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Tuesday: Satan’s Final Strategy — 12 Comments

  1. In Australia, where the state religion is sport, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Aussie Rules, Soccer, and Cricket, prematch discussion occupies a fair bit of news time. You will often hear captains and coaches discussing their prospects in upcoming matches. Typically teams like to claim the "underdog" tag. The referees were against them, their playmakers are injured, or they had a bad run. In sport we like to back the underdog.

    There is a danger that we are doing the same thing when we cast ourselves as spiritual underdogs. We are the ones who are persecuted and who suffer.

    I am not saying that such things have not happened in the past and will not happen in the future. But I am concerned that sometimes our focus is on the persecution because it gives us the affirmation that we are right.

    Consider this. I am old and will probably die without experiencing persecution, just like my believing parents and grandparents. The nearest I have ever come to being persecuted was when somebody asked where I was at a computer science conference that was spread over 4 days including a Saturday. I told them where I was and that satisfied them. Does that mean that those of us who do not suffer persecution are being told that we are not saved?

    I have heard well-meaning Seventh-day Adventists say concerning persecution, "Bring it on! Then we will know that Jesus is coming!"

    In Jesus' description of final events, he says:

    But no one knows the date and hour when the end will be—not even the angels. No, nor even God’s Son. Only the Father knows.
    “The world will be at ease —banquets and parties and weddings—just as it was in Noah’s time before the sudden coming of the Flood; people wouldn’t believe what was going to happen until the Flood actually arrived and took them all away. So shall my coming be.
    “Two men will be working together in the fields, and one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be going about their household tasks; one will be taken, the other left. So be prepared, for you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Matt 24:26-42TLB

    The key idea is the unexpectedness of Jesus' return or for that matter, the close of probation for old men who go bird-watching.

    And in that respect, waiting for the prophetic timeline to be fulfilled will be fruitless.

    Being the underdog is not the assurance of salvation. Being alive in Christ now, in the present is our assurance.

    • Like you, I am old enough that the likelihood of my seeing the the persecution our current lessons describe is remote. That is of course, unless I live in a country that is controlled by a radical Muslim group. Then, just admitting that I'm a Christian may result in my losing my head.

      We are concerned that our understanding of the future prophecies is absolutely accurate, but we seem content to ignore the persecution of Christians, Jews, and, yes, Muslims and that is going on today in our world. I wonder how that fits into our understanding of end time scenarios?

      • Sometimes I think we don't really understand what the "test" means.

        Back in the early church, the test was sprinkling some incense on the altar in front of some pagan god. Just sprinkle a little incense and you won't be killed. It was a test. Would they be true to Christ their Savior, or would they pay homage to a pagan god?

        There have been many tests in which a person was presented with a situation where they had to choose to be faithful to God, or to face martyrdom. Christians today may not be facing a Sabbath test; they may be facing some other test.

        All who loved Christ, and refused to deny Him as their Master and Savior, even when it cost their lives, will inherit eternal life. Yes, our hearts and prayers go out to those who are facing tests like that right now.

        The issue has always been as to whether a person will follow Christ even at the cost of life itself.

        The prophecy says in the last days it will be the issue over Sabbath or Sunday.

        Thus yes, it is important to understand who authorized and sanctified the Sabbath, and that Sunday as a holy day is a human invention.

        Persecution in itself doesn't save anyone; the Sabbath in itself doesn't save anyone. The test is staying true to Christ no matter what the earthly consequences. In the end it will be all over the news, a prominent whole world wide thing -- a test, worship the Creator, or tradition.

        Indeed, how are we doing today? Is our full allegiance to Christ now?

    • I haven't experienced much persecution in my life, but I feel it coming sometimes. I'm a teacher in the public system and I see teachings that were very much on the margins when I was in university 20 years ago now promoted strongly in the schools (I am being intentionally vague because I know what people can dig up on the internet, but I suspect many of you can guess what I'm talking about - it's June, after all!) I struggle to walk a line where I respect the dignity of each student and the direction of my employer while staying true to what I know is right. It is hard. I'm not sure if I handle it right or if I am compromising. The hardest part is there are few people I can talk to about it. The pillars in the church don't understand and my secular friends really don't understand. But every year, persecution for the sake of my beliefs seems more possible. And as I mentioned once, I don't like to be disliked by people I appreciate and respect. The masses I can handle, but my colleagues are another matter. I pray that I can be strong enough.

  2. Does anyone know how to interpret these two references in Rev 17:12? What do they mean?
    - "received no kingdom as yet"
    - "receive authority for one hour"

    • Antonio, in John's day, nations that exist today didn't exist, such as the United States. It is speaking of those nations that will exist at the time of Jesus' return. The number "10" is prophetic language for "all of them", such as the 10 toes of the image in Daniel 2. We are told that the whole world will wonder after the beast, and that all who's names are NOT written in the Lamb's Book of Life, will worship the beast. The nations who reject the last warning of the "3 Angels" will gather against God's faithful just before Jesus appears, and they are symbolized in this prophecy as the 10 horns who will reign "1 hour"(a brief period) with the Beast(in Revelation 17, the scarlet beast is Satan himself as a careful study of this chapter reveals. Notice verses 8 and 11.). Notice also Psalm 83, and how it lists 10 nations that will hate and seek to destroy God's "hidden ones"(KVJ, vs 3. See also Ps 91, Isa 4:5,6; Zeph 2:3). Notice also that some of those 10 nations are family and former friends!

      In Revelation 17:16, we see the result which takes place at Jesus' appearance, when the world will realize they were deceived by the "woman".

      Do not miss verse 14! This is the same event shown in Daniel 2:34.

  3. In some situations, all we have is prayer, the best of all possibilities - devotion to a God of love Who strengthens us with wisdom and peace. Let us rest in the Lord today because that's our best move! May the prophecies not scare us but remind us that we live in a prep time!

  4. For me, Tuesday’s lesson emphasizes how important it is to stay sober and vigilant about God’s word and what’s happening in the world. God is so gracious to allow us to know what will happen (even if we don’t know how it will happen). Staying close to God and His truth is our only protection from the lies of the present and the future in whatever form they take.

    • Yes. As we continue reading the Bible in every day, we should not ignore what is happening around us, political aspects, religious aspects, celebrities people, economic angles, health scenarios and many others are truly significant each other. The beast always on the sides of getting opportunities. And the words of God gives benefit to God's people as they know why these things happening. Let us all have more faithful to our Lord Jesus 🙏.

  5. Knowing that all things ultimately are governed by God to lead toward the end of this old world system, to usher in the new world reflective of His Laws and Order, one can see again the deceptiveness of the power hungry adversary to make the end of this world look like its new beginning. Lucifer's promises are to establish peace and prosperity for all, but in the end he is exposed for what he truly is – a wretched, lost in self-deception, devoid of anything good, liar.

    ‘Satan’s final strategy’ is a scheme designed to produce world peace and harmony among the nations; this will attract mankind to support the beast’s effort to help implement his plans. The plan and strategy may sound ‘good’, look ‘good’, are supported by ‘good’ people, and therefore should produce the ‘good’ solutions which can eliminate the problems facing mankind.

    Lest we forget - man, separated from his Creator, cannot produce anything that is ‘good’. Goodness is synonymous with God's nature of Goodness and Righteousness, personified and manifest in His Son Christ Jesus, the Lord and Savior of all who believe that God is and man having been created by Him to reflect His Goodness.

    Where does this leave Lucifer’s strategy? It leaves it empty, void of power to succeed, but will be used by our God to expose the tares and usher in the last chapter of His good works toward the Salvation of Man – 2 Thess. 2:10-12; Isa.66:4

  6. What I miss in these end time discussions is the excitement and expectation demonstrated by our pioneers. Their preaching was joyful and enthusiastic as was their music. Jesus was coming soon and they were looking forward to that event. Yet we seem to focus on the technicalities of the prophecies instead of getting excited, as things are shaping up, and realizing Jesus is coming very soon. Are we missing the main point? Jesus' return is imminent. Let's make sure we are ready, and share that Message with others.

    Probation could close for me or you tonight. Are we ready now?


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