The "Remnant." Webster says a remnant is "that which is left after a part has been removed;" also "a small number of people." The church of the most holy place is called the Remnant church not only because it is the last part of the church on this earth7, but in comparison with the millions of professed Christians who now live on the earth, it gathers in but few, a mere remnant, who choose at all hazards to remain true to the pure Word of God. This is the church that John saw, with whom "the dragon was wroth" - "the great dragon. . . that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan" - who âwent to make war with the remnant of her seedâ (the seed of the woman, the church), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Rev. 12:9,17.
As the Hebrew church, the church of the court, lost its way in what had become a lifeless round of meaningless ceremonies and dead formalism, likewise the Christian church, the church of the holy place, so victoriously begun by the early apostles, so courageously continued by the mighty leaders of the Reformation who gave the pure Word of God to the people in modern languages of the civilized world, and so nobly followed by the early missionaries of "The Carey Epoch," whose great contribution to the gospel was the translation of the Bible into heathen tongues - this generation of the church lost its way in the blinding fogs of error that antichrist, "the dragon," introduced. From the time that the Hebrew church was finally rejected in A.D. 34, and the Christian church had taken its place, 1810 years, the last division of the 2300 days, had passed, then, according to the time records of Christ, "Almoni, the Wonderful Numberer," Dan. 8:14, margin, the fulfillment of the prophecy - "unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed" - was due. Dan. 8:14.
The end of the 2300 days, 1810 years after A.D. 34, pointed unmistakably to the year 1844, when the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary began.
This was not only a cleansing of the house of God from all the sins that had gone before to Judgment, but from all the deceptive errors of the little horn, that "the true religion," Moffatt, Dan. 8:12, which the sanctuary symbolized and which the little horn had "cast down . . . to the ground" might be "restored to its rightful position." (Hebrew rendering of v. 14). Thus the gospel would be proclaimed in its original purity, and the church prepared to meet Christ at His coming.
At this time the two Judgment prophecies: the prophecy of Daniel 7:10 "the Judgment was set, and the books were opened," and John's prophecy of Revelation 14:6-12: "The hour of His Judgment is come" began to be proclaimed to the world. The whole period of time covered by these prophecies, reaching from 1844 to the last day of probation, is the antitype of the Hebrew day of atonement, the last day of the yearly round of service. The Remnant generation of the church is now living in this "last day" of probation.
Organization of the Remnant Church. At the organization of the Hebrew church, the church of the court, the power of God shook Mount Sinai. At the organization of the Christian church, the church of the holy place, the power of God was mightily manifest in Jerusalem at the time of Pentecost. During the approximately ten years immediately preceeding the ushering in of the Remnant church, the war "The hour of His Judgment is come;" "Prepare to meet thy God, 0 Israel," Amos 4: 12, was proclaimed simultaneously by godly men in practically all parts of the civilized world. This warning stirred all Christendom as it had not been stirred since the days of the apostles.
He who organized the first two generations of the church is still the same; He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Heb. 13:8. His plans, being perfect, cannot change. Therefore the church of the most holy place, the Remnant church, is built upon the same foundation as were the two preceding generations of the church, - the same eternal law of God that the Hebrew church was to proclaim, and faith in a crucified, risen, and ascended Lord, which was the special message
of the Christian church. Though both these generations of the church had fulfilled the time allotted to them, the work to be accomplished for God had not been completed, and another must take their place and finish the task.
The Sanctuary the Corner Stone of the Church. The sanctuary truth has always been the real heart of God's message for His church, because it so fully and so clearly reveals the redemptive work of Christ. The enemy, knowing this, centers his determined effort to keep the church in ignorance and indifference regarding it. The Hebrew church, although having at its organization such marvelous light on the sanctuary, finally lost its spiritual significance, and therefore fell short of fulfilling God's plan. The Christian church, although in the days of the apostles discerning the mission of Christ as revealed in the sanctuary, having lost the illumination which the sanctuary gives to all Scripture, at last fell a prey to the errors of antichrist.
Had the Hebrew church preserved a spiritual understanding of the sanctuary, it would not have rejected Christ when at His birth, He entered the court, not at His ascension when He entered the holy place of the sanctuary above. Had the Christian church kept the faith as revealed in the sanctuary, it would not have rejected the Judgment message. But, at that time, Christian churches generally thought that this earth was the sanctuary, they had little or no idea of the existence of a sanctuary in heaven where at his ascension Christ began His high priestly work. Because of this general lack of understanding, the Remnant church stumbled on this very same point. Therefore, as the end of the 2300 days approached about the middle of the ninetheenth century when the cleansing of the sanctuary prophecied in Daniel 8:14 began to be preached, the only logical conclusion was that this earth was to be cleansed-cleansed by fire, which of course meant the second coming of Christ and the end of the world. Then, when the date, October 22, 1844, pointed out in the prophecy for the event, passed and Jesus did not come, the believers were perplexed and greatly disappointed. This has since been known as the Great Disappointment of 1844. With many, this error caused unbelief in the message itself.
God works in a mysterious way His wonders to perform, and through this Disappointment He was able to lead His people to special light on the sanctuary, which is really the corner stone of every generation of the church. The very next morning after the Disappointment, which according to Bible reckoning was still October 22, while some who had preached the judgment message were praying for light, the Holy Spirit flashed into their minds the familiar text, "The temple (or sanctuary) of God was opened in heaven," Rev. 11:19. This revealed the truth that this earth was not the sanctuary to be cleansed, but that the true tabernacle is in heaven. Heb. 9:24; 8:2. When they rose from prayer, one of them exclaimed, "I suppose I have read that text a hundred times, but I never saw in it what I see now."
The Sanctuary and God's Law. As these earnest Bible students looked again into the text which the Holy Spirit had illuminated with such great light, they read, "there was seen in His temple the ark of His Testament," in which was God's eternal law. This verse continues with the remarkable words, "and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake," which seems to indicate that the special power of God would accompany the proclamation of this message, till it would shake the whole earth.
The light on this text led to a prayerful and earnest study of God's law, the Ten Commandments, which revealed to them the astounding fact that "the seventh day" of the week is "the Sabbath of the Lord," Ex. 20:10, and not the first day as all their lives they had been taught. They learned that instead of the Sabbath being a type that met its antitype at the cross and was then done away, it was a foretaste of their eternal rest, Heb. 4:1-5, and that in the future life it would continue to be observed forever and ever. Isa. 66:23. This was the very same Sabbath that both the Hebrew church and the Christian church when organized by Christ, had observe and honored. God was leading His people back to His eternal law, which the little horn thought to change. Dan. 7:25. So great was the joy of the people who discovered the divine truth, that as one, greeting another asked, "What's the news?" the joyful answer was, "Saturday is the Sabbath!" It was this correct
understanding of the sanctuary and the Sabbath of God's law that gave birth to the Remnant church. They are the two pillars of the Judgment message.
Referring to this experience later, Uriah Smith in his terse style wrote:
"The temple is opened, and no man can shut it; The ark is seen, and no man can obscure it;
The corresponding movement on earth is in progress; and no man can stop it." U 231.
A Prophetic Command. As these earnest seekers for truth continued their study of the Bible, the Spirit of the Lord shed light on the prophecy recorded in Revelation 10 to 11:1, 2. This revealed the fact that their failure to understand the sanctuary, and their consequent Disappointment were in themselves matters of prophecy. From the tenth chapter of Revelation, they learned that a study of "the little book" of Daniel, although in the mouth "sweet as honey" would., after it was eaten, be bitter. Rev. 10:2, 8-10. They had experienced both the sweetness of its study and in their disappointment they had tasted its bitterness.
But this disappointment was not to discourage them, said the angel: "Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." Rev. 10:10,11. How were they to be prepared to give this world-wide message? The angel continued: "Rise, and measure the temple of God." Rev. 11:1,2. What did he mean by measuring the temple of God? Uriah Smith gives this exegesis: "To measure any object requires that special attention be given to that object. The call to rise and measure the temple of God is a prophetic command to the church to give the subject of the temple, or sanctuary, a special examination." D & R 532, 1944 edition.
"Rise, and measure the temple of God." This led to an earnest study of the heavenly temple, which disclosed the fact that at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, instead of Christ's coming to this earth to cleanse it by fire, He then entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, where as Judge He began His work of cleansing the church preparatory to His coming in glory, Instead of coming to execute Judgment on the wicked. He then began His Investigative Judgment of the Righteous. The discovery of these truths explained their Disappointment, and enabled them to understand why Christ had not come to this earth as they had expected and proclaimed. It revived their hope so that they could "rise (from their disappointment) and measure the temple of God."
As Satan saw this message developing, his wrath was aroused, for he knew that his kingdom was threatened. To his followers he said, âWe must watch those who are calling the attention of the people to the Sabbath of Jehovah, . . . Hold the minds of the people in darkness till that work (the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary) is ended and we shall secure the world and the church also." TM 472. This shows that it is Satan's plan to nullify the message of Revelation 11:19 so let us beware lest by neglecting to gain a spiritual understanding of the sanctuary, which points out the true Sabbath, we are ensnared in "the wiles (sly tricks) of the devil." Only by having on "the whole armor of God" are we safe from the great deceiver. Eph. 6:11.
The Special Mission of the Remnant Church. The charter members of this church were the few who at its beginning accepted and proclaimed the judgment message. Compared with the two preceding generations of the church, it has always been few in number. Yet to them God has committed a mighty task. Since this church parallels the entire time of the Investigative Judgment, which extends from 1844 to the second coming of Christ, the special features of this world-wide message is the proclamation of the prophecies concerning the Judgment and Christ's second coming, together with an understanding of the sanctuary and its relation to the law of Cod - subjects which are definite contributions of the Remnant church to Christendom.
The mission of this church includes even more than preaching these special truths, important as they are. During the preceding generation of the church, when for many centuries the little horn dominated the church, many other gospel truths had been buried beneath the rubbish of error, and even salvation through Christ was almost lost sight of. It is the task of the Remnant church through
Christ to rescue these truths from their companionship with error, and reset them in the framework of truth. This last generation of the church on earth - "they that shall be of thee," and "raise up the foundations of many generations." They are to be "the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in" - especially restoring "the Sabbath. . . the holy of the Lord." Isa. 58:1,2,12,13. As the sanctuary is understood and preached, it will dismantle many of the errors and evils that have crept into the church, and the gospel will shine forth in all its original purity and luster - a gospel which is to prepare a people for the kingdom. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." When this is accomplished, "then (and not till then) shall the end come." Matt. 24:14.
To this Remnant generation of the church, has also been unfolded the signs of Christ's second coming just as He gave them to His disciples: - deceptions regarding the manner of His coming: wars and rumors of wars; famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places; persecutions; "signs in the sun, and In the moon. and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity (dismay, Moffatt; bewilderment; no way out, Weymouth), Luke 21:25; false christs.and false prophets showing great signs and wonders to deceive. if possible, the very elect; riotous living and drunkenness as in the days of Noah; even some of His own "servants" eating and drinking with the drunken, while saying in their hearts, "My Lord delayeth His coming." Matt. 24:3-31. This generation of the church - the Remnant church - is to proclaim these signs to the world; and of it Christ declared, "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Matt. 24:34.
Some claim that, like the two preceding generations of the church, the Remnant also has failed, and another must take its place and finish the work. But the Bible declares, and the sanctuary clearly shows, that the Remnant church, the church of the most holy place, which began its work in 1844 with the Judgment hour is the last generation of the church to live on this earth, and it will finish the work. Surely this generation has a great and important task, but in the hand of the Omnipotent One it will be accomplished. When Isaiah was shown the sanctuary, and responded to God's call to go and tell the people, he asked the Lord, "How long?" And the answer was, "until the cities be wasted without inhabitant . . . and the land be utterly desolate." Isa. 6:1,9,11. Such consecration and untiring faithfulness are needed by the church today.
The First Angel's Message. John presents the mission of the Remnant church under the figure of three angels flying "in the midst of heaven." The first angel has "the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth. . . saying with a loud voice, "Fear God. . . for the hour of His Judgment is come." Rev. 14:6,7,
The second part of this message is, "Worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Comparing this with Exodus 20:8-11, there is a striking similarity between the first angel's message and the Sabbath commandment. In fact, the proclamation of the Sabbath of the Lord as an integral part of this Judgment message was a pre-warning against the then rising teaching of evolution by Charles Darwin, whose book "The Origin of Species" was published in 1859. This was Satan's plot to undermine faith in the Sabbath of the fourth commandment - the day that commemorates the creation of this world and points out its true origin. This doctrine would also undermine faith in Christ and in the Judgment message itself, for if man can develop, or evolve, by a power inherent within himself, he would in time be fit for heaven, and there would be no need of a Judgment or of a Saviour.
Second Angel's Message. The first angel's message was quickly accompanied by a second. So blinding and so universal was the confusion in the church, caused by the deceptions of antichrist, that God calls this condition in the church Babylon, a word that means confusion. To rid the church of all this confusion and error, the second angel came "down from heaven" proclaiming "mightily with a strong voice. . Babylon the great is fallen. . . . Come out of her, My people." Rev. 14:8; 18:1,2,4. Come out of Babylon; come away from all her errors and deceptions; come out of all this confusion which has split the church into almost numberless sects. Follow the example of the noble
Bereans who in Paul's day "searched the Scriptures daily," Acts 17:11, that they might know the truth. Study, study until, instead of confusion in the church, "we all come in the unity of the faith," Eph. 4:13, and until we can present to others the pure Word of God. Come within the second veil into the most holy place of the sanctuary, where others are studying to learn the truth of the everlasting gospel, and where Christ now intercedes for His people.
Third Angel's Message. In close connection with the first and the second came the third angel's message. This message is a most solemn warning not to worship the beast and his image, nor receive his mark or his name, but to become identified with those who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:9-12.
"All heaven watched with the deepest interest" the reception by the church of this threefold message. EW 260. How was it received? The christian church repeated the experience of the Hebrew church. When the rending of the temple veil indicated that they should cease their worship in the earthly sanctuary, and follow Christ into the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary within the first veil, only a few at first responded, "about an hundred and twenty." Acts 1:15. Likewise, in 1844 when the Judgment message came to the Christian church to follow Christ by faith into the most holy place within the second veil, whither He had gone to act as Judge, only a small number from the various sects of the church responded.
What will be the fate of all who persistently refuse to follow their Lord? Even as the Jews, who refused to follow Jesus into the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, so to those who now deliberately refuse to follow Him into the most holy place, He will say as He said to them, "Your house is left unto you desolate." Luke 13:34,35; "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." II Tim. 3:5. We, too, unless we follow where Christ leads, will grope along in darkness not realizing that the work of Christ as Judge and Redeemer is fast closing, and that His coming "is near, even at the doors." Matt. 24:33.
The Worship of the Beast. The warning of the third angel is against the âworshipâ of the beast and his image. What is worship? Webster defines it as divine honor paid to God; an act of homage as a religious service. The threefold message of Revelation 14 calls the followers of Christ to worship God the Creator, and warns against the worship of the beast and the receiving of his mark. God has made the Sabbath His "seal"; the beast has given a spurious sabbath as his "mark" or seal. In this the beast demands that homage as a religious service be given to him by worshiping him on his spurious sabbath instead of worshiping God on His Sabbath - "the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." He demands that the honor due alone to God as the Creator be given to him. He demands that we receive his "mark" or seal, thus indicating that we â belong to God. Thus he "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." II Thess. 2:4. The observance of the true Sabbath, therefore, is not merely cessation from all secular occupations, it is worshipful honor paid to God the Creator, disregarding the demands of the beast who pretends that he is God.
The terrible seriousness of following the beast instead of God is shown in the warning: "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation." Rev. 14:9,10.
Immediately following this fearful denunciation against these who worship the beast, a special blessing is pronounced on those who "die in the Lord from henceforth"; Rev. 14:13; that is, from the time when these messages began to be preached. Why "from henceforth?" Because, although they "rest from their labors," "their works do follow them." Is it not also because as a special reward for their faithfulness unto death. those dying in the faith of the three angels message, will have part in the special resurrection of Daniel 12:2, to see Jesus come, and to hear His "covenant of peace?" GC 637; Ew 285. They also escape many of the trials and persecutions of the last days. Therefore, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth."
The Spirit of Prophecy in the Church. Various "gifts" have been placed in the church, Eph 4:8-14; 1 Cor. 12:1,4,8-10, but no more precious gift has ever been bestowed on it during the entire period of its probation than the gift of the Spirit of prophecy. The Hebrew church - the church of the court - had its prophets; Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others. The Christian church - the church after 31 A.D., within the first veil, had its prophets: Paul, Peter, John, and others. The Remnant church - the church after 1844, within the second veil - must also have the Spirit of prophecy, "so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Cor. 1:7,8. Therefore, when Christ passed within the second veil to engage in the work of the Judgment, God gave the Spirit of prophecy to the Remnant church.
How to Identify a True Prophet. The Remnant church has two especially distinguishing characteristics: they "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" Rev. 14:12, or "the testimony" of Jesus Christ. Rev. 12:17. What is the "faith" or "testimony" of Jesus? "The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy." Rev. 19:10. It is the instruction, encouragement, and warning that Jesus sends to His church through a divinely appointed messenger called a prophet. A true prophet of the Remnant church must speak from within the second veil; that is, the testimony must be in harmony with the truths that God gives to the church within the second veil. Therefore. the testimony of a true prophet of God for the Remnant church will emphasize the truths of the Judgment, the sanctuary, the Sabbath "according to the commandment," the signs of Christ's second coming, and the everlasting gospel in its original purity. It will be in harmony with the law of God located in the ark. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isa. 8:20. Thus, a true perspective and a spiritual understanding of the sanctuary will enable the church to identify the true from the false. And surely, amid the perils and deceptions that confront the church today, divine guidance and instruction are needed fully as much as in preceding generations of the church.
The Work of a Prophet. Without the Spirit of pophecy, especially in these last days, when the dragon is wroth with the woman and has gone to make war with the remnant of her seed, the church would be left to the merciless buffetings of the enemy, "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine," Eph. 4:14, so that while "ever learning," it would never be able "to come to the knowledge of the truth." II Tim. 3:7. The Spirit of prophecy is to protect the church from these evils. With other gifts of the Spirit, it is "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Eph. 4:12,13. To disregard the testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy would be like trying to explore the glories of the heavens without a telescope, or understand the beauty and wonders of the invisible things of creation without a microscope. Surely no real student would deprive himself of such valuable help. The "testimonies" of God's Spirit are even more needed
to a deeper and more complete understanding of His Word.
The Spirit of Prophecy a Life-giving Power. A church guided by God through the Spirit of prophecy will be a living, growing church with a steadily deepening experience, one that imparts life to all around it. Ezekiel illustrates this experience under the figure of a river which grows deeper and deeper from its source until it goes "into the sea." The waters of this river "issued out of the sanctuary," which was the secret of its life and growth. Eze. 47:1-12. The man with the measuring line in his hand measured the depth of the water at four different places. As the prophet passed through the water at these points, they were first "to the ankles," next "to the knees," then "to the loins," and finally "waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over." Too high to be forded, Moffatt. Vs. 3-5.
The prophet here represents the church, and from the fact that the waters issued eastward out of the sanctuary, Eze. 47:1,12, it seems evident that the four increasing depths of the waters through which it passes, represent the ever deepening experience of the church in its four generations. As
illustrated in the sanctuary, the Hebrew church, the church of the court, had an ankle-deep experience; the Christian church of the holy place had a knee-deep experience; the Remnant church of the most holy place must advance again to a still deeper experience, for here "the waters were to the loins."
The fourth period of the church, the church of the Firstborn - the church of the temple eternal, has the deepest experience, for "the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be forded." Eze. 47:5. This church is no longer called to pass through the deep waters, but it is caught up to meet the Lord in the air. I Thess. 4:17. The church militant has finished its course and has become the church triumphant.
The Remnant a Life-giving Church. Of this growing river the prophet further says, "Everything . . . shall live . . . whither the river cometh . . . and by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, the leaf thereof for medicine." Eze. 47:9,12. We at once recognize this river as the river of life, and the "very many trees on the one side and on the other" as the tree of life. Rev. 22:1,2.
This river of life "issued out of the sanctuary," or as John says, proceded "out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Rev. 22:1. In it there were "a very great multitude of fish," and "because these waters shall come thither. . . they (the fish) shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh." And "the fishers shall. . . spread forth nets." Even so, the church with a living and ever deepening experience will become "fishers of men," bringing the healing water of life to "a very great multitude," "exceeding many." v. 8,9. It is God's purpose that His church in all its generations should bring life and healing to a sin sick world.
As a church and as individual Christians, it is our privilege to have this life-giving experience. If we respond to the invitation "Follow Me," going with Jesus all the way from the altar in the court to the ark in the most holy place, we shall become like the waters of the river of life. Then those whom we contact from day to day will realize a life-giving healing influence, because "the waters they issue out of the sanctuary."
What is our depth of experience? Is it only ankle deep, only a court experience? If so, there is but one remedy; it is found in the holy place at the table, at the golden altar, and,at the candlestick. Are we daily studying the Word of life - not merely reading, but purposefully studying, comparing scripture with scripture, digging deep into its treasures? Are our prayers earnest, unselfish requests that reach the throne of God, not formal repetitions of customary words and phrases? Are we carrying a real burden for some sin-sick soul? Are our lamps like those of the wise virgins, filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit as we wait for the Bridegroom? If so, we are growing in sanctification, we are approaching the loin-deep experience. And the Spirit of prophecy is given to help us gain this experience in Christian growth.
The Latter Rain for the Remnant Church. Under the figure of "the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain," the prophet Joel points out the work of the Spirit of God in the church. Joel 2:23. The rain accompanied the work of the Hebrew church: the former rain was given to the Christian church on the day of Pentecost following Christ's ascension; the latter rain is an experience for the Remnant church. It ripens the grape for the harvest just before Christ's second coming, which is the end of the world. Matt. 13:39.
The latter rain can never fall upon anyone who is not with Christ within the second veil. And so the call to the Christian generation of the church is, "Come out of her, My people," gather with the Remnant church within the second vall where Christ now officiates. Do aot delay, for at this time "He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." Rom. 9:28. Although the work of the Remnant church, the church since 1844, has now been in progress for more than one hundred years, yet when compared with the
twenty-five hundred years of the Hebrew church, and the eighteen hundred ten years allotted to the Christian church, this is indeed a "short" time in which to finish His work in the earth.
A Sifting in the Church. During the work of Christ in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, and especially as it draws to a close and the church nears the end of its pilgrimage on earth, it passes through a special and final sifting time - a time when some will be sifted out. In every generation of the church there have been those who have proven untrue. Among others in the Hebrew church were Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; in the Christian church, Annias and Sapphira, Demas and others were dropped out, and from its beginning the Remnant church has suffered from similar influences. As the church nears the end, this sifting will be more and more pronounced. The prophet Amos says of it, "I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve." Amos 9.9. Ezekiel calls it "a great shaking in the land of Israel." Eze. 38:19. Nor do these prophecies apply only to ancient Israel, for referring to our own time, we read that it is a "mighty shaking," "when everything that can be shaken will be shaken." EW 50; 6 T 352.
The ancient day of atonement was the time when all who were indifferent or careless among Israel were "cut off" from God's people-sifted out from Israel. We are now living in the antitypical day of atonement, when the Judgment of the house of God is about to close. It is a time when as in the type every true Israelite was to "afflict his soul" in order to detect any hidden sin in his life. The danger of the Remnant church is expressed in these words: "Mammon is the idol of many. The love of money, the desire for wealth. - reputation and worldly honor - a life of selfish ease and freedom from responsibility is the idol of others." GC 48,49. Jesus says, "The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, choke the Word." Mark 4:19. Let us beware, lest these things crowd our time and our thoughts until little remains for earnest study of the Word and it becomes choked. Of this condition of the church, God through the prophet says, "there are 'sinners' among 'My people."' What will be the result of this sifting? - "All the sinners of My people shall die . . . which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent (go before) us." Amos 9:10.
In this sifting process, "chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat," "yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth." Amos 9:9. In this chaff will be "many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy," which "will then go out in darkness," because though "assuming the ornaments of the sanctuary. . . they are not clothed with Christ's righteousness." 5 T 81. In the Judgment these will say, "Lord, Lord, . . have we not . . . in Thy name done many wonderful works?" The answer will come back. "I never knew you. Depart from Me." Matt. 7:22,23. What a sad picture this presents!
Sanctuary Study A Keeping Power. As already noted, God has repeatedly urged upon the Remnant church the necessity of thorough and earnest study of the sanctuary. Why is this? Is it not because the sanctuary represents the ground work of the plan of redemption which holds the church in the narrow path and keeps it moving steadily forward? It keeps out deceptive and destructive error. When the truths of the sanctuary are lost sight of, the church slips from its moorings and loses its way.
When the Hebrew church began their work for God, it was the sanctuary that gave it its power. When the Christian church was organized, Paul and other apostles, working for both Jew and Gentile, drew convincing and converting power from the sanctuary as a type of the work of Christ for their salvation. When these generations of the church lost the spiritual significance of the sanctuary, they lost their power, and the next generation - the Remnant church - was called to pick up the lost truth, and finish His work.
A Revival of Sanctuary Study Now Due. At the very beginning of the Remnant church. a study of the "temple," or sanctuary, threw a flood of light on the Judgment message to be given the world at that time, and gave power to the preaching of this timely truth. During the years that have followed, a continued study of the sanctuary has been more or less neglected. But before the end, the sanctuary is to be "restored to its rightful position." Dan. 8:14; Hebrew. The time allotted for
this restoration is about to close, and of that time the prophet says: "In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old." Amos 9:11.
This prophecy was referred by James in his appeal before the Jerusalem Council, saying, 'I .
. . will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down, and I will build again the ruins thereof. . . that the residue (the remnant) of man might seek after the Lord." Acts 15:16,17. Is not this a challenge to the Remnant church who are looking for the soon coming of Him whom the sanctuary typifies? Does it not indicate that before the end there will be a revival of sanctuary study among the people of God? The final fulfillment of this prophecy is now due. There can be no doubt about this, because the time has fully come when the work of redemption is being finished, and a knowledge of the sanctuary is needed to give us more distinct views of the work of our High Priest, and a broader comprehension of the value of eternal realities.
In the light of the sanctuary, we more fully comprehend the plan of redemption, and because this is "the key that will unlock. . . the whole treasure house of God's word," Ed 126, through its study all Scripture takes on new beauty and fullness of meaning, until the Bible becomes a new and fascinating Book. Then the desire for wealth, reputation, honor, selfish ease, and other lusts will gradually lose their hold upon us and we shall find the necessary time so that the Word shall no longer be choked. Then these worldly lusts, rather than we ourselves, will be sifted out - the chaff will be separated from the wheat. Such a study of the sanctuary will not only vitalize and establish Christian experience but it will strengthen faith in the closing work of the gospel.
How will this revival of sanctuary study affect the progress of God's work In the earth? "That the may possess . . . all the heathen which are called by My name." v. 12. In this final harvest of souls, "the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed;" v. 13; that is, those who have only begun the work in the Lord's vinyard will overtake those who have toiled through the heat of the day, and with their combined efforts, the harvest will be quickly gathered; - "The final movements will be rapid ones." 9 T 11.
What reward is promised these faithful workers? - "I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord God." Amos 9:14,15.
Be Ye Also Ready. We are now living, not in the Hebrew generation of the church, nor yet in the Babylon condition of the Christian church; we are in the Judgment hour of the Remnant church! This is to be the hour, not of an ankle-deep experience, nor of a knee-deep experience; a loin-deep experience is for this final hour of probation.
God is in earnest with the Remnant church. He is not willing that any should perish; but we must remember that this is the last generation of the church to live on this present earth - a church that He is now preparing for translation at His soon coming, a church that is to be "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing . . . holy and without blemish." Eph. 5:27. Therefore, while He is now cleansing the sanctuary in heaven, His church on earth must be cleansed from all evil.
We are nearing the midnight hour, the hour for the Bridegroom to come, the hour when the call is not "Get ready," but âBe ready..â "Be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Matt. 24:44. Are we ready for the Bridegroom? Are we prepared to join "the church of the Firstborn," the church of "the temple eternal in the heavenly Jerusalem" with its innumerable company of angels?" Heb. 12:22,23.
"Are you ready for the Bridegroom
When He comes, when He comes? Are you ready for the Bridegroom
When He comes, when He comes?
Behold, He cometh! Behold, He cometh!
O Soul, be ready when the Bridegroom comes!"