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1. Is God responsible for religious confusion? 1 Corinthians 14:33
2. Does more than one true faith exist? Ephesians 4:4, 5
3. Christ’s body of believers on earth is called what? Colossians 1:18
4. When souls were baptized, they were added to what? Acts 2:41, 47
5. The house of God, which is the church of the living God, is what? 1 Timothy 3:15
As we begin this lesson, notice should be given to three specific characteristics of God’s church in its early days.
1. A respect for God’s law (Acts 24:14; 1 John 3:22).
2. The presence of the gift of prophecy (Acts 11:27, 28).
3. Recognition of a worldwide mission (Matthew 28:19; Colossians 1:23).
6. How long would Christ be with His people? Matthew 28:20
We will now trace the history of God’s people as it was foretold in prophecy.
7. What great wonder appeared in heaven? Revelation 12:1
“Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?” Song of Solomon 6:10.
8. God has likened the daughter of Zion (His people, Isaiah 51:16) to what? Jeremiah 6:2
In the Bible, the church is often symbolically represented as a woman.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27.
9. Paul wished to present the church as what kind of woman? 2 Corinthians 11:2
10. What other wonder appeared in heaven? Revelation 12:3
11. Who is the dragon? Revelation 12:9
12. The woman brought forth a man child who was to do what? Revelation 12:5
This child, who would one day rule the nations “with a rod of iron,” was Jesus (See Revelation 19:15).
13. The dragon stood before the woman, intending to do what? Revelation 12:4
Matthew 2:13-16 tells the story of how Satan tried to kill Jesus as a baby.
14. After Jesus went back to heaven (verse 5), what did Satan then do to the church? Revelation 12:13
15. Where did the true church then have to flee? Revelation 12:14
16. How long was the church in the wilderness? Revelation 12:6
The 1260 years of papal supremacy extended from 538 to 1798 (See the PTM Information Booklet, The Man Who Claimed to Change God’s Law). Due to the corruption of the Roman church and its persecution against dissenters, the true church was forced to go into seclusion during this time. Although not recognized by the world, Christ’s faithful followers, among the rocks of the mountains, maintained their loyalty to the truth. Foremost among those who resisted Rome’s attacks were the Waldenses of the southern European Alps, who for hundreds of years preserved the pure Scriptures and honored the true Sabbath.
The church, however, was not to remain in obscurity forever. Just as surely as it went into the wilderness, it would come out. Christ’s church, the pillar and ground of the truth, had a mission, which was to last even unto the end of the world. Therefore we must look for that church to visibly appear again after 1798 in order to complete its work.
But among the hundreds of religious organizations in existence today, how are we to recognize and identify the true church? Fortunately, we are not left to guess. The word of God has supplied a clear description.
17. When the church emerged from the wilderness, Satan went to make war with whom? Revelation 12:17
A remnant is “Something left over.... A leftover piece of fabric, as one remaining after the rest of the bolt has been sold. ...A small, remaining group of people.” The American Heritage Dictionary. The “remnant of her seed” is therefore that which is left of Christ’s true church after the 1260-year period and the general apostasy.
18. The first identifying mark of the remnant when they appear after 1798 is that they keep what? Revelation 12:17
19. Should we look for them to be keeping all ten of the commandments, including the one about the Sabbath? James 2:10
20. What will they do with God’s commandments besides just doing them? Matthew 5:19
21. The second identifying mark of the remnant is that they have what? Revelation 12:17
22. The testimony of Jesus is what? Revelation 19:10
23. Who, in the angel’s words to John, have the testimony of Jesus? Revelation 19:10
24. Who are John’s brethren? Revelation 22:9
Since the prophets are the ones who have it, the testimony of Jesus, or spirit of prophecy, is actually the spiritual gift of prophecy. The existences of this gift, along with the keeping of all the commandments of God, are the two Biblical identifying marks of Christ’s church in the last days.
25. What did Jesus say the church would do, and then the end would come? Matthew 24:14
26. How does Revelation describe the fulfillment of that prophecy? Revelation 14:6
Symbolically represented as angels flying in the midst of heaven, God’s remnant people will be seen carrying the gospel to the entire world. Thus the characteristics we noted of the church in its early days are presented in Revelation as those that are to identify it in the last days.