Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions  (Read 269 times)

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Richard Myers

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 Lesson 11 December 3-9





End-Time Deceptions





Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon




Sabbath Afternoon



Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 7:21-27, John 11:40-44, 1 Pet. 3:18, 1 Sam. 28:3-25, Eph. 6:10-18.

Memory Text: “ And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15

Our contemporary world has become a melting pot of the supernatural and the mystical, helped on by Hollywood, which has no problem making movies with religious and mystical themes in a hodge-podge of error and deception. The old lie, “You surely will not die!” (Gen. 3:4, NASB) has also inspired some of the most-read books and most-watched movies of the last decades, and many popular videogames, as well. Undeniably, we are exposed to and tempted by the enchanted ground of Satan, which can appear in myriad forms and even, in some cases, can come hidden in the veneer of science.

One of the most deceptive phenomena has been what has been called “near death” experiences (NDEs), where those who had “died” have come back to life with stories of an afterlife. Many people have seen these events as proof of an immortal soul!

During this week we will consider some end-time deceptions, including mysticism, near-death experiences, reincarnation, necromancy and ancestor worship, and others. These are dangerous subjects that we should be aware of but without exposing ourselves to their influences.

That is good counsel. Stay away from such things so they can't influence us.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 10.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2022, 06:29:31 PM »
Sunday          December 4
Mysticism


Our world has been flooded by the strong waves of mysticism. The word “mysticism” is a complex term that encapsulates a huge variety of ideas. From a religious perspective, the word implies the union of the individual with the Divine or Absolute in some kind of spiritual experience or trance. This characterizes the worship experience of even certain churches. The phenomena can vary in form and intensity, but the tendency always is to replace the authority of the Written Word of God by one’s own subjective experiences. In any case, the Bible loses much of its doctrinal function, and the Christian remains vulnerable to his or her own experiences. This kind of subjective religion does not provide a safeguard against any deception, especially end-time ones.

Read Matthew 7:21-27. In light of Jesus’ own words, what does it mean to build our spiritual house “on the rock” and to build it “on the sand”?

There is a strong tendency in the postmodern Christian world to downplay the relevance of biblical doctrines, regarding them as tedious echoes of an obsolete form of religion. In this process, the teachings of Christ are artificially replaced by the person of Christ — arguing, for instance, that some biblical story or another cannot be true because Jesus, as they perceive Him, would never have allowed that to happen as it is written. Personal feelings and taste end up being the criteria for interpreting the Scriptures or even for rejecting outright what the Bible clearly teaches, often about obedience to God, which as Jesus said is so essential to building one’s house on the rock.

Those who think that it matters not what they believe in doctrine, so long as they believe in Jesus Christ, are on dangerous ground. The Roman Inquisitors who condemned to death untold numbers of Protestants believed in Jesus Christ. Those who had “cast out demons” in Christ’s name (Matt. 7:22, NKJV). had believed in Him. “The position that it is of no consequence what men believe is one of Satan’s most successful deceptions. He knows that the truth, received in the love of it, sanctifies the soul of the receiver; therefore he is constantly seeking to substitute false theories, fables, another gospel.” — Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 520.

How can we fight the very human tendency to let our emotions and desires cause us to do things contrary to the Word of God?

What makes one a converted Christian? It is that which enables us to be victorious over our flesh (passions and appetites). It is the indwelling Spirit that gives us power to not sin.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2022, 09:43:56 PM »
Monday          December 5
Near-Death Experiences

Some of the most popular modern arguments to “prove” the theory of the natural immortality of the soul are “near-death experiences.” In his book, Life After Life: The Investigation of a Phenomenon — Survival of Bodily Death (Atlanta, GA: Mockingbird, 1975), Raymond A. Moody, Jr., presented the results of his five-year study of more than one hundred people who experienced “clinical death” and were revived. These individuals claimed to have seen a loving and warm being of light before coming back to life. This has been regarded as “exciting evidence of the survival of the human spirit beyond death” (back cover). Over the years, many other similar books have been published, promoting the same idea. (See lesson 2.)

Read the resurrection accounts of 1 Kings 17:22-24, 2 Kings 4:34-37, Mark 5:41-43, Luke 7:14-17, and John 11:40-44. How many of them talk about any kind of conscious existence while the resurrected ones were dead, and why is that answer important?

All near-death experiences reported in modern literature are of people considered clinically dead, but not really dead, in contrast to Lazarus, who was dead for four days and whose corpse was rotting (John 11:39). Neither Lazarus nor any of those raised from the dead in biblical times ever mentioned any afterlife experience, whether in Paradise, in purgatory, or in hell. This is, indeed, an argument from silence, but it is in full agreement with the biblical teachings on the unconscious state of the dead!

But what about the “near-death” experiences so commonly recounted today? If we accept the biblical teaching of the unconsciousness of the dead (Job 3:11-13, Ps. 115:17, Ps. 146:4, Eccles. 9:10), then we are left with two main possibilities: either it is a natural psychochemical hallucination under extreme conditions, or it can be a supernatural satanic deceptive experience (2 Cor. 11:14). Satanic deception could indeed be the explanation, especially because in some cases these people claim to have talked to their dead relatives! But it could be a combination of both factors.

With this deception prevalent, and so convincing to many, it is crucial that we stick firmly to the teaching of the Word of God, despite whatever experiences we or others might have that go against what the Bible teaches.

How fascinating that NDEs often now come with the imprimatur of “science.” What does this teach us about how careful we need to be even of things that science supposedly “proves”?

We have much evidence that a lot of "science" today is not true science. There is corruption everywhere we look. Why would we suppose corruption has bypassed science? So called "higher" education has long been corrupted.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2022, 09:44:39 PM »
Tuesday          December 6
Reincarnation

The pagan notion of an immortal soul provides the foundation for the unbiblical theory of reincarnation or transmigration of the soul. This theory has been adopted by some major world religions. While most Christians believe in the existence of an immortal soul that abides in a permanent heaven or hell after death, those who believe in reincarnation hold that such an immortal soul goes through many cycles of death and rebirth here on earth.

For some, reincarnation is thought to be a process of spiritual evolution that allows the spirit to attain ever greater levels of knowledge and morality in its journey toward perfection. Hindus believe that the eternal soul goes through a progression of consciousness or “samsara” at six classes of life: aquatics, plants, reptiles and insects, birds, animals, and human beings, including the residents of heaven.

Read Hebrews 9:25-28 and 1 Peter 3:18. If Jesus died just “once” (Heb. 9:28, 1 Pet. 3:18, NKJV) and likewise all human beings die just “once” (Heb. 9:27, NKJV), why do even some alleged Christians believe in some form of reincarnation?

False teachers lead many away from the Bible as the source of all truth. What do we say about Babylon, now did this happen? And why are we still here on this dark spot in the universe? False teaching has kept the world from knowing God and the plan of salvation.


Many people believe not in what they should believe but in what they want to believe. If a theory brings them existential peace and comfort, that is enough to settle the discussion for them. But for those who take the Bible seriously, there is no way to accept the theory of reincarnation.

    First, this theory contradicts the biblical teachings of the mortality of the “soul” and the resurrection of the body (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
    Second, it negates the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-10) and replaces it by human works.
    Third, the theory contradicts the biblical teaching that eternal destiny is decided forever by one’s decisions in this life (Matt. 22:1-14, Matt. 25:31-46).
    Fourth, this theory downplays the meaning and relevance of Christ’s second coming (John 14:1-3).
    And fifth, the theory proposes after-death opportunities for someone still to overcome his or her own life’s pitfalls, which is unbiblical (Heb. 9:27).

In short, there is no place for the idea of reincarnation in the Christian faith.


And there is no place for salvation in sin. Yet, the vast majority who profess to be Bible believing Christians believe they have eternal life when committing a known sin. When Satan told Adam and Eve they would not die if they disobeyed God, they believed a lie. So it is today. Why do so very many doubt God's Word? Because so  very many have listened to this very same lie coming from the lips of false teachers. And, it does not have to be a living teacher. Very many read what they believe to be great "light" from the past, when in fact it is the very same lie given to Eve in the Garden, ye shall not die.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2022, 08:18:43 AM »
Wednesday          December 7
Necromancy and Ancestor Worship

The word “necromancy” derives from the Greek terms nekros (dead) and manteia (divination). Practiced since ancient times, necromancy is a form of summoning the alleged active spirits of the dead in order to get knowledge, often about future events. Ancestor worship, meanwhile, is the custom of venerating deceased ancestors because they are still considered family and whose spirits can, it is believed, influence the affairs of the living. These pagan practices can be very attractive to those who believe in an immortal soul and who also miss their deceased loved ones.

Read 1 Samuel 28:3-25. What spiritual lessons against any supposed communication with the dead can be drawn from Saul’s experience with the woman medium at Endor?

The Bible stated very clearly that all spiritists, mediums, sorcerers, and necromancers, in the ancient Israelite theocracy, were abominations to the Lord and should be put to death by stoning (Lev. 19:31; Lev. 20:6, 27; Deut. 18:9-14). In accordance with this law, Saul had destroyed all mediums and spiritists from Israel (1 Sam. 28:3, 9).

But, then, after being rejected by the Lord, Saul himself went to the Canaanite city of Endor to inquire of a woman medium (1 Sam. 28:6, 7, 15; compare with Josh. 17:11, Ps. 83:10). He asked her to bring up the deceased prophet Samuel, who supposedly came up in a necromancer apparition and spoke with Saul (1 Sam. 28:13-19). The deceiving spirit, who pretended to be Samuel, told Saul, “tomorrow you and your sons will be with me” (1 Sam. 28:19, NKJV). While predicting Saul’s death, that deceiving spirit, merely by assuming the form of Samuel, reaffirmed the unbiblical theory of the natural immortality of the soul. It was a powerful deception, and Saul should have known better than to become involved with what he had previously condemned.

More than two centuries later, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:19, 20, NKJV; also Isa. 19:3).

How often, under stress, do we do things that we know are wrong? Why are faith, prayer, and obedience to the Word of God our only sure defense against our own selves?

Because we are evil by nature. When truly converted, we still live in evil flesh. Then what is the difference between those who love the Lord our God with the whole heart and those who do not? While living in evil flesh, they keep the "body" (flesh) under by the power of God's grace. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and are partakers of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). When the converted take their eyes off of Jesus, they end up in the water just as did Peter. Evil flesh is not an excuse for sin. God has provided a Savior who will keep us from sin if we will maintain our whole heart surrender to Him who gave all that we might live.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2022, 08:21:50 AM »
Thursday          December 8
Personations and Other Appearances

Similar to necromancy are the demonic personations of the dead and other demoniac appearances. The personations can be in the form of a deceased family member, friend, or anyone. Both the physical appearance and the voice are very similar to those of the deceased. All these satanic deceptions will be used to deceive those who are not firmly grounded on God’s Word. Ellen G. White warns, “The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth.” — The Great Controversy, p. 557. And more, “As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ.” — The Great Controversy, p. 624.

Read 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15 and Ephesians 6:10-18. What should be our safeguards against such demonic deceptions?

The apostle Paul warns us that “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12, NRSV). We can be protected against these deceptions only by being clothed with “the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:13, NKJV) described in Ephesians 6:13-18.

The satanic personations and appearances can be very frightening and deceiving, but they cannot mislead those who are sheltered by God and grounded on God’s Word. From a doctrinal perspective, those who believe in the biblical doctrine of the conditional immortality of human beings know that any appearance or communication with the dead is of a satanic origin and needs to be rejected by God’s powerful grace. Again, no matter how powerful, convincing, and seemingly real the manifestation is, we must always stand firm to the teaching that the dead are asleep in the grave.

Imagine, though, losing a loved one and then believing that this same loved one appears to you? And expresses love to you? And tells you how much they miss you? And says things that, yes, only they would know? And says that they are now in a better place? If a person is not absolutely grounded in what the Bible teaches about the state of the dead, think how easily he or she could fall for this deception. Especially because they want to believe it, as well.

What does it mean to put on the “whole armor of God”? In a day-by-day practical sense, how do we do this in every area of our lives, not just in dealing with end-time deceptions?

We will obey God in all that we know if we love Him with all of the  heart. We cannot allow the mind to wander away from Jesus, He is our only hope of not hurting others. The wages of sin is death. Many think they are saved when they sin a known sin, thus rejecting the truth that the wages of sin is death. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. The glory of God will transform sinners into saints. Read 2 Cor 3:18.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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  • Grace, more than a word, it is transforming power
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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 11--4th Quarter 2022--End-Time Deceptions
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2022, 05:36:56 PM »
Friday          December 9

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Dealing With False Science, Cults, Isms, and Secret Societies,” pp. 602-609, in Evangelism; and “Spiritism,” pp. 86-93, in Confrontation.

There exists a foundation which claims that it is creating technology that will allow us to contact the deceased “via texts, phone calls, and video-conferencing.” Calling the dead PMPs (post material persons), its website claims that when humans die they simply pass on “into another phase of forever” but “retain their consciousness, identity, and core aspects of their previous physical form.” But, most importantly, the folks at the foundation claim to be developing, in three phases, technology that will allow communication between material and post material persons.

The first phase will “allow texting and typing with postmaterial family, friends, and experts in every field of expertise.” Phase two is supposed to “enable talking with your dear ones who are living in another part of forever.” And the third phase, it says, will open the way to “hearing and seeing those who are experiencing the field of all possibilities from a different observation point.”

Especially scary is how they test if the communicating dead are really who they claim to be. “For example,” the site says, “a bereaved parent might ask the following question of a son or a daughter who has changed worlds: ‘Did you have a dog named Snoopy when you were a child? Did we give you a pocketknife for your tenth birthday?’” How interesting in light of this warning: “Spiritual beings sometimes appear to persons in the form of their deceased friends, and relate incidents connected with their lives and perform acts which they performed while living.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 684.

And Satan will appear as Jesus. Are we ready? Are our loved ones ready? The Bible says "if possible the very elect will be deceived."  It is not possible because they are not following false teachers, but the Word of God.


Discussion Questions:

    Using the excuse of being culturally acceptable, many Christians consume whatever the media promote. Which biblical principles should guide our relationship with the media, especially when they openly promote views that we know are wrong and deceptive (see Ps. 101:1-8, Prov. 4:23, Phil. 4:8 )?

Is it not interesting that America seems to have lost her way and is pushing a culture that is anti God, anti Bible, and anti family. It is a sign of the times.


    How can we help others to overcome Satan’s end-time deceptions without being exposed to the deceiving influence of those very same deceptions ourselves?

Stay away from them. Spend time in prayer and Bible study. Spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus. By beholding His character your character will reflect His character (2 Cor. 3:18).


    Many Christians have seen the story of having “Samuel” summoned from the grave as biblical proof that the dead live on. What does this account teach us about why we cannot rely only on a single text or story to build a doctrine but, instead, we must look at all that the Bible says about a topic?

Our lives are to reflect what the whole Bible reveals, not one or two or 50 verses. We are to know God. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. How much time do we spend in the Bible? Do we know what the Bible teaches, the whole Bible? Many are deceived because they do not know the whole Bible, but just pieces of it. And, too many trust what someone else says the Bible says. We need to know for ourselves what it says. Who do you trust more than the Bible?


End time deceptions are coming, don't believe them.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.