December 19 – 25, 1999
MEMORY VERSE: ‘And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ Revelation 7: 13 – 14.
STUDY HELP: Last Day Events, pages 43 – 62.
‘To-day, as in the past, all heaven is watching to see the church develop in the true science of salvation. Christ has bought the church with His blood, and He longs to clothe her with salvation. He has made her the depository of sacred truth, and He wishes her to partake of His glory. But in order that the church may be an educating power in the world, she must co-operate with the church in heaven. Her members must represent Christ. Their hearts must be open to receive every ray of light that God may see fit to impart. As they receive this light, they will be enabled to receive and impart more and more of the rays of the Sun of Righteousness.’ Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, December 4th, 1900.
‘Put on the whole armour of God’
- How does Paul describe the warfare in which the church is engaged? Ephesians 6: 12.
NOTE: ‘The church is God’s fortress, His city of refuge, which He holds in a revolted world. Any betrayal of the church is treachery to Him who has bought mankind with the blood of His only-begotten Son. From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armour, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people.’ Acts of the Apostles, page 11.
- How is the individual Christian to be prepared for this warfare? Ephesians 6: 11, 13 – 18.
NOTE: ‘If we overcome our trials, and get victory over the temptations of Satan, then we endure the time of our faith, which is much more precious than gold, and are stronger, and better prepared to meet the next. But if we sink down, and give way to the temptations of Satan, we shall grow weaker, and get no reward for the trial, and shall not be so well prepared to meet the next. In this way we shall grow weaker, and weaker, until we are led captive by Satan at his will. We must have on the whole armour of God, and be ready at any moment, for a conflict with the powers of darkness. When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God, and agonise with Him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty; but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy. O, that all could see these things in their true light, and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus. Then would Israel move forward, strong in God, and in the power of His might.’ Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, September 9th, 1849.
‘The seal of the living God’
- Before the final catastrophe comes on the world, how will God show His recognition of His people? Revelation 7: 1 – 3.
NOTE: ‘Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads, it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved, just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come.’ Last Day Events, pages 219 – 220.
- How does Paul describe this shaking? Hebrews 12: 26 – 27.
NOTE: ‘The mighty shaking has commenced and will go on, and all will be shaken out who are not willing to take a bold and unyielding stand for the truth and to sacrifice for God and His cause. The angel said, “Think ye that any will be compelled to sacrifice? No, no. It must be a freewill offering. It will take all to buy the field.” I cried to God to spare His people, some of whom were fainting and dying. Then I saw that the judgements of the Almighty were speedily coming, and I begged of the angel to speak in his language to the people. Said he, “All the thunders and lightnings of Mount Sinai would not move those who will not be moved by the plain truths of the Word of God, neither would an angel’s message awake them.” Early Writings, page 50.
- What promise do God’s faithful people have that none of them will be lost in the shaking? Amos 9: 9.
NOTE: ‘Jesus and holy angels are bringing up and uniting God’s people into one faith, that they may all have one mind and one judgement. And while they are being brought into the unity of the faith, to see eye to eye upon the solemn, important truths for this time, Satan is at work to oppose their advancement. Jesus is at work through His instruments to gather and unite. Satan works through his instruments to scatter and divide. “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” God is now testing and proving His people. Character is being developed. Angels are weighing moral worth, and keeping a faithful record of all the acts of the children of men. Among God’s professed people are corrupt hearts; but they will be tested and proved. That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness where they are often least suspected, that stumbling blocks which have hindered the progress of truth may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes and judgements. The Captain of our salvation leads His people on step by step, purifying and fitting them for translation, and leaving in the rear those who are disposed to draw off from the body, who are not willing to be led, and are satisfied with their own righteousness.’ Testimonies Volume 1, pages 332 – 333.
‘There shall no evil befall thee’
- How is the final crisis described in the Book of Daniel and what precious promise is made to God’s people? Daniel 12: 1.
NOTE: ‘The “time of trouble, such as never was,” is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God. “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job” were in the land, “as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14:20.’ Great Controversy, page 622.
- How is that time described in the Book of Revelation? Revelation 16: 1 – 21.
NOTE: ‘When Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (Revelation 14:9, 10), will be poured out. The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgements which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of God’s people. Says the Revelator, in describing those terrific scourges: “There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.” The sea “became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” And “the rivers and fountains of waters . . . became blood.” Terrible as these inflictions are, God’s justice stands fully vindicated. The angel of God declares: “Thou art righteous, O Lord, . . . because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”’ Great Controversy, page 627.
- What precious promises will comfort God’s people during that fearful time? Psalm 91: 1 – 16.
NOTE: ‘The time of trouble is just before us; and then stern necessity will require the people of God to deny self, and to eat merely enough to sustain life; but God will prepare us for that time. In that fearful hour our necessity will be God’s opportunity to impart His strengthening power, and to sustain His people.’ Testimonies Volume 1, page 206.
‘The Lord has shown me repeatedly that it is contrary to the Bible to make any provision for our temporal wants in the time of trouble. I saw that 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. I saw that our bread and water will be sure at that time, and that we shall not lack or suffer hunger; for God is able to spread a table for us in the wilderness. If necessary, He would send ravens to feed us, as He did to feed Elijah, or rain manna from heaven, as He did for the Israelites.’ Early Writings, page 56.
- What counsel for our present life will prepare us for that time? Matthew 6: 25 – 34.
NOTE: ‘Much unnecessary care and anxiety is felt in regard to our future, concerning what we shall eat and drink, and wherewithal we shall be clothed… Our Saviour would not only have us discern the love of God displayed in the beautiful flowers about us, but He would have us learn from them lessons of simplicity, and of perfect faith and confidence in our Heavenly Father. If God cares to make these inanimate things so beautiful, that will be cut down and perish in a day, how much more careful will He be to supply the needs of His obedient children, whose lives may be as enduring as eternity.’ Pamphlet 69, page 17.
‘The Lord has shown me that some of His children would fear when they see the price of food rising and they would buy food and lay it by for the time of trouble. Then in a time of need, I saw them go to their food and look at it, and it had bred worms and was full of living creatures and not fit for use.’ Maranatha, page 181.
‘They which have come out of great tribulation’
- What vision was John given of those who will come through this great tribulation? Revelation 7: 9 – 17.
NOTE: ‘As in the days of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, so in the closing period of earth’s history the Lord will work mightily in behalf of those who stand steadfastly for the right. He who walked with the Hebrew worthies in the fiery furnace will be with His followers wherever they are. His abiding presence will comfort and sustain. In the midst of the time of trouble, trouble such as has not been since there was a nation, His chosen ones will stand unmoved. Satan with all the hosts of evil cannot destroy the weakest of God’s saints. Angels that excel in strength will protect them, and in their behalf Jehovah will reveal Himself as a “God of gods,” able to save to the uttermost those who have put their trust in Him.’ Prophets & Kings, page 513.
- When the whole world is united against the people of God, who will stand up for them? Daniel 12: 1.
NOTE: ‘In the time of trouble, Satan stirs up the wicked, and they encircle the people of God to destroy them. But he does not know that “pardon” has been written opposite their names in the books of heaven. He does not know that the command has been given, “Take away the filthy garments” from them, clothe them with “change of raiment,” and set “a fair mitre” upon their heads. [Zechariah 3: 1 – 5] The promise made to Joshua is made to all the remnant people of God: “If thou wilt walk in My ways [not in your own ways], and if thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” Who are these that stand by? They are the angels of God. Could our eyes be opened, as were those of the servant of Elisha at Dothan, we should see evil angels all around us, urging their presence upon us, and watching for an opportunity to tempt and overthrow us; we should also see holy angels guarding us, and with their light and power pressing back the evil angels.’ Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, November 19th, 1908.
‘So shall we ever be with the Lord’
- What precious promises will be fulfilled when Jesus returns? Isaiah 25: 8.
NOTE: ‘From garrets, from hovels, from dungeons, from scaffolds, from mountains and deserts, from the caves of the earth and the caverns of the sea, Christ will gather His children to Himself. On earth they have been destitute, afflicted, and tormented. Millions have gone down to the grave loaded with infamy because they refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By human tribunals the children of God have been adjudged the vilest criminals. But the day is near when “God is judge Himself.” (Psalm 50: 6). Then the decisions of earth shall be reversed. “The rebuke of His people shall He take away.” Isaiah 25: 8. White robes will be given to every one of them. (Revelation 6: 11.) And “they shall call them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord.” Isaiah 62: 12. Whatever crosses they have been called to bear, whatever losses they have sustained, whatever persecution they have suffered, even to the loss of their temporal life, the children of God are amply recompensed. “They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.” Revelation 22: 4.’ Christ’s Object Lessons, pages 179 – 180.
- What will be the cry of God’s people when they see Jesus coming? Isaiah 25: 9.
NOTE: ‘With pity and compassion, with tender yearning and love, the Lord is looking upon His tempted and tried people. For a time the oppressors will be permitted to triumph over those who keep God’s holy commandments. All are given the same opportunity that was granted to the first great rebel to reveal the spirit that moves them to action. It is God’s purpose that all shall be tested and tried, that He may see whether they are loyal or disloyal to the laws that govern the kingdom of heaven. To the last, God permits Satan to reveal himself as a liar, an accuser, and a murderer. Thus the final triumph of His people is made more marked, more glorious, more full and complete. The words of the prophet will then be fulfilled, “The day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come.” The song of the Lord’s people will then be: “The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: He sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. The Lord is great in Zion; and He is high above the people.”’ Advent Review & Sabbath Herald, December 4th, 1900.