August 7, 2005 – August 13, 2005
“God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” Psalm 46:1–3.
Suggested Reading: Revelation 16:10–21; The Great Controversy, 635–637; Early Writings, 282–285.
1 When the “time appointed in the decree” to slay God’s people arrives, what do the people of the world plan to do to the faithful Sabbath keepers? For Old Testament type, see Esther 3:12–14.
note: “As the saints left the cities and villages, they were pursued by the wicked, who sought to slay them. But the swords that were raised to kill God’s people broke and fell as powerless as a straw. Angels of God shielded the saints. As they cried day and night for deliverance, their cry came up before the Lord.” Early Writings, 284, 285.
“When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof.” The Great Controversy, 635.
2 What does the God of heaven do at the same time these evil men are on their way to carry out their plans to destroy God’s people? Isaiah 30:29, 30; Joel 3:16.
note: “The people of God—some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains—still plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, are preparing for the work of death. It is now, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will interpose for the deliverance of His chosen. Saith the Lord: ‘Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth . . . to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.’ Isaiah 30:29, 30.” The Great Controversy, 635.
“It was at midnight that God chose to deliver His people. As the wicked were mocking around them, suddenly the sun appeared, shining in his strength, and the moon stood still. The wicked looked upon the scene with amazement, while the saints beheld with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance.” Early Writings, 285.
3 What two events take place as these evil men are about to rush upon their prey? For one of these events, see Revelation 16:10, 11; for Old Testament type of the other event, see Genesis 9:13.
note: “With shouts of triumph, jeering, and imprecation, throngs of evil men are about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, falls upon the earth. Then a rainbow, shining with the glory from the throne of God, spans the heavens and seems to encircle each praying company. The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested.” The Great Controversy, 635, 636.
4 How do the wicked react to the intervention of the God of heaven in their plans to kill God’s people? For Old Testament type, see Isaiah 13:6–8.
note: “Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God’s covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness.” The Great Controversy, 636.
“Now they are stripped of all that made them great and are left destitute and defenseless. They look with terror upon the destruction of the idols which they preferred before their Maker. They have sold their souls for earthly riches and enjoyments, and have not sought to become rich toward God. The result is, their lives are a failure; their pleasures are now turned to gall, their treasures to corruption. The gain of a lifetime is swept away in a moment. The rich bemoan the destruction of their grand houses, the scattering of their gold and silver. But their lamentations are silenced by the fear that they themselves are to perish with their idols.” Ibid., 654.
“Those who a little before were so reckless, so boastful and defiant, so exultant in their cruelty to God’s commandment-keeping people, are now overwhelmed with consternation and shuddering in fear. Their wails are heard above the sound of the elements. Demons acknowledge the deity of Christ and tremble before His power, while men are supplicating for mercy and groveling in abject terror.” Ibid., 638.
5 What plague is identified in the reference? Revelation 16:10, 11.
6 What are the people of God privileged to see and hear when the black, angry clouds are parted? For New Testament type, see Acts 7:55, 56.
note: “By the people of God a voice, clear and melodious, is heard, saying, ‘Look up,’ and lifting their eyes to the heavens, they behold the bow of promise. The black, angry clouds that covered the firmament are parted, and like Stephen they look up steadfastly into heaven and see the glory of God and the Son of man seated upon His throne. In His divine form they discern the marks of His humiliation; and from His lips they hear the request presented before His Father and the holy angels: ‘I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.’ John 17:24. Again a voice, musical and triumphant, is heard, saying: ‘They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled.’ ” The Great Controversy, 636.
7 At what point in time does God deliver His people? For Old Testament type, see Exodus 11:1–10; 12:29–31.
note: “It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance.” The Great Controversy, 636.
8 What statement is made from the throne of God on the day that has been set to slay His people? Revelation 16:17.
note: “Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying: ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17.” The Great Controversy, 636.
9 What plague is described in Revelation 16:17–21?
note: “The world see the very class whom they have mocked and derided, and desired to exterminate, pass unharmed through pestilence, tempest, and earthquake. He who is to the transgressors of His law a devouring fire, is to His people a safe pavilion.” The Great Controversy, 654.
10 On what other occasion did God make the pronouncement, “It is done”? Revelation 21:6.
note: “Then [when the third angel’s message closes] Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death.” The Great Controversy, 613.
11 In the following reference, list at least 15 events that are identified with the seventh plague that begin on the date that has been set to slay the saints. Compare these with similar terminology in Revelation 16:17–21.
note: “That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ [Revelation 16] Verses 17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut. The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the great has come in remembrance before God, ‘to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.’ Great hailstones, every one ‘about the weight of a talent,’ are doing their work of destruction. Verses 19, 21. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world’s great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God’s people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free.” The Great Controversy, 636, 637.