Recent Posts

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 10
What does the reality of judgment teach us about our utter need for forgiveness?
We as sinners definitely need forgiveness and it is essential to our spiritual lives but isn't more needed? If we are only forgiven then won't we just turn around and do the same thing tomorrow? Is God's grace only forgiveness? To me it seems that the author has left out a very important part.
Friday •  May 25

Further Thought: Bible students have long seen a link between the call in Revelation 14:7, to “worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the fountains of waters” and the fourth commandment, in Exodus 20:11, when the Sabbath points back to the fact that “in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is.” However closely related the language, there is a change in which the text in Revelation points to the Lord as the One who made “the fountains of waters”.

Author John Baldwin argues: “Assuming divine intentionality behind the phrase ‘fountains of waters’, why does Jesus have the messenger break the parallel listing of things mentioned in Exodus 20:11? Why does the angel mention ‘fountains of waters’ and not some other class of created thing, such as trees, birds, fish, or mountains?

“Perhaps the reference to ‘fountains of waters’ in the context of a divine announcement of the arrival of a unique time of divine judgment seeks to direct the reader’s attention to a previous period of divine judgment. . . Perhaps God intends that the possible allusion to the flood by the words ‘fountains of waters’ should underscore the truth that He is indeed a God of judgment, as well as a God of everlasting faithfulness and graciousness (both evidenced in the narrative of the Genesis flood). If so, the personal and spiritual implications of the flood connotation triggered by the phrase ‘fountains of waters’ might be to encourage the reader to take seriously the momentous arrival of a new end-time process of individual divine judgment now announced by the first messenger of Revelation 14”. — John Baldwin, ed., Creation, Catastrophe, and Calvary: Why a Global Flood Is Vital to the Doctrine of Atonement (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 2000), p. 27.

Here's another thought:

The duty to worship God is based upon the fact that He is the Creator. “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” Psalm 95:6; See Psalm 96:5; Psalm 100:3; Isaiah 40:25, 26; 45:18.

In Revelation 14, men are called to worship the Creator and keep the commandments of God. One of these commandments points to God as the Creator: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: ... for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:10, 11. The Sabbath, the Lord says, is a “sign, ... that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20:20. Had the Sabbath been universally kept, man would have been led to the Creator as the object of worship. There would never have been an idolater, atheist, or infidel. Keeping the Sabbath is a sign of loyalty to “him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” The message which commands men to worship God and keep His commandments will especially call them to keep the fourth commandment.

In contrast to those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, the third angel points to another class: “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.” Revelation 14:9, 10. What is represented by the beast, the image, the mark?  HF 271.

Discussion Questions:

    Isaiah 53:6 reads: “All we like sheep have gone astray”. The word in Hebrew for “all of us” is cullanu . In the same text, Isaiah says that the Lord laid upon Jesus “the iniquity of us all”. The word for “us all” here, too, is cullanu. How does this show us that no matter how great the sin problem is, the solution to it is more than sufficient to solve it?

    What other lessons can we learn from the story of the thief on the cross? Suppose the thief got a pardon and was brought down from the cross and survived. How different a life do you think he would have lived? What does that answer tell us about the power of Christ to change our lives?

We do not know what his life would have been. The Bible does not tells us, and we do not believe in once saved always saved. But, there is an important lesson in the story. The thief will be in heaven which means he was fit for heaven while on the cross. Yet, he was just converted. It tells us that even the "baby" Christian is perfect in moral character. His motives are pure and holy even if he keeps the wrong day and eats the wrong food. It is the heart that Jesus cleanses from sin. This experience we may have today. We do not have to wait until the last days to have victory over sin. We may have it today if we will make a full surrender of the whole heart to Christ. What a miracle!!
Thursday •  May 24

Worship the One Who Made the Heavens and Earth

Read again Revelation 14:6, 7.

 14:6   And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 
 14:7   Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 

What are the specific elements found in the entire first angel’s message, and how do they relate to one another?

Along with the gospel, the call to witness to the world and the call to fear God and give glory to Him comes the call to worship God as the Creator. And no wonder. All these other aspects of “present truth” — the everlasting gospel, the call to witness, the judgment — what do they mean apart from God as our Creator? These truths and all other truths arise from the foundational truth of the Lord as the One who has made all things. By worshiping the Lord as Creator, we are getting back to basics. We are getting back to the foundation of what it means to be human and alive and unlike any other earthly creatures, to be made in the image of God. By worshiping the Lord as Creator, we acknowledge our dependence upon Him for existence and for our future hope. This is why the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath is so important. It’s a special acknowledgment that God alone is our Creator, and we worship only Him. That is, along with the gospel, along with the judgment, the call to worship the Lord as Creator is given prominence here.

Read Revelation 14:8-11.

 14:8   And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 
 14:9   And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 
 14:10   The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 
 14:11   And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 

What do these verses say that could help us understand the importance of worshiping the Lord as Creator?

As final events unfold, pressure to worship the beast and his image rather than the Creator will come upon all the world. If we consider the fearsome warning about the fate of those who worship the beast and his image, we can better understand the emphasis on worshiping God as Creator as the only One worthy of human worship. In the final crisis, this truth will become more crucial than ever.

Take time to dwell on the incredible marvels of the created world. What can and do they teach us about the One who created it all and why He alone is worthy of our worship?

Creation reveals God's love and creative power. This is vital to our understanding since we are wholly dependent upon God's power to recreate us in His image. It was easy for God to make Adam, but it is impossible for God to recreate us without our cooperation. And, it is a miracle, God's greatest, that He can even with our cooperation turn us from sinners into saints while living in fallen sinful evil flesh!

Wednesday •  May 23

The Hour of His Judgment Has Come

In the first angel’s message, the idea of fearing God and giving glory to Him is linked to judgment (Rev. 14:7). If the Bible is clear about any teaching, it is clear that God is a God of justice and of judgment. One day the judgment and justice so lacking in this world will indeed come.

Amen! And is even more clear on the power of God's grace to keep one from sinning.

No wonder people need to fear God.

And that’s why the “everlasting gospel” also includes the reality of judgment. What is the relationship between these two elements? If the gospel means “good news”, it means that though we are all sinners and have broken God’s law, when judgment day comes, like the thief on the cross, we will not face the penalty and punishment that we deserve for our sin and law-breaking.

It is indeed true that all have sinned, but not all continue in sin. Only those who give their hearts fully to God will have power to not sin. The wages of one known sin is eternal death, if we do not repent.

Read the following texts and then ask yourself, How well would I do standing in my own merits? Matt. 12:36, Eccles. 12:14, Rom. 2:6, 1 Cor. 4:5.

When one understands we are evil by nature, and can do no good thing until converted, how could anyone merit anything? Outside of Christ we can do no good thing.

The God who knows the number of hairs on our heads is going to judge the world. But that is precisely why the “everlasting gospel” is such good news. Judgment comes, but there is “no condemnation” for the faithful followers of Jesus, those washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus (see 1 Cor. 6:11), because Jesus Christ is their righteousness, and His righteousness is what gets them through that judgment.

No, there is more. It is His grace that gets through the "time of trouble such as never was." They have no Mediator, so they will not sin.

It is their character that will be judged in the Investigative Judgment. The law of God is the standard by which they will be judged. The "books" are opened to reveal their good deeds and their sins. The "books" also reveal their motives. All may see who it is that has been transformed by the grace of God.

“Man cannot meet these charges himself. In his sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His perfect obedience to God’s law, even unto the death of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man”. — Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church , vol. 5, p. 471.

This is not a statement about the "judgment." One needs to study the quote in context, then it will be seen that this is not justifying the unrepentant sinner. Christ's righteousness will not stand in place of the character of one who sins a known sin. But, it does allow Christ to intercede for guilty man. It does not mean that our characters may be unrighteous because Christ's righteousness will stand in our place in the judgment, it will not. Read the statement in its context.

He leads men into skepticism, causing them to lose confidence in God and to separate from His love; he tempts them to break His law, and then he claims them as his captives and contests the right of Christ to take them from him. He knows that those who seek God earnestly for pardon and grace will obtain it; therefore he presents their sins before them to discourage them. He is constantly seeking occasion against those who are trying to obey God. Even their best and most acceptable services he seeks to make appear corrupt. By countless devices, the most subtle and the most cruel, he endeavors to secure their condemnation. Man cannot meet these charges himself. In his sin-stained garments, confessing his guilt, he stands before God. But Jesus our Advocate presents an effectual plea in behalf of all who by repentance and faith have committed the keeping of their souls to Him. He pleads their cause and vanquishes their accuser by the mighty arguments of Calvary. His perfect obedience to God’s law, even unto the death of the cross, has given Him all power in heaven and in earth, and He claims of His Father mercy and reconciliation for guilty man. To the accuser of His people He declares: “‘The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.’ These are the purchase of My blood, brands plucked from the burning.” Those who rely upon Him in faith receive the comforting assurance: “Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” All that have put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness will stand before Him as chosen and faithful and true. Satan has no power to pluck them out of the hand of Christ. Not one soul that in penitence and faith has claimed His protection will Christ permit to pass under the enemy’s power. His word is pledged: “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” The promise given to Joshua is made to all: “If thou wilt keep My charge, ... I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” Angels of God will walk on either side of them, even in this world, and they will stand at last among the angels that surround the throne of God.

The fact that the acknowledged people of God are represented as standing before the Lord in filthy garments should lead to humility and deep searching of heart on the part of all who profess His name. Those who are indeed purifying their souls by obeying the truth will have a most humble opinion of themselves. The more closely they view the spotless character of Christ, the stronger will be their desire to be conformed to His image, and the less will they see of purity or holiness in themselves. But while we should realize our sinful condition, we are to rely upon Christ as our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. We cannot answer the charges of Satan against us. Christ alone can make an effectual plea in our behalf. He is able to silence the accuser with arguments founded not upon our merits, but on His own.

Yet we should never be content with a sinful life. It is a thought that should arouse Christians to greater zeal and earnestness in overcoming evil, that every defect in character, every point in which they fail to meet the divine standard, is an open door by which Satan can enter to tempt and destroy them; and, furthermore, that every failure and defect on their part gives occasion to the tempter and his agents to reproach Christ. We are to exert every energy of the soul in the work of overcoming, and to look to Jesus for strength to do what we cannot do of ourselves. No sin can be tolerated in those who shall walk with Christ in white. The filthy garments are to be removed, and Christ’s robe of righteousness is to be placed upon us. By repentance and faith we are enabled to render obedience to all the commandments of God, and are found without blame before Him. Those who shall meet the approval of God are now afflicting their souls, confessing their sins, and earnestly pleading for pardon through Jesus their Advocate. Their attention is fixed upon Him, their hopes, their faith, are centered on Him, and when the command is given, “Take away the filthy garments, and clothe him with change of raiment, and set a fair miter upon his head,” they are prepared to give Him all the glory of their salvation.

Zechariah’s vision of Joshua and the Angel applies with peculiar force to the experience of God’s people in the closing up of the great day of atonement. The remnant church will be brought into great trial and distress. Those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will feel the ire of the dragon and his hosts.  5T 472.

What does the reality of judgment teach us about our utter need for forgiveness? How can you learn to give to others who have done you wrong the kind of grace and forgiveness God offers us through Jesus?

We will not be forgiven unless we repent. If we do not repent, then we shall be judged unworthy of heaven and will face punishment by fire.

How can we learn to love the evil ones? We cannot learn to love them. It is impossible for selfish man to love those who hurt him. We must be converted, transformed in character. When we love Jesus with the whole heart, we shall love our neighbor as ourselves. It comes when the Holy Spirit takes possession of the heart. We become new creatures filled with the Spirit of God. Thus, all of the fruits of the Spirit will be in the life, not one will be missing.

Notice the fruits begin with love, joy, and peace. That love is not just love for those who love us, but for those who hurt us. It is a supernatural love that comes with the Holy Spirit.
Tuesday •  May 22

Fear God and Give Glory to Him

After talking about the proclamation of the “everlasting gospel” to all the world, the first angel’s message then expands on this message. As we proclaim the “everlasting gospel”, we must include the truths that are part of this gospel message for this time. In other words, “present truth” for the last days also includes Revelation 14:7.

Read Revelation 14:7.

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 

What does it mean to fear God and to give Him glory? How are we to do that? How do these concepts fit in with the gospel?

To fear God means just what it says. If the preacher were faithful he would explain what is going to happen to all who do not obey God. When one understands this, ought not they fear what is coming if they do not turn from sin?

To fear God and to give Him glory are not unrelated concepts. If we truly fear God in the biblical sense, we will give glory to Him. One should lead directly to the other.

They are related in that if one's fear of God causes him to turn from sin, then he will give glory to God by reflecting His character.

Read the following texts. How do they help us understand what it means to “fear God” and how that relates to giving glory to Him?

 22:12   And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me. 

 20:20   And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 

 1:9   Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 

 12:13   Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. 

 5:16   Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

In these verses above, the idea of fearing God was linked to obeying Him, and when we obey God, when we do what is right, we bring glory to Him. Though it is often said that to fear God is to be in awe of God and to reverence Him, it should go deeper than that. We are told to fear God. We are fallen. We are sinners. We are beings who deserve death. Who hasn’t at moments faced the startling realization of the evil of their deeds and what they would deserve at the hands of a just and righteous God for those deeds? This is the fear of God. And it is the fear that drives us first to the Cross for forgiveness, and second to claim the power of God to cleanse us from the evil that, if it were not for the Cross, would cause us to lose our souls (see Matt. 10:28).

Amen.  Fear will not convert anyone, but when rightly understood, we ought to fear the punishment coming if we do not turn from sin, and we ought to look for a Savior to save us from this punishment. When we find the Savior and surrender to Him, He empowers us to obey the law. This is how we give glory to God, we rightly represent His character.

What has been your own experience with fearing God? How could a good dose of this fear be good for us spiritually and help us take more seriously our faith and what God asks of us?

Who wants to suffer the pain of death by fire for every sin we have done? This is a good enough reason to turn from sin. But, the great deception must be revealed. Many do not know they are going to suffer for every one of their sins unless they are transformed in character before they die. Does the Bible reveal suffering for the unrepentant sinner? Yes. " 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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev 14 9-11.

This is only one verse. Please share other verses that reveal why it is that unrepentant sinners ought to fear God.

Thursday •  May 31

The Counterfeit Trinity

The concept of the triune nature of God is found all through the Bible. However, in the context of end-time deceptions and persecution, the book of Revelation reveals a “counterfeit trinity” composed of the dragon, the sea beast, and the land beast of Revelation 13.

Read Revelation 12:17; 13:1, 2. What is described here?

The dragon here has been seen as the counterfeit of the Father, in that he is the one clearly in control. He also gives power and authority and a throne to the sea-beast, the one counterfeiting Christ. Why is this second power seen as a counterfeit Christ?

Read Revelation 13:2-5. What are the characteristics of this sea beast?

Besides receiving its authority from the dragon, reminiscent of what Jesus said about receiving His authority from the Father (see Matt. 28:18), this sea beast also faced, like Jesus, a death and then a resurrection (see Rev. 13:3). Also, this beast is described as exerting his authority for “forty-two months”, or three-and-a-half years, a prophetic counterfeit of Christ’s literal three-and-a-half-year ministry, based on the day-for-year principle.

Read Revelation 13:11-17. How is the land beast described here?

This land beast promotes the interests of the sea beast, just as the Holy Spirit glorified not Himself but Jesus (John 16:13, 14). Also, just as the Holy Spirit performed a powerful act in bringing down “fire” from heaven (Acts 2:3), the land beast performs something similar (see Rev. 13:13).

“At the end, the land beast performs a counterfeit of Pentecost! For what purpose? To prove to the world that the counterfeit trinity is the true God”. — Jon Paulien, What the Bible Says About the End-Time (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 1998), p. 111.

What are other end-time deceptions that we need to be aware of, and how can we help others recognize them as deceptions, as well?

Friday •  June 1

Further Thought: Let’s dwell more on the implications of the theory of evolution in the context of last-day events, especially in regard to the role of the Sabbath. One reason that Charles Darwin, the originator of the theory, promoted evolution was that — not understanding the great controversy-he had a difficult time reconciling evil and suffering with the idea of a benevolent and loving Creator. Because of this error, he looked in another direction for answers. It wasn’t a coincidence, either, that during the mid-to-late 1800s, as Darwin was revising and reworking his theory of evolution, God raised up a movement, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which countered everything for which Darwin’s theory stood. How interesting that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, whose creationist underpinnings are revealed in its very name, started growing and expanding at about the same time that Darwin’s theory did, as well.

Who knows, but had Darwin read and believed these few short lines from Ellen G. White, the world might have been spared one of the grandest blunders of human thought since geocentricism and spontaneous generation: “Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book. It could not now represent goodness only; for evil was everywhere present, marring earth and sea and air with its defiling touch. Where once was written only the character of God, the knowledge of good, was now written also the character of Satan, the knowledge of evil. From nature, which now revealed the knowledge of good and evil, man was continually to receive warning as to the results of sin”. — Education, p. 26.

As it was, Darwin devised his evolutionary speculations, all based on a false understanding of the nature and character of God and the fallen world in which we live. Unfortunately, the implications of his theory will make people prey to Satan’s deceptions, especially in the final crisis.

Discussion Questions:

    Why do so many Christians reject the idea of a literal Satan? What does this view teach us about how dangerous it is to reject the clear teaching of the Bible?

    What can you say to a person who, having had a near death experience, claims that this experience shows him or her that, indeed, we go on living after death?

    What other reason can you think of regarding why those who believe in evolution would be so much more susceptible to deceptions in the last days?

Tuesday •  May 29

The Immortality of the Soul

What do the following texts teach us about the “state of the dead”? What great protection can these texts give us against one of “the two great errors”? Eccles. 9:5, 6, 10; Ps. 115:17; Ps. 146:4; 1 Cor. 15:16-18; Dan. 12:2.

In recent decades much attention has been given to stories about people who have “died” — in that their hearts have stopped beating and they have stopped breathing — only to be revived and brought back to consciousness. In numerous cases, many of these people have told of incredible experiences of a conscious existence after they had supposedly “died”. Some talked about how they floated in the air and saw, from above, their own bodies below. Others reported floating out of their bodies and meeting a wonderful being filled with light and warmth and who espoused truths about kindness and love. Others recounted meeting and talking to dead relatives.

This phenomenon has become so common that it even has a scientific name, Near Death Experiences (NDEs). Though NDEs remain controversial, many Christians have used them as evidence for the immortality of the soul and the idea that, at death, the soul goes off to another realm of conscious existence.

But NDEs are, of course, another manifestation of one of “the two great errors”. As long as anyone believes that at death the soul goes on living in one form or another, that person is wide open to most occult or spiritualistic deceptions, deceptions that can easily promote the idea, either openly or by implication, that you don’t need Jesus. In fact, most of the people who had NDEs have said that the spiritual beings whom they met, or even their dead relatives, gave them comforting words about love, peace, and goodness but nothing about salvation in Christ, nothing about sin, and nothing about judgment to come — the most basic biblical views. One would think that, while supposedly getting a taste of the Christian afterlife, they should have gotten a taste of the most basic Christian teachings, as well. Yet, often what they’re told sounds much like New Age dogma, which could explain why many of these people come away less inclined toward Christianity than they were before having “died”.

As Christians, why must we stick to the Word of God, even when our senses tell us something different?

Wednesday •  May 30

Sabbath and the Theory of Evolution

As much success as Satan has had deceiving the world in regard to the immortality of the soul, he’s been just as successful, if not more so, in usurping the biblical Sabbath for Sunday (see weeks 6 and 8 ) and has done so for most of Christian history.

In recent years, the devil has come up with another deception that lessens the hold of the seventh-day Sabbath in the minds of people: the theory of evolution.

Read Genesis 1-2:3. What does this passage teach us about how the Lord created our world and how long it took to do so?

Even the broadest reading of these verses reveals two points about the biblical account of Creation. First, everything was planned and calculated; nothing was random, arbitrary, or by chance. Scripture leaves no room whatsoever for chance in the process of Creation.

Second, the texts reveal unambiguously that each creature was made after its own kind; that is, each one was made separately and distinctly from the others. The Bible teaches nothing about a common natural ancestry (such as from a primeval simple cell) for all life on earth.

Even from a nonliteralist interpretation of Genesis, these two points are obvious: nothing was random in the act of Creation, and there was no common natural ancestry for all species.

Now along comes Darwinian evolution, which in its various forms teaches two things: randomness and a common natural ancestry for all species.

Why then do so many people interpret Genesis through the lens of a theory that, at its most basic level, contradicts Genesis at its most basic level? Indeed, not only has the error of evolution swept millions of secular people, but many professed Christians believe that they can harmonize it with their Christian faith, despite the blatant contradictions just mentioned.

However, the implications of evolution in the context of final events make the danger of the deception even more apparent. Why take seriously a day, the seventh-day Sabbath, as a memorial — not for a six-day creation, but for a creation that took about 3 billion years (the latest date that life supposedly first started on earth)? Evolution denudes the seventh day of any real importance because it turns the six days of Creation into nothing but a myth similar to the one that says Romulus and Remus were nursed by wolves. Also, who, believing that creation required billions of years instead of six days, would actually risk persecution, or death, by standing for the Sabbath as opposed to Sunday?
Lesson 9 May 26-June 1

End-Time Deceptions

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 2:13, 24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Ps. 146:4; Gen. 1-2:3; Rev. 13:1-17.

Memory Text: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9, NKJV).

Even in heaven, before his expulsion, Satan worked to deceive the angels. “Leaving his place in the immediate presence of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint”. — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy , p. 495.

In Eden, he disguised himself as a serpent and used trickery against Eve. All through history, up through today, and even after the millennium, he will use deception (Rev. 20:8 ) in an attempt to gain his ends.

Unfortunately, he’s much smarter, more powerful, and craftier than any of us, which is why we need to cling to Jesus and to His Word in order to protect ourselves from his wiles. “But you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive today, every one of you” (Deut. 4:4, NKJV). The principle espoused here, indeed, still holds true today, as well.

This week, we will look at some of the devil’s most effective deceptions and how we can be protected from them.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 2.

Sunday •  May 27

The Grandest Deception

The first lesson of this quarter talked about the “cosmic controversy”, which, unfortunately, has reached beyond the cosmos to our earth itself.

The problem, though, is that many people, Christians included, don’t believe in this great controversy because they don’t believe in Satan. For them, Bible texts talking about Satan or the devil are merely the expressions of a prescientific culture trying to explain evil and suffering in the world. For way too many people the idea of a literal, supernatural entity who has malevolent designs on humanity is the stuff of science fiction, akin to Darth Vader of “Star Wars” fame or the like.

Read the following texts, all from Revelation. What do they teach us about the reality of Satan and particularly about his role in last-day events? Rev. 2:13, 24; 12:3, 7-9, 12, 17; 13:2; 20:2, 7, 10.

Revelation shows us just how much power Satan will have over so many inhabitants of the world in the final days, leading them not only away from salvation but toward persecuting those who stay faithful to Jesus.

Of all Satan’s “devices” (2 Cor. 2:11) — a translation of the Greek word for “mind” (noemata) — perhaps the greatest deception is to cause people to believe that he does not exist. After all, who’s going to seek shelter from an overpowering enemy who you don’t believe is real? It’s astonishing how many claim to be Christians and yet don’t take the idea of a literal devil seriously. They hold such a position, however, only by ignoring or radically reinterpreting the many texts in the Word of God that reveal his workings and ploys in this world, especially as we near the end of time. That so many people would reject the literal existence of Satan, even in the face of such overwhelming biblical evidence, should be a powerful reminder to us of just how crucial it is that we understand what the Bible really teaches.

Though Revelation talks about the machinations of Satan, particularly in the last days, what great hope can we find from Revelation 12:11? What is our source of power against the devil?

Monday •  May 28

The Two Great Errors

Read the following texts. What do they tell us about Satan’s power to deceive?

2 Cor. 11:13-15

2 Thess. 2:9, 10

Rev. 12:9

Rev. 20:10

As we noted in an earlier lesson, Jesus had warned His followers about end-time deceptions. Among those He specifically warned about were the rise of false christs and false prophets who would “deceive many” (Matt. 24:5).

False christs and false prophets, however, are not the only end-time deception we have to be aware of. Our enemy in the great controversy has many ploys designed to deceive all whom he can. As Christians, we need to be aware of those ploys, and we can do that only through knowing the Bible and obeying what it teaches.

Ellen G. White explains what two of those grand deceptions are: “Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience”. — The Great Controversy , p. 588.

How incredible for us, even many years after she wrote those words, to see just how prevalent “the two great errors” continue to be in the Christian world.

Why is knowledge of Bible truths and a willingness to obey those truths the most powerful weapon we have against the deceptions of the devil, especially in the last days?
That's a good question, Sister Dorine. All who love Jesus supremely, experience the joy of sharing Him with others. All of the disciples were willing to concede the highest place to another, except for Judas. They would wash each others feet after they received the grace of God into their hearts. They were re-converted, self was dead. Our great joy in life is ministering to others, even those who hurt us. When we behold Jesus suffering for our sins, kneeling at the foot of the cross is not low enough. 

     In washing the feet of His disciples, Christ gave evidence that He would do any service, however humble, that would make them heirs with Him of the eternal wealth of heaven's treasure. His disciples, in performing the same rite, pledge themselves in like manner to serve their brethren. Whenever this ordinance is rightly celebrated, the children of God are brought into a holy relationship, to help and bless each other. They covenant that the life shall be given to unselfish ministry. And this, not only for one another. Their field of labor is as wide as their Master's was. The world is full of those who need our ministry. The poor, the helpless, the ignorant, are on every hand. Those who have communed with Christ in the upper chamber will go forth to minister as He did.   
     Jesus, the served of all, came to be the servant of all. And because He ministered to all, He will again be served and honored by all. And those who would partake of His divine attributes, and share with Him the joy of seeing souls redeemed, must follow His example of unselfish ministry. 
Healthful Living / Re: Herb or Vegetable?
« Last post by Dorine on Today at 10:31:47 AM »
Fell off the band wagon from juicing but we are back on again. In our climate my old injuries and surgeries have developed arthritis so bad I can hardly function during wet, rainy weather. We've had a lot of it this spring and it makes gardening that I love and other activities almost unbearable. I've put myself on a plan to see if there is anything that can relieve it at least.

I've upped my water intake drastically. So far no change. Now we are both back to juicing again and if I don't see an improvement I will go gluten free while continuing with the water and juicing.  They say the nightshade plants aggravate arthritis so if there is still no change I will try that. Some of my favorite foods are in the nightshade family so I do not look forward to trying that. It's one thing to be toxic from eating badly but when good wholesome food attacks your system that's alarming. I'm sure there is medication out there to cover the problem and make life more tolerable but I can't in good conscience do that.

I've noticed that no one has posted here since 2012. Is anyone still juicing and if so is it for healing or maintenance or 'just because'?
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 10