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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 23

Christ’s Hopeful Promise

Picture 1 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Let’s pray together:
Lord Almighty,

We are about to begin one of the most important lessons of this Bible course, which will reveal the reason for the glorious hope that animated the writers of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

May this hope also become ours, this is our prayer in Jesus Christ.

Amen.
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Picture 2 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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John 14:1-3 Comments
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
When Jesus told His disciples that He would depart soon, they were grieved very much.

However, Jesus gave them this incredible promise: one day, He will come a second time to gather His people!
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Picture 3 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Numbers 23:19 Comments
God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?
Indeed, as we have studied in the lesson «God’s Solution», Christ’s first coming happened exactly as foretold by the Old Testament prophets.

We can understand why the disciples never doubted the promise of their Master: the second coming of Jesus is as sure as the first one!
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Picture 4 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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The message of the Bible in three points
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Picture 5 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Luke 17:24,25 Comments
For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven, so shall also the Son of man be in His day.

But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
The Old Testament contains prophecies about Christ’s first coming, marked by His sufferings and His death, but also other prophecies about His second coming, marked by His glorious appearance.

The Jews did not understand this distinction, believing that at His first coming, Christ would free them from the Roman yoke. This partly explains why they rejected Him.
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Picture 6 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Job’s testimony:
Job 19:25,26
Comments
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day on the earth.

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.
First of all, let’s study the testimony of some great Old Testament figures about the end of the world and Christ’s second coming.

Here we see Job, overwhelmed by sickness, after having lost all his family and his wealth.

His only hope was the resurrection on the last day, at the glorious return of his Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
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Picture 7 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Enoch’s testimony:
Jude verses 14 and 15
Comments
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,

«Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.»
Enoch had a vision of the second advent of Christ. Even more, he saw what will happen on that day.

We will study these events in our next lesson.
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Picture 8 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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The psalmist’s testimony:
Psalm 50:3-5
Comments
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him.

He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.

«Gather My saints together to Me, those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.»
The psalmist’s words are in perfect harmony with the message of the New Testament.

Indeed, at the time of His return, Jesus will gather His people, those who have made a covenant with Him by accepting His sacrificial death on the cross.
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Picture 9 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Isaiah’s testimony:
Isaiah 25:8,9
Comments
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord has spoken it.

And it shall be said in that day,

«See, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.»
The prophet Isaiah saw in vision the reaction of those impatiently waiting for their Savior, as He finally comes back to take them with Him.
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Isaiah’s testimony:
Isaiah 66:14,15
Comments
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies.

For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.
As we can see, Isaiah had many visions of Jesus’ return.

This is a colorful description of this glorious event which will mark the end of the world.
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Daniel’s testimony:
Daniel 12:1
Comments
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.
The prophet Daniel too had a vision of Jesus’ return.

In fact, we find many visions of Jesus’ return in the book of Daniel (please see the lesson «The Statue of Daniel» for an example).

God really shows great single-mindedness in the inspiration of His prophets!
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Jesus’ testimony:
Matthew 24:30,31
Comments
Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Now, who is better than Christ Himself to speak about His second coming?

Jesus’ description of His return corresponds exactly to that of the Old Testament prophets.
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Jesus’ testimony:
Revelation 22:7,12,20
Comments
Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (...)

And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (...)

He which testifies these things said, «Surely I come quickly.»
As if trying one last time to awaken the reader, Jesus repeats three times in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible that He is coming soon.

We can’t say we haven’t been forewarned!
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The angels’ testimony:
Acts 1:9-11
Comments
And when [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said,

«You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven.»
These two angels came to confirm once more the reality of Christ’s promise.

Now, let’s look at the testimony of Jesus’ disciples.
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1 Corinthians 16:22,23 Comments
Maranatha!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
First of all, let’s note that the return of Jesus was often a topic of conversation between Christians. Soon, they began to use the word «Maranatha!» as a greeting, which means, «O Lord, come!».
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Paul’s testimony:
Hebrews 9:28
Comments
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.

And to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin to salvation.
The apostle Paul, an expert in the Scriptures, understood that the Messiah had to come twice:
  • a first time to bear our iniquities on the cross;
     
  • a second time to gather those who believe in Him.
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Picture 17 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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1 Thessalonians 4:16 Comments
For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. Paul was another man for whom the return of Jesus was the unrivaled hope.
2 Thessalonians 1:7,8,10
The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, (...) when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
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Picture 18 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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James’ testimony:
James 5:7,8
Comments
Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord.

Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Be you also patient. Establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draws near.
The apostle James, like all the others, desperately wanted to see Christ return in his time.

But the signs foretelling the second coming were not all present yet (see the previous lesson «The Signs of the Times»).
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Picture 19 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Peter’s testimony:
2 Peter 3:10,13
Comments
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (...)

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
The apostle Peter was not an exception.

Like the others, he preached the message of hope concerning the second coming of Jesus Christ.
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Picture 20 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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John’s testimony:
1 John 2:28
Comments
And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. Finally, the apostle John revealed his faith in Christ’s second coming.

In fact, the New Testament alone includes more than 300 passages referring to this event!
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Revelation 1:7 Comments
Behold, He comes with clouds.

And every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.

Even so, Amen.
The last book of the Scriptures, Revelation, written by John, gravitates round the second coming of Jesus.

This event will be, for those waiting for Christ’s return, a day of deliverance and the end of a world marked by corruption.

And as we have already seen in our previous lesson about the signs of the times, this great day is coming very soon. Maranatha!
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Picture 22 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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«I will come again.» (John 14:3)
Jesus Christ will return: it is an absolute certainty.

«The Lord will come with fire,» announced the patriarchs and the prophets.

«I will come again,» Jesus told His disciples.

«He shall so come,» the two angels declared while Jesus was ascending to heaven.

«He will appear a second time,» proclaimed the Apostles.

And the Church has repeated along with them, «Maranatha! O Lord, come!»

Our next lesson will talk about the whys and wherefores of Christ’s second coming.
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Picture 23 The Moment of Truth Lesson 23
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Let’s thank God for His assistance:
O Lord,

There could be many reasons to be discouraged when we see the events now happening in the world, but we thank You for the glorious promise You have given us.

We desire to possess this hope the people of the Bible had. Please help us to be prepared for that great day, that we may shout with the apostolic Church, «Maranatha! O Lord, come!».

In Jesus Christ, we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 23 - Test The test of Lesson 23 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: Picture Collection «Corel Gallery Magic» by Corel, 1997, CD #7, Photo Library 1, 1022.PCD. Screen 2: In: «The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes» (TAYLOR, Kenneth N.), Moody Press, Chicago, 1956, p.160. Screen 3: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #4 («La Merveilleuse Bonne Nouvelle de l’Apocalypse»), p.1. Screen 4: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (April 1, 1998), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.17. Table of Screen 4: First picture: MICHELANGELO. «Isaiah», Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome. In: «Great Bible Stories and Master Paintings» (RACHLEFF, Owen S.), New York, Abradale Press Publishers, p.209. Second picture: STEEL, John. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 1» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1950, p.1. Third picture: In: MAXWELL, Arthur S. «The Bible Story, volume 8», p.82. Used by permission. Copyright ©1956, 1984 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 5: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #30 («Sharing Daniel’s Message with the World»), p.5. Screen 6: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (March 1,1986), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Screen 7: HARLAN, Russell. In: «The Bible Story, volume 1» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.94. Used by permission. Copyright ©1953, 1981 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 8: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (September 15, 1990), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Screen 9: In: «The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes» (TAYLOR, Kenneth N.), Moody Press, Chicago, 1956, p.106. Screen 10: In: «The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes» (TAYLOR, Kenneth N.), Moody Press, Chicago, 1956, p.99. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 11: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #22 («Daniel’s People Delivered»), p.1. Screen 12: STEEL, John. In: «L’Espoir de l’Humanité, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), Editions Le Monde Français, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1972, p.310. Screen 13: JUSTINEN, Lars. In: «Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Pacific Press Publishing Association, Third Quarter, 1996, front cover. Screen 14: LAUNE, Paul. In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 1», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc., 1968, p.136-a. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 15: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (October 15, 1993), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.17. Screen 16: SCHLAIKJER, Jes. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.124. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 17: HARPER. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.94. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 18: REMBRANDT. «St. James». In: «The Compton’s Interactive Bible CD», Zondervan Publishing House, 1996. Screen 19: PROCACCINI, Giulio Cesare. In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 12», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc., 1968, p.1512-b. Screen 20: DOLCI, Carlo. In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 8», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc., 1968, p.1012-c. Screen 21: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM240.BMP. Screen 22: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.539. Screen 23: Picture Collection «Corel Gallery Magic» by Corel, 1997, CD #7, Photo Library 1, 1017.PCD.
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 23 - Test The test of Lesson 23 is waiting for you!