December 16, 2007 – December 22, 2007
“And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Joel 2:32.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 467–476; Prophets and Kings, 582–592; Testimonies, vol. 1, 179–184; Early Writings, 269–273.
Jesus forewarned and forearmed the disciples and reminded them, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29. Ellen White comments, “They [the disciples] would say to one another: ‘He told us that this would come, and what we must do to meet it’” Testimonies, vol. 9, 235.
God has again spoken through the spirit of prophecy, and in so doing He has given to us in more minute detail a picture of the events of the last days. And the inspired message confirms the word of the Bible prophets and aids in a fuller and more complete understanding.
1 What experience will come, at the end of the time of trouble, to many of God’s people who sleep in their graves? Daniel 12:1, 2.
Note: “It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession…. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17.
“That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake…
“Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth . . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’ Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law.” The Great Controversy, 636, 637.
2 What do the New Testament writers foretell concerning the deceptive power of Satanic agencies? II Thessalonians 2:9, 10; II Corinthians 11:13–15; Revelation 16:13, 14.
Note: “Satan ‘works with all deceivableness of unrighteousness’ [II Thessalonians 2:10] to gain control of the children of men, and his deceptions will continually increase. …
“Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ [Genesis 3:4.] … Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. … Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.” The Great Controversy, 560–562.
3 What astounding development did the apostle Paul predict would take place in the religious world before the end? II Thessalonians 2:3, 4. Compare Revelation 13:3, 4, 8, 9.
Note: “The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. He declared that the day of Christ should not come, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ [II Thessalonians 2:3.]” The Great Controversy, 49.
“God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men… We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.” Ibid., 581.
4 What somber experience lies ahead for all of God’s faithful people? Revelation 3:10.
Note: “Just before us is ‘the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.’ Revelation 3:10. All whose faith is not firmly established upon the word of God will be deceived and overcome.” The Great Controversy, 560.
“We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.
“The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11.
5 What view is given of distressing troubles in the economic world? James 5:3–6.
Note: “There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 13.
6 What warning should restrain the child of God from entering into any confederacy with unbelievers? II Corinthians 6:14–18. Compare Isaiah 8:12.
Note: “Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave His place of intercession before the mercy seat and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 42.
“The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them. Because of these unions and confederacies, it will soon be very difficult for our institutions to carry on their work in the cities. My warning is: Keep out of the cities. Build no sanitariums in the cities. Educate our people to get out of the cities into the country, where they can obtain a small piece of land, and make a home for themselves and their children. …
“Erelong there will be such strife and confusion in the cities, that those who wish to leave them will not be able. We must be preparing for these issues. This is the light that is given me.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 142.
7 What counsel was given to the mother of Samson before the birth of the child? Judges 13:13, 7.
Note: “The effect of prenatal influences is by many parents looked upon as a matter of little moment; but heaven does not so regard it. The message sent by an angel of God, and twice given in the most solemn manner, shows it to be deserving of our most careful thought.” The Ministry of Healing, 372.
8 What far-reaching effects follow right dietary practices? Ecclesiastes 10:17.
Note: Of the nearly 2,000 pages comprising the five spirit of prophecy books devoted to health, a large proportion is devoted to diet, conveying to the reader the instruction given by God to Ellen White.
“The same sins that brought judgments upon the world in the days of Noah, exist in our day. Men and women now carry their eating and drinking so far that it ends in gluttony and drunkenness. This prevailing sin, the indulgence of perverted appetite, inflamed the passions of men in the days of Noah, and led to wide-spread corruption. Violence and sin reached to heaven. This moral pollution was finally swept from the earth by means of the flood. The same sins of gluttony and drunkenness benumbed the moral sensibilities of the inhabitants of Sodom, so that crime seemed to be the delight of the men and women of that wicked city. Christ thus warns the world: ‘Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.’ [Luke 17:28–30.]” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 11.
9 In Zechariah’s vision of Joshua and the angel, what did Satan do? What did the change of raiment signify? What promise was made to Joshua, the high priest? Zechariah 3:1–7.
Note: “Zechariah’s vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God’s people in the closing up of the great day of atonement. The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts…
“Satan urges before God his accusations against them, declaring that they have by their sins forfeited the divine protection, and claiming the right to destroy them as transgressors. He pronounces them just as deserving as himself of exclusion from the favor of God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 472, 473.
“All that have put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ.” Ibid., 471.
“While Satan was urging his accusations and seeking to destroy this company, holy angels, unseen, were passing to and fro, placing upon them the seal of the living God. These are they that stand upon Mount Zion with the Lamb.” Ibid., 475.
10 What question asked by Jesus suggests a condition that will exist in earth’s last days? Luke 18:8.
Note: “I [Ellen White] was shown the people of God, and saw them mightily shaken. Some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, were pleading with God. …
“Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud. …
“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God’s people.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 179–181.
11 What work will be finished before Christ comes? Matthew 24:14. Compare Matthew 28:19, 20.
Note: “The vineyard includes the whole world, and every part of it is to be worked. There are places which are now a moral wilderness, and these are to become as the garden of the Lord. The waste places of the earth are to be cultivated, that they may bud and blossom as the rose. New territories are to be worked by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. New churches must be established, new congregations organized. At this time there should be representatives of present truth in every city and in the remote parts of the earth. The whole earth is to be illuminated with the glory of God’s truth. The light is to shine to all lands and all peoples.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 24.
12 What words of the prophets apply to the church triumphant? Song of Solomon 6:10; Isaiah 60:1–5; Joel 2:32.
Note: “The church is to increase in activity and to enlarge her bounds. Our missionary efforts are to be expansive; we must enlarge our borders. . . . While there have been fierce contentions in the effort to maintain our distinctive character, yet we have as Bible Christians ever been on gaining ground.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 396, 397.
The Lord will bring His church through triumphantly:
“There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and He will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port…
“When you think that the work is in danger, pray, ‘Lord, stand at the wheel. Carry us through the perplexity. Bring us safely into port.’ Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly?” Ibid., 390, 391.
God will continue with His church even to the end:
“When in the night season I [Ellen White] am unable to sleep, I lift my heart in prayer to God, and He strengthens me and gives me the assurance that He is with His ministering servants in the home field and in distant lands. I am encouraged and blessed as I realize that the God of Israel is still guiding His people, and that He will continue to be with them, even to the end.” Ibid., 406.