Bible Study Guides – THE PREPARATION , Part 1

October 16, 2005 – October 22, 2005

Key Text:

“Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.

Study Help: Last Day Events, 192, 193.


“I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence.” Early Writings, 71.

1 What is the main reason for the weakness of God’s church? Isaiah 59:1, 2. Compare Revelation 3:15–20.

note: “Those who claim to be the children of God, and yet do not obey His commands, who are hearers but not doers of the Word, are regarded by the Lord as bankers regard fraudulent bank-notes. They are not genuine. They claim the name of Christian, but in reality they are heathen. . . . If they realized that they were sinners, He could plead in their behalf, and the Lord would arouse them by His Holy Spirit. But He can not present them to the Father; for they are worse than dead in trespasses and sins. . . . God can be no power to lukewarm Laodiceans.” The Signs of the Times, August 2, 1899.

2 What remedial action of God’s people causes the devil to tremble? 11 Chronicles 7:14.

note: “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation. . . . When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come. Satan can no more hinder a shower of blessing from descending upon God’s people than he can close the windows of heaven that rain cannot come upon the earth. . . . Every temptation, every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, ‘not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6).” Selected Messages, Book 1, 124.

3 What is God’s urgent call to His people today? Ezekiel 18:31.

note: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work. There must be earnest effort to obtain the blessing of the Lord, not because God is not willing to bestow His blessing upon us, but because we are unprepared to receive it.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121.

4 By what prescribed means can we obtain the blessings God wants to bestow on us? Joel 2:12.

note: “Our heavenly Father is more willing to give His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than are earthly parents to give good gifts to their children. But it is our work, by confession, humiliation, repentance, and earnest prayer, to fulfill the conditions upon which God has promised to grant us His blessing.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 121.

5 With whom does the responsibility lie to remedy the defects in our characters? James 4:8.

note: “Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 214.

6 Who alone will receive the latter rain and be able to stand in the time of trouble? Psalm 24:3, 4.

note: “Now is the time to lay up treasure in heaven and to set our hearts in order, ready for the time of trouble. Those only who have clean hands and pure hearts will stand in that trying time. Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts.” Early Writings, 58.

7 What sad condition of God’s people, described by Peter, is seen in the church today? 11 Peter 2:20.

note: “In the vision given me in Rochester, New York, December 25, 1865, I was shown that a most solemn work is before us. Its importance and magnitude are not realized. As I marked the indifference which was everywhere apparent, I was alarmed for ministers and people. There seemed to be a paralysis upon the cause of present truth. The work of God seemed stayed. Ministers and people are unprepared for the time in which they live, and nearly all who profess to believe present truth are unprepared to understand the work of preparation for this time. In their present state of worldly ambition, with their lack of consecration to God, their devotion to self, they are wholly unfitted to receive the latter rain and, having done all, to stand against the wrath of Satan, who by his inventions would cause them to make shipwreck of faith, fastening upon them some pleasing self-deception. They think they are all right when they are all wrong.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 466.

8 Is it reasonable to expect all professed believers in the Three Angels’ Messages to be ready for the latter rain? Isaiah 1:9. Compare Revelation 12:17.

note: “Are we awake to the work that is going on in the heavenly sanctuary, or are we waiting for some compelling power to come upon the church before we shall arouse? Are we hoping to see the whole church revived? That time will never come.

“There are persons in the church who are not converted, and who will not unite in earnest, prevailing prayer. We must enter upon the work individually. We must pray more, and talk less. Iniquity abounds, and the people must be taught not to be satisfied with a form of godliness without the spirit and power.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 122.

9 Once the former rain has accomplished its purpose, how will God recognize the fact? Zechariah 10:1, last part.

note: “The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure.” Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.

10 What portion of the professed church is to blame for the delay in the latter rain? Matthew 7:14. Compare Matthew 22:14.

note: “When we have entire, whole-hearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” Review and Herald, July 21, 1896.

“I was shown that if God’s people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 619.

11 Before the latter rain can descend, what must God’s people first experience? Zechariah 10:1. Compare Jeremiah 5:24; Mark 4:28.

note: “The latter rain, ripening earth’s harvest, represents the spiritual grace that prepares the church for the coming of the Son of man. But unless the former rain has fallen, there will be no life; the green blade will not spring up. Unless the early showers have done their work, the latter rain can bring no seed to perfection. . . .

“The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving His light and knowledge must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506, 507.

12 What important function does the former rain accomplish? Ephesians 4:13.

note: “As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God’s grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 506.

13 Will the former rain ever cease to be necessary? John 14:16.

note: “At no point in our experience can we dispense with the assistance of that which enables us to make the first start. The blessings received under the former rain are needful to us to the end.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 507.

14 Describe the present duty of God’s people. 1 Peter 1:22; 11 Peter 1:5–8.

note: “The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. Today you are to give yourselves to God, that he may make of you vessels unto honor, and meet for his service. Today you are to give yourself to God, that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealousy, evil-surmising, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God. Today you are to have your vessel purified that it may be ready for the heavenly dew, ready for the showers of the latter rain; for the latter rain will come, and the blessing of God will fill every soul that is purified from every defilement. It is our work today to yield our souls to Christ, that we may be fitted for the time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord—fitted for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Review and Herald, March 22, 1892.