Sabbath, May 17, 2014
“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:26, 27.
“Glorious will be the deliverance of those who have patiently waited for His coming and whose names are written in the book of life.” –The Great Controversy, p. 634.
The seventh angel pours out his cup
1. What great voice sounds from the temple in heaven when the seventh angel empties his cup? While this voice is heard in heaven, what will happen on earth?
Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
“We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle.” –Maranatha, p. 257.
“It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His people. The sun appears, shining in its strength. Signs and wonders follow in quick succession. The wicked look with terror and amazement upon the scene, while the righteous behold with solemn joy the tokens of their deliverance. Everything in nature seems turned out of its course. The streams cease to flow. Dark, heavy clouds come up, and clash against each other. In the midst of the angry heavens is one clear space of indescribable glory, whence comes the voice of God like the sound of many waters, saying, ‘It is done.’ Revelation 16:17.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 182.
Events in nature
2. What will happen on the earth during the seventh plague?
Revelation 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
“Cities and villages, shaken down by the earthquake, lay in heaps. Mountains had been moved out of their places, leaving large caverns. Ragged rocks, thrown out by the sea, or torn out of the earth itself, were scattered all over its surface. Large trees had been uprooted and were strewn over the land. “ –Early Writings, p. 290.
3. Centuries ago, who spoke of these events occurring in both the heavens and the earth?
Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.
Isaiah 24:20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
Joel 3:16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
“That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, ‘such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.’ Revelation 16:17, 18. The firmament appears to open and shut.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 636, 637.
“He whose voice then shook the earth has declared, ‘Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.’ Hebrews 12:26. Says the Scripture, ‘The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation;’ ‘and the heavens and the earth shall shake.’ Jeremiah 25:30; Joel 3:16. In that great coming day, the heaven itself shall depart ‘as a scroll when it is rolled together.’ Revelation 6:14. And every mountain and island shall be moved out of its place. ‘The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.’ Isaiah 24:20.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 340.
Babylon receives the cup of God’s wrath
4. On whom will God’s wrath fall without mercy?
Revelation 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
“The glory from the throne of God seems flashing through. The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear. The seaports that have become like Sodom for wickedness are swallowed up by the angry waters. Babylon the great has come in remembrance before God, ‘to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.’ ” –The Great Controversy, p. 637.
5. With what destructive force will the seven plagues end?
Revelation 16:20, 21 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
“The revelator describes the destruction that is to take place when the ‘great voice out of the temple of heaven’ announces, ‘It is done.’ He says, ‘There fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent.’ Revelation 16:17, 21.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 509.
“Great hailstones, every one ‘about the weight of a talent,’ are doing their work of destruction. Verses 19, 21. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low. The lordly palaces, upon which the world’s great men have lavished their wealth in order to glorify themselves, are crumbling to ruin before their eyes. Prison walls are rent asunder, and God’s people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free.” –The Great Controversy, p. 636.
Fear and anticipation
6. What state of mind will then come upon earth’s inhabitants?
Haggai 2:7, first part And I will shake all nations,…
Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
“John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation. He saw the sea and the waves roaring, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. He beheld the earth moved, and the mountains carried into the midst of the sea (which is literally taking place), the water thereof roaring and troubled, and the mountains shaking with the swelling thereof. He was shown plagues, pestilence, famine, and death performing their terrible mission.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 445, 446.
7. What will God the Father declare to the wicked?
Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.
Psalm 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
“While these words of holy trust ascend to God, the clouds sweep back, and the starry heavens are seen, unspeakably glorious in contrast with the black and angry firmament on either side…. Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet: ‘The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.’ Psalm 50:6. That holy law, God’s righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. The words are so plain that all can read them. Memory is aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy is swept from every mind, and God’s ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, are presented to the view of all the inhabitants of the earth.” –The Great Controversy, p. 639.
Psalm 7:11; Isaiah 33:14; Job 40:11, 12; Psalms 94:2; 119:21.
“The transgression of God’s law in a single instance, in the smallest particular, is sin. And the non-execution of the penalty of that sin would be a crime in the divine administration. God is a judge, the avenger of justice, which is the habitation and foundation of His throne. He cannot dispense with His law, He cannot do away with its smallest item in order to meet and pardon sin. The rectitude and justice and moral excellence of the law must be maintained and vindicated before the heavenly universe and the worlds unfallen.” –(Manuscript 145, December 30, 1897) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 951; The Upward Look, p. 378.
“But amid the tempest of divine judgment the children of God will have no cause for fear. ‘The Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.’ Joel 3:16. The day that brings terror and destruction to the transgressors of God’s law will bring to the obedient ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ ” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 341.