SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Wednesday September 25, 1996

Prophetic Signs that Jesus' Coming is Near
(Rev. 13:11-14)

The books Daniel and Revelation, along with such chapters as Matthew 24, focus on the second coming of Jesus. The prophets predicted the sweep of human history culminating in Christ's establishment of His kingdom.

According to the book of Daniel, where are we in the stream of time?

What developing religious union points to the nearness of the end? Rev. 13:11-14.

Toward the end, what efforts will evil spirits make to deceive and destroy humanity? Rev. 16:13, 14.

The prophetic messages of the book of Daniel establish without doubt that we are living in the time of the heavenly pre-advent judgment (Dan. 7:9-14; 8:14). Daniel predicted that this judgment would take place a short time before the second advent of Jesus. During this same time, according to the book of Revelation, there will develop a union between apostate Protestantism and the papacy. This religious union will eventually link up with pagan spiritist forces and work miracles as a means of deceiving earth's inhabitants. The image to the beast (Protestantism emulating the medieval papacy) will pressure the governments of the United States and other countries to pass laws that are acceptable to papal religion.

Are we seeing any movements in the U.S. and other countries to bring Protestant churches closer to the Roman Catholic church? Are we seeing any attempts on the part of Protestantism to pressure the government to pass laws favorable to religion? In fact, the religious movements within America and some other countries are a remarkable development toward the fulfillment of the prophecies of Revelation.

The nearness of Jesus' coming simply emphasizes the need for us to look into our hearts to be sure that we are ready to meet Him. Is He living within us by the Holy Spirit? Are we studying the Bible and praying daily? Are we growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18)? Are we keeping holy His seventh-day Sabbath? (See Matt. 24:20.)