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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 99

«The Hour of His Judgment Is Come!»
 

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Let’s ask God to help us:

Father,

We now understand the importance of the three angels’ message, since it is Your final call to this world before the return of Jesus.

Please allow us today to probe the message of the first angel, and, with the guidance of Your Spirit, to grasp its impact in our lives.

In Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord we pray.

Amen.




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Revelation 14:6

And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

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In our last lesson, we learned that God, out of His immense love for us, made sure to pass on a special message to the inhabitants of the earth living in the last days of this world’s history.

This message is contained in Revelation chapter 14, and is made up of three parts.

Today, we will study the first part of this final warning.




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Revelation 14:6,7

And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, (...) saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.»

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The message of the first angel is short. In fact, this single verse holds its entire content.

But if we study it more closely, we will discover that this message is much richer than it seems at first sight...




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Revelation 14:7

[The angel was] saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God (...).»

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1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment.

He that fears is not made perfect in love.

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First, each inhabitant of the earth is called to fear God.

This fear is not of the kind described in the second verse, synonymous with anguish, distress and dread.

This fear is, rather, the expression of deep respect towards our Almighty God.




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1 Samuel 12:24

Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart.

For consider how great things He has done for you.

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Psalm 130:3,4

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.

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The fear of God, that is, the deep respect we must pay to Him, is justified, among other things, by the fact that He is almighty and that He is the only One who can forgive our sins.




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Job 1:1

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job.

And that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

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Job 28:28

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

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The main way to demonstrate our respectful fear towards God is to depart from evil, and to follow God’s will as expressed in His Ten Commandments.

The Bible confirms this truth many times...




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The fear of God is expressed through obedience to His commandments:

«Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him.» (Deuteronomy 8:6)

«You shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him, and join to Him.» (Deuteronomy 13:4)

«(...) that you might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, you, and your son, and your son’s son, all the days of your life; and that your days may be prolonged.» (Deuteronomy 6:2)

«They are not humbled even to this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in My law, nor in My statutes, that I set before you.» (Jeremiah 44:10)

«Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.» (Ecclesiastes 12:13)




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Deuteronomy 6:24

And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

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Deuteronomy 5:29

O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

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God asks us to fear Him by putting all His commandments into practice, because He knows that this is the only way leading to happiness.




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Revelation 14:7

[The angel was] saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God, and give glory to Him.»

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Revelation 19:5,7 [NKJV]

Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great! (...)

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.

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In addition to fearing God, the first angel calls us to give glory to Him.

The second passage shows that the association between the fear of God and giving Him glory indicates the closeness of His eternal kingdom.




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«Fearing God and giving Him glory» announces our imminent deliverance:

«“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn from transgression in Jacob,” said the Lord.» (Isaiah 59:19,20)

«Therefore shall the strong people glorify You, the city of the terrible nations shall fear You. For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.» (Isaiah 25:3,4)

«Surely His salvation is near them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land.» (Psalm 85:9)




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John 17:4

I have glorified You on the earth.

I have finished the work which You gave Me to do.

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Psalm 50:23

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me.

And to him that orders his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.

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How can we give glory to God?

Jesus’ answer is very simple: by finishing the work that God has given us to do.

Conscientious work in God’s harvest, motivated by love, is the best way to glorify our Savior and Lord.




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1 Corinthians 6:20

For you are bought with a price.

Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

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1 Corinthians 10:31

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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By watching over our deeds, words, and even our thoughts, in order to always keep them in harmony with God’s will, we give glory to God continuously, and thus we obey the message of the first angel.




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2 Corinthians 3:18

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

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2 Timothy 4:18

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me to His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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By giving glory to God in this way, we will be transformed into His image, and we will reflect His glory more and more in our lives.




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1 Peter 2:12

(...) having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

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2 Corinthians 4:15

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

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Our good works, performed for the glory of God, will quickly have a multiplying effect, bringing others to give glory to God in turn.




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Revelation 14:7

[The angel was] saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.»

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James 2:12

So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

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Now, why must we fear God and give glory to Him? «For the hour of His judgment is come.»

Indeed, at present, the case of each believer is being judged in the heavenly sanctuary, in order to determine the genuineness of each conversion.

And the supreme basis of this judgment is God’s law.




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Exodus 32:32,33

«Yet now, if You will forgive their sin - and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your Book which You have written.»

And the Lord said to Moses, «Whoever has sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My Book.»

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Revelation 3:5

He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.

And I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels.

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Since 1844, the judgment of the believers has caused the names of those who aren’t really converted to be blotted out from the Lamb’s Book of Life.




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This parallel shows that the 3 angels’ message coincides with the judgment




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Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment.

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Psalm 119:120,121

My flesh trembles for fear of You; and I am afraid of Your judgments.

I have done judgment and justice.

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Other passages in the Scriptures confirm that the fear of God, obedience to His commandments, and the coming of His judgment, are closely linked.

But the message of the first angel, which has been preached since 1844, points out additional information: the hour of God’s judgment has now come.




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Revelation 15:4-6

«Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy: for all nations shall come and worship before You; for Your judgments are made manifest.»

And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.

And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues.

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Just like Revelation 14, the very next chapter combines the fear of God, His glorification, and His judgment.

But this judgment, which had come in Revelation 14, is now «manifest»: the seven plagues of God’s wrath will then strike all whose name doesn’t appear in the Book of Life.




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Ezekiel 28:22

Thus said the Lord God,

«Behold, I am against you, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the middle of you: and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.»

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Ezekiel 39:21

I will set My glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see My judgment that I have executed, and My hand that I have laid on them.

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After having blotted out from the Book of Life the untrue converts’ names, God will execute His judgments against those who didn’t give Him glory.




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Revelation 14:7

[The angel was] saying with a loud voice,

«Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.»

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Finally, the message of the first angel invites each inhabitant of the earth to worship the Creator.

This call, which has been preached since 1844, arrived at just the right moment: only 15 years later, in 1859, Charles Darwin introduced his essay «On the Origin of Species».

This essay laid the foundations of the theory of evolution, according to which the Universe has not been created, but is instead the result of chance.




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Romans 1:20,21

For the invisible things of Him from the Creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

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Anyone who does not recognize the Creator God is thus unable to give Him glory.

This person then becomes easy prey for the powers of darkness.




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Romans 1:22-25

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.

Why God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.

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God deplores the fact that men don’t recognize Him as their Creator anymore.

But, respecting their freedom of choice, He can only let them bear the consequences of this choice.




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Revelation 4:11

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power.

For You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.

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On the other hand, the believer who recognizes God as his Creator pays Him honor and respect, and is then really able to give Him glory.

This way, the believer obeys the entire message of the first angel.




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Psalm 146:5,6

Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is.

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Psalm 124:8

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

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We must also recognize God as our Creator so that He may be our help and hope during the difficult times which are soon coming.




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1 Peter 4:16,17,19

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (...)

Why let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as to a faithful Creator.

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Recognizing God as our Creator is also linked with giving glory to Him, and with the announcement of the judgment that «must begin at the house of God».




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Psalm 51:9,10

Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

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2 Corinthians 5:17,18

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.

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To recognize that God is the Creator is not enough.

We must also experience His creative power which can restore us in His image.




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Nehemiah 9:5,6,14

Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise!

You, even You, are Lord alone; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein. (...)

And [You] made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes, and laws.

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Recognizing the Creator God and giving Him glory are also linked with obedience to His commandments.

And among them, one commandment is brought out in a special way: the observance of the Sabbath day.




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Exodus 20:8,11

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (...)

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

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Revelation 14:7

Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

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Let’s note that the message of the first angel clearly refers to the fourth commandment about the Sabbath, since it uses the very same words.




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Revelation 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

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Many times we have seen the importance of the Ten Commandments, including the fourth one which requires the observance of the Sabbath.

God’s commandments will play a crucial role in the last days, and the message of the first angel already indicates this.

In fact, the conclusion of the three angels’ message, contained in this verse, is straightforward about the importance, for each one of us, of obeying all the commandments of God.




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Proverbs 2:1-5

If you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you; so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; then shall you understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

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How can we apply the message of the first angel in our lives?

The Bible answers: by finding the knowledge of God.

In fact, the more we come to know God, the more we will honor, respect, and fear Him.




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The knowledge of God also helps us to better give Him glory:

«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, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.» (Philippians 1:9-11)

«His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue.» (2 Peter 1:3)

«For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.» (2 Corinthians 4:6)

«Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever.» (2 Peter 3:18)




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John 17:3

And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

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1 John 5:20

And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.

This is the true God, and eternal life.

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The knowledge of God allows us to better appreciate His infinite love, expressed through Jesus Christ, and to serve Him with still more joy.




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Hosea 6:3

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.

His going forth is prepared as the morning.

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Let’s all seek to better know our God, so that we may be increasingly able to apply the message of the first angel in our lives.

And this is all the more important since «His going forth is prepared as the morning.»




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Let’s thank God:

Father,

It is written, «For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others.» (2 Corinthians 5:10,11 [NRSV]).

Please help us to apply the message of the first angel in our lives, and also to announce the coming of Your judgment, in order to «persuade others» to accept Your call to salvation.

In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


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