January 30, 2005 – February 5, 2005
“Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:11, 12, RSV.
Suggested Reading: Testimonies, vol. 6, 14–22; Selected Messages, Book 1, 401–405.
“The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a striking similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time.
“No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation.” The Great Controversy, 343.
comment: We are nearing the time of the latter rain, the final warning, and the close of probation. These important movements of the present time and immediate future have their parallel in those of the past. In this next series of studies, we want to study the trials and attitudes of the first advent movement as they have a counterpart in the second advent movement. It is the objective of these studies to help God’s people to be prepared for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain and to stand faithful during the time of trouble.
1 What did Jesus say to the disciples in the upper room concerning their understanding of His life and ministry? John 16:12. See also Mark 4:33.
note: “Before His crucifixion the Saviour explained to His disciples that He was to be put to death and to rise again from the tomb [on the third day], and angels were present to impress His words on minds and hearts. But the disciples were looking for temporal deliverance from the Roman yoke, and they could not tolerate the thought that He in whom all their hopes centered should suffer an ignominious death. The words which they needed to remember were banished from their minds; and when the time of trial came, it found them unprepared. The death of Jesus as fully destroyed their hopes as if He had not forewarned them.” The Great Controversy, 594.
“Were Jesus with us today, He would say to us as He did to His disciples, ‘I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now’ (John 16:12). Jesus longed to open before the minds of His disciples deep and living truths, but their earthliness, their clouded, deficient comprehension made it impossible.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 403.
2 Following His crucifixion, what did Jesus say about the disciples’ understanding of the events that had taken place? Luke 24:25–27, 44, 45.
note: “After the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ, His disciples listened with wonder and amazement to His lessons of truth; for they seemed as new ideas to them; but He told them, ‘These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you. . . . Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures’ (Luke 24:44, 45). The truth is constantly unfolding and presenting new features to different minds. All who dig in the mines of truth, will constantly discover rich and precious gems. We are anxious that all who claim to believe the truth now open before us, and especially those who take the responsibility of teaching the truth to others, should have a clearer conception themselves of the all-important significance of the themes of the Bible.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 404.
3 What does God say about the understanding of the people in the second advent movement concerning the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan? (See reference below.)
note: “So in the prophecies the future is opened before us as plainly as it was opened to the disciples by the words of Christ. The events connected with the close of probation and the work of preparation for the time of trouble, are clearly presented. But multitudes have no more understanding of these important truths than if they had never been revealed. Satan watches to catch away every impression that would make them wise unto salvation, and the time of trouble will find them unready.
“When God sends to men warnings so important that they are represented as proclaimed by holy angels flying in the midst of heaven, He requires every person endowed with reasoning powers to heed the message.” The Great Controversy, 594.
4 What does the Spirit of Prophecy say regarding the attitudes of the people at the time of Christ and those of the people just before His Second Coming?
note: “We want to understand the time in which we live. We do not half understand it. We do not half take it in. My heart trembles in me when I think of what a foe we have to meet, and how poorly we are prepared to meet him. The trials of the children of Israel, and their attitude just before the first coming of Christ have been presented before me again and again to illustrate the position of the people of God in their experience before the second coming of Christ—how the enemy sought every occasion to take control of the minds of the Jews, and today he is seeking to blind the minds of God’s servants, that they may not be able to discern the precious truth.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 406.
5 What does Paul say about the experiences of the past and their purpose? 1 Corinthians 10:11–13? See also Romans 15:4, 5.
note: “To a people in whose hearts His law is written, the favor of God is assured. They are one with Him. But the Jews had separated themselves from God. Because of their sins they were suffering under His judgments. This was the cause of their bondage to a heathen nation. Their minds were darkened by transgression, and because in times past the Lord had shown them so great favor, they excused their sins. They flattered themselves that they were better than other men, and entitled to His blessings.
“These things ‘are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.’ 1 Corinthians 10:11. How often we misinterpret God’s blessings, and flatter ourselves that we are favored on account of some goodness in us! God cannot do for us that which He longs to do. His gifts are used to increase our self-satisfaction, and to harden our hearts in unbelief and sin.” The Desire of Ages, 106.
6 What is an important standard that Jesus has set for His people? John 17:20–23. See also Acts 2:1.
note: “If we draw nigh to God, individually, then don’t you see what the result will be? Can’t you see that we will draw nigh to one another? We cannot draw nigh to God, and come to the same cross, without our hearts being blended together in perfect unity, answering the prayer of Christ ‘that they may be one’ as He is one with the Father. And therefore we should seek in spirit, in understanding, in faith, that we may be one, that God may be glorified in us as He is glorified in the Son; and that God shall love us as He loves the Son.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 937.
7 For what purpose is this unity required? John 17:21, last part, 23.
note: “The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. They drew nearer and nearer to God, and as they did this they realized what a privilege had been theirs in being permitted to associate so closely with Christ. . . .
“These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.” The Acts of the Apostles, 37.
8 What did Jesus do to announce the beginning of His ministry in the first advent? John 2:13–16.
note: “In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. . . . In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 161.
9 What is the counterpart in the second advent movement to the first cleansing of the temple? (See reference below.)
note: “ When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation.  Almost the last act of His ministry was to cleanse the temple again. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches;  the second angel’s message [Revelation 14:8], and  the voice heard in heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, . . . for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ (Revelation 18:4, 5).” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, vol. 2, 725, 726. [Emphasis supplied.]
comment: In this reference, the Spirit of Prophecy states that the second angel’s message is a counterpart to the first cleansing of the temple by Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. The second angel’s message was proclaimed in the summer of 1844. Thus we see that there was a cleansing of the second advent movement at its very beginning.
10 What did Jesus do at the close of His ministry? Matthew 21:12–16. See also Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45, 46.
note: “At the beginning of His ministry, Christ had driven from the temple those who defiled it by their unholy traffic; and His stern and godlike demeanor had struck terror to the hearts of the scheming traders. At the close of His mission He came again to the temple, and found it still desecrated as before. The condition of things was even worse than before. . . . The dignitaries of the temple were themselves engaged in buying and selling and the exchange of money. So completely were they controlled by their greed of gain that in the sight God they were no better than thieves.” The Desire of Ages, 589.
11 What counterpart to the second cleansing of the temple do we see in the following reference?
note: “ When Jesus began His public ministry, He cleansed the temple from its sacrilegious profanation.  Among the last acts of His ministry was the second cleansing of the temple. So in the last work for the warning of the world, two distinct calls are made to the churches.  The second angel’s message is, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ [Revelation 14:8.]  And in the loud cry of the third angel’s message, a voice is heard from heaven, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ [Revelation 18:4, 5.]” Review and Herald, December 6, 1892. [Emphasis supplied.]
comment: In the above two references, we are told that the second cleansing of the temple has its counterpart in the second advent movement in connection with the loud cry of the third angel. We know that the loud cry of the third angel’s message [Revelation 18:1–5] is the last message given to the world just before the close of probation. In future lessons, we will study the trials and attitudes of the people involved in the first and second advent movements that will help us to know and understand the times in which we live and to make the proper preparation for the latter rain.
12 Who only will stand in the last great conflict? Revelation 14:12.
note: “The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.
“Those who endeavor to obey all the commandments of God will be opposed and derided. They can stand only in God. In order to endure the trial before them, they must understand the will of God as revealed in His word; they can honor Him only as they have a right conception of His character, government, and purposes, and act in accordance with them. None but those who have fortified the mind with the truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict.” The Great Controversy, 593, 594.