December 25, 2005 – December 31, 2005
“To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thessalonans 5:4.
Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 5, 212–216.
1 What are the true people of God referred to in comparison to the population of the world? Revelation 12:17. Compare Acts 1:12–15.
note: “In comparison with the millions of the world, God’s people will be, as they have ever been, a little flock; but if they stand for the truth as revealed in His word, God will be their refuge. They stand under the broad shield of Omnipotence. God is always a majority. When the sound of the last trump shall penetrate the prison house of the dead, and the righteous shall come forth with triumph, exclaiming, ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Corinthians 15:55)—standing then with God, with Christ, with the angels, and with the loyal and true of all ages, the children of God will be far in the majority.” The Acts of the Apostles, 590.
2 Why will only a small proportion of the people who profess to be depositaries of God’s law ultimately be saved? Zephaniah 3:7, 13. Compare Isaiah 10:20–22.
note: “In Jeremiah’s time, the Jews believed that the strict observance of the divinely appointed services of the temple would preserve them from the just punishment of their evil course.
“The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God’s law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God’s servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God’s people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 166, 167.
3 What experience do the true people of God pass through that prepares them to stand on the sea of glass before the great white throne? Malachi 3:2–4; Revelation 3:8–11.
note: “Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” The Great Controversy, 425.
4 How does Zechariah represent the condition of God’s people at this time, and how does the Lord intervene to help them? Zechariah 3:1–3.
note: “As the people of God afflict their souls before Him, pleading for purity of heart, the command is given, ‘Take away the filthy garments’ from them, and the encouraging words are spoken, ‘Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.’ [Zechariah 3:4.] The spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness is placed upon the tried, tempted, yet faithful children of God. The despised remnant are clothed in glorious apparel, nevermore to be defiled by the corruptions of the world. . . . And the remnant are not only pardoned and accepted, but honored. ‘A fair miter’ [verse 5] is set upon their heads. They are to be as kings and priests unto God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 475.
5 In the vision, what is Satan doing? Zechariah 3:1.
note: “Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 380.
6 On what condition are the people of God permitted to keep the robe of Christ’s righteousness? Zechariah 3:7.
note: “The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. 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, 266.
“I also saw that 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.
“I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of ‘refreshing’ and the ‘latter rain’ to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God.” Early Writings, 71.
“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, having the Father’s name written in their foreheads. They sing the new song before the throne, that song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. ‘These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.’ [Revelation 14:4.]” Lift Him Up, 377.
7 How are the 144,000 described in relationship to all of those who are redeemed? Revelation 14:4.
note: “ ‘These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.’ Revelation 14:4. The vision of the prophet pictures them as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven must first have followed Him on earth, not fretfully or capriciously, but in trustful, loving, willing obedience, as the flock follows the shepherd.” The Acts of the Apostles, 591.
8 How many who had gotten the victory over sin did John see in vision standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb? Revelation 7:9, 10.
note: “Nearest the throne are those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion. Next are those who perfected Christian characters in the midst of falsehood and infidelity, those who honored the law of God when the Christian world declared it void, and the millions, of all ages, who were martyred for their faith. And beyond is the ‘great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, . . . before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.’ Revelation 7:9. Their warfare is ended, their victory won. They have run the race and reached the prize. The palm branch in their hands is a symbol of their triumph, the white robe an emblem of the spotless righteousness of Christ which now is theirs.” The Great Controversy, 665.
9 What one requirement did all of the redeemed fulfill? Revelation 7:14.
note: “In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Matthew 22:11; Revelation 7:14. He who is found wanting is cast out, but all who upon examination are seen to have the wedding garment on are accepted of God and accounted worthy of a share in His kingdom and a seat upon His throne. This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative judgment, the closing of work in the sanctuary above.” The Great Controversy, 428.
10 Identify the similarities between Revelation 7:15–17 and 22:1–5. See if you can find seven similarities.
note: “In the City of God ‘there shall be no night.’ None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. ‘And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.’ Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.” The Great Controversy, 676.