Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“The Priestly Garments of Grace”

Second Quarter 2011 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
“The Priestly Garments of Grace”
For the week of April 24-30, 2011
“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1, 2).  These verses express present truth.  We now have “such a High Priest,” one of whom the Father said, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 7:17).  Jesus will forever be our High Priest. Yes, there will come a time when the sanctuary service, which is now proceeding in the heavenly sanctuary, will end. But there will never be a time when Christ ceases to be the mediator between God and man. 
“We have such a High Priest.”  A High Priest who was made perfect through suffering (see Hebrews 2:10).  We have a High Priest who “is not ashamed to call [us] brethren” (Hebrews 2:12).  We have a High Priest who has “partaken of flesh and blood” (Hebrew 2:14).  We have a High Priest who has died to “release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrew 2:15).   We have a High Priest who in all things “had to be made like His brethren” (Hebrews 2:17).  And why did He have to be made so?  That “He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
We have a great High Priest who is seated on the throne of grace.  His ministry was represented by the ministry of Aaron.  During his typical priesthood, Aaron wore garments which represented the elements of the ministry of Christ.  He wore the garments of grace.  Figuratively, his garments represented the children of Israel, the judgment of God and God’s concern for his children.
The central element of Aaron’s high priestly garment was the breastplate.  A beautiful gold piece set with twelve precious stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. This was typified the fact that our great High Priest would carry his people on his heart.  Precious stones were chosen to represent each tribe.  Sardius, topaz and emerald were the stones used in the first row.  Turquoise, sapphire and diamond made up the second row.  Jacinth, agate and amethyst composed the third row.   And beryl, onyx and jasper were the stones of the fourth row of the breastplate.  No common rocks were set in the breastplate of gold.  Twelve precious stones announced the fact that God’s children are exceedingly valuable in his sight.  We are still very precious to Jesus.
The fact that we are called upon to endure trial shows that the Lord Jesus sees in us something precious which He desires to develop.  If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us.  He does not cast worthless stones into His furnace.  It is valuable ore that He refines. –Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, page 64
The Urim and Thummim represented judgment.  Thus Aaron carried the judgment of God and the people of God close to this heart.  We know that the final outcome of the judgment will be the vindication of God’s people (see Daniel 7:22).  This is an issue which is close to the heart of our great High Priest in the anti-typical sanctuary.  The completion of this judgment process is the central issue of the great controversy at this time.  Our High Priest must carry His people upon His heart in the hour of judgment.
Our memory text for this week brings to view another Biblical symbol concerning the priesthood.  The believers in Christ are referred to as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).  This text alerts us to the fact that the commission given to Israel has now been transferred to the Christian church.
Jesus said to the Jews, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof…And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them” (Matthew 21:41-45).
The Jews as a nation rejected Jesus as the Messiah. He was the One represented by “the stone which the builders rejected.”  When the Jews handed Jesus over to Pilot they said, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).  Thus they resigned from the theocracy and the kingdom of God was taken from them.  But Jesus had said it would be given to another “nation.”  The Christian church is that “nation.”  Today the popular position of the majority of the Christian church tends to reject the present ministry of Jesus as our great High Priest.
If we are believers in Christ we are to be that holy nation and peculiar people.  This does not suggest that the priesthood of Christ is now fulfilled or no longer relevant.  We may serve the purposes of the common priests of Aarons day, but the vital High Priestly ministry belongs to Christ.  We may reject Jesus today as truly as the Jews did long ago by denying the validity of the sanctuary doctrine.
Our current task is to point people to Jesus.  We are to be a united identifiable people representing a holy nation.  We are to be the generation chosen to see the purposes of God finally fulfilled.  We are to show forth the praises of him who hath called us.  We should never get the idea, this side of eternity, that the ministry of our great High Priest is over. We are never to get the idea that we have somehow replaced the ministry of Christ.  The sanctuary doctrine and the heavenly ministry of Christ are to remain present truth until He shall appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
--Mark Duncan

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

“The Coat of Different Colors”

Second Quarter 2011 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
“The Coat of Different Colors”
For the week of April 17-23, 2011
In taking a class on interpersonal relationships I was alarmed to discover the web of dysfunction that I had woven with my family while growing up.  The assignment that made the issues most obvious was the completion of a family tree. The finished project revealed the patterns of social irrationality that are often apparent to everyone except our family.  We have developed mechanisms like denial, or family secrets. These mechanisms gloss over the individual sins in our attempt to make things look all right.  We are hopelessly tangled up in meaninglessness until, by God’s grace, we identify the areas of dysfunction and give Him permission to fix them on a personal, family, and church level.
There were no family secrets in Jacob’s life—at least not when it came to the actions of his sons as described in Genesis 49.  Jacob’s attitude to Joseph was certainly common knowledge.  Our scripture for this week states, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors” (Genesis 37:3). 
The tragedy is that Israel showed preference for Joseph—not just the old Jacob.  This continued after his name was changed; after his conversion. Herein lies his sin.  Carlyle B. Haynes, in his book, God Sent a Man, has stated it more clearly than any other author I know of. When referencing Genesis 37:3, and offering parental advice drawn from Israel’s tragedy he states: “There is nothing wrong with having a favorite child, but there is everything wrong in showing which one it is.”  Jacob’s partiality was a character trait that started back in Genesis 29:18:  “And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.”    
If there is a family that I would not like to grow up in, then it would Jacob’s family.  I grew up in a blended family, but Jacob’s family is one unblended family that would be a social worker’s nightmare. 
As much as I would like to avoid identifying with Jacob’s family, my life includes many of the same foibles and follies of one—if not all—of these sullied characters.  We can all sing “Father Israel had many sons, many sons had father Israel.  I am one of them and so are you....”  The question is “Who can deliver me (us) from the family of discontent and dysfunction?”
The answer lies in a verse that comes hundreds of years after Jacob died. The character traits he passed on to his sons had at least thirteen generations to fester in an oppressive Egyptian feudal system.  When this least promising of families is out in the desert under what appears to be the least promising of circumstances, God makes a request:
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).  We would simply forget these brothers, but God does not forget.  God still wants this troublesome family. He wants us to know that it is Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun whom He wants on the east;  Reuben, Gad, and Simeon on the south.  On the west He would like  Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin.  Finally on the north He wants Dan and Asher, and Naphtali.  Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them
Wonder of wonders!  God will take the most dysfunctional family and live right in the middle.  It seems that the Sanctuary exists to reconcile families. 
But where is the coat; the one that brought all the division and nearly brought death to Joseph?
In verse seven of Exodus twenty five we find an ephod with a breastplate—a coat of many colors—as it were.  It has been stated that Joseph’s coat was predominantly white, with a hem of many colors.  I always imagined it, thanks to Uncle Arthur, as many colors obliquely woven together.  It matters not.  What is certain is that God has a coat for the Sanctuary Priest which has all of the children of Israel, including me, right at the heart.  
It matters not if you display the fearful, crimson characteristics of Judah, or the green, adulterous envy of Simeon.  You may be afflicted with the laziness of Manasseh, or the delinquent purple purposelessness of Dan.  No matter who you are, there is garment woven in the loom of heaven especially for you.  
 Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us fit to appear in God’s presence.  This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul.  “I counsel thee,” He says, “to buy of Me . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear” (Revelation 3:18).  
“This robe, woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising.  Christ, in His humanity, wrought out a perfect character, and this character He offers to impart to us.  ‘All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags’ (Isaiah 64:6).  Everything that we of ourselves can do is defiled by sin. But the Son of God ‘was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin’” (Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons, page 311).
In the Sanctuary, right now, this coat of pure white is being worn by our High Priest.  He wants to do something that has never been done before.  He wants to remove all the fear of Judah and his children; all the adultery of Simeon and his children; all the laziness of Manasseh and his children, and all the purposelessness of Dan and his children.  What a wonderful invitation he offers to all of us. “Come clean!  Accept My coat that has been washed clean!”
“Why did the Saviour come as an infant instead of a man?  To die on the cross would have met the penalty.  But He lived as a child, and met all the temptations a child meets. Through it all He never sinned. Jesus endured all of this so that any child can stand in His place and resist in His strength; and He lived also as a youth, a man full grown, weaving for us a robe of righteousness to cover us…, [He] takes the filthy garment away and puts His own in its place, so that all may have it if they will”  (A. T. Jones, Kansas Camp Meeting Sermons, March 11, 1889).
--Ricky Kearns

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garments of Innocence

Garments of Innocence

There are many symbols used in the Bible. Some of these symbols are closely related to the reality that they represent. Others are more abstract and metaphorical. The expression “Garment of Innocence” refers to a symbol which seems to have had both a literal and metaphorical meaning. Adam and Eve were clothed with light, which has been referred to as “a garment of innocence.” They wore no artificial garments. The Bible says they were both “naked” (Genesis 2:25). Yet we understand from the Spirit of prophecy that “they were clothed with a covering of light and glory such as the angles wear” (Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 45).

The “garment of innocence” covered Adam and Eve as long as they were obedient to the command of God. It seems to have been a symbol of their innocence which would come to be a symbol of righteousness as their characters developed. Yet when they transgressed the command of God and ate of the forbidden fruit the covering of light was immediately lost. The Bible says after Eve gave to her husband and he ate, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7).

It has always been interesting to me that the covering of light did not disappear and leave Eve naked after she had partaken of the forbidden fruit. It was not until Adam ate that their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked.

Their supernatural “clothing” could not get dirty.  It did not require cleaning.  It was always the correct size.  We imagine that if Adam and Even grew in size, their “covering of light” would have grown with them.  It was always perfect in appearance and it could not grow old or wear out.  The innocent pair were evidently aware of a covering. If it had been perfectly transparent they would never have missed it when they sinned, nor could it have been called a “covering.” One wonders whether the covering of light was somehow to point to God of Whom the Bible says “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).  Perhaps it was even a symbol of a link between God and the holy pair.

Yet when Adam ate of the fruit, the reality of a terrible problem began to dawn upon the couple. Immediately the light vanished.  They knew that they were naked and they began their futile human effort to find a substitute for the garments of innocence.

They chose fig leaves as a covering. Taking the covering of a fruit tree, they attempted to hide their nakedness. It was not the same as the garment of innocence but it was the more easily obtainable option. Yet, it was an insufficient symbol as well as an inadequate covering. God knew the leaves would dry up, become brittle and eventually they would disintegrate, blow away, and they would find themselves naked again. Thus their substitute was inadequate.  God also knew it was an inadequate symbol since no blood had been shed in acquiring that covering. The true implications of sin were not represented in those garments.  A more meaningful symbol was needed.

“Without the shedding of blood is no remission…” (Hebrews 9:22).  The gospel must be revealed more clearly to the fallen pair as well as the watching universe.  Therefore, God sacrificed an animal, representing the sacrifice of His only begotten son.  And from the animal He removed the skin and clothed the fallen pair in another symbol.  It was a symbol of the righteousness of Christ. It pointed to another garment from a supernatural source, one that could not be soiled, could not fail to cover adequately and would not grow old or wear out.

In providing Adam and Eve with a temporarily adequate covering, God also provided the universe with the first revelation of “the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God” (Ephesians 3:9).  God revealed the reality that it would be necessary for a great sacrifice, to solve the sin problem.  The children of men would have another covering with a supernatural source.

Replacing the garments of innocence required the sacrifice of an animal.  This was a temporary stop gap measure.  The robe of light was not then restored, yet it would be restored when the conflict is finished.  In the intervening time, the tunics of skin would stand as an adequate symbol pointing to the Lamb of God.  He would not only restore the original garments of innocence, He would also provide the righteousness which would have been theirs, had they remained loyal to God.  Supplying the lack of righteousness would also require a great sacrifice.  Christ would come to earth and live a perfect life in their place, but the transfer of righteousness from Christ to the human family could not occur without death.

By His death Christ provided mankind a “second probation” (Ellen White, Faith and Works, p. 22) as well as the “clothing” needed during that probation and beyond.  We are told, “The Father consulted His Son in regard to at once carrying out their purpose to make man to inhabit the earth. He would place man upon probation to test his loyalty before he could be rendered eternally secure” (Ellen White, Story of Redemption, p. 20).  Thus we see that Adam and Eve were on probation in the Garden of Eden.  This probation was forfeited by Adam for the entire human race.  Christ by His death has restored the lost probation for all mankind.  This transaction has also been referred to as “justification to life” (Romans 5:18).
Mankind has not been placed in the same circumstances as Adam and Eve, but we have been given the same standing.  Our sins are forgiven through the blood of Calvary’s cross and we are given these hours of probation in which to choose which side we shall take in the great controversy.  We may choose to accept and wear the robe of Christ’s righteousness to cover our nakedness.  Yet as free moral agents we are also free to reject it.  Apart from that robe of perfect righteousness, the covering from the supernatural source, we shall be ashamed at His coming when we shall have no choice but to stand in our inadequate robes of self-righteousness.

By God’s grace let choose the gift of righteousness now.

--Mark Duncan  
(Also available in PDF format:  http://www.1888msc.org/article.php?id=117 and click on the PDF

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

“From Exalted to Cast Down”

Second Quarter 2011 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
“From Exalted to Cast Down”
For the week of April 3 - 9, 2011
On Tuesday’s page in the Adult Bible Study Guide we find the following quote: “As we’ll see throughout this quarter, garments can reveal a great deal about our station and posi­tion.” Adam and Eve, Lucifer/Satan, Joseph, David, Angels, Daniel, the pure woman who represents God’s church, the whore of Revelation, the rich man, Lazarus (the poor beggar), Jesus – the list of Bible characters whose clothing reflected their heart choices is long and varied.
Jesus owned the most exalted “station” in the universe. He “was with God,” and He “was God” (John 1:1, 2). Yet the “position” which He chose while here on earth was that of a servant.  
Consider how His clothing reflected His character. His robe was made of durable fabric of good quality – woven throughout, and of one piece. It was plain and unadorned. Anyone who looked at the Man who was the Christ could not see with the natural eye anything other than a poor laborer. There was nothing at all in Christ’s appearance to call attention away from “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit” which is “of great price” in God’s eyes, according to 1 Peter 3:4.
The Man who wore such a garment was here on earth for one reason, and one reason only. He would show human beings what the Father was like. He would “do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29). He “came not to do [His] own will, but the will of the Father” who had sent Him (John 5:30). This garment belonged to the Son of God who “was surrendered to the Father's will, and dependent upon His power.  So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God's plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, page 208). The passage goes on to say, “So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will” (Ibid).
The Bible writers used clothing to help us to discern “the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). We can know something of the inner qualities of the biblical characters just from what we read of their outer garments.
Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked according to Jeremiah 17:9.  God has given us, in the clothes we love to wear, a way to find out something of what is in our own hearts. It would be well for each of us to ask ourselves whether our choices in the clothing department reveal that our hearts are so consumed with the love of Jesus that we, like Him, would wear only that which draws all eyes to Him, or if we are interested in drawing attention to ourselves. If the mirror shows us that we have a problem in this area, the solution is found, not in burning our wardrobe and going about in sackcloth and ashes, but in looking to Jesus until our hearts burn within us, and our sole desire is to honor Him. “Cleanse the fountain, and the streams will be pure. If the heart is right, your words, your dress, your acts, will all be right” (Ellen White, Testimonies, Volume. 1, p. 158). If our life purpose is the same as Christ’s life purpose, then our clothing choices will demonstrate that fact.
Consider Esther. She was placed by God in the court of the Babylonian empire for a purpose. She was to lead the heart of the king into submission to the will of God with regard to the interests of the Jews.  Esther’s heart is revealed in her choice of clothing. She required nothing but what “the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed” (Esther 2:15). It is further noted that “Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her” (Ibid).  
Esther did not confer with her own preferences. She trusted her looks and her future to the one whom God had chosen as her guardian. Those who truly trust God will not confer with their own preferences about anything. They will trust the preferences of the Keeper of our hearts – the One in whom dwelt “all the fullness of the godhead, bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
“The most dangerous flesh and blood that one can confer with is one's own. It is not enough to be independent of others; in matters of truth one needs to be independent of one's self.  ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’ Proverbs 3:5. ‘He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool’ (Proverbs 28:26).  
“A pope is one who presumes to occupy the place in counsel which rightfully belongs to God alone. The man who makes himself pope, by following his own counsel, is just as bad as the man who dictates to another, and is more likely to be led astray than is the man who follows some pope other than himself.  If one is to follow a pope at all, it would be more consistent to accept the pope of Rome, because he has had more experience in popery than any other.  But none is necessary, since we have the Word of God. When God speaks, the part of wisdom is to obey at once, without taking counsel even of one's own heart. The Lord's name is ‘Counselor’ (Isaiah 9:6), and He is "wonderful in counsel."  Hear Him! "He will be our Guide forevermore" (E. J. Waggoner, The Glad Tidings, Page 45).
We live in the time of the end. We are either a part of the pure church which is clothed with the Sun of Righteousness, or we are going to be a part of the woman of Revelation 17:4. It is vital that our character and our clothing should be chosen, not by our preferences, but by the will of the Father, whose choices on our behalf are those that we would make if we “could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose that we are fulfilling as co-workers with Him” (Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, page 479).

Friday, April 01, 2011

“In the Loom of Heaven”

Second Quarter 2011 Adult Sabbath School Lessons

For the week of March 27 – April 2, 2011

(PDF Link)

The world has a saying: “The clothes make the man.” Humans tend to judge each other based upon outward appearances – the cost of the fabric with which we cover the body weighs more in the scale of approval than the character of the man.

In heaven’s economy, the opposite is true. Jesus and the angels see each individual as “clothed” in garments which reflect the inner character. Those who feel no need – who are satisfied with what they can accomplish in the way of good works, may wear designer suits, but if they could look through God’s eyes they would see that they are actually clothed in tattered, filthy garments which can neither be repaired nor cleansed from ugly stains.

Only those who see Jesus – those who really come to know Him, can begin to have a sense of the beauty of His character. This awakening leads the honest heart to long for something better. Our lesson this week focuses on the imagery of Christ’s beautiful, white robe of righteousness which is woven in the loom of heaven, and offered to every one of God’s children, free of charge. This robe not only transforms the wearer, it guarantees him eternal life and admission to the heavenly courts. And yet, as unbelievable as it may sound, many people refuse to accept the gift. They prefer their rags.

To help us understand this object lesson better, we call to our aid another analogy.

Let’s say a man named Jim just found out he has metastatic cancer. Left untreated, the cancer will kill him. Jim is in shock. Then his doctor says, “If you’re willing to undergo radical surgery and follow through with the prescribed treatment, your cure is 100% guaranteed.”

“That’s fantastic,” Jim says, “but how much will it cost? I have no medical insurance and no money in savings. Even the government health care plan won’t cover this.”

Jim’s surgeon places his hand sympathetically on Jim’s arm and says, “Jim, I have a fund for patients with needs such as yours. Here’s a check that will cover the bill for all the expenses related to your treatment and care.” Jim’s mouth drops open. The check is for $250,000, and it’s signed by his surgeon!

Now this story is just made up, but let us say that Jim hurries to the bank with his check, deposits the money, and then goes out with his friends and spends lavishly on parties and entertainment. We would say Jim is a fool to waste that gift which was intended to save his life. Yet that is the choice we make when we despise the life-saving gift of righteousness given to us in Christ.

In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “imputed” means to reckon, count, compute, calculate, and/or count over.

In Romans, Paul says Abraham believed God and it was “imputed” to him as righteousness (Romans 4:22).

In our story, we could say that the check Jim received from the surgeon was imputed to him. The amount covered the entire cost of treatment. Like the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, however, that gift will accomplish its purpose only as we submit to the treatment prescribed by the Great Physician. This treatment is analogous to accepting the imparted righteousness of Christ. Abraham accepted that gift atop Mt. Moriah. The Heavenly Surgeon’s knife cut deeply into his own heart, but the purpose was redemptive. Abraham came down the mountain freed from the cancer of sin and clothed in white raiment of immeasurable value.

Because we cannot possibly pay the infinite cost for our redemption, our Savior has imputed His righteousness to us. He has paid the price for our salvation. Yet He does not force medical intervention without our consent. Only by submission to His faithful care can we be freed from the soul-destroying cancer of sin.

Our sickness is so profound that it has eaten through our skin and putrified our clothes. Our outer garments (actions) are marred by motives of sin from within. In Leviticus, Moses wrote of clothing tainted by leprosy: “If the plague has spread in the garment, either in the warp or in the woof, in the leather or in anything of leather, the plague is an active leprosy. It is unclean. . . . the garment shall be burned in the fire” (Leviticus 13: 51, 52).

The work accomplished by Christ in behalf of man is more than to pay the penalty for a broken law; it includes the bringing of man into harmony with that law. He "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). For this it became necessary not only that righteousness should be imputed to us, but imparted to us; not only that Christ should live for us, but that He should live in us; not only that we should be "justified by faith " (Romans 5:1), but that we should be "sanctified by faith" (Acts 26:18). So the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory [His character], the glory [the character] as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Angels could convey messages for God, and could do deeds for God, but only the Son of God could reveal the righteousness of God by being God.

--William Warren Prescott, The Bible Echo Articles, May 4, 1896, page 130

And we have it further, "Buy of me gold tried in the fire, and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed." And you remember the description that we have already had of that raiment. The figure is, "that garment that is woven in the loom of heaven, in which there is not a single thread of human making." Brethren, that garment was woven in a human body. The human body--the flesh of Christ--was the loom, was it not? That garment was woven in Jesus; in the same flesh that you and I have, for He took part of the same flesh and blood that we have. That flesh that is yours and mine, that Christ bore in this world--that was the loom in which God wove that garment for you and me to wear in the flesh, and He wants us to wear it now, as well as when the flesh is made immortal in the end!

--A. T. Jones, General Conference Daily Bulletin, February 9, 1893

As we study this quarter’s lessons, may we be inspired to relinquish our rags and accept the spotless garment of Christ’s righteousness which will make us fit for the companionship of angels.

--Patti Guthrie