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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 63

The Great Dragon and His Angels

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 63
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Let’s pray together:
Our Father,

In our last section, we identified Your servants and the role they play in Bible prophecy.

Now, we need to know who are Your enemies, and therefore our enemies.

Please help us discover their aims and strategies, so that we may better prepare ourselves, to avoid becoming their victims.

In Jesus Christ our Savior we pray.

Amen.
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Revelation 12:3,9 Comments
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. (...)

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world.

He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The first servant of evil whom we will study is the great dragon, who is none other than Satan.

Where does Satan come from? What is his role in prophecy?

We will discover the answers to these questions in this lesson.
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Ezekiel 28:12-14 Comments
Thus said the Lord God;

«You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering. (...)

You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God.»
Let’s begin our search in this passage from the book of Ezekiel.

Here, God is speaking to a cherub, that is, a mighty angel, who was already living in the garden of Eden.

God had entrusted him with great responsibilities from the very beginning.

Who is this angel?
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Ezekiel 28:15-17 Comments
You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you.

By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the middle of you with violence, and you have sinned. (...)

Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness.
This angel called Lucifer, which means «Light Bearer», was created perfect.

Let’s note that God did not create a demon.

But, one day, for an inexplicable reason, Lucifer let pride seize him, and a mad ambition rushed to his mind: to take the place of God Himself!
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Isaiah 14:12-14 Comments
How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!

For you have said in your heart,

«I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.»
Lucifer began to covet God’s place.

As rebellion invaded his heart, he became Satan, a name which means «Adversary».

Then, gradually, He succeeded in turning a third of the angels against God.
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Revelation 12:7-9 Comments
And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Declaring open war on God, Satan was cast out from heaven, with the angels he had deceived.

But what happened to them on the earth?
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Isaiah 14:12 Comments
How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! In our lesson on the third trumpet, «The Great Star Fallen from Heaven», we have seen that Satan’s fall to the earth was not a blessing for men...
Luke 10:18
And [Jesus] said to them, «I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.»
Revelation 12:12
Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
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Genesis 3:1-5 Comments
[The serpent] said to the woman,

«Yes, has God said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?»

And the woman said to the serpent,

«We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”»

And the serpent said to the woman,

«You shall not surely die: for God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods.»
As soon as he reached earth, Satan undertook to deceive the human race.
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Genesis 3:6 Comments
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.

And she gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
Man’s happiness was closely linked to his obedience to God.

But God did not want a forced obedience: so He allowed man the freedom to follow the way he preferred. However, He seriously warned him about the consequences of his choices.

Alas! Satan deceived him in spite of that warning, and got him to disobey.
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Satan is always trying to hide the truth leading to salvation:
«But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.» (2 Corinthians 4:3,4)

«Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.» (1 Peter 5:8)

«I send you, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.» (Acts 26:17,18)

«The serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die.”» (Genesis 3:4)

«But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.» (2 Corinthians 11:3)
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John 8:44 Comments
You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.

He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Let’s remember that Satan promised Eve that, by disobeying God, she would not die but on the contrary she would become as a god.

The first couple chose to believe Satan.

And what were the consequences of such a choice for the whole human race?
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Genesis 3:22,23 Comments
And the Lord God said,

«(...) And now, lest [the man] put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever,» therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from where he was taken.
Stained by sin, that is transgression of the divine law, man lost the privilege of living in God’s presence.

And since God is the only source of life, man also lost the right to eternal life.
1 John 3:4
Sin is the transgression of the law.
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Isaiah 59:1,2 Comments
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.
Sin’s most serious consequence is the end of the intimate relationship that existed between God and man before the Fall.

Sin, by staining man, made him unable to bear God’s glory, and therefore to survive in His presence.
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Isaiah 1:4-6 Comments
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more.

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.
To choose sin also meant to choose suffering in all its forms: physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual.
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Job 2:7 Comments
So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to his crown. In addition to suffering all the effects of sin, men must also face the incessant attacks of Satan and his angels.
Luke 13:16
[Jesus said,] «And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, see, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?»
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Satan and his angels are behind a lot of diseases:
«There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.» (2 Corinthians 12:7)

«And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.» (Luke 13:11)

«They brought to [Jesus] many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick.» (Matthew 8:16)

«From [Paul’s] body were brought to the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.» (Acts 19:12)

«When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying to him, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you, come out of him, and enter no more into him!”» (Mark 9:25)
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Deuteronomy 32:4-6 Comments
[God] is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of His children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

Do you thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not He your Father that has bought you?
God is our Creator, our Father, and our Friend.

If everything in the world is going so wrong, we cannot and must not blame Him for this sad situation.
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Proverbs 19:3 Comments
The foolishness of man perverts his way: and his heart frets against the Lord. Satan is really wily: not only did he plunge mankind into a world of darkness, suffering and death, but he also succeeded in making millions of people believe that God, rather than he, is responsible for their affliction and misfortunes.
Job 34:12
Yes, surely God will not do wickedly.
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Revelation 12:4,13,17 Comments
The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her Child as soon as He was born. (...)

And when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the Man Child. (...)

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Our lesson «The Pure Woman» showed us how Satan tried to destroy first Jesus, and then the Church proclaiming the gospel.

And now, as the second coming of Jesus draws near, Satan tries to destroy the remnant of this faithful Church.
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Revelation 13:2,4 Comments
The beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion.

And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (...)

[All the world] worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast.
In future lessons, we will see how Satan uses political and religious powers, not only to attack the Church of God, but also to lead men to perdition.

Among all his snares and deceptions, he has a very effective weapon...
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Leviticus 19:31 [NKJV] Comments
Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. Spiritualism, that is, trying to communicate with the dead, a practice which God positively forbids, is one of Satan’s favorite weapons.

Why?
Leviticus 20:6 [NKJV]
And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.
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Psalm 115:17 Comments
The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence. The Bible is very clear: when a man dies, he falls into a state of total unconsciousness, comparable to a sleep, until the day of his resurrection.

Since he cannot hear us, it is useless to try to communicate with him.

So, what happens when we try, in spite of God’s warnings, to communicate with the dead?
Ecclesiastes 9:5,10
The dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (...)

There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
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1 Corinthians 10:20 Comments
I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. Believing that it is possible to communicate with the dead makes men very vulnerable to the dragon’s deceptions.

In fact, Satan and his angels can easily imitate a deceased person, and then pass on a message which will bring people along the path leading to death and loss.
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
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1 Timothy 4:1 Comments
Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. As the end of the world draws very near, Satan will redouble his efforts to deceive as many people as possible.

Spiritualism and occultism (astrology, clairvoyance, divination, etc.) are some of his most destructive weapons.
Matthew 24:4
Jesus answered and said to [His disciples],

«Take heed that no man deceive you.»
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Satan’s deceptions, before the return of Jesus, will be very powerful:
«And then shall that Wicked be revealed, (...) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.» (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10)

«And the sixth angel poured out his vial on the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great Day of God Almighty.» (Revelation 16:12-14)
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Ephesians 6:11,14-17 Comments
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (...)

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Only God’s whole armor (the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God) will give us the victory over Satan and his wiles.
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1 John 4:8 Comments
God is love. As this lesson is drawing to its close, you may ask yourself, «Why didn’t God destroy Satan from the beginning, to avoid the entry of sin into the world?»

The answer is simple: because the basis of God’s government is love.

If God had destroyed Satan immediately, His creation would then have served Him out of fear. So God chose to allow everyone the time to measure the consequences of Satan’s rebellion.

Fortunately, the experiment will soon come to a conclusion...
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Romans 16:20 Comments
The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The experiment is conclusive: sin results only in desolation, suffering and death.

So it is with the whole Universe’s consent that God will soon destroy every trace of sin, as well as Satan and his angels.

This will have been a painful experience for all of us, especially for God, but necessary in order to make sure that evil will not appear a second time.
Nahum 1:9
Affliction shall not rise up the second time.
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Ezekiel 28:17-19 Comments
Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. (...)

Therefore will I bring forth a fire from the middle of you, it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all them that behold you.

All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.
But is it possible to destroy Satan? Some people teach that, since Satan is an angel, God will not be able to destroy him.

Yet, the Word of God tells us the exact opposite: Satan will really be destroyed at the end of time.

Let’s look at some passages of Scripture which confirm this.
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Satan, the great dragon, will be destroyed at the end of times:
«(...) that through death [Jesus] might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.» (Hebrews 2:14)

«The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.» (Romans 16:20)

«In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.» (Isaiah 27:1)

[Note: In the previous verse, «Leviathan the serpent» and «the dragon» both designate Satan: «The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world.» (Revelation 12:9)]
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1 Peter 5:8 Comments
Be sober, be vigilant.

Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.
God is not our enemy, and Satan is not our friend.

Satan knows that he has a very short time, and his only goal is to lead as many as possible to perdition.

We can be sure of this: he has a specially designed trap to spring on each one of us, a trap aimed at our own individual weaknesses, which is able to keep us away from God until it is too late.

If we do not discern this, Satan will definitely overcome us.
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Ezekiel 18:23,32 Comments
«Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?» said the Lord God, «and not that he should return from his ways, and live?» (...)

«For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies,» said the Lord God, «why turn yourselves, and live you!»
God sincerely deplores man’s choice to believe Satan’s lies rather than follow the path He showed him, leading to eternal life.

But God still loves each one of us, and still invites us today to accept His offer of salvation in Jesus Christ, so that we may find the path leading to eternal life.
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Let’s pray together:
Father,

We cannot by ourselves overcome the powerful enemies Satan and his angels are.

But it is written, «[Satan] was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (...) The accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.» (Revelation 12:9-11).

May the victory of Jesus, the Lamb of God, over Satan, the great dragon, also be ours.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord, we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 63 - Test The test of Lesson 63 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Header Picture: PROVONSHA, Clyde. Unknown source. Screen 1: In: «Photo Gallery 5,000 volume 2» by Media Graphics International, 86_131.JPG. Screen 2: BISHOP, Tom. «Woman and dragon of Revelation 12». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #40. Screen 3: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM091.BMP. Screen 4: PROVONSHA, Clyde. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.254. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 5: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #3 («Le Vilain du Drame de l’Apocalypse»), p.3. Screen 6: 1. In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.181. 2. STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.428. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 7: DORE, Gustave. «Satan Falling». In: «Angels: An Endangered Species» (GODWIN, Malcolm), Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990, p.91. Screen 8: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (August 1, 1986), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Screen 9: MUSIO, Nino. In: «Illustrated Bible Stories for Children» (HUGHES, Ray), Joshua Morris Publishing, 1988, p.15. Screen 10: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (April 1, 1994), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, pp.16,17. Screen 11: In: «The Bible for Children - Retold by Bridget Hadaway & Jean Atcheson», London, Octopus Books Limited, 1973, pp.12,13. Screen 12: DORÉ, Gustave. In: «La Bible de Gustave Doré», Lausanne, Edita, 1994, p.9. Screen 13: LEE, M. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.43. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 14: Photo by Publiphoto. In: «L’Omnipraticien» journal (unknown date). Screen 15: BLAKE, William. «Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils» (1826). In: «Angels: An Endangered Species» (GODWIN, Malcolm), Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990, p.87. Screen 16: DORE, Gustave. In: «La Bible de Gustave Doré», Lausanne, Edita, 1994, p.291. Screen 17: RAPHAEL. «The Vision of Ezekiel», Pitti Palace, Florence. In: «Great Bible Stories and Master Paintings» (RACHLEFF, Owen S.), New York, Abradale Press Publishers, p.221. Screen 18: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (September 15, 1994), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Screen 19: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM213.BMP. Screen 20: In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (March 1995), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.7. Screen 21: In: «Vous pouvez vivre éternellement sur une terre qui deviendra un paradis», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, p.91. Screen 22: Picture from the Web site: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9608/17/cyprus.pm/funeral.lrg.jpg Screen 23: Picture from the Web site: http://www.stetson.edu/departments/csata/fotos/ihh_5.jpg Screen 24: Photo by Betty Blue/Enrique Fuentealba. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (November 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.2. Screen 25: BURTNETT, Jim. In: «Unmasking the Spirits» (WHELPLEY, Theresa A.), front cover. Used by permission. Copyright ©1977 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 26: HARLAN, Russell. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.152. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 27: STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.440. Screen 28: Raphael. «Saint Michael» (1505), Musée du Louvre, Paris. In: «Revelations - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.108. Screen 29: In: «Vivez éternellement heureux sur la terre!», Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, picture number 44. Screen 30: DORE, Gustave. In: «La Bible de Gustave Doré», Lausanne, Edita, 1994, p.201. Screen 31: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (February 1, 1986), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Screen 32: GREENE, Nathan. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (August 1989), Pacific Press Publishing Association, pp.16,17. Screen 33: In: «Photo Gallery 5,000 volume 2» by Media Graphics International, PHOTO134.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 63 - Test The test of Lesson 63 is waiting for you!