December 24 – 30, 2023
“For the Son of man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Matthew 16:27
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 299–316
“Those who have loved Him and waited for Him, He will crown with glory and honor and immortality. The righteous dead will come forth from their graves, and those who are alive will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air.” The Acts of the Apostles, 34
1 PROPHECIES OF THE SECOND COMING
1.a. What prophetic hope was expressed by both Job and Enoch? Job 19:25–27; Jude 14, 15
1.b. How does the psalmist describe the Lord’s return, and what should it make us pause to consider? Psalms 50:1–6; 96:11, 13
Note: “The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire.” The Great Controversy, 300
“Do we believe with all the heart that Christ is soon coming and that we are now having the last message of mercy that is ever to be given to a guilty world? Is our example what it should be? Do we, by our lives and holy conversation, show to those around us that we are looking for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who shall change these vile bodies and fashion them like unto His glorious body? I fear that we do not believe and realize these things as we should. Those who believe the important truths that we profess, should act out their faith. There is too much seeking after amusements and things to take the attention in this world; the mind is left to run too much upon dress, and the tongue is engaged too often in light and trifling conversation, which gives the lie to our profession, for our conversation is not in heaven, whence we look for the Saviour.” Early Writings, 111
2 “THY DEAD MEN SHALL LIVE”
2.a. In Old Testament times, what was the hope of the true believers in connection with the second coming of Jesus? Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9
2.b. What did Paul write about the same hope? 1 Corinthians 15:51–55; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
Note: “When the Thessalonian Christians were filled with grief as they buried their loved ones, who had hoped to live to witness the coming of the Lord, Paul, their teacher, pointed them to the resurrection, to take place at the Saviour’s advent.” The Great Controversy, 302
2.c. What did Paul call the hope of Christ’s return, and what appeal is included with it? Titus 2:11–14
Note: “The coming of the Lord has been in all ages the hope of His true followers. The Saviour’s parting promise upon Olivet, that He would come again, lighted up the future for His disciples, filling their hearts with joy and hope that sorrow could not quench nor trials dim. Amid suffering and persecution, the ‘appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ was the ‘blessed hope.’ ” The Great Controversy, 302
“We are pilgrims and strangers who are waiting, hoping, and praying for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If we believe this and bring it into our practical life, what vigorous action would this faith and hope inspire; what fervent love one for another; what careful holy living for the glory of God; and in our respect for the recompense of the reward, what distinct lines of demarcation would be evidenced between us and the world.” Evangelism, 220
“The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 205
3 THE MANNER OF HIS COMING
3.a. With what message did the angels comfort the disciples at Christ’s ascension, and how is this confirmed in other scriptures? Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16
3.b. What further descriptions do we have of Christ’s return? Matthew 24:27; Mark 13:26; Revelation 1:7
Note: “Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man. His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders; and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle; in His left, a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out, ‘Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?’ Then the angels ceased to sing, and there was some time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: ‘Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you.’ At this our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth.
“Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried, ‘Awake! awake! awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.’ Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, ‘Alleluia!’ as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.
“We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square.” Early Writings, 15, 16
4 THE NEW JERUSALEM
4.a. How does John describe the New Jerusalem? Revelation 21:9–26
4.b. Who will be there and who will not be there? Revelation 21:27; 22:14, 15
Note: “The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. …
“It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. ‘All this,’ cries the lost soul, ‘I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.’ All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: ‘We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.’ ” The Great Controversy, 668
4.c. What should be our constant prayer in view of Christ’s promise to come again soon to gather His faithful, final remnant? Revelation 22:16–20
Note: “ ‘I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. … He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.’
“We see from these words the necessity of sacredly cherishing every ray of light that the Lord Jesus sends to His church on the earth. The efficiency of any church depends upon its entire consecration. The church is not to conform to any one man’s mind or judgment or will, or depart in the slightest particular from the teachings of the Word.” Australasian Union Conference Record, October 7, 1907
“On rocky Patmos the beloved disciple hears the promise, ‘Surely I come quickly,’ and his longing response voices the prayer of the church in all her pilgrimage, ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus.’ Revelation 22:20.” The Faith I Live By, 348
5 THE WORK TAKING PLACE NOW
5.a. Whom did John see holding the seal of the living God, and for what purpose? Revelation 7:2–4
5.b. Who will—and who will not—be ready for Christ’s appearing? Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21
Note: “We are not to rest in the idea that because we are church members we are saved, while we give no evidence that we are conformed to the image of Christ, while we cling to our old habits, and weave our fabric with the threads of worldly ideas and customs.” Maranatha, 54
“We need a thorough reformation in all our churches. The converting power of God must come into the church. Seek the Lord most earnestly, put away your sins, and tarry in Jerusalem till ye be endowed with power from on high.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 443
“If you harbor pride, self-esteem, a love for the supremacy, vainglory, unholy ambition, murmuring, discontent, bitterness, evil speaking, lying, deception, slandering, you have not Christ abiding in your heart, and the evidence shows that you have the mind and character of Satan, not of Jesus Christ, who was meek and lowly of heart. You must have a Christian character that will stand. …
“There must be thorough conversions among those who claim to believe the truth, or they will fall in the day of trial. God’s people must reach a high standard. They must be a holy nation, a peculiar people, a chosen generation—zealous of good works.” Ibid., 441
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Who was the first to prophesy about the second coming of Jesus?
2 Who will take part in the first resurrection?
3 Who will see Christ at His glorious return?
4 How is the manner of Christ’s return described?
5 Describe the New Jerusalem, and explain how we can be there.
6 How can I get ready for Christ’s return?
Copyright 2005, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.