November 13 – 19, 2022
“So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21:31
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 333, 334, 624, 625
“We have reached the period foretold in these scriptures. The time of the end is come, the visions of the prophets are unsealed, and their solemn warnings point us to our Lord’s coming in glory as near at hand.” The Desire of Ages, 235
1 WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS
1.a. What was one of the signs of the end mentioned by Jesus? Matthew 24:6, 7
Note: “The signs of the times—the wars and rumors of wars, the strikes, murders, robberies, and accidents—tell us that the end of all things is at hand. Who can doubt the truth of the prophet’s words?” The Review and Herald, May 13, 1902
1.b. Whose plan is carried out by the nations warring one against the other? John 8:44
Note: “Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.” The Great Controversy, 589
“In the future there will be broken thrones and great distress of nations, with perplexity. Satan will work with intense activity. The earth will be filled with the shrieks of suffering, expiring nations. There will be war, war.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 18, 92
2 SIGNS IN NATURE
2.a. What prediction of the prophet Joel, repeated by Jesus, will take place? Joel 2:31; Matthew 24:29
Note: “In the Saviour’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church—the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened—He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: ‘In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.’ Mark 13:24. The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased. Following this persecution, according to the words of Christ, the sun was to be darkened. On the 19th of May, 1780, this prophecy was fulfilled.” The Great Controversy, 306
“At the close of the great papal persecution, Christ declared, the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light. Next, the stars should fall from heaven.” The Desire of Ages, 632
2.b. Fifty-three years after the “dark day” what other sign of the end was fulfilled? Mark 13:25; Revelation 6:13
Note: “In 1833, two years after Miller began to present in public the evidences of Christ’s soon coming, the last of the signs appeared which were promised by the Saviour as tokens of His second advent. Said Jesus: ‘The stars shall fall from heaven.’ Matthew 24:29. … This prophecy received a striking and impressive fulfilment in the great meteoric shower of November 13, 1833. That was the most extensive and wonderful display of falling stars which has ever been recorded.” The Great Controversy, 333
“Many who witnessed the falling of the stars, looked upon it as a herald of the coming judgment, ‘an awful type, a sure forerunner, a merciful sign, of that great and dreadful day.’—‘The Old Countryman,’ in Portland Evening Advertiser, Nov. 26, 1833. Thus the attention of the people was directed to the fulfilment of prophecy, and many were led to give heed to the warning of the second advent.” Ibid., 334
3 MORE SIGNS IN NATURE
3.a. What signs appeared in the skies before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70? What will appear in the last days? Luke 21:11, last part, 26; Joel 2:30
Note: “All the predictions given by Christ concerning the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled to the letter. …
“Signs and wonders appeared, foreboding disaster and doom. In the midst of the night an unnatural light shone over the temple and the altar. Upon the clouds at sunset were pictured chariots and men of war gathering for battle.” The Great Controversy, 29, 30
“The coming of the Lord is to be preceded by ‘the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10. And the apostle John, describing the miracle working power that will be manifested in the last days, declares: ‘He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.’ Revelation 13:13, 14. No mere impostures are here foretold. Men are deceived by the miracles which Satan’s agents have power to do, not which they pretend to do.” Ibid., 553
3.b. What natural phenomena are to occur just before Christ’s second coming? Matthew 24, last part; Luke 21:11, first part
Note: “More and more, as the days go by, it is becoming apparent that God’s judgments are in the world. In fire and flood and earthquake He is warning the inhabitants of this earth of His near approach. The time is nearing when the great crisis in the history of the world will have come, when every movement in the government of God will be watched with intense interest and inexpressible apprehension. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire and flood and earthquake, with war and bloodshed.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, 97
“The earth itself is convulsed, the ground heaves and swells like the waves of the sea, great fissures appear, and sometimes cities, villages, and burning mountains are swallowed up. These wonderful manifestations will be more and more frequent and terrible just before the second coming of Christ and the end of the world, as signs of its speedy destruction.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 109
4 SIGNS IN THE RELIGIOUS WORLD
4.a. What other sign points to the nearness of Jesus’ second coming? Matthew 24:4, 5, 23–26
Note: “The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation.” In Heavenly Places, 350
“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13–15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: ‘Christ has come! Christ has come!’ The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. …
“But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 624, 625
4.b. What conditions are prevalent among professed Christians just before Jesus’ return? 2 Timothy 3:1–5; Luke 18:8, last part; Matthew 24:10–12
Note: “Popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and startling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles.” The Great Controversy, 463
5 “THEN SHALL THE END COME”
5.a. What mandate given to the disciples is also applicable to us in these last days? Mark 16:15; Romans 10:15; Luke 9:59, 60
Note: “The world around us is stirred from beneath with earnest activity in evil works, but apparently dead to all that pertains to their eternal interests. But although this seems to be the condition of those around us, and there is little to encourage us to hope for the conversion of souls, God requires those to whom He has committed His truth for these last days, to present the word to the fallen children of Adam.” The Review and Herald, January 17, 1893
5.b. What is one of the last signs to be fulfilled before the end of the world? Matthew 24:14
Note: “Long has God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that everyone shall be working for Him according to his ability. When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad, in fulfilment of the gospel commission, the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory.” The Acts of the Apostles, 111
“He [Christ] does not say that all the world will be converted, but that ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ By giving the gospel to the world it is in our power to hasten our Lord’s return.” The Desire of Ages, 633
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why is war so appealing to the enemy of souls?
2 What three signs in nature marked the beginning of the end-times?
3 What additional signs will be seen with increasing frequency?
4 Why is the old saying, “Seeing is believing” not to be our criterion?
5 How can mere mortals hasten the time of Christ’s return?
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