June 19, 2005 – June 25, 2005
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.
Suggested Reading: Selected Messages, Book 3, 413–428.
1 What is the relationship of the message of Revelation 18:1, 2, 4 to the second angel’s message of Revelation 14:8?
note: “ ‘I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit. . . .’ ‘And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.’ Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.
“This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. A terrible condition of the religious world is here described.” The Great Controversy, 603.
2 When people place contempt upon God’s Word and His people, what are they also doing? John 1:14, 10, 11; 6:63, 64, 66.
note: “In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred. Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His word and His people. As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal heart is removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity.” The Great Controversy, 603, 604.
3 What two messages united with the third angel’s message constitute the final warning? Revelation 18:1, 2, 4.
note: “Of Babylon, at the time brought to view in this prophecy, it is declared: ‘Her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’ Revelation 18:5. She has filled up the measure of her guilt, and destruction is about to fall upon her. . . . Hence the movement symbolized by the angel coming down from heaven, lightening the earth with his glory and crying mightily with a strong voice, announcing the sins of Babylon. In connection with his message the call is heard: ‘Come out of her, My people.’ These announcements, uniting with the third angel’s message, constitute the final warning to be given to the inhabitants of the earth.” The Great Controversy, 604.
4 What is the issue to which the whole world is to be brought? Revelation 13:16; 14:12.
note: “Fearful is the issue to which the world is to be brought. The powers of earth, uniting to war against the commandments of God, will decree that ‘all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond’ (Revelation 13:16), shall conform to the customs of the church by the observance of the false sabbath. All who refuse compliance will be visited with civil penalties, and it will finally be declared that they are deserving of death. On the other hand, the law of God enjoining the Creator’s rest day demands obedience and threatens wrath against all who transgress its precepts.” The Great Controversy, 604.
5 What will all receive who yield to the laws to worship on Sunday? Revelation 14:9–11.
note: “With the issue thus clearly brought before him, whoever shall trample upon God’s law to obey a human enactment receives the mark of the beast; he accepts the sign of allegiance to the power which he chooses to obey instead of God. The warning from heaven is: ‘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.’ Revelation 14:9, 10.” The Great Controversy, 604, 605.
6 How far-reaching will the Sunday/Sabbath controversy be in this world? Revelation 14:6, 8; 16:13, 14.
note: “But not one is made to suffer the wrath of God until the truth has been brought home to his mind and conscience, and has been rejected. There are many who have never had an opportunity to hear the special truths for this time. The obligation of the fourth commandment has never been set before them in its true light. He who reads every heart and tries every motive will leave none who desire a knowledge of the truth, to be deceived as to the issues of the controversy. The decree is not to be urged upon the people blindly. Everyone is to have sufficient light to make his decision intelligently.” The Great Controversy, 605.
7 What is the great final test that is to be brought to bear upon men? Revelation 14:9, 10; 13:14–17.
note: “The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false Sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” The Great Controversy, 605.
8 In the reference above, what will the true people of God receive in this conflict? Revelation 7:2, 3.
note: “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. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. ‘The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.’ [Psalm 34:15, 16.]” Testimonies, vol. 5, 212.
9 Describe the attitude and work of those who receive the seal of God. Ezekiel 9:4; Revelation 7:2–4; 14:1–5.
note: “In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these 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. . . . Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 210.
10 Who will not receive the seal of God? See the prophecy of Ezekiel 9:9.
note: “The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: ‘Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.’ [Ezekiel 9:5, 6.]
“Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus ‘Peace and safety’ is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 211.
11 What power will move upon the people of God to give them the strength to give the final warning? For New Testament type, see Acts 2:1–4.
note: “Many reformers, in entering upon their work, determined to exercise great prudence in attacking the sins of the church and the nation. They hoped, by the example of a pure Christian life, to lead the people back to the doctrines of the Bible. But the Spirit of God came upon them as it came upon Elijah, moving him to rebuke the sins of a wicked king and an apostate people; they could not refrain from preaching the plain utterances of the Bible—doctrines which they had been reluctant to present. They were impelled to zealously declare the truth and the danger which threatened souls. The words which the Lord gave them they uttered, fearless of consequences, and the people were compelled to hear the warning.” The Great Controversy, 606.
12 List the four powers that are involved in this controversy, as identified in the following two paragraphs, and match these with the powers that are named in Revelation 16:13, 14.
note: “The sins of Babylon will be laid open. The fearful results of enforcing the observances of the church by civil authority, the inroads of spiritualism, the stealthy but rapid progress of the papal power—all will be unmasked. By these solemn warnings the people will be stirred. Thousands upon thousands will listen who have never heard words like these. . . .
“The church appeals to the strong arm of civil power, and, in this work, papists and Protestants unite. As the movement for Sunday enforcement becomes more bold and decided, the law will be invoked against commandment keepers. They will be threatened with fines and imprisonment, and some will be offered positions of influence, and other rewards and advantages, as inducements to renounce their faith.” The Great Controversy, 606, 607.
13 Like the Pharisees of old, how will the popular ministry respond to the final warning? For New Testament type, see John 7:23; 10:19–21; 11:57; 15:20; Luke 6:7, 10, 11; Matthew 26:47, 50.
note: “As the people go to their former teachers with the eager inquiry, Are these things so? the ministers present fables, prophesy smooth things, to soothe their fears and quiet the awakened conscience. But since many refuse to be satisfied with the mere authority of men and demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ the popular ministry, like the Pharisees of old, filled with anger as their authority is questioned, will denounce the message as of Satan and stir up the sin-loving multitudes to revile and persecute those who proclaim it.” The Great Controversy, 607.
14 What is one way the truth will come before thousands who would otherwise not hear about it? For New Testament type, see Luke 21:12, 13.
note: “Those who are arraigned before the courts make a strong vindication of the truth, and some who hear them are led to take their stand to keep all the commandments of God. Thus light will be brought before thousands who otherwise would know nothing of these truths.” The Great Controversy, 607.
“We must know the reasons of our faith. The importance and solemnity of the scenes opening before us demand this, and on no account must the spirit of complaining be encouraged. . . .
“We may have to plead most earnestly before legislative councils for the right to exercise independent judgment, to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience. Thus in His providence God has designed that the claims of His holy law shall be brought before men in the highest authority.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 415.