Sabbath, April 17, 2004
“Jesus is in His holy temple and will now accept our sacrifices, our prayers, and our confessions of faults and sins and will pardon all the transgressions of Israel that they may be blotted out before He leaves the sanctuary. When Jesus leaves the sanctuary, then they who are holy and righteous will be holy and righteous still; for all their sins will then be blotted out, and they will be sealed with the seal of the living God. But those that are unjust and filthy will be unjust and filthy still, for then there will be no Priest in the sanctuary to offer their sacrifices, their confessions, and their prayers before the Father’s throne.” –Early Writings, p. 48.
• To realize the need of purification and in repentance come to the Lord in order to reach this goal.
• To be sure that we belong to the wise virgins and truly have the oil of the Holy Spirit.
• To remember that what we do not have now, we will most certainly not achieve in the last moment.
• To follow each step of the third angel’s message in a practical manner in order to have a spiritual experience.
THE CLEANSING PROCESS OF GOD’S PEOPLE
1. What prophetical message did God give to the prophet Daniel for the time of the end?
Daniel 12:8-10 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
2. What are the differences between the wise and the foolish virgins?
Matthew 25:3, 4 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
“A theoretical knowledge of the truth is essential. But the knowledge of the greatest truth will not save us; our knowledge must be practical.… The truth must be brought into their hearts, sanctifying and cleansing them from all earthliness and sensuality in the most private life. The soul temple must be cleansed.” –Review and Herald, May 24, 1887.
3. What experiences will the wise virgins go through during the latter part of the third angel’s message?
Malachi 3:2, 3 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
1 Peter 1:22, 23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
“They must give up errors and traditions received from men and turn wholly to God and His Word. They must be purified, made white, and tried. Those who endure that bitter trial will obtain an eternal victory.” –Early Writings, p. 243.
4. What three experiences will the redeemed have according to the vision?
Revelation 7:13, 14 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
“It is now that we must keep ourselves and our children unspotted from the world. It is now that we must wash our robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It is now that we must overcome pride, passion, and spiritual slothfulness. It is now that we must awake and make determined effort for symmetry of character.…
“What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation?” – Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 215, 216.
THE FIRST STEP IN RECONCILIATION WITH GOD
5. How does the first angel’s message represent a call for purification of the soul from all sin as the first step of worshipping God?
Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Mark 1:3, 4The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
“The first step in reconciliation to God is the conviction of sin.” – The Great Controversy, p. 467.
“This soul-purifying work led the affections away from worldly things to a consecration never before experienced.…
“Like John, the forerunner of Jesus, those who preached this solemn message felt compelled to lay the ax at the root of the tree, and call upon men to bring forth fruits meet for repentance.” – Early Writings, p. 233.
THE SECOND STEP IN THE PROGRESSIVE WORK
6. What is the next step for the repenting believer, which is represented as making white?
Romans 6:18, 22 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness… But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
“The Scriptures plainly show that the work of sanctification is progressive. When in conversion the sinner finds peace with God through the blood of the atonement, the Christian life has but just begun. Now he is to ‘go on unto perfection;’ to grow up ‘unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ “ –The Great Controversy, p. 470.
“The righteousness by which we are justified is imputed; the righteousness by which we are sanctified is imparted. The first is our title to heaven, the second is our fitness for heaven.” –(Review and Herald, June 4, 1895) Messages to Young People, p. 35.
THE THIRD STEP BEFORE THE CLOSING OF PROBATION
7. After we come with faith into the Most Holy to stand before God’s judgment, will we be tried to the uttermost?
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
“This message was designed to put the children of God upon their guard, by showing them the hour of temptation and anguish that was before them. Said the angel, ‘They will be brought into close combat with the beast and his image. Their only hope of eternal life is to remain steadfast. Although their lives are at stake, they must hold fast the truth.’ “ – Early Writings, p. 254.
• Am I well prepared like the wise virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom’s coming?
• Do I have a double portion of the Holy Spirit to encounter the dark hours of the night?
• What has my personal experience been like in the day by day sanctification of my Christian walk?
• Have I searched my soul to discover whether my mind, heart and hands are pure, before entering into the most holy place?