July 3, 2005 – July 9, 2005
“Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, [were] in it, [as] I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall [but] deliver their own souls by their righteousness.” Ezekiel 14:20.
Suggested Reading: The Great Controversy, 622–625, 479–490.
In this lesson, we will study pages 622 to 625 of The Great Controversy. Although these pages are found in the chapter entitled “The Time of Trouble,” which explains the events associated with the close of probation and following, these few pages are also about events and issues that occur before probation closes.
exercise: See how many words or phrases you can find in these pages that refer to events or issues before the close of probation. There are at least 18.
1 What test is referred to in the following statement? Exodus 20:8–11; Revelation 14:9–12. See The Great Controversy, 602, 605, 608, 613.
note: “Those who exercise but little faith now, are in the greatest danger of falling under the power of satanic delusions and the decree to compel the conscience. And even if they endure the test they will be plunged into deeper distress and anguish in the time of trouble, because they have never made it a habit to trust in God. The lessons of faith which they have neglected they will be forced to learn under a terrible pressure of discouragement.” The Great Controversy, 622.
2 What are the people of God to do at the present time, and what are they not to do? For biblical counsel, see Job 22:21; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 John 2:15–17.
note: “We should now acquaint ourselves with God by proving His promises. Angels record every prayer that is earnest and sincere. We should rather dispense with selfish gratifications than neglect communion with God. The deepest poverty, the greatest self-denial, with His approval, is better than riches, honors, ease, and friendship without it. We must take time to pray. If we allow our minds to be absorbed by worldly interests, the Lord may give us time by removing from us our idols of gold, of houses, or of fertile lands.
“The young would not be seduced into sin if they would refuse to enter any path save that upon which they could ask God’s blessing. If the messengers who bear the last solemn warning to the world would pray for the blessing of God, not in a cold, listless, lazy manner, but fervently and in faith, as did Jacob, they would find many places where they could say: ‘I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’ Genesis 32:30.” The Great Controversy, 622.
3 What period of time is still before us? What will each one have to do during that time? Daniel 12:1; Ezekiel 14:14, 20.
note: “The ‘time of trouble, such as never was’ [Daniel 12:1], is soon to open upon us; and we shall need an experience which we do not now possess and which many are too indolent to obtain. It is often the case that trouble is greater in anticipation than in reality; but this is not true of the crisis before us. The most vivid presentation cannot reach the magnitude of the ordeal. In that time of trial, every soul must stand for himself before God.” The Great Controversy, 622.
4 While Christ is still making atonement for us in the heavenly sanctuary, what are God’s people to do? Colossians 1:28.
note: “Now, while our great High Priest is making the atonement for us, we should seek to become perfect in Christ. Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. . . . Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.” The Great Controversy, 623.
5 What are the people of God to do in their lives while the sanctuary is still open? For New Testament teaching, see Hebrews 4:14–16.
note: “It is in this life that we are to separate sin from us, through faith in the atoning blood of Christ. Our precious Saviour invites us to join ourselves to Him, to unite our weakness to His strength, our ignorance to His wisdom, our unworthiness to His merits. God’s providence is the school in which we are to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus. . . . It rests with us to co-operate with the agencies which Heaven employs in the work of conforming our characters to the divine model. None can neglect or defer this work but at the most fearful peril to their souls.” The Great Controversy, 623.
6 What will reach its culmination in the time of trouble? Revelation 12:12.
note: “The apostle John in vision heard a loud voice in heaven exclaiming: ‘Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.’ Revelation 12:12. Fearful are the scenes which call forth this exclamation from the heavenly voice. The wrath of Satan increases as his time grows short, and his work of deceit and destruction will reach its culmination in the time of trouble.” The Great Controversy, 623.
7 Who will go forth to the kings of the earth, and what two things will they do? Revelation 16:13, 14, 16.
note: “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.
8 What will be the crowning act in Satan’s drama of deception? 11 Corinthians 11:14.
note: “In the last days he will appear in such a manner as to make men believe him to be Christ come the second time into the world. He will indeed transform himself into an angel of light. But while he will bear the appearance of Christ in every particular, so far as mere appearance goes, it will deceive none but those who, like Pharaoh, are seeking to resist the truth.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 698.
“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. . . . Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13–15.” The Great Controversy, 624.
9 Describe the strong, almost overmastering delusion that takes place under the crowning act of Satan. Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22.
note: “The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: ‘Christ has come! Christ has come!’ The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.” The Great Controversy, 624.
10 Why will the true people of God not be misled by the appearance of Satan as Christ? Revelation 12:17; 14:12; 19:10.
note: “But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God’s unmingled wrath shall be poured out.” The Great Controversy, 625.
11 What Scriptural instruction is given that all may be able to discern between the appearance of Satan as Christ and the true coming of Jesus? Matthew 24:26, 27, 31; 25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 19:11–16.
note: “And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ’s advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. ‘There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. . . . Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ Matthew 24:24–27, 31; 25:31; Revelation 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally known—witnessed by the whole world.” The Great Controversy, 625.
12 Who only will be shielded from this powerful delusion that takes the world captive? See New Testament instruction in Ephesians 1:13; 4:15, 16; 11 Timothy 3:16, 17.
note: “Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed.” The Great Controversy, 625.