January 2, 2011 – January 8, 2011
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” II Thessalonians 2:9.
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 461–478; Prophets and Kings, 210–212.
“Satan also works with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13.” The Great Controversy, 612.
1 How is ecumenism described in prophecy? Revelation 16:13, 14. What will be the consequences of this threefold union?
Note: “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, 588.
2 How has God warned of this confederacy? Revelation 18:4. What prophetic description of the 144,000 demands complete separation from the fallen denominations? Revelation 14:4, first part.
Note: “We are not to confederate with worldlings, lest we become imbued with their spirit, lest our spiritual discernment become confused and we view those who have the truth and bear the message of the Lord from the standpoint of the professed Christian churches.” Last Day Events, 84, 85.
3 What warning should we heed when we see that those who profess the truth are uniting with the world and getting involved in the ecumenical movement? Isaiah 8:12, 13; Nehemiah 6:1–4, 10, 11.
Note: “Let the watchmen on the walls of Zion not join with those who are making of none effect the truth as it is in Christ. Let them not join the confederacy of infidelity, popery, and Protestantism in exalting tradition above Scripture, reason above revelation, and human talent above the divine influence and the vital power of godliness.” The Review and Herald, March 24, 1896.
“When those who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great purity, plead for union with those who have ever been the opposers of the cause of truth, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah.” Prophets and Kings, 660.
4 How will spiritualism affect the world? Isaiah 8:19; 28:15.
Note: “As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.” The Great Controversy, 588.
5 What lamentable example of spiritualism is given in the Bible? I Samuel 28:11–14; I Chronicles 10:13, 14. How does this same danger exist today?
Note: “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.” The Great Controversy, 560.
6 What history is being repeated today? II Kings 1:2.
7 How do many fall prey to more pleasing forms of spiritualism?
Note: “There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism. … Still others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of theosophy and other Oriental religions.
“The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have the power to cure the diseased. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called ‘sympathetic remedies,’ or to latent forces within the mind of man. And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers, instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified Christian physicians.” Evangelism, 606.
8 Why is it so dangerous to consult “faith healers”? II Corinthians 11:13–15. What tragic scenario often occurs?
Note: “Angels of God will preserve His people while they walk in the path of duty; but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan’s ground. An agent of the great deceiver will say and do anything to gain his object. It matters little whether he calls himself a spiritualist, an ‘electric physician,’ or a ‘magnetic healer.’ By specious pretenses he wins the confidence of the unwary. He pretends to read the life-history and to understand all the difficulties and afflictions of those who resort to him. Disguising himself as an angel of light, while the blackness of the pit is in his heart, he manifests great interest in women who seek his counsel. He tells them that all their troubles are due to an unhappy marriage. This may be too true, but such a counselor does not better their condition. He tells them that they need love and sympathy. Pretending great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are completely in his power, and sin, disgrace, and ruin are the terrible sequel.” Evangelism, 607, 608.
9 How will Satan show his power through modern religionists? Matthew 24:24; II Thessalonians 2:9. How are we to build up immunity against this deception?
Note: “Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? Forms of error, and departure from the plain precepts and commandments of God and giving heed to fables are fitting minds for these lying wonders of Satan.” Messages to Young People, 61.
“Let not the days pass by and precious opportunities be lost of seeking the Lord with all the heart and mind and soul. If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days, and believe them. Many strange things will appear as wonderful miracles, which should be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.
“So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 593.
10 For what purpose did Satan work miracles in the days of Moses and Aaron? Exodus 7:10–13. In what danger are those whose faith is based on the working of miracles?
Note: “The man who makes the working of miracles the test of his faith will find that Satan can, through a species of deceptions, perform wonders that will appear to be genuine miracles. It was this he hoped to make a test question with the Israelites at the time of their deliverance from Egypt.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 52.
11 What will be the great climax in the drama of deception? Matthew 24:23. How can we be on the safe side?
Note: “Satan will not only appear as a human being, but he will personate Jesus Christ; and the world that has rejected the truth will receive him as the Lord of lords and King of kings.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1106.
12 Before the latter rain is poured out, how will Satan introduce a counterfeit? Matthew 7:22.
Note: “God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches.” Early Writings, 261.
“In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he [Satan] will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit.” The Great Controversy, 464.
13 How can we distinguish the work of God from the work of Satan? Matthew 7:20, 21.
Note: “If those through whom cures are performed are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God, and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver.” The Review and Herald, November 17, 1885.
14 What test will soon come upon the world? Revelation 13:13, 14.
Note: “Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand.” The Great Controversy, 612.
Review and Thought Questions
1 What is the basis of the threefold union now underway?
2 Why is spiritualism gaining in power to deceive?
3 Name some of the modern forms of spiritualism.
4 How are minds being fitted for Satan’s lying wonders?
5 What is Satan’s goal in the charismatic movement?
“The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for the truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the Word of God, the Bible, before your heavenly Father, and say, ‘Enlighten me; teach me what is truth.’
“And when His Holy Spirit shall come into your hearts, to impress the truth into your souls, you will not let it go easily. You have gained such an experience in searching the Scriptures that every point is established. And it is important that you continually search the Scriptures.” Faith and Works, 56.
“Do not allow yourself to be led to think that you will live in heaven while in this fallen world. Those who think this keep their minds on the strain for some wonderful experience that will waft their souls into a refined, spiritual atmosphere. But this is not the true science of Christian experience. When they suppose they have reached spiritual heights of refinement, Satan, in the garb of an angel of light, presents to them indulgences in which he makes it appear there is no sin.
“I would warn you against these apparently refined doctrines, which say that sin is not sin, and teach the possibility of living a spiritualistic life above the grossness of sin. I write this because there are minds entering into temptation in regard to this refined science of spiritualistic attainments. You will meet this science, and you will hardly know how to handle it.
“We have reached the perils of the last days, when some, yes, many, shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Be cautious in regard to what you read and how you hear. Take not a particle of interest in spiritualistic theories. Satan is waiting to steal a march upon everyone who allows himself to be deceived by his hypnotism. He begins to exert his power over them just as soon as they begin to investigate his theories.” Medical Ministry, 101, 102.
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.