June 6–12, 2021
“They cried to God in the battle, and He was intreated of them; because they put their trust in Him” (1 Chronicles 5:20, last part).
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 683–689; The Story of Redemption, 32–41.
“The perils of the last days are upon us. Satan takes the control of every mind that is not decidedly under the control of the Spirit of God.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 79. [Emphasis author’s.]
1 ANCIENT AND MODERN DAY SPIRITUALISM
1.a. How did Satan beguile men in the past and how is he preparing to gain complete control over human minds today? Exodus 7:11, 22; Acts 8:9–11; Revelation 13:4, 13, 14; 16:13, 14.
Note: “It was the hand of God, and no human influence or power possessed by Moses and Aaron, that wrought the miracles which they showed before Pharaoh. Those signs and wonders were designed to convince Pharaoh that the great ‘I AM’ had sent Moses, and that it was the duty of the king to let Israel go, that they might serve the living God. The magicians also showed signs and wonders; for they wrought not by their own skill alone, but by the power of their god, Satan, who assisted them in counterfeiting the work of Jehovah.
“The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents; but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, they were able to produce this appearance. It was beyond the power of Satan to change the rods to living serpents.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 264.
1.b. How did Ellen White explain the term “empty deceit” of Colossians 2:8?
Note: “Thousands, I was shown, have been spoiled through the philosophy of phrenology and animal magnetism, and have been driven into infidelity. If the mind commences to run in this channel, it is almost sure to lose its balance and be controlled by a demon. ‘Vain deceit’ fills the minds of poor mortals. They think there is such power in themselves to accomplish great works that they realize no necessity of a higher power. … He [Jesus] did not direct the minds of poor mortals to themselves, to a power which they possessed. He was ever directing their minds to God, the Creator of the universe, as the source of their strength and wisdom.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 297.
2 MEDIA, MOVIES, AND ADVERTISING
2.a. What is the result of watching other people sin whether through media or in real life? 1 Corinthians 15:33; Psalms 101:3, 4.
2.b. How is the ninth commandment broken in all dramatical productions? Exodus 20:16; Zechariah 8:16.
Note: “Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes, deprave the imagination and debase the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence, as the desire for intoxicating drink strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 653.
3 THE EFFECTS OF VISUAL IMAGES
3.a. What moral responsibility do we have for what we look at? Luke 11:34.
Note: “We must pray more and exercise faith continually. I feel the necessity of drawing nearer and closer to Jesus. I see I must labor to the point to keep my mind ascending to God continually if I would maintain the victory over Satan’s temptations.” The Upward Look, 127.
3.b. What are the three things in worldly entertainment (tv, movies, video) that the Christian is advised to leave alone? 1 John 2:16, 17.
Note: “You know our bodies are made up of the food assimilated. Now, it is the same with our minds.” Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 491.
“The mind is controlled either by Satan or by Jesus.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 495.
“None are in greater danger from the influence of evil spirits than those who, notwithstanding the direct and ample testimony of the Scriptures, deny the existence and agency of the devil and his angels. So long as we are ignorant of their wiles, they have almost inconceivable advantage; many give heed to their suggestions while they suppose themselves to be following the dictates of their own wisdom. This is why, as we approach the close of time, when Satan is to work with greatest power to deceive and destroy, he spreads everywhere the belief that he does not exist. It is his policy to conceal himself and his manner of working.
“There is nothing that the great deceiver fears so much as that we shall become acquainted with his devices.” The Great Controversy, 516.
“We carefully secure our houses with bolts and locks to protect our property and our lives from evil men; but we seldom think of the evil angels who are constantly seeking access to us, and against whose attacks we have, in our own strength, no method of defense. If permitted, they can distract our minds, disorder and torment our bodies, destroy our possessions and our lives.” Ibid., 517.
THE POLLUTION OF HUMAN THOUGHTS
4.a. What kind of worldly conduct is the Christian to avoid? Ephesians 4:17–23.
Note: “It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility.” The Great Controversy, 587.
“The tempter assured Eve that as soon as she ate of the fruit she would receive a new and superior knowledge that would make her equal with God. He called her attention to himself. He ate freely of the tree and found it not only perfectly harmless but delicious and exhilarating … . He further told them that they could not die. Had they not eaten of the tree of life which perpetuates immortality? He said that God was deceiving them to keep them from a higher state of felicity and more exalted happiness.” The Story of Redemption, 34, 35.
4.b. What works of the flesh are portrayed on television and other worldly entertainment? Galatians 5:19–21.
Note: “It was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin. … It is thus that Satan still seeks to compass the ruin of the soul. A long preparatory process, unknown to the world, goes on in the heart before the Christian commits open sin. The mind does not come down at once from purity and holiness to depravity, corruption, and crime. It takes time to degrade those formed in the image of God to the brutal or the satanic. By beholding we become changed. By the indulgence of impure thoughts man can so educate his mind that sin which he once loathed will become pleasant to him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 459.
“Do not for a moment acknowledge Satan’s temptations as being in harmony with your own mind. Turn from them as you would from the adversary himself.” Our High Calling, 85.
5 RETURNING TO GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN
5.a. What does friendship with the world do to our relationship with Jesus Christ? 1 John 2:15–19; James 4:4. What separation is required? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18.
5.b. What kind of location did God prepare as the home of our first parents? Genesis 1:28–31; 2:8, 15.
Note: “The home of our first parents was to be a pattern for other homes as their children should go forth to occupy the earth. That home, beautified by the hand of God Himself, was not a gorgeous palace. Men, in their pride, delight in magnificent and costly edifices and glory in the works of their own hands; but God placed Adam in a garden. This was his dwelling. The blue heavens were its dome; the earth, with its delicate flowers and carpet of living green, was its floor; and the leafy branches of the goodly trees were its canopy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Describe Satan’s techniques to gain control over human minds.
2 How does the media, movies and videos, advertising, etc., exercise a powerful influence over the thoughts and actions of men?
3 How do visual images affect the thoughts?
4 Discuss Satan’s use of mingling truth and error to suit his purposes.
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