Bible Study Guides – “I Am the Door”

October 22-28, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, pages 430, 431.

INTRODUCTION: “Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. In Jesus, as shown in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelation of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples, and in the miracles wrought for the sons of men, they have beheld ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29), and through Him they are brought within the fold of His grace.” Desire of Ages. 477.

“None Other Name”

1 How is the entrance to the sanctuary courtyard described? Exodus 27:16.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 347.

2 How many entrances were there to the courtyard? Exodus 38:9–18.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 477, 478.

3 How are the two veils described which provide entrance to the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place? Exodus 26:36, 31.

NOTE: These colors, the blue, the purple the scarlet, together with the white of the fine twined linen, were used repeatedly in the sanctuary and in the vestments for the high priest. See also Exodus 26:1, 28:6–15.

“The door to the outer court, the door to the Holy Place and the door to the Most Holy Place were all in the same colors: blue, scarlet and purple. Jesus was the Door to all three phases of the sanctuary services. Jesus was the Door that led into the courtyard where the sacrifices took place. Jesus was the Door that led into the intercessory chamber, and Jesus was the Door that led into the Most Holy Place, which was also the judgment room. Jesus is the only Door to salvation.” Robert Taylor, The Censer Still Burns, 27.

“A Ribband of Blue”

4 What significance was the color blue to have for God’s people and how were they constantly to be reminded of its meaning? Numbers 15:37–40.

NOTE: “Note that a blue border was to be worn on the garments of every person. It was around the sleeve. Each opening or edge had a fringe of blue. And the blue, according to Numbers 15:39, was to remind them of the eternal law of the great God of Israel. Thus as they walked and looked to where their feet were going, they were reminded, by the blue, to walk in the straight and narrow path. Whenever they stretched forth the hand, the blue hem was a reminder to only take or touch or handle what was in accordance with the law. The keeping of the law was a hedge to them that protected them from many evils and temptations. The blue border on their garment reminded them of their obligation to the law of God.” Robert Taylor, The Censer Still Burns, 21.

N.B. The blue border would also have been about their necks, reminding them that their lips, their eyes, their ears, their minds were also to remember the law of God.

5 What was God’s purpose in giving His people the law? Deuteronomy 5:29, 33; 6:24, 25.

NOTE: “Christ came to the world with the accumulated love of eternity. Sweeping away the exactions which had encumbered the law of God, He showed that the law is a law of love, an expression of the Divine Goodness. He showed that in obedience to its principles is involved the happiness of mankind, and with it the stability, the very foundation and framework, of human society. So far from making arbitrary requirements, God’s law is given to men as a hedge, a shield. Whoever accepts its principles is preserved from evil. Fidelity to God involves fidelity to man. Thus the law guards the rights, the individuality, of every human being. It restrains the superior from oppression, and the subordinate from disobedience. It ensures man’s well being, both for this world and for the world to come. To the obedient it is the pledge of eternal life, for it expresses the principles that endure forever.” Education, 76, 77.

“Though Your Sins be as Scarlet”

6 Of what does the color scarlet remind us? Isaiah 1:18.

NOTE: “When we see that there are defects in our characters, we must be zealous and repent and reform; for if we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Scripture declares that God will not hear us. Christ has given us an invitation full of mercy. He says, ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ There is nothing worse than a scarlet sin except the sin that can have no forgiveness in this life or in the life to come.” Signs of the Times, March 10, 1890.

7 What other significance does the color red have for us? 1 John 1:7. (Compare 2 Corinthians 5:21.)

NOTE: “I am so grateful today that we have a living Saviour. There are many who go about as mournfully as though Christ were still in Joseph’s tomb with a great stone rolled before the door. Our hearts should be full of hope and joy, and we should be able to say with grateful tongues, ‘Christ is risen, and is at the right hand of God to make intercession for us. He has carried His blood into the sanctuary, and will cleanse us from every sin.’” Signs of the Times, August 29, 1892.

“And They Clothed Him with Purple”

8 What was the significance of the color purple? Mark 15:17-18. (Compare Judges 8:26; Esther 8:15; Luke 16:19.)

NOTE: “At the suggestion of Herod, a crown was now plaited from a vine bearing sharp thorns, and this was placed upon the sacred brow of Jesus; and an old tattered purple robe, once the garment of a king, was placed upon His noble form, while Herod and the Jewish priests encouraged the insults and cruelty of the mob. Jesus was then placed upon a large block, which was derisively called a throne, an old reed was placed in His hand as a scepter, and, amid satanic laughter, curses, and jeers, the rude throng bowed to Him mockingly as to a king. Occasionally some murderous hand snatched the reed that had been placed in His hand, and struck Him on the head with it, forcing the thorns into His temples, and causing the blood to flow down His face and beard.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 138.

Purple is produced by combining red and blue. So Christ is fitted to be our King since He is not only the Law-giver but shed His precious blood that we might be reconciled to God.

9 When will Christ be given His kingdom and dominion? Daniel 7:13, 14.

NOTE: “The blue is the standard or the law of the great God of Israel. The red, or the scarlet, symbolizes the life and the death of Jesus in our behalf. Because Jesus upheld the law, because He lived and died in our behalf, the kingdom of the redeemed is given into His hands. He becomes our King throughout eternity. He wears purple.…The door represents Jesus and His standard. What a lesson, what a wonderful revelation it was when Jesus said, ‘I am the door.’ John 10:9.” Robert Taylor, The Censer Still Burns, 27.

“Fine Twined Linen”

10 Of what material were the high priest’s vestments made? Exodus 28:39–42.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, page 33.

11 What is the symbolism of white linen? Revelation 19:7, 8. Compare Revelation 3:18.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 523, 524.

“Arrayed in Purple and Scarlet”

12 By contrast with the colors of sanctuary, what color is missing in the description of the Woman of Revelation 17? Revelation 17:4.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 51, 52, 65.

13 When men teach others to disregard the Law of God, what is it time for the Lord to do? Psalm 119:126. Compare Romans 3:31.

NOTE: “It is ever the purpose of Satan to make void the law of God and to pervert the true meaning of the plan of salvation. Therefore he has originated the falsehood that the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary’s cross was for the purpose of freeing men from the obligation of keeping the commandments of God. He has foisted upon the world the deception that God has abolished His constitution, thrown away His moral standard, and made void His holy and perfect law. Had He done this, at what terrible expense would it have been to Heaven! Instead of proclaiming the abolition of the law, Calvary’s cross proclaims in thunder tones its immutable and eternal character. Could the law have been abolished, and the government of heaven and earth and the unnumbered worlds of God maintained, Christ need not have died. The death of Christ was to forever settle the question of the validity of the law of Jehovah…. Christ came to magnify the law and to make it honorable.” Faith and Works, 118.

Bible Study Guides – “The Solemn Feasts of the LORD Our God”

October 15-21, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 537–542.

INTRODUCTION: “Anciently God commanded His people to assemble three times a year, and from every city from Dan to Beersheba the people came to these annual feasts. The one at the commencement of the season was to entreat God’s blessing upon their families, their lands, their flocks, and their herds. The one at the close of harvest was the crowning festal gathering, to bring their offerings to God.…Joy and rejoicing were there combined with the solemnities of a holy and sacred convocation.…Many sacrifices were made at these feasts; and this profusion of blood shed in connection with the harvest of thanksgiving was significant to them of the fact that even the bounties of the earth could come to them only through the cross of Calvary. By thus assembling and bringing their tithes into the treasury, they ever acknowledged the Lord to be the giver of all their blessings.” Review and Herald, July 10, 1879.

“Christ Our Passover is Sacrificed for Us”

1 What was the opening feast of the year? Leviticus 23:5, 6.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 277.

2 How did Paul explain the significance of the Passover? 1 Corinthians 5:7, 8.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 278.

“The First Fruits of Them that Sleep”

3 What service followed the Passover Sabbath? Leviticus 23:10,11.

NOTE: “Christ was the first fruits of them that slept. This very scene, the resurrection of Christ from the dead, was observed in type by the Jews at one of their sacred feasts.…They came up to the Temple when the first fruits had been gathered in, and held a feast of thanksgiving. The first fruits of the harvest crop were sacredly dedicated to the Lord. That crop was not to be appropriated for the benefit of man. The first ripe fruit was dedicated as a thank offering to God. He was acknowledged as the Lord of the harvest. When the first heads of grain ripened in the field, they were carefully gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem, they were presented to the Lord, waving the ripened sheaf before Him as a thank offering. After this ceremony the sickle could be put to the wheat, and it could be gathered into sheaves.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1092.

4 How does Paul explain the fulfillment of the Feast of the First Fruits? 1 Corinthians 15:20.

NOTE: “Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead.” The Faith I Live By, 180.

“Feast of Weeks”

5 What feast followed fifty days later to celebrate the end of the spring harvest? Deuteronomy 16:9, 10.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 540.

6 In what wonderful way did the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, reach its fulfillment? Acts 2:1–4, 41–47.

NOTE: See Acts of the Apostles, 44, 45.

“The seed had been sown by the greatest Teacher the world had ever known. For three and a half years the Son of God had sojourned in the land of Judea, proclaiming the message of the gospel of truth and working with mighty signs and wonders. The seed had been sown, and after His ascension the great ingathering took place. More were converted by one sermon on the day of Pentecost than were converted during all the years of Christ’s ministry. So mightily will God work when men give themselves to the control of the Spirit.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1055.

“Blowing of Trumpets”

7 What ceremony marked the beginning of the autumn feasts? Leviticus 23:24.

NOTE: “To prepare the camp of Israel for [the Day of Atonement], ten days prior to this special occasion a solemn service was conducted when the trumpet was blown and a warning sounded. The preceding service, observed on the first day of the seventh month, was a holy convocation. It was to be regarded as a sabbath. The people were prohibited from performing secular labor on the first day of the seventh month. An offering must be presented to the Lord. Till the present day the orthodox Jew, in all parts of the world, calls the ten days prior to the Day of Atonement, from the first day to the tenth day of this same month ‘the ten days of repentance.’ These are preparatory days to the solemn Day of Atonement.” F. C. Gilbert, Messiah in His Sanctuary, 60, 61.

8 How does the prophet Joel convey the message of the Feast of Trumpets? Joel 2:1, 12–18, Compare Amos 4:12.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 311.

“Then Shall the Sanctuary be Cleansed”

9 What was the purpose of the Day of Atonement? Leviticus 16:30, 31.

NOTE: “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.…There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another.…Every one must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. 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 Lord declares, . . . ‘I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ Isaiah 43:25.” Maranatha, 93.

10 What decision is made concerning those who refuse to afflict their souls? Leviticus 23:29.

NOTE: “Sins that are not confessed will never be forgiven; the name of him who thus rejects the grace of God will be blotted out of the book of life. The time is at hand when every secret thing shall be brought into judgement, and then there will be many confessions made that will astonish the world. The secrets of all hearts will be revealed. The confession of sin will be most public. The sad part of it is that confession then made will be too late to benefit the wrongdoer or to save others from deception. It only testifies that his condemnation is just.…You may now close the book of your remembrance in order to escape confessing your sins, but when the judgement shall sit and the books shall be opened, you cannot close them. The recording angel has testified that which is true. All that you have tried to conceal and forget is registered, and will be read to you when it is too late for wrongs to be righted.…Unless your sins are cancelled, they will testify against you at that day.” Review and Herald, December 16, 1890.

See also Testimonies vol. 5, 331.

“To Keep the Feast of Tabernacles”

11 What feast closed the annual round? Deuteronomy 16:13–15.

NOTE: “The Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated to commemorate the time when the Hebrews dwelt in tents during their sojourn in the wilderness. While this great festival lasted, the people were required to leave their houses and live in booths made of green branches of pine or myrtle. These leafy structures were sometimes erected on the tops of the houses, and in the streets, but oftener outside the walls of the city, in the valleys and along the hillsides. Scattered about in every direction, these green camps presented a very picturesque appearance. The feast lasted one week, and during all that time the temple was a festal scene of great rejoicing. There was the pomp of the sacrificial ceremonies; and the sound of music, mingled with hosannas, made the place jubilant.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 344.

12 To what great harvest does the Feast of Tabernacles look forward? Revelation 14:14–20. Compare Matthew 13:37–43; Joel 3:13 and Jeremiah 8:20.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 541.

Bible Study Guides – “Let Them Make Me a Sanctuary”

October 8-14, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?” Psalm 77:13.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 343–358.

INTRODUCTION: “God sought to impress Israel with the holiness of His character and requirements, and the exceeding guilt of transgression. But the people were slow to learn the lesson. Accustomed as they had been in Egypt to material representations of the Deity, and these of the most degrading nature, it was difficult for them to conceive of the existence or the character of the Unseen One. In pity for their weakness, God gave them a symbol of His presence. ‘Let them make Me a sanctuary,’ He said; ‘that I may dwell among them.’ Exodus 25:8. ” Education, 35.

“When I see the Blood, I Will Pass Over You”

1 What was the first sacred service introduced among the Israelites? Exodus 12:14–20.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 77.

2 Which homes were assured of deliverance from death? Exodus 12:7, 13.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 277.

“It is the Blood That Maketh an Atonement for the Soul”

3 What strict prohibition did God make regarding blood? Leviticus 17:10–14.

NOTE: “From the earliest times, man was prohibited from eating blood. When permission was given for man to eat flesh, the command was imperative that blood should not be eaten. ‘Flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.’ Genesis 9:4. Repeatedly Israel was forbidden the eating of blood. ‘Ye shall not eat anything with the blood.’ Leviticus 19:26. ‘Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.’ The eating of blood was so great a sin that the record states: ‘Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people.’ Leviticus 7:27.…To this day the orthodox Jew refuses to eat any flesh with the blood.…The instruction to refrain from the eating of blood is carried over into the New Testament. The first general council convened by the apostles in Jerusalem commanded all the Christian churches to abstain from eating blood. Acts 15:20. This command was reinforced by the Holy Ghost. Verse 28. The precious blood of the Son of God, which was spilled in Gethsemane and shed on Calvary, made atonement for the soul of man. The blood of God’s son cleanseth from all sin. God desired that man should recognize the purpose of the blood.”
F. C. Gilbert, Messiah in His Sanctuary, 17, 18.

4 What is necessary for the remission of sins? Hebrews 9:22.

NOTE: “This has a special meaning for us. If it was necessary in ancient times for the unclean to be purified by the blood of sprinkling, how essential for those living in the perils of the last days, and exposed to the temptations of Satan, to have the blood of Christ applied to their hearts daily. ‘For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’” Testimonies, vol. 4, 123.

“After the Pattern”

5 What was Moses shown while he was on Mount Sinai with God? Exodus 25:8, 9, 40; 26:30; 27:8; Numbers 8:4.

NOTE: See The Great Controversy, 413.

6 How much of the design for the sanctuary was shown to Moses by God? Exodus 36:1; Hebrews 8:5.

NOTE: “It was Christ who planned the arrangement for the first earthly tabernacle. He gave every specification in regard to the building of Solomon’s temple. The One who in His earthly life worked as a carpenter in the village of Nazareth was the heavenly architect who marked out the plan for the sacred building where His name was to be honored.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 349.

“The Lord demands uprightness in the smallest as well as the largest matters. Those who are accepted at last as members of the heavenly court will be men and women who here on earth have sought to carry out the Lord’s will in every particular, who have sought to put the impress of heaven upon their earthly labors. In order that the earthly tabernacle might represent the heavenly, it must be perfect in all its parts, and it must be in the smallest detail like the pattern in the heavens. So it is with the characters of those who are finally accepted in the sight of Heaven.” In Heavenly Places, 154.

“Thy Way, O Lord, is in the Sanctuary”

7 What was the purpose of the sanctuary and its symbols? Hebrews 4:2.

NOTE: “The gospel of Christ reflects glory upon the Jewish age. It sheds light upon the whole Jewish economy, and gives significance to the ceremonial law. The tabernacle, or temple, of God on earth was a pattern of the original in Heaven. All the ceremonies of the Jewish law were prophetic, typical of mysteries in the plan of redemption. The rites and ceremonies of the law were given by Christ Himself, who, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, was the leader of the hosts of Israel; and this law should be treated with great respect, for it is sacred. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator.” Signs of the Times, July 29, 1886.

8 How does Paul show that the sanctuary prefigures even the saving work of Christ in heaven? Hebrews 9:21–24.

NOTE: “I was also shown a sanctuary upon the earth containing two apartments. It resembled the one in heaven, and I was told that it was a figure of the heavenly. The furniture of the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was like that in the first apartment of the heavenly. The veil was lifted, and I looked into the Holy of Holies and saw that the furniture was the same as in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary. The priest ministered in both apartments of the earthly. He went daily into the first apartment, but entered the most holy only once a year, to cleanse it from the sins which had been conveyed there. I saw that Jesus ministered in both apartments of the heavenly sanctuary. The priests entered into the earthly with the blood of an animal as an offering for sin. Christ entered into the heavenly sanctuary by the offering of His own blood. The earthly priests were removed by death; therefore they could not continue long; but Jesus was a priest forever. Through the sacrifices and offerings brought to the earthly sanctuary, the children of Israel were to lay hold of the merits of a Saviour to come. And in the wisdom of God the particulars of this work were given us that we might, by looking to them, understand the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary.” Early Writings, page 252, 253.

“Perfected Forever”

9 What could the sacrifices of the earthly sanctuary never achieve? Hebrews 10:1, 11.

NOTE: “Before Christ came, a ceremonial holiness could be obtained by offering the blood of bulls and of goats; but these sacrifices could not cleanse the conscience. They were but a representation of Christ, the great sacrifice. The substance of all the sacrifices and offerings, He came to this world to do God’s will by offering Himself. He came as the world’s Redeemer, to stand at the head of humanity. The Holy Spirit comes to man through Christ. We are given a decided testimony regarding the value of Christ’s offering. God’s word declares, ‘By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ It was a whole and entire sacrifice that was made for us.” Review and Herald, July 25, 1899.

10 By contrast, what work does the sacrifice of Christ do for those who are sanctified? Hebrews 10:14.

NOTE: “How vastly different was the true High Priest from the false and corrupted Caiaphas. In comparison with Caiaphas, Christ stands out pure and undefiled, without a taint of sin. ‘By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified’ [Hebrews 10:14]. This enabled Him to proclaim on the cross with a clear and triumphant voice, ‘It is finished.’ Christ entered in once into the holy place, ‘having obtained eternal redemption for us’ [Hebrews 9:12]. ‘Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them’ [Hebrews 7:25]. Christ glorified not Himself in being made High Priest. God gave Him His appointment to the priesthood. He was to be an example to all the human family. He qualified Himself to be, not only the representative of the race, but their Advocate, so that every soul if he will may say, I have a Friend at court. He is a High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.” Manuscript Release, vol. 12, 392, 393.

“Our Great High Priest”

11 What important qualification did Christ need in order to be our High Priest? Hebrews 2:17, 18; Hebrews 5:1, 2.

NOTE: “Adam was in the perfection of manhood, the noblest of the Creator’s works. He was in the image of God, but a little lower than the angels. What a contrast the second Adam presented as He entered the gloomy wilderness to cope with Satan single-handed. Since the fall, the race had been decreasing in size and physical strength, and sinking lower in the scale of moral worth, up to the period of Christ’s advent to the earth. In order to elevate fallen man, Christ must reach him where he was. He took human nature, and bore the infirmities and degeneracy of the race. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He humiliated Himself to the lowest depths of human woe, that He might be qualified to reach man and bring him up from the degradation in which sin had plunged him. ‘For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.’” Confrontation, 32, 33.

12 How does the knowledge of having such a High Priest affect our relationship to God? Hebrews 4:15, 16; Hebrews 10:19, 22.

NOTE: “The throne of grace is itself the highest attraction because occupied by One who permits us to call Him Father. But God did not deem the principle of salvation complete while invested only with His own love. By His appointment He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed with our nature. As our Intercessor, His office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. Christ intercedes in behalf of those who have received Him. To them He gives power, by virtue of His own merits, to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ, who paid our ransom with His blood, by receiving and welcoming Christ’s friends as His friends. He is satisfied with the atonement made. He is glorified by the incarnation, the life, death, and mediation of His Son.” God’s Amazing Grace, 68.

Bible Study Guides – “The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son Cleanseth Us from all Sin.”

October 1-7, 2000

MEMORY VERSE: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Hebrews 9:28.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 63–70.

INTRODUCTION: “As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him.’ Isaiah 53:5. Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His.” Desire of Ages, 25.

“If a Soul Sin”

1 What is the Bible’s only definition of sin? 1 John 3:4. Compare Romans 4:15.

NOTE: “The apostle gives us the true definition of sin. ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.’ The largest class of Christ’s professed ambassadors are blind guides. They lead the people away from the path of safety by representing the requirements and prohibitions of the ancient law of Jehovah as arbitrary and severe. They give the sinner license to overstep the limits of God’s law. In this they are like the great adversary of souls, opening before them a life of freedom in violation of God’s commandments. With this lawless freedom the basis of moral responsibility is gone.” Confrontation, 75.

2 What law did Adam and Eve break? Genesis 2:16, 17. Compare Genesis 3:1–6.

NOTE: “What reason have men for thinking that God is not particular whether they obey Him implicitly or take their own course? Adam and Eve lost Eden for one transgression of His command; and how dare we trifle with the law of the Most High, and frame deceitful apologies to our souls? We do this at a terrible peril. We must keep all the law, every jot and tittle; for he that offendeth in one point is guilty of all. Every ray of light must be received and cherished, or we shall become bodies of darkness.” Reflecting Christ, 54.

“The Wages of Sin”

3 What is the penalty for man’s sins? Genesis 2:17; 3:4; Romans 6:23; James 1:15.

NOTE: See Great Controversy, 539, 540, 544.

4 Does God hold all men guilty for Adam’s sin? Romans 5:12. Compare Deuteronomy 24:16, Ezekiel 18:19, 20.

NOTE: “There are many who in their hearts murmur against God. They say, ‘We inherit the fallen nature of Adam, and are not responsible for our natural imperfections.’ They find fault with God’s requirements, and complain that He demands what they have no power to give. Satan made the same complaint in heaven, but such thoughts dishonor God.” Signs of the Times, August 29, 1892.

See also Patriarchs and Prophets, 306.

“God so Loved the World”

5 What remedy for man’s sins did God devise? Genesis 3:15.

NOTE: “The news of man’s fall spread through heaven, every harp was hushed. The angels cast their crowns from their heads in sorrow. All heaven was in agitation. A council was held to decide what must be done with the guilty pair. The anxiety of the angels seemed to be intense while Jesus was communing with His Father…Jesus told them that He would…leave all His glory in heaven, appear upon earth as a man, humble Himself as a man,…and that finally, after His mission as a teacher would be accomplished, He would be delivered into the hands of men, and endure almost every cruelty and suffering that Satan and his angels could inspire men to inflict; that He would die the cruelest of deaths, hung up between the heavens and the earth as a guilty sinner; that He should suffer dreadful hours of agony, which even angels could not look upon, but would veil their faces from the sight.…The angels prostrated themselves before Him. They offered their lives. Jesus said to them that He would, by His death, save many; that the life of an angel could not pay the debt. His life alone could be accepted of the Father as a ransom for man.” The Truth about Angels, 60.

6 How did God convey to the guilty pair the truth that only Christ’s blood could atone for their sin? Genesis 3:21.

NOTE: “Fig leaves sewed together have been employed since the days of Adam, yet the nakedness of the soul of the sinner is not covered. All the arguments pieced together by all who have interested themselves in this flimsy robe will come to naught. Sin is the transgression of the law. Christ was manifest in our world to take away transgression and sin, and to substitute for the covering of fig leaves the pure robes of His righteousness. The law of God stands vindicated by the suffering and death of the only begotten Son of the infinite God.” The Upward Look, 378.

“By Faith, Abel….”

7 How did Abel express his faith in the blood of Jesus Christ as the only remedy for his sin? Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4.

NOTE: “Cain and Abel were representatives of the two great classes. Abel, as priest, in solemn faith offered his sacrifice. Cain was willing to offer the fruit of his ground, but refused to connect with his offering the blood of beasts. His heart refused to show his repentance for sin, and his faith in a Saviour, by offering the blood of beasts. He refused to acknowledge his need of a Redeemer. This, to his proud heart, was dependence and humiliation. But Abel, by faith in a future Redeemer, offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain. His offering the blood of beasts signified that he was a sinner and had sins to put away, and that he was penitent and believed in the efficacy of the blood of the future great offering.” Confrontation, 22–23.

8 What evidence do we have that this truth was known to other patriarchs? Genesis 8:20; 12:7, 8; 26:25; 31:54.

NOTE: See Patriarchs and Prophets, 128.

9 In what special way did God help Abraham to understand what the sacrifice of His Son meant? Genesis 22:1–14.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 469.

“Let Them Make Me a Sanctuary”

10 Why was the first sanctuary built? Exodus 25:8. Compare Hebrews 9:8, 9.

NOTE: The phrase translated “holiest of all” in the King James Bible (Hebrews 9:8) is “ta hagia” in the Greek and should be rendered “the sanctuary”, meaning literally “the holy places.” It is so translated in Hebrews 8:2, and 9:1,2. The failure to translate Paul’s terms consis-tently in these chapters had led to great confusion. Similar inconsistency is found in the New King James Version and other recent versions.

“The question, “What is the sanctuary?” is clearly answered in the Scriptures. The term ‘sanctuary,’ as used in the Bible, refers, first, to the tabernacle built by Moses, as a pattern of heavenly things; and, secondly, to the ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven, to which the earthly sanctuary pointed. At the death of Christ the typical service ended. The ‘true tabernacle’ in heaven is the sanctuary of the new covenant. The holy places of the sanctuary in heaven are represented by the two apartments in the sanctuary on earth. As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven….Moses made the earthly sanctuary after a pattern which was shown him. Paul teaches that that pattern was the true sanctuary which is in heaven. And John testifies that he saw it in heaven. The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth.” The Faith I Live By, 202.

11 What sacrifice is required for Christ to minister as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:23–26.

NOTE: See Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, 160 and See also Patriarchs and Prophets, 343.

“Ye do Show the Lord’s Death”

12 In what way does Jesus help us to understand the importance of His sacrifice? 1 Corinthians 11:26.

NOTE: See Desire of Ages, 660, 661.

13 What work of preparation is necessary before we can avail ourselves of the emblems of His sacrifice? 1 Corinthians 11:27, 28.

NOTE: “Let every believer closely examine himself to ascertain what are his weak points. Let him cherish a spirit of humility and plead with the Lord for grace and wisdom and for the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. Let him cast away all self-confidence.…Self-confidence leads to a lack of watchfulness.…Those who walk humbly before God, distrustful of their own wisdom, will realize their danger and will know the power of God’s keeping care.” In Heavenly Places, 97.

Food for Life – The Thirteen Impossibles

Have you ever thought of your eternal life in this perspective? What a serious thought!

  1. “It is impossible for a man to present his body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, while continuing to indulge habits that are depriving him of physical, mental, and moral vigor.” Counsels on Health, 23.
  2. “It is impossible to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God when we continually fill them with corruption and disease by our own sinful indulgence.” Ibid., 24.
  3. “It is impossible for the spirit and power of the truth to sanctify a man, soul, body, and spirit, when he is controlled
    by appetite and passion.” Testimonies, vol. 3., 570.
  4. “A diseased body and disordered intellect, because of continuing indulgence in hurtful lust, make sanctification of the body and spirit impossible.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 44.
  5. “It is impossible for those who indulge the appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 400.
  6. “…It is impossible for men and women, while under the power of sinful, health-destroying, brain-enervating habits, to appreciate sacred truth.” Counsels on Health, 21.
  7. “It is impossible for an intemperate man to be a Christian, for his higher powers are brought into slavery to the passions.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 51.
  8. “In order to render to God perfect service, we must have clear conceptions of His will. This will require us to use only healthful food, prepared in a simple manner, that the fine nerves of the brain be not injured, making it impossible for us to discern the value of the atonement, and the priceless worth of the cleansing blood of Christ.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1880.
  9. “It is impossible for those who make free use of flesh meats to have an unclouded brain and an active intellect.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 62.
  10. “It is impossible for any to enjoy the blessing of sanctification while they are selfish and gluttonous.” Counsels on Health, 66.
  11. “It is impossible for you to increase in spiritual strength while your appetite and passions are not under perfect control.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 63.
  12. “It is impossible for those who give the reins to appetite to attain to Christian perfection.” Ibid., 236.
  13. “It is impossible to work for the salvation of men and women without presenting to them the need of breaking away from sinful gratifications, which destroy the health, debase the soul, and prevent divine truth from impressing the mind. Men and women must be taught to take a careful review of every habit and practice, and at once put away those things that cause an unhealthy condition of the body.” Counsels on Health, 445.

“One of the highest attainments in the Christian life is to control appetite…without this victory, all hope of heaven is vain.” Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 206.

Who will enter in through the gates into the city? Not those who declare that they cannot break the force of appetite.” Ibid., 19.

May God help each one of us to think over these statements, and by His grace so live that eternal life may be ours.

Recipe – Millett Patties

Whiz thoroughly in blender:

2 cups cooked millet

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 cup mashed tofu

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon Vegex

1 onion, chopped

½ teaspoon sea salt

soy milk to moisten

Mix ingredients well and form into patties. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Serve with cashew gravy.

Children’s Story – Red Marbles

During the last few years of the depression, a time when many men were out of work and food was scarce, in a small town in southeastern Idaho, I used to stop by Brother Miller’s roadside stand for farm-fresh vegetables as soon as they came from the gardens. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering (or trading) was used constantly.

One particular day Brother Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily looking at a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes, but I was also drawn to the basket of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Brother Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas—sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?”

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ‘em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble, here.”

“Is that right? Let me see.”

“Here ‘tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?”

“Not ‘zackley—but almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble.”

“Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said: “There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all, and sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps.”

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Utah, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their trading. Several years went by, each more rapid than the last one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community. While I was there I learned that Brother Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.

Upon our arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two had nice haircuts, wore dark suits and white shirts, very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold, pale hand in the casket.

Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes. Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. “Those three young men, that just left, were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim “traded” them. Now at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size, they came to pay their debt.

“We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of the world,” she confided, “but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.” With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny, red marbles.

Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

Facing the Crisis – Preparation for Persecution, Part II

There is absolutely nothing of more importance in the preparation for persecution than to fully know, without a doubt, that you are right with God. Such a knowledge requires a person to have repented of every known sin and to have accepted Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour, and by the power which only Christ can give, to daily live victoriously. This is the only way an individual can be assured of eternal life.

Only One Reason to Endure Persecution

A totally surrendered life is the only reason to endure persecution. Never be misled. Suffering in any amount will never justify a person in God’s judgment. It is only a daily, living relationship with Jesus, through a love and obedience experience, that provides the needed strength to meet coming persecutions.

As the daily storm warnings reveal a coming storm of persecution that will exceed our strongest expectations, we praise God’s name that we may trust the words of His Son, for He has promised, “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. In this study we pray for God’s divine Spirit to help us discover the special preparations we must make in order to withstand the united forces of Satan.

Turning to the Scriptures we read in Ephesians 6:11-18, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

God-given Weapons

God has given us these great weapons with the assurance that we can defeat Satan. Foremost in the Christian’s arsenal is the Holy Spirit; for without the Holy Spirit no one can stand against the power of Satan. When the Christian Church began, Jesus told her members, “…ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” Acts 1:8.

Not only does the Holy Spirit provide courage and power but Jesus added that He will send us a Comforter and when He comes, ” He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13. What is more, He will give you the fruits of the Spirit, which will make it possible to even love your enemies when they persecute you.

With this gift, in persecutions we can also experience joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amidst the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own failures and mistakes. In sorrow and affliction, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone,—these are the times when, in answer to the prayer of faith, the Holy Spirit brings comfort to the heart.” Acts of the Apostles, 51.

Prepared to Stand Firm

Oh, friend, how we should praise God for such a gift. Every Christian who draws such strength from the Holy Spirit will be prepared to live and suffer for God and remain steadfast to the truth. They will refuse to receive the mark of the beast of the coming world religion, even though they know that obedience to God’s seventh-day Sabbath will mean persecution, suffering and, perhaps, death.

Jesus has given us counsel that in these lasts days many will be misled by Satan’s deceptions. In Mark 13:22 we read, “…false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”

Errors Presented as Bible Truth

Times are changing. Many of God’s people are being misled today. Instead of emphasis on a diligent study of God’s Word to teach men the way to prepare for the troublous times ahead, all too often, as Ellen White pointed out, errors are being presented to God’s people as if they were Bible truths. How sad!

Errors do not prepare anyone for the soon coming trials and persecutions. Errors can only prepare men for perdition. In Testimonies to Ministers, 409 and 410, Ellen White prophesies that “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.”

At times it seems that even now we are beginning to see a partial fulfillment of this prophecy. This is why it is so important that each member of God’s faithful remnant personally obtain a knowledge of the Scriptures so they will be able to identify, resist and counteract the lies of Satan with an “It is written.”

“None need be deceived. The Law of God is as sacred as His throne, and by it every man who cometh into the world is to be judged. There is no other standard by which to test character. ‘If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’” (See Isaiah 8:20.) Ellen White comments, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1099.

“If we have not a deep experience in the things of God, if we have not a thorough knowledge of His Word, we shall be beguiled to our ruin by the errors and sophistries of the enemy. False doctrines will sap the foundations of many, because they have not learned to discern truth from error. Our only safeguard against the wiles of Satan is to study the Scriptures diligently, to have an intelligent understanding of the reasons of our faith, and faithfully to perform every known duty. The indulgence of one known sin will cause weakness and darkness, and subject us to fierce temptation.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 58.

None Need be Deceived

But what a comfort to know that none of us need be deceived. Satan hates the Scriptures. In the past, through his agent, the papacy, Satan attempted to destroy the Scriptures by burning the Word of God and passing laws to prohibit the reading of the Bible. This could happen again.

Just notice this quote: “The time will come when many will be deprived of the written word.” Did you know that? “The time will come when many will be deprived of the written word. But if this word is printed in the memory, no one can take it from us.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, 64.

A classic example of the memorization of Scripture is the experience of U. S. soldiers in Vietnamese prison camps during the war. Their Bibles had been taken from them, but some soldiers searched their memories from childhood and wrote down portions of the memory verses they had learned in Sunday Schools. These they shared with other prisoners, and soon they possessed a facsimile of comforting Scriptures. They did likewise with gospel songs learned in their childhood, so they could sing together the songs of Zion.

It is so difficult with the freedoms that we now enjoy to realize that today, in some countries in the world, like Red China, it can mean imprisonment to possess the Scriptures. From the underground churches, we learn that they hide the folded sheets of Scripture in their shoes until an opportunity presents itself to share the good news with others.

Bible Study and Prayer

Together with Bible study, an important part of our preparation is prayer, including intercessory prayer. This could well be the secret of surviving as victorious Christians. Consider with me the way Ellen White describes prayer, “…prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence.” Steps to Christ, 94, 95.

What a wonder that many of us pray so little! How we should praise God for the counsel, “Jesus said to His disciples, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.’ Mark 11:24. Do we take Him at His Word? The assurance is broad and unlimited, and He is faithful who has promised. When we do not receive the very things we ask for, at the time we ask, we are still to believe that the Lord hears and that He will answer our prayers. We are so erring and short-sighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us, and our heavenly Father in love answers our prayers by giving us that which will be for our highest good—that which we ourselves would desire if with vision divinely enlightened we could see all things as they really are. When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, ‘Ask and it shall be given you.’ Ibid. 96.

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He who numbers the hairs of your head is not indifferent to the wants to His children. ‘The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.’ James 5:11. His heart of love is touched by our sorrows, and even by our utterances of them. Take to Him everything that perplexes the mind. Nothing is too great for Him to bear, for He holds up worlds, He rules over all the affairs of the universe. Nothing that in any way concerns our peace is too small for Him to notice. There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest. ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:3. The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watchcare, not another soul for whom He gave His beloved Son.” Ibid. 100.

What words of assurance! Praise God! “Jesus said, ‘Ye shall ask in My name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you.’ ‘I have chosen you:…that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.’ John 16:26, 27.” Ibid., 100.

Speaking of intercessory prayer, when open persecutions come to a group that has learned to pray together, such a prayer life can continue, even when the believers are scattered, because they can continue to pray for each other. Though Satan may win a temporary victory in scattering the believers, their prayer fellowship can continue, even though they may be unjustly imprisoned or exiled. Such a group will find prayer a source of their strength.

When God’s early church was threatened by persecution, the believers gathered together in prayer. We read of this in the fourth chapter of Acts. Here is the model for us to follow when faced with persecutions. As you read of their prayers, note that they recognize God as their Almighty Power. They also recall Bible prophecy foretelling such troubles as they face. They did not pray for deliverance from persecution but pleaded for holy boldness to stand firm.

An Overwhelming Surprise

Notice verse 29. “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak Thy word.” Though it may be peaceful now, I firmly believe that when persecutions come, they will burst upon us as an overwhelming surprise.

“Everything is preparing for the great day of God. Time will last a little longer until the inhabitants of the earth have filled up the cup of their iniquity, and then the wrath of God, which has so long slumbered, will awake, and this land of light will drink the cup of His unmingled wrath.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 363.

The wicked will then blame God’s people for bringing upon them the wrath of God. Persecutions will explode on the righteous. Accompanied by prayer, a study of God’s Word regarding those who were persecuted in Bible times will strengthen our faith. Learn why certain Bible characters reacted in the way they did to oppressive authorities. This will prove as a guide to you when you meet similar circumstances.

You will discover how God directed individuals in different ways. For instance, In 1 Kings 17, Elijah boldly defied the king. Yet on another occasion the Lord told him to hide. In Daniel 3:16–18 we read of the three Hebrews refusing to worship an image when commanded to do so by King Nebuchadnezzar.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Daniel 3:16-18.

Satan’s Last Desperate Effort

Ellen White warns, “…some of us may be brought to just as severe a test,” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 420. Having not succeeded to induce the saints to work on the Sabbath and rest and worship on Sunday, Satan will make a last desperate effort. He will personate Christ’s Second Coming.

Just as Nebuchadnezzar of old commanded the hosts to worship the golden image representing himself, we will be commanded to worship Satan. “He will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ.” Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.

Ellen White describes his deception further in these words: “Satan sees that he is about to lose his case. He cannot sweep in the whole world. He makes one last desperate effort to overcome the faithful by deception. He does this in personating Christ. He clothes himself with the garments of royalty which have been accurately described in the vision of John. He has power to do this. He will appear to his deluded followers, the Christian world who receive not the love of the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness [transgression of the law], as Christ coming the second time. He proclaims himself Christ, and he is believed to be Christ, a beautiful, majestic being clothed with majesty and, with soft voice and pleasant words, and with glory unsurpassed by anything their mortal eyes had yet beheld. Then his deceived, deluded followers set up a shout of victory, ‘Christ has come the second time! Christ has come! He has lifted up his hands just as He did when He was upon the earth, and blessed us.’ . . . The saints look, on with amazement. Will they also be deceived? Will they worship Satan?” Last Day Events, 164.

I repeat, Will they worship Satan? Surely not! As Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego of old, the saints will not bow down. Will they not rather say, “We are not careful to answer you in this matter. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us out of your hand. But if not, be it known to you that we will not serve your god.” What an encouragement the Old Testament experiences, like the fiery furnace, will be to the saints at that time.

Martyred for Christ

As you study Paul’s life, you will discover that sometimes the Holy Spirit commanded him to flee, at other times to stay and preach and sometimes to ask for a miracle. As you read the great faith chapter of Hebrews 11, you will find some believers were delivered while others were tortured and killed. In fact, Paul himself was finally martyred. It is clearly revealed to us that, in the closing conflict, there will be martyrs, many martyrs.

“…prior to the last closing conflict, many will be imprisoned, many will flee for their lives from cities and towns, and many will be martyrs for Christ’s sake in standing in defense of the truth.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 397.

Many of God’s servants will be protected, as were the three Hebrews in the burning fiery furnace; yet God will, nonetheless, permit many others to lose their lives. For as in earlier ages, the blood of martyrs will serve to water the seed of truth. (See Selected Messages, Book 3, 420.)

If martyrdom is to be our lot, God will sustain His own through the ordeal. Further preparations for this time of persecution can be made by spreading the book, The Great Controversy. Here I must pause to be very frank. You must read this book, The Great Controversy, this year. This book was written especially for the small remnant who are to face unbelievable persecutions just prior to our Lord’s return. This book reveals how God’s faithful, in past ages, resisted papal oppressions. More importantly, your mind will be so fortified with truth that you will know how to meet the coming evil forces when the papal power will again rule the entire world by force just before Jesus comes.

Though faced with persecutions, God’s servants will not be in hiding when it is time for the Loud Cry to go to the world. Thousands of voices all over the world will give the Third Angel’s Message with a loud voice. At this time God Himself will take charge of the work, and the work will proceed contrary to any human planning.

“Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” Testimonies to Ministers, 300.

“Under the showers of the latter rain the inventions of man, the human machinery, will at times be swept away, the boundary of man’s authority will be as broken reeds, and the Holy Spirit will speak through the living, human agent, with convincing power. No one then will watch to see if the sentences are well rounded off, if the grammar is faultless. The living water will flow in God’s own channels.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 58, 59.

Ellen White lays down the guidelines. “In choosing men and women for His service, God does not ask whether they possess learning or eloquence or worldly wealth. He asks: ‘Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?’” Colporteur Ministry, 48.

Perfect Unity in Christ

Under the leadership of Christ, during the Loud Cry there will be perfect unity. In Early Writings, page 271, Ellen White describes this company as follows. “…they were clothed with an armour from their head to their feet. They moved in exact order, like a company of soldiers. . . . I heard those clothed with the armor speak forth the truth with great power. It had effect. . . . I asked what had made this great change? The angel answered, ‘It is the latter rain, the refreshing from the presence of the Lord, the loud cry of the third angel.’”

At that time the saints will stand openly for the truth and for the consequences. Now, one more fact. Never trust your preparations, for your only security is in Jesus Christ. Prayer, fasting, commitment, memorizing Scriptures, knowledge of past heroes of God are all-important. But one’s personal security must come only from the Lord. Never trust in your own preparations or in your human reasoning power. There is but one example to follow. It is Jesus Christ.

In 1 Peter 2:22, 23 it says, “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.” Remember that Christ suffered for His faith. We, too, must be prepared to do likewise. Peter stated in 1 Peter 4:12, 13, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

Beloved, determine now, right now, this very moment, to mentally and spiritually be prepared to choose God’s law above any manmade law. Do not expect church leadership to make this decision for you, as this will be an individual test. Every man, woman and child will be forced to make such a decision. When the Sunday law is enacted in your country, there will be no escape.

Out of the Cities

We will have to break the laws of man in order to keep the law of God. “…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21. Yes, there is one physical preparation that we each should be making by the grace of God. What is this physical preparation we should be making? God has counseled us time and time again to leave the cities now in preparation for coming persecutions.

Listen carefully to these quotes. “I could not sleep past two o’clock this morning. During the night season I was in council. I was pleading with some families to avail themselves of God’s appointed means, and get away from the cities to save their children. Some were loitering, making no determined efforts. The angels of mercy hurried Lot and his wife and daughters by taking hold of their hands. Had Lot hastened as the Lord desired him to, his wife would not have become a pillar of salt. Lot had too much of a lingering spirit. Let us not be like him. The same voice that warned Lot to leave Sodom bids us, ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, . . . and touch not the unclean.’ (2 Corinthians 6:17). Those who obey this warning will find a refuge. Let every man be wide awake for himself, and try to save his family. Let him gird himself for the work. God will reveal from point to point what to do next.”
Selected Messages, Book 2, 354.

“So long as God gives me power to speak to our people, I shall continue to call upon parents to leave the cities and get homes in the country, where they can cultivate the soil and learn from the book of nature the lessons of purity and simplicity. The things of nature are the Lord’s silent ministers, given to us to teach us spiritual truths. They speak to us of the love of God and declare the wisdom of the great Master Artist.” Manuscript Releases, No. 20, 153.

“The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places. As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath will be a warning to us. It will then be time to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 464 (1885).

However, let us not wait until such a time of crisis to leave the cities. Notice carefully, “…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.” General Conference Bulletin, April 6, 1903.

“To parents who are living in the cities, the Lord is sending the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses. gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil. Get out of the cities as fast as possible.” Counsels on Diet and foods, 400.

Friend, nothing could be written more clearly, but let me add one more. “If our people regard God’s instruction as of value, they will move away from the city, so that they will not be pained by its revolting sights, and that their children will not be corrupted by its vices. [And notice these words,] Those who choose to remain in the cities, surrounded by the houses of unbelievers, must share the disaster that will come upon them.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 350.

Hide His Word in Your Heart

The following relevant spiritual quotations are taken from the book, Storm Warnings, by Don Mac Elvaney. Surely it is vital that we heed these Scriptures. “‘Thy Word have I hid in my heart.’ Hide the Word in your heart. If it is, no man can take it from you. Psalm 119:11. And Paul said, ‘That I may know Him.’ May this also be yours in all the striving to care for yourself and immediate needs. Let your highest ambition always remain to know Jesus intimately and the power of His resurrection. Philippians 3:10. Remain in a high spiritual plane instead of the more physical existence. Heap coals, words, ‘walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.’ Galatians 5:16. In times of severe testing remember ‘that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.’ Romans 8:28. And when the love of men grows cold, remember, nothing ‘shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Romans 8:38, 39. In times of great deception, which always lead to bondage, know the truth. It alone can set ‘you free.’ John 8:32. And when you wonder if the testing or temptation of the time should cause you to lose your faith, remember the promise, No man ‘is able to pluck them out of the Father’s hand.’ John 10:29. And in every circumstance fear God, not man. ‘Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ Matthew 10:28. And in time of testing remember that God knows your limits better than you, for He ‘will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.’ I Corinthians 10:13. ‘Rejoice and do not be anxious.’ The words spoken by Paul as he was in prison waiting to be beheaded. ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 4:4–7. And in every situation remember God can be trusted, but do not content yourselves by simply believing in God but rather follow the example of Abraham, of whom it is said, concerning the promise made to him, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.’ Romans 4:3. And finally, When you suffer the loss of all things, even life, nevertheless as Paul says, ‘For all things are yours; . . . or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.’ 1 Corinthians 3:21, 23. ‘For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.’ Isaiah 54:10.” Ibid., 333, 334.

The Hiding Place

How often have you read or heard these familiar words from the beloved ninety-first Psalm?

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1.

Have you ever wondered just what that “secret place” is? The Bible has more to say about it. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Isaiah 26: 20, 21.

Here again, as in Psalm 91, we are told of a terrible time of destruction on the world and about a hiding place where God’s people are safe and protected. Notice what the messenger of the Lord has to say about this same scenario.

A Time of Trouble

“Satan claims the world, but there is a little company who withstand his devices, and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Satan sets himself to destroy this commandment-keeping company. But God is their tower of defense. He will raise up for them a standard against the enemy. He will be to them ‘as an hiding place from the wind,’ and ‘as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.’ He will say to them, ‘Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Review and Herald, September 17, 1901.

Where is the Hiding Place?

We see here that God is that ‘secret place’ where His people are to find shelter. But what exactly does that mean? The following paragraph sheds more light on the subject.

“Some of these agents of Satan were affecting the bodies of some of the saints—those whom they could not deceive and draw away from the truth by a satanic influence. Oh, that all could get a view of it as God revealed it to me, that they might know more of the wiles of Satan and be on their guard! I saw that Satan was at work in these ways to distract, deceive, and draw away God’s people, just now in this sealing time. I saw some who were not standing stiffly for present truth. Their knees were trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not firmly planted on the truth, and the covering of Almighty God could not be drawn over them while they were thus trembling. Satan was trying his every art to hold them where they were until the sealing was past, and the covering drawn over God’s people, and they left out, without a shelter from the burning wrath of God, in the seven last plagues.” Ibid., 44.

Here we see people that God wants to place in His secret place, but they are not cooperating with Him. Instead they are unsure and doubting, fearful and unbelieving. So we realize that the true ‘hiding place’ must be opposite of this, instead of doubting and fearing, those in this safe state will be believing and trusting. This is confirmed in Isaiah 26:3. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.”

Their minds are focused on the Lord, and they are in perfect peace because they trust in Him. Another meaning of peace is rest. Hebrews 4:9–11 talks about a rest that we must enter into. By the way, the Sabbath is a symbol of that special rest, that sure hiding place that we must be in to be secure in the trials and darkness of the last days. It says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

Notice again, that unbelief prevents them from entering into that rest—just as we see the fearful, doubting ones in the quote above, “Their knees are trembling, and their feet sliding, because they were not firmly planted on the truth.” In Revelation we are shown those who make it through. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14:12. Notice, they have the faith of Jesus. It is not merely faith in Jesus. It is the very faith Jesus had that He triumphed with in the battle with evil. It is a sure faith, tried in the fire of affliction and proven successful. It is that “Gold, tried in the fire,” Revelation 3 talks about. Jesus sells it to us without money. We buy it by giving Him our wretched, sin–polluted hearts, making that total surrender to His will. That total surrender, that choice to absolutely believe in Jesus, that decision to trust in Him though the heavens fall, is what it means to enter into the Secret Place of the Most High.

It takes time, study, heart searching and much quiet meditation to obtain that perfect peace. As the trials thicken around us we must reach up for more and more faith and trust. Remember, true faith can only be “planted firmly on the truth,” that is, on God’s holy Word. This kind of faith cannot be obtained in an instant—it takes effort and time—just like any other science, it is not mastered overnight. Satan’s work is to keep us busy and distracted so that the time is not available to us to perfect this saving faith, to search our own hearts, as it were, with lighted candle and find every sin, then confess them and obtain, not only pardon, but power and victory over it. You do not learn to trust perfectly in Jesus in an instant. Day by day, as the trials of the daily life hit us, are we standing stiffly for truth? Are our feet riveted firmly to that Rock?

Devil’s Plans

I urge you, that if you are not experiencing real victory in your daily life right now, that you rearrange your priorities to learn how to seek the Lord until you do have it. The last hours of earth’s allotted time are slipping through our fingers and we are so often “too busy” for spiritual things. Satan would keep us that way. Did you realize that he does not need to get you to do something “bad” for you to be lost? Oh, no! He just has to keep you too busy to gain that spiritual preparation until it is too late. You may be “too busy” with good work, with things not wrong in themselves, but if you are not daily growing in spiritual strength, Satan will have you in the end.

We all tend to think, “I am just in this situation for now. I know I am not spending time enough on my personal salvation and my family’s spiritual health is not good, but I just have to finish this course, or get this paid for, or accomplish this project, and then I will be okay, and I will make up for it.” That, my friends, is the devil’s best lie—put off salvation until tomorrow! And do you know what he does? He lets you finish one thing and then he gets you launched into another project, or some kind of trouble, and before you know it, you are dong the same thing all over again! Millions will wake up when it is too late and say, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8:20.

Tragic Words

Please take time to ponder these tragic words! What if you do buy all the things you want? What if you do get all the honors, or complete all of the projects, but lose your own soul? The Bible has simple advice that will beat the devil at his evil game. It says, “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. Yes, friends, sort out your priorities until you are having time for real communion with your Lord, until the Bible becomes a power in your life, until you are truly experiencing victory in your daily walk. How did Enoch walk with God? He withdrew frequently from society and spent time alone with God. Jesus did the same.

We do not gain anything worthwhile in this earth without effort, do we? Art, music, science, skills, they all take practice and time to perfect. Why do we think that we can gain the greatest prize of all, eternal life, with only a half-hearted effort once in a while?

Finding Time

There are so many frivolous things on which we waste time and energy. You sometimes have time, but are so exhausted you cannot even think. That is why you should put God first—in the morning give Him the best, not the dregs. Let us look at some of the frivolous time wasters: long, meaningless chats with friends, TV, worldly music, sports, many hobbies, excessive time used in preparing food or learning fashions, worldly holiday activities, attending meetings where the truth is not being taught (meetings where the truth is attacked are not frivolous, they are deadly!) computer games, videos, and we could go on and on. I urge each one that we seriously analyze how we are using our precious last hours of preparation time. The sands will soon run out. We do not know how soon, but we do know that most will not be ready! Do not let it be you!

When and How Was the Sabbath Changed from Saturday to Sunday?

This is a question which is in the minds of a great many people today. Everyone knows, of course, that the original Sabbath of the commandment, which Christ wrote with His own finger on the tables of stone, was the seventh day of the week, the day we call Saturday. Astronomers tell us that they have absolute knowledge that the weekly cycle has not been changed, so our Saturday is still the seventh day of the week.

But today most Christians worship on Sunday, the first day of the week. Why? How did this come about? Who made the change and for what reasons? These are the questions everyone is asking, and we will try to give you an answer.

A Beautiful Prophecy

First of all, let us look at Revelation 12 where we find a beautiful picture in prophecy. The apostle John was given a vision, and he tells us about it in Revelation 12:1–5.

“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.”

Here in this vision we have three prophetic symbols presented to our wondering eyes: a woman, a child and a dragon. Each of these has a specific meaning in the prophecy. What are they, and what do they represent? First, whom does the dragon represent? We will find the answer to that in Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

So that is easy, is it not? The dragon represents the devil. But who is the woman? Fortunately, this is easy to understand too; so easy, that you find practically all students of the Bible agreeing on it. Just about any Protestant commentary that you pick up will tell you that the woman represents the true church of Christ, and if you have a Catholic Bible you will find that same information in the footnote under this chapter. We will show you some of the scriptures which make this point clear.

Revelation 19:7, 8: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

You see—in these Scriptures the true church is pictured as the bride of Christ. Is that not a beautiful thought? The same thought was in the mind of the apostle Paul when he wrote to the church in Corinth: “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2.

The word espouse means to give in marriage, so Paul writes to the church, “I have given you in marriage to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” He carries this charming comparison still further in Ephesians 5:22–32: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Notice his concluding words—”I speak concerning Christ and the church.” So, we all will agree with the Bible scholars of many faiths that this beautiful woman of Revelation 12 is a fitting picture of the true church of Christ, His bride, which He will take to Himself on that glorious day when He comes again.

The Coming King

But one more question—if the woman is the true church, and the dragon is the devil, who is the child? What have we been told about this child in Revelation 12:1–5? First, that it was a man-child; second, that the devil tried to destroy Him as soon as He was born; third, that He was caught up to God and to His throne; and fourth, that He is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Who could this be?

Of course, who could it be but Jesus? Remember the Christmas story? Remember how Herod, the king, had all the little boy babies in Bethlehem killed, in an attempt to destroy the baby Jesus soon after He was born? And what child does the Bible tell us about being caught up to God and His throne? Only Jesus. Read about it in Ephesians 1:20, 21: “Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”

And what child, born upon this earth, is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron? Only Jesus. This was a familiar picture of the Messiah that everyone understood, for David had made this prophecy, “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalms 2:7–9.

Now compare this ancient prophecy with the similar one which John saw in his vision of future events and wrote down in Revelation 19:11–16: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

This could only be Jesus. One of His many names in the Scriptures is The Word of God, as we read in John 1:1, 14: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.”

The Bible Interprets Itself

So now we understand what the prophecy is all about. Remember now, we have made no interpretation of these things ourselves; we have let the Bible make its own interpretation to us. We do not try to interpret the Scriptures; we accept the Bible’s own interpretation. So now we know that the beautiful woman is the true church, the child is Christ, and the dragon is the devil.

Now, what happened to the woman in John’s prophecy? “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Revelation 12:6.


The true church of God had to go into hiding, out in the wild places of the earth, the wilderness, for one thousand two hundred and sixty days, it says. (Threescore equals sixty.) Why? Because the dragon, the devil, was angry with her. He had failed to kill Christ, so now he turns his fury upon the church of Christ, in terrible persecution. How long was the persecution? It says one thousand two hundred and sixty days, but we have a rule in these symbolic prophecies of the Bible that one day in the prophecy stands for one year in actual time. So, the actual time of the persecution of the true church would be one thousand two hundred and sixty years. You will find this rule applied in the Bible in Numbers 14:34 and in Ezekiel 4:6, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.”

Not My Idea

Now let me make one thing clear. This is not a rule that I have invented, nor is it my interpretation. It is the Bible’s own rule of interpretation, and it was recognized and followed by students of Bible prophecy hundreds, yes, thousands of years before I was born. As a matter of fact, the Jews themselves understood and used it in that way, so do not get the idea that I am telling you something that I invented. This is a Bible interpretation that has been recognized and followed by Bible scholars for ages. One day in symbolic prophecy means one year in actual time, as the prophecy is being fulfilled.

So we see the sad picture that the beautiful woman, the true church of Christ, was to undergo terrible persecution for more than a thousand years. It sounds like the Dark Ages that we read about in our history books, does it not? The thought is repeated in verses 13 and 14 of Revelation 12: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast into the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Now let us read the conclusion of this marvelous prophecy about the true church—a verse that comes right down to the present time, where you and I are alive, and shows us that the true church was definitely going to survive the persecution and would not be entirely destroyed. It is the last verse of the chapter. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

Let us bring this out of the symbols of the prophecy into modern language. It will be easy because we have learned from the Bible what each of these symbols mean. Who is the dragon? The devil. And who is the woman? The true church. Now it talks about the remnant of her seed, or children. What is a remnant? Have you ever heard of a remnant sale? What does the word remnant mean? It means the remainder—the part that is left, the last part. Is a remnant large or small? Small, of course.

In Modern Language

Therefore, putting this prophecy into our language, we would correctly read it like this: “And the devil was angry with the true church, and went to make war with the last part of her children, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.”

That tells us two wonderful facts, First, the true church would not be entirely destroyed by the persecution of the 1260 years, but there would be a small part, a remnant, which would survive; second, you will be able to recognize that small remnant, because they keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.

Well, you may say, “That is wonderful, that is thrilling, but what does that have to do with the change of the Sabbath?” Everything, dear friend, everything! May I remind you again that this remnant of the true church will be recognized by their keeping the commandments of God? As far as the Sabbath is concerned, that can mean one, and only one thing—that they keep the Sabbath of the commandment. That is obvious, is it not?

Can you keep the commandments of God without keeping the Sabbath of the commandment? No, you cannot.

One more question—what day is the Sabbath of the commandment? What did the commandment say? “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord Thy God.” Exodus 20:8–10. This is the day we call Saturday, as you can see by your calendar. Astronomers tell us they can tell by the stars that it is still the same Sabbath day that used to be observed.

Just one more question: Is a remnant of cloth the same as the original cloth or different? What do you say? Can you get a black remnant from a white bolt? No, it must be the same; it cannot be different. So now, speaking of churches, can you get a commandment–keeping remnant from a church that does not keep the commandments? No, certainly not. The remnant must be the same. Can you get a Sabbath keeping remnant of a church that does not keep the Sabbath? No! Therefore, this Sabbath remnant will have to be the last part of an earlier Sabbath–keeping church—the church that kept the Sabbath through the ages.

History Fulfills Prophecy

John’s beautiful prophecy tells us that the commandment–keeping, Sabbath–keeping church of Christ would be persecuted terribly through the Dark Ages, and would have to hide in the mountains and in the wilderness, but that there would be a remnant left in the last days—still a commandment–keeping, Sabbath–keeping people.

We will show you how history tells the amazing story of how that prophecy was fulfilled to the very last detail. Jesus told John just how it would happen, and history proves that Jesus was right. It happened just the way He said it would.

Light of the World

We turn now to the story that we find in the pages of history. Envision a map of the world or, if you have an atlas, turn to a picture of the world, and envision it lying in darkness. John tells us how Jesus, the Light of the world, came to bring light into that darkness. (See John 1:9.) Locate the tiny land where Jesus lived, and envision that small land suddenly lightened with His presence. It may look very small in the dark world, but it is not. It is remarkable what that one little Light has done. Jesus never traveled over a hundred miles from the place of His birth during His ministry; He never wrote a book, never held an office, and never attended a university. He never did any of the things we so often think of when we think of a great man and what he should do, but Jesus did bring a light to this dark world, and how that light spread is a thrilling story.

Just before He left this earth, He told His disciples what He wanted them to do with the light—take it over all the earth. (See Acts 1:8.) It must have staggered them, when they heard Him say that. What an assignment for 12 men who were not rich or learned! In simple faith they went forth to do what Jesus said. Let us trace how the lights came on in the dark earth.

From the land where Jesus lived, they took the light to all the world. Thomas, the former doubter, became so full of faith that he spread the light through the east. We can follow his path through Antioch, across Arabia, Syria, Persia, to the far away Malibar coast of India, before his work was done. Some historians even believe that he reached China—and everywhere he went, churches sprang up.

The light went to Africa. We are not sure which disciple went that way, but evidence points to Andrew, and churches sprang up and lights came on in that darkened land.


To the north and west went the apostle Paul. We know more about his travels than about any of the others. Following his trail across Asia Minor, we can envision lights along the way for the churches that he started. Across the sea into Greece, over into Italy, Rome and beyond. Romans 15:24 and 28 tells us how he planned to journey into Spain. Some scholars even think Paul made it to the British Isles—others think it was one of his converts. But we do know that the light went there, for Tertullian, who wrote about the year 200, includes the British Isles in his list of places where the gospel had gone.

The light in Ireland, Scotland and England grew to the point where it became bright enough to reflect back upon the continent of Europe again. Under the leadership of great men of God like Patrick, Columba, Columbanus, Aidan and others, schools were started in these lands for training gospel workers. Rulers of the northern nations of Europe sent their sons to these schools to be educated. The Scriptures were copied by hand at these centers, and their graduates went back into Europe with the light.

So far the picture looks very bright. Lights were coming on all over that part of the world. But remember, the prophecy said persecution would come, and it did!

Sabbath Keeping Churches

There is one great fact that you should know about these churches that were started by the apostles themselves and their early followers. They were commandment-keeping churches who observed the seventh day, or Saturday, as their Sabbath, in harmony with the commandment Christ wrote into the tables of stone. So you do not think that I speak for myself, I will share the actual statements of the historians on this matter.

First, what about the churches in far off India where Thomas went? Let the historians speak:

Samuel Purchas, noted geographer and compiler says: “They kept Saturday holy.” Pilgrimmes, Part 2, Book 8, chapter 6, 1260, London, 1625.

Claudius Buchanan says: “They have preserved the Bible in its purity; and their doctrines are, as far as the author knows, the doctrines of the Bible. Besides, they maintained the solemn observance of Christian worship throughout the empire on the seventh day; and they have as many spires pointing to heaven among the Hindus as we ourselves.” Christian Researches in Asia, 143, Philadelphia, 1813.

Throughout the World—an Eye Witness:

Now hear the testimony of an eye witness who had traveled over the greater part of Christendom, Socrates, the Greek historian, who wrote in the year 391ad:

“For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the mysteries (The Lord’s Supper) on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, refuse to do this. The Egyptians in the neighborhood of Alexandria and the inhabitants of Thebais, hold their religious meetings on the Sabbath.” Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, chapter 22, 289, London, 1892. The footnote, which accompanies the foregoing quotation explains the use of the word “Sabbath.” It says: “That is, upon the Saturday. It should be observed, that Sunday is never called ‘the Sabbath’ (to sabbaton) by the ancient Fathers and historians.”

Two facts are apparent in this statement:

  1. Sunday observance began in Rome and Alexandria while the rest of the world observed Sabbath in harmony with the commandment of God.
  2. Sunday observance was based on tradition, not a commandment of God.


As late as the year 791, Christians still kept the true Sabbath in Italy. Canon 13 of the council of Friaul, states: “Further, when speaking of that Sabbath which the Jews observe—the last day of the week—and which also our peasants observe, He said only Sabbath…” Mansi 13, 851. Quoted in History of the Sabbath, Andrews, 539.

Northern Italy

“First therefore they called them Waldenses and because they observed no other day of rest but the Sabbath days, they called them insabbathas, as much as to say, as they observed no Sabbath.” John P. Perris, Luther’s Forerunners, 7–8, London, 1624.

“Robinson gives an account of some of the Waldenses of the Alps, who were called…Insabbatati. ‘One says they were so named from the Hebrew word Sabbath, because they kept the Saturday for the Lord’s day. Another says they were so called because they rejected all the festivals.’” General History of the Baptist Denomination, vol. 2, 413.


Louis XII, King of France, ordered an investigation of the lives of those Waldenses living in his country. It was reported to him that they “kept the Sabbath day, observed the ordinance of baptism; according to the primitive church, instructed their children in the articles of the Christian faith and the commandments of God.” William Jones, History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, 71–72.

How and When was the Sabbath Changed?


From a decree of King Alphonso (published about 1194): “I command you that …heretics, to wit, Waldenses, Insabbathi (sabbathkeepers) and those who call themselves the poor of Lyons and all other heretics should be expelled away from the face of God…and ordered to depart from our kingdom.” Marianae, Praefatio in Lucan Tudensem, vol. 25, 190.


In the 17th Century, several ministers were persecuted for defending the Bible Sabbath. John Trask was put in prison; his wife remained in prison 15 years. John James was hanged for defending the Sabbath, and his head placed on a pole near the meeting house as a warning to others. Dr. Thomas Banfield, a former speaker in one of Cromwell’s parliaments, wrote two books advocating the Sabbath truth, and likewise went to prison. Edward Stennet, a minister, wrote a book entitled, “The Seventh Day is the Sabbath of the Lord.” And from prison he wrote a long and pathetic letter to Sabbathkeepers in the Rhode Island colony (1688). See Christian Edwardson’s Facts of Faith, 144.


“They held that Saturday was properly the Sabbath on which they abstained from work.” Skene, Celtic Scotland, vol. 2, 349.

“They worked on Sunday, but kept Saturday in a sabbatical manner…These things Margaret abolished.” A History of Scotland from the Roman Occupation, vol. 1, 96.


“The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest, with special religious services on Sunday.” Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church, 237.

“It seems to have been customary in the Celtic churches of early times, in Ireland as well as Scotland, to keep Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, as a day of rest from labor. They obeyed the fourth commandment literally upon the seventh day of the week.” Moffat, The Church in Scotland, 140.


“I find from a passage in Erasmus that at the early period of the Reformation of which he wrote, there were Sabbatarians in Bohemia, who not only kept the seventh day, but were said to be …scrupulous in resting on it.” Cox Literature on the Sabbath Question, 201–202.

The great missionary leader, Count Zinzendorf, wrote in 1738: “I have employed the Sabbath for rest for many years already, and our Sunday for the proclamation of the gospel—that I have done without design and in simplicity of heart.” Dugingsche Sammlung, 224.

And we might add the testimony of more historians but surely this is enough to show you that wherever the apostles went—east, west, north, or south—commandment keeping churches sprang up, churches who observed the true Bible Sabbath.

How did a change come about? This is a sad story.

You will remember that the historian Socrates has already testified that as he traveled throughout the Christian world, he found that in the year 391 the churches of Christendom were observing the seventh–day Sabbath except in two places, Rome and Alexandria.

The change actually began in Rome. Rome was the center of a vast system of pagan religion in those days, which was worship of the sun. The sun worshippers had large temples, priests, and ceremonies and a vast system of religious rites and practices. They went to their temples to worship on the first day of each week, which was dedicated to the sun god and therefore called Sunday. You can get this information by looking up the word “Sunday” in any large dictionary.

A New Idea

It was here that the change began. A new system of thought had arisen in the Christian Church of Rome, based on a plan for combining the two religions into one. This plan was carried out, forming a new religion, half pagan and half Christian. It was formed by bringing into the Christian church the rites and ceremonies, the holy day, yes, even the philosophy of the pagans. But do not take my word for it. Hear the testimony of no less an authority than Cardinal Newman. Speaking of the Roman Church, he says, “Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil, and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship to an evangelical use…the rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, or imitate, or sanction the existing rites and customs of the populace, as well as the philosophy of the educated class.

“The same reason, the need of holy days for the multitude, is assigned by Origen, St. Gregory’s master, to explain the establishment of the Lord’s day…

“We are told in various ways of Eusebius, that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own…incense, lamps and candles, holy water, asylums, holy days and seasons…the ring in marriage, turning to the east, images…are all of pagan origin, and sanctified by their adoption into the Church.” Development of Christian Doctrine, 371-373, London, 1878.

A similar statement appeared in the Catholic World, March, 1894, 809, “The Church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen…She took the pagan Sunday, and made it the Christian Sunday.”


So now you can see where the change started and how it started. It was greatly helped by the attitude of the Emperor Constantine, who favored the combining of the two religions, and after professing Christianity himself, offered twenty pieces of gold and a white garment to all who would join the new church. Naturally, the pagans responded well to this most attractive offer, and joined the new religion by thousands. Constantine further helped the idea along by making the first Sunday law to appear in the pages of history in the year 321.

Spread by Force

Naturally, the other churches of the world were reluctant to accept this pagan custom into the Christian faith, but ways were found to force them to accept it. We won’t dwell at length on this sad story of the great religious persecutions of the Dark Ages but only state that some historians believe that 50 million Christian people were put to death because they would not accept these customs, and other historians put the estimate as high as 150 million.

The light of Sabbath-keeping Christianity was extinguished in Scotland in 1069; in Ireland in 1172; that of the ancient Albigenses in 1229; in India in 1560, and in the mountains of central Europe in 1686.

The lights on our map of the world were slowly going out. Would any be left?

Yes, prophecy said there would be a remnant. In 1668, Edward Stennet, a Sabbath-keeping minister of England wrote to some Sabbath-keeping Christians in Rhode Island as follows, “Here we are in England, about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered disciples, who have been eminently preserved in this tottering day when many, once eminent churches, have been shattered in pieces.” Facts of Faith, Edward Stennet, 146.

Truly, just a remnant, but by the grace of God, this remnant was able to find refuge in the land of freedom (United States of America), and from here the light of the true Sabbath is spreading again all over the world.

Another Evidence

Now let me show you another striking evidence that this is true. Thoughtful and scholarly men of many faiths admit it. Their statements below show clearly that whatever reasons they had for Sunday observance, they were not a Scriptural command.

Toronto Clergymen

A story in the Toronto Daily Star, Wednesday, October 26, 1949, bears the following heading:

“Clergy say Tradition, not Bible ordinance, Declared Sunday Holy.” The first paragraph of the story says, ‘Sunday is kept holy by Christians, not because there is any Scriptural injunction but because there are religious traditions associated with that day among Christians,’ Protestant and Catholic spokesmen said today. They were commenting on a statement of the most Reverend Phillip Carrington, Anglican Archbishop of Quebec, that there is no commandment which states Sunday must be kept holy. ‘Tradition,’ he said, ‘had made it a day of worship.’”

Jewish Rabbi

The second paragraph of the above story says, “A Rabbi recalled that the first Christians were Jews and celebrated the Sabbath on the last day of the week and it was not until the reign of the Emperor Constantine that the day was changed by Christians.”

Church Historian

Wilhelm August Johann Neander, the great German theologian and historian of Heidelberg, whose History of the Christian Religion and Church is of such value and merit as to have gained for him the title, ‘Prince of church historians’ says, “The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday.” (Rose’s translation from the first German edition, 186.)

Phillip Schaff, another learned church historian, admits that there is no command in the New Testament for Sunday observance.


“The observance of the seventh day Sabbath did not cease till it was abolished after the empire became Christian.” Tract No. 188, Presbyterian Board of Publication.


Canon Eyton of the Church of England, author of the book The Ten Commandments, says: “There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday or of Lent stands on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday, no divine law enters.”

Morer Eyton, in his Dialogues on the Lord’s Day, 189, writes, “The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath and spent the day in devotion and sermons. And it is not to be doubted but they derived this practice from the apostles themselves.”

Professor Edward Brerewood of Gresham College, London, in A Learned Treatise on the Sabbath, 77, says, “If the New Testament silence on any subject proves that the matter is unimportant, then the Christian emphasis on the observance of Sunday is really a mistake. Nowhere does the Book tell us to observe Sunday. Nowhere does it say that Saturday Sabbath-keeping is wrong.”


At a New York Minister’s Conference, held November 13, 1893, Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual, read a paper on the transference of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. Mention of this paper was made in the November 16, 1893, issue of the New York Examiner, a Baptist paper, which describes the intense interest manifested by the ministers present and the discussion which followed. From a copy of this address, furnished by Dr. Hiscox himself, we call attention to these striking and earnest statements:

“There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions.

“Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask: ‘Where can the record of this transaction be found? Not in the New Testament—absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.

“I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing question connected with Christian institutions which at present claims attention from Christian people; and the only reason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussions is because the Christian world has settled down content on the conviction that somehow a transference has taken place at the beginning of Christian history.

“To some it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false glosses, never alluded to a transference of the day. Also, that during 40 days of his resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He has said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach this subject.

“Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use early in Christian history as a religious day; as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!”


In his widely known book, Faith of Our Fathers, 89, Cardinal Gibbon writes:

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.”

“Sunday is founded, not on Scripture, but on tradition, and is distinctly a Catholic institution. As there is no Scripture for the transfer of the day of rest from the last to the first day of the week, Protestants ought to keep their Sabbath on Saturday and thus leave Catholics in full possession of Sunday.”—Catholic Record, September 17, 1891.

“Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or another of these alternatives. Either Protestantism and the keeping of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping of Sunday. Compromise is impossible.” Catholic Mirror, December 23, 1893.

“Peter R. Tracer, in charge of the Question Box feature in Extension magazine, wrote in a letter of April 1, 1929: “Dear Sir: Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts: That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath.… We also say, that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings.”

Dr. R. W. Dale, in his Ten Commandments, 127-129, says: “It is quite clear that however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath.…The Sabbath was founded on a specific; divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday.…There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”

Many more might be added, friends, but surely this is enough. Surely now it is clear to all that the observance of Sunday is not based on Scripture but on human tradition, the commandments of men.

What’s the Difference?

You say—”That is very interesting—I am glad to know that—but after all, what difference does it make? Does it really make any difference?”

I will let the Lord Jesus Christ answer that question for you. Did you notice, friend, the frequent reference to tradition, or human tradition, as we have examined this evidence? You did? Very well, please hold that in mind as we read the words of Jesus: “…Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” Matthew 15:3. “…Thus have ye made the commandments of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:6. “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9.

A Sobering Thought

Friend of mine, does the awful significance of that statement reach your heart? Think of these words: “They do worship me.”

Not pagans, not unbelievers, but people who worship—yes—who worship Jesus Christ! Yet He says it is in vain—useless—wasted—worthless—they might as well not do it. Why? Because they teach for doctrines the commandments of men.

It is hard to grasp the idea that a man could worship Jesus Christ in vain, is it not? When I see a man praying in the name of Christ, my heart goes out to him—I just cannot help it. But notice what Jesus said:

Even Miracle Workers

“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them; I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:22, 23.

Why does He say He never knew them? Return to Matthew 15:9: “…In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

A Brighter Picture

But let us not close with such an unpleasant thought. Let us remember that the prophecy said there would be a remnant left—the true worshippers of God would not be fully destroyed from the earth—there would be a small remnant left. And how shall we recognize this remnant? The Bible tells us how we can recognize them. They are those who “…keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

What a thrill it is to be able to report to you that there is a commandment-keeping, Sabbath-keeping people left on the earth! They are a people with whom the devil is furiously angry, as the prophecy says, but they are marching forward just the same!

From America, the land of freedom, the light is spreading again all over the world, and people all over the world are recognizing and joining the commandment-keeping remnant church.

How much better to be among this divinely foretold people, who reject all traditions of men and obey the commandments of God, than to be among those who tremble at the words of Jesus; “In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:9. Contrast them with the triumphant picture found in Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

Dear Friend, with which group do you stand?

Article taken from His Mighty Love by Ralph Larson

Which Church is Going Through? – Part IV

A Denominated People

What makes a church God’s denominated people? Are you part of God’s denominated people? When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, when He looks down, you and I will be standing here in this world. I have thought about this so many times. When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, I want to start to lift off from this world. Do you? Can you make yourself rise? No way! If you are going to be part of the church that is going to triumph and go with the Lord, He has to recognize that you are a part of His church because that is who He is coming to take to heaven.

Revelation 19 makes it very clear that Jesus is coming back to this world to get His church, His bride. So when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, He has to recognize those who are a part of His church. Will He recognize someone just because they are a Seventh-day Adventist? I have a big shock for you. There will be many Seventh-day Adventist people whom He will not recognize; and their feet will stay right on the ground. They will never leave the earth. They are going to have an argument with the Lord. They will say, “But Lord, we are part of your people. We were evangelists, we were ministers, we were leaders.” Jesus talked about this in Matthew 7.

I remember when I was a child, we used to think that these people whom God would not recognize were the people in the Sunday-keeping churches who do not keep the commandments of God. Were we ever wrong! I am not saying that He will recognize the Sunday keeping churches, but He is not going to recognize all of us either.

A Form of Godliness

“It is possible for me to offer the Saviour outward homage, to be Christians in profession, to have a form of godliness, while the heart, whose loyalty He prizes above all else, is estranged from Him. Such ones have a name to live, but they are dead.” Upward Look, 301.

Mrs. White says it is possible to have a form of godliness, to make a profession of godliness; in other words to physically be part of God’s true people, and yet the heart is on something else. Now she is going to open up a veil and you are going to look into the future: “To the marriage supper of the Lamb will come many who have not on the wedding garment—the robe [Christ] purchased for them with His lifeblood. From lips that never make a mistake come the words, ‘Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?’ Matthew 22:12. Those [thus] addressed are speechless. They know that words would be useless. The truth, with its sanctifying power, has not been brought into the soul, and the tongue that once spoke so readily of the truth is now silent. The words are then spoken, ‘Take them out of My presence. They are not worthy to taste of My supper’ (cf. Luke 14:24). As they are separated from the loyal ones, Christ looks upon them with deep sorrow.” Ibid.

Banned from the Feast

Does Jesus want you to be lost? No! He is going to have great sorrow if you are not saved. The next sentence describes who these people are. “They occupied high positions of trust in God’s work.” Who are these people? These are Seventh-day Adventists, and I want to tell you they are not the church janitor. Who are they? They are the leaders. They are people who occupied high positions of trust in God’s work, and they think that they are saved, but they are not. They come to the wedding supper, but they are not allowed in.

“From the quivering lips of Christ come the mournful words of regret, ‘I loved them; I gave My life for them; but they persisted in rejecting My pleadings, and continued in sin. ‘O that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.’

“Today Christ is looking with sadness upon those whose characters He must, at last, refuse to acknowledge. Inflated with self-sufficiency, they hope that it will be well with their souls. But at the last great day, the mirror of detection reveals to them the evil that their hearts have practiced, and shows them at the same time the impossibility of reform. Every effort was made to bring them to repentance. But they refused to humble their hearts. Now the bitter lamentation is heard, ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and my soul is not saved’” (cf. Jeremiah 8:20).” Ibid.

You Must Overcome Sin

There are going to be a lot of Seventh-day Adventists saying, “The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and I am not saved.” Why? Because they continued in sin. Friend of mine, do not think that you can continue in the most secret sin and have salvation, because it is not so. Your wife, your husband, your family, your employer, nobody else may know, but if you are living in sin today, you are lost. You cannot be saved in sin. You must overcome sin. You must be saved from sin.

“What a scene is this! I pass over the ground again and again, bowed down in an agony that no tongue can express, as I see the end of the many, many who have refused to receive their Saviour.” Ibid.

The Lord wants to save you, but He cannot save you in your sins. He can save you from sin if you are willing. When you are baptized, you make a public confession that you are through with sin and that you are going to arise to walk in newness of life. Read Romans 6. That is what baptism means. The person who is still living in sin cannot be baptized until he has left his sins behind, through the power of the Holy Spirit. When you are baptized, what you are publicly saying is, “I am through with sin, I am going to follow Jesus, and by the power of His Holy Spirit I am going to live the Christian life.” It would be too bad to be baptized in vain, wouldn’t it? But see, if I am baptized and then I continue to live in sin, I have made a profession that I would let sin go, but my profession is a lie.

The Shepherd Knows His Sheep

What makes a church God’s denominated people? When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven, and He looks at us, what makes Him say, “These people belong to Me. They are part of my church; they are coming with Me.” This is so simple that I do not know how we could ever get mixed up on it, but there seems to be a lot of Bible students who are thoroughly confused on this point. They write me letters and send me all types of information, and they think that the denominated people are people who belong to a certain organization. Let us see what the Spirit of Prophecy says.

“…I was considering this matter in the night season, it seemed as if One stood up in the midst of us and pointed us back to the Israelites as an illustration of a distinct people, denominated of God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, 38.

There, somebody says; there it is; the Israelites were a distinct people; they were denominated of God. What we have to belong to is this. Who are these distinct people denominated of God? Look at the next sentence: “That which made them denominational was”— How would you fill in the blank? Oh, somebody says, “I know what it is; they belong to this organization.” That is not what it says. “They were the descendants of Abraham.” That is not what it says. “They followed Moses.” That is not what it says. Here is what it says. “That which made them denominational was the observance of God’s commandments.”

I do not know how to emphasize this enough! From the beginning of the great controversy, clear to the end, the point of controversy is the law of God. That was the issue in heaven. That was the issue with the children of Israel. That was the issue at the cross. That was the issue with the early church. That was the issue in Martin Luther’s time. That is the issue today! The dividing line, what it is that makes you denominational, what it is that makes you part of God’s people, is whether you keep the commandments of God. Is that hard to understand?

She says, “We are Seventh-day Adventists. This is a fitting name, for we keep the seventh-day Sabbath, and look for the Second Advent of our Lord in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. Even with respect to the name indicating some of the peculiar points of faith distinguishing us from other Christians, we are denominational. In keeping the Sabbath that God declares should be kept holy as a sign between Himself and His people, we show to the world that we are His peculiar, chosen people—a people whom He has denominated.” Ibid. p. 40.

Sealed by God

Do you keep the Sabbath? If you keep the Sabbath, that is a special sign that you read about in Exodus 31; and again in Ezekiel 20. It is also mentioned in Hebrews 4, and it is referred to over and over again in the book of Revelation. The Sabbath is a special sign called God’s seal, or His mark. If you keep it, that is a special sign that you are one of God’s denominated people. You can’t keep the Sabbath unless you keep all the rest of the commandments. You cannot keep the Sabbath and run around with your neighbor’s wife, because it says, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” You cannot keep the Sabbath holy if you are practicing unholiness with your neighbor’s wife; so you have to keep the seventh commandment to keep the fourth. If you go through all the rest of the commandments, you also have to keep them to keep the fourth. You cannot lie to your wife or to your husband and keep the Sabbath; that is impossible because then you are not holy. The law is holy, and you have to be in harmony with the law to be a holy person. You have to be in harmony with the law to keep the Sabbath holy. That is why the Sabbath is a special sign, because if you keep it, you will keep all the other commandments. You cannot keep it without keeping the rest.

Committed to God

“When you come to the point where you decide to serve God, you are denominational.” Ibid., 52. I am denominational, strictly denominational, that is all. Are you? I have decided to serve the Lord. Have you decided to serve the Lord? This day, not yesterday, today, I have committed my life to the Lord. I am not bragging about it; I am just telling you the facts. Today I have committed my life to the Lord; everything that I have for now and for the future I have committed to Him. I have decided to serve Him. So I am denominational. I am strictly denominational.

“In the name of the Lord we are to identify ourselves as Seventh-day Adventists. If any one among us is ashamed of our colors, and wishes to stand under another banner, let him do so as a private individual, not as a representative of Seventh-day Adventist medical missionary work.” Battle Creek Letters, 52.

So, are you denominational? I hope you are. Are you part of the people whom God has denominated? “As a people we are looked upon as peculiar. Our position and faith distinguish us from every other denomination.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 138. These words point us out as God’s denominated people.” Read also Testimonies, vol. 9, page 18, where it talks about the Sabbath. When Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven there is going to be a church waiting here that is going to go through, and they are going to go up to meet Him in the clouds.

Judged by What You Know

I want to address, for just a moment, something that may be troubling some of your minds. This question comes up very often. I had a Sabbath-keeping lady ask me what is going to happen to her dead husband. She said, “My husband was a very sincere Christian. He loved and followed the Lord, but he did not know about the Sabbath. What is going to happen to him?” The Bible answers that question. 2 Corinthians 8:12 says; “For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.” God knows exactly what you understand and what you do not understand. We are not passing judgment on anybody in the world who does not understand all that the Bible teaches. We are not passing judgment on anybody, but here is the catch. The Bible says; “…the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18. (NKJV.) Paul said, “…the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30. (KJV.)

There was a time when very few people in the world even had a copy of the Bible, but is that true today? No. Everybody in the world can have a copy of the Bible today. God has poured upon this generation more spiritual light than any previous generation. So when somebody asks me, “Is my relative, who died and who was not keeping the Sabbath, going to be saved?” I cannot pass judgment, but I will give you two points. We already went over one in 2 Corinthians 8:12. If you are living up to all the light that you have, God accepts you. But here is the catch, nobody will be lost because they were deceived and sincerely believed an error. Even Eve was not lost in the Garden of Eden for that reason. She was deceived, but that was not the reason she was banished from the garden. Why was Eve sent out of the Garden when she was deceived? It was not because she believed the serpent, it was because she rejected and disbelieved the Lord. You are not lost because you sincerely believed an error and you did not know the truth. Nobody will be lost because of that. If you learn about the truth and you reject the truth, then you are lost. God cannot trust you in heaven. If you know truth and are not practicing it and are not doing it, God cannot trust you. He cannot save you, and you are not going to go to heaven when Jesus comes.

Planted in the Midst

I know some will think this is a strange question, and wonder why I am even asking it. The reason I am going to ask it is because there are so many people who believe it. Do God and the devil ever work together? A lot of people think they do. A lot of people would not be so confused, if every time they read the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy they always understood that God and the devil never do anything together.

The following statement was written to the Battle Creek Church to professed Seventh-day Adventists; “These are the true feelings of a large class in Battle Creek. Satan exults at his success in controlling the minds of so many who profess to be Christians. He has deceived them, benumbed their sensibilities, and planted his hellish banner right in their midst.” Appeal to the Battle Creek Church, 2. Right in the midst of what? Right in the midst of the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She says the devil has planted his banner right there! “…and they are so completely deceived that they know not that it is he. The people have not erected graven images, yet their sin is no less in the sight of God. They worship mammon. They love worldly gain. Some will make any sacrifice of conscience to obtain their object. God’s professed people [the professed church] are selfish and self-caring. They love the things of this world, and have fellowship with the works of darkness.” Ibid. Can you have fellowship with darkness and light at the same time? Read 1 Corinthians 10. It tells you point blank that you cannot.

“They have pleasure in unrighteousness. They have not love toward God, nor love for their neighbors. They are idolaters—worse, far worse, in the sight of God, than the heathen graven–image worshipers who have no knowledge of a better way.” Ibid., 3. Of course they are the true church, aren’t they? Do you believe that God and the devil work together? Mrs. White said that the devil has set up his banner right in the middle of professed Christians, and they did not know it. They were following him and worshipping him. They did not love God; they were not following Him; they were having fellowship with darkness and not with light, and you say that is God’s true church? Do God and the devil work together? No! If you can always keep it straight in your mind that God and the devil never do anything in co-partnership, you will be able to figure out who and what the church is.

Separation Continues

The wheat and the tares are being separated right now, and it is going to be all over one of these days. Before some people wake up it is going to be too late, and they are going to find out that they are lost. I do not want it to be any of you. I have prayed a lot as I have seen what is happening to God’s professed people. I have said, “Lord, I do not know what I can do, but if there is any way, please use me as a humble instrument to save some out of this trap that they are in.” Do not ever feel at ease and say, “I am a Seventh-day Adventist; I belong to the right organization, and therefore I am going to be saved.” It is not so. Your character has to be in harmony with what you believe.

The reason I am telling you these things is because I want every single one of you to be saved. You can be, if you are willing to commit your life to Him and say, “Lord, I am surrendering totally to you.” The Holy Spirit is powerful enough to clean up your life and my life, to clean up our minds, our tongues, our bodies, and our actions. Do you want Jesus to recognize you as one of His when He comes in the clouds? Do you want to be part of the church that is going to go through? If that is what you want, make a commitment to the Lord, and say, “Lord, I want to be washed; I want to be sanctified; I want to be justified; I want you to save me from sin. I want to be part of the group that is going to go through.”