December 11, 2005 – December 17, 2005
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 11 Corinthians 11:14.
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 518–523.
“He [Satan] hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches. But the light will shine, and all who are honest will leave the fallen churches, and take their stand with the remnant.” Early Writings, 261.
1 What represented the foundation of Satan’s effort to deceive the world? Genesis 3:4, 5.
note: “Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ ‘In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time.” The Great Controversy, 561.
2 What plain teaching of Scripture is contradicted in the theory underlying spiritualism? Ecclesiastes 9:5.
note: “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.
3 Wherein lies the power of Satan to deceive? 11 Thessalonians 2:9–12.
note: “There are but two parties. Satan works with his crooked, deceiving power, and through strong delusions he catches all who do not abide in the truth, who have turned away their ears from the truth and have turned unto fables. Satan himself abode not in the truth; he is the mystery of iniquity. Through his subtlety he gives to his soul-destroying errors the appearance of truth. Herein is their power to deceive. It is because they are a counterfeit of the truth that spiritualism, theosophy, and the like deceptions gain such power over the minds of men. Herein is the masterly working of Satan. He pretends to be the savior of man, the benefactor of the human race, and thus he more readily lures his victims to destruction.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 365.
4 How does Peter describe Satan and the way he works? 1 Peter 5:8.
note: “I have been shown that Satan has not been stupid and careless these many years, since his fall, but has been learning. He has grown more artful. His plans are laid deeper, and are more covered with a religious garment to hide their deformity. The power of Satan now to tempt and deceive is ten-fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles. His power has increased, and it will increase, until it is taken away. His wrath and hate grow stronger as his time to work draws near its close.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 277.
5 When does Satan introduce his counterfeit movement with respect to the latter rain? 11 Timothy 3:1–5.
note: “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. . . . The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he 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.
6 Whom, in particular, will Satan target? Matthew 24:24.
note: “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to ‘science falsely so called’ will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80.
7 What will be Satan’s biggest, grandest effort to ensnare the world and the elect? Matthew 24:23–26.
note: “As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. 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 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.” The Great Controversy, 624.
8 Who else will appear in human form? 11 Corinthians 11:13–15. Compare Revelation 12:7–9.
note: “Satan will use every opportunity to seduce men from their allegiance to God. He and the angels who fell with him will appear on the earth as men, seeking to deceive. God’s angels also will appear as men, and will use every means in their power to defeat the purposes of the enemy.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 399.
“Evil angels in the form of men will talk with those who know the truth. They will misinterpret and misconstrue the statements of the messengers of God. . . . Have Seventh-day Adventists forgotten the warning given in the sixth chapter of Ephesians? We are engaged in a warfare against the hosts of darkness. Unless we follow our Leader closely, Satan will obtain the victory over us.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 411.
9 What will open the way for people to accept Satan’s counterfeit miracles? 11 Thessalonians 2:9–12.
note: “Rapidly are men ranging themselves under the banner they have chosen, restlessly waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are watching and waiting and working for our Lord’s appearing; while the other party are rapidly falling into line under the generalship of the first great apostate. They look for a god in humanity, and Satan personifies the one they seek. Multitudes will be so deluded through their rejection of truth that they will accept the counterfeit.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 364, 365.
10 Why will men be deceived? John 3:18–20.
note: “Those who choose Satan as their ruler will reveal the spirit of their chosen master, who caused the fall of our first parents. By rejecting the divine Son of God, the personification of the only true God, who possessed goodness, mercy, and untiring love, whose heart was ever touched with human woe, and accepting a murderer in His place, the people showed what human nature can and will do, when the restraining Spirit of God is removed, and men are under the great apostate. Just to that degree that light is refused and rejected will there be misconception and misunderstanding. Those who reject Christ and choose Barabbas will work under a ruinous deception. Misrepresentation, the bearing of false witness, will grow under open rebellion.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 416.
11 What essential quality of truth will be lacking in the counterfeit? Luke 9:23; Matthew 16:24.
note: “Satan can present a counterfeit so closely resembling the truth that it deceives those who are willing to be deceived, who desire to shun the self-denial and sacrifice demanded by the truth; but it is impossible for him to hold under his power one soul who honestly desires, at whatever cost, to know the truth. Christ is the truth and the ‘Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ John 1:9. The Spirit of truth has been sent to guide men into all truth. And upon the authority of the Son of God it is declared: ‘Seek, and ye shall find.’ ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’ Matthew 7:7; John 7:17.” The Great Controversy, 528.
12 By what means will true believers be able to unmask Satan’s deceptions? Isaiah 8:20.
note: “The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. . . . So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.” The Great Controversy, 593.
13 How will those who receive the latter rain be preserved from the delusion that overtakes the world? Revelation 12:17; 19:10.
note: “This world is our school—a school of discipline and training. We are placed here to form characters like the character of Christ, and to acquire the habits and the language of the higher life. Influences opposed to good, abound on every side. The developments of sin are becoming so full, so deep, so abhorrent to God, that soon He will arise in majesty to shake terribly the earth. So artful are the plans of the enemy, so specious the complications that he brings about, that those who are weak in the faith cannot discern his deceptions. They fall into the snares prepared by Satan, who works through human instrumentalities to deceive if possible the very elect. Only those who are closely connected with God will be able to discern the falsehoods, the intrigues, of the enemy.” This Day With God, 96.