September 22, 2013 – September 28, 2013
“These [the hundred and forty and four thousand] are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” Revelation 14:4.
Study Help: Early Writings, 36–38; Testimonies, vol. 5, 207–216.
“Those that overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, will be the favored ones who shall receive the seal of the living God.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 445.
1 PERFECT OVERCOMERS
- What evidence do we have that the sons of Jacob became completely different men from what they were in their early days of cruelty to their brother Joseph? Genesis 50:15–18.
Note: “During the years since Joseph had been separated from his brothers, these sons of Jacob had changed in character. Envious, turbulent, deceptive, cruel, and revengeful they had been; but now, when tested by adversity, they were shown to be unselfish, true to one another, devoted to their father and, themselves middle-aged men, subject to his authority.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 225.
“He [Jacob] saw in his sons evidence of true repentance; he saw his family surrounded by all the conditions needful for the development of a great nation; and his faith grasped the sure promise of their future establishment in Canaan.” Ibid., 233.
- How does the earthly life of Jesus give us a flawless example of perfect submission to the will of our heavenly Father? John 8:29; 14:30.
Note: “There was in Him [Christ] nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us.” The Desire of Ages, 123.
2 SIGNIFICANT FRUITS
- Name some outstanding characteristics of the overcomers in the last days. Zephaniah 3:13; Revelation 14:5, 12; 12:17.
Note: “A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish. Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for our redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first and last and best in everything. But this union costs us something. It is a union of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud being. All who form this union must feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ. They must have a change of heart. They must submit their own will to the will of God. There will be a struggle with outward and internal obstacles. There must be a painful work of detachment as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness—sin in all its forms—must be overcome if we would enter into a union with Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 231.
- How are we to cultivate these noble traits of character? John 8:12; 16:13, first part; 17:17.
Note: “Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth—these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 216.
- Describe the mental outlook necessary to be total overcomers. Philippians 2:1–8; II Peter 3:11, 14.
- What will be the reward of these overcomers? Psalm 37:11.
Note: “Many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary through the time of trouble. Those who receive the seal of the living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully.” Early Writings, 71.
3 THE SEAL OF GOD
- Explain the work of the sealing angel before the seven last plagues will be poured out. Ezekiel 9:4–6; Revelation 7:1–3.
Note: “I saw an angel with a commission from Jesus, swiftly flying to the four angels who had a work to do on the earth, and waving something up and down in his hand, and crying with a loud voice, ‘Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold! until the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads.’ ” [Author’s italics.] Early Writings, 38.
“The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 505.
- What are some key points to realize when one considers the seal of God? Exodus 20:8–11; Leviticus 20:7; Ezekiel 20:12.
Note: “What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption.
“The angel with the writer’s ink horn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel follows this angel.
“Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved—just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1161.
“Those who trample upon God’s authority, and show open contempt to the law given in such grandeur at Sinai, virtually despise the Lawgiver, the great Jehovah. …
“By transgressing the law which God had given in such majesty, and amid glory which was unapproachable, the people showed open contempt of the great Lawgiver, and death was the penalty.” Ibid., 1162.
4 FEW TO QUALIFY
- Explain the spiritual depth of the seal of God, and why it is essential that believers in the third angel’s message understand its true significance. Psalm 24:3–5; Matthew 5:8; Hebrews 12:14.
Note: “Let church members bear in mind that the fact that their names are registered on the church books will not save them. They must show themselves approved of God, workmen that need not be ashamed. Day by day they are to build their characters in accordance with Christ’s directions. They are to abide in Him, constantly exercising faith in Him. Thus they will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ—wholesome, cheerful, grateful Christians, led by God into clearer and still clearer light. If this is not their experience, they will be among those whose voices will one day be raised in the bitter lamentation: ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved! Why did I not flee to the Stronghold for refuge? Why have I trifled with my soul’s salvation, and done despite to the Spirit of grace’ (Jeremiah 8:20.)?” Testimonies, vol. 9, 48.
“The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts.” Ibid., vol. 5, 216.
- When did the sealing begin, and how many will receive the seal of the living God? Revelation 7:4; 14:1, 9–12. What is the “covering,” “shelter,” or “protection” that we must have for the time of trouble?
Note: “The enemies of the present truth have been trying to open the door of the holy place, that Jesus has shut, and to close the door of the most holy place, which He opened in 1844, where the ark is, containing the two tables of stone on which are written the ten commandments by the finger of Jehovah.
“Satan is now using every device in this sealing time to keep the minds of God’s people from the present truth and to cause them to waver. I saw a covering that God was drawing over His people to protect them in the time of trouble.” Early Writings, 43. [Written in 1849.]
5 THE ULTIMATE VICTORY
- What privilege belongs to the faithful souls described in Revelation 14:13? How do we know that Sister White and many others who have fallen asleep in Jesus will be among the 144,000 who are alive at His coming? Daniel 12:1, 2.
Note: “As he [the prophet John] looked with intense interest he beheld the company of God’s commandment-keeping people. They had upon their foreheads the seal of the living God, and he said: [Revelation 14:12, 13 quoted].” Testimonies, vol. 6, 15.
“I may live until the coming of the Lord; but if I should not, I trust it may be said of me: ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them’ (Revelation 14:13).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 55, 56.
“The graves were opened, and those who had died in faith under the third angel’s message, keeping the Sabbath, came forth from their dusty beds, glorified, to hear the covenant of peace that God was to make with those who had kept His law.” Early Writings, 285.
“The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people.” The Great Controversy, 640.
“The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice.” Early Writings, 15.
- What is the significance of the song sung by the 144,000 sealed saints? Revelation 14:2–4; 15:2, 3.
Note: “They [the company of them who were redeemed from among them] sing ‘a new song’ (Revelation 14:3) before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb—a song of deliverance.” The Great Controversy, 648, 649.
“Let us strive with all the power that God has given us to be among the hundred and forty-four thousand.” The Review and Herald, March 9, 1905.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Explain the depth of genuine union with Christ.
2 Why is it so important to receive the seal of God?
3 Why do the 144,000 have the joy of singing a unique song?
© 2007 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.