February 20, 2011 – February 26, 2011
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:8.
Study Help: The Adventist Home, 407, 408; Messages to Young People, 273, 274.
“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard.” The Adventist Home, 401.
1 Against what specific snare does Paul warn us in II Corinthians 6:14–18?
Note: “The apostle Paul declares that it is impossible for the children of God to unite with worldlings: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers’ [II Corinthians 6:14]. This does not refer to marriage alone; any intimate relation of confidence and copartnership with those who have no love for God or the truth is a snare.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 13.
2 What is written about believers who expose themselves to this snare? Proverbs 13:20. What is the only safe course in regard to worldly associations? Psalm 1:1.
Note: “Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts the world to Christ. Familiarity with sin will inevitably cause it to appear less repulsive. He who chooses to associate with the servants of Satan will soon cease to fear their master. When in the way of duty we are brought into trial, as was Daniel in the king’s court, we may be sure that God will protect us; but if we place ourselves under temptation we shall fall sooner or later.” The Great Controversy, 509.
3 What is the role of Christian mothers to protect their young from Satan’s temptations? II Timothy 1:5; 3:14, 15.
Note: “Satan is ready to do his work; he will not neglect to present allurements which the children have no will or moral power to resist. I saw that, through his temptations, he is instituting ever-changing fashions, and attractive parties and amusements, that mothers may be led to devote their time to frivolous matters, instead of to the education and training of their children. Our youth need mothers who will teach them from the cradle, to control passion, to deny appetite, and to overcome selfishness.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 141.
4 What should those know who participate in frivolous parties? Ephesians 2:1, 2 (see also Job 1:4, 5); Ecclesiastes 11:9.
Note: “The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 367.
5 While we have many beautiful examples of music (e.g., in the book of Psalms), how does Satan use music?
Note: “Music is the idol which many professed Sabbath-keeping Christians worship. Satan has no objection to music if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth. Anything will suit his purpose that will divert the mind from God and engage the time which should be devoted to His service. He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. When turned to good account, music is a blessing; but it is often made one of Satan’s most attractive agencies to ensnare souls. When abused, it leads the unconsecrated to pride, vanity, and folly. When allowed to take the place of devotion and prayer, it is a terrible curse. Young persons assemble to sing, and, although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their frivolous conversation and their choice of music.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 506.
6 What distinction do many fail to make in their reading material? Jeremiah 23:28, last part; Philippians 4:8.
Note: “The many books which education is thought to embrace, are misleading, a deception and a delusion. ‘What is the chaff to the wheat?’ Satan is now stirring up the minds of men to furnish to the world literature which is of a cheap, superficial order, but which fascinates the mind, and fastens it in a network of Satan’s contrivance. After reading these books, the mind lives in an unreal world, and the life, so far as usefulness is concerned, is as barren as a fruitless tree. The brain is intoxicated, making it impossible for the eternal realities, which are essential for the present and the future, to be pressed home. A mind educated to feed upon trash is unable to see in the word of God the beauty that is there. … By feeding the mind upon exciting stories of fiction, man is bringing to the foundation ‘wood, hay, stubble’ [I Corinthians 3:12, last part]. He loses all taste for the divine Guidebook.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 451, 452.
7 What did the Ephesian converts do with their worldly books when they learned of the Saviour? Acts 19:18, 19.
Note: “When the Ephesians were converted, they changed their habits and practices. Under the conviction of the Spirit of God, they acted with promptness, and laid bare all the mysteries of their witchcraft. They came and confessed, and showed their deeds, and their souls were filled with holy indignation because they had given such devotion to magic, and had so highly prized the books in which the rules of Satan’s devising had laid down the methods whereby they might practice witchcraft. They were determined to turn from the service of the evil one, and they brought their costly volumes and publicly burned them. …
“What about the magical books? What have you been reading? How have you been employing your time? Have you been seeking to study the sacred oracles in order that you may hear the voice of God speaking to you out of His word? The world is deluged with books which sow the seeds of skepticism, infidelity, and atheism, and to a larger or less degree you have been learning your lessons from these books, and they are magical books. They put God out of the mind, and separate the soul from the true Shepherd.” Messages to Young People, 275, 276.
8 Keeping in mind I Corinthians 15:33, what do we know of the effect of theatrical performances?
Note: “Satan’s work is to lead men to ignore God, to so engross and absorb the mind that God will not be in their thoughts. The education they have received has been of a character to confuse the mind and eclipse the true light. Satan does not wish the people to have a knowledge of God; and if he can set in operation games and theatrical performances that will so confuse the senses of the young that human beings will perish in darkness while light shines all about them, he is well pleased.” The Adventist Home, 401, 402.
9 What warnings include movies and television? Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 101:3, first part; Isaiah 33:15–17.
Note: “All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul.
“You will have to become a faithful sentinel over your eyes, ears, and all your senses if you would control your mind and prevent vain and corrupt thoughts from staining your soul. The power of grace alone can accomplish this most desirable work.
“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard; or, if heard, that they shall not take effect upon the heart and reform the life.” The Adventist Home, 401.
“In Christian homes a bulwark should be built against temptation. Satan is using every means to make crime and degrading vice popular. We cannot walk the streets of our cities without encountering flaring notices of crime presented in some novel or to be acted at some theater. The mind is educated to familiarity with sin. The course pursued by the base and vile is kept before the people in the periodicals of the day, and everything that can arouse passion is brought before them in exciting stories.” Ibid., 406.
“Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater. Instead of being a school for morality and virtue, as is so often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments.” Ibid., 516.
10 What does the Bible say about the spirit of criticism? James 4:11; I Corinthians 5:11. How does Satan instruct his angels in this vice?
Note: “[Says Satan,] ‘We must cause distraction and division. We must destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead them to criticize, to judge, and to accuse and condemn one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity. For these sins, God banished us from His presence; and all who follow our example will meet a similar fate.’ ” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 475.
11 Why is the indulgence of appetite so prevalent today? Galatians 6:8; I Peter 2:11; Philippians 3:19.
Note: “The apostle Peter understood the relation between the mind and the body, and raised his voice in warning to his brethren: ‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul’ [1 Peter 2:11]. Many regard this text as a warning against licentiousness only; but it has a broader meaning. It forbids every injurious gratification of appetite or passion. Every perverted appetite becomes a warring lust. Appetite was given us for a good purpose, not to become the minister of death by being perverted, and thus degenerating into ‘lusts which war against the soul.’ …
“Through appetite, Satan controls the mind and the whole being. Thousands who might have lived, have passed into the grave, physical, mental, and moral wrecks, because they sacrificed all their powers to the indulgence of appetite.” Counsels on Diet and Foods, 166, 167.
Review and Thought Questions:
1 Why should we shun worldly associations?
2 What does God consider as an oblation offered to Satan?
3 How can music and literature become a snare?
4 What effect do movies, music, fiction and television have on the moral senses?
5 How can Satan control the whole mind and body?
6 From where does the spirit of criticism, accusation and condemnation originate?
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.