Fourth Quarter 2013 Adult Sabbath School LessonsChristiana loved her new knee. Ever since the arthritis had gotten bad enough that she could no longer take those walks after lunch she had gained weight. But now she could walk, and three months ago she had gradually worked up to a mile or so. “These knee replacements are great,” she had said to herself, just a few days prior to the disaster strike.
“The Pre-Advent Judgment”
For the week of Nov. 30, 2013
“The Pre-Advent Judgment”
For the week of Nov. 30, 2013
Her knee, seemingly out of the blue, had become hot and swollen. When she called her surgeon, he had her come immediately to the office. He ran a battery of blood tests: a complete blood count (CBC), a C - Reactive Protein (CRP), and an Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR). Sure enough, her white blood count was elevated on the CBC, and both of the other tests showed that very high inflammation was present.
Her surgeon took her right to the operative room and gave her knee a thorough washing out, and told her he thought her infection might clear. Infections of this kind are very serious, however. Some, if left untreated, can lead to amputation. Both Christiana and her surgeon prayed for success for this clean-out, and he and she were, as a result, optimistic as to the final outcome. She continued on intravenous antibiotics for several weeks before switching to pills which she would need to take for many weeks.
Frequently she had to have more investigation with the same blood tests to see if the infection was in fact clearing. Finally the day came when the CBC, the CRP, and the ESR all showed that there was no infection left. It was safe to leave her off of the antibiotics. What a relief! Now she could walk again!!
Like Christiana, those of God’s children who believe that God has reconciled the human race to Himself (2 Cor. 5:18,19) and have agreed to join the divine-human family, have received the new heart that the everlasting covenant promises (Heb. 10:16-17). But as Romans 7 tells us, there is still an infection of the flesh, of self, to be overcome.
We must have the infection cleared before we are safe to walk the streets of the New Jerusalem. We may not know the day or the hour when our treatment is finished, but by faith we know it will be completed. And we can know how things are trending by applying the medicinal therapy and getting our blood tested. Here is what the divine physician has in mind:
“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Rev. 3:18
It would be a shame to be cut off, amputated, from Christ after all he has done for us and in us.
We must apply the heavenly ESR (eye salve remedy) to have our distorted, inflamed vision corrected.
We need to see that the divine CRP (Christ our Righteousness Protection) is covering us, saving us from ourselves.
We must have the gold of Christ’s righteous lifeblood flowing through our veins, as revealed in the final CBC (Christ’s Blood is Complete) test, before we can walk pain-free for eternity in Him!
It is in this context we are to investigate our own experience in the light of the Sanctuary Truth we have been studying this quarter. We want to know that the remedy is working:
"We are in the investigative judgment; and the work for the time is solemn heart-searching. The duty devolves upon every one to consider, to watch, and to pray. You are not bidden by the Lord to examine your neighbor's heart. Let your investigative powers be put to work to discover what evil is lurking in your own heart, what defects are in your character; what work needs to be done in your own home. Parents are responsible for the souls of their children; they are accountable for the mold of character they give them. They will, if they realize their duty, work most earnestly for their own salvation and for the salvation of their children. When parents are careless in their own ways, and in regard to the character and deportment of their children, they lose the favor of God. But every family that will seek God with humiliation and prayer will be doing the work that is essential for eternal salvation.
"Satan is working diligently and most successfully to put his selfish stamp upon the characters of even professed Christians, and many are becoming narrow in their ideas of duty and obligation. They are degenerating, and receiving a stamp of character which is offensive to God. Self-love and unholy passions occupy the citadel of the soul. To those who are professedly keeping the law of God, but are daily transgressing its holy principles, let me say, Search, O search and see how little reverence you have for eternal things, how little love for devotion." RH, December 29, 1896
"When we become children of God, our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative Judgment. Then the name of every individual will be called, and his record examined by Him who declares, "I know thy works." If in that day it shall appear that all our wicked deeds have not been fully repented of, our names will be blotted from the book of life, and our sins will stand against us. If the professed believer becomes self-confident, if in word or spirit he breaks the least precept of God's holy law, he misrepresents Jesus, and in the Judgment the awful words will be spoken, "Blot out his name from the book of life; he is a worker of iniquity." But the Father pities the self-distrustful, God-fearing soul, harassed though he may be with doubts and temptations. Jesus pleads for him, and confesses his name before the Father and his holy angels." ST, August 6, 1885
"God sees many temptations resisted of which the world, and even near friends, never know; temptations in the home, in the heart; He sees the soul's humility in view of its own weakness, the sincere repentance over even a thought that is evil; He sees the whole heart's devotion to the up building of the cause of God, without one tinge of selfishness; He has noted those hours of hard battle with self, battles that won the victory--all this God and angels know."--Letter 18, 1891, p. 4. (To Brother Irwin, June 29, 1891.) 8MR 244.1
"The Center of Christ's Atoning Work.--The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days." EV 221.
"For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14.
In the great day of final atonement and investigative judgment, the only cases considered are those of the professed people of God. The judgment of the wicked is a distinct and separate work, and takes place at a later period. . . . The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment. . . .
The book of life contains the names of all who have ever entered the service of God. Jesus bade His disciples, "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20. Paul speaks of his faithful fellow workers, "Whose names are in the book of life." Philippians 4:3. . . .
"A book of remembrance" is written before God, in which are recorded the good deeds of "them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name." Malachi 3:16. Their words of faith, their acts of love, are registered in heaven. . . .
There is a record also of the sins of men. . . . The secret purposes and motives appear in the unerring register.
"Every man's work passes in review before God. . . . Opposite each name in the books of heaven is entered, with terrible exactness, every wrong word, every selfish act, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling. Heaven-sent warnings or reproofs neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far-reaching results, all are chronicled by the recording angel.
"If your name is registered in the Lamb's book of life, then all will be well with you. Be ready and anxious to confess your faults and forsake them, that your mistakes and sins may go beforehand to judgment and be blotted out." FLB 210
"In the parable of Matthew 22 the same figure of the marriage is introduced, and the investigative Judgment is clearly represented as taking place before the marriage. Previous to the wedding the king comes in to see the guests, [Matthew 22:11.]—to see if all are attired in the wedding garment, the spotless robe of character washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. [Revelation 7:14.] He who is found wanting is cast out, but all who upon examination are seen to have the wedding garment on, are accepted of God, and accounted worthy of a share in his kingdom and a seat upon his throne. This work of examination of character, of determining who are prepared for the kingdom of God, is that of the investigative Judgment, the closing work in the sanctuary above." GC88 428