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                        ARE WE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE

                     FOR SOULS BEING WON OR LOST?


Revised 08-16-12

Posted 08-03-05

Revised 08-16-12

Posted 8-08-2005

COLOR CODE:


RED FONT = THE MOST HOLY KJV BIBLE.

        

BROWN FONT = THE MOST HOLY SHEPHERD’S ROD MESSAGE THROUGH Bro V.T. Houteff.


PURPLE FONT = THE ADDITIONAL CODES ( NEW CODES ), OF THE SHEPHERD’S ROD MESSAGE.


BLUE FONT = THE MOST HOLY SPIRIT OF PROPHECY THROUGH Sister Ellen Gould White.


FUCHCIA FONT = THE MOST PRECIOUS 1888 MESSAGE – { TM 91-92 }.


GREEN FONT = My Own Personal Commentary or the Commentary of Others.


NAVY FONT = Any Other Source of Information, Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Etc.

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NOTE: THE FONT IS CAPITALIZED WHEN SPEAKING OF GOD AND HIS TRUTH.


THE FONT IS ENLARGED AND CAPITALIZED, AT TIMES, TO EMPHASIZE THE POINT.

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                                       ARE WE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE

                   FOR SOULS BEING WON OR LOST?


This Section has to do, mainly, with whether we are held accountable for souls. I once heard a fairly well known SDA Minister say we are not. THE FOLLOWING INSPIRED REFERENCES SHOULD MAKE IT VERY CLEAR that we are MOST DEFINITELY, held accountable for souls.

Brother Randahl

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Dec. 5, 1998    THE LORD’S HOLY SABBATH DAY

TV6:21-22 "One soul is of more value to HEAVEN than a whole world of property, houses, land, money."

7A:431:2:T The world has claims upon you... If you fail to shine as lights in the world, some will rise in the judgment and charge upon you the blood of their souls.


Matthew 18.1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Matthew 18.2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

Matthew 18.3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew.4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18.5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

Matthew 18.6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18.7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

Matthew 18.8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

Matthew 18.9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Matthew 18.10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 18.11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18.12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

Matthew 18.13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Matthew 18.14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.


This Man Receiveth Sinners

SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK - CHRIST'S OBJECT LESSONS

COL.185.001

As the "publicans and sinners" gathered about Christ, the rabbis expressed their displeasure. "This man receiveth sinners," they said, "and eateth with them."

COL.185.002

By this accusation they insinuated that Christ liked to associate with the sinful and vile, and was insensible to their wickedness. The rabbis had been disappointed in Jesus. Why was it that one who claimed so lofty a character did not mingle with them and follow their methods of teaching? Why did He go about so unpretendingly, working among all classes? If He were a true prophet, they said, He would harmonize with them, and would treat the publicans and sinners with the indifference they deserved. It angered these guardians of society that He with whom they were continually in controversy, yet whose purity of life awed and condemned them, should meet, in such apparent sympathy, with social outcasts. They did not approve of His methods. They regarded themselves as educated, refined, and pre-eminently religious; but Christ's example laid bare their selfishness. 186

COL.186.001

It angered them also that those who showed only contempt for the rabbis and who were never seen in the synagogues should flock about Jesus and listen with rapt attention to His words. The scribes and Pharisees felt only condemnation in that pure presence; how was it, then, that publicans and sinners were drawn to Jesus?

COL.186.002

They knew not that the explanation lay in the very words they had uttered as a scornful charge, "This man receiveth sinners." The souls who came to Jesus felt in His presence that even for them there was escape from the pit of sin. The Pharisees had only scorn and condemnation for them; but Christ greeted them as children of God, estranged indeed from the father's house, but not forgotten by the father's heart. And their very misery and sin made them only the more the objects of His compassion. The farther they had wandered from Him, the more earnest the longing and the greater the sacrifice for their rescue.

COL.186.003

All this the teachers of Israel might have learned from the sacred scrolls of which it was their pride to be the keepers and expounders. He not David written--David, who had fallen into deadly sin--"I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek Thy servant"? Ps. 119:176. Had not Micah revealed God's love to the sinner, saying, "Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy"? Micah 7:18.

COL.186.004

The Lost Sheep: Christ did not at this time remind His hearers of the words of Scripture. He appealed to the witness of their own experience. The wide-spreading tablelands on the east of Jordan afforded abundant pasturage for flocks, and through the gorges and over the wooded hills had wandered many a lost sheep, to be searched for and brought back by the shepherd's care. In the company about Jesus there were shepherds, and also men who had money invested in flocks and herds, and all could appreciate His illustration: "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?"

COL.187.001

These souls whom you despise, said Jesus, are the property of God. By creation and by redemption they are His, and they are of value in His sight. As the shepherd loves his sheep, and cannot rest if even one be missing, so, in an infinitely higher degree, does God love every outcast soul. Men may deny the claim of His love, they may wander from Him, they may choose another master; yet they are God's, and He longs to recover His own. He says, "As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day." Eze. 34:12.

COL.187.002

In the parable the shepherd goes out to search for one sheep--the very least that can be numbered. So if there had been but one lost soul, Christ would have died for that one.

COL.187.003

The sheep that has strayed from the fold is the most helpless of all creatures. It must be sought for by the shepherd, for it cannot find its way back. So with the soul that has wandered away from God; he is as helpless as the lost sheep, and unless divine love had come to his rescue he could never find his way to God.

COL.187.004

The shepherd who discovers that one of his sheep is missing does not look carelessly upon the flock that is safely housed, and say, "I have ninety and nine, and it will cost me too much trouble to go in search of the straying one. 188 Let him come back, and I will open the door of the sheepfold, and let him in." No; no sooner does the sheep go astray than the shepherd is filled with grief and anxiety. He counts and recounts the flock. When he is sure that one sheep is lost, he slumbers not. He leaves the ninety and nine with the fold, and goes in search of the straying sheep. The darker and more tempestuous the night and the more perilous the way, the greater is the shepherd's anxiety and the more earnest his search. He makes every effort to find that one lost sheep.

COL.188.001

With what relief he hears in the distance its first faint cry. Following the sound, he climbs the steepest heights, he goes to the very edge of the precipice, at the risk of his own life. Thus he searches, while the cry, growing fainter, tells him that his sheep is ready to die. At last his effort is rewarded; the lost is found. Then he does not scold it because it has caused him so much trouble. He does not drive it with a whip. He does not even try to lead it home. In his joy he takes the trembling creature upon his shoulders; if it is bruised and wounded, he gathers it in his arms, pressing it close to his bosom, that the warmth of his own heart may give it life. With gratitude that his search has not been in vain, he bears it back to the fold.

COL.188.002

Thank God, He has presented to our imagination no picture of a sorrowful shepherd returning without the sheep. The parable does not speak of failure but of success and joy in the recovery. Here is the divine guarantee that not even one of the straying sheep of God's fold is overlooked, not one is left unsuccored. Every one that will submit to be ransomed, Christ will rescue from the pit of corruption and from the briers of sin.

COL.188.003

Desponding soul, take courage, even though you have done wickedly. Do not think that perhaps God will pardon your transgressions and permit you to come into His presence. God has made the first advance. While you were in rebellion against Him, He went forth to seek you. With the tender heart of the shepherd He left the ninety and nine and went out into the wilderness to find that which was lost. The soul, bruised and wounded and ready to perish, He encircles in His arms of love and joyfully bears it to the fold of safety.

COL.189.001

It was taught by the Jews that before God's love is extended to the sinner, he must first repent. In their view, repentance is a work by which men earn the favor of Heaven. And it was this thought that led the Pharisees to exclaim in astonishment and anger. "This man receiveth sinners." According to their ideas He should permit none to approach Him but those who had repented. But in the parable of the lost sheep, Christ teaches that salvation does not come through our seeking after God but through God's seeking after us. "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way." Rom. 3:11, 12. We do not repent in order that God may love us, but He reveals to us His love in order that we may repent.

COL.189.002

When the straying sheep is at last brought home, the shepherd's gratitude finds expression in melodious songs of rejoicing. He calls upon his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, "Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost." So when a wanderer is found by the great Shepherd of the sheep, heaven and earth unite in thanksgiving and rejoicing.

COL.189.003

"Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." You Pharisees, said Christ, regard yourselves as the favorites of heaven. You think yourselves secure in your own righteousness. Know, then, that if you need no repentance, My mission is not to you. These poor souls who feel their poverty and sinfulness, are the very ones whom I have come to rescue. Angels of heaven are interested in these lost ones whom you despise. You complain and sneer when one of these souls joins himself to Me; but know that angels rejoice, and the song of triumph rings through the courts above.

COL.190.001

The rabbis had a saying that there is rejoicing in heaven when one who has sinned against God is destroyed; but Jesus taught that to God the work of destruction is a strange work. That in which all heaven delights is the restoration of God's own image in the souls whom He has made.

COL.190.002

When one who has wandered far in sin seeks to return to God, he will encounter criticism and distrust. There are those who will doubt whether his repentance is genuine, or will whisper, "He has no stability; I do not believe that he will hold out." These persons are doing not the work of God but the work of Satan, who is the accuser of the brethren. Through their criticisms the wicked one hopes to discourage that soul, and to drive him still farther from hope and from God. Let the repenting sinner contemplate the rejoicing in heaven over the return of the one that was lost. Let him rest in the love of God and in no case be disheartened by the scorn and suspicion of the Pharisees.

COL.190.003

The rabbis understood Christ's parable as applying to the publicans and sinners; but it has also a wider meaning. By the lost sheep Christ represents not only the individual sinner but the one world that has apostatized and has been ruined by sin. This world is but an atom in the vast dominions over which God presides, yet this little fallen world--the one lost sheep --is more precious in His sight than are the ninety and nine that went not astray from the fold. Christ, the loved Commander in the heavenly courts, stooped from His high estate, laid aside the glory that He had with the father, in order to save the one lost world. For this He left the sinless worlds on high, the ninety and nine that loved Him, and came to this earth, to be "wounded for our transgressions" and "bruised for our iniquities." (Isa. 53:5.) God gave Himself in His Son that He might have the joy of receiving back the sheep that was lost.

COL.191.001

"Behold, what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." I John 3:1. And Christ says, "As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17:18)--to "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ, . . . for His body's sake, which is the church." COL. 1:24. Every soul whom Christ has rescued is called to work in His name for the saving of the lost. This work had been neglected in Israel. Is it not negle

ted today by those who profess to be Christ's followers?

COL.191.002

How many of the wandering ones have you, reader, sought for and brought back to the fold? When you turn from those who seem unpromising and unattractive, do you realize that you are neglecting the souls for whom Christ is seeking? At the very time when you turn from them, they may be in the greatest need of your compassion. In every assembly for worship, there are souls longing for rest and peace. They may appear to be living careless lives, but they are not insensible to the influence of the Holy Spirit. Many among them might be won for Christ.

COL.191.003

If the lost sheep is not brought back to the fold, it wanders until it perishes. And many souls go down to ruin for want of a hand stretched out to save. These erring ones may appear hard and reckless; but if they had received the same advantages that others have had, they might have revealed far more nobility of soul, and greater talent for usefulness. Angels pity these wandering ones. Angels weep, while human eyes are dry and hearts are closed to pity.

COL.192.001

O the lack of deep, soul-touching sympathy for the tempted and the erring! O for more of Christ's spirit, and for less, far less, of self!

COL.192.002

The Pharisees understood Christ's parable as a rebuke to them. Instead of accepting their criticism of His work, He had reproved their neglect of the publicans and sinners. He had not done this openly, lest it should close their hearts against Him; but His illustration set before them the very work which God required of them, and which they had failed to do. Had they been true shepherds, these leaders in Israel would have done the work of a shepherd. They would have manifested the mercy and love of Christ, and would have united with Him in His mission. Their refusal to do this had proved their claims of piety to be false. Now many rejected Christ's reproof; yet to some His words brought conviction. Upon these, after Christ's ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit came, and they united with His disciples in the very work outlined in the parable of the lost sheep.

COL.192.003

The Lost Piece of Silver After giving the parable of the lost sheep Christ spoke another, saying, "What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?"

COL.192.004

In the East the houses of the poor usually consisted of but one room, often windowless and dark. The room was rarely swept, and a piece of money falling on the floor would be speedily covered by the dust and rubbish. In order that it might be found, even in the daytime, a candle must be lighted, and the house must be swept diligently.

COL.193.001

The wife's marriage portion usually consisted of pieces of money, which she carefully preserved as her most cherished possession, to be transmitted to her own daughters. The loss of one of these pieces would be regarded as a serious calamity, and its recovery would cause great rejoicing, in which the neighboring women would readily share.

COL.193.002

"When she hath found it," Christ said, "she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

COL.193.003

This parable, like the preceding, sets forth the loss of something which with proper search may be recovered, and that with great joy. But the two parables represent different classes. The lost sheep knows that it is lost. It has left the shepherd and the flock, and it cannot recover itself. It represents those who realize that they are separated from God and who are in a cloud of perplexity, in humiliation, and sorely tempted. The lost coin represents those who are lost in trespasses and sins, but who have no sense of their condition. They are estranged from God, but they know it not. Their souls are in peril, but they are unconscious and unconcerned. In this parable Christ teaches that even those who are indifferent to the claims of God are the objects of His pitying love. They are to be sought for that they may be brought back to God.

COL.194.001

The sheep wandered away from the fold; it was lost in the wilderness or upon the mountains. The piece of silver was lost in the house. It was close at hand, yet it could be recovered only by diligent search.

COL.194.002

This parable has a lesson to families. In the household there is often great carelessness concerning the souls of its members. Among their number may be one who is estranged from God; but how little anxiety is felt lest in the family relationship there be lost one of God's entrusted gifts.

COL.194.003

The coin, though lying among dust and rubbish, is a piece of silver still. Its owner seeks it because it is of value. So every soul, however degraded by sin, is in God's sight accounted precious. As the coin bears the image and superscription of the reigning power, so man at his creation bore the image and superscription of God; and though now marred and dim through the influence of sin, the traces of this inscription remain upon every soul. God desires to recover that soul and to retrace upon it His own image in righteousness and holiness.

COL.194.004

The woman in the parable searches diligently for her lost coin. She lights the candle and sweeps the house. She removes everything that might obstruct her search. Though only one piece is lost, she will not cease her efforts until that piece is found. So in the family if one member is lost to God every means should be used for his recovery. On the part of all the others let there be diligent, careful self-examination. Let the life-practice be investigated. See if there is not some mistake, some error in management, by which that soul is confirmed in impenitence.

COL.195.001

If there is in the family one child who is unconscious of his sinful state, parents should not rest. Let the candle be lighted. Search the word of God, and by its light let everything in the home be diligently examined, to see why this child is lost. Let parents search their own hearts, examine their habits and practices. Children are the heritage of the lord, and we are answerable to Him for our management of His property.

COL.195.002

There are fathers and mothers who long to labor in some foreign mission field; there are many who are active in Christian work outside the home, while their own children are strangers to the Saviour and His love. The work of winning their children for Christ many parents trust to the minister or the Sabbath school teacher, but in doing this they are neglecting their own God-given responsibility. The education and training of their children to be Christians is the highest service that parents can render to God. It is a work that demands patient labor, a lifelong diligent and persevering effort. By a neglect of this trust we prove ourselves unfaithful stewards. No excuse for such neglect will be accepted by God.

COL.195.003

But those who have been guilty of neglect are not to despair. The woman whose coin was lost searched until she found it. So in love, faith, and prayer let parents work for their households, until with joy they can come to God saying, "Behold, I and the children whom the lord hath given me." Isa. 8:18.

COL.196.001

This is true home missionary work, and it is as helpful to those who do it as to those for whom it is done. By our faithful interest for the home circle we are fitting ourselves to work for the members of the Lord's family, with whom, if loyal to Christ, we shall live through eternal ages. For our brethren and sisters in Christ we are to show the same interest that as members of one family we have for one another.

COL.196.002

And God designs that all this shall fit us to labor for still others. As our sympathies shall broaden and our love increase, we shall find everywhere a work to do. God's great human household embraces the world, and none of its members are to be passed by with neglect.

COL.196.003

Wherever we may be, there the lost piece of silver awaits our search. Are we seeking for it? Day by day we meet with those who take no interest in religious things; we talk with them, we visit among them; do we show an interest in their spiritual welfare? Do we present Christ to them as the sin-pardoning Saviour? With our own hearts warm with the love of Christ, do we tell them about that love? If we do not, how shall we meet these souls--lost, eternally lost--when with them we stand before the throne of God?

COL.196.004

The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.

COL.197.001

If you are in communion with Christ, you will place His estimate upon every human being. You will feel for others the same deep love that Christ has felt for you. Then you will be able to win, not drive, to attract, not repulse, those for whom He died. None would ever have been brought back to God if Christ had not made a personal effort for them; and it is by this personal work that we can rescue souls. When you see those who are going down to death, you will not rest in quiet indifference and ease. The greater their sin and the deeper their misery, the more earnest and tender will be your efforts for their recovery. You will discern the need of those who are suffering, who have been sinning against God, and who are oppressed with a burden of guilt. Your heart will go out in sympathy for them, and you will reach out to them a helping hand. In the arms of your faith and love you will bring them to Christ. You will watch over and encourage them, and your sympathy and confidence will make it hard for them to fall from their steadfastness.

COL.197.002

In this work all the angels of heaven are ready to co-operate. All the resources of heaven are at the command of those who are seeking to save the lost. Angels will help you to reach the most careless and the most hardened. And when one is brought back to God, all heaven is made glad; seraphs and cherubs touch their golden harps, and sing praises to God and the Lamb for their mercy and loving-kindness to the children of men.

Love for the Erring

5 Testimomies Chap. 75

Christ came to bring salvation within the reach of all. Upon the cross of Calvary He paid the infinite redemption price for a lost world. His self-denial and self-sacrifice, His unselfish labor, His humiliation, above all, the offering up of His life, testifies to the depth of His love for fallen man. It was to seek and to save the lost that He came to earth. His mission was to sinners, sinners of every grade, of every tongue and nation. He paid the price for all, to ransom them and bring them into union and sympathy with Himself. The most erring, the most sinful, were not passed by; His labors were especially for those who most needed the salvation He came to bring. The greater their need of reform, the deeper was His interest, the greater His sympathy, and the more earnest His labors. His great heart of love was stirred to its depths for the ones whose condition was most hopeless and who most needed His transforming grace. {5T 603.2}

In the parable of the lost sheep is represented the wonderful love of Christ for the erring, wandering ones. He does not choose to remain with those who accept His salvation, bestowing all His efforts upon them and receiving their gratitude

604

and love. The true shepherd leaves the flock that love him, and goes out into the wilderness, enduring hardship and facing danger and death, to seek and save the sheep that has wandered from the fold and that must perish if not brought back. When after diligent search the lost is found, the shepherd, though suffering from weariness, pain, and hunger, does not leave it in its weakness to follow him, he does not drive it along, but oh, wondrous love! he tenderly gathers it in his arms and, placing it upon his shoulder, bears it back to the fold. Then he calls upon his neighbors to rejoice with him over the lost that is found. {5T 603.3}

The parable of the prodigal son and that of the lost piece of silver teach the same lesson. Every soul that is especially imperiled by falling into temptation causes pain to the heart of Christ and calls forth His tenderest sympathy and most earnest labor. Over one sinner that repenteth, His joy is greater than over the ninety and nine who need no repentance. {5T 604.1}

These lessons are for our benefit. Christ has enjoined upon His disciples that they co-operate with Him in His work, that they love one another as He has loved them. The agony which He endured upon the cross testifies to the estimate He places upon the human soul. All who accept this great salvation pledge themselves to be co-workers with Him. None are to consider themselves special favorites of heaven and center their interest and attention upon self. All who have enlisted in the service of Christ are to work as He worked, and are to love those who are in ignorance and sin, even as He loved them. {5T 604.2}

But there has been among us as a people a lack of deep, earnest, soul-touching sympathy and love for the tempted and the erring. Many have manifested great coldness and sinful neglect, represented by Christ as passing by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from those who most need help. The newly converted soul often has fierce conflicts with established habits or with some special form of

605

temptation, and, being overcome by some master passion or tendency, he is guilty of indiscretion or actual wrong. It is then that energy, tact, and wisdom are required of his brethren, that he may be restored to spiritual health. In such cases the instructions of God's word apply: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in a spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." But how little of the pitying tenderness of Christ is manifested by His professed followers! When one errs, others too often feel at liberty to make the case appear as bad as possible. Those who perhaps are guilty of fully as great sins in some other direction, will treat their brother with cruel severity. Errors committed through ignorance, thoughtlessness, or weakness are exaggerated into willful, premeditated sin. As they see souls going astray, some fold their hands and say: "I told you so. I knew there was no dependence to be placed upon them." Thus they place themselves in the attitude of Satan, exulting in spirit that their evil surmisings have proved to be correct. {5T 604.3}

We must expect to meet and bear with great imperfections in those who are young and inexperienced. Christ has bidden us seek to restore such in the spirit of meekness, and He holds us responsible for pursuing a course which will drive them to discouragement, despair, and ruin. Unless we daily cultivate the precious plant of love we are in danger of becoming narrow, unsympathetic, bigoted, and critical, esteeming ourselves righteous when we are far from being approved of God. Some are uncourteous, abrupt, and harsh. They are like chestnut burs: they prick whenever touched. These do incalculable harm by misrepresenting our loving Saviour. {5T 605.1}

We must come up to a higher standard, or we are unworthy of the Christian name. We should cultivate the spirit with which Christ labored to save the erring. They are as

606

dear to Him as we are. They are equally capable of being trophies of His grace and heirs of the kingdom. But they are exposed to the snares of a wily foe, exposed to danger and defilement, and without the saving grace of Christ, to certain ruin. Did we view this matter in the right light, how would our zeal be quickened and our earnest, self-sacrificing efforts be multiplied, that we might come close to those who need our help, our prayers, our sympathy, and our love! {5T 605.2}

Let those who have been remiss in this work consider their duty in the light of the great commandment: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." This obligation is resting upon all. All are required to labor to diminish the ills and multiply the blessings of their fellow creatures. If we are strong to resist temptation we are under the greater obligation to help those who are weak and yielding. Have we knowledge, we should instruct the ignorant. Has God blessed us with this world's goods, it is our duty to succor the poor. We must work for others' good. Let all within the sphere of our influence be partakers of whatever of excellence we may possess. None should be content to feed on the bread of life without sharing it with those around them. {5T 606.1}

Those only live for Christ and honor His name who are true to their Master in seeking to save that which is lost. Genuine piety will surely manifest the deep longing and earnest labor of the crucified Saviour to save those for whom He died. If our hearts are softened and subdued by the grace of Christ, and glowing with a sense of God's goodness and love, there will be a natural outflow of love, sympathy, and tenderness to others. The truth exemplified in the life will exert its power, like the hidden leaven, upon all with whom it is brought in contact. {5T 606.2}

God has ordained that in order to grow in grace and in a knowledge of Christ, men must follow His example and work as He worked. It will often require a struggle to control our own feelings and to refrain from speaking in a manner to

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discourage those who are laboring under temptation. A life of daily prayer and praise, a life which will shed light upon the path of others, cannot be maintained without earnest effort. But such effort will yield precious fruit, blessing not only the receiver, but the giver. The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated. There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who exercise the Christian graces will grow. They will have spiritual sinew and muscle, and will be strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perceptions, a steady, increasing faith, and prevailing power in prayer. Those who are watching for souls, who devote themselves most fully to the salvation of the erring, are most surely working out their own salvation. {5T 606.3}

But how has this work been neglected! If the thoughts and affections were wholly given to God, think you that souls in error, under the temptations of Satan, would be dropped as carelessly and unfeelingly as they have been? Would not greater efforts be put forth, in the love and simplicity of Christ, to save these wandering ones? All who are truly consecrated to God will engage with the greatest zeal in the work for which He has done the most, for which He has made an infinite sacrifice--the work for the salvation of souls. This is the special work to be cherished and sustained, and never allowed to flag. {5T 607.1}

God calls upon His people to arise and come out of the chilling, frosty atmosphere in which they have been living, to shake off the impressions and ideas that have frozen up the impulses of love and held them in selfish inactivity. He bids them come up from their low, earthly level and breathe in the clear, sunny

atmosphere of heaven. {5T 607.2}

Our meetings for worship should be sacred, precious occasions. The prayer meeting is not a place where brethren are

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to censure and condemn one another, where there are to be unkind feelings and hard speeches. Christ will be driven from the assemblies where this spirit is manifested, and Satan will come in to take the lead. Nothing that savors of an unchristian, unloving spirit should be permitted to enter; for do we not assemble to seek mercy and forgiveness from the Lord? and the Saviour has plainly said: "With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Who can stand before God and plead a faultless character, a blameless life? And how, then, dare any criticize and condemn their brethren? Those who themselves can hope for salvation only through the merits of Christ, who must seek forgiveness by virtue of His blood, are under the strongest obligation to exercise love, pity, and forgiveness toward their fellow sinners. {5T 607.3}

Brethren, unless you educate yourselves to respect the place of devotion, you will receive no blessing from God. You may worship Him in form, but there will be no spiritual service. "Where two or three are gathered together in My name," says Jesus, "there am I in the midst of them." All should feel that they are in the divine presence, and instead of dwelling upon the faults and errors of others they should be diligently searching their own hearts. If you have confessions to make of your own sins, do your duty and leave others to do theirs. {5T 608.1}

When you indulge your own harshness of character by manifesting a hard, unfeeling spirit you are repulsing the very ones whom you should win. Your harshness destroys their love of assembling together and too often results in driving them from the truth. You should realize that you yourselves are under the rebuke of God. While you condemn others, the Lord condemns you. You have a duty to do to confess your own unchristian conduct. May the Lord move upon the hearts of the individual members of the church until His transforming grace shall be revealed in the life and the character. Then

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when you assemble together, it will not be to criticize one another, but to talk of Jesus and His love. {5T 608.2}

Our meetings should be made intensely interesting. They should be pervaded with the very atmosphere of heaven. Let there be no long, dry speeches and formal prayers merely for the sake of occupying the time. All should be ready to act their part with promptness, and when their duty is done, the meeting should be closed. Thus the interest will be kept up to the last. This is offering to God acceptable worship. His service should be made interesting and attractive and not be allowed to degenerate into a dry form. We must live for Christ minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day; then Christ will dwell in us, and when we meet together, His love will be in our hearts, welling up like a spring in the desert, refreshing all, and making those who are ready to perish, eager to drink of the waters of life. {5T 609.1}

We are not to depend upon two or three members to do the work for the whole church. We must individually have a strong, active faith, carrying forward the work God has left us to do. There must be an intense, living interest to inquire of God: "'What wilt Thou have me to do?' How shall I do my work for time and for eternity?" We must individually bend all our powers to search for the truth, employing every means within our reach that will aid us in a diligent, prayerful investigation of the Scriptures; and then we must be sanctified through the truth, that we may save souls. {5T 609.2}

An earnest effort should be made in every church to put away evilspeaking and a censorious spirit as among the sins productive of the greatest evils in the church. Severity and faultfinding must be rebuked as the workings of Satan. Mutual love and confidence must be encouraged and strengthened in the members of the church. Let all, in the fear of God and with love to their brethren, close their ears to gossip and censure. Direct the talebearer to the teachings of God's word.

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Bid him obey the Scriptures and carry his complaints directly to those whom he thinks in error. This united action would bring a flood of light into the church and close the door to a flood of evil. Thus God would be glorified, and many souls would be saved. {5T 609.3}

The admonition of the True Witness to the Sardis church is: "Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." The sin especially charged against this church is that they have not strengthened the things that remain, that are ready to die. Does this warning apply to us? Let us individually examine our hearts in the light of God's word, and let our first work be to set our hearts in order by the help of Christ. {5T 610.1}

God has done His part of the work for the salvation of men, and now He calls for the co-operation of the church. There are the blood of Christ, the word of truth, the Holy Spirit, on one hand, and there are the perishing souls on the other. Every follower of Christ has a part to act to bring men to accept the blessings heaven has provided. Let us closely examine ourselves and see if we have done this work. Let us question our motives and every action of our lives. Are there not many unpleasant pictures hanging in memory's halls? Often have you needed the forgiveness of Jesus. You have been constantly dependent upon His compassion and love. Yet have you not failed to manifest toward others the spirit which Christ has exercised toward you? Have you felt a burden for the one whom you saw venturing into forbidden paths? Have you kindly admonished him? Have you wept for him and prayed with him and for him? Have you shown by words of tenderness and kindly acts that you love him and desire to save him? As you have associated with those who were faltering and

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staggering under the load of their own infirmities of disposition and faulty habits, have you left them to fight the battles alone when you might have given them help? Have you not passed these sorely tempted ones by on the other side while the world has stood ready to give them sympathy and to allure them into Satan's nets? Have you not, like Cain, been ready to say: "Am I my brother's keeper?" How must the great Head of the church regard the work of your life? How does He to whom every soul is precious, as the purchase of His blood, look upon your indifference to those who stray from the right path? Are you not afraid that He will leave you just as you leave them? Be sure that He who is the true Watchman of the Lord's house has marked every neglect. {5T 610.2}

Have not Christ and His love been shut out from your life until a mechanical form has taken the place of heart service? Where is the kindling of soul you once felt at the mention of the name of Jesus? In the freshness of your early dedication, how fervent was your love for souls! how earnestly you sought to represent to them the Saviour's love! The absence of that love has made you cold, critical, exacting. Seek to win it back, and then labor to bring souls to Christ. If you refuse to do this, others who have had less light and experience and fewer opportunities will come up and take your place and do that which you have neglected; for the work must be done to save the tempted, the tried, the perishing. Christ offers the service to His church; who will accept it? {5T 611.1}

God has not been unmindful of the good deeds, the self-denying acts, of the church in the past. All are registered on high. But these are not enough. These will not save the church when she ceases to fulfill her mission. Unless the cruel neglect and indifference manifested in the past shall cease, the church, instead of going from strength to strength, will continue to degenerate into weakness and formality. Shall we let this be? Is the dull torpor, the mournful deterioration in love and

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spiritual zeal, to be perpetuated? Is this the condition in which Christ is to find His church? {5T 611.2}

Brethren, your own lamps will surely flicker and grow dim until they go out in darkness unless you make decided efforts to reform. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works." The opportunity now presented may be short. If this season of grace and repentance passes unimproved, the warning is given: "I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place." These words are uttered by the lips of the long-suffering, forbearing One. They are a solemn warning to churches and individuals that the Watcher who never slumbers is measuring their course of action. It is only by reason of His marvelous patience that they are not cut down as cumberers of the ground. But His Spirit will not always strive. His patience will wait but little longer. {5T 612.1}

Your faith must be something more than it has been, or you will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. At the last day the final decision by the Judge of all the earth will turn upon our interest in, and practical labor for, the needy, the oppressed, the tempted. You cannot always pass these by on the other side and yourselves find entrance as redeemed sinners into the city of God. "Inasmuch," says Christ, "as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me." {5T 612.2}

It is not yet too late to redeem the neglects of the past. Let there be a revival of the first love, the first ardor. Search out the ones you have driven away, bind up by confession the wounds you have made. Come close to the great Heart of pitying love, and let the current of that divine compassion flow into your heart and from you to the hearts of others. Let the tenderness and mercy that Jesus has revealed in His own precious life be an example to us of the manner in which we should treat our fellow beings, especially those who are our brethren in Christ. Many have fainted and become discouraged in the

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great struggle of life, whom one word of kindly cheer and courage would have strengthened to overcome. Never, never become heartless, cold, unsympathetic, and censorious. Never lose an opportunity to say a word to encourage and inspire hope. We cannot tell how far-reaching may be our tender words of kindness, our Christlike efforts to lighten some burden. The erring can be restored in no other way than in the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and tender love.

Wouldst thou an erring soul redeem,

And lead a lost one back to God?

Wouldst thou a guardian angel seem

To one who long in guilt has trod?

Go kindly to him, take his hand,

With gentle words, within thine own,

And by his side a brother stand,

Till thou the demon sin dethrone.

Scorn not the guilty then, but plead

With him in kindest, gentlest mood,

And back the lost one thou mayst lead

To God, humanity, and good.

Thou art thyself but man, and thou

Art weak, perchance to fall as he;

Then mercy to the fallen show,

That mercy may be shown to thee.

{5T 612.3}

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7A:431:2:T The world has claims upon you... If you fail to shine as lights in the world, some will rise in the judgment and charge upon you the blood of their souls.

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June 22, 2002 THE HOLY SABBATH DAY Auburn

              SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK - CHRIST'S OBJECT LESSONS

Influence

{COL 339.1}

The life of Christ was an ever-widening, shoreless influence, an influence that bound Him to God and to the whole human family. Through Christ, God has invested man with an influence that makes it impossible for him to live to himself. Individually we are connected with our fellow men, a part of God's great whole, and we stand under mutual obligations. No man can be independent of his fellow men; for the well-being of each affects others. It is God's purpose that each shall feel himself necessary to others' welfare, and seek to promote their happiness.

{COL 339.2}

Every soul is surrounded by an atmosphere of its own--an atmosphere, it may be, charged with the life-giving power of faith, courage, and hope, and sweet with the fragrance of love. Or it may be heavy and chill with the gloom of discontent and selfishness, or poisonous with the deadly taint of cherished sin. By the atmosphere surrounding us, every person with whom we come in contact is consciously or unconsciously affected.

{COL 339.3}

This is a responsibility from which we cannot free ourselves. Our words, our acts, our dress, our deportment, even the expression of the countenance, has an influence.

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Upon the impression thus made there hang results for good or evil which no man can measure. Every impulse thus imparted is seed sown which will produce its harvest. It is a link in the long chain of human events, extending we know not whither. If by our example we aid others in the development of good principles, we give them power to do good. In their turn they exert the same influence upon others, and they upon still others. Thus by our unconscious influence thousands may be blessed.

{COL 339.4}

Throw a pebble into the lake, and a wave is formed, and another and another; and as they increase, the circle widens, until it reaches the very shore. So with our influence. Beyond our knowledge or control it tells upon others in blessing or in cursing.

{COL 340.1}

Character is power. The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ we co-operate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can co-operate with Him. And the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ's example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world.

{COL 340.2}

But never should it be forgotten that influence is no less a power for evil. To lose one's own soul is a terrible thing; but to cause the loss of other souls is still more terrible. That our influence should be a savor of death unto death is a fearful thought; yet this is possible. Many who profess to gather with Christ are scattering from Him. This is why the church is so weak. Many indulge freely

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in criticism and accusing. By giving expression to suspicion, jealousy, and discontent, they yield themselves as instruments to Satan. Before they realize what they are doing, the adversary has through them accomplished his purpose. The impression of evil has been made, the shadow has been cast, the arrows of Satan have found their mark. Distrust, unbelief, and downright infidelity have fastened upon those who otherwise might have accepted Christ. Meanwhile the workers for Satan look complacently upon those whom they have driven to skepticism, and who are now hardened against reproof and entreaty. They flatter themselves that in comparison with these souls they are virtuous and righteous. They do not realize that these sad wrecks of character are the work of their own unbridled tongues and rebellious hearts. It is through their influence that these tempted ones have fallen.

{COL 340.3}

So frivolity, selfish indulgence, and careless indifference on the part of professed Christians are turning away many souls from the path of life. Many there are who will fear to meet at the bar of God the results of their influence.

{COL 341.1}

It is only through the grace of God that we can make a right use of this endowment. There is nothing in us of ourselves by which we can influence others for good. If we realize our helplessness and our need of divine power, we shall not trust to ourselves. We know not what results a day, an hour, or a moment may determine, and never should we begin the day without committing our ways to our heavenly Father. His angels are appointed to watch over us, and if we put ourselves under their guardianship, then in every time of danger they will be at our right hand. When unconsciously we are in danger of exerting a wrong influence, the angels will be by our side, prompting us to a

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better course, choosing our words for us, and influencing our actions. Thus our influence may be a silent, unconscious, but mighty power in drawing others to Christ and the heavenly world.


Matthew 5.19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


House-to-House Visitation

SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK - EVANGELISM

House-to-House Work.--Not only is the truth to be presented in public assemblies; house-to-house work is to be done. Let this work go forward in the name of the Lord.--Review and Herald, Aug. 11, 1903. {Ev 431.2}

This house-to-house labor, searching for souls, hunting for the lost sheep, is the most essential work that can be done.--Letter 137, 1898. {Ev 431.3}

The Objective of House-to-House Labor.--Our people make a great mistake when, after holding a camp meeting and gathering a few souls, they take down the tents and feel that their duty is done. Their work had only just begun. They have preached

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doctrines that are new and strange to the people who heard them, and then left the seed sown to be picked up by the birds, or else to wither away for want of moisture. . . . {Ev 431.4}

After the truth has been presented to souls, there are those, ministers, friends, and acquaintances, who

will pick up the seed sown if possible. These human birds make the truth appear as error, and do not give the one convicted any rest until they have devoured the seed by false assertions. {Ev 432.1}

What should be done? After the camp meeting is over, establish a mission. Let the very best workers

that can be found be organized into a company to sell our literature and also give away papers to some that cannot buy. Preparatory work is not of one half the value that the afterwork is. {Ev 432.2}

After the people have heard the reasons of our faith, let the house-to-house work begin. Become acquainted with the people and read to them the precious words of Christ. Lift up Jesus crucified among them, and soon those who have listened to the messages of warning from the ministers of God in the tent, and have been convicted, will be drawn out to inquire in regard to what they have heard. This is the time to present the reasons of our faith, with meekness and fear, not a slavish fear, but a cautious fear lest you should speak unadvisedly. Present the truth as it is in Jesus, with all meekness and lowliness, which means with simplicity and in sincerity, giving meat in due season, and to every man his portion of meat.--Letter 18, 1898. {Ev 432.3}

Preaching Made Effectual by House-to-House Labor.-- From the experience of the workers in _____, we see that the efforts made after a camp meeting has closed are of far more consequence than the work

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done before. For years I have been shown that house-to-house labor is the work that will make the preaching of the Word a success. If those interested are not visited by our workers, other ministers get upon their tracks and confuse them by misquoting and wresting the Scriptures. These people are not familiar with the Word; they think that their ministers must be true and unprejudiced men, and they give up their convictions. But if our workers can visit those interested, to explain the word of truth to them more fully, revealing the truth in contrast to error, they will become established. {Ev 432.4}

Had this work been done earnestly and vigilantly, had the workers perseveringly watched for souls as they that must give an account, many more sheaves would have been the fruit of the seed sown at our camp meetings. {Ev 433.1}

This work has also been carried on in _____. There are now no less than fifty new Sabbathkeepers as the result of this personal labor, this hunting for souls. Unless the workers appointed by God do the most interested hunting for lost sheep, Satan will succeed in his work of destroying, and souls will be lost that might have been found and restored.--Letter 18, 1898. {Ev 433.2}

Some Not Reached by the Public Effort.--In large cities there are certain classes that cannot be reached by public meetings. These must be searched out as the shepherd searches for his lost sheep. Diligent, personal effort must be put forth in their behalf.-- Gospel Workers, p. 364. (1915) {Ev 433.3}

To Those Who Will Not Come to the Feast.--If they will not come to the gospel feast to which the call of Christ invites them, then God's messengers must accommodate themselves to the circumstances and

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bear the message to them in house-to-house labor, thus extending their ministry to the highways and byways, giving the last message to the world.--Letter 164, 1899. {Ev 433.4}

Even to the Disinterested.--Go to the homes of those even who manifest no interest. While mercy's

sweet voice invites the sinner, work with every energy of heart and brain, as did Paul, "who ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears." In the day of God, how many will confront us, and say, "I am lost! I am lost! And you never warned me; you never entreated me to come to Jesus. Had I believed as you did, I would have followed every Judgment-bound soul within my reach with prayers and tears and warnings."--Review and Herald, June 24, 1884. {Ev 434.1}

Carry God's Word to Every Man's Door.--The press is an instrumentality by which many are reached whom it would be impossible to reach by ministerial effort. A great work can be done by presenting to the people the Bible just as it reads. Carry the Word of God to every man's door, urge its plain statements upon every man's conscience, repeat to all the Saviour's command, "Search the Scriptures." Admonish them to take the Bible as it is, to implore the divine enlightenment, and then, when the light shines, to gladly accept each precious ray, and fearlessly abide the consequences.--Review and Herald, July 10, 1883. {Ev 434.2}

God Will Guide to Homes.--Light, light from the Word of God,--this is what the people need. If the teachers of the Word are willing, the Lord will lead them into close relation with the people. He will guide them to the homes of those who need and desire the truth; and as the servants of God engage in the work of seeking for the lost sheep, their spiritual faculties are awakened and energized. Knowing that

435

they are in harmony with God, they feel joyous and happy. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they obtain an experience that is invaluable to them. Their intellectual and moral powers attain their highest development; for grace is given in answer to the demand.--Review and Herald, Dec. 29, 1904. {Ev 434.3}


SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK, GOSPEL WORKERS

Not all who are preaching the truth realize that their testimony and example are deciding the destiny of souls. If they are unfaithful in their mission, and become careless in their work, souls will be lost as the result. If they are self-sacrificing and faithful in the work which the Master has given them to do, they will be instrumental in the salvation of many. Some permit trifles to divert them from the work. Bad roads, rainy weather, or little matters at home, are sufficient excuses for them to leave the work of laboring for souls. And frequently this is done at the most important time in the work. When an interest has been raised, and the minds of the people are agitated, the interest is left to die out because the minister chooses a more pleasant and easy field. Those who pursue this course show plainly that they do not have the burden of the work upon them. They wish to be carried by the people. They are not willing to endure the privations and hardships which are ever the lot of a true shepherd. {GW92 63.1}

Some have no experience in taking hold of the work as though it was of vital importance. They do not enter upon it with zeal and earnestness which would show they are doing work that will have to bear the test of the Judgment. They work too much in their own strength, They do not make God their trust, and therefore errors and imperfections mark all their efforts. They do not give the Lord an opportunity to do anything for them. They do not walk by faith, but by sight. They will go no faster or farther than they can see. They do not seem to understand that venturing something for the truth's sake has any part in their religious experience. {GW92 63.2}


SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK

TESTIMONIES TO MINISTERS AND GOSPEL WORKERS

Why Love Waxes Cold

Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. Why should their love wax cold? Because they have not humbled their hearts and fled to their refuge, Jesus Christ. They thought they knew so much that they became fools, and allowed themselves to become depraved. Thus many souls will be lost. Worldly plans and devisings and strange sentiments and principles will be put forth by the prince of the power of the air, which are directly opposed to the law of God. Here we should reserve all our influence to act in upholding the truth. The sentiments brought to the front by politicians will be voiced by some who claim to be Sabbath keepers. What angels attend these in the pulpit as they stand up to give the flock poison instead of pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed? Here is the working of satanic agencies to bring in confusion, to bewitch the minds of old and young. Those who have been walking humbly with God will not be engrossed in advocating either side of this question. They will place themselves under His guardianship, and reveal that they are learning lessons from the Great Teacher, who has said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." {TM 334.1}

All this excitement and unrest is placing the mind where it will not dwell on the truth. Do you suppose that the world, the flesh, and the devil would be able to link up those souls who are humble and lowly of heart, and blind their understanding, so that they cannot tell what sort of companions they are choosing? If the eyes of many could be opened in their heedless march, they would see a mighty procession of people of all

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classes, all kinds, all nations, passing in the same ranks, classing themselves as the companions of demons, rapidly moving on in a continually swelling procession to certain ruin. {TM 334.2}

What shall I say? The faith of many, including those who preach the word, must be something different from what it is now, else their future eternal destiny is settled. The word of God, studied carefully and obeyed, is the only thing that will make man pure and keep him pure. This alone can save him from meddling with all the iniquities that prevail. Christians are to bear the stamp of the King of kings. All in our world are taking sides. We are not to take part in this political money strife. It has come into our ranks. {TM 335.1}

There are those, even among Seventh-day Adventists, who are under the reproof of the word of God, because of the way they acquired their property and use it, acting as if they owned it and created it, without an eye to the glory of God, and without earnest prayer to direct them in acquiring or using it. They are grasping at a serpent, which will sting them as an adder. {TM 335.2}


SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK - TESTIMONIES VOL. 4

Choice of Words in Light of the Judgment--If you cherish a habitual impression that God sees and

49

hears all that you do and say, and keeps a faithful record of all your words and actions, and that you must meet it all, then in all you do and say you will seek to follow the dictates of an enlightened and wakeful conscience. Your tongue will be used to the glory of God and will be a source of blessing to yourself and to others. But if you separate from God, as you have been doing, take heed lest your tongue shall prove a world of iniquity and bring upon you fearful condemnation; for souls will be lost through you.--4T 244. {VSS 48.3}


SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK - TESTIMONIES VOL. 3

Links in the Chain of Human Events--You may think that what you do or say is of little consequence, when the most important results for good or evil are the consequence of our words and actions. The words and actions looked upon as so small and unimportant are links in the long chain of human events.--3T 542. {VSS 49.1}


Please Note: THE FOLLOWING FROM THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY BOOK, THE GREAT CONTROVERSY, DEPICTS WHAT HAPPENS AS A RESULT OF: Trusting and Obeying by Faith THAT WORKS BY LOVE, or Choosing to reject THE LORD OF GLORY and go our own way.

Chap. 40 - God's People Delivered

When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. {GC 635.1}

The people of God--some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains--still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen. Saith the Lord; "Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth . . . to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones." Isaiah 30:29, 30. {GC 635.2}

With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a

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dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God's covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness. {GC 635.3}

By the people of God a voice, clear and melodious, is heard, saying, "Look up," and lifting their eyes to the heavens, they behold the bow of promise. The black, angry clouds that covered the firmament are parted, and like Stephen they look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and the Son of man seated upon His throne. In His divine form they discern the marks of His humiliation; and from His lips they hear the request presented before His Father and the holy angels: "I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am." John 17:24. Again a voice, musical and triumphant, is heard, saying: "They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled. They have kept the word of My patience; they shall walk among the angels;" and the pale, quivering lips of those who have held fast their faith utter a shout of victory. {GC 636.1}

It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: "It is done." Revelation 16:17. {GC 636.2}

That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a

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mighty earthquake, "such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." Verses 17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the great has come in remembrance before God, "to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath." Great hailstones, every one "about the weight of a talent," are doing their work of destruction. Verses 19, 21. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world's great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify

themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God's people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free. {GC 636.3}

Graves are opened, and "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel's message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. "They also which pierced Him" (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient. {GC 637.1}

Thick clouds still cover the sky; yet the sun now and then breaks through, appearing like the avenging eye of Jehovah.

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Fierce lightnings leap from the heavens, enveloping the earth in a sheet of flame. Above the terrific roar of thunder, voices, mysterious and awful, declare the doom of the wicked. The words spoken are not comprehended by all; but they are distinctly understood by the false teachers. Those who a little before were so reckless, so boastful and defiant, so exultant in their cruelty to God's commandment-keeping people, are now overwhelmed with consternation and shuddering in fear. Their wails are heard above the sound of the elements. Demons acknowledge the deity of Christ and tremble before His power, while men are supplicating for mercy and groveling in abject terror. {GC 637.2}

Said the prophets of old, as they beheld in holy vision the day of God: "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty." Isaiah 13:6. "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty, and upon everyone that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low." "In that day a man shall cast the idols of his silver, and the idols of his gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth." Isaiah 2:10-12, 20, 21, margin. {GC 638.1}

Through a rift in the clouds there beams a star whose brilliancy is increased fourfold in contrast with the darkness. It speaks hope and joy to the faithful, but severity and wrath to the transgressors of God's law. Those who have sacrificed all for Christ are now secure, hidden as in the secret of the Lord's pavilion. They have been tested, and before the world and the despisers of truth they have evinced their fidelity to Him

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who died for them. A marvelous change has come over those who have held fast their integrity in the very face of death. They have been suddenly delivered from the dark and terrible tyranny of men transformed to demons. Their faces, so lately pale, anxious, and haggard, are now aglow with wonder, faith, and love. Their voices rise in triumphant song: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof." Psalm 46:1-3. {GC 638.2}

While these words of holy trust ascend to God, the clouds sweep back, and the starry heavens are seen, unspeakably glorious in contrast with the black and angry firmament on either side. The glory of the celestial city streams from the gates ajar. Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet: "The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself." Psalm 50:6. That holy law, God's righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. The words are so plain that all can read them. Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind, and God's ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth. {GC 639.1}

It is impossible to describe the horror and despair of those who have trampled upon God's holy requirements. The Lord gave them His law; they might have compared their characters with it and learned their defects while there was yet opportunity for repentance and reform; but in order to secure the favor of the world, they set aside its precepts and taught others to transgress. They have endeavored to compel

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God's people to profane His Sabbath. Now they are condemned by that law which they have despised. With awful distinctness they see that they are without excuse. They chose whom they would serve and worship. "Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not." Malachi 3:18. {GC 639.2}

The enemies of God's law, from the ministers down to the least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. Too late they see the true nature of their spurious sabbath and the sandy foundation upon which they have been building. They find that they have been fighting against God. Religious teachers have led souls to perdition while professing to guide them to the gates of Paradise. Not until the day of final accounts will it be known how great is the responsibility of men in holy office and how terrible are the results of their unfaithfulness. Only in eternity can we rightly estimate the loss of a single soul. Fearful will be the doom of him to whom God shall say: Depart, thou wicked servant. {GC 640.1}

The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus' coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth. The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances are lighted up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked cannot look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory. {GC 640.2}

Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man's hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it

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draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. Not now a "Man of Sorrows," to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead. "Faithful and True," "in righteousness He doth judge and make war." And "the armies which were in heaven" (Revelation 19:11, 14) follow Him. With anthems of celestial melody the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng, attend Him on His way. The firmament seems filled with radiant forms--"ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." No human pen can portray the scene; no mortal mind is adequate to conceive its splendor. "His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light." Habakkuk 3:3,4. As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. "And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords." Revelation 19:16. {GC 640.3}

Before His presence "all faces are turned into paleness;" upon the rejecters of God's mercy falls the terror of eternal despair. "The heart melteth, and the knees smite together, . . . and the faces of them all gather blackness." Jeremiah 30:6; Nahum 2:10. The righteous cry with trembling: "Who shall be able to stand?" The angels' song is hushed, and there is a period of awful silence. Then the voice of Jesus is heard, saying: "My grace is sufficient for you." The faces of the righteous are lighted up, and joy fills every heart. And the angels strike a note higher and sing again as they draw still nearer to the earth. {GC 641.1}

The King of kings descends upon the cloud, wrapped in flaming fire. The heavens are rolled together as a scroll, the earth trembles before Him, and every mountain and island

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is moved out of its place. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people." Psalm 50:3,4. {GC 641.2}

"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty

men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6:15-17. {GC 642.1}

The derisive jests have ceased. Lying lips are hushed into silence. The clash of arms, the tumult of battle, "with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood" (Isaiah 9:5), is stilled. Nought now is heard but the voice of prayer and the sound of weeping and lamentation. The cry bursts forth from lips so lately scoffing: "The great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" The wicked pray to be buried beneath the rocks of the mountains rather than meet the face of Him whom they have despised and rejected. {GC 642.2}

That voice which penetrates the ear of the dead, they know. How often have its plaintive, tender tones called them to repentance. How often has it been heard in the touching entreaties of a friend, a brother, a Redeemer. To the rejecters of His grace no other could be so full of condemnation, so burdened with denunciation, as that voice which has so long pleaded: "Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" Ezekiel 33:11. Oh, that it were to them the voice of a stranger! Says Jesus: "I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof." Proverbs 1:24, 25. That voice awakens memories which they would fain blot out--warnings despised, invitations refused, privileges slighted.

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{GC 642.3}

There are those who mocked Christ in His humiliation. With thrilling power come to their minds the Sufferer's words, when, adjured by the high priest, He solemnly declared: "Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64. Now they behold Him in His glory, and they are yet to see Him sitting on the right hand of power. {GC 643.1}

Those who derided His claim to be the Son of God are speechless now. There is the haughty Herod who jeered at His royal title and bade the mocking soldiers crown Him king. There are the very men who with impious hands placed upon His form the purple robe, upon His sacred brow the thorny crown, and in His unresisting hand the mimic scepter, and bowed before Him in blasphemous mockery. The men who smote and spit upon the Prince of life now turn from His piercing gaze and seek to flee from the overpowering glory of His presence. Those who drove the nails through His hands and feet, the soldier who pierced His side, behold these marks with terror and remorse. {GC 643.2}

With awful distinctness do priests and rulers recall the events of Calvary. With shuddering horror they remember how, wagging their heads in satanic exultation, they exclaimed: "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him." Matthew 27:42, 43. {GC 643.3}

Vividly they recall the Saviour's parable of the husbandmen who refused to render to their lord the fruit of the vineyard, who abused his servants and slew his son. They remember, too, the sentence which they themselves pronounced: The lord of the vineyard "will miserably destroy those wicked men." In the sin and punishment of those unfaithful men the priests and elders see their own course and their own just doom. And now there rises a cry of mortal agony. Louder than the shout, "Crucify Him, crucify Him," which rang through the streets of Jerusalem, swells the awful,

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despairing wail, "He is the Son of God! He is the true Messiah!" They seek to flee from the presence of the King of kings. In the deep caverns of the earth, rent asunder by the warring of the elements, they vainly attempt to hide. {GC 643.4}

In the lives of all who reject truth there are moments when conscience awakens, when memory presents the torturing recollection of a life of hypocrisy and the soul is harassed with vain regrets. But what are these compared with the remorse of that day when "fear cometh as desolation," when "destruction cometh as a whirlwind"! Proverbs 1:27. Those who would have destroyed Christ and His faithful people now witness the glory which rests upon them. In the midst of their terror they hear the voices of the saints in joyful strains exclaiming: "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us." Isaiah 25:9. {GC 644.1}

Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: "Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!" Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live. And the whole earth shall ring with the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory, crying: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55. And the living righteous and the risen saints unite their voices in a long, glad shout of victory. {GC 644.2}

All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. Adam, who stands

among the risen throng, is of lofty height and majestic form, in stature but little below the Son of God. He presents a marked contrast to the people of later generations; in this one respect is shown the great degeneracy of the race. But all arise with the freshness and vigor of eternal youth. In the beginning, man

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was created in the likeness of God, not only in character, but in form and feature. Sin defaced and almost obliterated the divine image; but Christ came to restore that which had been lost. He will change our vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body. The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will "grow up" (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ's faithful ones will appear in "the beauty of the Lord our God," in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord. Oh, wonderful redemption! long talked of, long hoped for, contemplated with eager anticipation, but never fully understood. {GC 644.3}

The living righteous are changed "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels "gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers' arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God. {GC 645.1}

On each side of the cloudy chariot are wings, and beneath it are living wheels; and as the chariot rolls upward, the wheels cry, "Holy," and the wings, as they move, cry, "Holy," and the retinue of angels cry, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." And the redeemed shout, "Alleluia!" as the chariot moves onward toward the New Jerusalem. {GC 645.2}

Before entering the City of God, the Saviour bestows upon His followers the emblems of victory and invests them with the insignia of their royal state. The glittering ranks are drawn up in the form of a hollow square about their King, whose form rises in majesty high above saint and angel,

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whose countenance beams upon them full of benignant love. Throughout the unnumbered host of the redeemed every glance is fixed upon Him, every eye beholds His glory whose "visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men." Upon the heads of the overcomers, Jesus with His own right hand places the crown of glory. For each there is a crown, bearing his own "new name" (Revelation 2:17), and the inscription, "Holiness to the Lord." In every hand are placed the victor's palm and the shining harp. Then, as the commanding angels strike the note, every hand sweeps the harp strings with skillful touch, awaking sweet music in rich, melodious strains. Rapture unutterable thrills every heart, and each voice is raised in grateful praise: "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever." Revelation 1:5, 6. {GC 645.3}

Before the ransomed throng is the Holy City. Jesus opens wide the pearly gates, and the nations that have kept the truth enter in. There they behold the Paradise of God, the home of Adam in his innocency. Then that voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard, saying: "Your conflict is ended." "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." {GC 646.1}

Now is fulfilled the Saviour's prayer for His disciples: "I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am." "Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24), Christ presents to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: "Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given Me." "Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept." Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! the rapture of that hour when the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image, sin's discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in harmony with the divine!

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{GC 646.2}

With unutterable love, Jesus welcomes His faithful ones to the joy of their Lord. The Saviour's joy is in seeing, in the kingdom of glory, the souls that have been saved by His agony and humiliation. And the redeemed will be sharers in His joy, as they behold, among the blessed, those who have been won to Christ through their prayers, their labors, and their loving sacrifice. As they gather about the great white throne, gladness unspeakable will fill their hearts, when they behold those whom they have won for Christ, and see that one has gained others, and these still others, all brought into the haven of rest, there to lay their crowns at Jesus' feet and praise Him through the endless cycles of eternity. {GC 647.1}

As the ransomed ones are welcomed to the City of God, there rings out upon the air an exultant cry of adoration. The two Adams are about to meet. The Son of God is standing with outstretched arms to receive the father of our race--the being whom He created, who sinned against his Maker, and for whose sin the marks of the crucifixion are borne upon the Saviour's form. As Adam discerns the prints of the cruel nails, he does not fall upon the bosom of his Lord, but in humiliation casts himself at His feet, crying: "Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain!" Tenderly the Saviour lifts him up and bids him look once more upon the Eden home from which he has so long been exiled. {GC 647.2}

After his expulsion from Eden, Adam's life on earth was filled with sorrow. Every dying leaf, every victim of sacrifice, every blight upon the fair face of nature, every stain upon man's purity, was a fresh reminder of his sin. Terrible was the agony of remorse as he beheld iniquity abounding, and, in answer to his warnings, met the reproaches cast upon himself as the cause of sin. With patient humility he bore, for nearly a thousand years, the penalty of transgression. Faithfully did he repent of his sin and trust in the merits of the promised Saviour, and he died in the hope of a resurrection. The Son of God redeemed man's failure and fall; and

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now, through the work of the atonement, Adam is reinstated in his first dominion. {GC 647.3}

Transported with joy, he beholds the trees that were once his delight--the very trees whose fruit he himself had gathered in the days of his innocence and joy. He sees the vines that his own hands have trained, the very flowers that he once loved to care for. His mind grasps the reality of the scene; he comprehends that this is indeed Eden restored, more lovely now than when he was banished from it. The Saviour leads him to the tree of life and plucks the glorious fruit and bids him eat. He looks about him and beholds a multitude of his family redeemed, standing in the Paradise of God. Then he casts his glittering crown at the feet of Jesus and, falling upon His breast, embraces the Redeemer. He touches the golden harp, and the vaults of heaven echo the triumphant song: "Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and lives again!" The family of Adam take up the strain and cast their crowns at the Saviour's feet as they bow before Him in adoration. {GC 648.1}

This reunion is witnessed by the angels who wept at the fall of Adam and rejoiced when Jesus, after His resurrection, ascended to heaven, having opened the grave for all who should believe on His name. Now they behold the work of redemption accomplished, and they unite their voices in the song of praise. {GC 648.2}

Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire,--so resplendent is it with the glory of God,--are gathered the company that have "gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, "having the harps of God," they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed from among men; and there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, "the voice of harpers harping with their harps." And they sing "a new

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song" before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb--a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience--an experience such as no other company have ever had. "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as "the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb." Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1-5. "These are they which came out of great tribulation;" they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault" before God. "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst. But "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7:14-17. {GC 648.3}

In all ages the Saviour's chosen have been educated and disciplined in the school of trial. They walked in narrow paths on earth; they were purified in the furnace of affliction. For Jesus' sake they endured opposition, hatred, calumny. They followed Him through conflicts sore; they endured self-denial and experienced bitter disappointments. By their

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own painful experience they learned the evil of sin, its power, its guilt, its woe; and they look upon it with abhorrence. A sense of the infinite sacrifice made for its cure humbles them in their own sight and fills their hearts with gratitude and praise which those who have never fallen cannot appreciate. They love much because they have been forgiven much. Having been partakers of Christ's sufferings, they are fitted to be partakers with Him of His glory. {GC 649.1}

The heirs of God have come from garrets, from hovels, from dungeons, from scaffolds, from mountains, from deserts, from the caves of the earth, from the caverns of the sea. On earth they were "destitute, afflicted, tormented." Millions went down to the grave loaded with infamy because they steadfastly refused to yield to the deceptive claims of Satan. By human tribunals they were adjudged the vilest of criminals. But now "God is judge Himself." Psalm 50:6. Now the decisions of earth are reversed. "The rebuke of His people shall He take away." Isaiah 25:8. "They shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord." He hath appointed "to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." Isaiah 62:12; 61:3. They are no longer feeble, afflicted, scattered, and oppressed. Henceforth they are to be ever with the Lord. They stand before the throne clad in richer robes than the most honored of the earth have ever worn. They are crowned with diadems more glorious than were ever placed upon the brow of earthly monarchs. The days of pain and weeping are forever ended. The King of glory has wiped the tears from all faces; every cause of grief has been removed. Amid the waving of palm branches they pour forth a song of praise, clear, sweet, and harmonious; every voice takes up the strain, until the anthem swells through the vaults of heaven: "Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." And all the inhabitants of heaven respond in the ascription: "Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and

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thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever." Revelation 7:10, 12. {GC 650.1}

In this life we can only begin to understand the wonderful theme of redemption. With our finite

comprehension we may consider most earnestly the shame and the glory, the life and the death, the justice and the mercy, that meet in the cross; yet with the utmost stretch of our mental powers we fail to grasp its full significance. The length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of redeeming love are but dimly comprehended. The plan of redemption will not be fully understood, even when the ransomed see as they are seen and know as they are known; but through the eternal ages new truth will continually unfold to the wondering and delighted mind. Though the griefs and pains and temptations of earth are ended and the cause removed, the people of God will ever have a distinct, intelligent knowledge of what their salvation has cost. {GC 651.1}

The cross of Christ will be the science and the song of the redeemed through all eternity. In Christ glorified they will behold Christ crucified. Never will it be forgotten that He whose power created and upheld the unnumbered worlds through the vast realms of space, the Beloved of God, the Majesty of heaven, He whom cherub and shining seraph delighted to adore--humbled Himself to uplift fallen man; that He bore the guilt and shame of sin, and the hiding of His Father's face, till the woes of a lost world broke His heart and crushed out His life on Calvary's cross. That the Maker of all worlds, the Arbiter of all destinies, should lay aside His glory and humiliate Himself from love to man will ever excite the wonder and adoration of the universe. As the nations of the saved look upon their Redeemer and behold the eternal glory of the Father shining in His countenance; as they behold His throne, which is from everlasting to everlasting, and know that His kingdom is to have no end, they break forth in rapturous song: "Worthy, worthy is the Lamb

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that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood!" {GC 651.2}

The mystery of the cross explains all other mysteries. In the light that streams from Calvary the attributes of God which had filled us with fear and awe appear beautiful and attractive. Mercy, tenderness, and parental love are seen to blend with holiness, justice, and power. While we behold the majesty of His throne, high and lifted up, we see His character in its gracious manifestations, and comprehend, as never before, the significance of that endearing title, "Our Father." {GC 652.1}

It will be seen that He who is infinite in wisdom could devise no plan for our salvation except the sacrifice of His Son. The compensation for this sacrifice is the joy of peopling the earth with ransomed beings, holy, happy, and immortal. The result of the Saviour's conflict with the powers of darkness is joy to the redeemed, redounding to the glory of God throughout eternity. And such is the value of the soul that the Father is satisfied with the price paid; and Christ Himself, beholding the fruits of His great sacrifice, is satisfied. {GC 652.2}

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Now, if you are really serious about serving THE LORD and if you have read this far then this last part is for you, especially if you are a Davidian. However, anyone is welcome to read for their own enlightenment.

While the following has a direct application to Ezekiel, the Prophet of THE LORD, it has a secondary application to HIS True Followers.


Brother Randahl

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Ezekiel 3.1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.

Ezekiel 3.2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.

Ezekiel 3.3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

Ezekiel 3.4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Ezekiel 3.5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

Ezekiel 3.6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.

Ezekiel 3.7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

Ezekiel 3.8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

Ezekiel 3.9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 3.10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.

Ezekiel 3.11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

Ezekiel 3.12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

Ezekiel 3.13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.

Ezekiel 3.14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

Ezekiel 3.15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

Ezekiel 3.16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ezekiel 3.17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

Ezekiel 3.18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel 3.19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Ezekiel 3.20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Ezekiel 3.21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

Ezekiel 3.22 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.

Ezekiel 3.23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.

Ezekiel 3.24 Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.

Ezekiel 3.25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:

Ezekiel 3.26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 3.27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.


BUT, REMEMBER!!!!!

Without the following, none of the above means anything:

1 Corinthians 13.1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

1 Corinthians 13.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Corinthians 13.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

1 Corinthians 13.4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

1 Corinthians 13.5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

1 Corinthians 13.6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

1 Corinthians 13.7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

1 Corinthians 13.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13.9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Corinthians 13.10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

1 Corinthians 13.11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

1 Corinthians 13.12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1 Corinthians 13.13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

And, we should know by now, that CHARITY IS LOVE, AND LOVE IS OF GOD, FOR GOD IS LOVE

1 John 4.8 He that loveth not knoweth not GOD; FOR GOD IS LOVE.

John 15.4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.

John 15.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.

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FOLLOWING IS FROM THE SHEPHERD'S ROD MESSAGE

by Brother Victor T. Houteff

SOME INFORMATION ON THE 144,000

AND THEIR WORK IN THESE LAST DAYS

Speaking of the 144,000, Volume 5, pages 210-11, says, "These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; [a message] they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had been dishonoring God, repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul-anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a real zeal for God's honor and a love for souls, will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any....They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church....The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God....Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust."

Volume 5, page 82: "The call to this great and solemn work was presented to men of learning and position; had these been little in their own eyes, and trusted fully in the Lord, He would have honored

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them with bearing His standard in triumph to the victory. But they separated from God, yielded to the influence of the world, and the Lord rejected them."

Volume 5, pages 211-12: "They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed....Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God, or be cut down by the destroying weapons." If we were to mark out the exact time of the beginning of this sealing, we would say it began sometime during 1929. Space will not Permit us here to give our reasons for believing thus, but in another study this will be taken up.

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Isa. 52:7.

"Many are tempted in regard to our work, and are calling it in question. Some in their tempted condition charge the difficulties and perplexities of the people of God to the testimonies of reproof that we have given them. They think the trouble is with the ones who bear the message of warning, who point out the sins of the people and correct their errors. Many are deceived by the adversary of

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souls....They think that the people of God are not in need of plain dealing and of reproof, but that God is with them....What disposition will these make of the message of the True Witness to the Laodiceans? There can be no deception here. This message must be borne to a lukewarm church by God's servants. It must arouse his people from their security and dangerous deception in regard to their real standing before God. This testimony if received, will arouse to action, and lead to self-abasement and confession of sins...

"The people of God must see their wrongs, and arouse to zealous repentance, and a putting away of those sins which have brought them into such a deplorable condition of poverty, blindness, wretchedness, and fearful deception. I was shown that the pointed testimony must live in the church. This alone will answer to the message to the Laodiceans. Wrongs must be reproved, sin must be called sin, and iniquity must be met promptly and decidedly, and put away from us as a people." Volume 3, pages 258-260.

"Arise, shine; For thy light has come,

And the glory of the Lord Is risen upon thee."

Isa 60:1.

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The One Hundred And Forty-Four Thousand

Revelation Seven And Fourteen

The ground of this most vital subject has been extensively covered in "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1. Therefore, we intend to bring out only that phase which does not appear in the first volume. The following questions will be answered in this chapter: At the time the Lord commands the angel to seal them (the 144,000) are they found by that message in the world or in the church? At what time are they sealed? Why are they "virgins"? Why is there "no guile" in their mouth? Are they men only or of both sexes? Why are they called "servants of God"? Why are they Israel?

We quote from the writings of the "Spirit of Prophecy": "This was the time of Jacob's trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The one hundred and forty-four thousand triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God." -- "Life Sketches," page 117. Note that the 144,000 in number, were present in "the time of Jacob's trouble." According to the following quotation, that time of trouble commences immediately after the close of probation: "When Christ shall cease His work as mediator in man's behalf, then this time of trouble will begin." -- "Patriarchs and Prophets," page 201. That time of trouble is before any of the sleeping saints are resurrected, therefore the 144,000 are not resurrected, but are living saints who have never tasted death and are to be translated at the second coming of Christ.

The 144,000 Sealed While In The Church

To make this clear we must comment on the typical day of atonement. That notable day in the ceremonial system was a day of cleansing, judgment, and covering. The command was given that in the seventh month and on the tenth day of the month (day of atonement) every Israelite was to afflict his soul, confess his sin, and bring a sacrifice. He who failed to respond to the divine call was cut off (perished) from among God's people. Therefore, it was a day of judgment and purification of the camp of Israel. While the sinner perished, the godly were preserved. This living example was set forth for our benefit at this present time, upon whom the anti-typical day of atonement is come. This picture in the earthly tabernacle is intended to point out the work in the heavenly.

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When the judgment opened in 1844, as previously explained, the investigation began with the dead, and when that part of the work is finished, then commences the judgment of the living. While the investigation for the congregation of the dead is in progress, there can be no separation among the congregation of the living. But when our High Priest shall begin the atonement for the living, there must be a message of present truth -- sounding of the trumpet -- urging every one to lay hold on the Lamb of God (Christ) by which only, can he in figure, come to the sanctuary, confess his sin and secure his life. Unless the close of the judgment for the dead and the commencement for the living be made known to us, we would have no present truth while the judgment for the living is in session. Neither would such judgment be legal or just. He who fails to respond to the heavenly summons, will be left without the seal or covering of God, and therefore must be cut off from among His people, as prefigured by the services in the typical day of atonement.

Says the apostle: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God." (1 Peter 4:17.) The fact that to the "Seventh-day Adventist" church alone has come just such a message as the one mentioned, presented to them in "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, is an additional proof that this particular church is the house of God. This time of judgment is also called the "time of harvest." "Let both grow together until the harvest," said Christ, "and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matt. 13:30.) The words of our Master are in perfect harmony with the typical day of atonement, foretelling that it is a day of separating the tares from the wheat, or cutting off of the unrepentant sinners from among God's people (purification of the church). Therefore, the harvest commences with the closing work for the church. Said Christ: "Let both grow together until the harvest." In Revelation 14:4, speaking of the 144,000 we read, "They are the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb." Therefore, it is evident that in the purification or separation of the tares from the wheat in the church of God, there shall be 144,000 who have confessed their sins; and are thus made white and clean by the precious blood of Christ, for they are "the first fruits." This is also proven by the "Spirit of Prophecy," for we read: "This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision." -- "Testimonies to Ministers," page 445. We quote from "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 3, p. 266: "The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord, and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its

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real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the 144,000."

Again on page 267: "Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done' in the church.... Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with the slaughter weapons: 'Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.' "

The definition of "general" is: "extensive but not universal." Therefore it does not mean the destruction of the world at the appearance of the Lord; but it has reference to the wicked in the church. This slaughter is literal, it is to separate and release God's people from sin and sinners, otherwise the marking would be of no value. The same subject is again brought to view in "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, page 211: "Here we see that the church -- the Lord's sanctuary -- was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God." The wrath of God cannot, and never has been spiritual. We are again reminded that the 144,000 are the remnant: "Now indeed are the remnant 'men wondered at'... 'In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, That he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem.'" -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, page 476. Thus the 144,000 are those who are sealed in the judgment for the church, and with them the judgment for the living commenced. Therefore, they are the first fruits.

When this number is sealed, probation will close for the church, and the judgment for those who are in the world will commence. As the "tares" perish at the time when probation is closing for the church, just so at the close of the judgment for the world the sinners shall come to their end; the one is a figure of the other. It is said of the 144,000: "These are they which are not defiled with women for they are virgins." (Rev. 14:4.) The "women" mentioned in this Scripture are symbols of impure

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churches. These "women" are brought to view in Revelation 17, under the figure of the woman sitting on the scarlet colored beast. We quote Rev. 17:5: "And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abomination of the earth." This mother and her daughters are the "women" with whom the 144,000 are not defiled, for the message of the sealing found them in the church. Thus being in the church of God when sealed, they are "virgins" -- "not defiled with women" (with fallen churches).

The Servants Of God In The Time Of The Harvest

In Revelation 7:3, the 144,000 are called "The servants of our God." If servants, then they must have duties to perform. They are again brought to view by the prophet Isaiah in connection with the purification of the church and the destruction of the wicked: "And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape (the 144,000) of them into the nations.... And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations,... in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord" -- the church. (Isa. 66:19, 20.) "And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel." (Isa. 4:2.) Therefore, the 144,000 are called "servants." (For further study of Isa. 66, see "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, pp. 165-172.)

It is also said of this wonderful company: "And in their mouth was found no guile." (Rev. 14:5.) This Scripture makes it clear that the gospel they proclaim is altogether the true Word of God. Therefore, the message they present to the world cannot be questioned as to its purity. The prophet of Patmos after speaking of the sealing of the 144,000 says: "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hand." (Rev. 7:9.) Therefore, this great multitude is gathered from all nations, after the closing work for the church, and in the time of the great harvest. The palms in their hands signify victory over the beast and his image, death and the grave. One of the elders before the throne said of them: "These are they which came out of great tribulation" (the time of Jacob's trouble). (Rev. 7:14.) The servant of the Lord also bears witness in the following quotations: "'And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to

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the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?' Rev. 6:14-17.

" 'After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.... These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb'... Rev. 7:9, 17.

"In these Scriptures two parties are brought to view. One party permitted themselves to be deceived, and took sides with those with whom the Lord has a controversy." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, pp. 267, 268. As the Spirit of Prophecy points out these two companies (those who cried for the rocks, and those with the palms) both living in the time of the great tribulation and the wrath of God, it is evident that the great multitude with the palms in their hands are living saints won to the gospel in the time of the harvest by the work of the 144,000.

Are The 144,000 Of Both Sexes?

The command to mark this company so that they fall not under the slaughter weapons by the figure of the five men, reads as follows: "And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." (Ezekiel 9:4.) Because the Word says: "Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men," therefore some have held the position that the entire company is made up of men only. The second reason given for this erroneous idea is that they are to be kings and priests and therefore they must be men. The idea carried by these passages cannot be sustained by other portions of Scripture. Thus we are compelled to study deeper into the subject.

While Ezekiel calls them "men," John says they are "virgins." (Rev. 14:4.) Now, if we should take the position that Ezekiel means men only, then we can as well say, John means women only. Can it be possible that one writer should contradict the other? No indeed. We conclude by the following Scriptures that the 144,000 are of both sexes: "The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe." (John 1:7.) "All men," must include both men and women, otherwise salvation would be for men only. "And I, if I

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be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." (John 12:32.) If the word all men in this text does not include both sexes, then the women are lost. "And the time of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (The Acts 17:30.) Again, if "all men" include not both male and female, then women are not commanded to repent. It is evident that the noun, men, is a collective Biblical term of both men and women. The same is true by creation, for, God made the woman of the man. Therefore, she is a wo-man. Again in Gal. 3:28, we read: "There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Since there is no difference between either sex in Christ, then we see that women as well as men can be kings and priests. The same thought can be carried out by the experience of the Jewish nation: "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.... And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment." (Judges 4:4, 5.) This woman held a man's position, being a judge of God's people, which is equivalent to a king. Not only a king, but she was a prophetess as well. Again we read in Luke 2:36,37, "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day." Also the wife of Shallum being a prophetess taught Israel and controlled the college. (See 2 Kings 22:14-16.) Phillip the evangelist had four daughters who also did prophesy. (See The Acts 21:8, 9.)

From Paul's statement in 1 Timothy 2:12, "I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence," you will note the meaning here is, that the woman is to be in subjection to the man as God had ordained, and not that she is forbidden to hold the office of a teacher. Again we quote, "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law." (1 Cor. 14:34.) Read the chapter and you will see that Paul wishes to establish order in the churches, for there was great confusion by speaking in unknown tongues. Therefore, to silence the confusion, he says: "Let your women keep silence in the churches." He is not forbidding them to speak if they have a duty to perform. If this lesson was heeded in this age there would be a great change for the better in the house of God.

In the beginning God created both the man and the woman equal, as king and queen. "And God blessed them, and God said

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unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Gen. 1:28.) Note that the dominion was given to them both. However, after they sinned a change was made: "Unto the woman He said,... thy desire shall be to thy husband, and He shall rule over thee." (Gen. 3:16.) So, after the woman sinned she fell under the government of man. But that which Eve lost by deception, shall be restored by redemption. Thus again the equality of both shall be established as kings and queens. Therefore, "There is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus." Christ himself confirms the idea in the following expression: "For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven."

Thus the noun "men" used by Ezekiel, and the noun "virgins" by John is a collective Biblical term comprehending both. Furthermore, the denomination numbers a little over 300,000 at present time. Only about a third of them are men. If every man was sealed and numbered as one of the 144,000, we still would be far short of reaching the total. Again we note at the time of the passover in Egypt the blood on the door-post was a type of the marking or sealing. ("The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, pp. 96-98.)

In that night wherever the blood appeared on the door-post, the first born whether male or female, perished not, just so now, those who receive the seal, have applied the blood on the door-post (forehead), and as the first born of both classes, those who died and those who did not, were a type of the present priesthood (ministry), evidently, the type points forward to a ministry in the anti-type made up of both sexes -- the first born who died represent the class that shall fall under the slaughter weapons of the five men, and the first born who escaped from death, represent the class that shall receive the mark of the man with the writer's inkhorn and pass from death to life. Thus the first born who lived and passed through the red sea, are a type of the 144,000. The first fruits of the harvest, are the servants of God in the time of the "loud cry" of the Third Angel's Message.

After the purification of the church and the sealing of the servants of God, then the message in the 18th chapter of Revelation shall culminate in a "loud cry:" "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4.) As the saints hear the voice of the good Shepherd in the gospel message, they separate themselves from the world and join the 144,000. While this sifting process in the fallen churches is in progress, the man with the

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writer's inkhorn seals those who come out. When all the saints shall come out of Babylon into the church, then the work of the man with the writer's inkhorn shall cease and probation will close. (See "Early Writings," p. 279.) Therefore, the activity of the five men with the slaughter weapons shall continue and their work will cease when Christ comes to take His saints for it is they who have charge of the city -- church. (See Ezek. 9:1; "The Great Controversy," p. 656.) Then the present world will come to an end and the millennium of desolation commence; during which time the saints shall judge the wicked. 2SR 170

The 144,000 are called Israel because their experience is a duplication of that of Ancient Israel going out of Egypt to possess the promised land. Ancient Egypt is a symbol of the world. The Egyptian bondage is a symbol of the bondage of sin. The exodus movement is a type of the church separating from sin and sinners. The destruction of the first born in Egypt and the drowning in the red sea, denotes the destruction of the wicked in the separation of the saints. The wilderness is a symbol of the church being apart from the world. The destruction of the disobedient in the wilderness, is an illustration of keeping the church clean after being purified. The possession of the promised land is a type of Israel (the saints) possessing the world. The war against the heathen in the promised land denotes the destruction of the wicked in the world. We are going over the same road once again, and in so doing, we must avoid the mistakes that were made in the former experience.

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Please Note: There is a great deal more on this overall topic, but the foregoing should serve to enlighten all of us as to our attitude and duty, IN THE LORD, regarding other souls.


Brother Randahl

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