Bible Study Guides – “Ye Shall Afflict Your Souls”

February 27- March 4, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.

STUDY HELP: Great Controversy, 423–431.

INTRODUCTION: “Says the prophet: ‘Who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.’ Malachi 3:2, 3. 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. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing.” Great Controversy, 425.

“The Wonderful Numberer”

1 What prophecy explained the time of the beginning of Christ’s closing work as our High Priest? Daniel 8:13, 14.

NOTE: “Who were these heavenly conversationalists? ‘A certain holy one,’ the questioner was identified as Gabriel. [verse 16] The Other, designated ‘one holy Palmoni’ [see margin] ordered, ‘Gabriel, make Daniel understand.’ The Person was called Palmoni—‘Wonderful’ or ‘Numberer of Secrets.’ This name is formed from two words, pele and mene. Pele indicates things that are extraordinary or miraculous, including God’s wonderful dealings with His people. It is a name of God. Isaiah 9:6. Mene means to tally. Daniel 5: 26.…The meticulous accuracy of the ‘seventy sevens of years’ and the ‘cleansing of the Sanctuary 2300’ and other time lines in Daniel display the precision of the Divine Chronologer. He is the Scorekeeper, Judge and Timekeeper of eternity.” Leslie Hardinge, Jesus is My Judge, 173.
(See also The Faith I Live By, 208.)

2 What work took place when the sanctuary was cleansed? Leviticus 16. (See especially verses 19, 30.)

NOTE: “In the typical system, which was a shadow of the sacrifice and priesthood of Christ, the cleansing of the sanctuary was the last service performed by the high priest in the yearly round of ministration. It was the closing work of the atonement—a removal or putting away of sin from Israel. It prefigured the closing work in the ministration of our High Priest in heaven, in the removal or blotting out of the sins of His people, which are registered in the heavenly records. This service involves a work of investigation, a work of judgment; and it immediately precedes the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; for when He comes, every case has been decided.” Great Controversy, 352.

“The Lord Shall Suddenly Come to His Temple”

3 What distinction does Paul make between the continual ministry of the priests and the Day of Atonement ministry of the high priest? Hebrews 9:6, 7.

NOTE: “The coming of Christ as our High Priest to the most holy place, for the cleansing of the sanctuary, brought to view in Daniel 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days, as presented in Daniel 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the Bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25. The cleansing of the sanctuary…involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works.’” The Faith I Live By, 207. (See also Patriarchs & Prophets, 426.)

4 How does Malachi picture the work of our great High Priest? Malachi 3:1–6.

NOTE: “The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross.…Through defects in the character, Satan works to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome. But Jesus pleads in their behalf His wounded hands, His bruised body; and He declares
to all who would follow Him: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9.…Let none, then, regard their defects as incurable. God will give faith and grace to overcome them.” God’s Amazing Grace, 69.

“Ye Shall Afflict Your Souls”

5 In the earthly sanctuary, what part did the people play in the work of atonement? Leviticus 16:29–31; Leviticus 23:27, 32.

NOTE: “We are now living in the great Day of Atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the Book of Life should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.” Great Controversy, 489, 490.

6 What choice is placed before all those who live in the time of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary? Leviticus 23:27–29, Revelation 3:5.

NOTE: “As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the Book of Life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the Book of God’s Remembrance. All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven. As they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life.” The Faith I Live By, 212. (See also Faith and Works, 75.)

“Five of Them Were Wise and Five Were Foolish”

7 What two groups were found among those who await the coming of Christ? Matthew 25:1–3.

NOTE: See Christ’s Object Lessons, 406–411.

8 How does the Bible describe the two groups within the church? Matthew 13:24–30.

NOTE: “Before the throne was the Advent people, the church, and the world. I saw a company bowed down before the throne, deeply interested while most of them stood up disinterested and careless. Those who were bowed before the throne would offer up their prayers and look to Jesus, then He would look to His Father and appeared to be pleading with Him.…Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light. Many came out from under it and immediately resisted it. Others were careless and did not cherish the light and it moved off from them. Some cherished it and went and bowed down before the throne with the little praying company. This company all received the light, and rejoiced in it as their countenances shone with its glory. Then I saw the Father rise from the throne and in a flaming chariot go into the Holy of Holies within the veil, and did sit.…Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and most of those who were bowed down rose up with Him. And I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He rose up, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who rose up when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne.…We heard His lovely voice saying, wait ye, I am going to My Father to receive the Kingdom. Keep your garments spotless and in a little while I will return from the wedding, and receive you to Myself.…Then I beheld Jesus as He was before the Father a great High Priest.…And I saw those who rose up with Jesus send up their faith to Jesus in the Holiest, and praying, ‘Father give us Thy spirit.’ Then Jesus would breathe on them the Holy Ghost. In the breath was light, power and much love, joy and peace. Then I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne. They did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne and pray, ‘My Father give us Thy spirit. “Then Satan would breathe on them an unholy influence. In it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children. I saw one after another leave the company who were praying to Jesus in the Holiest, go and join those before the throne and they at once received the unholy influence of Satan.” Day Star, March 14, 1846.

9 What response will the Lord make to the foolish virgins? Matthew 25:11, 12. (See also Matthew 7:21–27.)

NOTE: “These may profess to be followers of Christ, but they have lost sight of their Leader. They may say, ‘Lord, Lord’; they may point to the sick who are healed through them, and to other marvelous works, and claim that they have more of the Spirit and power of God than is manifested by those who keep His law. But their works are done under the supervision of the enemy of righteousness, whose aim it is to deceive souls, and are designed to lead away from obedience, truth, and duty. In the near future there will be still more marked manifestations of this miracle-working power; for it is said of him, ‘And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.’ We are surprised to see so many ready to accept these great pretensions as the genuine work of the Spirit of God; but those who look to wonderful works merely, and are guided by impulse and impressions, will be deceived.” A New Life, 56.

“Who Shall be Able to Stand?”

10 What searching question will be asked of mankind at the last day? Revelation 6:17.

NOTE: “A terrible doom awaits the sinner, and therefore it is necessary that we know what sin is, in order that we may escape from its power. John says, ‘Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law’ 1 John 3:4. Here we have the true definition of sin; it is ‘the transgression of the law.’ How often the sinner is urged to leave his sins, and come to Jesus; but has the messenger who would lead him to Christ clearly pointed out the way? Has he clearly pointed out the fact that ‘sin is the transgression of the law,’ and that he must repent and forsake the breaking of God’s Commandments? God could not alter one jot or tittle of His holy law to meet man in his fallen condition; for this would reflect discredit upon the wisdom of God in making a law by which to govern heaven and earth. But God could give His only-begotten Son to become man’s Substitute and Surety, to suffer the penalty that was merited by the transgressor, and to impart to the repentant soul His perfect righteousness. Christ became the sinless sacrifice for a guilty race, making men prisoners of hope, so that through repentance toward God because they had broken His holy law, and through faith in Christ as their Substitute, Surety, and righteousness, they might be brought back to loyalty to God and to obedience to His holy law.” Faith and Works, 117.

11 What principles will God employ in the judgment? Matthew 7:1–5, Romans 14:10, Matthew 6:14, 15.

NOTE: “We are not forgiven because we forgive, but as we forgive. The ground of all forgiveness is found in the unmerited love of God, but by our attitude toward others we show whether we have made that love our own. Wherefore Christ says, ‘With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.’” Matthew 7:2. Christ’s Object Lessons, 251. (See also Christ’s Object Lessons, 247.)

12 Who are the ones who may have boldness in the day of judgment? 1 John 4:15–21.

NOTE: “We have the Judgment in view. Men and women will want strength that is greater than any human aid to lean upon. They must lean upon the mighty arm of Jehovah. We have in view that day when the works of men are to be tried, and tested; and we want you to get ready. We make appeals to you, in the name of our Master, to get ready. We make appeals to you to rid yourselves of the pride of the world, the pride, and vanity, and folly of life. Jesus loves you. Jesus pities you. The angelic host He sends to minister unto you. And now, while all Heaven is interested for you, will you be interested for yourselves? Will you begin to seek God earnestly for your own salvation? Will you work it out with fear and trembling? Will you be careful how you step before God? Will you have the approbation of Him whose arm moves the universe? Give me the smiles of God, and the approving glance of my Redeemer, and I will give you the whole world besides. Let me have one word of approbation from Jesus, and it is enough. I love Him, for in Him my hopes of everlasting life are centered. I love His word and His requirements. I love to do His will. And only let me know what my duty is, and I am ready to perform. It is my meat and drink.” Review and Herald, August 17, 1869.

“We have reason ever to thank God that He knows all the storms, disappointments, and trials that come upon His people. He follows them through every experience, with tender, pitying love, and expresses His desire to heal our wounds, and restore unto us the joy of His salvation. Jesus has said, ‘He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’ There is but one channel of light, but that is always accessible to us, and through that channel flow streams of forgiveness and love. The streams of God’s mercy can cleanse the darkest stain, bring peace to the greatest sinner.” Signs of the Times, August 28, 1893.