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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 79

The Time of Jacob’s Trouble

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 79
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Let’s ask God to help us:
Lord,

Your prophetic Word has shown that the period of probation You have granted us, so that we may accept Your offer of salvation in Jesus, will very soon come to an end.

Today, we wish to know what will happen after the close of probation, during this period which will lead to the Second Coming of Jesus.

Please open our hearts and minds to Your valuable teachings. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Picture 2 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 79
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Revelation 16:1 Comments
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels,

«Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God on the earth.»
In our last lesson, we have seen that, when everyone has received either the seal of God or the mark of the beast, God will put an end to the period of probation granted to mankind.

After a short delay, whose exact length is unknown, the seven last plagues contained in the seven vials God’s wrath (which we will study in detail in future lessons) will be poured out on unrepentant men.
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Revelation 16:8,9 Comments
And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues.

And they repented not to give Him glory.
Deprived of the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit, those who did not receive the seal of God will no longer be able to find the path of repentance.

This is why, when the seven last plagues strike them, they won’t examine their conscience, nor admit any personal liability for the coming of these calamities. They will actually curse God.
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Revelation 16:2,3 Comments
The first [angel] went, and poured out his vial on the earth.

And there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image.

And the second angel poured out his vial on the sea.

And it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
After the first two plagues, the rage of the rebellious men will already have reached an unprecedented level, as we will see in detail in future lessons.

Then they will be fully set up for the last and most powerful deception of Satan...
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2 Thessalonians 2:9,10 Comments
[The Wicked’s] 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. With a dazzling spectacle, Satan will imitate the return of Jesus.

Introducing himself as Christ coming down from heaven, he will walk among men, speak like Jesus, and perform powerful miracles, easily deceiving all those who «received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.»
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2 Thessalonians 2:11,12 Comments
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. If all these unrepentant people had obeyed God, and studied what His Word teaches about the second coming of Jesus (as we will do in our next lesson), they would not have been deceived by this counterfeit performance of Satan.

Unfortunately, probation being closed at that time, and God’s Spirit no longer working in their hearts, they will be filled with «strong delusion».
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Matthew 24:23-25 Comments
Then if any man shall say to you, «See, here is Christ!», or «There!», believe it not.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Behold, I have told you before.
Many times, the Word of God warns us against Satan’s dangerous counterfeits.

Yet, in spite of all these warnings, Satan, the angel of light, will succeed in deceiving all the unrepentant men.
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
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Revelation 14:9,10 Comments
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. Satan knows that the plagues will fall to punish the apostasy of those who have rejected God and His commandments, and thus have received the mark of the beast.

But, of course, Satan will avoid telling men the truth...
Revelation 16:2
The first [angel] went, and poured out his vial on the earth.

And there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image.
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Revelation 13:15-17 Comments
[The beast coming up out of the earth] had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.
Still imitating Jesus, Satan will tell men that God is sending these plagues to punish those who still refuse to recognize Sunday as the day of rest.

He will maintain that the plagues will continue to fall until all the inhabitants of the earth, without exception, observe that day of rest.
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Revelation 13:15 Comments
[The beast coming up out of the earth] had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. The nations, headed by the United States, will already be working to make everyone recognize the authority of «the image of the beast», that is, the religio-political coalition in the image of the papal system.

But this statement of Satan will lead them to take a step forward.

They will then issue a death decree against all those who keep the commandments of God, including the fourth one which requires the observance of the Sabbath.
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1 Kings 18:17,18 Comments
And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him,

«Are you he that troubles Israel?»

And he answered,

«I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father’s house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and you have followed Baalim.»
This situation will be an exact reproduction of the experience of the prophet Elijah, who was regarded as being responsible for the upheavals shaking Israel, although the trouble was, in fact, due to the apostasy of the king, who had abandoned the commandments of God and turned to pagan gods.
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Daniel 11:44,45 Comments
Tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble [the king of the North].

Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the Glorious Holy Mountain.
The prophecy of Daniel chapter 11 speaks of this death decree, issued after receiving troublesome news.

This decree, coming from the murderous madness of «the king of the North», that is, the Papacy and its religious coalition, will be aimed at «many» people and «the Glorious Holy Mountain».
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Revelation 17:13,14 Comments
[The ten kings] have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.

These shall make war with the Lamb.
On Satan’s orders, the nations, led by the United States, and the religious coalition, led by the Papacy, will attack the people of God.
Psalm 94:20,21
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with you, which frames mischief by a law?

They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
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Esther 3:8,9 Comments
And Haman said to king Ahasuerus,

«There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom.

And their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws.

Therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed.»
The book of Esther describes a similar situation, in which the Jewish people had to face a death decree, because they were keeping the commandments of God, that is, «laws diverse from all people.»
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Esther 4:3 Comments
And in every province, wherever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing.

And many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
This death decree plunged the Jews into great distress.

These people were already vulnerable, since they were «scattered abroad and dispersed among the people» (Esther 3:8).

This intense distress of the Jewish people helps us to understand what the people of God will experience in the last days, when the death decree is issued, on the orders of Satan impersonating Christ.
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Matthew 24:21,22 Comments
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
So, these passages don’t describe only the distress of the nations, but the distress of God’s people too...
Daniel 12:1
And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.

And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book.
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Jeremiah 30:4-7 Comments
And these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus said the Lord;

«We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. (...) Why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it.

It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.»
The prophetic Word describes this distress of God’s people, before the return of Jesus, as «the time of Jacob’s trouble», from which we get the title of this lesson.

Now, what does this expression mean?
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Genesis 32:3,6,7 Comments
Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother. (...)

And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying,

«We came to your brother Esau, and also he comes to meet you, and four hundred men with him.»

Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed.
As Jacob was just about to meet his brother Esau, whose birthright he had usurped a few years before, he dreaded that Esau might still be prompted by hatred towards him.

The news brought by his messengers only tended to confirm his fears, plunging him into great distress and trouble.
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Genesis 32:9-11 Comments
And Jacob said,

«O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, (...) I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which You have showed to Your servant. (...)

Deliver me, I pray You, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.»
In his distress, Jacob cried out to God, asking Him to save him and his family from the attack of Esau and his troops.

As Jacob was praying in the darkness of the night, a strange event happened...
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Genesis 32:24,26-28,30 Comments
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day. (...)

And He said, «Let Me go, for the day breaks.» And he said, «I will not let You go, except You bless me.»

And He said to him, «What is your name?» And he said, «Jacob.» And He said, «Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed.» (...)

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: «For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.»
That night, God put Jacob to the test, and Jacob struggled with Him until God recognized his perseverance, and granted him deliverance.
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Psalm 25:17-19,22 Comments
The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring You me out of my distresses!

Look on my affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Consider my enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. (...)

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
The trouble of spiritual Israel, God’s people, at the end of times, will call to mind that of Jacob.

But let’s carefully note the words used in the prayer of the troubled soul: his distress is not caused only by the threat of many enemies, but also by the feeling that some sins still remain unforgiven.
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Psalm 25:7,10 Comments
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions.

According to Your mercy remember You me for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. (...)

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
At that time, Jesus will have ceased His intercession in the heavenly sanctuary, and will be coming to gather His people.

Deprived of a mediator, each believer will go through terrible distress, wondering if he has forgotten to repent and ask God’s forgiveness for each of his sins.
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Job 4:13-17 [NRSV] Comments
When deep sleep falls on mortals, dread came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones shake.

A spirit glided past my face; the hair of my flesh bristled.

It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; there was silence, then I heard a voice,

«Can mortals be righteous before God? Can human beings be pure before their Maker?»
Satan will take advantage of this distress to try to discourage the believer, suggesting that some of his sins still remain unforgiven, and that these unforgiven sins will deprive him of salvation.
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Zechariah 3:1 [NRSV] Comments
Then he showed me the high priest Joshua standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. With the passing centuries, Satan has become an expert in the art of discouraging the believer, of making him believe that his spiritual condition is hopeless before God.

But the Bible has an antidote against this poison...
Revelation 12:10
For the accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
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Zechariah 3:1,4 Comments
And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. (...)

And to [Joshua] He said, «Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with change of raiment.»
The very verses following the previous two passages clearly show that the believer who is clothed with Jesus’ robe of righteousness, and who remains in Him, will be saved.
Revelation 12:10,11
For 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, and by the word of their testimony.
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1 John 1:9 Comments
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, in preparation for this time of Jacob’s trouble, each believer must from now on confess each day his sins to God, and, if possible, put right the harm done to others through these sins.
1 John 2:1
My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not.

And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
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Then, we must let the Holy Spirit work within us to sanctify us:
«And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.» (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

«[God] shall also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ.» (1 Corinthians 1:8)

«(...) that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.» (Philippians 2:15)

«And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the Day of Christ.» (Philippians 1:9,10)
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Isaiah 33:15,16 Comments
He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from holding of bribes, that stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high.

His place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
Maintaining a close relationship with God, marked by obedience to His will, provides us with the best possible preparation for going through the time of Jacob’s trouble.
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Revelation 22:11 Comments
He which is filthy, let him be filthy still.

And he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
The strong relationship which the believer develops with God, before the close of probation, will enable him to remain steadfast and confident during this time of trouble, continuously remembering God’s promises.
John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
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Psalm 25:7,10 Comments
Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions.

According to Your mercy remember You me for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord. (...)

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
Confronted with Satan’s insinuations, the believer will then be able to rely firmly on God’s «mercy and truth», revealed towards those who «keep His covenant and His testimonies», having accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and having let the Holy Spirit sanctify his whole being.
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Revelation 16:12,15 Comments
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. (...)

«Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.»
This message of perseverance is here strengthened by Jesus Himself, as the vials are poured out on the earth.

He reminds His people, who are in distress, that they must watch and stand firm for a short time yet, because He is just about to return, with all His angels, to save them.
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Jeremiah 30:7,10 Comments
«Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it.

It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.» (...)

«Therefore fear you not, O My servant Jacob,» said the Lord; «neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, see, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity.

And Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.»
Just like Jacob, who was called Israel after his victory, spiritual Israel (God’s people) will come out victorious of this trial, and will be delivered by Jesus Christ.
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When He returns, Jesus will deliver us and give us eternal life:
«At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the Book.» (Daniel 12:1)

«For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land. (...) You shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, “How has the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!” (...) The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing.» (Isaiah 14:1,4,7)

«And, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.» (Matthew 28:20)
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Let’s pray together:
Father,

The apostle Paul wrote, «For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.» (Romans 8:38,39).

Please help us build a close and firm relationship with You, and please work within our hearts through Your Spirit, so that we may have Paul’s confidence and assurance, which we will need to go through the time of Jacob’s trouble.

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

Amen.
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Lesson 79 - Test The test of Lesson 79 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, C0000683.JPG. Screen 2: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.218. Screen 3: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (September 15, 1994), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.16. Screen 4: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.222. Screen 5: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #6 («Le Glorieux Enlèvement selon l’Apocalypse»), p.4. Screen 6: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (February 1, 1990), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.3. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 7: In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (March 1995), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.7. Screen 8: Unknown source. Screen 9: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.195. Screen 10: CONVERSE, James. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.501. Screen 11: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 5» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.27. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 12: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.184. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 13: In: «Vous pouvez vivre éternellement sur une terre qui deviendra un paradis», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, p.29. Screen 14: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.140. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 15: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.144. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 16: In: «Vivez éternellement heureux sur la terre!», Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, picture number 28. Screen 17: Photo by Publiphoto. In: «L’Omnipraticien» journal (unknown date). Screen 18: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 4» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.33. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 19: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (May 15, 1991), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.21. Screen 20: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «The Bible Story, volume 2» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.34. Used by permission. Copyright ©1954, 1982 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 21: CONVERSE, James. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.542. Screen 22: THORKELSON, Gregg. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (July 1999), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.31. Screen 23: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (December 1, 1991), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.9. Screen 24: CONVERSE, James. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.524. Screen 25: In: «Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Pacific Press Publishing Association, First Quarter, 2000, front cover. Screen 26: RUIZ, Eduardo. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (April 1995), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.8. Screen 27: JUSTINEN, Lars. In: «Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Pacific Press Publishing Association, Third Quarter, 1995, front cover. Screen 28: HARLAN, Russell. In: «Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories, volume 3» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), pp.172,173. Used by permission. Copyright ©1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1976 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 29: ANDERSON, Harry. In: Bible study guide «Les Sentiers de la Foi» (GERBER, Charles), Lesson #23 «Jésus-Christ dans les Evangiles», p.1. Screen 30: JUSTINEN, Lars. In: «Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Pacific Press Publishing Association, Second Quarter, 1997, front cover. Screen 31: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM140.BMP. Screen 32: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #22 («Daniel’s people delivered»), p.1. Screen 33: PROVONSHA, Clyde N. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.333. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 34: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #16, PVK00165.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 79 - Test The test of Lesson 79 is waiting for you!