July 18…. There had long been sentiment within the United Nations (ALL NATIONS), especially under the influence of the Catholic Church, to internationalize Jerusalem as a whole. Thereupon the Israel government moved its offices and the Keneset (Parliament) to the Jewish part of the City and declared it the capitol of the state. Jordan for its part annexed all of non-Jewish Palestine." – A History of the Jews, Solomon Grayzel, pages 803-806.
MEMORY GEM: "As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it." Isa. 31:5.
STUDY AIM: To show God's working in clearing the way for His kingdom by restoring Jerusalem out of the hands of the heathen nations.
INTRODUCTION: "Thou (O Lord) shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.... This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdom, to serve the Lord. " Psalms 102:13-15, 17-22. "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." Isa. 62:1, 2.
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NOTE --- "In vision Zechariah heard the angel of the Lord inquiring, 'O Lord of hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah…. And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me,' Zechariah declared, 'with good words and comfortable words. So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it....' The prophet was now directed to predict, 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall ye be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.' " – Prophets and Kings, pages 580, 581.
Lesson 3, page2
Deut. 1:30; 3:21, 22; Josh. 5:13-15; 10:1-14; 2 Chron, 20:14-30; Neh. 4:1-23.
NOTE --- "Not mighty giants nor walled cities, armed hosts or rocky fortresses, could stand before the Captain of the Lord's host. The Lord led the army; the Lord discomfited the enemy; the Lord conquered in behalf of Israel… and the Israelites soon took possession of the whole country." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 436.
NOTE --- "The secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort." – Ibid. , page 509.
5. WHEN AND HOW DID THESE VERSES MEET THEIR FULFILLMENT? Zech. 14:3; Isa. 31:1-5.
NOTE --- "This prophecy was fulfilled by the six-day war, June 1967!" – As Birds Flying, page 2.
"… Monday, June 5. A few minutes before 8 o'clock Israel launched its offensive, Its air force ('as birds flying')... struck with devastating surprise at two dozen Arab airbases in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq.... In the first day of fighting 387 Arab warp1anes were destroyed… With the Israelis in uncontested control of the Mideastern air, the Arab ground forces fighting in the open spaces of the deserts, were rendered helpless. Within a few hours, Israel had sealed its victory." – Life Special Edition, June, 1967.
"After the air strikes that wiped out the Arab air forces, Israeli armour and infantry swept westward across the waist of Sinai, parallel to the path of the Gaza breakthrough. A smaller column cut south from El Kuntilla, then raced toward Suez…. Meanwhile, fighting erupted on another front – the divided city of Jerusalem ('To fight for the holy city of Jerusalem was the chance to fulfill prophecy.' Life, June 23, 1967).... Yet another Israeli force moved against Jenin, north of Jerusalem. The final Israeli attack, at the end of the week, was mounted against Syria..." – Life Special Edition, June, 1967.
"Prophecy has come true. A flag of Zion floats over Jerusalem for the first time since the Romans leveled the holy city 1,900 years ago." – Life, June 23, 1967.
"Since these signs of the times, in addition to others, are of far greater importance than the 'Lisbon earthquake,' 'the dark day,' and 'the falling stars,' we had better awake to the demand which they impose upon us, and which are bound to fit us for the second coming of Christ and for a home in His kingdom if heeded." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44, page 50.
MEMORY GEM: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem... and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west…. " Zech. 14:4.
STUDY AIM: To show the significance of the Lord's feet standing on the mount of Olives before the millenium as well as after the 1000 years.
INTRODUCTION: "As the place of His ascension, Jesus chose the spot so often hallowed by His presence while He dwelt among men. Not Mount Zion, the place of David's city, not Mount Moriah, the temple site, was to be thus honored…. Jesus, weary and heart-burdened, had gone forth to find rest in the Mount of Olives. The holy shekinah, in departing from the first temple, had stood upon the eastern mountain, as if loath to forsake the chosen city; so Christ stood upon Olivet, with yearning heart overlooking Jerusalem. The groves and glens of the mountain had been consecrated by His prayers and tears…. On its sloping descent He had found a home with Lazarus at Bethany. In the garden of Gethsemane at its foot He had prayed and agonized alone. From this mountain He was to ascend to heaven. Upon its summit His feet will rest when He shall come again. Not as a man of sorrows, but as a glorious and triumphant king He will stand upon Olivet, while Hebrew hallelujahs mingle with Gentile hosannas, and the voices of the redeemed as a mighty host swell the acclamation, 'Crown Him Lord of all'." – Desire of Ages, pages 829, 830.
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NOTE --- "'In that day.' In what day? – In the day all nations gather against Jerusalem that now is, and bring its fall from Gentile rule. In that day the Lord's feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, there shall be a very great valley.... The servants of God shall then flee to the valley of the mountains, where the Lord's feet shall stand…. " – T.G., Vol. 2, No. 31, pp. 6, 7.
NOTE --- "At the time Jerusalem, that now is, falls, the Lord's feet shall stand upon Mount of Olives and there make a very great valley; that is, remove the obstacles and hindrances, and thus prepare the land for the returning of His people.... 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, as quickly as if they were fleeing from an earthquake; and all the saints thereafter follow after
Lesson 4, page 2
them," – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 19, pages 4, 5.
"... the Lord's 'feet' will open the way for the restoration of the Kingdom, and for the gathering of the people into it. – T.G., Vol. 2, No. 31, page 7.
NOTE --- "There are several facts in this scripture itself which prove that this event is premillennial: ( 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 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. ( 4 ) All the saints follow after them. – T.G., Vol. 1, No. 19, p. 5.
NOTE --- "The Branch has opened up the way for you. The twig is planted (step 1) on the mountains of Israel (Eze. 17:22, 23)... and there are houses waiting for your occupancy. " – Dear Kingdom Bound Saints, page 4.
"His feet stand on the Mount of Olives evidently before the 144, 000 stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb." – The Fall of Assyria, page 2.
NOTE --- "It is at the close of the one thousand years that Jesus stands upon the Mount of Olives, and the mount parts asunder and becomes a mighty plain.... Then the holy city comes down and settles on the plain." – Early Writings 53
NOTE --- "...to say that a Scripture means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit of Truth." – Review and Herald, Oct. 21, 1890.
"In every age there is a new development of truth .... The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but all unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that we can comprehend the new... it is the light which shines in the fresh unfolding of truth that glorifies the old. – Christ's Object Lessons, page 127.
MEMORY GEM: "... whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. " – John 4:14.
STUDY AIM: To show that God sets up His Kingdom in probationary time and that it is from there that the final warning – living waters is to be given to save the world.
INTRODUCTION: "... let us in a few words summarize what we have studied (thus far in these lessons) .... Just before the kingdom of Judah is established in Jerusalem, the city shall be besieged, the houses shall be rifled and women ravished. Not all, though, shall go into captivity. The residue are not cut off from the city, they obviously become a part of the house of Judah. At that time, when Jerusalem has fallen and the Lord has removed all obstacles and hindrances for the gathering of His people, then it is that the house of Judah is re-established. God's people shall flee to the 'valley' as quickly as though they were fleeing from an earthquake. The Lord smites the armies of the nations, while at the same time He protects and exalts His own people. " - 1 T.G. #19, page 8.
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NOTE --- "These verses imply that heretofore varying conditions, 'clear' and 'dark,' have obtained, but that it shall no longer be so. For the word 'clear,' in the margin, you note, gives "precious,' and for the word 'dark,' it gives 'thickness,' indicating that the light is not to be alternately sparing and abundant, thick and thin, light and dark. Instead, it is to be steady, constant. The scripture, of course, is speaking of spiritual light – the Light of Truth, knowledge from God. For example, in the days before Christ's first advent, there was spiritual darkness. Then His presence gave light for a time, after which followed the Dark Ages of religion. Later, through the Reformation, light again began to shine but very sparingly. Then by the proclamation of the First, Second, and Third Angel's Messages, the light became brighter. At this time, though, through the prophet Zechariah the Lord promises constant and adequate light." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 19, page 6.
NOTE --- "The water that Christ referred to was the revelation of His grace in
Lesson 5, page 2
His word; His Spirit, His teaching, is as a satisfying fountain to every, soul... the Word of truth is as cool streams, represented as the waters of Lebanon, which are always satisfying. In Christ is fullness of joy forevermore…. Jesus says, 'Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life'. " – Testimonies to Ministers, page 390.
"The 'living waters' must represent living knowledge, living Truth – that is, those who drink, so to speak, of It shall never die.... Jerusalem, the place where the feet of the Lord shall stand, will become the great international and spiritual divide for the everlasting gospel. From Jerusalem in the valley of the mountains will the angel anew proclaim with a loud voice, 'Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His Judgment [ for the living. is come: and. worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters, ' Rev. 14:7, Then the gathering of the people begins with the plea: 'Come out of her [Babylon who then rides the beast – rules the world], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. ' Rev. 18:4. So shall the earth be 'lightened' with the glory of the angel, and so shall the saints be gathered from the four corners of the earth." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 19, page 7.
NOTE --- "The Lord reigns first over Jerusalem, and finally after the saints are gathered in from the four corners of the earth He reigns over the whole earth." – Ibid., page 8.
NOTE --- "…God's people will then have but one shepherd. This, of course, cannot be Christ Himself, for Inspiration never calls Him David, but rather It calls Him the Son of David." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 14, 15.
"As ancient David is in his grave, the king here promised must be an antitypical David... " – Tract No. 9, page 43.
"David the visible king and Christ the invisible King of kings shall 'in that day' – in our time – constitute the 'ensign,' ('... a root of Jesse [the rod (David) and (Christ) the Branch... shall stand for an ensign... ' 9 Tr. 45) and to it shall the Gentiles seek... '... Thus His church, or kingdom, is again... a theocracy of peace, safety and invincibility, under the rule of one shepherd and a king – David, His servant." – Tract No. 8, page 47.
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MEMORY GEM: "For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her." – Zech. 2:5.
STUDY AIM: To show what is to happen to all those who would try to overthrow the kingdom of peace which the Lord has promised to establish in our day.
INTRODUCTION: "Though many variously raise their voices against God's establishing 'the seed of Israel' as a righteous and holy nation free from sinners, they shall fail to overthrow the plans of Him Who 'giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: if those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; if heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord. ' Jer. 31:35-37. As the promises are made to Israel (the seed of Abraham), the original vine, which has been trodden down, this vine must therefore be raised up; then the penitent Gentiles by virtue of adoption in Christ, shall be grafted into it, and only thus become the planting of the Lord." – Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour, pages 81, 82.
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NOTE --- "... Inspiration Itself declares that in the day God judges the living, then those nations who go to the mountain (Kingdom church purified) of the Lord 'shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks' – they will go farming instead of spending their strength in war." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 5, page 6.
"scrapping vast stores of war implements they shall seek to go up to join the armies of the Lord, allowing Him to fight for them...' – 8 Tr. 20.
NOTE --- "These scriptures reveal two classes of people. One class shall flow into the church by great groups: Kings, and great army leaders who have been
Lesson 6, page 2
building destroying weapons and preparing for war. Now the gospel has conquered them. While they are joining the church they gather their war implements, beating them into plowshares and pruning hooks, 'Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.' Isa. 60:18. The other class, outside of the church, prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears. One people is preparing for translation, while the other is getting ready for conquest." – 1 S.R. p. 176.
"… there shall be feverish war preparations among those who refuse to awaken: hurling all into a super armament program, they turn even their farm implements into weapons of war against the kingdom of Christ – His church." – Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour, page 20.
NOTE --- "The wall which the Jews built around Jerusalem in Zechariah's day was of stone, but the one here predicted is to be 'of fire,' far superior, rendering absolute security to the inhabitants that are within. " – 1 T.G. 10:23.
NOTE --- "Mark that while He (the Lord) dwells in the midst of His people, 'many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day,' and that He will be unto them 'a wall of fire round about.' Here we are graphically reassured that 'in that day,' in the day that the Lord takes the reins in His Own hands and comes to dwell in the midst of the city, His presence, His marvelous chariot, shall be a protection round about His people!" – Tract No. 1, page 40.
NOTE --- "... the Lord is to fight against all those who fight against Jerusalem. And now... we are told of the means which the Lord will employ in that warfare… a plague.... Besides the plague, there shall be a great tumult – a confusion and excitement that will turn every man against his neighbor. Thus shall the Lord defeat the enemies of His people.... During this conflict of the nations, the Kingdom of Judah is to be restored. She also shall fight at Jerusalem, and shall gather to herself the wealth of the heathen.... The plague falls on both man and beast that are found in the tents of the unbelieving.... This... Scripture emphatically implies that all who at that decisive moment refuse to be converted to the Lord, shall perish; only those who worship the Lord at Jerusalem... shall be spared." – 1 T.G. 20:12, 13.
MEMORY GEM: 'Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord." – Eze. 36:37, 38.
STUDY AIM: To show that in the great day of final ingathering, those who will not heed the message from God and who refuse to pay Him homage by coming up to worship Him in Jerusalem, will reap the results of their rebellion and will ultimately perish.
INTRODUCTION: "… with the establishment of the Kingdom of Judah commences the sifting of the nations. It must be that we are on the verge of witnessing the fulfillment of these prophecies else the Scroll would not have been unrolled so far as to unseal them at this time – certainly not if the Spirit of Truth alone leads into all Truth, and if the Lord gives 'meat in due season'." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 20, page 15.
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NOTE --- "In the seventh month came the Feast of Tabernacles, or of ingathering. This feast acknowledged God's bounty in the products of the orchard, the olive grove, and the vineyard. It was the crowning festal gathering of the year. The land had yielded its increase, the harvests had been gathered into the granaries, the fruits, the oil, and the wine had been stored, the first-fruits had been reserved, and now the people came with their tributes of thanksgiving to God, who had thus richly blessed them. This feast was to be-pre-eminently an occasion of rejoicing. It occurred just after the great day of atonement, when the assurance had been given that their iniquity should be remembered no more. At peace with God, they now came before him to acknowledge his goodness, and to praise him for his mercy." – Patriarchs and Prophets, page 540.
"The Feast of Tabernacles was commemorative ('of their pilgrim life in the wilderness' – P.P. 540) of the time when Israel lived in tents in the wilderness during their 40 years of wandering." – SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, pages 805, 806.
Lesson 7, page 2
AT JERUSALEM IN GOD'S SOON COMING KINGDOM? Zech, 14:16, 17.
NOTE --- "The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative, but typical.... It celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering'… a spiritual harvest of first and second fruits… climaxed by the antitypical Feast of Tabernacles." – 3 Tr. 81, 82.
"… It was prophetic of the time when the great ingathering of God's people shall take place, and 'many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 8:11)." – SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, page 805.
NOTE --- "... all who at that decisive moment refuse to be converted to the Lord, shall perish; only those who worship the Lord at Jerusalem on the feast of tabernacles. shall be spared.... The 'rain' will be withheld from all who do not then worship the King, the Lord of hosts, in order that they may fully realize their mistake. Moreover, not only those who shall fight against Jerusalem, but even all the families of the earth shall be thus sifted…. If the drought fails to awaken them, then the plague will finally take them. Thus all who have not heard the message will be given opportunity to hear it. If it cannot save them it will eventually destroy them. Now we see that this event (the Lord's standing on the mount and the saints' fleeing to the valley) is not only pre-millennial, but even pre-probationary; that it commences the re-establishment of the house of Judah; that it prepares the way for lightening the earth with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1); that it is eventually to bring the end of sinners.... Again we see the necessity of forsaking our preconceptions of the final work of the gospel. No, the Lord will not drop upon the world like a bolt from the sky. He will first magnify His Word, His power, His righteousness and His church or people. He is also to have, as it were, an ark of safety into which to gather His elect and shield them. All these facts, you see, are vividly borne out in this prophecy." – Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 20, pages 13, 14. (paren. theirs)
SPECIAL NOTE --- "Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles, -- a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them." Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 540, 541.
"Plainly, therefore, since the first and the second fruits of the literal harvest and its attendant rites foreshadowed a spiritual harvest a first and second fruits, they are to be climaxed by the antitypical Feast of Tabernacles." – 3 Tr. 82.
MEMORY GEM: "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." – Isa. 1:19.
STUDY AIM: To picture God's people at the time they give the Loud Cry to the world, and to see what is to happen to those who refuse to worship and obey God at that time.
INTRODUCTION: "… we have learned that the promises contained in Zechariah's prophecy are to be fulfilled in our day, and that very shortly wonderful things are to happen; that at one time the Lord had to forsake Jerusalem and scatter His people throughout the world, but now He is to return and gather His elect from the four corners of the earth; that Jerusalem is to be called a city of Truth and of joy – no fear, no accidents, no sorrow there; that God's people are to enjoy peace and prosperity; that they are to speak well of everyone... that God's Truth is to expand rapidly: at first one individual speaking the Truth to another; then one city communicating It to another city; finally one strong nation is to invite another nation to join the Lord... these promises do seem incredible and even fantastic. But the more they so appear, the brighter the prospect, for God does not do what seems possible to man, but He does the things that seem altogether impossible to them.... Therefore, 'let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words' of the Lord." - T.G., Vol. 1, #16:30, 31.
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NOTE --- "These verses expressly declare that the church will be 'as God, as the angel of the Lord before them,' during the time of trouble, when the nations shall gather against her, and the Lord in vengeance shall then smite them. Probation still lingering while this sequence of events takes place, 'all they that sacrifice' (an act which is performed before the close of probation) shall therefore be holy.... 'Only those,' says the Spirit of Prophecy, 'who have withstood and overcome temptation through the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming this message when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.' – Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908." – Tract No 8: 31, 32.
Lesson 8, page 2
NOTE --- "As symbols to illustrate various lessons. HORSES are quite prominently employed in the Scriptures, being in every instance perfectly adapted, of course, to the circumstances or situation. In this connection, they represent people... " Tract No. 2, page 24. "Unmistakably, therefore, the 'army' of 'horses' is figurative of the workers who proclaim the final message... preachers, those who sound 'THE BELLS' (voices – 1 T.G. 20:14) – the alarm of warning, the message of salvation." – Tract No. 5, page 90.
" 'The remnant of Israel [the 144, 0001 shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. ' (Zeph. 3:13.) 'In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses (those that carry the gospel] holiness unto the Lord; and the pots [in whose possession is the truth] in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar [pure and undefiled]. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem [the church] and in Judah [the leading part of the church] shall be holiness unto he Lord of hosts; and all they that sacrifice [offering] shall come and take of them, and seeth therein [they who administer in sacred things], and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite [unconverted] in the house of the Lord of hosts. ' (Zech. 14:20, 21.)" Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 265. (parentheses and brackets belong to quote)
NOTE --- "A kingdom of both believers and unbelievers would be none the better than the kingdoms of today. It would, in fact, be nothing more than a Babylon, nothing more than 'the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.' Rev. 18:2. To work for such a hope is to take a long step toward bringing in Satan's 'powerful delusion,' counterfeiting Christ in a counterfeit kingdom." – Tract No. 9, page 66.
"God executes justice upon the wicked, for the good of the universe, and even for the good of those upon whom His judgments are visited. He would make them happy if He could do so in accordance with the laws of His government and the justice of His character. He surrounds them with the tokens of His love, He grants them a knowledge of His law, and follows them with the offers of His mercy; but they despise His love, make void His law, and reject His mercy.... Will He force them to do His will? Those who have chosen Satan as their leader and have been controlled by his power are not prepared to enter the presence of God." – Great Controversy, pages 541, 542.
THE MAIL BAG
Excerpts from Letters
I wish to know about the truth that is revelated unto you. By my Brother ______ I know a little bit about this. I am very sad because I wish to know more. I believe this is from God. I don't know English. I wish you to send me the answer in Spanish. Pray for me, I'm praying for you. Your Brethren by faith of our Jesus Christ.
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I be one of grateful happiness fellow, whenever I receive from you, a delightful, wonderful message through the spiritual faith of our Lord. I feel very thankful indeed for your useful help to us. Still, I extend my heartfelt greetings in the name of our Jesus Christ, to reach you, and whoever this simple conveyance come to, as my brother fellows. I dignify to write and ask your assistance, to send me the more magazines in the above address. If in case you will not mind sending them to me, I shall definitely wait from you in all respect delivery of anxiety…. Yours in Christ.
Kenya, East Africa
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Through a friend I was allowed to see a copy of "The Star and the Trumpet" dated April 1968. I was much beholden by this publication to the point where my friend allowed me to make a photocopy of it. I wonder if it would be possible to get about 7 copies of this outstanding publication which I could give to others? Yours very truly,
We received your letter last Wednesday and was longing for it. We are in step with the new light. But sorry to know that we can send no money internationally for our Government does not permit it till now, but it is here saved our first and second tithe, May God bless you in his work is our prayer. Lovingly,
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I obtained your Denomination Name and address from "The Sabbath Handbook". I have been interested in the study of the Seventh day Sabbath for some time, and would very much like to know your views on this subject. Also, if you have any information available, concerning your history and beliefs. I am sure I would find them of spiritual interest. I would appreciate very much your views on the prophecies of Ezekiel, Daniel and the Revelation. A list of your publications would be most welcomed. Thanking you in anticipation of your kind consideration. I remain Sirs, yours sincerely,
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Dear Brother Roden,
May the Lord bless you, and those of like faith. I must say first, thanks for many of the literature you have sent me, it make me wise unto salvation. I did not send any letter to you before, because I was trying to find out your foundation. One brother _____ told me that your foundation is not sound... that I must be careful in studying your papers, I said I must prove all things and hold fast to that is good. He also said he got Branch Sabbath School lessons from you and he gave me one.... Dear Brother Roden here in Trinidad... the people baptize in church and not in Christ, once I were so, but not now. I have been separated from the church two years now because I stand for truth…. Thank God He sent light, and I grasp it. Here we have ___ members and myself who are standing for truth. Please send me Branch Sabbath School Lessons for these names ____________. Yours truly,
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All that remains of the ancient temple destroyed in 70 A. D., the wailing wall, situated in the old city of Jerusalem and now in Jewish hands for the time in 1900 years. The map shows the size of Israel both before and after the six-day war of 1967.
On March 22 and 23, Purim, the Festival of Deliverance, was joyfully celebrated by the residents of Mt. Carmel. The story of Esther, coupled with the prophecy of the deliverance of God's people from the death decree of Rev. 13, was presented in beautiful costumes and settings by the Branch Elementary and Junior High School students and teachers, for the benefit of some 30 visitors as well as the residents of Mt. Carmel.
During the past few weeks, students and residents have been engaged in a "Mt. Carmel beautification program." This includes planting some 200 fruit trees throughout the village. We are thankful the Lord has presented this opportunity for our young people to learn how to become orchardists, planning ahead for the time when Mt. Carmel will be strictly self-supporting and able to provide food for our believers who, if the time comes while here, cannot buy or sell.
We are happy to announce that with this issue of the Sabbath School Lessons the newly acquired off-set press has been used. Costly printing, previously done downtown, is no longer necessary and we are thankful for the change and trust everyone else is too.
G.C. AND CAMP MEETINGS:
With summer and camp-meeting time here, I urge all to make a special effort this year to reach our Laodicean and Davidian brethren with the Branch message. New tracts are being printed for General Conference and camp meeting use and all who are able to give them out should write the office as soon as possible designating how many are needed. Names and addresses of those interested in the message may be sent to the office.
Emphases and parentheses used throughout the Sabbath School Lessons are ours unless otherwise stated after the references.
CONVOCATIONS FOR THE YEAR
NEW MOON...............................APRIL 7, beginning sundown APRIL 6
PASSOVER – Lord's Supper.........................................APRIL 20
FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.......................APRIL 21 through APRIL 27
NEW MOON...................................MAY 7, beginning sundown MAY 6
SECOND PASSOVER.....................................MAY 21 through MAY 27
NEW MOON.................................JUNE 5, beginning sundown JUNE 4
PENTECOST..............................JUNE 14, beginning sundown JUNE 13
NEW MOON.................................JULY 5, beginning sundown JULY 4
NEW MOON.................................AUG. 3, beginning sundown AUG. 2
NEW MOON...............................SEPT. 2, beginning sundown SEPT. 1
FEAST OF TRUMPETS......................OCT. 1, beginning sundown SEPT. 30
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These Lessons, which cost you nothing, are of priceless worth to you. Read and keep them in your library, for the time will surely come when you will be thankful that you have preserved your copies. If you wish to give any away to your Adventist or Davidian friends, you can order extra copies or send their names and addresses for our mailing list.
Those already receiving bundles of Sabbath School Lessons for distribution or group study and who still wish to receive extra copies should notify the office as soon as possible. Beginning with Volume 5, only those who order anew will receive more than an individual copy of the Lessons. The ever-increasing demand for Lessons from interested ones the world over make this necessary. That no one be disappointed through shortage of Lessons, we will appreciate your cooperation in this matter, and will be able to plan ahead the number of copies needed. Thank you.