November 1, 2003 – November 7, 2003
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” 1 Timothy 4:1, 2.
Suggested Reading: Early Writings, 262–266; The Great Controversy, 495–498, 551–562.
“None need be deceived by the lying claims of spiritualism. God has given the world sufficient light to enable them to discover the snare. . . . The theory which forms the very foundation of spiritualism is at war with the plainest statements of Scripture. The Bible declares that the dead know not anything, that their thoughts have perished; they have no part in anything that is done under the sun; they know nothing of the joys or sorrows of those who were dearest to them on earth.” The Great Controversy, 556.
1 What falsehood has furnished the foundation for spiritualism? Genesis 3:4.
note: “The deification of the dead has held a prominent place in nearly every system of heathenism, as has also the supposed communion with the dead. The gods were believed to communicate their will to men, and also, when consulted, to give them counsel. Of this character were the famous oracles of Greece and Rome.
“The belief in communion with the dead is still held, even in professedly Christian lands. Under the name of spiritualism the practice of communicating with beings claiming to be the spirits of the departed has become widespread. It is calculated to take hold of the sympathies of those who have laid their loved ones in the grave. 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. In this way they lead men to believe that their dead friends are angels, hovering over them and communicating with them. Those who thus assume to be the spirits of the departed are regarded with a certain idolatry, and with many their word has greater weight than the word of God.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 684, 685.
2 What does the Scripture teach concerning those who are dead? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.
note: “A correct understanding of ‘what saith the Scriptures’ in regard to the state of the dead is essential for this time. God’s Word declares that the dead know not anything, their hatred and love have alike perished. We must come to the sure word of prophecy for our authority. Unless we are intelligent in the Scriptures, may we not, when this mighty miracle-working power of Satan is manifested in our world, be deceived and call it the workings of God; for the Word of God declares that, if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived. Unless we are rooted and grounded in the truth, we shall be swept away by Satan’s delusive snares. We must cling to our Bibles. If Satan can make you believe that there are things in the Word of God that are not inspired, he will then be prepared to ensnare your soul. We shall have no assurance, no certainty, at the very time we need to know what is truth.” Review and Herald, December 18, 1888.
3 Then by what agency must the wonders of spiritualism be wrought? Revelation 16:14.
note: “Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of heaven. By these agencies, rulers and subjects will be alike deceived. Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world’s Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 624.
4 In what way do fallen angels receive worship? 1 Corinthians 10:19–21; Psalm 106:37, 38.
note: “The Lord declared to Israel: ‘The soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set My face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.’ Leviticus 20:6.
“The ‘familiar spirits’ were not the spirits of the dead, but evil angels, the messengers of Satan. Ancient idolatry, which, as we have seen, comprises both worship of the dead and pretended communion with them, is declared by the Bible to have been demon worship. . . . [1 Corinthians 10:20 and Psalm 106:37, 38 quoted.] In their supposed worship of dead men they were in reality worshiping demons.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 685.
5 What is Satan able to do? 11 Corinthians 11:14, 15.
note: “Satan will work in a most subtle manner to introduce human inventions clothed with angel garments. But the light from the Word is shining amid the moral darkness; and the Bible will never be superseded by miraculous manifestations. The truth must be studied, it must be searched for as hidden treasure. Wonderful illuminations will not be given aside from the Word, or to take the place of it. Cling to the Word, receive the ingrafted Word, which will make men wise unto salvation.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 100.
6 What has the Spirit revealed would take place in the last days? 1 Timothy 4:1, 2.
note: “Let the truths that are the foundation of our faith be kept before the people. Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. They talk science, and the enemy comes in and gives them an abundance of science; but it is not the science of salvation. It is not the science of humility, of consecration, or of the sanctification of the Spirit. We are now to understand what the pillars of our faith are,—the truths that have made us as a people what we are, leading us on step by step.” Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.
7 Against whom are Satan and his angels especially to war? Revelation 12:17. What is the testimony of Jesus? Revelation 19:10.
note: “Those who love and keep the commandments of God are most obnoxious to the synagogue of Satan, and the powers of evil will manifest their hatred toward them to the fullest extent possible. John foresaw the conflict between the remnant church and the power of evil, and said, ‘The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ [Revelation 12:17.]
“The forces of darkness will unite with human agents who have given themselves into the control of Satan, and the same scenes that were exhibited at the trial, rejection, and crucifixion of Christ will be revived. Through yielding to satanic influences, men will be transformed into fiends; and those who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons, and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil—men who reflect his own image.” Review and Herald, April 14, 1896.
“Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.” Colporteur Ministry, 125.
“We have the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophecy. Priceless gems are to be found in the word of God. Those who search this word should keep the mind clear. Never should they indulge perverted appetite in eating or drinking.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 114.
8 To what are the fallen angels reserved? Jude 6; 11 Peter 2:4.
note: “The earth looked like a desolate wilderness. Cities and villages, shaken down by the earthquake, lay in heaps. Mountains had been moved out of their places, leaving large caverns. Ragged rocks, thrown out by the sea, or torn out of the earth itself, were scattered all over its surface. Large trees had been uprooted and were strewn over the land. Here is to be the home of Satan with his evil angels for a thousand years.” Maranatha, 313.
9 At the time of judgment of the fallen angels, who will take part? 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3.
note: “During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection, the judgment of the wicked takes place. . . . At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: ‘I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them.’ ‘They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.’ Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, ‘the saints shall judge the world.’ 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.
“Satan also and evil angels are judged by Christ and His people.” The Faith I Live By, 354.
10 What fate awaits the devil and his angels? Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:7–9.
note: “I entreat that there may be a putting away from the life every action which does not bear the approval of God. We are drawing near to the close of earth’s history; the battle is growing daily more fierce. There is a day appointed when men who have bowed to the mandates of Satan will find themselves the subjects of the wrath of God, when the Judge of all the earth shall pronounce the sentence against Satan and his adherents, ‘Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’ [Matthew 25:41.]” Loma Linda Messages, 228.
11 What prophecy will then have been fulfilled? Malachi 4:1.
note: “Then are fulfilled the words of the prophet: ‘The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter.’ Isaiah 34:2. ‘Upon the wicked He shall rain quick burning coals, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.’ Psalm 11:6, margin. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that ‘shall burn as an oven.’ Malachi 4:1. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein are burned up. (11 Peter 3:10.) The fire of Tophet is prepared for the king, the chief of rebellion; the pile thereof is deep and large, and ‘the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.’ Isaiah 30:33. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—‘the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.’ Isaiah 34: 8.” The Story of Redemption, 428, 429.
12 What shall not arise the second time? Nahum 1:9.
note: “The plan of salvation, making manifest the justice and love of God, provides an eternal safeguard against defection in unfallen worlds, as well as among those who shall be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Our only hope is perfect trust in the blood of Him who can save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. The death of Christ on the cross of Calvary is our only hope in this world, and it will be our theme in the world to come. Oh, we do not comprehend the value of the atonement! If we did, we would talk more about it. The gift of God in His beloved Son was the expression of an incomprehensible love. It was the utmost that God could do to preserve the honor of His law, and still save the transgressor. Why should man not study the theme of redemption? It is the greatest subject that can engage the human mind. If men would contemplate the love of Christ, displayed in the cross, their faith would be strengthened to appropriate the merits of His shed blood, and they would be cleansed and saved from sin.” The Signs of the Times, December 30, 1889.
These lessons are adapted from the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, April 1912.