1. NAME AND CHARACTER
a. What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus and to have the Father’s name written in the forehead? John 14:13–15; 15:16; 16:23, 24.
“To pray in Christ’s name means much. It means that we are to accept His character, manifest His spirit, and work His works.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 668.
“The seal of the living God will be placed upon those only who bear a likeness to Christ in character.”—The Faith I Live By, p. 287.
“In every act of life you are to make manifest the name of God. This petition calls upon you to possess His character. You cannot hallow His name, you cannot represent Him to the world, unless in life and character you represent the very life and character of God. This you can do only through the acceptance of the grace and righteousness of Christ.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 107.
b. How important was a name in Old Testament times, and what did a name reveal? 1 Samuel 25:25; Genesis 27:36; 32:27, 28. When a person’s character changed, what happened to his or her name? Genesis 17:5, 15, 16; 32:28.
2. CHURCH ASSOCIATION
a. What does a woman symbolize in Scripture, and what does it mean not to be defiled with women as a condition to be sealed? Isaiah 4:1; Hosea 2:2, 20; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 14:4 (first part). What does the term “Babylon” mean? Revelation 17:4, 5.
“The term ‘Babylon’ is derived from ‘Babel,’ and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman—a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.”—The Great Controversy, p. 381.
b. Can we say that anyone connected with a false church is defiled? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18. At what point does defilement begin? Revelation 18:4.
“[In the early centuries,] after a long and severe conflict, the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the word of God.”—Ibid., p. 45.
“[God] would teach His people that disobedience and sin are exceedingly offensive to Him and are not to be lightly regarded. He shows us that when His people are found in sin they should at once take decided measures to put that sin from them, that His frown may not rest upon them all. But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins. In His dealings with His people in the past the Lord shows the necessity of purifying the church from wrongs. One sinner may diffuse darkness that will exclude the light of God from the entire congregation. When the people realize that darkness is settling upon them, and they do not know the cause, they should seek God earnestly, in great humility and self-abasement, until the wrongs which grieve His Spirit are searched out and put away.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 265.
3. FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF JESUS
a. What does “in their mouth was found no guile” mean? Revelation 14:5; James 3:2; Matthew 5:37; 12:36, 37. How does the Sabbath become a sign of sanctification? Exodus 31:13; Isaiah 58:13.
“My brethren and sisters, how are you employing the gift of speech? Have you learned so to control the tongue that it shall ever obey the dictates of an enlightened conscience and holy affections? Is your conversation free from levity, pride and malice, deceit and impurity? Are you without guile before God? Words exert a telling power. Satan will, if possible, keep the tongue active in his service. Of ourselves we cannot control the unruly member. Divine grace is our only hope.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 175.
“The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of . . . men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God—candidates for heaven.”—Ibid., p. 216.
b. How do the sealed believers follow the Lamb here on earth? Revelation 14:4 (middle part); 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 John 2:6; 3:3–7.
“In the midst of a world by its iniquity doomed to destruction, Enoch lived a life of such close communion with God that he was not permitted to fall under the power of death. The godly character of this prophet represents the state of holiness which must be attained by those who shall be ‘redeemed from the earth’ (Revelation 14:3) at the time of Christ’s second advent. Then, as in the world before the Flood, iniquity will prevail. Following the promptings of their corrupt hearts and the teachings of a deceptive philosophy, men will rebel against the authority of Heaven. But like Enoch, God’s people will seek for purity of heart and conformity to His will, until they shall reflect the likeness of Christ. Like Enoch, they will warn the world of the Lord’s second coming and of the judgments to be visited upon transgression, and by their holy conversation and example they will condemn the sins of the ungodly. As Enoch was translated to heaven before the destruction of the world by water, so the living righteous will be translated from the earth before its destruction by fire.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 88, 89.
4. EXHORTING ONE ANOTHER
a. What is shown by the fact that the sealed believers sigh and cry for all the abominations which are done both in the land and in the church? Ezekiel 9:4; Hebrews 10:24–26.
“The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 212.
“The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world. . . .
“In the time when [God’s] wrath shall go forth in judgments, . . . humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honor and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any.”—Ibid., pp. 209, 210.
b. Will anyone be saved if one does not show concern for the souls of fellow believers as well as of those living around him or her? Ezekiel 33:7–11.
“The Lord seeks to save, not to destroy. He delights in the rescue of sinners. [Ezekiel 33:11 quoted.] By warnings and entreaties He calls the wayward to cease from their evil-doing and to turn to Him and live. He gives His chosen messengers a holy boldness, that those who hear may fear and be brought to repentance.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 105.
“If wrongs are apparent among [God’s] people, and if the servants of God pass on indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike guilty.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, pp. 265, 266.
5. ABSOLUTE VICTORY
a. In order to obtain perfect victory and be sealed, what are some of the prerequisites? John 15:5; Revelation 14:12; 2 Peter 1:5–11.
“God demands that the appetites be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people.”—Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 153, 154.
“[Satan] fell for the same reason that thousands are falling today, because of an ambition to be first, an unwillingness to be under restraint. The Lord would teach man the lesson that, though united in church capacity, he is not saved until the seal of God is placed upon him.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 7, p. 969.
b. What is the song that the 144,000 learn which no one else can learn? Revelation 14:2, 3. What must be their specific victory? Revelation 15:2, 3.
“Although church and state will unite their power to compel ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond’ (Revelation 13:16), to receive ‘the mark of the beast,’ yet the people of God will not receive it.”—The Great Controversy, p. 450.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
a. How important is it to have the Father’s name in our foreheads, and what does that mean?
b. How does one get defiled with women in a prophetic sense?
c. What does it mean to be without guile?
d. Why do we need to have a concern for the spirituality of other members as well as of those around us?
e. What role does our diet have on perfect victory?
PREPARED FOR THE SEAL
“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. . . .
“In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little suffering for Christ’s sake, that the cross is almost entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with Christ of His sufferings if we would sit down in triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we choose the easy path of self-indulgence and are frightened at self-denial, our faith will never become firm, and we cannot know the peace of Jesus nor the joy that comes through conscious victory. The most exalted of the redeemed host that stand before the throne of God and the Lamb, clad in white, know the conflict of overcoming, for they have come up through great tribulation. Those who have yielded to circumstances rather than engage in this conflict will not know how to stand in that day when anguish will be upon every soul, when, though Noah, Job, and Daniel were in the land, they could save neither son nor daughter, for everyone must deliver his soul by his own righteousness.
“No one need say that his case is hopeless, that he cannot live the life of a Christian. Ample provision is made by the death of Christ for every soul. Jesus is our ever-present help in time of need. Only call upon Him in faith, and He has promised to hear and answer your petitions. . . .
“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. ‘Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts’ (Hebrews 4:7). We are in a most trying position, waiting, watching for our Lord’s appearing. The world is in darkness. ‘But ye, brethren,’ says Paul, ‘are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief’ (1 Thessalonians 5:4). It is ever God’s purpose to bring light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, and rest out of weariness for the waiting, longing soul.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 214–216.