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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 11: Our Prophetic Message *
Introduction: Do you remember when you had some special news or a
special story that others did not know? How exciting was it to share
that special story with others? Our study this week is about a very
special message that we have to share with others. The message has to
do with worship, faith and the final judgment. Let's wade into our
study of the Bible to learn more about this great news!
- First Angel
- Read Revelation 14:6. What is the audience for the message
of this angel? (Everyone, everywhere.)
- What do you believe is the "eternal gospel?" (Our God
became a human and lived with us. Our God, named
Jesus, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and
was resurrected to return to heaven. We accept Jesus'
sacrifice on our behalf through baptism. His life
becomes our life, His death is our death and His
resurrection is the promise of our resurrection to
- Let's see if our view of the gospel is the same as the
angel's message. Read Revelation 14:7. What significance
do you find in the "loud voice?" (This is supposed to be
- Let's start with the view that "fear God" means
exactly what it says because it introduces the idea
that the time of judgment has come. How do you
explain the "give Him glory" part of this message
about judgment? (This is the gospel - that we give
God glory because He took our place in the judgment.
When He died, we symbolically died. When He rose, we
symbolically rose. Could you ever stop praising
someone who died for you?)
- How would you reconcile the "fear God" instruction
with the "give Him glory" instruction? How do those
work together? (If you want to face judgment without
Jesus interceding for you, then you should fear
because you will die. The fantastic news is that we
have a way to avoid eternal death.)
- Notice the last sentence. We are told to worship the
Creator. Why does this have anything to do with
judgment or the gospel? (My study of the Bible has
taught me that God consistently pins His authority on
the fact that He is our Creator. Only one with
authority can judge. Only one with authority can
modify the rule of law. God tells us that He has the
authority to do all of this!)
- Let's step back a minute and look at the action. This
says a flying angel will give this message. I've
never seen an angel in my neighborhood loudly
shouting this message. What do you think this
reference to an "angel" means? (Adam Clarke's
commentary suggests that this could refer to a
special group of Christians whose goal is to promote
this gospel message.)
- Let's step back a second minute and consider the
message. What is at the heart of the angel's message?
(To fear God and worship God.)
- Fear is not something you can just grit your
teeth and do. What, as a practical matter, are
we being asked to do? (I think we are asked to
"obey." Whether fear means terror or giving
respect, the result would be a change in our
actions. Thus, obedience and worship are linked
in this angel's message.)
- Second Angel
- Read Revelation 14:8 and Isaiah 21:8-9. What do you think
is meant by Babylon? (In the Old Testament,
Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon was the enemy of God's people. If
you read 1 Peter 5:13, Peter seems to refer to the Roman
empire as "Babylon." Why? Because it, too, was the enemy
of God's people. Some of the older commentaries, such as
Barnes' Notes and Matthew Henry, point to both pagan and
Papal Rome as Babylon, no doubt because both were
persecuting powers. My view is that the constant feature
of Babylon is the power behind it - which is Satan. But,
the human, institutional "front" for Satan changes with
- What do you currently see as the main, human
institutional "front" for Satan? Let's look next at
some more characteristics of Babylon before we make
up our mind.
- Look again at Revelation 14:8. What activity helps to
identify Babylon? (It makes nations "drink the maddening
wine of her adulteries.")
- What do you think is meant by "adulteries" in this
context? (Unfaithfulness to God.)
- Why refer to this as "wine" which is "maddening"?
Why refer to it as "drink?" ("Maddening" means to
lose your proper sense of things. This power promotes
views against God that causes us to lose our proper
perspective on things.)
- In your experience, what has had the most power to
cause you to lose a right perspective on God? To make
you want to be unfaithful to Him?(All of the
candidates for Babylon that we discussed likely have
little or no influence in our life today. My vote for
the most negative institutional influence in my life
is entertainment media. Have you ever watched a movie
or read a book where you find yourself wanting a
murderer or adulterer to win? I feel like the "wine"
of this unfaithfulness to God is being poured over
- What is wrong with my suggestion that pagan
media is a current candidate for "Babylon?"
(Two things. First, Revelation 14:8 says it
"made all nations drink." I voluntarily read
and watch. Second, it seems odd to call pagan
media, among all the Babylons, the "Great" one.
We need to explore this further with the next
- What is the good news of Revelation 14:8 about the work of
Satan's institutional agents to make us unfaithful to God?
(They are fallen, defeated!)
- Third Angel
- Read Revelation 14:9. Let's stop right here. What is the
focus of the controversy? (Worship!)
- Think back to the message of the first angel. What
was it about? (Worship!)
- What should we conclude? (The message of the three
angels is about worship. Will you worship the Creator
or will you worship Babylon.)
- Does this help clarify what is meant by "Babylon the
Great?" (Yes. This is an institutional power whose
focus is worship.)
- Now let's add the rest of the sentence. Read Revelation
14:9-10. What kind of problem are Satan's agents, the
"beast and his image," creating? (The problem is worship
and receiving "his mark.")
- Context is very important here. Revelation 12:7-9 reveals
that the "dragon" is Satan. If you read Revelation 13, you
will see that the dragon gives power to at least a couple
of beasts. Read Revelation 13:12-17. What is the greatest
problem with this trinity of the dragon and the two
beasts? (Coercion when it comes to worship! Those who
refuse to worship the first beast are killed. Everyone is
forced to receive a beast mark on the right hand or the
- What is the beast mark? (The fact that it is on the
forehead (thinking) or the hand (doing) suggests that
some will agree with beast worship and some will
simply comply, even if they disagree.)
- Let's go back to the message of the third angel in
Revelation 14:9-10 and re-read it. What kind of problem do
the saints face? (The beast will kill them if they do not
accept the mark, and God will kill them if they do.)
- Does that seem unfair? (No. God is simply warning us
that at some time we will have to make a choice on
who we will worship. You can make the wrong choice by
agreeing with Satan, or just going along with Satan.
Either one is fatal.)
- Let's focus on the worship issue. What, again, is the
basis for God's claim to worship? Revelation 14:7 says
being our Creator. Read Exodus 20:8-11. What is God's
special worship instruction which is keyed to Him being
our Creator? (The Sabbath!)
- What does this suggest is the point on which worship
of God or worship of Satan turns? (The Sabbath - the
weekly memorial to Creation.)
- What else is important? (Recall the entire judgment
issue is about righteousness by faith. If your
Sabbath worship is not motivated by a desire to
praise God for saving you and defeating Satan, you
have missed the point.)
- Read Revelation 14:12. Wait a minute! Does this tell us
that keeping the commandments is the standard for the
judgment? (No! But, it does say that those who place their
faith in Jesus, those who worship Him, have holiness as
their goal. The rule of law is God's standard.)
- Friend, would you like to be on the right side of worship?
Would you like to share this end-time warning? Commit
right now to worship God every Sabbath and rely on His
righteousness alone for your salvation!
- Next week: The Cosmic Conflict Over God's Character.
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.