Introduction: Does it feel like the end of the world is near? This time of my life is like no other. Life is disrupted by a virus.  Government authorities (in the United States!) believe that they can shut churches and prohibit all sorts of activities that people normally take for granted. Some of our cities are burning almost nightly. There have been terrible times in the modern world.  My father lived through the depression and then was pulled into combat in World War II where he was wounded three times. His world was much worse than mine, or that of my children. Are we now changing for the worse – or does it just seem that way? Does the Bible have anything to say to us about this?  The first place to look is Revelation, so let’s head there for our study this week!  

  1.         Light in Darkness

  1.         Read 2 Peter 1:19. If we are uncertain what lies ahead, will the Bible help reveal it to us? (Bible prophecy is called “a lamp shining in a dark place.”)

  1.         How long will that lamp shine? (“Until the day dawns and the morning star arises in [our] hearts.”)

  1.         When is that? What does it mean to say the “day dawns and the morning star arises?”

  1.         An angel appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, and gave him information about the work of the son that he and Elizabeth would parent (see generally, Luke 1). Read Luke 1:67 and Luke 1:76-79. What does this say about the nature of Jesus’ coming? (It is like the “sunrise” and it will “give light to those who sit in darkness.”)

  1.         This sounds a lot like 2 Peter 1:19. Why would Peter refer to something that happened in the past and call it “the prophetic word” ( 2 Peter 1:19)?

  1.         Let’s explore the context a bit more. Read 2 Peter 1:11 and 2 Peter 1:16. What “coming” of Jesus is Peter writing about? (He is looking forward to the Second Coming of Jesus.)

  1.         If Jesus’ first coming was referred to prophetically (by the angel to Zechariah) as the “sunrise” and giving “light to those who sit in darkness,” would this be even more true for Jesus’ Second Coming? (I think that is exactly what Peter is telling us. We are looking for light that will lead us to the Second Coming of Jesus!)

  1.         Seventh Trumpet

  1.         Read Revelation 11:15. What is the angel announcing? (That Jesus will now move His kingdom to earth and being His reign there.)

  1.         Read Revelation 11:16-17. What do the twenty-four elders in heaven give thanks for? (That Jesus is beginning to reign.)

  1.         Hasn’t Jesus been reigning in heaven? (Yes, but the point here is the transition to our world.)

  1.         Read Revelation 11:18. What are the conditions on the earth before Jesus makes His transition? (We are told that the nations “raged” and that those on earth are “destroyers.”)

  1.         Does the earth sound like a great place to be at that time? (No! It sounds dangerous.)

  1.         Once again, let’s look back and see what gives rise to Revelation 11:15. Read Revelation 11:3-4. Are these witnesses also revealing what will happen? (It says that they prophesy.)

  1.         Who are these two witnesses? (My best understanding at the moment is that this symbolizes the Old and New Testaments.)

  1.         Why are the witnesses compared to lampstands and olive trees? (This seems to be an illusion to Zechariah 4:2-6. The lampstands hold up light and the oil of the olive trees symbolizes the Holy Spirit.)

  1.         Do you see a connection between the verses that we have been studying in Revelation 11? (Jesus, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit all are a source of light and understanding. The world rages against them.)

  1.         Where do we come into this picture? (We promote these sources of light and understanding.)

  1.         What reaction should we expect? (That the world will rage against us.)

  1.         Read Revelation 11:5-7. How do you understand this? It seems to refer to more than the Old and New Testaments of the Bible! (Without sorting out all of the symbolism, the bottom line is that there is a terrible battle between the promotion of the Bible and Satan’s power.)

  1.         Do you see this taking place now? Are the Bible and God’s people more under attack than ever before? (The rise in the number of people in the United States who are hostile to Christianity and the Bible is plain. This is my personal observation. However, I’m reading a book that describes the history of Fascism and Communism in Italy, Germany, and Russia. A common element is that they are all hostile to Christianity. Each wanted to create a political religion that would take the place of Christianity. This makes me think that history is repeating itself.)

  1.         What shall we do about it?

  1.         Three Angels Message

  1.         Read Revelation 14:6-7. What two reasons does the angel give for fearing, giving glory, and worshiping God? (He is our Creator and the time of judgment has come.)

  1.         Is this angel symbolic? Are we tasked with giving this message?

  1.         If you say, “yes,” how would you give it? We discussed last time about how to witness and decided that telling what Jesus has done for us is the best (and most simple) approach. Have you a similarly simple approach to this? (First, we need to be willing to talk about judgment. In all of the conflict that arises out of Revelation 11, God is going to bring judgment.)

  1.         Is judgment where you would logically start? (If there is no God, then there is no judgment. Thus, the logical approach is not to talk about judgment first. Rather, it is to talk about our Creator God.)

  1.         Is there a simple approach to arguing a Creator God? (In law, I always rejoice when I have the least complex argument. Arguing for  evolution is complicated.  Do you see all these complex structures? Do you see all of these complicated life mechanisms?  They all resulted from an accident – and here are the details of how that accident came about. And, no, you’ve never seen anything like this happen in your lifetime. Telling people that there is an all-powerful God who created all of this complexity is a lot more simple – and more logical.)

  1.         Read Revelation 14:8. What is Babylon? (Read Isaiah 21:9. Babylon is a competitor to God. It is immoral not only because it has turned its allegiance from God (committed adultery), but because it is actually immoral.)

  1.         Is this a difficult message to give to others? (This seems an obvious thing to grasp. The pagan world has turned from God and is literally sexually immoral in every possible way.)

  1.         What about the message that Babylon has “fallen?” (Again, this is obvious to most people. But, it is also good news. If Babylon is God’s competitor, and it has fallen, that means we have won!)


  1.         Read Revelation 14:9-10. What is the most obvious interpretation of this message? (That everyone must make a choice. If you choose to “worship” evil, if you plot evil (forehead), or go along with evil (hand), you have chosen the losing side.)

  1.         Is there a further argument that you can make about the message of the third angel? (The extended argument is that this message relates to the message of the first angel. It is all about worship of the Creator. This highlights the importance of the Sabbath as a memorial of creation – and the weekly worship reminder of our Creator God.)

  1.         Would it make sense to you that other Bible doctrines arising from Creation are also under attack and to be defended? What about traditional marriage? What about the relative relationship between humans and animals? What about the relative roles between men and women?

  1.         Friend, do you see that war is building? Do you see that trouble lies ahead? Will you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bring God’s end-time message to the world?

  1.         Next week: A Step in Faith.