Bible Study – The Temptation and Fall

This We Believe

May 29 – June 4, 2022

Key Text

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62


“Obedience, perfect and perpetual, was the condition of eternal happiness. On this condition he [Adam] was to have access to the tree of life.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 49



1.a. What explicit command was given to Adam and Eve in paradise? Genesis 2:16, 17

 Note: “The tree of knowledge, which stood near the tree of life in the midst of the garden, was to be a test of the obedience, faith, and love of our parents. While permitted to eat freely of every other tree, they were forbidden to taste of this, on pain of death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 48, 49

1.b. How did Jesus explain the meaning of the great commandment of God? Matthew 22:35–38. What result is obtained by heeding God’s command? Proverbs 6:23; 19:16

 Note: “The joy of the Christian is not found in transgression of the law of God, but in obedience of all its precepts. None are in slavery and bondage to the law but those who transgress it. Obedience produces love to God and man—the two great principles of the law of God. This obedience and this love brings fullness of joy to the disciples of Jesus.” The Signs of the Times, January 24, 1878

“When we are daily under the control of God’s Spirit, we shall be commandment-keeping people. We may show to the world that obedience to God’s commands brings its own reward, even in this life, and in the future life eternal blessedness.” The Upward Look, 353



2.a. Explain how Eve was tempted as she lingered around the forbidden tree. Genesis 3:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3

 Note: “The serpent plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree and placed it in the hands of the half-reluctant Eve. Then he reminded her of her own words, that God had forbidden them to touch it, lest they die. She would receive no more harm from eating the fruit, he declared, than from touching it. Perceiving no evil results from what she had done, Eve grew bolder. When she ‘saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat.’ It was grateful to the taste, and as she ate, she seemed to feel a vivifying power, and imagined herself entering upon a higher state of existence. Without a fear she plucked and ate. And now, having herself transgressed, she became the agent of Satan in working the ruin of her husband. In a state of strange, unnatural excitement, with her hands filled with the forbidden fruit, she sought his presence, and related all that had occurred.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 55, 56

“His [Adam’s] love for Eve was strong, and in utter discouragement he resolved to share her fate. He seized the fruit and quickly ate it. Then Satan exulted. … Adam, through his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of God, and fell with her.” Early Writings, 148

2.b. Why were Adam and Eve unable to humbly confess their sin? Romans 6:16, 20. Whom did they blame for it? Genesis 3:12, 13

 Note: “After Adam and Eve had eaten of the forbidden fruit, they were filled with a sense of shame and terror. At first their only thought was how to excuse their sin and escape the dreaded sentence of death. When the Lord inquired concerning their sin, Adam replied, laying the guilt partly upon God and partly upon his companion. … Why did You make the serpent? Why did You suffer him to come into Eden? These were the questions implied in her [Eve’s] excuse for her sin, thus charging God with the responsibility of their fall. The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Confessions of this order are not inspired by the divine Spirit and will not be acceptable to God. True repentance will lead a man to bear his guilt himself and acknowledge it without deception or hypocrisy.” Steps to Christ, 40



3.a. The serpent said that in the day Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, their “eyes shall be opened” and they shall know “good and evil.” Were these words true? Genesis 3:5, 7

 Note: “The tempter intimated that the divine warning was not to be actually fulfilled; it was designed merely to intimidate them. How could it be possible for them to die? Had they not eaten of the tree of life? God had been seeking to prevent them from reaching a nobler development and finding greater happiness.

“Such has been Satan’s work from the days of Adam to the present, and he has pursued it with great success. He tempts men to distrust God’s love and to doubt His wisdom. He is constantly seeking to excite a spirit of irreverent curiosity, a restless, inquisitive desire to penetrate the secrets of divine wisdom and power. In their efforts to search out what God has been pleased to withhold, multitudes overlook the truths which He has revealed, and which are essential to salvation. Satan tempts men to disobedience by leading them to believe they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge. But this is all a deception. Elated with their ideas of progression, they are, by trampling on God’s requirements, setting their feet in the path that leads to degradation and death.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 54, 55

“Satan desired to make it appear that this knowledge of good mingled with evil would be a blessing, and that in forbidding them to take of the fruit of the tree, God was withholding great good.” Education, 24

3.b. Were the words of the serpent “Ye shall not surely die” and “ye shall be as gods” true? Genesis 3:4, 5. What was the result of listening to the serpent?

 Note: “It was Satan’s plan that Adam and Eve should by disobedience incur God’s displeasure; and then, if they failed to obtain forgiveness, he hoped that they would eat of the tree of life, and thus perpetuate an existence of sin and misery. But after man’s fall, holy angels were immediately commissioned to guard the tree of life. Around these angels flashed beams of light having the appearance of a glittering sword. None of the family of Adam were permitted to pass the barrier to partake of the life-giving fruit; hence there is not an immortal sinner.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 60



4.a. What were the properties of the tree of life from which Adam and Eve had freedom to eat? Genesis 2:9

 Note: “The tree of life is a representation of the preserving care of Christ for His children. As Adam and Eve ate of this tree, they acknowledged their dependence upon God. The tree of life possessed the power to perpetuate life, and as long as they ate of it, they could not die.” The Review and Herald, January 26, 1897

“Man was dependent upon the tree of life for immortality, and the Lord took these precautions lest men should eat of that tree ‘and live forever’—become immortal sinners.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 134

4.b. After Adam and Eve sinned, what was God compelled to do, and why? Genesis 3:22–24

 Note: “For transgression of the law of God, Adam and Eve were banished from Eden.” The Desire of Ages, 741

“After their sin Adam and Eve were no longer to dwell in Eden. They earnestly entreated that they might remain in the home of their innocence and joy. They confessed that they had forfeited all right to that happy abode, but pledged themselves for the future to yield strict obedience to God. But they were told that their nature had become depraved by sin; they had lessened their strength to resist evil and had opened the way for Satan to gain more ready access to them. In their innocence they had yielded to temptation; and now, in a state of conscious guilt, they would have less power to maintain their integrity.

“In humility and unutterable sadness they bade farewell to their beautiful home and went forth to dwell upon the earth, where rested the curse of sin. The atmosphere, once so mild and uniform in temperature, was now subject to marked changes, and the Lord mercifully provided them with a garment of skins as a protection from the extremes of heat and cold.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 61

“Adam was driven from Eden, and the angels who, before his transgression, had been appointed to guard him in his Eden home, were now appointed to guard the gates of paradise and the way of the tree of life, lest he should return, gain access to the tree of life, and sin be immortalized.” Confrontation, 15



5.a. What was the sentence pronounced upon the serpent, upon Eve, and upon Adam? Genesis 3:14– 19

 Note: “As they witnessed in drooping flower and falling leaf the first signs of decay, Adam and his companion mourned more deeply than men now mourn over their dead. The death of the frail, delicate flowers was indeed a cause of sorrow; but when the goodly trees cast off their leaves, the scene brought vividly to mind the stern fact that death is the portion of every living thing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 62

5.b. In spite of the curse resting upon the earth, what can we see in nature? Psalm 19:1–4; Romans 1:20

Note: “Adam … was shown the curse of God resting more and more heavily upon the human race, upon the cattle, and upon the earth, because of man’s continued transgression. He was shown that iniquity and violence would steadily increase; yet amid all the tide of human misery and woe, there would ever be a few who would preserve the knowledge of God, and would remain unsullied amid the prevailing moral degeneracy.” The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, 52

“After the transgression of Adam, God might have destroyed every opening bud and blooming flower, or He might have taken away their fragrance, so grateful to the senses. In the earth, seared and marred by the curse, in the briers, the thistles, the thorns, the tares, we may read the law of condemnation; but in the delicate color and perfume of the flowers, we may learn that God still loves us, that His mercy is not wholly withdrawn from the earth.” The Review and Herald, November 8, 1898



1    Why is obedience to God vital to our own happiness and stability?

2    Whenever a mistake, shortcoming, or sin of our doing is brought to our attention, what human tendency must we steadfastly resist?

3    In what sense is having our eyes “opened” not always good?

4    Why is it a blessing that the tree of life was barred after sin?

5    As we see the bitter results of sin, what encouragement shines through?

Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.

Editorial – Dealing with Satan’s Devices

“The great controversy between Christ and Satan that has been carried on for almost six thousand years, is soon to close. And yet how few have their attention called to this matter, how few realize that we are living amid the closing scenes of earth’s history! Satan is working diligently, binding his sheaves preparatory to gathering in his harvest. He is uniting the elements of his kingdom for the final struggle. …

“He has access to minds that are open to receive his suggestions, and by long experience he has learned how to apply his temptations to the best advantage. His first effort is to keep as many minds as possible in a state of careless indifference. …

“God will not work a miracle to change natural causes which you can control. If you place yourself and family in the current of the world, you and your children will be borne downward by it. …

“You let bitterness into your soul, then jealousy and evil-surmising, and you do not realize it. Your heart becomes hardened against your brethren, and you speak evil of them. You do not know that you are doing the work of Satan, but you are; and you are growing spiritually weaker and weaker, and darker and darker. …

“By beholding we become changed. If you allow your mind to dwell upon the imperfections and moral deformities of others, you will be changed into the same image. …

“The way to eternal life is a battle and a march. The great adversary of souls is continually seeking to insinuate himself between you and the Source of your strength. If you allow your mind to be taken up with worldly cares, he will manage to have these cares so varied in character, and press so continually upon you, that you can find no time for the spiritual and the eternal. …

“We need constant communion with Jesus just as much as we need daily food to nourish the body. …

“God estimates a man by what he is in the bosom of his family. Fix the mind on things that are pure and holy. ‘Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things’ (Philippians 4:8).”

Excerpts from a morning devotional talk by Ellen G. White, printed in Signs of the Times, May 8, 1884.

Bible Study Guides – Yea, Hath God Said?

April 8 – April 14, 2001

Memory Verse “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8.

Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 52–62.


“It is not safe for us to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped through yielding to Satan’s suggestions. Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in it; but it is blinding and deceiving in its nature, and it will entice us with flattering presentations. If we venture on Satan’s ground, we have no assurance of protection from his power. So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 118

“It Was Very Good”

  • What was God’s purpose in creating mankind? Isaiah 43:7. (For ‘glory’ see Exodus 33:18, 19.)

note: “We need to consider both the nature of man and the purpose of God in creating him. We need to consider also the change in man’s condition through the coming in of a knowledge of evil, and God’s plan for still fulfilling His glorious purpose in the education of the human race. When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image—the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. All his faculties were capable of development; their capacity and vigor were continually to increase. Vast was the scope offered for their exercise, glorious the field opened to their research. The mysteries of the visible universe—the ‘wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge’ (Job 37:16)—invited man’s study. Face-to-face, heartto-heart communion with his Maker was his high privilege. Had he remained loyal to God, all this would have been his forever. Throughout eternal ages he would have continued to gain new treasures of knowledge, to discover fresh springs of happiness, and to obtain clearer and yet clearer conceptions of the wisdom, the power, and the love of God. More and more fully would he have fulfilled the object of his creation, more and more fully have reflected the Creator’s glory.” Education, 14, 15.

  • What test of obedience did the Lord devise for Adam and Eve? Genesis 2:16, 17.

note: “To deprive man of the freedom of choice would be to rob him of his prerogative as an intelligent being, and make him a mere automaton. It is not God’s purpose to coerce the will. Man was created a free moral agent. Like the inhabitants of all other worlds, he must be subjected to the test of obedience; but he is never brought into such a position that yielding to evil becomes a matter of necessity. No temptation or trial is permitted to come to him which he is unable to resist. God made such ample provision that man need never have been defeated in the conflict with Satan.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 331.

“The Woman Being Deceived”

  • With what words did Satan begin his temptation of Eve? Genesis 3:1.

note: “How artfully had Satan approached Eve in Eden! ‘Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ Genesis 3:1. Thus far the tempter’s words were truth; but in his manner of speaking them there was a disguised contempt for the words of God. There was a covert negative, a doubt of the divine truthfulness. Satan sought to instill into the mind of Eve the thought that God would not do as He had said; that the withholding of such beautiful fruit was a contradiction of His love and compassion for man.” Desire of Ages, 118.

  • How did Eve respond to this suggestion? Genesis 3:2, 3. (Compare Genesis 2:17.)

note: “Eve had overstated the words of God’s command. He had said to Adam and Eve, ‘But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ In Eve’s controversy with the serpent, she added the clause, ‘Neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’ Here the subtlety of the serpent was seen. This statement of Eve gave him advantage, and he plucked the fruit, and placed it in her hand, and used her own words, ‘He hath said,’ ‘If ye touch it, ye shall die.’ ‘ ‘You see no harm comes to you from touching the fruit, neither will you receive any harm by eating it.’ Eve yielded to the lying sophistry of the devil in the form of a serpent. She ate the fruit, and realized no immediate harm. She then plucked the fruit for herself and for her husband.” Review and Herald, February 24, 1874.

“Ye Shall Not Surely Die”

  • What lie did Satan now tell? Genesis 3:4.

note: “The great original lie which he [Satan] told to Eve in Eden, ‘Ye shall not surely die,’ was the first sermon ever preached on the immortality of the soul. That sermon was crowned with success, and terrible results followed. He has brought minds to receive that sermon as truth, and ministers preach it, sing it, and pray it. After the Fall, Satan bade his angels make a special effort to inculcate the belief in man’s natural immortality; and having induced the people to receive this error, they were to lead them on to conclude that the sinner would live in eternal misery. Now the prince of darkness, working through his agents, represents God as a revengeful tyrant, declaring that He plunges into hell all those who do not please Him, and causes them ever to feel His wrath. A large class to whom the doctrine of eternal torment is revolting, are driven to the opposite error. They see that the Scriptures represent God as a being of love and compassion, and they cannot believe that He will consign His creatures to the fires of an eternally burning hell. But holding that the soul is naturally immortal, they see no alternative but to conclude that all mankind will finally be saved. Many regard the threatenings of the Bible as designed merely to frighten men into obedience, and not to be literally fulfilled. Thus the sinner can live in selfish pleasure, disregarding the requirements of God, and yet expect to be finally received into His favor.” The Faith I Live By, 178.

  • To whom alone does immortality naturally belong? 1 Timothy 6:13–16.

note: “The popular ministry cannot successfully resist spiritualism. They have nothing wherewith to shield their flocks from its baleful influence. Much of the sad result of spiritualism will rest upon ministers of this age; for they have trampled the truth under their feet, and in its stead have preferred fables. The sermon which Satan preached to Eve upon the immortality of the soul—‘Ye shall not surely die’—they have reiterated from the pulpit; and the people receive it as pure Bible truth. It is the foundation of spiritualism. The word of God nowhere teaches that the soul of man is immortal. Immortality is an attribute of God only. 1 Timothy 6:16: ‘Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.’ God’s word, rightly understood and applied, is a safeguard against spiritualism. An eternally burning hell preached from the pulpit, and kept before the people, does injustice to the benevolent character of God. It presents Him as the veriest tyrant in the universe. This widespread dogma has turned thousands to universalism, infidelity, and atheism. The word of God is plain. It is a straight chain of truth, and will prove an anchor to those who are willing to receive it, even if they have to sacrifice their cherished fables. It will save them from the terrible delusions of these perilous times.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 344, 345.

“Ye Shall Be As Gods”

  • What further lie did Satan then add? Genesis 3:5.

note: The word translated “gods” in this verse is “Elohim,” exactly the same word translated as “God” elsewhere in these opening chapters of Genesis. “Satan beguiles men now as he beguiled Eve in Eden by flattery, by kindling a desire to obtain forbidden knowledge, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. It was cherishing these evils that caused his fall, and through them he aims to compass the ruin of men. ‘Ye shall be as gods,’ he declares, ‘knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:5. Spiritualism teaches ‘that man is the creature of progression; that it is his destiny from his birth to progress, even to eternity, toward the Godhead.’ And again: ‘Each mind will judge itself and not another.’ ‘The judgement will be right, because it is the judgement of self.…The throne is within you.’ Said a spiritualistic teacher, as the ‘spiritual consciousness’ awoke within him: ‘My fellow men, all were unfallen demigods.’ And another declares: ‘Any just and perfect being is Christ.’ Thus, in place of the righteousness and perfection of the infinite God, the true object of adoration; in place of the perfect righteousness of His law, the true standard of human attainment, Satan has substituted the sinful, erring nature of man himself as the only object of adoration, the only rule of judgement, or standard of character. This is progress, not upward, but downward.” Great Controversy, 554, 555.

  • What picture are we given of the all-pervasive influence of spiritualism in the last days? Revelation 16:13, 14.

note: “Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ ‘In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: ‘I saw three unclean spirits like frogs;…they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.’ Revelation 16:13, 14. Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.” Great Controversy, 561.

“The Woman Being Deceived”

  • What difference does Paul point out between the sin of Adam and the sin of Eve? 1 Timothy 2:14.

note: “God has given man precious promises upon conditions of faith and obedience; but they are not to sustain him in any rash act. If men needlessly place themselves in peril, and go where God does not require them to go, and self-confidently expose themselves to danger, disregarding the dictates of reason, God will not work a miracle to relieve them. He will not send His angels to preserve any from being burned if they choose to place themselves in the fire. Adam was not deceived by the serpent, as was Eve, and it was inexcusable in Adam to rashly transgress God’s positive command. Adam was presumptuous because his wife had sinned. He could not see what would become of Eve. He was sad, troubled, and tempted. He listened to Eve’s recital of the words of the serpent, and his constancy and integrity began to waver. Doubts arose in his mind in regard to whether God did mean just as He said. He rashly ate the tempting fruit.” Review and Herald, April 1, 1875.

  1. What was the consequence for the whole human race of Adam’s sin? Romans 5:12.

note: “God has seen fit plainly to present in His holy word the consequences of the sin of Adam, which opened the flood-gates of woe upon our world, that men might be warned not to do as did Adam. The penalty of sin is death; and to listen to the deceitful temptations of Satan, to venture in the path of transgression, is to imperil the soul. We are not to follow the words of men, however wise they may appear to be, unless their testimony is in harmony with a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ Temptations will come to us in the most seductive guise, but it is at our peril that we turn from the plain command of God to follow the assertions of men. It is never safe for us to enter into controversy with Satan, or to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped by yielding to his suggestions. Sin is blinding and deceiving in its nature. Disobedience to God’s commandments is too terrible to be contemplated for a moment. Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in transgression of God’s holy law, which is immutable.” Bible Echo, December 17, 1894.

“Cursed Is The Ground For Thy Sake”

  • What consequence for the natural world followed Adam’s sin? Genesis 3:17–19.

note: “In drooping flower and falling leaf Adam and his companion witnessed the first signs of decay. Vividly was brought to their minds the stern fact that every living thing must die. Even the air, upon which their life depended, bore the seeds of death. Continually they were reminded also of their lost dominion. Among the lower creatures Adam had stood as king, and so long as he remained loyal to God, all nature acknowledged his rule; but when he transgressed, this dominion was forfeited. The spirit of rebellion, to which he himself had given entrance, extended throughout the animal creation. Thus not only the life of man, but the nature of the beasts, the trees of the forest, the grass of the field, the very air he breathed, all told the sad lesson of the knowledge of evil.” Education, 26.

  • What precious hope was given to Adam and Eve through God’s words to Satan? Genesis 3:15.

note: “When the curse was pronounced upon the race, in connection with the curse there was given the promise of pardon through a Saviour who was to come. This promise was the star of hope that lighted up the gloom, that, like the pall of death, hung over the future of man, and of the world which was given him as his dominion. The gospel was first preached to Adam and Eve in Eden. They sincerely repented of their guilt, believed the promise of God, and were saved from utter ruin.” Signs of the Times, April 22, 1886.

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.

Bible Study Guides – “Made Him to be Sin for Us”

January 15, 2000 – January 21, 2000

Memory Verse

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 392–394.


“‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save.’ (Mark 15:31.) It is because Christ would not save Himself that the sinner has any hope of pardon or favor with God. If, in His undertaking to save the sinner, Christ had failed or become discouraged, the last hope of every son and daughter of Adam would have been at an end. The entire life of Christ was one of self-denial and self-sacrifice; and the reason that there are so few stalwart Christians is because of their self-indulgence and self-pleasing in the place of self-denial and self-sacrifice.” This Day With God, 236.

“Despised and Rejected”

1 How was Jesus received by those He came to save? John 1:11.

note: A literal translation of this verse might read: “He came unto His own home and His own people received Him not.”

“The Jews were privileged with the presence of Christ manifested in the flesh. This inestimable blessing which God bestowed upon them should have called forth their devout acknowledgements. But in blind prejudice they refused the mercies offered them by Jesus. His love was lavished upon them in vain, and they regarded not His wondrous works. Sorrow fled at His approach; infirmity and deformity were healed; injustice and oppression shrunk ashamed from His rebuke; while death and the grave humbled themselves in His presence and obeyed His commands. Yet the people of His choice rejected Him and His mighty miracles with scorn. The Majesty of Heaven came unto His own, and His own received him not.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 19.

2 What reception for Jesus did the prophet Isaiah foretell? Isaiah 53:2, 3.

note: “This chapter should be studied. It presents Christ as the Lamb of God. Those who are lifted up with pride, whose souls are filled with vanity, should look upon this picture of their Redeemer, and humble themselves in the dust. The entire chapter should be committed to memory. Its influence will subdue and humble the soul defiled by sin and uplifted by self-exaltation. Think of Christ’s humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,’ because by so doing He could associate with the sinful, sorrowing sons and daughters of Adam.” Youth’s Instructor, December 20, 1900.

“He Learned Obedience”

3 How are we shown that Christ is our example in obedience? Hebrews 5:8, 9.

note: “If we would be partakers with Christ of His glory, we must also be willing to share with Him in His humiliation.…We should not murmur if we are called upon to share the suffering part of religion. There are many who do not feel averse to suffering, but they do not exercise simple, living faith. They say they do not know what it means to take God at His word. They have a religion of outward forms and observances. It is painful to see the unbelief that exists in the hearts of many of God’s professed followers. We have the most precious truths ever committed to mortals, and the faith of those who have received these truths should correspond to their greatness and value.” Review and Herald, March 5, 1889.

4 How great was Christ’s struggle against temptation? Hebrews 5:7.

note: “Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, and in no case are His followers to allow themselves to lose sight of Christ, who is their example in all things. He said, ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.’ Jesus presents the truth before His children that they may look upon it, and by beholding it, may become changed, being transformed by His grace from transgression to obedience, from impurity to purity, from sin to heart-holiness and righteousness of life.” Review and Herald, December 22, 1891.

“He Hath Borne Our Griefs”

5 What reason was given by men for the sufferings of Christ? Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 27:39–46.

note: See Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 155, 156.

6 What was the real reason for Christ’s sufferings? Isaiah 53:5, 6.

note: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.’” The Desire of Ages, 25.

“Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

7 What was the worst aspect of Christ’s sufferings? Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1.

note: “The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden of sin. He who had been one with God, felt in His soul the awful separation that sin makes between God and man. This wrung from His lips the anguished cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’ Matthew 27:46. It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God—it was this that broke the heart of the Son of God.” The Faith I Live By, 101.

8 Why was Jesus willing to undergo this sense of separation from His Father? Romans 5:8.

note: “The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Savior uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 196.

“This Man Hath Done Nothing Amiss”

9 How are we shown that Christ’s innocence was obvious to many? Luke 23:4, 14, 15, 39–41, 47.

note: “ Many had flocked to the crucifixion from curiosity, and not from hatred toward Christ. Still they believed the accusations of the priests, and looked upon Christ as a malefactor. Under an unnatural excitement they had united with the mob in railing against Him. But when the earth was wrapped in blackness, and they stood accused by their own consciences, they felt guilty of a great wrong. No jest or mocking laughter was heard in the midst of that fearful gloom; and when it was lifted, they made their way to their homes in solemn silence. They were convinced that the charges of the priests were false, that Jesus was no pretender; and a few weeks later, when Peter preached upon the day of Pentecost, they were among the thousands who became converts to Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 770.

10 How did even Judas show his conviction that Christ was innocent? Matthew 27:3, 4.

note: See The Desire of Ages, 722.

“In All Points Tempted As We Are”

11 What assurance do we have that, though Jesus shared our common humanity and was made to be sin for us, He was without sin? Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21, 22.

note: “Christ came to this world to reveal God’s character as it really is. He is the perfect representation of the Father. His life of sinlessness, lived on this earth in human nature, is a complete refutation of Satan’s charge against the character of God.” Bible Training School, October 1, 1902.

12 What was Christ’s purpose in being made sin for us? 2 Corinthians 5:21.

note: “Christ has made every provision for the sanctification of His church. He has made abundant provision for every soul to have such grace and strength that he will be more than a conqueror in the warfare against sin. The Savior is wounded afresh and put to open shame when His people pay no heed to His word. He came to this world and lived a sinless life, that in His power His people might also lead lives of sinlessness. He desires them by practicing the principles of truth to show to the world that God’s grace has power to sanctify the heart.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, January 17, 1906.

How to Overcome the Devil, Part II

In Revelation 12, we are told that the devil deceives the whole world, but there are some who gain the victory: “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” Verses 10, 11, first part. As we come to the cross where Christ gained the victory, we can have the victory too. The verse does not end there. Another word follows—and. “… and by the word of their testimony.”

Gaining the victory over Satan takes the efficacy of the cross, the victory of Christ, but we must also have the same victory in our lives. The union of the Divine with the human must be present. We must unite our lives with Christ’s.

What did Jesus say to those who desire to be His disciples? “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24–26. Oh, how few today have found that personal victory over Satan, but we may have the experience in our lives that happened in Jesus’ life!

Experimental Religion

“The young want just what they have not; namely, religion. Nothing can take the place of this. Profession alone is nothing. Names are registered upon the church books upon earth, but not in the book of life. I saw that there is not one in twenty of the youth who knows what experimental religion is.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 504.

What is “experimental religion”? That is when it becomes yours. That is when you have experimented with the promises of God and found them to be true. That is when you develop a personal testimony. Not one in twenty, we are told, have an experimental knowledge of religion. Oh, they may know how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt; they may know about Jesus in the wilderness; they may know a lot about Bible stories such as Daniel and the lions’ den, but they have never been delivered from the lions’ den. They have never been delivered from Egypt. They have never surrendered all of their life or self to the naked promises of God.

Not one in twenty knows what an experimental religion is, “but unless the spell which is upon them be broken, they will soon realize that the portion of the transgressor is theirs.” Ibid., 505.

“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:12.

How can we overcome the devil? From verse 11 we read that, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” There must be a union of the Divine with the human. Jesus’ experience must become ours. We must be able to testify that God is true. We must stand the test; we must overcome; we must have a testimony.

We cannot be saved by good sermons. We cannot be saved by listening to tapes and CDs or by watching videos and DVDs. They might all be right and good in themselves, but consider the example Jesus left for us. After He was with the disciples for three and a half years, He left them, and they each had to develop an experience of their own.

His experience was no longer sufficient for them. They had to develop their own experience. And so it is that God gives us various experiences and various trials to teach us and to give us this experience that we need, to teach us to trust Him.

Testimony of Victory

The question is, Do you have this experience? Do you have a testimony of victory in your own life?

This is a very serious question. Think of the three Hebrew slaves who were in Babylon when the decree went forth to worship the golden image set up on the plain of Dura. How easy it would have been for them to find it convenient at that particular moment to kneel down and begin to pray to God for help. They would not, after all, have been worshipping the image,
you understand; they would have been praying to the God of heaven. Do you think you could have rationalized like that? What would you have done? Would you have kneeled down and begun to pray to God?

If that had occurred, you could have come from that experience saying, “The Lord saved me from death,” but you would not have had a testimony. The three Hebrews received their testimony by going to the fiery furnace.

When we are at the point of an experience such as losing our job because we will not work on the Sabbath, and we step out on God’s promises, that is when we have a testimony. It is when we come to the place where everything is against us, we have nothing but the promises of God upon which to rely, and we take the stand that God can work. That is when we find that He is true. That is when we receive a testimony.

Too many of us do not have a testimony to bear for God because we have never tried Him. We have always knelt down when the decree went forth. Of course, we are pacified; we still think we are good Christians because we are not praying to the idol—we are praying to God, but we are kneeling down to the idol. We are afraid of that fiery furnace.

The testimony comes when we stand the test through the strength of God, and the test comes to everyone. Satan deceives the world, but we overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony, through the union of the Divine with the human. Jesus’ experience must become ours.

A Different Spirit

Peter noticed that there was something different about Mary, as she attended his meetings, conducted in the Portuguese language, in Quebec. Mary spoke Portuguese. But Peter noticed she had a far away look in her eyes, so he arranged to visit her as he visited all the interests from his meetings.

As Peter visited with Mary, he reviewed things the meeting attendees had been learning. Oh, she was thrilled about what she was learning; she believed the truths he was presenting, but there was something he had said that last night that bothered her, and that was when he saw that far away look in her eyes. The topic that brought that look to her eyes was about the state of the dead.

Mary, like a lot of young girls, had needed some attention, someone to love her, some years before when she was living in Paris alone. Through a friend, she met John, a tall, young man—blond, well mannered, muscular. He was everything that she ever wanted. He was respectful, and he understood her. She fell in love with him. They saw each other a number of times, and even though he visited her in her apartment, she remained pure. They were not cohabiting together. Then the time came that she moved to Quebec, Canada, and he moved with her.

What could be wrong with this boyfriend? It so happened that he was a spirit boyfriend. She did not know at first, but he turned out to be a spirit that had supposedly lived in ages past. Oh, the devil is working so hard on our young people to entrance them through their relationships. Usually, the devil can find a human being, too, that he can work through—just the right one, through whom he can create infatuation within a young man or a young woman whom God wants for His service, and who will distract them from God. In Mary’s case, it appeared as though Satan could not find anyone else, so he sent one of his angels.

Cost of a Testimony

Now, Mary had had this relationship for many years. Her heart was entwined around her boyfriend. But as Peter studied with her, the Spirit of the Lord worked, and this young woman wanted the victory that Jesus had. She wanted salvation. Consequently, she did something that I find very few young people are willing to do, sad to say. She broke the relationship. She and Peter knelt down and prayed, and she committed herself to the Lord.

The spirit boyfriend visited her that night. First, he tried to sweet talk her. When that did not work, he did something he had never before done. He became upset with her; in fact, he hit her in the mouth.

In spite of his warnings, she decided to go forth and be baptized. When the time came for her baptism, she told the evangelist, Peter, as she came into the baptismal pool, “He is here. He is right here in the baptistry with us.” She knew his presence; she had lived with him in her life for a long time.

As Peter commenced with the baptism, he tried to immerse her in the water of the baptistry, but a force held her up. Three times he tried to baptize her; he pushed with all of his might to get her under the water, but something pushed her up. The third time, she lifted right up out of the baptistry and landed in the congregation—wet, dripping, but not baptized.

What would you have done? Would you have continued with the baptism? Mary did. She walked back into the baptistry, and she was baptized.

She was asked to give her testimony at camp meeting that year, and she agreed to do it. As she was preparing, writing down her thoughts, the devil visited her again through her spirit boyfriend, John. He tore up her notes, and told her, “If you give that testimony, you will be dead in two weeks.”

Now, you and I have all heard stories like this, and we know when the devil says it, it happens, right? The person in some way is dead in two weeks. The devil has us all believing. But she decided to give her testimony anyway. She went ahead and gave it. She did not die in two weeks.

The devil is only as strong as God allows him to be. There is a protection that God puts around us. Do not believe everything Satan says. I am sure he would have liked to cause her death. I am sure he would have done anything to bring it about. But day by day she lives under the protection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the same as you and I do.

Ah, dear friend, the devil is seeking to deceive the whole world; he is deceiving the whole world today. But he can be overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.

I invite you to come to the foot of the cross. Allow some of that blood to drip on you as you meditate upon the sacrifice of Christ. Then step out on the promises of God and determine to do what God says, come what may, and see how the Lord will work so that you might have a testimony also.

Steps to Life was founded by Pastor Marshall Grosboll and his wife Lillian. In 1987, a television program was developed and started to air on the local Wichita, Kansas, television station. A Bible Correspondence School was also started which still exists today. Returning from a camp meeting in July 1991 held in Washington state, Marshall and his family met with tragedy as the airplane he was piloting went down, killing all aboard including his wife and two young children.

Children Story – The Tempting Gloves

It was Christmas evening. In the Christmas market sparkled numberless lights, and their bright beams were beautifully reflected by the various wares which tempted and invited purchasers.

Many children passed to and fro—gazed with wide-open eyes at the wonderful array of pretty things—and some were induced, after long seeking, to spend the few pennies saved in the money box for this very occasion.

There were parents and other friends of children standing in the well-arranged shops, buying and examining the gifts with which they wished to delight their dear ones.

In the midst of the grown persons and children who thronged the market place, stood a young girl named Magdelain. She was alone, and gazed sadly, with a heavy heart, at the brilliant and beautiful array spread out on every side.

Her parents were very poor, and for this reason had placed her in the service of a lady, where she was employed out of school hours in going on errands, and in working with her needle. For her services she received small wages, which she faithfully took to her parents, who could do little for their own support, having other children to feed and clothe.

Magdelain was sent, this Christmas evening, on an errand by the lady with whom she lived. Her way led through the Christmas market. How gladly she would have purchased some little thing as a Christmas gift! Yet, for that, money was needful, and money she had none.

She thought and said softly to herself, “I could give up playthings, or pretty things I could well use, if I might buy a warm dress, a shawl, or a pair of warm gloves.”

It was very cold. Magdelain shivered, and her teeth chattered, for she was but scantily and thinly dressed. She blew on her half-frozen hands, and wrapped them in her apron.

“I do not want either cakes or candy, or dolls, or playthings. But, oh, I wish so for a pair of warm gloves!”

She drew near to one of the shops where many articles of wearing apparel were sold. The cold wind which blew the candle lights to and fro, seemed to pierce to the very bones of the poor girl, and she tremblingly drew herself together to keep warm.

On the right side of the shop, on the counter, lay a pair of warm woollen gloves, lined with soft skin. Magdelain saw them, and the longer she stood looking at them the better she liked them; they looked, too, as if they would just fit her hand.

Her gaze seemed fastened on the gloves—even from the moment she had seen them her hands felt warmer.

But buy—buy them she could not; they were well made and prettily wrought, and must be expensive.

Then came another thought to her mind, “I will secretly take them.” The shopkeeper stood on the other side of the shop attending to a purchaser, and busily engaged in praising his goods. Magdelain stood alone, unnoticed, beside the gloves.

She thought and reflected—but the gloves were so pretty, and seemed so warm; her hands which she had drawn out of her apron, were quite stiff with frost.

Already she had stretched out her arm; already she was about to seize the gloves and rapidly conceal them. Her whole body was hot and cold by turns; her heart beat loudly; she could scarcely breathe; she trembled. Suddenly pealed out, with clear, startling tones, the organ of the neighboring cathedral.

It was a voice, earnest and warning, speaking to Magdelain’s heart. Quickly she drew back her arm, and the gloves lay still on the counter.

As a voice from heaven did Magdelain receive the solemn organ tones; they seemed to say to her, “It is wrong that thou wouldst do. Thou shalt not steal!”

Magdelain obeyed the voice. She turned to leave the shop just as there entered a lady richly dressed, and warmly wrapped in a cloak of fur.

She examined and purchased some articles, and then took the gloves in her hand which had tempted Magdelain. She demanded the price, and purchased them. Magdelain had seen this, and was glad that the fatal gloves were now entirely removed from her eyes.

The lady turned to leave the shop, and Magdelain recognized her. She was the lady with whom she lived.

Now, for whom had she bought the gloves? Surely not for herself; she could hardly wear them! Her mind occupied with these thoughts, Magdelain went hastily from the Christmas market to attend to the errand on which she was sent.

In returning homeward again, Magdelain came through the market place. She said, as she passed the spot where she had been so sorely tempted, “Oh, what a fearful moment that was! God, I thank Thee, that Thou didst warn and deliver me from the danger which would have destroyed me! No! rather will I hunger and freeze than—”

“Away with you to prison, boy! You will learn hereafter to keep your hands off! We’ll soon cure you of your fancy for stealing. March!”

Magdelain was startled by these harsh words from the revery into which she had fallen.

A police officer had seized a wild, unruly boy, and was taking him off.

Magdelain ran swiftly, with a beating heart, from the market place, and did not pause till she reached home.

She entered the room. Oh, what a surprise! The table was covered with gifts. There were pretty and useful articles—cakes, clothing, and, above all, the well-known gloves.

The lady with whom she lived came kindly to her, took her hand, and said, “Dear Magdelain, because you are so honest and industrious, so kind and true, and have served me so faithfully, take from me, as an expression of my gratitude, a gift. Look! all on the table is your own; take all and be happy!”

Magdelain thanked her with tears of joy and surprise. Strangely, however, did she feel as her mistress singled out the articles, and said, “See, here is a cap, here a pair of shoes, here a shawl! and what do you say to these gloves? Do they please you? Yes, they will keep your hands very warm! Now take all these things to the house of your parents—show them what you have earned by your honesty and industry.”

On her mother’s neck, with sobs and tears, did Magdelain relate to her the story of her sin and temptation.

Her mother said, “My child, pray to be kept from sinful desires; then it shall go well with you!” And at night, before Magdelain went to her bed, she sank on her knees and sent a prayer to her Father in heaven:

“ ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’ (Matthew 6:13)! Amen.”

Choice Stories for Children, A.B. Publishing, Inc., ©1993, 99–102.

Ever Watchful

“Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
Mark 13:35-37.

Both Jesus and most of the writers of the New Testament share a common motif, which is the need for watchfulness, especially as the earth moves toward its close. Matthew says, “Watch therefore …” Matthew 25:13; Mark records, “Watch ye therefore …” Mark 13:35; Doctor Luke documents, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always …” Luke 21:36; Acts 20:31; John, recording the words of the true witness, says, “Be watchful …” “If therefore thou shalt not watch …” Revelation 3:2, 3; The apostle Paul counsels, “Watch ye, stand fast …” I Corinthians 16:13; “Continue in prayer, and watch … .” Colossians 4:2; “… watch and be sober.” I Thessalonians 5:6; “But watch thou in all things …” II Timothy 4:5; Peter states, “… watch unto prayer.” I Peter 4:7.

So, in this message I desire to address the urgency that is placed upon a Christian to watch, within the context of the end of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.

If ever there was a time for every Christian to watch and be ready, it is now! What did Jesus mean when he admonished us to watch? Let’s read again Jesus’ words found in Mark 13:35–37: “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

The Greek word gregoreuo is word number 1127 in the Strong’s Concordance and means “watch,” “to keep awake,” “be vigilant,” “be awake,” “be watchful.” This word, gregoreuo, comes from word number 1453 which is egeiro, which means “to waken from sleep, sitting or lying, from disease, from death, from inactivity,” etc. Hence, we understand that this is a call to soberness and constant alertness on the part of the Christian; a constant state of readiness!

In commenting on the meaning of Mark’s account to “watch ye therefore,” God’s servant states, “Jesus has left us word, ‘Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.’ We are waiting and watching for the return of the Master, who is to bring the morning, lest coming suddenly He find us sleeping. What time is here referred to? Not to the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven to find a people asleep. No; but to His return from His ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, when He lays off His priestly attire and clothes Himself with garments of vengeance, and when the mandate goes forth: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’

“When Jesus ceases to plead for man, the cases of all are forever decided. This is the time of reckoning with His servants. To those who have neglected the preparation of purity and holiness, which fits them to be waiting ones to welcome their Lord, the sun sets in gloom and darkness, and rises not again. Probation closes; Christ’s intercessions cease in heaven. This time finally comes suddenly upon all, and those who have neglected to purify their souls by obeying the truth are found sleeping. They became weary of waiting and watching; they became indifferent in regard to the coming of their Master. They longed not for His appearing, and thought there was no need of such continued, persevering watching. They had been disappointed in their expectations and might be again. They concluded that there was time enough yet to arouse. They would be sure not to lose the opportunity of securing an earthly treasure. It would be safe to get all of this world they could. And in securing this object, they lost all anxiety and interest in the appearing of the Master. They became indifferent and careless, as though His coming were yet in the distance. But while their interest was buried up in their worldly gains, the work closed in the heavenly sanctuary, and they were unprepared.

“If such had only known that the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary would close so soon, how differently would they have conducted themselves, how earnestly would they have watched! The Master, anticipating all this, gives them timely warning in the command to watch. He distinctly states the suddenness of His coming. He does not measure the time, lest we shall neglect a momentary preparation, and in our indolence look ahead to the time when we think He will come, and defer the preparation. ‘Watch ye therefore: for ye know not.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 2, 190, 191.

To whom is this warning addressed? We read in the following gospels these words: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Matthew 24:4; “And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any [man] deceive you.” Mark 13:5; “And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived.” Luke 21:8.

We are told, “The Saviour’s instructions to His disciples were given for the benefit of His followers in every age. He had those in view who were living near the close of time, when He said: ‘Take heed to yourselves.’ It is our work, each for himself, to cherish in the heart the precious graces of the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 102, 103.

“To illustrate the importance of being alert, Jesus spoke six parables: the Porter, which is here condensed into one verse, the Master of the House, the Faithful and Unfaithful servants, the Ten Virgins, the Talents, and the Sheep and the Goats. Christians are not to await their Lord’s return in idle expectancy. While waiting and watching they are to be vigilant in purifying their own souls by obedience to the truth, and to be earnest in working for others. It is their privilege ‘not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the day of God.’ ” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 504, 505.

Jesus uses three phrases in admonishing us to alertness; they are: “take heed,” “watch,” and “be ready.” He who is sincerely looking for the coming of Jesus will be ready whenever his Lord may appear.

We can then conclude that Christ’s warning to “watch therefore,” although applicable to the whole world, is especially addressed to His end-time church—Laodicea.

So why is it addressed to the Laodicean church? The Scripture tells us concerning the Laodicean Christians. Revelation 3:14–17: “Unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” The Laodiceans’ problem is self-deception, and as a consequence of this attitude they have failed to follow the counsel of Jesus—to watch. Thus they have become blinded and deluded by Satan to their true spiritual condition. Luke tells us the warning that Christ left the Laodiceans: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:34–36.

“When the Saviour pointed out to His followers the signs of His return, He foretold the state of backsliding that would exist just prior to His second advent. There would be, as in the days of Noah, the activity and stir of worldly business and pleasure seeking—buying, selling, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage—with forgetfulness of God and the future life. For those living at this time, Christ’s admonition is: ‘Take heed to yourselves … watch and pray always.’

“The condition of the church at this time is pointed out in the Saviour’s words in the Revelation: ‘Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.’ And to those who refuse to arouse from their careless security, the solemn warning is addressed: ‘If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.’ Revelation 3:1, 3.” The Great Controversy, 309, 310.

The beloved apostle John, writing verily to us, emphatically pleads: “Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” I John 2:15, 16.

The messenger to the remnant church points out that “the love of the world and the deceitfulness of riches eclipse our faith, and we do not long for, and love, the appearing of our Saviour. We try too hard to take care of self ourselves. We are uneasy and greatly lack a firm trust in God. Many worry and work, contrive and plan, fearing they may suffer need. They cannot afford time to pray or to attend religious meetings and, in their care for themselves, leave no chance for God to care for them. And the Lord does not do much for them, for they give Him no opportunity. They do too much for themselves, and believe and trust in God too little.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 196.

“Men and women professing to be waiting and loving the appearing of their Lord are shut up to self. The noble, the godlike, they have parted with. The love of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, have so fastened upon them that they are blinded. They are corrupted by the world and discern it not.” Ibid., 197.

Here we see four problem areas that cause Christ to give warning to Laodicea—His church living in the period just before the end of the world.

  • The love of the world
  • The lust of the flesh
  • The lust of the eyes
  • The pride of life.

Let us take a closer look at these four areas [table below]:

  1. The love of the world—this has to do with those things that are alien and hostile to God, or worldly affairs that lead away from God. It has to do with everything and anything that is contrary to the words of God, its teaching and lifestyle.

Accordingly, when John bids his readers, ‘Love not the world,’ he is not thinking of the earth as it came from the hand of God, but of the earthly elements, animate and inanimate, that Satan has marshaled in rebellion against God. John knows how attractive these things can appear, and bids Christians to beware of them and to resist their seductive power.

  1. The lust of the flesh—this has to do with the sensuous nature of man, in which, “dwelleth no good thing” and which lusts to evil. The lust of the flesh is the craving of the flesh for indulgence in evil. It includes all strong desires for indulgence contrary to the will of God. Those strong desires may very well include perverted sexual desires, perverted appetite, crave for power or fame, excessive desire to control, diabolical motivation to make self prominent, etc.
  2. The lust of the eyes—If “lust of the flesh’ applies particularly to sins arising from the body, ‘lust of the eyes’ may be understood to refer to mental pleasure stimulated through sight. Much of the sinful pleasure of the world is experienced through the eyes. Many who would hasten to disclaim and intention of indulging in open sin themselves are eager to read about sin, to study it in a picture or to watch it depicted upon a screen. The word of God declares, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:27, 28. Also, “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.” Proverbs 6:25.
  3. The pride of life—This has reference to boastful display. It implies a materialistic satisfaction with worldly goods, a state of mind that substitutes the material for the spiritual. Some take pride in their work, other in their possessions, still others in their own beauty of their children. Some other pride themselves with educational and academic accomplishments.

The warning of Christ is relevant for us living in these closing days of probation to take heed, watch therefore, and be ready. This is so because we who are called by God’s name are totally absorbed in worldliness and are unaware that probation is about to be closed forever. These words stand as an indictment against us: “The cares of the world engross the mind to that degree that self-examination and secret prayer are neglected. The armor is laid off and Satan has free access to them, benumbing their sensibilities and causing them to be unsuspicious of his wiles.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 126. “Many have partaken so largely of the spirit and influence of the world that they act like the world.” Ibid., 127.

What should the remnant people be doing now as evidence that they are watching? As a people of prophecy we know that we are now living in the antitypical day of atonement. As it was in the sanctuary system of the Old Testament that on the day of atonement the people were required to afflict their souls, they were to do serious self-examination, confessing and repenting of all sin in order to be in oneness with God. So now we must be doing the same work, for our sins must be blotted out or our names will be blotted out of the book of life forever. So we have a work of watching to do!

The prophet Isaiah declares, “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Isaiah 13:9.

“In view of that great day the word of God, in the most solemn and impressive language, calls upon His people to arouse from their spiritual lethargy and to seek His face with repentance and humiliation: ‘Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand.’ ‘Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children … let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar.’ ‘Turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.’ Joel 2:1, 15–17, 12, 13.” The Great Controversy, 311.

“When Christ took human nature upon Him, He bound humanity to Himself by a tie of love that can never be broken by any power save the choice of man himself. Satan will constantly present allurements to induce us to break this tie—to choose to separate ourselves from Christ. Here is where we need to watch, to strive, to pray, that nothing may entice us to choose another master; for we are always free to do this. But let us keep our eyes fixed upon Christ, and He will preserve us. Looking unto Jesus, we are safe. Nothing can pluck us out of His hand. In constantly beholding Him, we ‘are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ II Corinthians 3:18.

“It was thus that the early disciples gained their likeness to the dear Saviour. When those disciples heard the words of Jesus, they felt their need of Him. They sought, they found, they followed Him. They were with Him in the house, at the table, in the closet, in the field. They were with Him as pupils with a teacher, daily receiving from His lips lessons of holy truth. They looked to Him, as servants to their master, to learn their duty. Those disciples were men ‘subject to like passions as we are.’ James 5:17. They had the same battle with sin to fight. They needed the same grace, in order to live a holy life.” Steps to Christ, 72.

The warning is clear: “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” Mark 13:35, 36.

The pen of inspiration states, “The church of God is required to fulfill her night watch, however perilous, whether long or short. Sorrow is no excuse for her to be less watchful. Tribulation should not lead to carelessness, but to double vigilance. Christ has directed the church by His own example to the Source of their strength in times of need, distress, and peril. The attitude of watching is to designate the church as God’s people indeed. By this sign the waiting ones are distinguished from the world and show that they are pilgrims and strangers upon the earth.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 205.

Pastor Ivan Plummer ministers through the Emmanuel Seventh Day Church Ministries in Bronx, New York. He may be contacted by telephone at: 718-822-3900.

Editorial – Where are you focused?

The world today is a complicated, dangerous, and evil place. The Bible calls it “this evil world” (Galatians 1:4) and predicts that these last days will be the darkest and blackest period of world history. We naturally tend to focus our attention in the area of greatest stimulus, whether visual or auditory; the greater the stimulus the more likely we will turn our attention in that direction. The devil knows this and has surrounded us with powerful stimuli intended to cause our eternal destruction.

Ellen White described his strategy in several of her writings:

“Intensity is taking possession of everything upon the earth. Pleasure-lovers are intensely in earnest to secure all that is possible in that line. Gamblers are intensely in earnest. The betting, the horse-racing, and various games create great enthusiasm, and engross the powers of those interested as if the reward of the victor was to be an eternity of bliss.” The Bible Echo, January 25, 1897.

“Stories of criminal life such as are found in the papers of the day, and so-called revelations of the future, are treated as realities. Revolutions are predicted, and many catch the evil spirit lurking in these representations of future horrors.” The Review and Herald, April 1, 1896.[Emphasis added.] The divine counsel about this is, “these flaming, terrifying notices should not be published.” The Review and Herald, July 5, 1906.

The devil has a three-fold plan to trap you. The first is an attempt to seduce through sensual temptation. If he is unsuccessful here, he tries deception. One of his main instruments to do this is tricking people into sincerely believing that they are doing God’s will. (A candid reading of inspired writings would show that he is going directly contrary to God’s will.) If this does not work, he has a two-pronged final attack: he offers tremendous earthly advantages and benefits on the one hand and gives terrifying information about what is going to happen in the future on the other. This is designed to discourage people from doing God’s work (taking the Three Angels’ Messages to the world) for fear of the persecution that will result. The devil can succeed by any one of these temptations if we do not keep our eyes on Jesus. There is going to be a remnant in this world who cannot be seduced, deceived, or terrified. (See Isaiah 26:3.) Jesus says, “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.” Isaiah 45:22. Look to Jesus and keep your feet on the narrow way.

Pen of Inspiration – Snares of Satan

The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years, is soon to close; and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man’s behalf and to fasten souls in his snares. To hold the people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour’s mediation is ended, and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin, is the object which he seeks to accomplish.

When there is no special effort made to resist his power, when indifference prevails in the church and the world, Satan is not concerned; for he is in no danger of losing those whom he is leading captive at his will. But when the attention is called to eternal things, and souls are inquiring, “What must I do to be saved?” he is on the ground, seeking to match his power against the power of Christ and to counteract the influence of the Holy Spirit.

He is in attendance when men assemble for the worship of God. Though hidden from sight, he is working with all diligence to control the minds of the worshipers. Like a skillful general he lays his plans beforehand. As he sees the messenger of God searching the Scriptures, he takes note of the subject to be presented to the people. Then he employs all his cunning and shrewdness so to control circumstances that the message may not reach those whom he is deceiving on that very point. The one who most needs the warning will be urged into some business transaction which requires his presence, or will by some other means be prevented from hearing the words that might prove to him a savor of life unto life.

Satan sees the Lord’s servants burdened because of the spiritual darkness that enshrouds the people. He hears their earnest prayers for divine grace and power to break the spell of indifference, carelessness, and indolence. Then with renewed zeal he plies his arts. He tempts men to the indulgence of appetite or to some other form of self-gratification, and thus benumbs their sensibilities so that they fail to hear the very things which they most need to learn.

Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect prayer and the searching of the Scriptures, will be overcome by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind. There has ever been a class professing godliness, who, instead of following on to know the truth, make it their religion to seek some fault of character or error of faith in those with whom they do not agree. Such are Satan’s right-hand helpers. Accusers of the brethren are not few, and they are always active when God is at work and His servants are rendering Him true homage. They will put a false coloring upon the words and acts of those who love and obey the truth. They will represent the most earnest, zealous, self-denying servants of Christ as deceived or deceivers. It is their work to misrepresent the motives of every true and noble deed, to circulate insinuations, and arouse suspicion in the minds of the inexperienced. In every conceivable manner they will seek to cause that which is pure and righteous to be regarded as foul and deceptive.

But none need be deceived concerning them. It may be readily seen whose children they are, whose example they follow, and whose work they do. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16. Their course resembles that of Satan, the envenomed slanderer, “the accuser of our brethren.” Revelation 12:10.

In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite. With the cunning of the serpent they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires. Thus do many willfully pervert the word of God. Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret them to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teachings of the Bible.

Whenever the study of the Scriptures is entered upon without a prayerful, humble, teachable spirit, the plainest and simplest as well as the most difficult passages will be wrested from their true meaning. The papal leaders select such portions of Scripture as best serve their purpose, interpret to suit themselves, and then present these to the people, while they deny them the privilege of studying the Bible and understanding its sacred truths for themselves. The whole Bible should be given to the people just as it reads. It would be better for them not to have Bible instruction at all than to have the teaching of the Scriptures thus grossly misrepresented.

It is a masterpiece of Satan’s deceptions to keep the minds of men searching and conjecturing in regard to that which God has not made known and which He does not intend that we shall understand. It was thus that Lucifer lost his place in heaven. He became dissatisfied because all the secrets of God’s purposes were not confided to him, and he entirely disregarded that which was revealed concerning his own work in the lofty position assigned him. By arousing the same discontent in the angels under his command, he caused their fall. Now he seeks to imbue the minds of men with the same spirit and to lead them also to disregard the direct commands of God.

The teaching so widely echoed from popular pulpits, that the second advent of Christ is His coming to each individual at death, is a device to divert the minds of men from His personal coming in the clouds of heaven. For years Satan has thus been saying, “Behold, He is in the secret chambers” (Matthew 24:23-26); and many souls have been lost by accepting this deception.

God has given in His word sufficient evidence of its divine character. The great truths which concern our redemption are clearly presented. By the aid of the Holy Spirit, which is promised to all who seek it in sincerity, every man may understand these truths for himself. God has granted to men a strong foundation upon which to rest their faith.

While God has given ample evidence for faith, He will never remove all excuse for unbelief. All who look for hooks to hang their doubts upon will find them. And those who refuse to accept and obey God’s word until every objection has been removed, and there is no longer an opportunity for doubt, will never come to the light.

Satan can present a counterfeit so closely resembling the truth that it deceives those who are willing to be deceived, who desire to shun the self-denial and sacrifice demanded by the truth; but it is impossible for him to hold under his power one soul who honestly desires, at whatever cost, to know the truth. Christ is the truth and the “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” John 1:9. The Spirit of truth has been sent to guide men into all truth. And upon the authority of the Son of God it is declared: “Seek, and ye shall find.” “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” Matthew 7:7; John 7:17.

Satan is well aware that the weakest soul who abides in Christ is more than a match for the hosts of darkness, and that, should he reveal himself openly, he would be met and resisted. Therefore he seeks to draw away the soldiers of the cross from their strong fortification, while he lies in ambush with his forces, ready to destroy all who venture upon his ground. Only in humble reliance upon God, and obedience to all His commandments, can we be secure.

No man is safe for a day or an hour without prayer. Especially should we entreat the Lord for wisdom to understand His word. Here are revealed the wiles of the tempter and the means by which he may be successfully resisted. Satan is an expert in quoting Scripture, placing his own interpretation upon passages, by which he hopes to cause us to stumble. We should study the Bible with humility of heart, never losing sight of our dependence upon God. While we must constantly guard against the devices of Satan, we should pray in faith continually: “Lead us not into temptation.” [Matthew 6:13.]

Excerpts from The Great Controversy, 518–530.