Lesson 9

The Witness of the Remnant and the Second Coming

(Revelation 14)
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Introduction: Last week we compared the Flood to the Second Coming of Jesus. We also discussed Noah's rather disappointing conversion statistics during his 120 years of preaching about the impending disaster. Are we to be like Noah, and warn others of the impending Second Coming? Do we have a message of warning from God? Let's jump in and find out!

  1. THE MESSAGE - FIRST PART


    1. I want you to think back to the last time you had to deliver an important message. Say, when you decided to ask your boss for a raise, when you asked your wife to marry you (or wanted to let your husband know you would marry him), or when you wanted to convince the judge you were not guilty. How long did you spend planning what you would say?


    2. Read Revelation 14:6-7. Verse 6 tells us that the angel had the "eternal" (NIV) or "everlasting" (KJV) gospel. Do you think this message is well thought out? Are the words important?


      1. What does v.7 reveal is the "hook line," the attention grabber for this message? Other than speaking in a loud voice and flying at the same time? (Judgment! The angel ties the message to the judgment. He tells us that the gospel is relevant now, because the time of judgment is now.)


      2. When I was a kid my folks would warn me that eating sugar would make me fat and cause my teeth to fall out. This was a general, all purpose, warning on diet. Is that what is happening here? God tells the angels "If you want to get their attention, throw in something about the judgment in your message." Is the mention of the judgment just an attention grabber? Or do you think the mention of the final judgment contains an important key to understanding this message?


        1. If you say, "yes," what key do you see? (The mention of the judgment certainly gets my attention. We will discuss below the description of God as our Creator in these verses. The fact that He is our Creator gives Him the authority and the right to judge us.)


    3. Is this picture of the angel symbolic? Are we really the "big angel" in midair or should we be looking for a real angel?


      1. Is the angel's position (midair) also symbolic? Why would the angel be midair? What is "midair" anyway?


        1. Does this "midair" statement give us guidance on the technology we should use to share the gospel? (It might. Television, radio, Internet; all allow us to transcend the limited number of people you can speak to at one time in a meeting.)


    4. The angel gets our attention with his message of judgment. What is the timing of this "hour" of judgment? Is the warning before the judgment? Is it too late for those who hear? (No, it is not too late. This is a message (v.6) for those who live on the earth of an immediately impending judgment. It is not too late, but judgment is impending.)


    5. What does the message warn us that we must do to "pass" the judgment? (It starts out "fear God and give Him glory.")


      1. How do you suggest that we fear God and give Him glory?


      2. Is this explained in the balance of verse 7? (I think so. We are told to worship the Creator.)


    6. How would you worship the Creator? Isn't that the same as worshiping God? (Remember we decided this message was carefully composed. I think the angel says worship the "Creator" instead of "God" for a good reason.)


    7. Is part of the worship of the Creator, and (if we are the big angel) spreading the message about the Creator, refuting evolution? (Yes. I think holding to a Creator-God is the central message of this angel.)


      1. Would that include making sure our children hear the Creation story?


        1. What about making sure the kids in public schools are exposed to the Creation account?


    8. If you don't believe the Creation account, can you fear God and give Him glory? (If my children said, "We love Dad, but we know better than to believe a word he says," you might agree that they loved me, but they certainly did not respect me. If you do not believe in the Creation, you do not believe or respect God's word.)


    9. Is this worship of the Creator commanded in v.7 just an intellectual assent? Just an abstract belief? (Read Exodus 20:8-11. There is nothing abstract about this call to worship. God is very specific. The Ten Commandments tell us that we are to set aside the seventh-day as a weekly reminder. We are to keep the Sabbath holy as a memorial to the work of our Creator-God.)


      1. Would it be logical for someone who believed in theistic evolution (God directing evolution over long periods of time) to believe that God will instantly create a new earth after the judgment? Will we be sitting around waiting for trees to evolve so we can get some shade and build homes in the earth made new? ( 2 Peter 3:10, 12-13 and Revelation 21:1 promise not only a new heaven, but a new earth. I don't want to be sitting around for millions of years waiting for trees. I'm not going to have to wait because I serve an all-powerful God.)


  2. THE MESSAGE - PART TWO


    1. Let's continue on in Revelation. Read Revelation 14:8. Is this a caution on drinking too much wine?


      1. If not, let's break this down. To what does "Babylon the Great" refer? (Babylon has both historical and figurative meaning. The tower of Babel was built by Nimrod to allow the people who did not believe God (that there would not be a second flood - Genesis 8:20-21) to save themselves from another flood. (See Genesis 10 & 11.) Babylon took God's people into captivity (2 Kings 25). As a result, for the Hebrews, "Babylon" was an all purpose name for the "bad guys" with specific religious and prophetic connotations. (See Revelation 17 & 18.) The consistent theme of Babylon was a system of worship of man's efforts instead of relying on God.)


      2. Revelation 14:8 refers to the "maddening wine of her adultery." To what does this refer? Sexual impurity? (No. If you have time, read Ezekiel 16. God considers it adultery when His people turn from Him and depend on idols. (See especially Ezekiel 16:20-21, where God is not only incensed that they have turned from Him, but they actually sacrificed their own children to so that idols would look more favorably on them.)


        1. When the text says, "maddening," does it mean that God is getting mad? Or does it mean that turning away from God, worshiping and idols dulls our sensitivity to sin?


        2. What are our idols today? What do we depend on instead of God?


        3. Do we sacrifice our children to these idols like they did in Ezekiel?


          1. If your children are being raised by strangers who do not share your religious beliefs, so that you can have a new car or a bigger home-does that constitute sacrificing your children to idols?


          2. What if you work late to "get ahead" and hardly see your children at night, does that constitute sacrificing your children to idols?


          3. What about having an abortion because you can't afford another child, or because having a child now would get in the way of your lifestyle, does that constitute sacrificing your children to idols?


          4. What about having an affair, with the result that the family is broken up and the children are raised by a single parent who must work, does that constitute sacrificing your children to idols?


  3. THE MESSAGE - PART THREE


    1. Read Revelation 14:9-10. What does it mean to receive the mark in the forehead or the hand? (We use our heads to think and our hands to do. If we "drink the wine" of idol worship (not depending on or obeying the Creator) by our thoughts or actions we are in deep trouble.)


    2. Some think this text simply refers to a specific church which defies God and promotes righteousness by man's works. If they are not a member of this church, they are "safe." Friend, this transcends any church. Revelation 18:1-4 ends with a plea for "my people," God's people, to "come out" of Babylon. If you are not setting aside the Sabbath to worship God and be with your family, if you are putting fame, fortune and success ahead of obedience, if you are sacrificing your children for the big house or the new car, God calls you to come out of Babylon!


  4. Next week: Millenial Expectation and the Second Coming.

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