August 28, 2005 – September 3, 2005
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Revelation 16:16. “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” Revelation 19:19.
Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 635–644, 656, 657.
1 Can God’s people of today figure out from the study of Bible prophecy when the Second Coming will occur? Matthew 24:30, 36; Mark 13:26, 32, 33.
note: “The voice of God is heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people. Like peals of loudest thunder His words roll through the earth. The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances are lighted up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked cannot look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory.” The Great Controversy, 640.
2 What is seen next in the heavens by all the people on earth? Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7.
note: “Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant.” The Great Controversy, 640, 641.
3 How does the Bible describe Jesus when He comes the second time? List at least five items. Revelation 19:11–13; Luke 21:27.
note: “Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. Not now a ‘Man of Sorrows,’ to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead. ‘Faithful and True,’ ‘in righteousness He doth judge and make war.’ . . . No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun.” The Great Controversy, 641.
comment: In the Bible, horses are a symbol of conflict and war. (See Proverbs 21:31.) This is also true in these verses that describe the Second Coming of Jesus. See Revelation 19:19.
4 Who follows Christ, when He returns to earth, and what are they riding? Revelation 19:14.
note: “And ‘the armies which were in heaven’ (Revelation 19:11, 14) follow Him. With anthems of celestial melody the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng, attend Him on His way. The firmament seems filled with radiant forms—‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.’ No human pen can portray the scene; no mortal mind is adequate to conceive its splendor. ‘His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light.’ Habakkuk 3:3, 4.” The Great Controversy, 641.
5 What title is Jesus wearing when He returns? Revelation 19:16.
note: “As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. ‘And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ Revelation 19:16.” The Great Controversy, 641.
comment: Jesus is not now a High Priest in the sanctuary. That work there has ended. At the wedding of the Lamb, He was crowned “King of kings and Lord of lords,” and now He comes in that capacity to judge and to make war. (Revelation 19:11.)
6 Who is going to fight Christ and the armies of heaven when they come to this earth? Revelation 19:19.
note: “ ‘The Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.’ Isaiah 26:21. ‘And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.’ Zechariah 14:12, 13. In the mad strife of their own fierce passions, and by the awful outpouring of God’s unmingled wrath, fall the wicked inhabitants of the earth—priests, rulers, and people, rich and poor, high and low. ‘And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried.’ Jeremiah 25:33.” The Great Controversy, 656, 657.
7 What other phrases are applied to this battle? Revelation 19:15, last part; 6:16, 17; 14:10; 16:19.
note: “The derisive jests have ceased. Lying lips are hushed into silence. The clash of arms, the tumult of battle, ‘with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood’ (Isaiah 9:5), is stilled. Nought now is heard but the voice of prayer and the sound of weeping and lamentation. The cry bursts forth from lips so lately scoffing: ‘The great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’ The wicked pray to be buried beneath the rocks of the mountains rather than meet the face of Him whom they have despised and rejected.” The Great Controversy, 642. [Emphasis supplied.]
“Now all have made their decisions; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. ‘The Lord hath a controversy with the nations;’ ‘He will give them that are wicked to the sword.’ ” Ibid., 656. [Emphasis supplied.]
8 Who are captured during this battle? What does the “King of kings” do with them? Revelation 19:20; 14:9, 10.
9 What Old Testament prophecy is now completely fulfilled? Ezekiel 9:1–6.
note: “The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.’ Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: ‘Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’ Says the prophet: ‘They began at the ancient men which were before the house.’ Ezekiel 9:1–6. The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people. The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.” The Great Controversy, 656.
10 What happens to the kings of the earth in this battle? Revelation 19:15, 17, 18, 21.
note: “ ‘And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?’ Revelation 6:15–17.” The Great Controversy, 642. [Emphasis supplied.]
11 What does the Bible call this battle of Revelation 19:19? Revelation 16:13, 14, 16.
12 What other event takes place during the Battle of Armageddon? 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
note: “Amid the reeling of the earth, the flash of lightning, and the roar of thunder, the voice of the Son of God calls forth the sleeping saints. He looks upon the graves of the righteous, then, raising His hands to heaven, He cries: ‘Awake, awake, awake, ye that sleep in the dust, and arise!’ Throughout the length and breadth of the earth the dead shall hear that voice, and they that hear shall live. And the whole earth shall ring with the tread of the exceeding great army of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From the prison house of death they come, clothed with immortal glory, crying: ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1 Corinthians 15:55. And the living righteous and the risen saints unite their voices in a long, glad shout of victory.” The Great Controversy, 644.
13 What wonderful, glorious event takes place next? 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51–57.
note: “The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers’ arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God.” The Great Controversy, 645.
14 When the battle is over, what happens to the great red dragon “that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan”? Revelation 20:1–3.
note: “In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels and the hosts of the redeemed the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. And as the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth, an uninhabited and dreary wilderness.
“The revelator foretells the banishment of Satan and the condition of chaos and desolation to which the earth is to be reduced, and he declares that this condition will exist for a thousand years. . . .
“Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years. Limited to the earth, he will not have access to other worlds to tempt and annoy those who have never fallen.” The Great Controversy, 658, 659.
15 Now that the Battle of Armageddon is over, what is the condition of the earth that remains? Isaiah 24:1, 3, 5, 6.
note: “The whole earth appears like a desolate wilderness. The ruins of cities and villages destroyed by the earthquake, uprooted trees, ragged rocks thrown out by the sea or torn out of the earth itself, are scattered over its surface, while vast caverns mark the spot where the mountains have been rent from their foundations.” The Great Controversy, 657.
lesson summary: “At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth—consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants.” The Great Controversy, 657.