MEMORY VERSE: “For 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.” Matthew 24:24.

STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 624, 625.

INTRODUCTION: “Satan’s superstitions will assume new forms. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. False theories, clothed with garments of light, will be presented to God’s people. Thus Satan will try to deceive, if possible, the very elect. Most seducing influences will be exerted; minds will be hypnotized.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 293.


  1. What warning against impersonation does Christ give? John 10:1–5. (See Matthew 24:5, 24.)

NOTE: “He has power to bring before men the appearance of their departed friends. The counterfeit is perfect; the familiar look, the words, the tone, are reproduced with marvelous distinctness. Many are comforted with the assurance that their loved ones are enjoying the bliss of heaven, and without suspicion of danger, they give ear ‘to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.’” The Great Controversy, 552.

“These evil angels, who assume to be dead friends, will either utterly reject God’s word as idle tales, or, if it suit their purpose best, will select the vital portions which testify of Christ and point out the way to heaven, and change the plain statements of the word of God to suit their own corrupt nature and ruin souls.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 298.

“The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth. They deny the divine origin of the Bible, and thus tear away the foundation of the Christian’s hope and put out the light that reveals the way to heaven.” The Great Controversy, 557.

“Satan is a cunning foe. And it is not difficult for the evil angels to represent both saints and sinners who have died, and make these representations visible to human eyes. These manifestations will be more frequent, and developments of a more startling character will appear as we near the close of time.” Review and Herald, April 1, 1875.

  1. What will be the greatest deception of all? 2 Corinthians 11:14. (Compare Matthew 24:5, 23–27.)

NOTE: “As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. 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. 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 Savior 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.

  1. What Bible verses protect us against a current impersonation? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.

NOTE: “Statues weep human tears and blood, the young prophesy, religious communities sprout up, messengers receive warnings, Mary raises up an army of the devout and reported apparitions of Mary appear at a frequency never before seen in all recorded history.The Thunder of Justice, Ted and Maureen Flynn, 4. The 55,000 strong Marian Movement of Priests began in 1972. “The current Marian times had their beginning in 1830 when Our Blessed Mother appeared to Catherine Laboure in the convent at Rue de Bac in Paris. . . .Sixteen years after Rue de Bac, on September 19, 1846, Our Blessed Mother appeared to children at LaSalette in the French Alps . . . In 1858, Our Blessed Mother appeared to a peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France. . . . Mary’s next major apparition was at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 to three children. . . . In 1961, Mary appeared in Garabandal, Spain. . . . In 1973, at Akita, Japan, Mary repeated that message. . . . In Medjugorje, in former Yugoslavia, six children in a rural village have been seeing Mary daily and receiving messages from the Blessed Mother since 1981.” The Thunder of Justice, 7, 8.

“Mary” claims to be the Virgin of Revelation [see Revelation 12:1] and to explain the Book of Revelation. She says the Red Dragon is Marxist atheism, the first beast of Revelation 13 is secular freemasonry and the two-horned beast is ecclesiastical freemasonry. The number 666 represents the date when freemasonry began through Islam! The apparition speaks of the mark of the beast and the Three Angels’ Messages. (Thunder of Justice, 100 – 102.) She even speaks of the appearance of Satan in human form. The remedy for the ills of the world, proposed on page 389, is restoration of Sunday observance. (Sunday is equated with the Sabbath, and the book reminds the reader that, in Old Testament times, Sabbath desecration was punishable by death.)


  1. What move to establish a single worldwide worship is foretold in God’s Word? Revelation 13:8, 12.

NOTE: “Those religious bodies who refuse to hear God’s messages of warning will be under strong deception and will unite with the civil power to persecute the saints. The Protestant churches will unite with the papal power in persecuting the commandment-keeping people of God.” Last Day Events, 145.

“When Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution, then will the papal sabbath be enforced by the combined authority of church and state. There will be a national apostasy, which will end only in national ruin.” Last Day Events, 134.

“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” The Great Controversy, 445.

  1. What penalties will be imposed on those who refuse to conform to this worship? Revelation 13:15–17.

NOTE: “We ought now to be heeding the injunction of our Savior: ‘Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not.’ It is now that our brethren should be cutting down their possessions instead of increasing them. We are about to move to a better country, even a heavenly. Then let us not be dwellers upon the earth, but be getting things into as compact a compass as possible. The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 152.

“We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men”

  1. What should be the Christian’s attitude towards earthly governments? Romans 13:1–7; Titus 3:1.

NOTE: “He who obeys the divine law will most truly respect and obey the laws of his country. He who fears God will honor the king in the exercise of all just and legitimate authority.” The Great Controversy, 278.

  1. What principle will on occasion overrule our duty to obey the laws of our country? Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29.

NOTE: “When the laws of men conflict with the word and law of God, we are to obey the latter, whatever the consequences may be . . . it is our duty in every case to obey the laws of our land, unless they conflict with the higher law which God spoke with an audible voice from Sinai, and afterward engraved on stone with His own finger.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 201, 361.

  1. Of what may those be accused who obey God rather than men? 1 Kings 18:17; Acts 17:6.

NOTE: “It is the same policy which has been pursued in all ages. Elijah was declared to be a troubler in Israel, Jeremiah a traitor, Paul a polluter of the temple. From that day to this, those who would be loyal to truth have been denounced as seditious, heretical, or schismatic. Multitudes who are too unbelieving to accept the sure word of prophecy will receive with unquestioning credulity an accusation against those who dare to reprove fashionable sins. This spirit will increase more and more. And the Bible plainly teaches that a time is approaching when the laws of the state will so conflict with the law of God that whosoever would obey all the divine precepts must brave reproach and punishment as an evildoer.” The Great Controversy, 459.


  1. What precious promises are for those who put their trust in the Lord? Psalm 91:1–4; Psalm 32:7.

NOTE: “The truth of God received into the heart is able to make you wise unto salvation. In believing and obeying it you will receive grace sufficient for the duties and trials of today. Grace for tomorrow you do not need. You should feel that you have only to do with today. Overcome for today; deny self for today; watch and pray for today; obtain victories in God for today. Our circumstances and surroundings, the changes daily transpiring around us, and the written word of God which discerns and proves all things, these are sufficient to teach us our duty and just what we ought to do, day by day.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 333.

  1. If we are called to testify for our faith what promise may we claim? Matthew 10:19.

NOTE: “As the Spirit of God illuminates the minds of His servants, the truth will be presented in its divine power and preciousness. Those who reject the truth will stand to accuse and oppress the disciples. But under loss and suffering, even unto death, the Lord’s children are to reveal the meekness of their divine Example. Thus will be seen the contrast between Satan’s agents and the representatives of Christ. The Savior will be lifted up before the rulers and the people. . . . The servants of Christ were to prepare no set speech to present when brought to trial. Their preparation was to be made day by day in treasuring up the precious truths of God’s word, and through prayer strengthening their faith. When they were brought into trial, the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance the very truths that would be needed.” Desire of Ages, 354, 355.

  1. What promises are we given of food and protection? Isaiah 33:15–16; Psalm 37:3; Psalm 111:5; Matthew 6:26.

NOTE: “In the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. It will finally be decreed that they shall be put to death. See Revelation 13:11–17. But to the obedient is given the promise, ‘He shall dwell on high: his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.’ Isaiah 33:16. By this promise the children of God will live. When the earth shall be wasted with famine, they shall be fed. ‘They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.’ Psalm 37:19.” Desire of Ages, 121.

  1. What promise do we have of protection during the plagues? Psalm 91:4–10; Psalm 34:6.

NOTE: “The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied.” The Great Controversy, 629.

  1. Who will protect us? Psalm 91:11, 12; Psalm 34:7.

NOTE: “While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants . . . Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies of angels that excel in strength stationed about those who have kept the word of Christ’s patience. With sympathizing tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress and have heard their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander to snatch them from their peril.” The Great Controversy, 629, 630.

  1. What promise of Jesus may we especially depend on? Matthew 28:20, last part.

NOTE: “With intense interest the loyal angels and the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds are watching the controversy going on on this earth. Soon the conflict will be forever ended. Soon Christ will come to take to Himself those who have fought the good fight of faith.” Bible Training School, October 1, 1902.

“The world is enshrouded in the darkness of error. Satan and his angels are urging on their warfare against the truth. We must have help. But the help we need will not come from human beings. We must look to Him who has said, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Claim this promise. There stands among you the Mighty Counselor of the ages, inviting you to place your confidence in Him.” Signs of the Times, January 3, 1906.


MEMORY VERSE: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” 2 Timothy 4:3.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 8, 290–305.

INTRODUCTION: “Those who have seen the truth and felt its importance, and have had an experience in the things of God, are to teach sound doctrine to their children. They should make them acquainted with the great pillars of our faith, the reasons why we are Seventh-day Adventists, why we are called, as were the children of Israel, to be a peculiar people, a holy nation, separate and distinct from all other people on the face of the earth. These things should be explained to the children in simple language, easy to be understood; and as they grow in years, the lessons imparted should be suited to their increasing capacity, until the foundations of truth have been laid broad and deep.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 330.


  1. What counsel does John give to guide the church? 1 John 4:1–3.

NOTE: “The Spirit was not given, nor can it ever be bestowed, to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, ‘Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.’ 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares, ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Isaiah 8:20. Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.” The Great Controversy, 7, 8.

  1. What example are we given of the devil misusing Scripture? Matthew 4:5, 6.

NOTE: “Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we shall be continually liable to wrest the Scriptures or to misinterpret them. There is much reading of the Bible that is without profit and in many cases is a positive injury. When the word of God is opened without reverence and without prayer; when the thoughts and affections are not fixed upon God or in harmony with His will, the mind is clouded with doubt; and in the very study of the Bible, skepticism strengthens. The enemy takes control of the thoughts, and he suggests interpretations that are not correct. Whenever men are not seeking, in word and deed, to be in harmony with God, then, however learned they may be, they are liable to err in their understanding of Scripture, and it is not safe to trust to their explanations. When we are truly seeking to do God’s will, the Holy Spirit takes the precepts of His word and makes them the principles of the life, writing them on the tablets of the soul. And it is only those who are following the light already given that can hope to receive the further illumination of the Spirit. This is plainly stated in the words of Christ: ‘If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.’” Testimonies, vol. 5, 704, 705.

  1. What particular warning are we given about manifestations of the “Spirit” in the last days? 1 Timothy 4:1.

NOTE: “Satan has worked them in among the last-day heresies to serve his own purpose to ruin souls. These errors can have no harmony with the message of heavenly origin. Some of them have exercises which they call gifts, and say that the Lord has placed them in the church. They have an unmeaning gibberish which they call the unknown tongue, which is unknown not only by man, but by the Lord and all Heaven. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women, aided by the great Deceiver. Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this have not been good. By their fruits ye shall know them. Fanaticism and noise have been considered special evidences of faith. Some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this, and get up an excitement of feeling. The influence of such meetings is not beneficial. When the happy flight of feeling is gone, they sink lower than before the meeting, because their happiness did not come from the right source.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4B, 153.


  1. What picture did Paul give of the Christian world in the last days? 2 Timothy 3:1–7.

NOTE: “Paul knew that there was before the church a time of great peril. He knew that faithful, earnest work would have to be done by those left in charge of the churches; and he wrote to Timothy, ‘I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.’ This solemn charge to one so zealous and faithful as was Timothy is a strong testimony to the importance and responsibility of the work of the gospel minister. Summoning Timothy before the bar of God, Paul bids him preach the Word, not the sayings and customs of men; to be ready to witness for God whenever opportunity should present itself, before large congregations and private circles, by the way and at the fireside, to friends and to enemies, whether in safety or exposed to hardship and peril, reproach and loss.” Acts of the Apostles, 503.

  1. What are we warned about alternative gospels? Galatians 1:6–9.

NOTE: “Those who are teaching this doctrine today have much to say in regard to faith and the righteousness of Christ; but they pervert the truth, and make it serve the cause of error. They declare that we have only to believe on Jesus Christ, and that faith is all-sufficient: that the righteousness of Christ is to be the sinner’s credentials; that this imputed righteousness fulfils the law for us, and that we are under no obligation to obey the law of God. This class claim that Christ came to save sinners, and that He has saved them. ‘I am saved,’ they will repeat over and over again. But are they saved while transgressing the law of Jehovah? No; for the garments of Christ’s righteousness are not a cloak for iniquity.” Bible Echo, February 8, 1897.

  1. What trend in particular did Paul warn against in the last days? 2 Timothy 4:3.

NOTE: “Those who in their preaching pass by the great truths of God’s word to speak of minor matters, are not preaching the gospel, but are dealing in idle sophistry. Let not our ministers spend time in the discussion of such matters. Let those who have any question as to what they should teach, any question as to the subjects upon which they should dwell, go to the discourses of the great Teacher, and follow His lines of thought. The subjects that Jesus regarded as essential are the subjects that we are to urge home today. We are to encourage our hearers to dwell upon those subjects which are of eternal moment.” Gospel Workers, 313. “Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God. He leads the people to look to bishops, to pastors, to professors of theology, as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures to learn their duty for themselves. Then, by controlling the minds of these leaders, he can influence the multitudes according to his will.” The Great Controversy, 1888 ed., 595.


  1. What warning did Christ give against false prophets? Matthew 7:15.

NOTE: “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much. ‘If thou hadst known,’ said Christ, ‘even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.’” Testimonies to Ministers, 409, 410.

  1. How did Peter reinforce the Lord’s important warning? 2 Peter 8.2:1.

NOTE: “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 204, 205. (1903)

  1. What assurance are we given that God’s people will withstand the assaults made upon their faith? Ephesians 5:27; Matthew 16:18.

NOTE: “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out, the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouths. We must be divested of our selfrighteousness and arrayed in the righteousness of Christ.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 380 (1886).


  1. How would you comment from the Scriptures on the following commonly-held opinions? (Write the Bible verses that shed light on these things.)

  • There’s good in everyone.
  • We’ll never be perfect.
  • We should never criticize.
  • No religion has all the truth. All religions are just different roads to God.
  • God’s people will be sinning till Jesus comes.

NOTE: “Had Eve refrained from entering into argument with the tempter, she would have been safe; but she ventured to parley with him, and fell a victim to his wiles. It is thus that many are still overcome. They doubt and argue concerning the requirements of God, and instead of obeying the divine commands, they accept human theories, which but disguise the devices of Satan.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 351.

  1. What is our only safeguard against misleading opinions? Psalm 119:103–106.

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. At every revival of God’s work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvellous works in our sight. 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.


  1. What Scriptures would you use to shed light on these opinions?

“Salvation is what God has already accomplished for all mankind in the life and death of Jesus.” Beyond Belief, 31.

“Having entrusted ourselves to Jesus, we can know we are saved.” Adventist Hot Potatoes, 31.

“Iniquity does not primarily refer to an act of sin but to a condition of sinfulness.” Beyond Belief, 17.

“Antichrist is an individual to be manifested at the end of time. . . . He is not any past personage. He belongs to the future.” Desmond Ford, Doctoral Thesis, 237, 238, 248.

“Heaven itself is the sanctuary.” Jack Sequiera, Sermon October 13, 1990, Walla Walla City Church, Washington.

NOTE: “Deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith.” Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.

  1. What assurance was given to Elijah at a time of widespread apostasy when he felt he was the only faithful one left? 1 Kings 19:18.

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 selfsufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80, 81.

Bible Study Guides – “TEMPTED OF THE DEVIL”

MEMORY VERSE: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

STUDY HELP: Steps to Christ, 43–48.

INTRODUCTION: “Satan knows better than God’s people the power that they can have over him when their strength is in Christ. When they humbly entreat the mighty Conqueror for help, the weakest believer in the truth, relying firmly upon Christ, can successfully repulse Satan and all his host. He is too cunning to come openly, boldly, with his temptations; for then the drowsy energies of the Christian would arouse, and he would rely upon the strong and mighty Deliverer. But he comes in unperceived, and works in disguise through the children of disobedience who profess Godliness.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 341.


  1. How did Paul describe the war in which the Christian is engaged? Ephesians 6:11, 12.

NOTE: “We fight in a warfare, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and against spiritual wickedness in high places. See Ephesians 6:12. In life’s conflict we must meet evil agencies that have arrayed themselves against the right. Our hope is not in man, but in the living God. With full assurance of faith we may expect that He will unite His omnipotence with the efforts of human instrumentalities, for the glory of His name. Clad with the armor of His righteousness, we may gain the victory over every foe.” Prophets and Kings, 111.

  1. What is our only hope of victory in this war against temptation and sin? Ephesians 6:13–18.

NOTE: “In this conflict of righteousness against unrighteousness, we can be successful only by divine aid. Our finite will must be brought into submission to the will of the Infinite; the human will must be blended with the divine. This will bring the Holy Spirit to our aid; and every conquest will tend to the recovery of God’s purchased possession, to the restoration of His image in the soul.”Review and Herald, August 25, 1896.


  1. How was Jesus tempted and how did He meet each temptation? Matthew 4:1–11.

NOTE: “Satan deals with men more guardedly than he dealt with Christ in the wilderness of temptation, for he is admonished that he there lost his case. He is a conquered foe. He does not come to man directly and demand homage by outward worship. He simply asks men to place their affections upon the good things of this world. If he succeeds in engaging the mind and affections, the heavenly attractions are eclipsed. All he wants of man is for him to fall under the deceitful power of his temptations, to love the world, to love rank and position, to love money, and to place his affections upon earthly treasures. If he secures this, he gains all that he asked of Christ. The example of Christ shows us that our only hope of victory is in continual resistance of Satan’s attacks. He who triumphed over the adversary of souls in the conflict of temptation understands Satan’s power over the race and has conquered him in our behalf. As an overcomer He has given us the advantage of His victory, that in our efforts to resist the temptations of Satan we may unite our weakness to His strength, our worthlessness to His merits. And, sustained by His enduring might under strong temptation, we may resist in His all-powerful name and overcome as He overcame.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 480.

  1. What three aspects of temptation did Christ meet and withstand? 1 John 2:16.

NOTE: “The world is given up to self-indulgence. ‘The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life’ control the masses of the people. But Christ’s followers have a holier calling. ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean.’ In the light of God’s word we are justified in declaring that sanctification cannot be genuine which does not work this utter renunciation of the sinful pursuits and gratifications of the world.” Great Controversy, 475.

  1. How does the Psalmist explain the secret of Christ’s victory? Psalm 119:11.

NOTE: “And how this is accomplished, Christ has shown us. By what means did He overcome in the conflict with Satan? By the word of God. Only by the word could He resist temptation. ‘It is written,’ He said. And unto us are given ‘exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ 2 Peter 1:4. Every promise in God’s word is ours. ‘By every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ are we to live. When assailed by temptation, look not to circumstances or to the weakness of self, but to the power of the Word. All its strength is yours. ‘Thy word,’ says the psalmist, ‘have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.’ ‘By the word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.’ Psalm 119:11; 17:4.” Desire of Ages, 123.


  1. How far did Satan go in his hatred of Christ? Read one of the following thoughtfully and prayerfully: Matthew 26:47–27:50; Mark 15:43–15:37; Luke 22:47–23:46; John 18:1–19:30.

NOTE: “At the cross of Calvary, love and selfishness stood face to face. Here was their crowning manifestation. Christ had lived only to comfort and bless, and in putting Him to death, Satan manifested the malignity of his hatred against God. He made it evident that the real purpose of his rebellion was to dethrone God, and to destroy Him through whom the love of God was shown.” Desire of Ages, 57.

  1. How does this hatred affect also the followers of Christ? John 15:18; Revelation 12:13.

NOTE: “Every indignity, reproach, and cruelty that Satan could instigate human hearts to devise, has been visited upon the followers of Jesus. And it will be again fulfilled in a marked manner; for the carnal heart is still at enmity with the law of God, and will not be subject to its commands. The world is no more in harmony with the principles of Christ today than it was in the days of the apostles. The same hatred that prompted the cry, ‘Crucify Him! crucify Him!’ the same hatred that led to the persecution of the disciples, still works in the children of disobedience. The same spirit which in the Dark Ages consigned men and women to prison, to exile, and to death, which conceived the exquisite torture of the Inquisition, which planned and executed the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and which kindled the fires of Smithfield, is still at work with malignant energy in unregenerate hearts. The history of truth has ever been the record of a struggle between right and wrong. The proclamation of the gospel has ever been carried forward in this world in the face of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering.” Acts of the Apostles, 84, 85.


  1. How does the Bible picture Satan’s war against the final generation of God’s people? Revelation 12:17.

NOTE: “In the near future we shall see these words fulfilled as the Protestant churches unite with the world and with the papal power against commandment keepers. The same spirit which actuated papists in ages past will lead Protestants to pursue a similar course toward those who will maintain their loyalty to God. Church and state are now making preparations for the future conflict. Protestants are working in disguise to bring Sunday to the front, as did the Romanists. Throughout the land the papacy is piling up her lofty and massive structures, in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions are to be repeated. And the way is preparing for the manifestation, on a grand scale, of those lying wonders by which, if it were possible, Satan would deceive even the elect.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 449.

  1. In what ways does Satan make war on the remnant? 2 Timothy 4:3, 4, Luke 8:12, Acts 10:38, Acts 13:10, 2 Timothy 2:26, Revelation 2:10, Revelation 12:9.

NOTE: Consider the following quotations: “Especially will his power be exercised upon the remnant. He will war against them, and seek to divide and scatter them, that they may grow weak and be overthrown.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 210. “He leads fallen man . . . to believe that he can do very well without an atonement, that he need not depend upon a crucified and risen Savior, that man’s own merits will entitle him to God’s favor. And then he destroys man’s confidence in the Bible, well knowing that if he succeeds here, and faith in the detector which places a mark upon himself is destroyed, he is safe. He fastens upon minds the delusion that there is no personal devil, and those who believe this make no effort to resist and war against that which they think does not exist.” Ibid., 294. “Satan has used as agents individuals professing to believe a part of present truth, while they were warring against a part. Such he can use more successfully than those who are at war with all our faith.” Ibid., 326. “Satan has originated fables with which to deceive.” Ibid., 342. “Satan fears that he will lose a captive, and he calls a reinforcement of his angels to hedge in the poor soul, and form a wall of darkness around him.” Ibid., 345. “Satan and his host are at war with commandment keepers, and will work to bring them into trying positions.”Ibid., 356.


  1. What work did Jesus do through the power of the Holy Spirit? Acts 10:38.

NOTE: “The power and malice of Satan and his host might justly alarm us, were it not that we may find shelter and deliverance in the superior power of our Redeemer. We carefully secure our houses with bolts and locks to protect our property and our lives from evil men; but we seldom think of the evil angels who are constantly seeking access to us, and against whose attacks we have no method of defense. If permitted, they can distract our minds, disorder, torment our bodies, destroy our possessions and our lives. Their only delight is in misery and destruction. Fearful is the condition of those who resist the divine claims and yield to Satan’s temptations until God gives them up to the control of evil spirits. But those who follow Christ are ever safe under his watchcare. Angels that excel in strength are sent from Heaven to protect them. The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about his people.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 336.

  1. Why were the disciples unable to cast out an evil spirit? Matthew 17:21.

NOTE: “It will be a close conflict. Satan will reinforce his evil angels who have controlled these persons; but if the saints of God with deep humility fast and pray, their prayers will prevail. Jesus will commission holy angels to resist Satan, and he will be driven back and his power broken from off the afflicted ones. Mark 9:29: ‘And He said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.’” Testimonies, vol. 1, 344.

  1. How does Jesus show that not all who claim to cast out evil spirits will enter the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 7:21–23.

NOTE: “The work of declaring persons possessed of the devil, and then praying with them, and pretending to cast out the evil spirits, is fanaticism which will bring into disrepute any church which sanctions such work.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 31, 1908.

  1. How great will be Satan’s deceptions? Revelation 12:9.

NOTE: “None are in greater danger from the influence of evil spirits than those who, notwithstanding the direct and ample testimony of the Scriptures, deny the existence and agency of the devil and his angels. So long as we are ignorant of their wiles, they have almost inconceivable advantage; many give heed to their suggestions while they suppose themselves to be following the dictates of their own wisdom. This is why, as we approach the close of time, when Satan is to work with greatest power to deceive and destroy, he spreads everywhere the belief that he does not exist. It is his policy to conceal himself and his manner of working.” The Great Controversy, 516.


MEMORY VERSE: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 19:31.

STUDY HELP: The Great Controversy, 551–562.

INTRODUCTION: “We have an enemy who is ever seeking whom he may devour; and it is his purpose to draw away men’s confidence in God, to make them dissatisfied with their condition in life, and to lead them to seek to know what God has veiled from them, and to despise what he has revealed in his holy word. He controls the minds of evil men, and the spirits of devils become the counselors of those who reject the wisdom of God. But shall we who have a holy God, infinite in wisdom, go unto wizards, whose knowledge comes from a close intimacy with the enemy of our Lord? Shall we be among those who turn ‘after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them,’ and thus prove false to our best friend until His face be set against us? We are living in an age of peril, in an age of apostasy; evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse, Satan is working with all ‘deceivableness of unrighteousness,’ and the servants of God must make no concessions to the enemy.” Signs of the Times, August 19 1889.


  1. What warnings did Jesus give about deceptions in the last days? Matthew 24:4–5, 11, 23–26.

NOTE: “These deceivers will come, and, while claiming to be doing a special work for God, while professing to have advanced piety, to be sanctified, to see visions, and to have dreams, they will be doing the work of the enemy, and be found breaking the commandments of God. We should be on our guard, and bring these pretenders to the test; ‘to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ Shall we take heed to the solemn warnings of Christ, of Paul, and of John upon this point, and not be deceived by the subtle devices of the enemy, for Christ has said that the signs and wonders wrought by these deceivers will be so great that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.” Signs of the Times, July 4, 1895.

  1. Are miracles always evidence of the power of God? Revelation 13:13–14.

NOTE: “Christ said, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.’ Many false messiahs will appear, claiming to work miracles, and declaring that the time of the deliverance of the Jewish nation has come. These will mislead many. Christ’s words were fulfilled. Between His death and the siege of Jerusalem many false messiahs appeared. But this warning was given also to those who live in this age of the world. The same deceptions practiced prior to the destruction of Jerusalem have been practiced through the ages, and will be practiced again.” Desire of Ages, 628.

  1. What will be the culminating act in the work of deception? 2 Corinthians 11:14.

NOTE: “Rebellion and apostasy are in the very air we breathe. We shall be affected by them unless we by faith hang our helpless souls upon Christ. If men are so easily misled now, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles? Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations then, professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ? What will hold God’s people from giving their allegiance to false christs? ‘Go not after them.’” Notebook Leaflets, 58.


  1. What example of pagan worship are we shown among the people of God? Exodus 32:1–8.

NOTE: “The manner in which the meetings…have been carried on, with noise and confusion, does not commend them to thoughtful, intelligent minds. There is nothing in these demonstrations which will convince the world that we have the truth. Mere noise and shouting are no evidence of sanctification, or of the descent of the Holy Spirit. Your wild demonstrations create only disgust in the minds of unbelievers. The fewer of such demonstrations there are, the better it will be for the actors and for the people in general. Fanaticism, once started and left unchecked, is as hard to quench as a fire which has obtained hold of a building. Those who have entered into and sustained this fanaticism, might far better be engaged in secular labor; for by their inconsistent course of action they are dishonoring the Lord and imperiling his people. Many such movements will arise at this time, when the Lord’s work should stand elevated, pure, unadulterated with superstition and fables. We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan’s devices. The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, April 23, 1901.

  1. Which Bible verses are used to justify dancing, shouting, clapping and the use of secular musical styles in church worship? 2 Samuel 6:14–16; Ezra 3:11 (See also Exodus 32:17, 18); Psalm 47:1; Psalm 150:3–5.

NOTE: “The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting with drums, music and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions . . . A bedlam of noises shocks the senses and perverts that which, if conducted aright, might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working. . . . Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.” Last Day Events, 159. (Written in 1900.)

  1. What verses are used to justify the introduction of glossolalia into church worship? 1 Corinthians 14:2–19.

NOTE: “Some of these persons have exercises which they call gifts and say that the Lord has placed them in the church. They have an unmeaning gibberish which they call the unknown tongue, which is unknown not only by man but by the Lord and all heaven. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women, aided by the great deceiver. Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this has not been good. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ Fanaticism and noise have been considered special evidences of faith. Some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this and get up an excitement of feeling. But the influence of such meetings is not beneficial. When the happy flight of feeling is gone, they sink lower than before the meeting because their happiness did not come from the right source.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 412.


  1. What clear condemnation does the Bible give of attempts to communicate with the dead? Isaiah 8:19–20; Deuteronomy 18:10–11.

NOTE: “Nearly all forms of ancient sorcery and witchcraft were founded upon a belief in communion with the dead. Those who practiced the arts of necromancy claimed to have intercourse with departed spirits, and to obtain through them a knowledge of future events. . . . This same belief in communion with the dead formed the cornerstone of heathen idolatry. The gods of the heathen were believed to be the deified spirits of departed heroes. Thus the religion of the heathen was a worship of the dead. This is evident from the Scriptures.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 684.

  1. How are we shown that Saul’s resorting to a medium was forbidden? 1 Samuel 28:3. (Compare verse 9.)

NOTE: “Saul had a full knowledge of the character of necromancy. It had been expressly forbidden by the Lord, and the sentence of death was pronounced against all who practiced its unholy arts. During the life of Samuel, Saul had commanded that all wizards and those that had familiar spirits should be put to death; but now, in the rashness of desperation, he had recourse to that oracle which he had condemned as an abomination.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 676.

  1. What warning are we given of the deceptions of evil spirits in the last days? Revelation 16:14.

NOTE: “Those who oppose the teachings of spiritualism are assailing, not men alone, but Satan and his angels. They have entered upon a contest against principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high places. Satan will not yield one inch of ground except as he is driven back by the power of heavenly messengers. The people of God should be able to meet him, as did our Savior, with the words: ‘It is written.’ Satan can quote Scripture now as in the days of Christ, and he will pervert its teachings to sustain his delusions. Those who would stand in this time of peril must understand for themselves the testimony of the Scriptures. 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.” Great Controversy, 559–560.


  1. How does God regard the attempt to create a likeness of Him? Isaiah 40:18–20; Psalm 115:4–9.

NOTE: “God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the angel: ‘God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.’ Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge: ‘They are joined to their idols, let them alone,’ and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 187.

  1. What sad picture was Ezekiel shown of the state of God’s church and its leaders? Ezekiel 8:5–16. (Compare Revelation 3:15–17.)

NOTE: “Many have a form of godliness, but in their daily life deny the power thereof. They have ceased to be convicted of their sins or alarmed at their state. They say in their hearts, ‘The church is flourishing. Peace and spiritual prosperity are within her borders.’ The words of the prophet may well apply to these selfdeceivers, ‘They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them.’” Review and Herald, November 7, 1882.

  1. What work must take place to prepare the church for the coming of her Lord? Hebrews 12:26–27. (Compare Amos 9:9.)

NOTE: “We have been inclined to think that where there are no faithful ministers there can be no true Christians, but this is not the case. God has promised that where the shepherds are not true He will take charge of the flock Himself. God has never made the flock wholly dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 80.

Recipe – Rice Croquettes

2 cups cooked brown rice

1 cup bread crumbs or Grape Nuts

3/4 cup cashew or soy milk

4 T. chopped onion

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 t. sea salt

Combine milk, onion which has been simmered slightly in water and sea salt and pour over the bread crumbs or Grape Nuts and let stand for about 10 minutes. Then add the rice. Form into croquettes, and place on a cookie sheet or baking dish and bake about 45 minutes at 350º.

Food for Life – Diet in the Beginning

“Among the changing months, May stands confessed the sweetest, and the fairest colors dressed.” James Thomson What a lovely month this is, so full of promise, and so colorful! Just think what Heaven will be like; eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, the things our God has prepared for us who are faithful in this life!

This month we will be studying from Ministry of Healing, 311–313.

“The diet appointed man in the beginning did not include animal food. Not till after the Flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did man receive permission to eat flesh.

“In choosing man’s food in Eden, the Lord showed what was the best diet; in the choice made for Israel He taught the same lesson. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt and undertook their training, that they might be a people for His own possession. Through them He desired to bless and teach the world. He provided them with the food best adapted for this purpose, not flesh, but manna, ‘the bread of heaven.’ It was only because of their discontent and their murmuring for the fleshpots of Egypt that animal food was granted them, and this only for a short time. Its use brought disease and death to thousands. Yet the restriction to a nonflesh diet was never heartily accepted. It continued to be the cause of discontent and murmuring, open or secret, and it was not made permanent.

” Upon their settlement in Canaan, the Israelites were permitted the use of animal food, but under careful restrictions which tended to lessen the evil results.

The use of swine’s flesh was prohibited, as also of other animals and of birds and fish whose flesh was pronounced unclean. Of the meats permitted, the eating of the fat and the blood was strictly forbidden.

“Only such animals could be used for food as were in good condition. No creature that was torn, that had died of itself, or from which the blood had not been carefully drained, could be used as food. “By departing from the plan divinely appointed for their diet, the Israelites suffered great loss. They desired a flesh diet, and they reaped its results. They did not reach God’s ideal of character or fulfill His purpose. The Lord ‘gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.’ Psalm 106:15. They valued the earthly above the spiritual, and the sacred preeminence which was His purpose for them they did not attain.

“Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct, by eating the food that God provided for our use!

“Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating.

Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated.”

Children’s Story – The Bookmobile

There were two things Christi loved to do more than anything else. One was to read and the other was to ride her bicycle. During the school year she always had plenty of books to choose from at the school library. She especially loved to read books about animals. But when school let out for the summer, her daily supply of books dried up. Her family lived way out of town—too far away to use the public library.

Fortunately, every two weeks a bookmobile would come out to their county road and would park a couple of miles away from their house. The bookmobile used to be a school bus. The seats had been removed, and there were shelves of books along the walls. The children from the surrounding farms could come and check out books, just like you do at the library. Christi would usually read all her books very quickly, so she always looked forward eagerly to “bookmobile day.”

But there was one problem. They had to ride their bikes to get to the bookmobile. Now that in itself was not a problem, because Christi loved to ride her bike. It was a big blue bike that she had gotten for her sixth birthday—her very first bicycle. It had a white basket in front to carry books and things. She could ride it all day long. The problem was that there were two enormous hills they had to ride up to get to the bookmobile. Their bikes had only two speeds—stop and go. They did not have lots of gears to help them go up hills more easily, so their legs had to do all the work.

By mid-summer the days had begun to grow quite hot. As they set out for the bookmobile, they were very eager and excited to get their new books. Wearing a bright red bandanna over his nose and pretending to be a cowboy, Zane zipped ahead of Christi and Diana as they rode along together, talking about the books they were going to choose this time. As they began to climb the first hill, their breathing got harder and they had to stop talking to save their breath. Soon they were standing up, pumping their pedals as hard as they could. They knew if they slowed down too much they’d have to walk up the hill.

Zane was already well ahead, and Diana surged forward ahead of Christi. As she fell further and further behind, Christi’s little legs pushed the pedals as hard as she could.

“Hey, wait up for me,” she called out as they pulled farther ahead of her.

You hurry up. I can’t slow down now,” retorted Diana as she rode on.

About half-way up that big, steep hill, Christi couldn’t pedal any more. Her mouth was dry and her head was pounding. It was so embarrassing to have to get off the bike and walk, but she just couldn’t pedal any more. Slowly she got off and pushed her bike up the hill. She was tempted to turn around and go back home, but she wanted those books too badly.

What a relief it was to get to the top of that hill. Zane and Diana had been waiting awhile and now they were ready to go.

Finally, you got here,” said Zane. His bandanna was pushed down around his neck now. “I’ve been waiting for e-e-eons.” He stretched the word out.

Christi flushed pink under her freckles. “You don’t even know what that means!”           But they were already gone. Christi had been hoping for a little rest, but she knew if she rested now, she would fall even further behind. Slowly she climbed back onto her bicycle and coasted down the other side of the hill. The air felt good rushing against her hot face, cooling her off a bit. She began to pedal, going faster and faster as she prepared to conquer the next hill. This hill was even bigger. The bicycle swayed from side to side as she strained every muscle to keep it going as long as she could.

Suddenly she was on the ground gasping for air. Her bicycle handle was rammed into her stomach and she couldn’t catch her breath. She didn’t know what had happened. Her elbow and leg were scraped and bleeding, her library books had fallen out of the basket and her head throbbed. Slowly, ever so slowly, she sat up and looked around. There, by her rear tire, was a deep rut in the road. She must have hit it. She’d been so tired she hadn’t even seen it.

I WANT TO GO BACK HOME!” she howled.

After awhile she stopped crying. She realized she was almost to the top of the hill and it wouldn’t be far to the bookmobile after that. Anyway, she was closer to the bookmobile than to home.

Christi stood up and gathered the books back into the bicycle basket. Zane and Diana had stopped at the top of the hill and they watched as she limped wearily up the hill. She could tell they felt bad that she had fallen down.

“You’re bleeding,” said Zane, briskly taking charge. “Here, let me put a tourniquet on your knee.” He untied his bandanna and wrapped it tightly around her knee. Too tightly. Now her knee really hurt. “I learned how to do that in first aid class,” he said proudly.

They all got back on their bikes and rode on. Now Zane and Diana rode more slowly so Christi could keep up with them. Up ahead they could see the bookmobile waiting. When they arrived, it felt good to get off her bike and go into the cool bookmobile where she could rest while she chose her books. The trip home would be easy. It was down hill most of the way.

Later as Mom treated Christi’s cuts and scrapes, Christi told her about her miserable ride to the bookmobile. “Was it worth all that pain and effort?” asked Mom.

Christi looked at her stack of books on the table. Yes, she decided, it was worth it. She knew the next ride to the bookmobile would be just as hard, but she would be there.

“Not one who is earnest and persevering will fail of success. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The weakest saint, as well as the strongest, may wear the crown of immortal glory. All may win who, through the power of divine grace, bring their lives into conformity to the will of Christ.” Acts of the Apostles, 313.

Habits are Forever

Have you ever wondered what makes a person who he is? When Jesus comes, our bodies will be changed when the mortal body, that we now have, puts on immortality. (See 1 Corinthians 13 and 15.) But we will still be the same people, even though our appearances will have changed. Do you know why? It is because what makes us who we are is our character, and this character is formed by our habits.

When Jesus comes, I am sure that we will not recognize some people. Imagine someone who was very old, and who was deformed because of an accident. When you meet them, all the scars will be gone and they will appear young and healthier than they ever were during their life on this earth. You probably would not recognize them by their appearance, but you will know them because they will have the same habits and personality as they had when you knew them in this world.

Job knew that he would be the same person when He met His God. While he lay suffering from boils all over his body, he looked forward to the great day when he would meet his Maker. He said about this, “Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me.” Job 19:27. Job’s body was so sick and wounded that he may not have been recognizable to his friends, but when Jesus comes, he will not have any boils, he will have a completely new, healthy body. Yet, he will still be the same person. He will have the same thoughts, the same emotions and the same habits that he had in this life.

“We shall be individually, for time and eternity, what our habits make us.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 452. Now that can be a very wonderful thought if our habits are good, or it can be a rather discouraging thought if our habits are not good. Thank the Lord that our habits can change, because every one of us has some habits that we would like to change. However, changing our habits is not an easy thing to do. Jeremiah wrote, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah 13:23. Day by day, as we form habits, they become more and more firmly established and some day,when we are sealed, they will never be able to be changed. Either we will be sealed with good habits or we will be sealed with bad habits.

However, there is no need to become disheartened. The Lord can help us do what looks impossible to us, and would be impossible for us if we had only our own strength. Later, in this article, we will study how the Lord can help us do the seemingly impossible, but first I would like to look at one other aspect of habits that we need to study carefully.

What We Might Have Become

Did you know that there are not only bad habits, which will keep us out of Heaven if they are not overcome, but also good habits which we need to cultivate. But there are some habits that may not be such that they would keep us out of heaven, but they could greatly affect us throughout eternity. For years, I struggled with what it means when it describes these habits in Christ’s Object Lessons, 363. Consider it with me carefully, and we will see if we can better understand it. “For all that we might become through the right use of our talents God holds us responsible. We shall be judged according to what we ought to have done, but did not accomplish because we did not use our powers to glorify God. Even if we do not lose our souls, we shall realize in eternity the result of our unused talents. For all the knowledge and ability that we might have gained and did not, there will be an eternal loss.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 363.

I read and re-read that passage, and wondered, How could that be? How could it be through the billions and billions of years of eternity that there would be an eternal loss because I did not develop some talent here on earth? If I do not learn to play the piano well here, I will have a million years to practice up there. What difference does it make? If I do not learn to speak correctly here, I will have a million years to learn there. All that really matters is that I make it there. Right?” And yet, this statement startled me. I thought, “What in the world does this mean? Could I get to heaven and yet not have all that I could have and have to endure some eternal loss?”

I also pondered over what Paul says about this in 1 Corinthians 3:11–15: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, hay, wood or straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work, which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet as through fire.”

Paul is here talking about people who will be saved in heaven, but they will be saved with a loss. Jesus taught in the parable of the talents that the one who had the most talents was given another one. Could it be that those who develop their talents in this life will receive more talents in heaven? That seems to be indicated in Mathew 10 and Matthew 25. But it goes even beyond that. We take our characters with us to heaven. Those characters that are firmly established on earth will be the characters that will last throughout eternity.

Why is it that those who do poorly in grade school continue to do poorly in high school and college? Is it simply because they do not have the knowledge to make it? No, it is because the habits they developed in grade school go on with them to high school and the habits they had in high school go on with them to college.

Young people go to college and think, “I have not done well in the past, but now I will turn over a new leaf.” I tried to do this, and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had to seek the Lord’s help, and I thank Him that He brought me through.

Some young people come to college with such poor habits that they flunk. (That is like those who will not make it to heaven at all.) Others have not developed the best habits, but at least they make it through college by plodding along. And although they never really develop their abilities to the utmost, they at least still graduate. And yet, throughout their lives, they carry a loss because they did not learn all that they could have.

There is one more group of college students. These are the ones who have learned to utilize their time, learned to concentrate, developed their memory and learned how to listen during their early school years, and they carry these skills into their college-years. They are blessed throughout life. This is the way it will be in heaven. Some will not make it at all because they have developed such bad habits. But others, who have not developed specific bad habits, but have not developed all the talents God has given them, when they get to heaven they will carry the loss throughout eternity.

Habits Seldom Changed

When is the easiest time for habits to be developed? Sister White counseled parents in Child Guidance: “What the child sees and hears is drawing deep lines upon the tender mind, which no after circumstance in life can entirely efface. The intellect is now taking shape, and the affections receiving direction and strength. Repeated acts in a given course become habits. These may be modified by severe training, in after life, but they are seldom changed.” Child Guidance, 199–200.

You know by your own experience that this is true. Very few people ever change the habits they develop in their youth. These habits are retained throughout life, usually with little modification. However, God’s prophet did not leave us without hope. Although these bad habits are “seldom changed,” it is not impossible to change them if we allow God’s spirit to work in our hearts.

Yet it is true that the older one gets, the harder it is to change. But we cannot let this be an excuse. Hard or not, now is the time to make the needed changes. If a person is fifty years old they may say, “I am too old to change now. If I were fifteen years old, I could have done it. But I guess I will just have to wait until I get to heaven to change my habits.” That will not happen!

If it is hard to change after fifty years, how hard do you think it will be to change after five hundred or five thousand years? Now is the time to change our characters. Someone says, “Oh, heaven is not like that. Whatever we have been like here, if we simply make it, somehow we will immediately be little saints when we get to heaven.”

Lucifer found a way to become discontented, rebellious and jealous. It all happened in heaven, which shows that it can go on there. That is why God has to make sure that our characters are developed here so that we will be safe to be saved in heaven. Our characters will not be changed after we arrive in heaven. The personality that we have here is the personality that we will have there. Job said, “When God comes, I will see Him for myself. It will be me, not someone else.” It will be our characters that we take to heaven—if we get there, by God’s grace.

Character Fit for Heaven

The following are several quotations from the pen of inspiration on this subject. Here we can see exactly what God’s expectations are for us. “We are here to form perfect characters for heaven.” Review and Herald, July 13. 1886.

“An important work is before us. We are to obtain a moral fitness for heaven.” Review and Herald, July 6, 1886. That is what this life is all about. Just like college is to prepare us intellectually to carry on a business or a profession, so this life is the fitting up place for heaven.

“Those who would be saints in heaven, must first be saints upon the earth; for when we leave this earth, we shall take our characters with us.” Review and Herald, August 19, 1890. Whatever you want to be like in heaven, that is what you must be like here.

Heaven will be a happy place for everyone that gets there, because no one will get there that has not learned to be happy. In Signs of the Times, November 14, 1892, we read: “Let no unkind words fall from the lips of those who compose the home circle. Make the atmosphere fragrant with tender thoughtfulness of others. Only those will enter heaven who in probationary time have formed a character that breathed a heavenly influence. The saint in heaven must first be a saint upon the earth. The habits of speech, the character of our actions, put a mold upon us; and that which we cultivate in our association with others in this life, goes down into the grave with us, and will be unchanged when we shall come up from the grave. Many are deceiving themselves by thinking that the character will be transformed at the coming of Christ; but there will be no conversion of heart at His appearing. Our defects of character must here be repented of, and through the grace of Christ we must overcome them while probation shall last. This is the place for fitting up for the family above.”

“How long a time are you designing to take to prepare to be introduced into the society of heavenly angels in glory. In the state which you and your family are in at present, all heaven would be marred should you be introduced therein. The work for you must be done here. This earth is the fitting up place. You have not one moment to lose. All is harmony, peace, and love in heaven. No discord, no strife, no censoring, no unloving words, no clouded brows, no jars there; and no one will be introduced there who possesses any of these elements so destructive to peace and happiness. Study to be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate, laying up for yourselves a good foundation against the time to come that you may lay hold on everlasting life.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 705–706.

“What can be done for you? Do you design to wait until Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven Will He make you all over new when He comes? Oh, no, this will not be done then. The fitting up must be done here. All the hewing and squaring must take place here upon earth in the hours of probation. You must be fitted up here; the last blow must be given here.” Ellen White, The Progressive Years, 95.

The longer one waits to begin the overcoming process, the more difficult it becomes. But thank the Lord that no one is so old and so entrenched in habits that God cannot change him or her if they really want to change. God has promised extra grace—grace sufficient for every need.

This extra measure of grace is given to us through the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the angels, and their help is available in this life only. We have not been promised these extra gifts in heaven, for it is here in this life that the grace is needed. Without this added grace, we are in the situation that Paul described in Romans 7: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do.” Romans 7:18, 19.

Paul realized that without help, he could do nothing at all about his evil tendencies. So what did he do? Did he just sit back and say, “Well, God, you will just have to accept me as I am because I cannot change. I know that you will take care of perfecting my character when I get to heaven.” No, he cried, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7: 24, 25. He realized that alone he could do nothing, and that he could not take his sinful character to heaven. So, he looked to Christ as his hope.

Overcoming With the Spirit

Paul explained more about this hope in Romans 8: “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3, 4.

Paul had some habits of the flesh that he wanted to overcome, but could not in his own strength. Have you ever been convicted about something that needed to be changed in your life, but you have tried and found you cannot change? That is where Paul was. Some have been convicted about smoking. They have tried and tried and they just cannot break it. They are slaves to this wicked habit. Other people are impatient. They do not want to be nor do they mean to be patient. But they try hard and they are still impatient. It is seemingly impossible to overcome the habit. Some are afflicted with habits of laziness. They do not have enough get-up-and-go to even read their Bibles or the Spirit of Prophecy. There are still others who have developed habits of lust over years and years. They are constantly thinking thoughts of lust and they cannot break free from them. And the list of evil habits that we have goes on and on: gluttony, fretfulness, worrying, daydreaming, envying, etc.

We want to overcome but we cannot, just as it was with Paul. What is our only hope? Paul tells us: “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13.

There has to be a new birth in each of our lives. There must be a crucifying of the old life and a resurrection to a new life. Jesus came down to make this possible. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say unto you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.

It takes the crucifixion, death and burial of the old life, and a resurrection to a new life of holiness. Is that possible? Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. This is not just an empty phrase. It is a promise, and it is guaranteed by the infinite power of the God of the universe.

Replacing the Old with the New

We must put off our acquired habits that do not reflect the sunshine of obedience and the trust of heaven. Yet we must not just give up our bad habits; we must also develop good habits. The Christian life is not just a matter of “Don’t do this or don’t do that.” It also involves developing what is good.

It is not good enough to simply overcome fretfulness. We must then go on to cultivate cheerfulness. It is not good enough to just overcome lust. We must then learn to develop the true, holy and sanctified love that God wants each one of us to have. It is not good enough to just overcome worrying; we must develop a faith that will carry us through every trial and every perplexity. It is not good enough to just overcome grumbling. We must develop an attitude of praise and thanksgiving that, as Paul said, is thankful in every situation.

The parable in Luke 11:24–26 is about a man who had an unclean spirit. (That means he had bad habits that he could not overcome. And these were such bad habits that the devil actually took over his life in some of these areas.) The Lord came and cast out the demon and set this man free. The demon then went out from this man, it says in verse 24, and went “through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none.” So then this demon said, “I will return to my house from which I came. And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man was worse than the first. “You cannot have an empty life forever. Sooner or later that vacuum will be filled with something. If it is not filled with what is good, it will be filled with what is evil. Today is the only day that God has given us to develop habits that will make us the kind of people that will be happy in heaven throughout eternity.

When Jesus comes there will be two classes of people: those who have changed and those who have remained the same. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Again recall the statement that we looked at in the beginning, from Testimonies, vol. 4, 452. “We shall be individually for time and for eternity what our habits make us.” Stop and think about the habits that you have formed throughout your life. What habits do you have that must be overcome, that will keep you from entering heaven? What talents have you neglected developing? Do you want to suffer an eternal loss because you did not gain all the knowledge or ability you might have?

Let us fix our minds on the goal to be won, and press toward the mark. Now is the probationary time that we have been allotted. Do not despair, my dear friend, our Savior and all the host of heaven are near to help you in this work. No one is too weak or too sinful to be saved if they will fully surrender themselves to God. This is my prayer for each of you.

The Alpha & the Omega of Apostasy, Part II

Editor’s Note: Last month we looked in detail at the Alpha of apostasy, as Ellen White described it in her day, and also at the inspired predictions of what the Omega apostasy would be like. This month we will look at how these predictions are being fulfilled in our day.

Babylon, the Ecumenical Movement and the Three Angels’ Messages

Among Adventists, the clear understanding of the term “Babylon” is diminishing more and more and is giving way to confusion. A conference leader told me years ago that “Babylon is in us.” My question, of how would it be possible under these circumstances to follow the call to leave Babylon, remained without an answer. Some other definitions, from Adventist publications, are that Babylon is the “wickedness of my city,” “evil influences” and to “attempt to gain salvation through one’s own works.” Adventist Review, December 31, 1992; Signs of the Times, June 1992; Adventist Review, December 31, 1992.

Here in Germany, “Babylon” is a hot topic. The reason for this is the membership of both of the Adventist German unions in the ACK (confederacy of Christian Churches), the national ecumenical council. This membership was brought about secretly, and the people were only informed afterwards. Discussions were forbidden.

To cover themselves, the Adventist leadership, here in Germany, has tried to show that our historic definition of “Babylon” cannot be true. R. Nickel, a high-ranking minister, said this about the Adventist’s membership in the ACK, in a sermon at the Adventist theological seminary of Friedensau. “In the classic exegesis of our denomination “Babylon” means the following: the mother whore of Revelation or the Roman Catholic Church. Her corrupted daughters are the fallen Protestant organizations of the different churches of Protestant faith. . . . The question is, Is what was once valid and present truth still valid? I want to come back to the discussion about the ACK, because here it can be shown: If the Protestant churches are truly a part of Babylon, how can one possibly unite with them and obtain membership in the ACK? If we would take the classic interpretation seriously, all of us would have to be against the ACK.” R. Nickel in a sermon held in Friedensau on November 2, 1996.

It is a fact that (nearly) all the ministers and leaders are in favor of an ACK membership. The logical conclusion therefore is that we cannot hold to the historic interpretation of “Babylon” and at the same time be a member in the ecumenical alliance. (See Luke 16:13; 2 Corinthians 6:14.) The content of the Three Angels’ Messages is opposed directly to the ecumenical movement, because we are warned explicitly of the image to the beast. The proclamation of this message is contrary to the rules of ecumenism, because no church is allowed to proselytize members of other churches. How then is it possible to proclaim, “Come out of her, my people!” if one is a member of that alliance?

Of one thing we can be assured: neither Catholics nor Protestants accepted Adventists as a member in the ecumenical ACK without a prior confirmation from them that the historic understanding of the Three Angels’ Messages had been rejected. And that is precisely what happened. In the ACK meeting, where the recommendation was given to accept the SDA Church as a member, the Adventist representatives were asked directly whether the historic interpretation of the Three Angels’ Messages was still valid.

The protocol documents of the ACK meeting, on June 3 and 4, 1992, in Arnoldshain gives this report. “On request of the Roman-Catholic representative, Dr. H.J. Urban, it was asked concretely, whether the traditional Adventist interpretation of Revelation 13, to identify the beast as being popery, which was equaled with the Antichrist, was still held as true. The answer to that question was that this was a case of tradition which dated back to the Reformation and doubtlessly would still exist, but that they were for the most part cured of institutionally identifying the office of the pope with the Antichrist. Rather it is held that the Antichrist is characteristics, which possibly could also be found in the Adventist denomination. Therefore the traditional critique of Revelation 13 could, in principle, also be directed against the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. This explanation satisfied the Catholic side. After that the leadership of the ACK decided to recommend the application of the Adventists approvingly to the united members to be voted upon.” 54 Fragen, Document 3, 3. [Emphasis supplied.]

The president of the Northern German Union, Mr. Rupp, also denied our God-given message in his letters to the president of the ACK, Bishop Held, and in his personal communication with him. Babylon was only identified as a condition of things that could also be found in the SDA church. Bishop Held obviously interpreted the opinions in the union president’s letters as not a mistake, as can be seen in his answer:

“Dear Mr. Rupp. . . . Above the views are explicitly confirmed that you—as speaking at least for the leadership of the SDA Church—told us that SDA’s no longer believe that ‘in the historical development of the religious-political power of popery is seen the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. (Daniel 7, Revelation 13 and 17.)’ ” Document 1. [Emphasis supplied.]

K. Schwarz, a high-ranking official of a Protestant Church in Germany writes: “For the guest-membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the ACK, it is understood that . . . the tensions you mentioned [the Adventist belief that the pope is the antichrist] . . . no longer exist as a part of SDA doctrines.” (In Kobialka, M. 1994. Ecumenical Movement and World Government, 100.)

The leaders of the SDA Church have always said that the affiliation with the ecumenical movement is a wonderful occasion to witness for our faith. They say that in that way the Advent Message can be given much more effectively to other churches. What a mockery and hypocrisy! Membership in the ecumenical movement is a betrayal of our message and means crucifying Christ anew. (“I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches have crucified these messages.” Early Writings, 261.)

There are many inspired instructions concerning alliances with unbelievers or believers of a different faith. I just want to point you to two quotations from the pen of Ellen White: “The wicked are being bound up in bundles, bound up in trusts, in unions, in confederacies. Let us have nothing to do with these organizations. God is our Ruler, our Governor, and He calls us to come out from the world and be separate.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 87.

“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.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol.4, 1141.

We should realize what the ACK really is and how the pope sees this ecumenical entity. While visiting Germany, Pope John Paul II declared in Paderborn on June 22, 1996: “Good ecumenical connections have been formed to the churches in this country. They work actively together with the ecumenical committees, especially in the ‘Alliance of Christian Churches in Germany’ (ACK). By that, some helpful suggestions for the formation of church community came to Germany. . . . The unity we aim for has to grow step by step. . . . Therefore, it is our duty to reduce barriers and to seek for a greater amount of communion, trusting firmly that the Lord will lead us to that glorious day when full unity of faith is accomplished and we are able to celebrate harmoniously the holy Eucharist of the Lord together.Verlautbarungen des Apostolischen Stuhls, 126, Bonn 6/1996, 22ff.

What are Adventists looking for in the ACK? Do they want to celebrate the Eucharist together with the Catholics? The Omega is already here. May the Lord help us to see it and to act accordingly.

What is to be Done?

How do we need to respond to this situation? Many Adventists are confused and do not know what to do. It seems as if no one expected the vast dimensions of apostasy, although Sister White wrote: “The omega will be of a most startling nature.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 197. As Adventists we have heard about the soon coming test and talked about it ourselves, but now it is present and only a few are aware of it.

The question of how we are to deal with the Omega crisis is answered clearly in the inspired writings concerning the Alpha crisis. In the Omega crisis the same principles have to be applied, for history is repeating itself.

What advice did Ellen White give during the Alpha crisis? Here is one example:

“Elder and Mrs. Farnsworth have been requested to spend some time in Battle Creek, laboring for the church. I encourage them to do so, and shall counsel them how to labor. It will be well for Elder Farnsworth and Elder A. T. Jones to stand shoulder to shoulder preaching the Word in the tabernacle for a time, and giving the trumpet a certain sound. There are in Battle Creek souls who need bracing up. Many will gladly hear and distinguish the note of warning. But Elder Farnsworth should not remain in Battle Creek long. I write these things to you, because it is important that they should be understood. God would have men of talent who will not deviate from the principles of righteousness to stand in defense of the truth in the tabernacle at Battle Creek. One man should not be stationed in Battle Creek for a long time. After he has faithfully proclaimed the truth for a time, he should leave to labor elsewhere, and some one else be appointed who will give the trumpet a certain sound.” Paulson Collection, 108.

In this testimony the inspired pen gives us an exact description of our duty in both the Alpha and the Omega crisis. Two aspects are explicitly emphasized. On the one hand we are called to give the trumpet a certain sound to warn our brothers and sisters. On the other hand we are warned not to expose ourselves to the influence of apostasy for too long.

The first aspect, giving the trumpet a certain sound, should be our first step if we are part of a church infected with apostasy. Over and over again Ellen White called for decided action during the Alpha crisis. Here are some quotations:

“I was shown a platform, braced by solid timbers—the truths of the Word of God. Someone high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting this platform. Then I heard a voice saying, ‘Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Master Worker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.’ ” Selected Messages, Book 1, 204.

“The battle is on. . . . Where are His watchmen? Are they standing on the high tower, giving the danger signal, or are they allowing the peril to pass unheeded?” Ibid., 194.

“Will the men in our institutions keep silent, allowing insidious fallacies to be promulgated to the ruin of souls? . . . Is it not time that we asked ourselves, Shall we allow the adversary to lead us to give up the work of proclaiming the truth?” Ibid., 195.

“Vigilant action is called for. Indifference and sloth will result in the loss of personal religion and of heaven.” Ibid.

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.Testimonies, vol. 3, 281.

To help us really understand the horrible danger of this emergency we are in, God gave Ellen White a vision of an iceberg. “One night a scene was clearly presented before me. A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, ‘Iceberg just ahead!’ There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg. An authoritative voice cried out, ‘Meet it!’ There was not a moment’s hesitation. It was a time for instant action. The engineer put on full steam, and the man at the wheel steered the ship straight into the iceberg. With a crash she struck the ice. There was a fearful shock, and the iceberg broke into many pieces, falling with a noise like thunder to the deck.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 205.

“I am instructed to speak plainly. ‘Meet it,’ is the word spoken to me. ‘Meet it firmly, and without delay.’ . . . In the book ‘Living Temple’ there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given. . . . I have an intense longing to see them standing free in the Lord. I pray that they may have courage to stand firm for the truth as it is in Jesus, holding fast the beginning of their confidence unto the end.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 200.

“They have seen wrong transactions and heard wrong words spoken, and seen wrong principles followed, and have not spoken in reproof, for fear that they would be repulsed. I call upon those who have been connected with these binding influences to break the yoke to which they have long submitted, and stand as free men in Christ. Nothing but a determined effort will break the spell that is upon them.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 197.

How possibly can a call to decided action be more urgent? Everyone who perceives the apostasy has the duty to protest against it without compromise. If there ever was a time to sit and keep silent and to listen to an erroneous sermon up to the end (which I doubt), so that the pernicious error can be addressed to the whole congregation, that time is over. It is not enough just to talk to the minister afterwards, privately, when error has made its way to the minds of the people.

“Let every man now arouse, and work as he has opportunity. Let him speak words in season and out of season, and look to Christ for encouragement and strength in welldoing. . . . My message to you is: No longer consent to listen without protest to the perversion of truth. Unmask the pretentious sophistries which, if received, will lead ministers and physicians and medical missionary workers to ignore the truth. Every one is now to stand on his guard. God calls upon men and women to take their stand under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. I have been instructed to warn our people; for many are in danger of receiving theories and sophistries that undermine the foundation pillars of the faith.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 195, 196.

Save Our Youth

Ellen White many times warned that the young people should not be sent to the college in Battle Creek. She feared for the Adventist youth because of the pernicious influence prevailing there. “Those who have crowded into Battle Creek, and are being held there, see and hear many things that tend to weaken their faith, and engender unbelief.” Paulson Collection, 109.

But what about our colleges and seminaries today? Is the condition any better than it was then in Battle Creek? I do not have that much information about the condition of Adventist schools in the U.S., but I know something about the German seminaries. In these schools, the historical Adventist sanctuary teaching is rejected, Bible criticism is taught, the seven-day-creation period and the expectation of the imminent second coming of Christ are denied, etc. These things are well documented and confirmed by students of the German seminary.

What is the professed purpose of such a school? It is to pass on the truth of our faith to the next generation? But, if the school imparts error to the students today, the ministers of tomorrow will impart these errors to their churches. In this manner the truth is torn down and the people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

This situation is very dangerous, especially for our young people. What is the condition of the Adventist youth today? I remember one night, when my wife and I had a season of prayer in which she prayed for the Adventist friends she had during her youth. Thinking about them, my wife sat down and cried and cried and could not stop. Very few of her old friends were still in the truth. Almost all had gone into the world; some as members of the SDA church, others having completely rejected their profession.

But is that surprising to anyone? What are the young people doing when they gather together on Sabbath afternoon? I have seen it so often: after an obligatory short devotion (if at all) they begin to play basketball, table tennis or whatever. Once I met a minister who gathered the young people of his church for a night session to watch videos. They watched movies with sex and crime scenes till morning.

I wonder how many Adventists think that they have fulfilled all their duty when they trust their children to ministers and Sabbath schools for religious education. How few consider how their children are effected by the influence of the church they go to every Sabbath?! Even in the Alpha crisis Ellen White warned over and over again that we should not expose ourselves to such a faith-destroying influence. That applies in a special way to the moldable youth. She wrote: “I would say, be careful what moves are made. It is not God’s design that our youth should be called to Battle Creek.Battle Creek Letters, 4.

We protest in the name of the Lord God of Israel, against the calling of our youth into a place to which the Lord declared they should not go.Battle Creek Letters, 4, 5.

“The light given me by the Lord—that our youth should not collect in Battle Creek to receive their education—has in no particular been changed. The fact that the Sanitarium has been rebuilt in Battle Creek does not change the light. All that in the past made Battle Creek a place unsuitable for our youth exists today, so far as influence is concerned.” Battle Creek Letters, 4.

When the faithful Elder Haskell and his wife received a call to come to Battle Creek, Ellen White counseled: “That you should receive an invitation to go to Battle Creek, and give Bible lessons to the nurses and medical students, is not a surprise to me. I have been instructed that an effort would be made to obtain your names as teachers to the nurses at Battle Creek, so that the managers of the Sanitarium can say to our people that Elder and Mrs. Haskell are to give a course of lessons to the Battle Creek Sanitarium nurses, and use this as a means of decoying to Battle Creek those who otherwise would heed the cautions about going there for their education.” Paulson Collection, 108.

Some say that Ellen White’s calls to leave Battle Creek were given only to prevent centralization at that place. But this is only part of the truth. The following statement to Brother and Sister Haskell may sound incredible to many easy-loving souls: “There is a little hope in one direction: Take the young men and women, and place them where they will come as little in contact with our churches as possible, that the low grade of piety which is current in this day shall not leaven their ideas of what it means to be a Christian.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 12, 333.

If your protest against the apostasy is unheeded you have the choice: either you stay and tolerate the apostasy or you leave and save yourself and your family from these influences. The influence you allow to affect your soul will decide your eternal destiny. “Every one will reveal the character of the bundle with which he is binding himself.” 1888 Materials, 995. Ellen White brings this point home to us: “‘Out of Battle Creek’ is my message.Paulson Collection, 111.

Application and Conclusion

Some might say: “In my church there is no pantheism being taught. I cannot apply these statements to my local situation.” Maybe you are right. Praise God for every local church that is still standing on the fundamental truths of the Three Angels’ Messages. There are still some of them, but their number decreases day by day. Remember, however, when you are evaluating your church, that pantheism alone is not the topic of the Omega crisis, it embodies many more principles. Ask yourself the question, How do they treat the Spirit of Prophecy? Is it upheld as the inspired and infallible word of God given to us through His last time prophet? How did the church leaders react when you tried to correct them? Did they understand and repent?

Of those who are constantly working to undermine faith in the message God is sending to His people, I am instructed to say, ‘Come out from among them, and be ye separate.’” Review and Herald, July 23, 1908.

Is your church part of an ecumenical organization? How did the men in responsible positions react when you stood up to protest against it? Did they understand and repent?

Maybe you can agree with me on being separated from the ecumenical movement, but not on being separated from professed Adventists who approve and uphold an ecumenical membership. You would do well to consider the example of faithful Nehemiah. “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.

Is strange fire offered in your church in the form of theater performances, worldly or charismatic music? Does your minister use NLP or anything similar? How did your church react as you protested against it? Did they understand and repent?

“As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the sanctuary.” Signs of the Times, December 1, 1881.

Will we learn our lessons from the past? Will we recognize the time of our visitation? Will we act upon right principles? May the Lord help us in this most crucial hour when our eternal destiny, and that of our families, is being decided.

Holy Flesh and Celebration Music, Part I

In 1898, Satan, through a false teaching known as the “Holy Flesh Movement” in Indiana, made an unsuccessful attempt to introduce a false Christ and a “Pentecostal” or “Celebration” type of worship into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Elder S. S. Davis, Indiana Conference evangelist, developed these strange new teachings, never before known among Seventh-day Adventists. Elder R. S. Donnell, President of the Indiana Conference, along with a majority of the ministry of the Conference, was swept away by the erroneous teachings. The advocates of this strange new phenomena believed the movement was the outpouring of the “Latter Rain,” and the teachings swept through the Indiana Conference with the speed of a prairie fire.

It is interesting to note that “Pentecostal” type of worship, and Pentecostal denominations as we know them today, had their beginnings in the skid row, clapboard, store-front churches of Los Angeles at the turn of the century. This erroneous type of “Pentecostal” worship was introduced into the Seventh-day Adventist Church at precisely the very same hour in history!

Ellen White was in Australia at the time and knew nothing of the development of this erroneous form of worship in Indiana. The General Conference sent Elder Stephen N. Haskell to investigate the new movement. He reported to Ellen White in two letters. (Note: These two letters will be referred to as Haskell Letter #1 and Haskell, Letter #2. Both letters are on file at the Ellen G. White Estate and are available for research).

“To describe it, I hardly know what to say,” Haskell wrote to Ellen White. “It is beyond all description. I have never seen any company held with a firmer grasp by a certain number of the leading ministers, than they are held in Indiana.” Letter #1, S. N. Haskell to Ellen G. White, Sept. 25, 1900. [Emphasis in all quotations is supplied.]

Notice that the Conference leaders of this erroneous movement in Indiana used crowd-control to deceive the people. One should always be aware that control of the masses is one of Satan’s most effective tools to “deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24.

In her reply to Haskell, Ellen White recalled the improper use of music, in worship, in fanatical movements of the past. “I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect.” Letter 132, 1900, 5–8, October 10, 1900; Released December 10, 1971.

Notice that Ellen White called the Holy Flesh deception a “din and noise,” and that this din and noise was “inspired by the spirit of Satan.” One of the outstanding features of this deception was a “Celebration” type of worship and music, utilizing a full band with drums. But that was not all. Along with the erroneous style of worship was taught dangerous heretical doctrines.

The Doctrine of the Holy Flesh Movement

The central doctrine of the Holy Flesh advocates was (1) that Jesus was born with Holy Flesh—with a human nature like that which Adam possessed in the Garden of Eden before the fall. (2)Jesus passed through an experience in the Garden of Gethsemane and those who followed Him through this experience would have holy flesh like Jesus had (and which Adam possessed before the fall), and this experience would fit the individual for translation. (3) After this experience the individual would then possess flesh like Jesus had and therefore would no longer sin. (4) After passing through this Garden of Gethsemane they experience the Holy Flesh. (The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 108.)

“Brother R. S. Donnell is president, and they have an experience in getting the people ready for translation,” Stephen N. Haskell wrote to Ellen White. “They call it the ‘cleansing message.’ Others call it the ‘holy flesh.’” Haskell Letter #1, September 25, 1900.

Individuals who did not pass through this “Garden Experience” were considered “adopted sons,” and therefore did not possess translation faith. These individuals would have to pass through the grave and “go to heaven by the underground railway.” The Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 108.

“Attempting to gain this Garden experience that would give them holy flesh, the people gathered in meetings in which there were long prayers, strange, loud, instrumental music, and excited ,extended, hysterical preaching,” Arthur White wrote. “They were led to seek an experience of physical demonstration. Bass drums and the tambourines aided in this.” Ibid., 101. [Emphasis supplied.]

Notice the three important elements of this erroneous type of worship. (1) “Long prayers.” (2)”Extended, hysterical preaching.” (3) “Strange, loud, instrumental music,” and the fact that “bass drums and the tambourines” aided in the deception. These three elements are absolute essentials to elevate the emotions of any church gathering. In the “holy flesh” meetings, in Indiana, some of the people would reach a state of hysteria and pass out on the floor. Monitors would carry these individuals to the front “where a dozen or more people would gather around and shout, ‘Glory to God!’ while others prayed or sang.” Ibid. When they regained consciousness they were said to have “holy flesh” and were then considered fit for translation.

The Holy Flesh Movement and Celebration Music

In their meetings, the Holy Flesh leaders used loud instrumental music and hysterical preaching to elevate the emotions of the people to a frenzy until a state of delirium existed. This method of crowd control was developed more fully the following year in the Pentecostal tongues-speaking movement in the clapboard storefront, skid-row churches of Los Angeles. This form of satanic worship progressed into “false healing,” “false speaking in tongues,” “handling of snakes in worship,” and other satanic delusions. In the past ninety-eight years, the phenomena has grown to worldwide proportions in the so-called “Full Gospel” Pentecostal churches of today. Is it not curious that this satanic delusion was first developed among Seventh-day Adventists? Satan’s clever movements can be detected if the Christian is wide-awake, studying his or her Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. The Seventh-day Adventist Christian should never forget “how the Lord has led us, and His teaching, in our past history.” Life Sketches, 196.

“As the conference president stood speaking one evening,” Arthur White wrote, “he held his arms outstretched toward the congregation, and later reported that he had felt great power coursing down his arms and passing through his fingers out to the people.” Early Elmshaven Years, vol. 5, 101.

There is a great power that goes with the movement that is on foot there,” Haskell wrote to Ellen White. “It would almost bring anybody within its scope, if they are at all conscientious, and sit and listen with the least degree of favor, because of the music that is brought to play in the ceremony.” Haskell Letter #1.

Please notice, dear Adventist friend, that in this “celebration” type of worship “there is a great power,” and that power is in the music! Pioneer Adventist, Stephen Haskell, said that if one would “listen with the least degree of favor,” they would be swept away with the deception “because of the music that is brought to play in the ceremony!”

“They have an organ, one bass viol, three fiddles, two flutes, three tambourines, three horns, and a big bass drum, and perhaps other instruments which I have not mentioned,” Haskell observed. “They are as much trained in their musical line as any Salvation Army choir that you ever heard.” Ibid.

“In fact, their revival effort is simply a complete copy of the Salvation Army method,” Haskell added, “and when they get on a high key, you cannot hear a word from the congregation in their singing, nor hear anything, unless it be shrieks of those who are half insane. I do not think I overdraw it at all.” Ibid.

“Those things which have been in the past will be in the future,” Ellen White warned. “Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted. God calls upon His people, who have the light before them in the Word and in the Testimonies, to read and consider, and to take heed.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 38.

Loud Music the Prerequisite for Speaking In Tongues

“A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing,” Ellen White wrote. “The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working.” Ibid.

All historians of contemporary music know that Rock’ n Roll developed in the 1950s and had its roots in black and Pentecostal gospel music. Indeed, in the NBC television production of the early career of Elvis Presley, one complete episode portrayed how Elvis developed his music from the Pentecostal church services he attended with his mother and father as a young lad.

In this episode, Elvis was appearing on his first Grand Ole’ Opry country music show. The crowd was not responding to his rendition of a beautiful ballad. Elvis was “bombing”, as the entertainment industry would describe the incident. In his mind’s eye Elvis was taken back to the Pentecostal church he attended as a lad and was impressed by the audience’s response to the wild gyrations of the minister at the service. He could clearly see the reaction of the people to the minister’s loud preaching and crowd-control methods. Presley immediately broke into a black Rhythm and Blues tune and began to imitate the gyrations of the Pentecostal minister he had observed. At that precise moment the legend of Elvis Presley was born. The cameras focused in on his mother and girl friend standing at the side of the auditorium. The camera neatly captured the expression of astonishment on their faces. Their stunned expression revealed that they too realized there was a power, a supernatural force at work that neither they nor Elvis could ever reverse. This supernatural, demonic, musical influence eventually killed Elvis Presley, and it will destroy an individual or group, denomination or church, who dare to embrace this dangerous last-day delusion of Satan!

In the 1960s, this form of music developed into small “electronic” Rock bands of four or more members. First, there was the “Beatles” of England. Soon other groups followed, such as the “Animals,” the “Rolling Stones,” and many more too numerous to mention. This Satanic music developed into what was termed “acid” music because of the drug LSD that was advocated by the musicians of the era. Later, homosexual groups appeared, such as “Alice Cooper,” and “Kiss.” Then Satan really revealed himself in the “Satan Rock” of the 1970s.

In the 1970s this satanic form of music made its entrance into the major Christian denominations of America—and even into the Roman Catholic Church! The two motion picture productions, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Godspell, will suffice as proof enough to substantiate this claim. These two blasphemous movies were accepted totally by major denominations around the world as a tool to reach the youth for Christ. These movie productions were even accepted in some Seventh-day Adventist circles—at least the music was accepted as tools to reach the youth in Sabbath Schools around the English-speaking divisions of the Church. A true Christian who has seen either of these two blasphemous productions can come away with nothing less than complete disgust.

Is it not curious that the phenomena of “speaking in tongues” came to these major denominations immediately after the lively Rock and Country gospel music was introduced into their church worship services? Another proof of this theory is that contemporary Christian Rock music did not make an entrance into the Church of Christ denomination. Why? Because the Church of Christ does not believe in the use of instrumental music in the worship service. Therefore, the phenomena of speaking in tongues did not make an entrance into that denomination!

“Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this have not been good. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’ Fanaticism and noise have been considered special evidences of faith. Some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this and get up an excitement of feeling. But the influence of such meetings is not beneficial. When the happy flight of feeling is gone they sink lower than before the meeting because their happiness did not come from the right source.” Last Day Events, 159, 160. [Emphasis supplied.]

Notice that Ellen White states that this kind of music has “been considered gifts which God has placed in the church,” but, “the fruits of all this have not been good.” She added further “the influence of such meetings is not beneficial.” Why? It was “because their happiness did not come from the right source.”

“The Holy Spirit has nothing to do with such a confusion of noise and multitude of sounds as passed before me last January,” Ellen White stated. “Satan works amid the din and confusion of such music, which, properly conducted, would be a praise and glory to God. He makes its effect like the poison sting of the serpent.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 37.

The subtitle of this article in Selected Messages is, “Music Is Made a Snare.” A publisher’s note states; “These comments were made in connection with the ‘Holy Flesh’ movement at the Indiana Camp Meeting of 1899. For further details, See Selected Messages, Book 2, 31–39.” [Sub-title and Publisher’s Note omitted in later editions.]

History of the Past to be Repeated

Those things which have been in the past will be in the future,” Ellen White warned. Why will these things be repeated? Because “the itching desire to originate something new results in strange doctrines.” Ibid., 38.

“Last January the Lord showed me that erroneous theories and methods would be brought into our camp meetings, and that the history of the past would be repeated. I felt greatly distressed. I was instructed to say that at these demonstrations demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people; that the enemy was trying to arrange matters so that the camp meetings, which have been the means of bringing the truth of the Third Angel’s Message before multitudes, should lose their force and influence.” Ibid., 37.

Notice that Ellen White was “instructed to say” by a heavenly being that “demons in the form of men are present, working with all the ingenuity that Satan can employ to make the truth disgusting to sensible people.” At these contemporary Seventh-day Adventist “celebration” worship services “demons in the form of men are present.” Dear Adventist friend, beware!

History Repeated Just Before the Close of Probation

“The things you have described as taking place in Indiana, the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation,” Ellen White wrote to Stephen Haskell. “Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated.” Last Day Events, 159.

Notice that this satanic phenomena “would take place just before the close of probation” in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and that “every uncouth thing will be demonstrated.” All the practices of the Holy Flesh Movement will be, and are being, repeated in the Church “just before the close of probation.” (For further study see, Last Day Events, 159,160; Maranatha, 226; Selected Messages, Book 2, 36–39; The Voice in Speech and Song, 417, 418; Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 107–109; The Early Elmshaven Years, 100–107.)

“And while those who are devoted to these sciences laud them to the heavens because of the great and good works which they affirm are wrought by them, they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing; but it is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders—with all deceivableness of unrighteousness,” Ellen White concluded. “Mark the influence of these sciences, dear reader, for the conflict between Christ and Satan is not yet ended.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 352.

Those who love the new “celebration” style of worship “laud them to the heavens.” Why? “Because of the great and good works . . . they affirm are wrought by them.” However, “they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing.” Ellen White warned that this type of celebration worship is a power which will yet work with all signs and lying wonders—with all deceivableness “There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing,” Ellen White warned. “The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions.” Last Day Events, 159. In the book Maranatha, article, “Drums, Dancing and Noise,” page 234, the sentence is added: “And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.”

Notice also that in this testimony Ellen White states that, “There will be.” Not possibly, or maybe, but there will be! What will there be? “Shouting, with drums, music and dancing,” and, “the senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions.” Will this happen overnight? No, Satan never works that way. He is not stupid. It will come with portions of the above introduced a little at a time. Holy dancing will probably be the last part to be accepted by “rational beings” who “cannot be trusted to make right decisions.” Today we already have the drums and the music in celebration worship services in liberal Seventh-day Adventist churches across America. Next will probably be the shouting, false speaking in tongues and false healings, then the holy dancing.

Mark this point carefully, dear reader. There are two major differences between this final hour deception of Satan, and the deception he introduced to Seventh-day Adventists in the Holy Flesh Movement of 1900. Added to the instrumentation of the “holy band” of the Holy Flesh Movement of 1900, would be the essential 1990s instrumentation of contemporary Rock’ n Roll music. (1)Electric amplified guitar; (2) electric amplified bass, (3) electric amplified keyboards, (4) a full set of drums, not just a “bass drum.” The key word here is “amplified.” If the reader observes this combination of electric instrumentation in any church worship service—beware!

Remember that Ellen White warned that, (1) “Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.” (2) The music would be loud, “a bedlam of noise.” (3) “God calls upon His people…to take heed.” Ibid., 38.

False Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise,” Ellen White counseled. “This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 107. “No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship.” Ibid., 108.

“Brother and Sister Haskell, we must put on every piece of the armor, and having done all, stand firm,” Ellen White counseled. “We are set as a defense for the gospel, and we must compose a part of the Lord’s grand army for aggressive warfare.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 38.”By the Lord’s faithful ambassadors the truth must be presented in clear-cut lines,” Ellen White continued. “Much of that which today is called testing truth is twaddle which leads to a resistance of the Holy Spirit.” Ibid.

“Much is being said regarding the impartation of the Holy Spirit, and by some this is being so interpreted that it is an injury to the churches,” Ellen White wrote to Haskell. “Eternal life is the receiving of the living elements in the Scriptures and doing the will of God.” Ibid., 38, 39.