17 min 6 dys

Lesson 11.The Impending Conflict
Deciphering the End-Time Conflict: Worship, Identity, and Steadfastness
Lesson 11 introduces us to the fascinating world of Revelation and its prophetic statements about the impending conflict. Revelation is a book full of symbols, images, and visions that provide insights into the end times and prepare us for the challenges we will face in the last days. In this lesson, we will delve into the prophecies about the beast from the sea, the beast from the earth, and the three angels’ messages as described in Revelation 13. These prophecies are crucial as they offer us a clear view of current events in the world and encourage us to be vigilant and steadfast in our faith. We will explore how these prophecies are relevant in our modern times and what lessons we can draw from them for our daily lives and faith. Our journey through Revelation will help us recognize the signs of the times and prepare us to face the impending conflict with a firm faith and unwavering hope.

11.1 Revelation’s Final Conflict
Revelation: Worship in the Cosmic Conflict
Revelation, the final book of the Bible, is known for its symbolic and often mysterious portrayal of visions and events. Yet behind these symbols lies a profound message that is central to believers. Revelation speaks of a cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan that has been ongoing since the beginning of time. At the core of this conflict is a battle over worship and loyalty.
From the beginning of this conflict, it has been about whom humanity would give their adoration and allegiance to. Satan, once an angel of light, rebelled against God and desired to be worshipped himself. This rebellion led to a war in heaven, as described in Revelation 12, where Satan and his followers were eventually cast out of heaven.
Throughout history, Satan has sought to distract people from true worship by introducing false gods, ideologies, and practices. Revelation reveals that this battle will continue until the end of time and that the question of worship remains central.
The end-time prophecies of Revelation speak of a final showdown where humanity’s loyalties will be clearly revealed. Will humanity give worship and honor to the Creator, the true God, or will they succumb to the deceptions and temptations of Satan?
This message is an urgent call to faithfulness and devotion to God. It reminds believers that despite the challenges and persecutions that may come, the promise of victory and eternal life exists for those who remain steadfast until the end. The final conflict in Revelation is not only a prophetic prediction but also a call to spiritual vigilance and fidelity in the worship of God.
Compare Revelation 14:7, 9 with Revelation 4:11. What is the overarching theme of Revelation in this cosmic conflict between good and evil?
Revelation 14:7, 9:
  • “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come! And worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!” (14:7).
  • “And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger'” (14:9).
Revelation 4:11:
  • “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
Overarching theme:
The overarching theme of Revelation in the context of this cosmic conflict between good and evil is the worship of the Creator as opposed to the worship of false gods or powers. In Revelation 4:11, God’s worthiness to receive worship is clearly grounded in His role as Creator. In Revelation 14:7, humanity is called to worship the Creator, while Revelation 14:9 warns against the worship of the beast, which is a symbol of satanic forces and their worldly representations.
Worship and Creation:
Throughout Revelation, worship and creation are inseparably linked. Worship is portrayed as a fundamental response to the fact of creation. Revelation 14:7 emphasizes the worship of God as the Creator of heaven, earth, and the water sources, underscoring the fundamental relationship between creation and worship. This connection is particularly significant in a world where the theory of evolution has challenged the creation narrative.
Sabbath and Identity:
The Sabbath serves as an eternal reminder of our identity as created beings and reminds us that our Creator is worthy of our worship and loyalty. The Sabbath is a symbol of creation and the rest that God instituted on the seventh day after creating the world. This day represents a weekly remembrance of creation and emphasizes humanity’s dependence on its Creator.
Satan and the Sabbath:
Satan’s hatred of the Sabbath can be understood as part of his larger plan to distract people from worshiping the Creator and instead lure them into worshiping false gods or living without God. By undermining the significance of the Sabbath, Satan seeks to alienate people from their true identity and their relationship with God.
The overarching theme of Revelation in this cosmic conflict between good and evil is the worship of the Creator. Worship and creation are inseparably linked, and the Sabbath is a continual reminder of our identity as creatures of God and the need to worship Him alone. These themes are central to understanding Revelation and the cosmic conflict described therein.
Read Revelation 12:17 and 14:12. Where does the worship of the Creator find its ultimate expression?
Worship of the Creator in Revelation:
The worship of the Creator finds its ultimate expression in keeping the commandments of God and maintaining faith in Jesus Christ. This faithfulness to God stands in direct contrast to the worship of the beast, which serves as a symbol for satanic powers and their worldly representatives.
Revelation 12:17: “Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
Revelation 14:12: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”
Ultimate expression of worshiping the Creator:
In these two verses, it is clear that worshiping the Creator is expressed through keeping the commandments of God and holding fast to faith in Jesus Christ. This means that true worship is not merely a formal act but a life lived in accordance with God’s will and in loyalty to Jesus Christ.
Contrast with the worship of the beast:
The worship of the beast stands in sharp contrast to the worship of the Creator. While worshiping the beast symbolizes obedience to worldly and satanic powers, worshiping the Creator represents faithfulness and obedience to God, even in the midst of persecution and resistance.
The Sabbath as a sign of loyalty:
“The observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, The mark of the beast will then be set upon them” (The Great Controversy, 553). The Sabbath is highlighted here as a crucial sign of loyalty to God. By keeping the true Sabbath, believers profess their allegiance to the Creator and oppose the false powers that rebel against God.
Faith of Jesus:
Revelation 14:12 further emphasizes that these faithful followers will also “have the faith of Jesus.” This faith of Jesus is a deep, unwavering trust in God, even when circumstances are difficult and incomprehensible. It is a faith that relies on God’s promises and endures trials and persecutions.
The worship of the Creator finds its ultimate expression in keeping the commandments of God and maintaining faith in Jesus Christ. This is particularly emphasized by observing the Sabbath as a sign of loyalty and faithfulness to God. In the end times, God will have a people who remain faithful to Him despite the greatest opposition and persecution. The faith of Jesus, a faith that perseveres and trusts, even when circumstances are challenging, will sustain these believers through the coming conflict.
The Seventh-day Sabbath is such a fundamental symbol of God as Creator that it dates back to the Garden of Eden. Therefore, when attempting to seize it, as Rome did (see Daniel 7:25), one is trying to usurp God’s authority at the most fundamental level, that of God as Creator. How does this truth help us understand why this will be such a contentious point in the end times?
The Seventh-day Sabbath as a fundamental symbol of God as Creator, dating back to the Garden of Eden, plays a central role in understanding the cosmic conflict between good and evil, especially in the end times. This symbol is more than just a day of rest; it represents the acknowledgment and worship of God as the Creator of the universe. When this day is attacked or replaced, it is about more than just a change in the calendar—it is an attack on the authority and sovereignty of God Himself.
Significance of the Sabbath:
  1. Memory of Creation: The Sabbath is a weekly commemoration of creation. It reminds humanity that God is the Creator and we are His creatures. This memory is deeply rooted in human history and faith, extending back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:2-3).
  2. Sign of Loyalty: In the Bible, the Sabbath is described as a sign of the covenant between God and His people (Exodus 31:13). Observing the Sabbath is a visible sign of loyalty and obedience to God.
Attack on the Sabbath as an Attack on God’s Authority:
In Daniel 7:25, it is prophesied that a power will attempt to “change times and the law.” Historically, this has often been associated with Rome and the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. This act is seen as an attempt to usurp divine order and authority.
End-Time Conflict:
  1. Symbol of Resistance: In the end times, the Sabbath becomes a focal point of conflict because it is a visible sign of loyalty to God. Observing the biblical Sabbath is understood as resistance against worldly and satanic powers attempting to undermine God’s authority.
  2. Test of Loyalty: The Sabbath becomes a test of loyalty for believers. In a time when laws and societal norms contradict God’s commandments, keeping the Sabbath will be a clear demonstration of loyalty to God. This loyalty requires courage and steadfastness in the face of resistance and persecution.
  3. Defense of Creation: Observing the Sabbath defends the biblical teaching of creation against alternative explanations like evolutionism. By keeping the Sabbath, believers affirm their conviction that God is the Creator and the world was created according to His plan.
The Sabbath as a symbol of God as Creator is a contentious point in the end times because it questions the fundamental authority and sovereignty of God. The attack on the Sabbath by worldly powers is an attempt to usurp God’s role as Creator and change divine order. In this cosmic conflict, observing the Sabbath becomes a sign of loyalty and resistance against these powers, identifying believers as followers of the true God. This truth helps us understand why the Sabbath will be such a contentious point in the end times: it concerns the recognition and worship of the Creator and loyalty to His divine authority.

The Revelation portrays a cosmic conflict between good and evil, where worship and loyalty play central roles. This theme is not merely theoretical but has practical implications for our daily lives and our faith.
Connection to Everyday Life:
  1. Worship and Lifestyle: The Revelation calls us to live out our worship in our daily lives. This means that our daily decisions and actions should reflect our loyalty to God. By keeping God’s commandments and holding fast to faith in Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17; 14:12), we demonstrate our worship and loyalty through practical deeds.
  2. Sabbath as a Weekly Reminder: The Seventh-day Sabbath serves as a weekly reminder of our identity as creatures of God and our acknowledgment of His role as Creator. In our busy lives, the Sabbath offers a regular opportunity to pause, reflect on God, and remember our relationship with Him. This helps us reassess our priorities and place our faith at the forefront.
  3. Steadfastness in Persecution: The Revelation prophesies times of great persecution for those who remain faithful to God (Revelation 13:15-17). In our daily lives, this means we must remain steadfast despite obstacles and challenges. This steadfastness requires a deep faith and trust in God, akin to the “faith of Jesus,” which endures and trusts even in the face of adversity.
  4. Witness in Daily Life: Our daily conduct serves as a testimony to our faith. When our behavior, decisions, and attitudes reflect God’s principles, we bear witness to our loyalty to Him before others. This can be manifested through honesty, compassion, justice, and other Christian virtues.
  5. Defense of Creation and Biblical Teachings: In a world where the theory of evolution is widespread, the Sabbath reminds us of the biblical creation narrative. This affects our understanding of the world and our role within it. By observing the Sabbath and celebrating creation, we affirm our belief that God is the Creator and reject alternative explanations that undermine this truth.
The Controversial Sabbath in the End Times:
  1. Attack on God’s Authority: The attempt to change the Sabbath is an assault on God’s authority. This is evident in historical changes to the Sabbath and is prophetically described in Daniel 7:25. In the end times, it will be a sign of conflict between the forces of God and the powers of Satan.
  2. Test of Loyalty and Faithfulness: The Sabbath becomes a test of loyalty for believers. In an era where laws and societal norms contradict God’s commandments, observing the Sabbath will be a clear demonstration of faithfulness to God. This loyalty requires courage and perseverance in the face of opposition and persecution.
Conclusion:
The Revelation urges us to live out our worship and loyalty to God in our daily lives. The Sabbath plays a central role in this, reminding us of our creation and our relationship with God. In the end times, the Sabbath will be a contentious point, testing our loyalty and faithfulness to God. By keeping God’s commandments and holding fast to faith in Jesus Christ, we testify to our worship of the Creator in our daily lives and prepare ourselves for the challenges of the end times.

In the final conflict of the Revelation, our true loyalty to God is evident in the worship of the Creator and the steadfast preservation of His commandments, even in the face of the greatest challenges and resistance.

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