“A good study will lead you to an understanding that’s in harmony with the whole bible and not just a few verses… it’ll sit right.
It may not always be popular or pleasant, what we expect or want to hear but it will be true and at its heart is a message of grace and compassion, assurance & hope.
1. READ ONLINE
from Amazing Facts is a regular 27 topic Bible study with a question & answer format followed up by more challenging questions that are often posed and is available in the following languages – the English language version appears at the bottom of this page.
2. WATCH or LISTEN
To watch the Storacles of Prophecy series, select Millennium of Prophecy.
To watch the Bible Study Guide, select A New Revelation.
3. JOIN US FOR A STUDY OVER LUNCH
Lunch will be provided. Drop a line via Contact to let us know you are coming & if you have a particular study you’d like to do.
Cnr Ann & Balo Streets
Moree NSW 2400
Saturday at 1:00pm roughly…
1. Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?
In these rapidly changing and challenging times—when promises of stability and safety rarely come through; when trusted spiritual leaders prove false; when lying in politics seems to be the norm; when those you depend on the most often hurt you the deepest—is there anything left you can trust? Yes! You can fully trust the Bible! Why? Let’s take a look at the evidence …
The Bible says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16).
“Prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
“The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
Answer: The Bible claims to be inspired, written by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit. It says its messages cannot be broken or proved untrue.
Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’ … It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ … For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’ ” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
Answer: Jesus quoted from Scripture when He was tempted by Satan. He also said the Bible is truth (John 17:17). Jesus quoted Scripture as the authority for everything He was teaching.
The Bible says, “I am the Lord. … New things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:8, 9).
“I am God … declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9, 10).
Answer: Bible predictions of future events that have come to pass dramatically confirm the divine inspiration of Scripture. These are just a few examples of fulfilled Bible prophecies:
1. Four world empires would arise: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome
(Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8).
2. Cyrus to be the warrior to capture Babylon (Isaiah 45:1-3).
3. After Babylon’s destruction, it would never be inhabited again (Isaiah 13:19, 20 Jeremiah 51:37).
4 Egypt would never again have a commanding position among the nations (Ezekiel 29:14, 15 30:12, 13).
5. Earth-shaking calamities and fear toward the end of time (Luke 21:25, 26).
6. Moral degeneracy and decline of spirituality in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
5. Are the Bible’s statements about health still relevant in today’s world?
6. Are the Bible’s historical statements accurate?
7. What other facts about the Bible prove its divine inspiration?
8. What evidence of Bible inspiration is found in the lives of people?
9. What evidence for Bible inspiration emerges when we compare Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah with New Testament events in the life of Jesus?
10. What advantage does a person have who accepts the Bible as God’s inspired word?
11. What recent events have brought the power and appeal of the Bible into sharp focus?
12. Why is the Bible your best chance for lasting happiness and peace?
13. Are you thankful to God for lovingly answering life’s most puzzling questions?
2. Is all of the Bible inspired—or just parts of it?
3. Isn’t it unsafe to rely on an ancient book so far removed from our day?
4. Many brilliant people in the world believe no one can understand the Bible. If it is truly God’s book, shouldn’t everyone be able to understand it?
5. Some say the Bible is full of errors. How can anyone believe it is inspired?
2. Did God Create the Devil?
Who is Satan? Many believe he’s merely a mythical figure, but the Bible says that he is very real and that he is determined to deceive you and destroy your life. Indeed, this brilliant but cruel mastermind is so much more than what you have been told. He’s entrapping individuals, families, churches, and even entire nations to increase sorrow and pain in this world. Here are the Bible’s amazing facts about this dark prince and how you can overcome him!
“The devil has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:8).
“That serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan” (Revelation 12:9)
Answer: Satan, who is also called the devil, is the originator of sin. Without the Bible, the origin of evil would remain unexplained.
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (Isaiah 14:12).
“[Jesus] said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven’ ” (Luke 10:18).
“You were on the holy mountain of God” (Ezekiel 28:14).
Answer: Satan’s name was Lucifer, and he was living in heaven. Lucifer is also symbolized by the “king of Babylon” in Isaiah 14 and as the “prince of Tyre” in Ezekiel 28.
“You were created” (Ezekiel 28:15).
“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. … Every precious stone was your covering. … The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. … You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:12, 13, 15).
“You were the anointed cherub who covers … you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones” (Ezekiel 28:14).
Answer: Lucifer was created by God, as were all the other angels (Ephesians 3:9). Lucifer was a “covering” cherub, or angel. One covering angel stands on the left side of God’s throne and another on the right (Psalm 99:1). Lucifer was one of these highly exalted angels and was a leader. Lucifer’s beauty was flawless and breathtaking. His wisdom was perfect. His brightness was awe-inspiring. Ezekiel 28:13 seems to indicate that he was specially created to be an outstanding musician. Some scholars believe he led the angelic choir.
5. What happened in heaven as a consequence of Lucifer’s sin?
6. Where is Satan’s present headquarters? How does he feel about people?
7. When God created Adam and Eve, what did He ask them not to do? What did He say would be the result of disobedience?
8. How did Satan deceive Eve? What lies did he tell her?
9. Why was eating a piece of fruit such a bad thing that Adam and Eve were removed from the garden?
10. What does the Bible reveal about Satan’s methods to hurt, deceive, discourage, and destroy people?
11. How effective are Satan’s temptations and strategies?
12. When and where will the devil receive his punishment? What will that punishment be?
13. What finally settles the horrible problem of sin? Will it ever rise up again?
14. Who makes the final, complete eradication of sin from the universe a certainty?
15. How does God really feel about people?
16. Do you feel it is good news that God the Father loves you as much as Jesus does?
2. Where did the concept originate that portrays the devil as a red, half-man and half-beast with horns and tail?
3. God said to Adam and Eve, “In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Why didn’t they die that day?
4. But since He created Lucifer, isn’t God really responsible for his sin?
5. Why didn’t God destroy Lucifer when he sinned and therefore end the problem immediately?
3. Rescue from Above
Picture the horror of being stranded in an ocean with hungry, deadly sharks closing in! Then imagine how grateful and relieved you’d feel to be plucked to safety. The truth is, every person on the planet is lost in an ocean fraught with danger. We urgently need rescue, not from a boat or helicopter, but from our Heavenly Father. God loves you, so much that He sent His Son to save you. You’ve undoubtedly heard all this before, but are you sure you really understand what it’s all about? What does it really mean to you, and can it really change your life? Read on and find out!
This is what He says: “Thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee.” Isaiah 43:4. “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3.
Answer: God’s never-ending love for you and me is far beyond our understanding. He loves you as though you were the only lost soul in the universe. He would have given His life for you or me even if there had been no other sinner to redeem. Try never to forget this fact. You are precious in His sight. He loves you.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9, 10.
Answer: Because He loved us so deeply, He was willing to see His only Son suffer and die rather than be separated from you and me for eternity. We will not be able to understand it, but He did it–just for you, just for me!
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
Answer: Certainly not because I earned it or deserved it. Not one of us has earned anything except the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). But God’s love is unconditional. He loves the thieves, adulterers, and murderers. He also loves the selfish, the hypocritical, and the profane blasphemer. But, greatest of all, He loves me! And because He knows that my sins can lead only to misery and death, He wants to save me from my sins. That’s why He died.
5. How do I receive Him and pass from death to life?
6. What must I do in order to obtain this gift of salvation?
7. When I join His family through faith, what change does Jesus make in my life?
8. Will this changed life really be happier than the pleasures of the old life?
9. But can I make myself do all the things a Christian should do?
10. Do you mean that even the Ten Commandments would not be hard to obey?
11. How can I be certain that the commandment-keeping mentioned of God’s people in the Bible is not legalism?
12. What significant act seals the love relationship with Christ, and what does it symbolize?
13. How can I be certain that the faith and love of my marriage to Christ will continue to increase?
14. It is my desire to invite Jesus into my life and experience the new birth.
2. If I accept Christ and His forgiveness and then fall again, will He forgive me again?
3. How can I approach God in my sinful condition? Wouldn’t it be better for me to have a priest or minister pray for me?
4. Is there anything I can do to help God save me?
5. If God forgives my sin and restores me to His family, will that eliminate any future punishment for my sins, or will I still be required to do some kind of penance?
4. A Colossal City In Space
Talk about a great city! New York, Tokyo, and London are nothing in comparison! Just wait until you grasp the amazing facts about this gigantic city that can travel through space. It’s all fact, not science fiction! The information in this Study Guide will thrill your soul and give you hope for the future.
“Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16.
Answer: The Bible declares that God is building a great city for His people. And this city is as real and literal as any you have ever known.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.” Revelation 21:2. “O Lord my God … hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place.” 1 Kings 8:28-30.
Answer: This great city that is being constructed is, at this moment, in far outer space in God’s dwelling place, which is called heaven.
Answer: (A) SIZE
“The city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs.” Revelation 21:16. The city is perfectly square. Its perimeter is 12,000 furlongs, or 1,500 miles (a furlong is 1/8 mile). It is 375 miles long on each side.
The city is called “new Jerusalem” in Revelation 21:2.
“And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits. … And the building of the wall of it was of jasper.” Revelation 21:17, 18. A wall 144 cubits, or 216 feet high (a cubit is 18 inches), surrounds the city. The wall is made of solid jasper, with radiance and beauty beyond description. Think of it! Nearly 20 stories high and solid jasper!
“And had twelve gates … On the east three gates on the north three gates on the south three gates and on the west three gates.” And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl.” Revelation 21:12, 13, 21. The city has 12 gates- three on each side – each one made of a single pearl.
“The wall of the city had twelve foundations … garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper the second, sapphire the third, a chalcedony the fourth, an emerald The fifth, sardonyx the sixth, sardius the seventh, chrysolyte the eighth, beryl the ninth, a topaz the tenth, a chrysoprasus the eleventh, a jacinth the twelfth, an amethyst.” Revelation 21:14-20. The city has 12 full, complete foundations each one made of precious stone. Every color of the rainbow will be represented, so at a distance the city will no doubt appear to be resting upon a rainbow.
“The street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” Revelation 21:21.
“The holy city, … prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal [proportionate].” Revelation 21:2, 11, 16. The city, with all of its precious stones, gold, and shimmering beauty, will be lighted with the glory of God. In its breathtaking majesty and purity it is compared to “a bride adorned for her husband.”
5. Is it true that this amazing city will descend to this earth?
6. What will happen to sin and sinners?
7. What refreshing, thrilling promises does God make to the people who enter His new kingdom?
8. How will the new earth differ from our earth today?
9. Will there be children in God’s kingdom? If so, will they grow up?
10. When reunited with loved ones in heaven, will the saved know each other?
11. Will people in heaven be real, with flesh and bones?
12. How will the righteous spend their time in the heavenly kingdom?
13. In what other thrilling activites will the redeemed participate in?
14. Can feeble human language really describe the glories of the heavenly home?
15. Is this kingdom being prepared for me personally?
16. How can I be assured of a place in that great and glorious kingdom?
17. I have decided to accept Jesus’ offer to live with Him forever in His heavenly kingdom.
2. The Bible says, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:50. How, then, can the redeemed be flesh and bones?
3. Is the apostle Peter in charge of the gate of the holy city?
4. Is the holy city really big enough to hold all the saved people of all ages?
5. Sometimes I wonder if the reward is worth the sacrifice. It seems that Satan is about to overwhelm me at times. Does the Bible offer me any encouragement?
6. Will little babies who die be saved in God’s kingdom?
7. Do I understand correctly that heaven, the home of the saved, will be right here on this earth?
8. Why do so many teach and believe that the home of the saved is a misty place with ghostlike inhabitants who float on clouds and do nothing but play harps?
5. Keys for a Happy Marriage
They are the tragedies of divorce—bitter ex-spouses, broken promises, and confused children. Don’t let this happen to your family! Whether your marriage is going through tough times or is experiencing marital bliss—or even if you’re not yet married but are considering it—the Bible offers proven guidance to help your marriage last. It’s advice from God, the one who created and ordained marriage! If you’ve tried everything else, why not give Him a chance?
Seventeen Keys for a Happier Marriage
“A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Answer: God’s principle is that a married couple should move out of their parents’ homes and establish their own, even if finances require something modest, such as a one-room apartment. A husband and wife should decide this together, as one, and remain firm even if someone opposes. Many marriages would be improved if this principle were carefully followed.
“Above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’ ” (1 Peter 4:8).
“Her husband … praises her” (Proverbs 31:28).
“She who is married cares … how she may please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:34).
“Be kindly affectionate to one another … in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).
Answer: Continue—or revive—your courtship into your married life. Successful marriages don’t just happen; they must be developed. Don’t take one another for granted or the resulting monotony could harm your marriage. Keep your love for one another growing by expressing it to each other; otherwise, love might fade and you could drift apart. Love and happiness are not found by seeking them for yourself, but rather by giving them to others. So spend as much time as possible doing things together. Learn to greet each other with enthusiasm. Relax, visit, sightsee, and eat together. Don’t overlook the little courtesies, encouragements, and affectionate acts. Surprise each other with gifts or favors. Try to “out-love” each other. Don’t try to take more out of your marriage than you put into it. Lack of love is the biggest destroyer of marriage.
*The Revised Standard Version of the Bible, (C) 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission.
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. … So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5, 6).
Answer: Has love nearly disappeared from your home? While the devil wants to break apart your marriage by tempting you to give up, don’t forget that God Himself joined you together in marriage, and He desires that you stay together and be happy. He will bring happiness and love into your lives if you will obey His divine commandments. “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Don’t despair. God’s Spirit can change your heart and your spouse’s heart if you will ask and let Him.
5. Never go to bed angry with one another.
6. Keep Christ in the center of your home.
7. Pray together.
8. Agree that divorce is not the answer.
9. Keep the family circle closed tightly.
10. God describes love make it your daily goal to measure up.
11. Remember that criticism and nagging destroy love.
12. Do not overdo in anything; be temperate.
13. Respect each other’s personal rights and privacies.
14. Be clean, modest, orderly, and dutiful.
15. Determine to speak softly and kindly.
16. Be reasonable in money matters.
17. Talk things over freely with one another.
18. Do you want your marriage to reflect God’s unselfish, committed, and joyful love for you?
2. Is there a principle for in-laws interfering in our family decisions?
3. My spouse is godless, and I am trying to be a Christian. His influence is terrible. Should I divorce him?
4. My spouse ran off with another person. Now repentant, she wants to return home. My pastor says I should take her back, but God forbids this, doesn’t He?
5. What can I do? Men are always coming on to me.
6. Can you tell me plainly what God’s counsel is to one who has fallen but is repentant?
7. Isn’t the “innocent party” in a divorce sometimes partially guilty also?
8. Does God expect me to live with a physically abusive spouse?
6. Written in Stone!
As crime and violence overrun our cities and homes, doesn’t it make sense that to secure peace and safety, we all should obey the laws of the land? Well, centuries ago, God wrote His own law in stone—and the Bible says we’re still supposed to keep it today. Violating any part of God’s law always brings negative consequences. But most important, keeping all of God’s law secures our peace and safety. Since so much is at stake, isn’t it worth your time to take a few minutes to seriously consider the place God’s Ten Commandments have in your life?
“He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. …Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God engraved on the tablets” (Exodus 31:18; 32:16).
Answer: Yes! The God of heaven wrote the Ten Commandments on tables of stone with His own finger.
“Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).
Answer: Sin is the breaking of God’s Ten Commandment law. The law of God is perfect (Psalm 19:7), and its principles cover every conceivable sin. The commandments cover “man’s all [the whole duty of man]” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Nothing is left out.
“Happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18).
“Keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you” (Proverbs 3:1, 2).
A: As a guide for happy, abundant living.
God created us to experience happiness, peace, long life, contentment, accomplishment, and all the other great blessings for which our hearts long. God’s law is a road map that points out the right paths to follow in order to find this true, supreme happiness. “By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). “I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet’ ” (Romans 7:7).
“By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7.
To show us the difference between right and wrong. God’s law is like a mirror (James 1:23–25). It points out wrongdoing in our lives much like a mirror points out dirt on our faces. The only possible way for us to know we are sinning is to carefully check our lives by the mirror of God’s law. Peace for a mixed-up world can be found in God’s Ten Commandments. It tells us where to draw the line!
“The Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes [commandments] … for our good always” (Deuteronomy 6:24).
“Hold me up, and I shall be safe, and I shall observe Your statutes continually. You reject all those who stray from Your statutes” (Psalm 119:117, 118).
To protect us from danger and tragedy. God’s law is like a strong cage at the zoo that protects us from fierce, destructive animals. It protects us from falsehood, murder, idolatry, theft, and many other evils that destroy life, peace, and happiness. All good laws protect, and God’s law is no exception.
“By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3).
It helps us to know God.
Special Note: The eternal principles within God’s law are written deep in every person’s nature by the God who created us. The writing might be dim and smudged, but it is still there. We were created to live in harmony with them. When we ignore them, the result is always tension, unrest, and tragedy—just as ignoring the rules for safe driving can lead to serious injury or death.
5. Can God’s law (the Ten Commandments) ever be changed or abolished?
6. Did Jesus abolish God’s law while He was here on earth?
7. Will people who knowingly continue to break God’s commandments be saved?
8. Can anyone be saved by keeping the law?
9. Why, then, is the law essential for improving a Christian’s character?
10. What enables a truly converted Christian to follow the pattern of God’s law?
11. But isn’t a Christian who has faith and is living under grace freed from keeping the law?
12. Are the Ten Commandments of God also affirmed in the New Testament?
13. Are God’s law and Moses’ law the same?
14. How does the devil feel about people who pattern their lives after God’s Ten Commandments?
15. Do you believe it is essential for a Christian to obey the Ten Commandments?
2. What does it mean when Galatians 3:13 says we are redeemed from the curse of the law?
3. Don’t Colossians 2:14–17 and Ephesians 2:15 teach that God’s law ended at the cross?
4. The Bible says “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10). Matthew 22:37–40 commands us to love God and to love our neighbors, ending with the words, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Do these commands replace the Ten Commandments?
5. Doesn’t 2 Corinthians 3:7 teach that the law engraved in stone was to be done away?
6. Romans 10:4 says that “Christ is the end of the law.” So it has ended, hasn’t it?
7. Why do so many people deny the binding claims of God’s law?
8. Were the righteous people of the Old Testament saved by the law?
9. Why worry about the law? Isn’t conscience a safe guide?
7. The Lost Day of History
Did you know there is a very important day in the Bible that almost everyone has forgotten about? It’s astounding that only a few people are aware of it, because it’s one of the most significant days in all of human history! It’s not only a day in the past, but it also has meaning for us now and in the future. Furthermore, what happens on this neglected day can have a positive effect on your life. Want to know more amazing facts about this lost day of history? Then read over this Study Guide carefully.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” Luke 4:16.
Answer: Jesus’ custom was to worship on the Sabbath.
“The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:10).
“When the Sabbath was past … very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen” (Mark 16:1, 2).
Answer: A little detective work is necessary to answer this question. Many believe that the Sabbath is the first day of the week, Sunday, but the Bible actually says that the Sabbath is the day that comes just before the first day of the week. According to Scripture, the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week—that is, Saturday.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. … And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it” (Genesis 1:1; 2:2, 3).
Answer: God made the Sabbath at the time of Creation, when He made the world. He rested on the Sabbath and blessed and sanctified it—that is, He set it apart for a holy use.
5. But haven’t the Ten Commandments been changed?
6. Did the apostles keep the Sabbath on the seventh day?
7. Did the Gentiles also worship on the seventh-day Sabbath?
8. But wasn’t the Sabbath changed to Sunday?
9. Some people say the Sabbath will be kept in God’s new earth. Is this correct?
10. But isn’t Sunday the Lord’s Day?
11. Shouldn’t we keep Sunday holy in honor of Christ’s resurrection?
12. Well, if Sunday-keeping isn’t in the Bible, whose idea was it?
13. But isn’t it dangerous to tamper with God’s law?
14. Why did God make the Sabbath anyway?
15. How important is keeping the Sabbath holy?
16. How does God feel about religious leaders ignoring the Sabbath?
17. Does Sabbath keeping really affect people personally?
18. Would you like to honor God by keeping His seventh-day Sabbath holy?
2. Isn’t Acts 20:7–12 proof that the disciples kept Sunday as a holy day?
3. Doesn’t 1 Corinthians 16:1,2 speak of Sunday school offerings?
4. But hasn’t time been lost and the days of the week changed since the time of Christ?
5. Isn’t John 20:19 the record of the disciples instituting Sunday keeping in honor of the resurrection?
6. Doesn’t Colossians 2:14–17 do away with the seventh-day Sabbath?
7. According to Romans 14:5, isn’t the day we keep a matter of personal opinion?
8. The Ultimate Deliverance
It’s no fairytale! One day, you can be free from all the hurt, hunger, loneliness, crime, and chaos infecting the world today. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? But it’s not going to be some charismatic world leader who is going to deliver you—no, your deliverer is far superior! Jesus is coming soon, but there are a lot of misconceptions regarding how He’s coming back. So take a few minutes to understand what the Bible really says about the second coming so you won’t be left behind!
“Christ … will appear a second time” (Hebrews 9:28).
“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again” (John 14:3).
Answer: Yes! In Matthew 26:64, Jesus testified that He would come back to this earth again. Since the Scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35), this is proof positive. It is Christ’s own personal guarantee. Besides, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of His first coming—so we can be absolutely certain that He will fulfill the prophecies concerning His second coming too!
“When He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’ ” (Acts 1:9–11).
Answer: The Scriptures promise that Jesus will return to this earth in the same manner that He left—in a visible, literal, bodily, personal manner. Matthew 24:30 says, “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” He will come in the clouds literally, as a personal being with a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:36–43, 50, 51). His coming will be visible; Scripture is clear on these facts!
“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7).
“As the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27).
“The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Answer: Every man, woman, and child living in the world when Jesus returns will see Him at His second coming. The staggering brightness of His appearance will stretch from horizon to horizon, and the atmosphere will be charged with brilliant glory like lightning. No one will be able to hide from it. This will be a loud, dramatic event in which even the dead are raised.
Note: Every person will know the second coming is occurring! Some use 1 Thessalonians 4:16 to suggest a “secret rapture,” where the saved disappear from the earth quietly, but it’s actually one of the noisiest verses in the Bible: The Lord shouts, a trumpet blasts, and the dead are raised! The second coming is not a quiet event, nor is it only a spiritual coming into the heart. It does not take place at a person’s death, nor is it figurative. All these theories are human inventions, but the Bible plainly states that the second coming will be a literal, worldwide, visible, personal appearance of Christ in the clouds.
5. What is the purpose of Jesus’ second coming to this earth?
6. What will happen to the righteous people when Jesus comes the second time?
7. What will happen to the wicked people when Jesus comes again?
8. How will Christ’s second coming affect the earth itself?
9. Does the Bible give specific information regarding the nearness of Christ’s second coming?
10. How can we know when we have reached the very last days of earth’s history? Does the Bible describe the world and its people in the last generation?
11. Just how near is the Lord’s second coming?
12. Satan is telling many falsehoods regarding the second coming of Christ and, with lying wonders and miracles, will deceive millions. How can you be certain you will not be deceived?
13. How can you be certain you’ll be ready when Jesus comes back?
14. Of what great danger does Christ warn us?
15. Do you want to be ready when Jesus returns for His people?
2. Since the Lord is coming “as a thief in the night,” how can anyone know anything about it?
3. When will Christ set up His kingdom on the earth?
4. Why don’t we hear more preaching and teaching today regarding Christ’s second coming?
5. But wasn’t Jesus speaking of a secret rapture when He said in Luke 17:36, “One will be taken and the other left”?
9. Purity & Power!
Are you tired of hurting your loved ones? Do you live in constant regret for your past mistakes? Have you ever wished you could be washed clean inside and out? Then we have great news—you can be! God has a plan that can completely wash all your sins away and supercharge your character. Preposterous? Not at all! The Bible says, “We were buried with [Christ] through baptism” (Romans 6:4). When you accept Christ, the old life dies and the Lord promises to forget all your sins! Not only that, He can help you overcome every sinful habit. Did you know that while the cross is mentioned 28 times in the Bible, baptism is mentioned 97 times? It must be pretty important—and no wonder, it signifies a new life with the haunting, sinful past buried and forgotten. Read the Bible’s amazing facts!
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
Answer: Yes! How could it be made any plainer?
“He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).
Answer: Neither did the thief on the cross restore what he had stolen, as the Lord directs His people in Ezekiel 33:15. God holds us accountable for what we can do, but He also recognizes the limitations of “dust.” He will not require a physical impossibility. Could the thief have come down from the cross, he would have been baptized. Every person who is able should be baptized.
“One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).
Answer: No. There is only one true baptism. All other so-called baptisms are counterfeits. The word “baptism” comes from the Greek word “baptisma.” It means “to dip under or submerge or immerse.” There are eight Greek words in the New Testament used to describe the application of liquids. But among these various words—meaning to sprinkle, to pour, or to immerse—only the one meaning “to immerse” (baptizo) is used to describe baptism.
Note: The devil’s “buffet” plan for baptism says, “Take your pick. The method of baptism doesn’t matter. It is the spirit that counts.” But the Bible says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” It also says, “Obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you” (Jeremiah 38:20).
5. But didn’t the early church leaders change the method of baptism?
6. Since Jesus and the disciples baptized by immersion, who introduced the other so-called baptisms that exist today?
7. What must a person do to prepare for baptism?
8. What is the meaning of baptism?
9. But a person shouldn’t be baptized until he is certain he will never slip and sin again, should he?
10. Why is baptism an urgent matter for a converted sinner?
11. How long does it take to prepare for baptism?
12. How does God feel about the baptism of a converted person?
13. Can a person experience true baptism without becoming a member of God’s church?
14. Notice four things that baptism does not do:
15. Jesus asks you to be baptized as a symbol that your sins have been washed away. Would you like to plan for this sacred ordinance soon?
2. Should infants be baptized?
3. Isn’t baptism a matter of personal opinion?
4. How old should one be to qualify for baptism?
5. Can baptism in and of itself save you?
6. Isn’t baptism of the Holy Spirit all that is necessary?
7. Shouldn’t we be baptized in Jesus’ name only?
8. There is one sin that I struggle to surrender. Should I be baptized?
9. Can you explain Galatians 3:27?
10. Are The Dead Really Dead?
Death just might be one of the most misunderstood subjects today. For many, death is shrouded in mystery and evokes dread, uncertainty, and hopelessness. Others believe that their deceased loved ones are not dead at all, but instead live with them or in other realms. Millions are confused about the relationship between the body, spirit, and soul. But does it really matter what you believe? Yes—absolutely! What you believe about the dead will have a profound impact on what happens to you in the near future. There’s no room for guessing! This Study Guide will give you exactly what God says on this subject. Get ready for a real eye-opener!
“The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
Answer: God made us from dust in the beginning.
“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Answer: The body turns to dust again, and the spirit goes back to God, who gave it. The spirit of every person who dies—whether saved or unsaved—returns to God at death.
“The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26).
“The spirit of God is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3 KJV).
Answer: The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life. Nowhere in all of God’s book does the “spirit” have any life, wisdom, or feeling after a person dies. It is the “breath of life” and nothing more.
5. Do souls die?
6. Do good people go to heaven when they die?
7. How much does one know or comprehend after death?
8. But can’t the dead communicate with the living, and aren’t they aware of what the living are doing?
9. Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead “sleep” in John 11:11–14. How long will they sleep?
10. What happens to the righteous dead at the second coming of Christ?
11. What was the devil’s first lie on Earth?
12. Why did the devil lie to Eve about death? Could this subject be more important than we think?
13. Do devils really work miracles?
14. Why will God’s people not be deceived?
15. Back in Moses’ day, what did God command should be done to people who taught that the dead were alive?
16. Will the righteous people who are raised in the resurrection ever die again?
17. Belief in reincarnation is expanding rapidly today. Is this teaching biblical?
18. Are you thankful for the Bible, which tells us the truth on this sensitive subject of death?
2. Doesn’t the Bible speak of the “undying,” “immortal” soul?
3. At death the body returns to dust and the spirit (or breath) returns to God. But where does the soul go?
4. Does the word “soul” ever mean anything other than a living being?
5. Can you explain John 11:26: “Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die”?
6. Matthew 10:28 says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” Doesn’t this prove that the soul is undying?
7. Doesn’t 1 Peter 4:6 say the gospel was preached to dead people?
11. Is The Devil In Charge Of Hell?
Well? Does God really keep the devil on His payroll as the chief superintendent of hell, measuring out the punishment of the lost? Nearly the entire world holds to a very unbiblical view about hell, and you owe it to yourself to know what the Bible really says about it. Don’t be fooled—because what you think about hell affects what you think about God! Take a few moments to get the amazing facts you need to know today!
“The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust
under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9).
Answer: There is not one single soul in hellfire today. The Bible says that God reserves, or holds back, the wicked until the day of judgment to be punished.
“So it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire” (Matthew 13:40–42).
“The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Answer: The lost will be cast into hellfire at the great judgment at the end of the world—not when they die. God would not punish a person in fire until his or her case was tried and decided in court at the end of the world. Does it make sense that God would burn a murderer who died 5,000 years ago 5,000 years longer than a murderer who dies today and deserves the same punishment for the same sin? (See Genesis 18:25.)
“The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29).
“That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? … Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb” (Job 21:30, 32 KJV).
Answer: The Bible is specific. Both the unsaved and the saved who have died are in their graves “sleeping” until the resurrection day. (See Study Guide 10 for more information on what really happens at death.)
5. What will happen to the wicked in hellfire?
6. When and how will hellfire be kindled?
7. How big and how hot will hellfire be?
8. How long will the wicked suffer in the fire?
9. Will the fire eventually go out?
10. What will be left when the fire goes out?
11. Will the wicked enter hell in bodily form and be destroyed both soul and body?
12. Will the devil be in charge of hellfire?
13. Does the word “hell” as used in the Bible always refer to a place of burning or punishment?
14. What is God’s real purpose in hellfire?
15. Isn’t the act of destroying the unsaved foreign to God’s nature?
16. What are God’s post-hell plans for the earth and His people?
17. Are you thankful to learn that God is not punishing the wicked throughout eternity in hellfire?
2. Then why does the Bible say that the wicked will be destroyed with unquenchable fire?
3. Doesn’t Matthew 25:46 say the wicked will receive “everlasting punishment”?
4. Can you explain Matthew 10:28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul”?
5. Matthew 25:41 speaks of “everlasting fire” for the wicked. Does it go out?
6. Doesn’t the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke16:19-31 teach an eternal hell of torment?
7. But the Bible speaks of the wicked being tormented “forever,” doesn’t it?
12. 1000 Years of Peace
You can be certain that it’s coming—an incredible millennium that will be ushered in after Christ’s return. And the devil doesn’t want you to know about it, his thousand-year prison sentence, because it reveals his true character. Indeed, Satan has concocted a counterfeit message for the millennium just to trick you! This is an awesome, fascinating study that could very well shake up everything you’ve heard. But now you can know the Bible’s amazing truths about the soon-coming 1,000 years!
“They lived [came alive] and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).
(For more on the subject of death, see Study Guide 10.)
Answer: A resurrection begins the 1,000-year period.
“This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:5, 6).
Answer: It is called the first resurrection. The saved—“blessed and holy” from all ages—will be raised in it.
“The rest of the dead [those who were not saved] did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).
“All who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28, 29).
Answer: The second resurrection takes place at the close of the 1,000-year period. The unsaved will be raised in this resurrection. It is called the resurrection of condemnation
Please notice: The resurrection of the saved begins the 1,000 years. The resurrection of the unsaved ends the 1,000 years.
5. What happens to the unsaved—living and dead—at Jesus’ second coming?
6. Many believe the unsaved will have an opportunity to repent during the 1,000 years. What does the Bible say about this?
7. The Bible says that Satan will be bound in the “bottomless pit” during the 1,000 years. What is this pit?
8. What is the chain that binds Satan? Why is he bound?
9. Revelation 20:4 says there will be a judgment in heaven during the 1,000 years. What for? Who will participate?
10. At the close of the 1,000 years, the holy city, New Jerusalem, will come down from heaven to this earth. Who will come with it? Where will it settle?
11. What will happen to the wicked dead at this time? How will this affect Satan?
12. What will Satan do then?
13. What will interrupt Satan’s plan to capture or destroy the city?
14. When the wicked are burned up and the fire goes out, what glorious, thrilling event will take place next?
15. Can we know how soon all these momentous events will take place?
16. Jesus, who loves you very much, has prepared a place for you in His fantastic eternal kingdom. Are you making plans to live in that glorious home custom-built for you by Jesus Himself?
2. What kind of bodies will people have in God’s new kingdom?
3. Does the Bible say how the lost will react at Jesus’ second coming?
4. Will the wicked be able to see the righteous people who are inside the New Jerusalem?
5. The Bible says God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of His people and that there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain. When will this happen?
6. How will the destruction of wicked angels and people affect God the Father and His Son?
7. What kind of body does Jesus have?
13. God’s Free Health Plan
Good medical care is priceless—but wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need doctors anymore? Well, did you know there is a proven way to put a lot of doctors out of work? … Take care of your body! Scientists have sounded the alarm about cholesterol, tobacco, stress, obesity, and alcohol, so why press your luck? God truly cares how you treat your body, and He’s given you a free health plan to go by—the Bible! For amazing facts about how you can have abundant health and longer life, look over this Study Guide—but be sure to read it all before jumping to conclusion!
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).
Answer: Yes. The Bible rates health right near the top of the list in importance. A person’s mind, spiritual nature, and body are all interrelated and interdependent. What affects one affects the others. If the body is misused, the mind and the spiritual nature cannot become what God planned they should be—and you won’t be able to live an abundant life. (See John 10:10.)
“The Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive” (Deuteronomy 6:24).
“You shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you” (Exodus 23:25).
Answer: God gave health principles because He knows what is best for the human body. Automobile manufacturers place an operations manual in the glove compartment of each new car because they know what is best for their creation. God, who made our bodies, also has an “operations manual.” It is the Bible. Ignoring God’s “operations manual” often results in disease, twisted thinking, and burned-out lives, just as abusing a car can result in serious car trouble. Following God’s principles results in “saving health” (Psalm 67:2 KJV) and more abundant life (John 10:10). With our cooperation, God can use these great health laws to significantly reduce and eliminate the effects of the diseases of Satan (Psalm 103:2, 3).
“Eat what is good” (Isaiah 55:2).
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Answer: Yes. A Christian will even eat and drink differently—all to the glory of God—choosing only “what is good.” If God says a thing is not fit to eat, He must have a good reason. He is not a harsh dictator, but a loving Father. All His counsel is for our good always. The Bible promises, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). So if God withholds a thing from us, it is because it is not good for us.
Note: No person can eat his or her way into heaven. Only acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can do that. Ignoring God’s health laws, however, might cause a person to lose his good judgment and fall into sin, even to the point of losing salvation.
5. What items are specifically mentioned by God as being unclean and forbidden?
6. If a person likes pork and eats it, will he really be destroyed at the second coming?
7. But didn’t this law of clean and unclean animals originate with Moses? Wasn’t it for the Jews only, and didn’t it end at the cross?
8. Does the Bible say anything about the use of alcoholic beverages?
9. Does the Bible warn against the use of other harmful substances, such as tobacco?
10. What are some of the simple yet important health laws found in the Bible?
11. What solemn reminder is given to those who ignore God’s principles?
12. What shocking truth about health involves our children and grandchildren?
13. What other sobering fact does God’s Word reveal?
14. What should every sincere Christian endeavor to do at once?
15. Some evil habits bind people so tightly. What can they do?
16. What thrilling promises are given about God’s new kingdom?
17. Since healthful living truly is a part of Bible religion, are you willing to follow all of God’s health principles?
2. Matthew 15:11 says, “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth.” How do you explain this?
3. But didn’t Jesus cleanse all animals in Peter’s vision, as recorded in Acts 10?
4. What did God make the hog for, if not to eat?
5. Romans 14:3, 14, 20, says: “Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat. … There is nothing unclean of itself. … All things indeed are pure.” Can you explain this?
6. Isn’t it enough to just love the Lord and not concern ourselves with God’s laws of health?
14. Is Obedience Legalism?
People often feel it is okay to violate a minor traffic law or two or perhaps to cheat “a little bit” on their taxes, but God and His laws work much differently. God sees everything we do, hears everything we say, and He really does care about how we treat His law.While the Lord offers forgiveness for our sins, it doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for breaking God’s law. Amazingly, some Christians say that any attempt to obey God’s law amounts to legalism.Yet Jesus said if you really love God, you’ll do what He asks. So, is obedience really legalism? Take time to read this Study Guide carefully. Eternal consequences are at stake!
“You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees” (Genesis 16:13).
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thought afar off. You… are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether” (Psalm 139:1–4).
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 12:7).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Answer: Yes. God knows you and every person on earth better than we know ourselves. He takes a personal interest in every human being and sees all that we do. Not one word, thought, or deed is hidden from Him.
“Not everyone who says to Me,‘Lord,Lord,’shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
“If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
“He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Answer: No. Scripture is very clear on this. Salvation and the kingdom of heaven are for those who obey the Lord’s commands. God does not promise eternal life to those who merely make a profession of faith or are church members or are baptized, but rather to those who do His will, which is revealed in Scripture. Of course, this obedience is possible only through Christ (Acts 4:12).
“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).
“He who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).
“The LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive” (Deuteronomy 6:24).
Answer: Because only one path leads to God’s kingdom. All roads do not lead to the same place. The Bible is the map—a guidebook with all the instructions, warnings, and information on how to safely reach that kingdom.To disregard any of it leads us away from God and His kingdom.The universe of God is one of law and order—including natural, moral, and spiritual. Breaking any of these laws has fixed consequences. If the Bible had not been given, people would have sooner or later discovered, by trial and error, that the great principles of the Bible exist and are true. When ignored, they result in sickness, torment, and unhappiness of every kind. Thus, the words of the Bible are not merely advice that we can accept or ignore without consequences.The Bible even tells what these consequences are and explains how to avoid them. A person cannot live any way he wishes and still become Christlike—any more than a builder can ignore the blueprints for a house without running into trouble.This is why God wants you to follow the blueprint of Holy Scripture.There is no other way to become like Him and, thus, be fitted for a place in His kingdom.There is simply no other way to true happiness.
5. Will the disobedient actually be destroyed?
6. You want to please God, but is it really possible to keep all of His commandments?
7. Does God count people guilty for disobeying Bible truth that has never been made clear to them?
8. But God isn’t particular about obedience on every detail, is He?
9. When a person discovers new truth, shouldn’t he or she wait until all obstacles are removed before embracing it?
10. But isn’t complete obedience an impossibility for a human being?
11. What will happen to a person who willfully continues in disobedience?
12. Isn’t love more important than obedience?
13. But doesn’t true freedom in Christ actually release us from obedience?
14. When I believe God requires a certain thing, should I obey even though I do not understand why He requires it?
15. Who is really behind all disobedience, and why?
16. What glorious miracle does the Bible promise for God’s children?
17. Do you want to begin lovingly obeying and following Jesus fully today?
2. What will happen to sincere people who truly think they are right when they are wrong?
3. Aren’t sincerity and zeal enough?
4. What will happen to people who haven’t received light?
5. Is it safe for a person to first ask God for a sign to confirm He wants obedience?
6. Hebrews 10:26, 27 seems to indicate that if a person willfully commits just one sin after he knows better, he is lost. Is this correct?
15. Who is the Antichrist?
Who … or what … is the antichrist? Evil alliance—or sinister individual? Some say his appearance is still in the future. Others say he appeared long ago in the days of ancient Rome. But the Bible indicates that he is alive today! Bible prophecies teach that this antichrist power will play a crucial role in the final events of earth’s history. Do you know who he is? Are you sure? You need to be, for you can’t understand last-day events until you understand this evil power. Be prepared for one of the most intriguing Study Guides yet!
This Study Guide is based on the book of Daniel chapter 7 and clearly and unmistakably identifies the antichrist. But it is only an introduction. Future lessons will reveal details of some of his activities that will have worldwide impact. What you discover today may displease or sadden you, but please remember that the prophecy of Daniel 7 comes from Jesus, who loves you. Pray for God’s guidance as you delve into this urgent subject. Be sure to read Daniel 7 before studying this lesson.
“The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth” (Daniel 7:23).
“The waters … are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15).
Answer: A beast represents a kingdom or nation. Water represents multitudes of people or large populations.
“The Lord will bring a nation against you … as swift as the eagle flies” (Deuteronomy 28:49).
“Says the Lord of hosts: … a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the farthest parts of the earth. And … the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth” (Jeremiah 25:32, 33).
Answer: The wings of eagles represent speed. (See also Jeremiah 4:13; Habakkuk 1:6–8.) Winds represent strife, commotion, and destruction. (See also Revelation 7:1–3.)
Answer: Read Daniel 8. Notice that the beasts in chapter 8 parallel those in chapter 7. Daniel 8:20 specifically names Medo-Persia as the kingdom that precedes the male goat—that is, Greece—of verse 21. Medo-Persia is the second kingdom—the same power as the bear of Daniel 7. The empire was made up of two groups of people. The Medes came up first (represented in Daniel 7:5 by the bear raising up on one side), but the Persians eventually became stronger (represented in Daniel 8:3 by the ram’s second horn that grew “higher”). The three ribs represent the three principal powers conquered by Medo-Persia: Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt.
5. The Roman Empire, the fourth kingdom, is represented by a powerful monster with iron teeth and 10 horns (Daniel 7:7). What do the horns represent?
6. In the Daniel 7 prophecy, what happens next?
7. Does the Bible give clear points identifying antichrist?
8. Does the papacy fit these points?
9. Wasn’t Daniel told to seal up his book “until the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4)? When will Daniel’s prophecies be opened to our understanding?
10. Many Christians today have been misinformed regarding the antichrist. To believe an untruth about the antichrist could cause a person to be deceived. What should a person do when new Bible teachings are encountered?
11. Are you willing to follow where Jesus leads, even though it might be painful?
2. Do you think it is wise for Christians to pass laws enforcing Christianity?
3. Perhaps I have misunderstood, but my concept has always been that antichrist would be an evil being who openly opposed God. Is this concept incorrect?
4. Doesn’t the Bible say in 1 John 2:18–22 that there are many antichrists?
5. In prophecy, does the symbol “beast” mean “beastly” characteristics?
16. Angel Messages From Outer Space
Angels are real! Sometimes called cherubim or seraphim, these powerful ministering spirits appear all through Bible history. Often they are seen protecting and guiding God’s people, and sometimes they are punishing evil. But one of their most important missions is to reveal and explain prophecy. Did you know God has said something special through His angels to the stressed-out people of our hectic world? In Revelation 14, He reveals awesome messages for these last days, messages coded in the symbolism of three flying angels. So significant are these messages, Jesus won’t return until they are all fulfilled! This Study Guide will give you an eye-opening overview, and the following eight Study Guides will present the incredible details. Get ready—God’s personal message to you is about to be explained!
Answer: There are six crucial reasons to study Revelation:
A. It never has been sealed (Revelation 22:10). The age-long controversy between Christ and Satan, as well as the devil’s last-day strategies, are exposed in Revelation. Satan cannot easily trap people who are aware of his deceptions in advance, so he hopes people will believe that Revelation is sealed.
B. The very name “Revelation” means “unveiling,” “opening,” or “revealing”—the opposite of being sealed. It always has been wide open.
C. Revelation is Jesus’ book in a unique way. It begins, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). It even gives a word picture of Him in Revelation 1:13–16. No other Bible book reveals Jesus and His last-day instructions and plans for His work and His people as does Revelation.
D. Revelation is written primarily for and geared to the people of our day—just before Jesus’ return (Revelation 1:1–3; 3:11; 22:6, 7, 12, 20).
E. A special blessing is pronounced upon those who read Revelation and heed its counsel (Revelation 1:3; 22:7).
F. Revelation describes God’s end-time people (His church) with startling clarity. It makes the Bible come to life when you see the last-day events depicted in Revelation taking place. It also tells precisely what God’s church should be preaching in the last days (Revelation 14:6–14). This Guide gives an overview of that preaching so you can recognize it when you hear it.
Note:Before proceeding, please read Revelation 14:6–14.
“I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach. … And another angel followed, saying. … Then a third angel followed them, saying …” (Revelation 14:6, 8, 9).
Answer: The word “angel” literally means “messenger,” so it is fitting that God uses three angels to symbolize the preaching of His three-point gospel message for the last days. God uses the symbolism of angels to remind us that supernatural power will accompany the messages.
“I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).
Answer: The two crucial points are: (1) that it is the “everlasting gospel,” and (2) that it must be preached to every person on earth. The three angels’ messages stress the gospel, which makes it plain that people are saved by faith in—and acceptance of—Jesus Christ alone (Acts 4:10–12; John 14:6). Since no other way to salvation exists, it is evil to claim that there is some other way.
Satan’s counterfeits, while many, include two very effective ones: (1) salvation by works, and (2) salvation in sin. These two counterfeits are uncovered and revealed in the three angels’ messages. Many, without realizing it, have embraced one of these two errors and are trying to build their salvation upon it—an impossible feat. We also must stress that no one is truly preaching the gospel of Jesus for the end time who does not include the three angels’ messages.
5. What solemn statement does the second angel make about Babylon? What does the angel of Revelation 18 urge God’s people to do?
6. Against what does the third angel’s message solemnly warn?
7. What four-point description does God give in Revelation 14:12 of His people who accept and follow the three angels’ messages?
8. What happens immediately following the teaching of the three angels’ messages to all people?
9. In 2 Peter 1:12, the apostle speaks of “present truth.” What does he mean?
10. Who does the Bible say will come to give a “present truth” message before the great day of the Lord?
11. What did Elijah do that caused the Lord to focus on him?
12. The Elijah message has a twofold application. It was a “present truth” message to prepare people for Jesus’ first advent and a “present truth” message to prepare people for His second coming. Who did Jesus say preached the Elijah message to prepare people for His first advent?
13. How do we know the prophecy has a second application to our time–just before the second advent?
14. What wonderful blessing will the preaching of the Elijah message (the three angels’ messages) bring?
15. The word “gospel” means good news. Do the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 provide good news?
16. Do you feel thankful to learn that Jesus has a special three-point message to guide and assist His people in these last days of earth’s history?
2. Did Moses and Elijah actually appear with Jesus at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:3)—or was it only a vision?
3. Why did John the Baptist say he was not Elijah (John 1:19–21) when Jesus said that he was (Matthew 11:10–14)?
4. Is it possible for someone to be preaching Jesus’ full end-time truth for today without including the three angels’ messages?
5. Luke 1:17 says the Elijah message was to turn “the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” What does this mean?
17. God Drew The Plans
You probably know that on the summit of Mt. Sinai, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. But did you also know that, at the same time, the Lord gave Moses blueprints for one of the most mysterious structures ever built? It’s called the sanctuary, a unique temple that represented God’s dwelling place among His people. Its overall design and services showed this nation of freed slaves a three-dimensional panorama of the plan of salvation. A careful look into the secrets of the sanctuary will solidify and enhance your understanding of how Jesus saves the lost and leads the church. The sanctuary is also a key to understanding several amazing prophecies. An exciting adventure awaits you as this Study Guide explores the sanctuary and its hidden meanings!
“Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).
Answer: The Lord told Moses to build a sanctuary—a special building that would serve as a dwelling place for the God of heaven.
A Brief Description of the Sanctuary
The original sanctuary was an elegant, tent-type structure (15 feet by 45 feet—based on an 18-inch cubit) in which the presence of God dwelt and special services were conducted. The walls were made of upright wooden boards set in silver sockets and overlaid with gold (Exodus 26:15–19, 29). The roof was made of four coverings: linen, goat hair, ram skin, and badger skin (Exodus 26:1, 7–14). It had two rooms: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. A thick, heavy veil (curtain) separated the rooms. The courtyard—the area around the sanctuary—was 75 feet by 150 feet (Exodus 27:18). It was fenced with fine linen cloth supported by 60 pillars of brass (Exodus 27:9–16).
“Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:13).
Answer: God’s way, the plan of salvation, is revealed in the earthly sanctuary. The Bible teaches that everything in the sanctuary—the dwelling, furniture, and services—are symbols of something Jesus did in saving us. This means we can fully comprehend the plan of salvation as we fully understand the symbolism connected with the sanctuary. Thus, the importance of this Study Guide can’t be overstated.
“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. … There are priests … who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’ ” (Hebrews 8:1, 2, 4, 5).
Answer: God Himself gave Moses the sanctuary’s construction specifications. The building was a copy of the original sanctuary in heaven.
5. What furniture was in the holy place?
6. What furniture was in the most holy place?
7. What was inside the ark?
8. Why did animals need to be sacrificed in the sanctuary services?
9. How were animals sacrificed in the sanctuary services, and with what meaning?
10. When a sacrificial animal was offered for the entire congregation, what did the priest do with the blood? What does this symbolize?
11. Based on the sanctuary services, in what two major capacities does Jesus serve His people? What fantastic benefits do we receive from His loving ministry?
12. What six promises does the Bible give about the righteousness offered to us through Jesus?
13. Does a person have any role at all to play in becoming righteous by faith?
14. What was the Day of Atonement?
15. Did the Day of Atonement symbolize or foreshadow a part of God’s great plan of salvation, as did the other facets of the earthly sanctuary and its services?
16. Are you willing to accept truth that might be new to you, as God reveals it?
18. Right on Time! Prophetic Appointments Revealed!
Fasten your seat belt! You’re now going to explore the longest time prophecy in the Bible—on that perfectly predicted the first coming of Jesus and the time of His death. In Study Guide 16, you learned that God has an extremely important message the world must hear before Christ’s return. The first part of this message calls on people to worship God and glorify Him, because the hour of His judgment has arrived (Revelation 14:7). In Daniel chapters 8 and 9, God revealed the date for His final judgment to begin, as well as powerful prophetic evidence that Christ is the Messiah. Thus, no other prophecy in Scripture is more vital—yet few are aware of it! Others completely misunderstand it. Please read Daniel 8 and 9 before starting this Study Guide, and ask God’s Spirit to guide you in understanding this phenomenal prophecy.
“The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia” (Daniel 8:20).
Answer: The ram is a symbol of the former kingdom of Medo-Persia, which was also represented by the bear of Daniel 7:5 (see Study Guide 15). The prophecies of the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation follow the principle of “repeat and expand,”which means they repeat prophecies covered in earlier chapters of the book and enlarge upon them. This approach brings clarity and certainty to Bible prophecies.
“The male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation” (Daniel 8:21, 22).
Answer: Next in Daniel’s vision, a male goat with one huge horn appeared, traveling at great speed. He attacked and conquered the ram. Then the great horn was broken off and four horns arose in its place. The male goat symbolizes the third kingdom of Greece, and the huge horn symbolizes Alexander the Great. The four horns that replaced the great horn represents the four kingdoms into which Alexander’s empire was divided. In Daniel 7:6, these four kingdoms were represented by the four heads of the leopard beast, which also symbolize Greece. These symbols were so fitting that it is easy to identify them in history.
Answer: The little horn represents Rome. Some have suggested that it represents Antiochus Epiphanes, a Seleucid king who ruled over Palestine in the second century before Christ and who disrupted the Jewish worship services. Others, including most leaders of the Reformation, have believed that the little horn represents Rome in both its pagan and papal forms. Let’s examine the evidence:
A. In harmony with the prophetic rule of “repeat and expand,” Rome must be the power represented here because chapters 2 and 7 of Daniel point to Rome as the kingdom that follows Greece. Daniel 7:24–27 also establishes the fact that Rome in its papal form will be succeeded by the kingdom of Christ. The little horn of Daniel 8 fits this pattern exactly: It follows Greece and is finally supernaturally destroyed -“broken without hand”- at Jesus’ second coming. (Compare Daniel 8:25 with Daniel 2:34.)
B. Daniel chapter 8 says the Medo-Persians would become “great” (verse 4), the Grecians “very great” (verse 8), and the little horn power “exceedingly great” (verse 9). History is clear that no power following Greece and occupying Israel became “exceedingly great” other than Rome.
C. Rome extended its power to the south (Egypt), the east (Macedonia), and the “Glorious Land” (Palestine) precisely as the prophecy predicted (verse 9). No major power other than Rome fits this point.
D. Only Rome stood up against Jesus, “the Prince of the host” (verse 11) and “the Prince of princes” (verse 25). Pagan Rome crucified Him. It also destroyed the Jewish temple.
And papal Rome effectively caused the heavenly sanctuary to be “cast down” (verse 11) and “trampled underfoot” (verse 13) by seeking to replace the essential ministry of Jesus, our High Priest in heaven, with an earthly priesthood that claims to forgive sins. No one but God can forgive sins (Luke 5:21). And Jesus is our true priest and mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
5. What urgent point did the angel Gabriel repeatedly stress?
6. While Daniel was praying, who touched him and with what message (Daniel 9:21–23)?
7. How many of the 2,300 years would be “determined” (or allotted to) Daniel’s people, the Jews, and their capital city of Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)?
8. What event and date were to mark the starting point for the 2,300-year and 490-year prophecies (Daniel 9:25)?
9. The angel said that 69 prophetic weeks, or 483 literal years (69 x 7 = 483), added to 457 bc would reach to the Messiah (Daniel 9:25). Did it?
10. We have now considered 483 years of the 490-year prophecy. There is one prophetic week—seven literal years—left (Daniel 9:26, 27). What happens next and when?
11. Since Jesus died after three and a half years, how could He “confirm the covenant with many” (KJV) for all of the final seven years, as the prophecy in Daniel 9:27 mandates?
12. When the 490-year period of final opportunity for the Jewish nation ended in the fall of ad 34, what did the disciples do?
13. After ad 34, how many years of the 2,300-year prophecy remained? What is the ending date for the prophecy? What did the angel say would happen on that date (Daniel 8:14)?
14. Why do some Bible interpreters detach the last week (or seven years) of the 490 years allotted to the Jewish nation and apply it to the antichrist’s work at the end of earth’s history?
15. Jesus’ atoning sacrifice was made for you. Will you invite Him into your life to cleanse you from sin and make you a new person?
2. The “two thousand three hundred days” of Daniel 8:14 translated literally from the Hebrew reads “two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings.” Does this mean 1,150 days, as some contend?
3. What part does choice play in a Christian’s life?
4. Many believe that the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes is the little horn power of Daniel 8. How can we be certain this is not true?
19. Case Closed
The jury is in, the verdict read—case closed! Few thoughts could be more sobering. The day is fast approaching when all who have ever lived will have their lives reviewed before the all-knowing God (2 Corinthians 5:10). But don’t let this alarm you—take heart! Millions have already found the judgment message revealed in this Study Guide to be very good news! On four occasions when the book of Revelation mentions the great judgment, it brings forth praise and thanksgiving! But did you know that the Bible mentions judgment more than a thousand times? Almost every Bible writer refers to it, so its importance cannot be overstated. In the next few minutes, you’re going to get a real eye-opener on this neglected subject. Note: There are three phases of the final judgment—watch for them as you study this lesson!
First Phase of the Final Judgement
“Judgment must begin at the house of God.” 1 Peter 4:17. “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. And, behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:11, 12. (See also 1 Timothy 3:15.)
Answer: It ends just before the second coming of Jesus. Those (living and dead) who claimed to be Christians–“the house of God”–will be considered in the pre-advent judgment. (The 1844 date is established in Study Guide 18.)
“The Ancient of days did sit, … his throne was like the fiery flame.” “The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9, 10. “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1. “The Father … hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” John 5:22. “The Devil, … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:9, 10. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” Revelation 3:14. (See also Colossians 1:12-15.)
Answer: God the Father, the Ancient of days, presides in the judgment. He loves you very much (John 16:27). Satan is your only accuser. In the heavenly court, Jesus, who loves you, your best friend will be your attorney, judge, and witness. And He promises that judgment will be “given in favour of the saints.” Daniel 7:22, NEB.*
*The New English Bible, (C) 1961, 1970 by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press and the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.
“The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:10. “The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelation 20:12. “They … shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12. “We are made a spectacle [theater] unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9.
Answer: Evidence for court comes from books in which all details of one’s life are recorded. For the faithful, the record of prayer, repentance, and forgiveness of sin will be there for all to see. The records will prove that God’s power enables Christians to live changed lives. God is pleased with His saints and will delight in sharing the evidence of their lives. The judgment will confirm that there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
The Ten-Commandment law is God’s standard in the judgment (James 2:10-12). Breaking His law is sin (1 John 3:4). The righteousness of the law will be fulfilled by Jesus in all of His people (Romans 8:3, 4). To claim that this is impossible is to doubt Jesus’ word and His power.
The judgment is not to inform God. He is already fully informed (2 Timothy 2:19). However, the redeemed people will be coming to heaven from a world that has been degraded by sin. Both the angels and the inhabitants of other unfallen worlds would certainly feel uneasy about admitting anyone to God’s heavenly kingdom who might start sin all over again. Thus, the judgment will open to them every detail and answer every question. Satan’s real aim has always been to discredit God as unfair, ruthless, unloving, and untruthful. This makes it even more important for all beings in the universe to see firsthand how extremely patient God has been with sinners. The vindication of God’s character is the prime purpose of the judgment (Revelation 11:16-19 15:2-4 16:5, 7 19:1, 2 Daniel 4:36, 37). Note that the praise and glory are given to God for the way He handles the judgment.
5. What group is involved in the heavenly judgment during the 1,000 years of Revelation chapter 20? What is the purpose of this second phase of the judgment?
6. When and where will the third phase of the final judgment take place? What new group will be present at this phase of judgment?
7. What happens next?
8. What interrupts their battle plan, and with what results?
9. What final steps will eradicate sin from the universe and provide a secure home and future for the righteous?
10. How did the “day of atonement” service in the Old Testament earthly sanctuary symbolize the judgment and God’s plan to eradicate sin from the universe and restore perfect harmony?
11. What is the good news about the judgment as revealed in this Study Guide and listed below?
12. God promises to acquit you in the heavenly judgment if you will invite Him to enter your life and permit Him to remain in control. Will you invite Him to enter your life today?
2. Since the record of the sins of God’s people were transferred on the day of atonement to the scapegoat, doesn’t that make him also our sin-bearer? I thought Jesus alone bore our sins.
3. The Bible is clear that God forgives all sins which are confessed (1 John 1:9). It is also clear that, though forgiven, the record of these sins remains on heaven’s books until the end of time (Acts 3:19-21). Why aren’t the sins blotted out when forgiven?
4. Some say the judgment took place at the cross. Others say it takes place at death. Can we be certain the timing for the judgment as shown in this Study Guide is correct?
5. What important lessons can we learn from our study of the judgment?
20. The Mark of the Beast
A tattooed number, a computer chip under the skin, or something more subtle? It’s one of the most misinterpreted prophecies in all of the Bible – yet it is so important to correctly understand this subject. But in studying the mark of the beast, we must address some very sensitive issues, naming names and being specific. This is not a popular thing today, but we must be firm because God loves His people and He wants them to know the truth. This message is not ours, but Jesus’. And with eternal death facing those who receive the mark, it would be a crime to not help Him deliver this message. This lesson should probably be prefaced with a warning: “THE DEVIL DOES NOT WANT YOU TO READ AND COMPLETE THIS STUDY GUIDE.” Please read Revelation 13:1-8, 14:9-12, and 16-18, and pray for the Holy Spirit to grant you an honest and understanding heart before embarking on this study adventure.
An Urgent Reminder
We learned from Study Guide 2 that a terrible conflict is in progress between God and the devil. It has raged through the centuries since Lucifer, heaven’s most powerful angel, rebelled against God. With the angels who joined him, he attempted to overcome God and seize control of the universe. God and the loyal angels had no choice but to eject Lucifer and his angels from heaven. Lucifer, who became known as the devil and Satan, was infuriated. His determination to destroy God and control the universe has grown with every passing year. Amazingly, he has won the support of the vast majority of earth’s people in his rebellion. The Lord also asks for people’s loyalty and support, but He leaves all free to choose. Soon every person on earth will have aligned with either Satan or God. The final battle between Satan and God is just ahead, and it is described in the book of Revelation. This book points out that God has an emblem, or mark, which will identify His people. Satan also has an emblem, or mark, that will identify those who support him. As usual, Satan will work through an earthly power symbolized in Revelation by a beast to impose his mark. This Study Guide will reveal the beast’s mark, which every lost person of the end time will receive. Unless you know what his “mark” is, how will you avoid receiving it?
Answer: Revelation 13:1-8, 16-18 provides 11 identifying characteristics. They are listed below:
A. Rises from sea (verse 1).
B. Composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (verse 2).
C. Dragon gives it power and authority (verse 2).
D. Receives a deadly wound (verse 3).
E. Deadly wound healed (verse 3).
F. Strong political power (verses 3, 7).
G. Strong religious power (verses 3, 8).
H. Guilty of blasphemy (verses 1, 5, 6).
I. Wars with and overcomes the saints (verse 7).
J. Rules for 42 months (verse 5).
K. Has mysterious number 666 (verse 18).
Do some of these points have a familiar ring? Certainly! We encountered many of them earlier when we studied about the Antichrist in Daniel chapter 7. The “beast” of Revelation 13 is simply another name for the “Antichrist,” which we learned from Daniel 7 is the papacy.
Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation often cover the same ground as prior prophecies, but each time new features are added that help make the prophecies certain. So expect to learn some new things about the Antichrist from this Study Guide. Now let’s consider, one by one, the 11 points that describe the beast.
A. It would rise from the sea (Revelation 13:1).
The sea (or water) in prophecy refers to people, or a populated area (Revelation 17:15). So the beast, or Antichrist, would arise from amid the established nations of the then-known world. The papacy, as we all know, arose in western Europe, so it fits this point.
A Word of Explanation
In harmony with God’s command to honor all people (1 Peter 2:17), we pause here to recognize the papacy for her many good deeds and activities. Her hospitals, orphanages, care for the poor, homes for unwed mothers, and care for the aged are appreciated universally. She can honestly be lauded for many things. But, like all other organizations, she has also made mistakes. God pinpoints some of her errors in Revelation. The Lord, who blesses and comforts, must sometimes chasten and correct. Please ask His Spirit to speak to you as you study this crucial topic.
B. It would be a composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (Revelation 13:2).
Study the comparison below to see how it all fits together:
|Daniel chapter 7||Revelation chapter 13|
|Babylon||Lion-like beast (vs. 4)||“Mouth of a lion” (vs. 2)|
|Medo-Persia||Bearlike beast (vs. 5)||“Feet of a bear” (vs. 2)|
|Greece||Leopard-like beast (vs. 6)||“Like unto a leopard” (vs. 2)|
|Rome||Ten-horned beast (vs. 7)||“Having … ten horns” (vs. 1)|
The four beasts of Daniel 7 are depicted as part of Antichrist, or the beast, because the papacy incorporated pagan beliefs and practices from all four empires. She clothed them in spiritual garb and spread them to the world as Christian teachings. Here is one of many supporting statements from history: “In a certain respect, she [the papacy] has copied her organization from that of the Roman Empire, has preserved and made fruitful the philosophical intuitions of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, borrowed from both Barbarians and the Byzantine Roman Empire, but always remains herself, thoroughly digesting all elements drawn from external sources.” 1This point definitely fits the papacy.
C. The beast must receive its power, seat (capital), and authority from the dragon (Revelation 13:2).
To identify the dragon, we go to Revelation chapter 12, where God’s end-time church is pictured as a pure woman. In prophecy, a pure woman represents God’s true people or church (Jeremiah 6:2 Isaiah 51:16). (In Study Guide 23, we will present a detailed study of God’s end-time church of Revelation chapter 12. Study Guide 22 explains Revelation chapters 17 and 18, where fallen churches are symbolized by a fallen mother and her fallen daughters.) The pure woman is portrayed as pregnant and about to deliver. The dragon crouches nearby, hoping to “devour” the baby at birth. However, when the baby is born He evades the dragon, fulfills His mission, and then ascends to heaven. Obviously the baby is Jesus, whom Herod tried to destroy by killing all the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). So the dragon represents pagan Rome, of which Herod was a king. The power behind Herod’s plot was, of course, the devil (Revelation 12:7-9). Satan acts through various governments to accomplish his ugly work in this case, pagan Rome.
We will quote just two supportive references from history, though there are many: (1) “The Roman Church … pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation. …The Pope … is Caesar’s successor.” 2 (2) “The mighty Catholic Church was little more than the Roman Empire baptised. Rome was transformed as well as converted. The very capital of the old Empire became the capital of the Christian Empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that of Pope.” 3 So this point also fits the papacy. She received her capital city and power from pagan Rome.
D. It would receive a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3).
The deadly wound was inflicted when Napoleon’s general, Alexander Berthier, entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive in February of 1798. Napoleon decreed that at the death of the pope, the papacy would be discontinued. The pope died in France in August of 1799. “Half Europe thought … that without the Pope the Papacy was dead.” 4 So this point also fits the papacy.
E. The deadly wound would be healed, and the entire world would give homage to the beast (Revelation 13:3).
Since its healing, the strength of the papacy has grown and increased until today she is one of the most powerful religio-political organizations and influence-centers in the world. Malachi Martin, consummate Vatican insider and intelligence expert, reveals the following in his best-selling book The Keys of This Blood 5 (page numbers in parentheses):
ABOUT THE POPE:
He is as determined to be world ruler as was Constantine in his day (49). He is protected by four governments (120). He is the best-known person of the 20th century (123). He is personal friends with the leaders of 91 countries (490). People of the world seem to him ready for strong worldwide moral government with control (160). Sixteen thousand journalists covered his American visit (490).
ABOUT THE PAPACY:
The American ambassador says the Vatican is unmatched as a “listening post” (120). The Vatican knows by Saturday what will happen on Monday anywhere in the world (439). Papal structure is prepared for worldwide rule now (143).
Obviously, the wound is healed and the eyes of the nations are upon the Vatican, so this point also fits the papacy.
F. It would become a strong political power (Revelation 13:3, 7).
See item E above.
G. It would become a very powerful religious organization (Revelation 13:3, 8).
See item E above.
H. It would be guilty of blasphemy (Revelation 13:5, 6).
The papacy is guilty of blasphemy because her priests claim to forgive sins and her popes claim to be Christ.
I. It would war with and persecute the saints (Revelation 13:7).
The papacy did persecute and destroy millions of saints during the Dark Ages.
J. It would reign for 42 months (Revelation 13:5).
The papacy reigned for 42 prophetic months, which equals 1,260 years, from A.D. 538-1798.
Points H through J also clearly fit the papacy. We touched on them only briefly here because they were covered thoroughly in Study Guide 15, question 8, items E, G, and H.
K. It would have the mysterious number 666 (Revelation 13:18).
This verse says, “It is the number of a man,” and Revelation 15:2 says it is “the number of his name.” What man do you think of when you think of the papacy? Naturally, we all think of the pope. What is his official name? Here is a Catholic quote: “The title of the pope of Rome is “Vicarius Filii Dei” (English: “Vicar of the Son of God”).6 Malachi Martin, in The Keys of This Blood, uses the same title for the pope on pages 114, 122. A footnote for Revelation 13:18 in some Douay [Catholic] versions of the Bible says, “The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number.”
Again, the papacy fits the identification point. The beast with the “mark” is the papacy. No other power in history could possibly fit these divine descriptive points. Now that we have positively identified the beast, we can discover her mark, or symbol of authority. But first, let’s look at God’s sign of authority.
1Andre Retif, The Catholic Spirit, trans. by Dom Aldhelm Dean, Vol. 88 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism (New York, Hawthorne Books, 1959), p. 85.
2Adolf Harnack, What is Christianity? trans. by Thomas Bailey Saunders (New York: Putnam, 2nd ed., rev., 1901), p. 270.
3Alexander Clarence Flick, The Rise of the Mediaeval Church (reprint: New York, Burt Franklin, 1959), pp. 148, 149.
4Joseph Rickaby, “The Modern Papacy,” Lectures on the History of Religion, Lecture 24, (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1910), p. 1.
5(New York, Simon & Schuster, 1990)
6″Answers to Readers’ Questions,” Our Sunday Visitor, Nov. 15, 1914.
“I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Ezekiel 20:12. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth.” Exodus 31:17.
Answer: God is saying in the texts above that He gave us His Sabbath as a glorious sign of His power to create and His power to sanctify (convert and save) us. In the Bible, the words seal, sign, mark, and token are used interchangeably.7 God’s sign, the Sabbath, represents His holy power to rule as Creator and Saviour. Revelation 7:1-3 says it will be written upon the foreheads (minds, Hebrews 10:16) of His people. It will signify that they are owned by Him and have His character. Hebrews 4:4-10 confirms this by saying that when we enter His rest (receive salvation), we should keep His seventh-day Sabbath holy as a symbol, or mark, of salvation. True Sabbath-keeping signifies that a person has surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and is willing to follow wherever Jesus leads.
Since the symbol, or mark, of God’s authority and power is His holy Sabbath day, it seems likely that the symbol, or mark, of God’s challenger, the beast, might also involve a holy day. Let’s see if it does.
7(Compare Genesis 17:11 with Romans 4:11 and Revelation 7:3 with Ezekiel 9:4.)
Answer: Notice the following section from a Catholic catechism:
“Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?”
“Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her – she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.”8
So the papacy is here saying that it changed Sabbath to Sunday and that virtually all churches accepted the new holy day. Thus, the papacy claims that Sunday as a holy day is the mark, or symbol, of her power and authority.
8Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism [FRS No. 7.], (3rd American ed., rev.: New York, Edward Dunigan & Bro., 1876), p. 174.
5. How could anyone dare attempt to change God’s holy day?
6. What solemn warnings has God given regarding His law and His sign, or mark?
7. Revelation 13:16 says people will receive the mark of the beast in the forehead or in the hand. What does this mean?
8. According to Isaiah 58:1, 13, 14, what decisive message does God deliver to His people in the last days?
9. Do people who worship on Sunday (as a holy day) have the mark of the beast now?
10. According to the book of Revelation, whom did John specifically see in God’s eternal kingdom?
11. What is Jesus saying to people today?
12. I have now decided to begin keeping His seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) as His holy day and follow Him wherever He leads.
21. The USA in Bible Prophecy
Can it really be true? America in Bible prophecy – absolutely! When you think about it, it makes sense that the most powerful and influential nation on earth will play a vital role in the final stunning events of the world’s closing history. But even more surprises await you as the Bible reveals how the leading nation of the world came to exist and why! Please read Revelation 13:11-18 before beginning this guide, because these eight verses give a prophetic picture of America in the days ahead.
Answer: The beast with seven heads (Revelation 13:1-10) is none other than the Roman papacy.
(See Study Guide 15 for a complete study on this topic.) Remember that beasts in Bible prophecy symbolize nations or world powers (Daniel 7:17, 23).
“Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Revelation 13:5.
Answer: The Bible predicted that the papacy would lose its world influence and power at the end of the 42 months. This prophecy was fulfilled in 1798, when Napoleon’s General Berthier took the pope captive and the papal power received its deadly wound. (For the full details, see Study Guide 15.)
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Revelation 13:11.
Answer: The papal captivity mentioned in verse 10 took place in 1798, and the new power (verse 11) was seen emerging at that time. The United States declared its independence in 1776, voted the Constitution in 1787, adopted the Bill of Rights in 1791, and was clearly recognized as a world power by 1798. The timing obviously fits America. No other power could possibly qualify.
5. What is symbolized by its two lamb-like horns and absence of crowns?
6. What does it mean when the prophecy in Revelation 13:11 says America will speak “as a dragon”?
7. What specifically will America do that will cause it to speak as a dragon?
8. Over what specific issues will force be utilized and the death sentence passed?
9. Could a government really control buying and selling?
10. How strong and influential is the papacy today?
11. How strong and influential is the United States today?
12. It is clear that the influence and power of both the United States and the papacy are escalating with rapidity. What other factors could possibly help set the stage for a worldwide law to execute those who refuse to violate conscience?
13. As world conditions worsen, what will Satan do to deceive the masses?
14. While interest in the counterfeit revival heightens, what will be happening to the genuine worldwide revival sponsored by God’s end-time people?
15. In desperation, the U.S.-led coalition will next decide to impose the death sentence on its enemies (Revelation 13:15). What does Revelation 13:13, 14 say its leaders will do to convince people that God is with them?
16. How can we be safe from powerful end-time deceptions?
17. Are you willing to worship and obey Jesus even if it means ridicule, persecution, and finally the death sentence?
2. What is the battle of Armageddon spoken of in Revelation 16:12-16? When and where will it be fought?
3. The Bible says, “The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” John 16:2. Do you think that will be literally fulfilled in our time?
4. As I study the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, it seems apparent that the real enemy is always the devil. Do you agree?
5. How would the death of the pope or the election of a new president affect the prophecy of America in Revelation 13:11-18?
6. Are the lamb-horned beast of Revelation 13:11-18 and the “false prophet” of Revelation 16:13 the same power?
22. The Other Woman
Every marriage must rely on trust. And in our union with Christ, we must likewise remain faithful to Him and His Word. The book of Revelation speaks about the true bride of Christ, but there is another “woman” who is trying to seduce believers away from God’s Word. Revelation contains a shocking message about Babylon—the other woman. Babylon is fallen, and people must escape her charms or perish! Thus begins the second part of the three angels’ messages. Here you will learn the stunning real identity of spiritual Babylon and how to avoid being hypnotized by her fatal beauty. What could be more important?
“I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters. … And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:1, 3–5).
Answer: In Revelation 17:1–5, Jesus describes Babylon as a harlot dressed in red and purple. She is seated on a scarlet-colored beast, which has seven heads and ten horns and sits on many waters.
Answer: A pure woman, clothed with the sun, is depicted in Revelation 12:1–6. We learned in Study Guide 20 that this pure woman symbolizes God’s pure church, which is faithful to her husband, Jesus. We will study Revelation chapter 12 in depth in Study Guide 23.
“Cause Jerusalem to know her abominations. … You trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot” (Ezekiel 16:2, 15).
Answer: As a pure woman symbolizes a pure church that is faithful to Jesus, so an impure woman represents an impure, or fallen, church that is unfaithful to Jesus (James 4:4).
5. What is the literal meaning of the word “Babylon,” and what is its origin?
6. Who are the harlot daughters of the mother Babylon described in Revelation 17:5?
7. In Revelation 17, why is mother Babylon pictured as riding on the beast? What does the beast represent?
8. What other powers unite with the papacy in fulfilling end-time events?
9. How will organizations with such diverse backgrounds effectively unite?
10. For what sins does God indict Babylon?
11. What are some of the false teachings contained in Babylon’s wine that make people spiritually drunk and confused?
12. Who will be on the Lord’s side in the battle of Armageddon?
13. What will be Satan’s strategy in this final conflict between God’s truth and Satan’s lies?
14. What is God’s counter-strategy?
15. Will God’s end-time messages of warning and hope be effective?
16. What final, urgent appeal will Jesus make to those who are in Babylon?
17. How will people who love Jesus but who are now in Babylon respond when they hear His appeal to come out?
18. If you are in Babylon, are you willing to heed Jesus’ urgent appeal to come out of her?
2. Who are the kings of the east of Revelation 16:12?
3. Does the warning about the fall of Babylon imply that Babylon has not always been fallen?
4. When called out of Babylon, where should a Christian go?
5. What do the 10 kings of Revelation 17:12–16 represent?
6. What does the symbolism of “frogs” mean in Revelation 16:13, 14?
7. Will the New Age movement play a major role in the final end-time conflict between good and evil?
8. It’s clear that God reveals activities of the antichrist, or papacy, in Daniel chapter 7 and Revelation chapters 13, 17, and 18. Is the antichrist mentioned elsewhere in Scripture?
9. Did Satan’s kingdom called “Babylon” originate at the Tower of Babel?
10. In Revelation 16:12, what is meant by the waters of the Euphrates River being dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the east?
23. The Bride of Christ
The Bible says there is but one body, or church, into which Jesus calls His end-time people—the bride of Christ. To some, this is unnerving, as there are thousands of churches today that call themselves Christian. Virtually every one of them claims to be God’s church, yet they each differ widely in biblical interpretation, faith, and practice. It’s quite impossible for an honest seeker of truth to investigate the claims of each one. However, we can be thankful that Jesus has solved this dilemma for us by describing His church in such detail that you can easily identify it! That description, vivid and powerful, is found in Revelation 12 and 14, and it will thrill you with amazing truths that will help you in the end times.
Note: Please read Revelation 12:1–17 before beginning your journey of discovery into these transforming truths.
“I have likened the daughter of Zion to a lovely and delicate woman” (Jeremiah 6:2). “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Revelation 19:7, 8).
Answer: We learned in Study Guide 22 that Jesus symbolizes His true church (daughter of Zion) as a pure woman and the false, apostate churches as a harlot. (See also 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22, 23; and Isaiah 51:16).
Answer: The sun represents Jesus, His gospel, and His righteousness. “The Lord God is a sun” (Psalm 84:11). (See also Malachi 4:2.) Without Jesus there is no salvation (Acts 4:12). More than anything else, Jesus wants His church to overflow with His presence and glory. “The moon under her feet” represents the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so the sacrificial system was helpful spiritually only as it reflected light from the Messiah to come (Hebrews 10:1). The “crown of twelve stars” represents the work of the 12 disciples, which crowned the early years of the New Testament church.
Answer: The baby was Jesus. He will one day rule all nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:13–15; Psalm 2:7–9; John 1:1–3, 14). Jesus, who was crucified for our sins, was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9–11). His resurrection power in our lives is one of Jesus’ essential gifts to His people (Philippians 3:10).
5. What is the meaning of the “seven heads” and “ten horns” of the dragon, and of “a third of the stars of heaven” being cast to the earth?
6. What did Satan do after he failed in his plan to destroy Jesus?
7. In Revelation 12:6, 14, what did the woman (church) do to protect herself, and what is the “wilderness”?
8. In Revelation 12:17, God calls His end-time church the remnant [KJV]. What does the word “remnant” mean?
9. In Revelation 12:17, what additional two-point description did Jesus give of His end-time remnant church?
10. What final two points of identification for God’s remnant church does the book of Revelation provide?
11. Now that we have established Jesus’ six identification points for His end-time remnant church, what does Jesus tell us to do, and with what results?
12. How many churches fit these six specifications?
13. After one of Jesus’ children heeds His loving warning call and comes out of Babylon (Revelation 18:2, 4), what does Jesus ask him or her to do next?
14. How does one enter that body, or church?
15. Does the Bible provide other evidence that Jesus has only one remnant church into which He is calling all of His people?
16. What is the good news regarding God’s remnant church?
17. What is the good news regarding God’s remnant people?
18. Earth’s hour is very late. Jesus’ second coming immediately follows the giving of the three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:6–14). What is Jesus’ urgent plea now to His people?
19. Are you willing to heed Jesus’ call to come into the safety of His end-time remnant church?
2. Is there really a serious danger that many professed Christian people will be caught off guard and lost when Jesus returns?
3. I joined God’s remnant church and have never been so happy. But I have never been harassed so much by the devil, either. Why is this?
4. What does the word “church” mean?
24. Does God Inspire Astrologers and Psychics?
If some self-proclaimed prophet suddenly arose and began drawing crowds with stirring messages, healing the sick, raising the dead, bringing fire from heaven, and revealing knowledge of your personal secrets – would you believe in him or her? Should you believe? Your ultimate destiny just might be tied directly to your ability to distinguish between true and false prophets. So it’s very important to know what the Bible really says about this timely subject!
“In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Acts 2:17.
Answer: Yes, both men and women will prophesy in the last days (Joel 2:28-32).
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12.
Answer: Jesus gave all five gifts for the perfecting of the saints. The perfecting of God’s end-time church is not possible if any of these five gifts is missing.
Answer: No! In addition to many men who had the gift of prophecy, God also gave the gift to at least eight women: Anna (Luke 2:36-38); Miriam (Exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:4); Huldah (2 Kings 22:14); and the four daughters of Philip, an evangelist (Acts 21:8, 9).
5. From what source do true prophets obtain their information?
6. God speaks to prophets in three different ways. What are these ways?
7. What are the physical evidences of a true prophet in vision?
8. Is the working of great miracles proof that a prophet is of God?
9. Of what perilous end-time danger does Jesus warn us?
10. How can I determine whether a prophet is true or false?
11. Are certain types of false prophets specifically named and condemned in the Bible?
12. Is a true prophet’s work primarily to serve the church or to serve unbelievers?
13. Does God’s end-time church have the gift of prophecy?
14. When you join God’s end-time church, which has all of the gifts, how will it affect you?
15. The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:1-18, likens the gifts that Jesus gave the church to parts of the body. What part of the body best represents the gift of prophecy?
16. Since prophecy is the eyes of the church, a church without the gift of prophecy would be in what condition?
17. Must God’s remnant church have all the gifts that Christ gave?
18. Revelation 12:17 points out that God’s end-time remnant church will “have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 19:10 says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Can we be sure this means that the church will have a prophet?
19. Of what other special significance are the words “the testimony of Jesus”?
20. What are the Bible qualifications for a true prophet?
21. Did God send a prophet to His end-time remnant church?
22. Did Ellen White have visions?
23. Are Ellen White’s words intended to be part of the Bible, or an addition to the Bible?
24. Does Ellen White speak in harmony with the Scriptures?
25. How can I accept Ellen White as a true prophet, since I do not know what she wrote?
26. What three-point command does Paul give us regarding a prophet?
27. How does Jesus regard the rejection of the words and counsel of a true prophet?
28. Do true end-time prophets originate new doctrine, or does doctrine come strictly from the Bible?
29. I am willing to test Ellen White’s writings by Scripture and accept them if they are in harmony with Scripture.
2. Do you think additional true prophets may appear between now and Jesus’ second coming?
3. Why do most churches today not have the gift of prophecy?
4. What can I do to make the gift of prophecy meaningful to me?
5. Which of these two–the gift of prophecy or the gift of tongues–will play the major role in God’s end-time remnant church?
6. I believe in “the Bible and the Bible only” as the source of doctrine and guidance for Christian living. Therefore, I reject all modern-day prophets.
25. In God we Trust?
Do you trust God—really? The truth is, a lot of people might say yes, but they don’t act like it. And worse, because they don’t trust Him, they might actually steal from Him! “Come on!” you say, “No one would steal from God.” But God’s shocking message to His people is, “You have robbed Me!” (Malachi 3:8). Real records prove that billions of people steal from God, and as amazing as it may seem, they use that stolen money to subsidize their own reckless spending! Yet many are unaware of their larceny, and in this Study Guide, we’ll show you how to avoid that same mistake and how to prosper through real faith in God.
“All the tithe of the land … is the Lord’s” (Leviticus 27:30).
Answer: The tithe belongs to God.
“I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance” (Numbers 18:21).
Answer: The tithe is one-tenth of a person’s income. The word “tithe” literally means “tenth.” The tithe belongs to God. It is His. We have no right to keep it. When we tithe, we are not making a gift; we are simply returning to God what is already His. Unless we are returning one-tenth of our income to God, we are not tithing.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse” (Malachi 3:10).
Answer: He asks us to bring the tithe into His storehouse.
5. Some have thought that tithing was part of Moses’ system of rites and ceremonies that ended at the cross. Is this true?
6. For what was tithe used in Old Testament days?
7. Did God change His plan for tithe usage in New Testament days?
8. But didn’t Jesus abolish the plan of tithing?
9. What startling proposal does God make to people who feel uncertain about tithing?
10. When we tithe, who really receives our money?
11. What test did Adam and Eve fail —a test which all must pass if we would inherit His kingdom?
12. In addition to the tithe, which belongs to God, what else does God ask of His people?
13. How much shall I give to God as offerings?
14. What additional Bible principles does God share with us regarding giving?
15. What does the Lord own?
16. How does the Lord refer to people who do not return His 10 percent and give offerings?
17. What does God say will happen to those who knowingly continue to rob Him in tithes and offerings?
18. God warns us against covetousness. Why is it so dangerous?
19. How does Jesus feel when we rob Him of His sacred tithe and offerings?
20. What thrilling points does the Bible stress regarding the stewardship of the believers in Macedonia?
21. What does God promise to do for those who are faithful in returning tithes and giving offerings?
22. Are you willing to begin tithing and giving offerings to demonstrate your love and thankfulness?
2. I am frustrated because financial difficulties have made it impossible for me to give more than a very small amount beyond my tithe. What can I do?
3. Doesn’t stewardship involve more than the proper handling of my money?
4. Aren’t some preachers being paid too much money?
5. What if I cannot afford to pay tithe?
26. A Love That Transforms
Being in love changes everything. For instance, a young lady was reading a large book for her university’s English literature course. She found the whole thing very boring and could barely stay focused when reading it. But then she met a striking young professor on campus, and they quickly fell in love. Soon after, she realized her beloved was the author of the book she had struggled with. That night she stayed up and devoured the entire book exclaiming, “This is the best book I have ever read!” What changed her perspective? Love did. Likewise, many today find Scripture boring, oppressive, and unappealing. But that all changes when you fall in love with the author. See how in this heart-warming Study Guide!
“The prophets have enquired and searched diligently, … Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” 1 Peter 1:10, 11.
Answer: The God of the Bible (even the Old Testament) is virtually always Jesus Christ. Jesus created the world (John 1:1-3, 14 Colossians 1:13-17), wrote the Ten Commandments (Nehemiah 9:6, 13), was the God of the Israelites (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), and guided the writings of the prophets (1 Peter 1:10, 11).
So, Jesus Christ is the author of Scripture.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Answer: Jesus loves us all with an indescribable, unfailing love that passes understanding.
“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
Answer: We should love Him because He loved us enough to die for us–while we were yet His enemies.
5. What does Jesus say are the results of doing the things that please Him?
6. Why does Jesus give us specific principles for Christian living?
7. According to Jesus, how should Christians relate to the evil of the world and to worldliness?
8. What urgent warning does God give us regarding the world?
9. Why do we need to guard our thoughts?
10. What are some principles for Christian living?
11. What clear-cut list does Jesus give us that we could use as a guide for watching television?
12. In this day of determined, independent thinking, many feel totally capable of making spiritual decisions without input from anyone, including Jesus. What does Jesus say about such people?
13. What solemn warnings does Jesus give us about the example and influence of our lives?
14. What are Jesus’ principles of conduct regarding clothing and jewelry?
15. How do conduct and obedience relate to salvation?
16. Should we expect everyone to look with favor upon the Christian lifestyle?
17. How would a person who rejects Jesus’ standards for Christian conduct view heaven?
18. How can I adopt and follow these Bible guidelines without appearing pharisaical, judgmental, or legalistic?
19. I want to love Christ so much that to follow His principles for Christian living will be a joy and delight.
2. I’m troubled. I want very much to do a certain thing. I realize, however, that because of its appearance, some might feel I am doing evil. What should I do?
3. It seems to me that churches list too many things I must do and too many things I must not do. It drives me up the wall. Isn’t following Jesus what really matters?
4. A few of God’s requirements seem unreasonable and unnecessary to me. I can’t understand why they are important. What do you suggest?
5. Will I benefit from Jesus’ loving principles, laws, and commands?
6. In regard to standards and lifestyle, do I have a responsibility to lecture other people about them?
7. What are the greatest dangers for Christians today?
8. But isn’t it legalism to follow these Christian rules of conduct?
9. Are Christian standards involved with Jesus’ command to let our lights shine?
10. Aren’t Christian standards cultural? Shouldn’t they change with the times?
11. Surely not all dancing is evil. Didn’t David dance before the Lord?
12. What does the Bible say about people condemning and judging each other?
27. No Turning Back
When a skydiver steps to the edge of the aircraft door and leaps away from the plane, she knows there is no turning back. She’s gone too far, and if she should forget to strap on her parachute, nothing can save her and she will certainly plummet to a frightening death. What a tragedy! But there is something even worse that can happen to a person. Indeed, it is far worse to come to the point of no return in your relationship with God. Yet millions are approaching this point and have no idea! Is it possible that you’re one of them? What is the awful sin that could lead to such a fate? Why can’t God forgive it? For a clear and penetrating answer—that is also full of hope—take just a few minutes with this fascinating Study Guide.
“Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men” (Matthew 12:31).
Answer: The sin God cannot forgive is “blasphemy against the Spirit.” But what is “blasphemy against the Spirit”? People have many differing beliefs about this sin. Some believe it is murder; some, cursing the Holy Spirit; some, committing suicide; some, killing an unborn child; some, a denial of Christ; some, a heinous, wicked act; and others, worshiping a false god. The next question will shed some helpful light on this crucial matter.
“Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men” (Matthew 12:31).
Answer: The Bible says that all kinds of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven. So none of the sins listed in question 1 is the sin that God cannot forgive. No single act of any kind is the unpardonable sin. It may sound contradictory, but both of the following statements are true:
A. Any and every kind of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven.
B. The blasphemy or sin against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Jesus Made Both Statements
Jesus made both statements in Matthew 12:31, so there is no error here. To harmonize the statements, we must discover the work of the Holy Spirit.
“He [the Holy Spirit] will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. … He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:8, 13).
Answer: The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin and to guide us into all truth. The Holy Spirit is God’s agency for conversion. Without the Holy Spirit, no one feels sorrow for sin, nor is anyone ever converted.
5. What happens if we do not confess our sins when convicted by the Holy Spirit?
6. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin or leads us to new truth, when should we act?
7. What solemn warning does God give about the pleading of His Holy Spirit?
8. At what point does the Holy Spirit stop pleading with a person?
9. God, through His Holy Spirit, brings light (John 1:9) and conviction (John 16:8) to every person. What must we do when we receive this light from the Holy Spirit?
10. Can any sin become the sin against the Holy Spirit?
11. After King David had committed a terrible double sin of adultery and murder, what anguished prayer did he pray?
12. What serious command did the apostle Paul give to the church in Thessalonica?
13. What other shocking statement did Paul make to the Thessalonian believers?
14. What experience will those who have been sent these strong delusions face in the judgment?
15. What special words of warning does Jesus give to help us avoid believing we are saved when we are actually lost?
16. What is God’s blessed promise to His faithful followers who crown Him Lord of their lives?
17. What additional glorious promise does Jesus make to us all?
18. Will you decide now to always open the door as Jesus knocks at your heart and be willing to follow where He leads you?
2. Is it safe to ask for “signs” from the Lord before choosing obedience?
3. Is there ever a time when prayer is not helpful?
4. I’m concerned that I may have rejected the Holy Spirit and cannot be forgiven. Can you help me?
5. In the parable of the sower (Luke 8:5–15), what is meant by the seed that fell by the wayside and was eaten by birds?
6. How can the Lord say “I never knew you” to the people He was addressing in Matthew 7:21–23? I thought God knew everybody and everything!
7. Can you explain Ephesians 4:30?