March 15, 2009 – March 21, 2009
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Isaiah 26:20.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 6, 404–410; Maranatha, 270–274.
“What are the chambers in which they [God’s people] are to hide? They are the protection of Christ and holy angels.” In Heavenly Places, 264.
1 How does Isaiah depict the condition of the earth in the final days? Isaiah 24:1–4.
Note: “The present is a time of overwhelming interest to all living. Rulers and statesmen, men who occupy positions of trust and authority, thinking men and women of all classes, have their attention fixed upon the events taking place about us. They are watching the relations that exist among the nations. They observe the intensity that is taking possession of every earthly element, and they recognize that something great and decisive is about to take place—that the world is on the verge of a stupendous crisis.
“The Bible, and the Bible only, gives a correct view of these things. Here are revealed the great final scenes in the history of our world, events that already are casting their shadows before, the sound of their approach causing the earth to tremble and men’s hearts to fail them for fear.” Prophets and Kings, 537.
2 What else does the prophet say about the scenes that will be witnessed in those days? Isaiah 24:17–21. What does Christ say on this point? Luke 21:26.
Note: “The whole earth appears like a desolate wilderness. The ruins of cities and villages destroyed by the earthquake, uprooted trees, ragged rocks thrown out by the sea or torn out of the earth itself, are scattered over its surface, while vast caverns mark the spot where the mountains have been rent from their foundations.” The Great Controversy, 657.
3 What is the cause of the fearful condition of the world in the last days? Isaiah 24:5. Whom will Satan blame?
Note: “The great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced.” The Great Controversy, 590.
4 What will happen to the multitudes who have rejected the present truth for these last days? Isaiah 26:21; 28:21.
Note: “The professed Christian world is advancing, as did the Jewish nation, from one degree of sinfulness to a greater degree, refusing warning after warning, and rejecting a Thus saith the Lord, while crediting the fables of men. The Lord God will soon arise in His wrath, and pour out His judgments upon those who are repeating the sins of the inhabitants of the Noachic world. Those whose hearts are fully set in them to do evil, as were the hearts of the inhabitants of Sodom, will like them be destroyed. The fact that God had long forbearance, patience and mercy, the fact that His judgments have been long delayed, will not make the punishment any less severe when it does come.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, 1144.
“There will be a law against the Sabbath of God’s creation, and then it is that God will do His ‘strange work’ in the earth. He has borne long with the perversity of the race; He has tried to win them to Himself. But the time will come when they shall have filled their measure of iniquity; and then it is that God will work. This time is almost reached. God keeps a record with the nations: the figures are swelling against them in the books of heaven; and when it shall have become a law that the transgression of the first day of the week shall be met with punishment, then their cup will be full.” Ibid., vol. 7, 910.
5 As trials and persecution thicken, what will the faithful be able to declare? Isaiah 25:1, 4.
Note: “The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants.” The Great Controversy, 629.
6 On what assurance can God’s people rely during the time of trouble, and on what conditions? Isaiah 33:15, 16.
Note: “If the saints had food laid up by them or in the field in the time of trouble, when sword, famine, and pestilence are in the land, it would be taken from them by violent hands and strangers would reap their fields. Then will be the time for us to trust wholly in God, and He will sustain us. …
“Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. … It is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down.” Early Writings, 56, 57.
7 What has God promised to His people for the time of trouble? Psalm 46:1–3; Jeremiah 30:7.
Note: “When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.
“The people of God—some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains—still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen.” The Great Controversy, 635.
8 What will be our only shelter in that time? Isaiah 26:20.
Note: “The great crisis is just before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require persevering faith. But we may triumph gloriously; not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the enemy. …
“The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 404.
9 For whom only will Christ’s return be the most joyous event, and why? Isaiah 25:8, 9.
Note: “Those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold Him, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.’ [Isaiah 25:9.] And they will be changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump,’ [I Corinthians 15:52] that wakes the sleeping saints, and calls them forth from their dusty beds, clothed with glorious immortality, shouting Victory! Victory! over death and the grave. The changed saints are caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, never more to be separated from the object of their love.
“To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and a familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen. In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and the glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.” Sons and Daughters of God, 360.
10 What will be the song of the redeemed, and why will they be qualified to sing that song? Isaiah 26:1, 2.
Note: “That which will make the character lovely in the home is that which will make it lovely in the heavenly mansions.
“If we manifest the character of Christ here, keeping all the commandments of God, we shall be cheered and blessed with glimpses of the pleasant home in the mansions Jesus has gone to prepare.” The Faith I Live By, 279.
“The Lord has shown me that great interest should be taken by Sabbathkeepers to keep up their meetings and make them interesting. There is great necessity of more interest and energy being manifested in this direction. All should have something to say for the Lord, for by so doing they will be blest. A book of remembrance is written of those who do not forsake the assembling of themselves together, but speak often one to another. The remnant are to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Some expect to overcome alone by the blood of the Lamb, without making any special effort of their own. I saw that God has been merciful in giving us the power of speech. He has given us a tongue, and we are accountable to Him for its use. We should glorify God with our mouth, speaking in honor of the truth and of His unbounded mercy, and overcome by the word of our testimony through the blood of the Lamb.
“We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of the Lord who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of God will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; all the time would be occupied by short, pointed testimonies and prayers. Ask, believe, and receive. There is too much mocking the Lord, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases God, too many vain, unmeaning petitions. First we should feel needy, and then ask God for the very things we need, believing that He gives them to us, even while we ask; and then our faith will grow, all will be edified, the weak will be strengthened, and the discouraged and desponding made to look up and believe that God is a rewarder of all those who diligently seek Him.
“Some hold back in meeting because they have nothing new to say and must repeat the same story if they speak. I saw that pride was at the bottom of this, that God and angels witnessed the testimonies of the saints and were well pleased and glorified by their being repeated weekly. The Lord loves simplicity and humility, but He is displeased and angels are grieved when professed heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus suffer precious time to run to waste in their meetings.
“If the brethren and sisters were in the place they should be, they would not be at a loss to find something to say in honor of Jesus, who hung upon Calvary’s cross for their sins. If they would cherish more of a realizing sense of the condescension of God in giving His only beloved Son to die a sacrifice for our sins and transgressions, and of the sufferings and anguish of Jesus to make a way of escape for guilty man, that he might receive pardon and live, they would be more ready to extol and magnify Jesus. They could not hold their peace, but with thankfulness and gratitude would talk of His glory and tell of His power. And blessings from God would rest upon them by so doing.” Early Writings, 114–116.