July 29, 2007 – August 4, 2007
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 829-835.
“Christ had ascended to heaven in the form of humanity. The disciples had beheld the cloud receive Him. The same Jesus who had walked and talked and prayed with them; who had broken bread with them; who had been with them in their boats on the lake; and who had that very day toiled with them up the ascent of Olivet,–the same Jesus had now gone to share His Father’s throne. And the angels had assured them that the very One whom they had seen go up into heaven, would come again even as He had ascended. He will come ‘with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.’ ‘The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise.’ ‘The Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory.’ Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Matthew 25:31. Thus will be fulfilled the Lord’s own promise to His disciples: ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.’ John 14:3. Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord’s return.” The Desire of Ages, 832.
1 What does Paul say of the manner of Christ’s Second Coming? 1 Thessalonians 5:2. To whom will He come as a thief? Verse 3. But what is said of the brethren? Verse 4.
note: “Come when it may, the advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers who are saying, ‘Peace and safety;’ ‘all things continue as they were from the beginning.’ Thus saith the word of Inspiration, ‘Sudden destruction cometh upon them.’ [1 Thessalonians 5:3; 11 Peter 3:4.] The day of God shall come as a snare upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. It comes to them as a prowling thief. . . . Habitual watching is our only safety. We must be ever ready, that that day may not overtake us as a thief.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 233.
“To all, the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation, the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon his word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible, and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life, and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 443, 444.
2 How many will see Christ when He comes? Revelation 1:7.
note: “Christ is soon to come the second time. Of this we should often talk. It should be the uppermost thought in our minds. He is coming, with power and great glory, and every eye shall see Him. All the holy angels will accompany Him.” The Upward Look, 311.
“Whether we be saved or lost, we shall sometime see the Saviour as he is, in all His glory, and shall understand His character. At His second coming, conviction will be brought to every heart.” The Signs of the Times, January 28, 1903.
3 What is said of the ascension of Jesus? Acts 1:9.
note: “When the time came for Christ to ascend to His Father, He led the disciples out as far as Bethany. Here He paused, and they gathered about Him. With hands outstretched in blessing, as if in assurance of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them. . . .
“While the disciples were gazing upward to catch the last glimpse of their ascending Lord, He was received into the rejoicing ranks of heavenly angels.” The Acts of the Apostles, 32.
4 Who appeared to the disciples as they were looking after Jesus as He ascended? Acts 1:10. What did they say of the manner of His return? Verse 11.
note: “As the men of Galilee stood looking steadfastly toward heaven, to catch, if possible, a glimpse of their ascending Saviour, two men in white apparel, heavenly angels commissioned to comfort them for the loss of the presence of their Saviour, stood by them and inquired: ‘Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.’ [Acts 1:11.]
“God designs that His people shall fix their eyes heavenward, looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. While the attention of worldlings is turned to various enterprises, ours should be to the heavens; our faith should reach further and further into the glorious mysteries of the heavenly treasure, drawing the precious, divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary to shine in our hearts, as they shine upon the face of Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 194, 195.
5 What was the last thing seen when Jesus ascended? Acts 1:9. What will be the first thing that will be seen when He returns? Matthew 24:30.
note: “As Christ ascends while in the act of blessing His disciples, an army of angels encircle Him as a cloud.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 306.
“Jesus is coming, coming with clouds and great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to honor those who have loved Him and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them or His promise.
“There appears in the East a small black cloud. . . . The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, . . . until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant. Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror.” My Life Today, 345.
6 Will the righteous know Jesus when He appears? Isaiah 25:9.
note: “The waiting saints will be looking for Him, and gazing into heaven, as were the ‘men of Galilee’ [Acts 1:11] when He ascended from the Mount of Olivet. Then, those only who are holy, those who have followed fully the meek Pattern will, with rapturous joy, exclaim as they behold Him, ‘Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us.’ [Isaiah 25:9.]” Sons and Daughters of God, 360.
7 Will the wicked know Christ at this time? Revelation 6:14-16.
note: “When sinners are compelled to look upon Him who clothed His divinity with humanity, and who still wears this garb, their confusion is indescribable. The scales fall from their eyes, and they see that which before they would not see. They realize what they might have been had they received Christ, and improved the opportunities granted them. They see the law which they have spurned, exalted even as God’s throne is exalted. They see God Himself giving reverence to His law.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1069.
8 What will be heard at that time? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
note: “The great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, . . . will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit’s power to confirm truth in the beginning, after the passing of the time, we need today all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now.” The Upward Look, 352.
9 What will that voice say to the righteous? Isaiah 26:20, 21.
note: “The great crisis is just before us. To meet its trials and temptations, and to perform its duties, will require persevering faith. But we may triumph gloriously; not one watching, praying, believing soul will be ensnared by the enemy.
“In the time of trial before us God’s pledge of security will be placed upon those who have kept the word of His patience. Christ will say to His faithful ones: ‘Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.’ Isaiah 26:20. The Lion of Judah, so terrible to the rejectors of His grace, will be the Lamb of God to the obedient and faithful. The pillar of cloud which speaks wrath and terror to the transgressor of God’s law is light and mercy and deliverance to those who have kept His commandments. The arm strong to smite the rebellious will be strong to deliver the loyal. Every faithful one will surely be gathered.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 404.
10 How will the wicked feel, and what will they do at that time? Isaiah 2:10, 17-20.
note: “It will be seen that Satan’s rebellion against God has resulted in ruin to himself and to all that chose to become his subjects. He has represented that great good would result from transgression; but it will be seen that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ [Romans 6:23.] ‘For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ Malachi 4:1. Satan, the root of every sin, and all evil workers, who are his branches, shall be utterly cut off. An end will be made of sin, with all the woe and ruin that have resulted from it.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 341.
11 What is Jesus to bring with Him when He returns? Revelation 22:12.
note: “Satan had possessed such power to blind minds through a love of the world, that even professed Christians forgot, or lost all sense of the fact that God lives and that His angels are making a record of all the doings of the children of men; that every mean act, every small deal, is placed upon the life record. Every day bears its burden of record of unfulfilled duties, of neglect, of selfishness, of deception, of fraud, of overreaching. What an amount of evil works is accumulating for the final judgment! When Christ shall come, ‘His reward is with Him, and His work before Him,’ [Isaiah 62:11] to render to every man according as his works have been. What a revelation will then be made! What confusion of face to some as the acts of their lives are revealed upon the pages of history!” Testimonies, vol. 2, 160.
12 What will be the appearance of the Lord when He comes? Luke 21:27.
note: “Christ is coming with clouds and with great glory. A multitude of shining angels will attend Him. He will come to raise the dead, and to change the living saints from glory to glory. He will come to honor those who have loved Him, and kept His commandments, and to take them to Himself. He has not forgotten them nor His promise. There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when ‘the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ 1 Corinthians 15:52. A little longer, and we shall see the King in His beauty. A little longer, and He will wipe all tears from our eyes. A little longer, and He will present us ‘faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.’ Jude 24. Wherefore, when He gave the signs of His coming He said, ‘When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.’ [Luke 21:28.]” The Desire of Ages, 632.