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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 40

The Two Women of Revelation

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We invite you to join us, as we pray:
Father,

Here on earth, there are so many denominations claiming to have the truth, to be the Church of God. We therefore wish to get an answer to a crucial question: Where can we find Your Church?

We know that Your Word won’t remain silent on such an important subject as the identity of Your Church. This is why we ask You to guide us as we open Your Holy Book.

May Your Spirit enlighten us and give us the courage to follow You. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen.
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Acts 2:47 Comments
The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. The word «Church» comes from the Greek word «ekklesia», which means «gathering».

The Bible confirms that God indeed has a Church, a congregation, gathering together those who are saved.
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Matthew 16:18 Comments
[Jesus said,] «And I say also to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.» Furthermore, Jesus didn’t speak of His Churches (plural), but rather of His Church (singular): so, somewhere there is a Church which belongs to Him.

First, let’s look at the foundation of the Church.

An erroneous interpretation of this verse leads many people to the conclusion that the apostle Peter is the foundation of the Church. But what does the Word of God teach about this?
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Ephesians 2:20 Comments
[You] are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone. The one and only foundation of the Church of God is Jesus Christ.

He is the only Rock on which the Church is built.
1 Corinthians 3:11
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
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Ephesians 5:23 Comments
Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. Christ is the one and only leader of the Church.

He is the head of the Church, and the members are its body, all called to carry out different functions within it.

God has never appointed anyone to represent Jesus on earth. Jesus has always been and will always be the only head of the Church.
Colossians 1:18
[Christ] is the head of the body, the church.
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John 10:16 Comments
[Jesus said,] «Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.» Although hundreds of churches claim to be the true Church of God, the Word of God is very clear: only one of them is really the Lord’s Church.
Ephesians 4:4,5
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
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John 17:17 Comments
[Jesus said,] «Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth.» Since its doctrine rests entirely on the Word of God, the Church of God is really «the pillar and ground of the truth».

Let’s now try to discover the identity of this Church.
1 Timothy 3:15
The house of God (...) is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
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Isaiah 54:5,6 Comments
For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called.

For the Lord has called you as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when you were refused.
In the Bible, the people of God, His Church, is often symbolized by a woman.
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2 Corinthians 11:2 Comments
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. When God’s Church is faithful to Him, it is portrayed as a pure woman, God’s bride.
Ephesians 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.
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Jeremiah 3:6,20 Comments
«Have you seen that which backsliding Israel has done? She is gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot. (...)

Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have you dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,» said the Lord.
On the other hand, when the Church turns away from God and disobeys Him, it is then symbolized by a woman unfaithful to her husband, a harlot.
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Revelation 17:1,4 Comments
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me,

«Come here; I will show to you the judgment of the great whore that sits on many waters.» (...)

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.
The Word of God portrays such an unfaithful Church, symbolized by a harlot richly adorned.
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Revelation 17:1-3 Comments
I will show to you the judgment of the great whore that sits on many waters: with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication (...).

And I saw a woman sit on a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
In our previous lessons, we have seen that a beast symbolizes a kingdom, a political power.

Here, we see a harlot sitting on a beast. Therefore, this represents a power combining the Church (the woman) and the State (the beast), in other words, a religio-political power.
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Matthew 22:21 Comments
Render therefore to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s. However, Jesus has always commanded that the Church and the State be kept separate.

And He was absolutely right, since history reports that the union between religion and politics has always resulted in horrible persecutions.
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Revelation 17:5,6 Comments
And on her forehead was a name written, «Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.»

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
This unfaithful Church gave birth to daughters, that is, other churches which do not obey the teachings of God’s Word, but rather the traditions of their «Mother Church».

Moreover, during its reign, this Church has persecuted God’s faithful people.

Now, if you have studied the lesson entitled «The Beast of Revelation», you have certainly recognized this Church.
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Revelation 17:9,18 Comments
The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. (...)

The woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.
The great harlot symbolizes the Papacy, the Church of Rome. Rome is indeed known as «the City of Seven Hills».

This wealthy religio-political power persecuted millions of Christians during the Middle Ages, and gave birth to several churches which, without being fully aware of it, follow its traditions rather than the Word of God.
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Revelation 12:1 Comments
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. The book of Revelation also portrays a second woman.

Unlike the first woman, this one is described as being pure.
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Revelation 12:6,13,14 Comments
The woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. (...)

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

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
During the 1260 years of the Papacy’s reign, this pure and faithful Church has undergone attacks from Satan, symbolized by the dragon.
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Revelation 12:17 Comments
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. The Bible teaches us that, in the last days, the Church of God will subsist as a remnant.

The remnant of the woman’s seed, the remnant Church, has the following characteristics:
  • it keeps the commandments of God;
  • and it has the testimony of Jesus Christ.
We must now discover the identity of this remnant.
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Revelation 12:14,17 Comments
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (...)

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.
God’s Church, symbolized by «the remnant of the woman’s seed», appeared after the 1260-year reign of the Papacy, that is, after 1798.

For more details, we invite you to review the lesson entitled «The Beast of Revelation».
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Revelation 12:15,16 Comments
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Persecuted in Europe, a populous place symbolized by the flood, the woman was helped by the earth, that is, a land which was then sparsely populated: the New World.

So, the remnant Church appeared in America after 1798.
Revelation 17:15
The waters which you saw (...) are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
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Revelation 12:17 Comments
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. The remnant Church believes in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and keeps all the commandments of God, including the fourth one which requires the observance of the seventh day, the Sabbath, as day of rest.
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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Isaiah 58:12-14 Comments
They that shall be of you shall build the old waste places: you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Paths to Dwell In.

If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words: then shall you delight yourself in the Lord.

And I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
Moreover, the Word of God foretold that the remnant Church would rediscover the Sabbath, which has its origins in Creation, thus raising up «the foundations of many generations».
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Revelation 14:6 Comments
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. The remnant Church is a worldwide movement, proclaiming God’s message throughout the whole world.

And what is this message?
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Revelation 14:7-10 Comments
Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come. (...)

Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (...)

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.
The coming of God’s judgment, the fall of Babylon, and the warning against worshipping the beast and receiving his mark, is the triple message which the remnant Church must proclaim throughout the world.
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Revelation 12:17 Comments
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. The remnant Church also has the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy.

As we have seen in our lesson entitled «Modern Prophets», God has given the gift of prophecy to His Church, not only to predict the future, but especially to uplift the members of His Church, to improve them, to help them grow in unity and knowledge.
Revelation 19:10
The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
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Luke 11:9 Comments
[Jesus said,] «Seek, and you shall find.» A serious study of all Christian churches will reveal that only one presents all the characteristics of the remnant Church: the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Founded in the United States in 1863, this Church had in the year 2010 more than 16 million members, in 203 countries out of 232, representing at least 890 languages.

It believes in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, keeps all the commandments of God, and proclaims the triple message of Revelation 14.
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John 10:16 Comments
[Jesus said,] «Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.» The Seventh-day Adventist Church does not teach that only its members will be saved, but rather that there are many sincere believers in every church, and that those believers, when they discover the truth clearly revealed in the Word of God, will join God’s remnant Church.
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Genesis 19:12,13 Comments
And the men said to Lot,

«Have you here any besides? Son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whatever you have in the city, bring them out of this place. For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord.»
God warned Lot before destroying Sodom.

He does likewise today.
Luke 17:28,30
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot, (...) even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
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Revelation 18:2,4 Comments
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. (...)

Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
Here is God’s solemn call to each one of us today.

He urges us to come out of Babylon, that is, out of all the churches unfaithful to His will, and to join His people, the remnant Church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Will we respond to His call?
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Let us pray together:
Heavenly Father,

After having taught us all these truths, more valuable than pure gold, You have shown us where we can find Your Church, which keeps all Your commandments and has the faith of Jesus.

Please give us the courage we need to come out of Babylon, and join Your Church, while there is still time to do so.

May we be efficient and humble instruments in Your hands, so that Your message of salvation may be proclaimed throughout the whole world, and so that we may be one body and one Church.

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

Amen.
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Lesson 40 - Test The test of Lesson 40 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Header Picture: First picture: BISHOP, Tom. «Woman of Revelation 12». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #40. Second picture: BISHOP, Tom. «Woman of Revelation 17». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #45. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 1: Picture collection «ClickArt 65,000» by Broderbund, CD #4, RELCR143.JPG. Screen 2: REMMEY, Paul. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.58. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 3: ZINGARO, Charles. In: «The Bible Story, volume 10» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.153. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 4: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «L’Espoir de l’Humanité, volume 2» (Ellen G. White), front cover. Used by permission. Copyright ©1962, 1989 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 5: SEDLACK, Andrew. In: «The Bible Story, volume 9» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.186. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Used by permission. Copyright ©1957, 1985 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 6: STEEL, John. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (April 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.5. Screen 7: In: «Adventist Review» (November 1996), p.9. Screen 8: BATONI, Pompeo (1708-1787). «Hagar in the Desert», Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome. In: «The Art of Angels» (LOXTON, Howard), Regency House Publishing Limited, 1995, p.43. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 9: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.277. Screen 10: Image from SuperStock. In: «Who’s Who in the Bible», Publications International Ltd., 1995, p.182. Screen 11: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM258.BMP. Screen 12: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM246.BMP. Screen 13: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (August 1, 1985), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.1. Screen 14: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.245. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 15: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.242. Screen 16: BISHOP, Tom. «Woman of Revelation 12». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #40. Screen 17: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «Bible Readings for the Home», p.262. Used by permission. Copyright ©1980 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 18: TERRY, Will. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (January 1999), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.10. Screen 19: «Prayer aboard the Mayflower». In: WHITE, Ellen G., «The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy», Laymen for Religious Liberty Inc., 1990. p.432-87. Screen 20: 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.342. Screen 21: 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.398. Screen 22: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #10 («Le Sceau de Dieu In l’Apocalypse»), p.3. Screen 23: Advertisement for «Amazing Facts - Millenium of Prophecy». In: «Adventist Review» (October 1999), p.23. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 24: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM234.BMP. Screen 25: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #28 («Daniel and the Gift of Prophecy»), p.5. Screen 26: In: «Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Pacific Press Publishing Association, Fourth Quarter, 1999, front cover. Screen 27: LEASON, Percy. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.95. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 28: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 1» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.164. Used by permission. Copyright ©1953, 1981 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 29: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #16 («Le Pays du Recommencement»), p.1. Screen 30: Picture collection «ClickArt 65,000» by Broderbund, CD #4, NATOT449.JPG.
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Lesson 40 - Test The test of Lesson 40 is waiting for you!