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Series THE GREAT CONTROVERSY with Pastor Mark Finley  |
Lesson 12.Earth’s Closing Events  |
Faithfulness, Outpouring of the Spirit, and the Ultimate Call  |

Lesson 12 delves into the dramatic and pivotal events of the end times, centered around worship and faithfulness to God. In these last days, the world faces a clear choice: worship the Creator or the beast. The Holy Spirit will be poured out in unprecedented measure to strengthen believers and powerfully spread the Gospel. This period will be characterized by an intense spiritual battle, where the light of truth contends against the darkness of deception. Believers are called to stand firm in their faith and carry the joyful message of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
Memory Text: Proverbs 23:23 – “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
12.1 Loyalty to God and His Word

The Power of Biblical Truth in the Great Controversy
Proverbs 23:2 and John 8:32; 17:17 emphasize the importance of truth and wisdom found in God’s Word. Both verses show that true freedom and sanctification come through the truth revealed in the Scriptures. Throughout the centuries, the Great Controversy has been a conflict between truth and error, with Satan as the father of lies opposing Jesus, the author of truth. The Bible, as the source of truth, exposes Satan’s deceptions and reveals God’s plans. It is our protection against error and deception and shows us the way to discern between truth and falsehood. Prophecies in the Holy Scriptures serve as a light that illuminates our path and helps us stand firm in faith, especially in the face of impending great deceptions.
12.2 Sealed for Heaven
The Sign of Faithfulness in the Final Conflict
In the coming crisis of worship, the faithful people of God will not yield to worldly pressure (Revelation 14:12). These believers will be sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and stand firm in their conviction. In ancient times, a seal was a distinctive mark of authenticity, so we expect God’s seal to be embedded in His law (Isaiah 8:16). The Sabbath commandment (Exodus 20:8–11) contains the three elements of a seal: name, title, and territory of God. God’s seal will be received on the forehead, symbolizing a conscious decision, while the mark of the beast will be received either on the forehead or on the hand, indicating adaptation or persuasion (Revelation 7:1–3; 14:1; 13:16–17). In the Great Controversy, those who keep God’s commandments and believe in Jesus stand firm against Satan’s deceptions.
12.3 Whom Do We Worship?
The Decision in the Great Conflict
In the last days, the great battle over worship will escalate dramatically: Either we worship the Creator or the beast and its image (Revelation 14:7-10). The first angel calls for honoring the Creator, while the third angel reveals the dire consequences of worshipping the beast. Those who worship God are described as those who keep His commandments and have faith in Jesus (Revelation 14:12). Satan, who hates the Creator, will try to force the world to accept a false Sabbath, thereby asserting his authority over God’s (Daniel 7:25). In the impending crisis, humanity will be threatened with economic sanctions and even death if they do not follow the beast (Revelation 13:13-17). Despite the uncertainties, we can be sure that the end-time persecutions will be real and intense.
12.4 The Early and Latter Rain
The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost fulfilled the prophecy from Joel 2:21-24 and Acts 2:1-4. On that day, 3000 people were converted, and the Christian church began to grow powerfully (Acts 2:41-47). The apostles preached the Gospel with such power that the number of believers quickly increased, and many communities were established (Acts 4:4; 6:7; 9:31). Through the Holy Spirit, the early church reached the entire known world, symbolized as the “early rain.” The “latter rain,” an even greater outpouring of the Spirit, will prepare the final harvest and complete God’s work on earth (Zechariah 4:6; 10:1; Hosea 6:3; James 5:7-8).
12.5 The Loud Cry
The Final Proclamation of the Gospel
Revelation 18:1-4, Habakkuk 2:14, and Matthew 24:14 show that God’s work on earth will end with a powerful and comprehensive proclamation of the Gospel. The angel in Revelation 18 has “great authority” and illuminates the whole earth with God’s glory, symbolically representing human messengers who proclaim the Gospel powerfully. These messengers are endowed with the authority of Jesus to act in His name (Matthew 28:18-19). The Holy Spirit will be poured out in unprecedented measure, and the Gospel will quickly spread throughout the world. Thousands will repent, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God’s glory (Habakkuk 2:14). Thus, the Gospel will be spread to the ends of the earth, and the world will hear the message of hope (Matthew 24:14).
12.6 Summary
Faithfulness, Outpouring of the Spirit, and Worldwide Proclamation
The final events on earth will be characterized by a great conflict over worship, in which believers will resist the pressures of the world and remain faithful to God’s Word and His commandments. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the early and latter rain, will strengthen believers and spread the Gospel worldwide. A loud cry will warn the world and lead many to repentance, while the powers of hell attempt to suppress God’s truth. The faithful believers will be equipped with the power and authority of Jesus to remain steadfast in the end times. Ultimately, the Gospel will be proclaimed to all nations, and the earth will be filled with the glory of God.
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