MEMORY VERSE: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:31.
STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 551–562.
INTRODUCTION: “We have an enemy who is ever seeking whom he may devour; and it is his purpose to draw away men’s confidence in God, to make them dissatisfied with their condition in life, and to lead them to seek to know what God has veiled from them, and to despise what he has revealed in his holy word. He controls the minds of evil men, and the spirits of devils become the counselors of those who reject the wisdom of God. But shall we who have a holy God, infinite in wisdom, go unto wizards, whose knowledge comes from a close intimacy with the enemy of our Lord? Shall we be among those who turn ‘after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them,’ and thus prove false to our best friend until His face be set against us? We are living in an age of peril, in an age of apostasy; evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse, Satan is working with all ‘deceivableness of unrighteousness,’ and the servants of God must make no concessions to the enemy.” Signs of the Times, August 19 1889.
“HE DOETH GREAT WONDERS”
What warnings did Jesus give about deceptions in the last days? Matthew 24:4–5, 11, 23–26.
NOTE: “These deceivers will come, and, while claiming to be doing a special work for God, while professing to have advanced piety, to be sanctified, to see visions, and to have dreams, they will be doing the work of the enemy, and be found breaking the commandments of God. We should be on our guard, and bring these pretenders to the test; ‘to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Shall we take heed to the solemn warnings of Christ, of Paul, and of John upon this point, and not be deceived by the subtle devices of the enemy, for Christ has said that the signs and wonders wrought by these deceivers will be so great that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.” Signs of the Times, July 4, 1895.
Are miracles always evidence of the power of God? Revelation 13:13–14.
NOTE: “Christ said, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.’ Many false messiahs will appear, claiming to work miracles, and declaring that the time of the deliverance of the Jewish nation has come. These will mislead many. Christ’s words were fulfilled. Between His death and the siege of Jerusalem many false messiahs appeared. But this warning was given also to those who live in this age of the world. The same deceptions practiced prior to the destruction of Jerusalem have been practiced through the ages, and will be practiced again.” Desire of Ages, 628.
What will be the culminating act in the work of deception? 2 Corinthians 11:14.
NOTE: “Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by them unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled now, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles? Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations then, professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false christs? ‘Go not after them.’” Notebook Leaflets, 58.
“AND ROSE UP TO PLAY”
What example of pagan worship are we shown among the people of God? Exodus 32:1–8.
NOTE: “The manner in which the meetings…have been carried on, with noise and confusion, does not commend them to thoughtful, intelligent minds. There is nothing in these demonstrations which will convince the world that we have the truth. Mere noise and shouting are no evidence of sanctification, or of the descent of the Holy Spirit. Your wild demonstrations create only disgust in the minds of unbelievers. The fewer of such demonstrations there are, the better it will be for the actors and for the people in general. Fanaticism, once started and left unchecked, is as hard to quench as a fire which has obtained hold of a building. Those who have entered into and sustained this fanaticism, might far better be engaged in secular labor; for by their inconsistent course of action they are dishonoring the Lord and imperiling his people. Many such movements will arise at this time, when the Lord’s work should stand elevated, pure, unadulterated with superstition and fables. We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan’s devices. The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, April 23, 1901.
Which Bible verses are used to justify dancing, shouting, clapping and the use of secular musical styles in church worship? 2 Samuel 6:14–16; Ezra 3:11 (See also Exodus 32:17, 18); Psalm 47:1; Psalm 150:3–5.
NOTE: “The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting with drums, music and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions . . . A bedlam of noises shocks the senses and perverts that which, if conducted aright, might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working. . . . Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.” Last Day Events, 159. (Written in 1900.)
What verses are used to justify the introduction of glossolalia into church worship? 1 Corinthians 14:2–19.
NOTE: “Some of these persons have exercises which they call gifts and say that the Lord has placed them in the church. They have an unmeaning gibberish which they call the unknown tongue, which is unknown not only by man but by the Lord and all heaven. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women, aided by the great deceiver. Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this has not been good. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ Fanaticism and noise have been considered special evidences of faith. Some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this and get up an excitement of feeling. But the influence of such meetings is not beneficial. When the happy flight of feeling is gone, they sink lower than before the meeting because their happiness did not come from the right source.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 412.
“FOR THE LIVING TO THE DEAD?”
What clear condemnation does the Bible give of attempts to communicate with the dead? Isaiah 8:19–20; Deuteronomy 18:10–11.
NOTE: “Nearly all forms of ancient sorcery and witchcraft were founded upon a belief in communion with the dead. Those who practiced the arts of necromancy claimed to have intercourse with departed spirits, and to obtain through them a knowledge of future events. . . . This same belief in communion with the dead formed the cornerstone of heathen idolatry. The gods of the heathen were believed to be the deified spirits of departed heroes. Thus the religion of the heathen was a worship of the dead. This is evident from the Scriptures.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 684.
How are we shown that Saul’s resorting to a medium was forbidden? 1 Samuel 28:3. (Compare verse 9.)
NOTE: “Saul had a full knowledge of the character of necromancy. It had been expressly forbidden by the Lord, and the sentence of death was pronounced against all who practiced its unholy arts. During the life of Samuel, Saul had commanded that all wizards and those that had familiar spirits should be put to death; but now, in the rashness of desperation, he had recourse to that oracle which he had condemned as an abomination.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 676.
What warning are we given of the deceptions of evil spirits in the last days? Revelation 16:14.
NOTE: “Those who oppose the teachings of spiritualism are assailing, not men alone, but Satan and his angels. They have entered upon a contest against principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high places. Satan will not yield one inch of ground except as he is driven back by the power of heavenly messengers. The people of God should be able to meet him, as did our Savior, with the words: ‘It is written.’ Satan can quote Scripture now as in the days of Christ, and he will pervert its teachings to sustain his delusions. Those who would stand in this time of peril must understand for themselves the testimony of the Scriptures. Many will be confronted by the spirits of devils personating beloved relatives or friends and declaring the most dangerous heresies. These visitants will appeal to our tenderest sympathies and will work miracles to sustain
their pretensions. We must be prepared to withstand them with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything and that they who thus appear are the spirits of devils.” Great Controversy, 559–560.
“THOU SHALT NOT BOW DOWN THYSELF TO THEM”
How does God regard the attempt to create a likeness of Him? Isaiah 40:18–20; Psalm 115:4–9.
NOTE: “God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.’ Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: ‘They are joined to their idols, let them alone,’ and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.
What sad picture was Ezekiel shown of the state of God’s church and its leaders? Ezekiel 8:5–16. (Compare Revelation 3:15–17.)
NOTE: “Many have a form of godliness, but in their daily life deny the power thereof. They have ceased to be convicted of their sins or alarmed at their state. They say in their hearts, ‘The church is flourishing. Peace and spiritual prosperity are within her borders.’ The words of the prophet may well apply to these selfdeceivers, ‘They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them.’” Review and Herald, November 7, 1882.
What work must take place to prepare the church for the coming of her Lord? Hebrews 12:26–27. (Compare Amos 9:9.)
NOTE: “We have been inclined to think that where there are no faithful ministers there can be no true Christians, but this is not the case. God has promised that where the shepherds are not true He will take charge of the flock Himself. God has never made the flock wholly dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80.