Bible Study Guides – “To Withstand in the Evil Day”

MEMORY VERSE: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.

STUDY HELP: Testimonies, vol. 5, 449–454.

INTRODUCTION: “If the veil which separates the visible from the invisible world could be lifted, and the people of God could behold the great controversy that is going on between Christ and holy angels and Satan and his evil hosts concerning the redemption of man; if they could understand the wonderful work of God for the rescue of souls from the bondage of sin, and the constant exercise of His power for their protection from the malice of the evil one, they would be better prepared to withstand the devices of Satan. Their minds would be solemnized in view of the vast extent and importance of the plan of redemption and the greatness of the work before them as co-labourers with Christ. They would be humbled, yet encouraged, knowing that all heaven is interested in their salvation.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 467.

  1. How is the beginning of the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan described? Revelation 12:7.

NOTE: “Until this time all heaven had been in order, harmony, and perfect subjection to the government of God. It was the highest sin to rebel against His order and will. All heaven seemed in commotion . . . Satan, ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus, was insinuating against the government of God. Some of the angels sympathised with Satan in his rebellion, and others strongly contended for the honour and wisdom of God in giving authority to His Son. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They wished to look into His unsearchable wisdom, and ascertain His purpose in exalting Jesus and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son. All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It was there determined that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with all the angels who had joined him in the rebellion. Then there was war in heaven. Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to His will.” Early Writings, 146.

  1. What was the outcome of the war in heaven? Revelation 12:8–9.

NOTE: “Satan is a deceiver. When he sinned in heaven, even the loyal angels did not fully discern his character. This was why God did not at once destroy Satan. Had He done so, the holy angels would not have perceived the justice and love of God. A doubt of God’s goodness would have been as evil seed that would yield the bitter fruit of sin and woe. Therefore the author of evil was spared, fully to develop his character.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 72. “Satan’s rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages, a perpetual testimony to the nature of sin and its terrible results. The working out of Satan’s rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God’s government is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy beings, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin, and suffering its penalty.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 42, 43.

  1. What were the qualities in Job that God held up before Satan? Job 1:8, Job 2:3.

NOTE: “True worship consists in working together with Christ. ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ The love of Christ dwelling in the heart will be manifested in earnest effort to accomplish the work which Jesus came to do. Kind words, deeds of benevolence, of tender care for the needy and the afflicted, this is the fruit that grows naturally upon the good tree. Such was the fruit manifest in the life of that righteous man of whom God himself declared, ‘There is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man’ ” Home Missionary, July 1, 1891.

  1. What are the qualities that Christ is looking for in His saints? Revelation 14:12.

NOTE: “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own. It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (2 Peter 3:12, margin). Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the whole world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 69.

  1. What were Job’s motives for obedience to God, according to Satan? Job 1:9–11, Job 2:4–5.

NOTE: “Job was permitted to suffer; he was severely tempted; but he would not speak one word against God. During Christ’s life on earth the scribes and Pharisees, instigated by Satan, tempted him in every possible way. But he never allowed these temptations to lead him from the path of obedience. When God speaks, let us obey, no matter how the enemy may tempt us to disobey; for the path of obedience is the only safe path.” Signs of the Times, May 27, 1897.

  1. Does Satan continue his war against the people of God today? 1 Peter 5:8.

NOTE: “The Scriptures declare that upon one occasion, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them (Job 1:6), not to bow before the Eternal King, but to further his own malicious designs against the righteous. With the same object, 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 savour of life unto life.” Great Controversy, 518.

  1. What protection is placed around those who obey God? Job 1:10. (Compare Isaiah 5:3–5, Ezekiel 13:3–5, Ezekiel 22:29–30.)

NOTE: “Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows. When he was suffered to afflict Job, how quickly flocks and herds, servants, houses, children, were swept away, one trouble succeeding another as in a moment. It is God that shields His creatures and hedges them in from the power of the destroyer. But the Christian world have shown contempt for the law of Jehovah; and the Lord will do just what He has declared that He would, He will withdraw His blessings from the earth and remove His protecting care from those who are rebelling against His law and teaching and forcing others to do the same. Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard. He will favour and prosper some in order to further his own designs, and he will bring trouble upon others and lead men to believe that it is God who is afflicting them.” Great Controversy, 589.

  1. What was the basis of the test Satan brought to Adam and Eve? Genesis 3:1.

NOTE: ” . . . He addressed himself to Eve, ‘Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ Genesis 3:1. Had Eve refrained from entering into argument with the tempter, she would have been safe; but she ventured to parley with him, and fell a victim to his wiles. It is thus that many are still overcome. They doubt and argue concerning the requirements of God, and instead of obeying the divine commands, they accept human theories, which but disguise the devices of Satan.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 352.

  1. What alternative version of God’s will did Satan create for Eve? Genesis 3:4–5.

NOTE: “The very same reasoning is employed today in the Christian world. When the claims of the law are presented, men begin to frame excuses for continuing in disobedience, stating that God will not punish them for the breaking of His precepts. But let us think of it soberly. Will God change His holy law to suit my convenience? Will He sanction sin, and countenance disobedience? If God had a character of this kind, we could not reverence Him. His authority could not be respected.” Review and Herald, November 18, 1890.

  1. What was a principal reason for Christ taking upon Himself our nature? Hebrews 2:14.

NOTE: “The cross of Calvary, while it declares the law immutable, proclaims to the universe that the wages of sin is death. In the Saviour’s expiring cry, ‘It is finished,’ the death knell of Satan was rung. The great controversy which had been so long in progress was then decided, and the final eradication of evil was made certain. The Son of God passed through the portals of the tomb, that ‘through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.’ Hebrews 2:14. Lucifer’s desire for self-exaltation had led him to say: ‘I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: . . . I will be like the Most High.’ God declares: ‘I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth, . . . and never shalt thou be any more.’ Isaiah 14:13, 14; Ezekiel 28:18, 19. When ‘the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;. . . all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ Malachi 4:1.” Great Controversy, 503, 504.

  1. How complete was Christ’s acceptance of man’s nature? Hebrews 2:17–18.

NOTE: “Christ in the weakness of humanity was to meet the temptations of one possessing the powers of the higher nature that God had bestowed on the angelic family. But Christ’s humanity was united with divinity, and in this strength He would bear all the temptations that Satan could bring against Him, and yet keep His soul untainted by sin. And this power to overcome He would give to every son and daughter of Adam who would accept by faith the righteous attributes of His character.” Review and Herald, January 28, 1909.

  1. What identifies those who truly know God and those who merely claim to know Him? 1 John 2:3–5.

NOTE: “We should feel the necessity of searching the Scriptures for ourselves. We should study God’s word until we know that our foundation is on the solid rock. We should dig for the gems of truth. We are to test every man’s doctrine by the law and the testimony; for, says the prophet, ‘if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ John says, ‘He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.’ Those who claim to have light from God, and yet turn away their ear from hearing the law, are under great deception. Those who understandingly reject the fourth commandment are in darkness. Says James, ‘For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.’ It is vain for us to think that we are prepared for the finishing touch of immortality, while we live in willful transgression of any of God’s holy precepts.” Review and Herald, August 27, 1889.

  1. What is God’s attitude to those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness”? Romans 1:18–32.

NOTE: “Never was there a time when this warning was more appropriate than at the present time. Far too large a number of professed Christians are Christians only in name. They have no root in themselves. Their hearts are filled with pride, impurity, unholy ambition, self-importance, and love of supremacy. They may have an intelligent knowledge of the theory of the truth, and prove their doctrines to be sound and Scriptural, but they hold the truth in unrighteousness. By their course of action they deny the Saviour. Their hearts are not sanctified through the truth. They are unholy in heart, and unchristlike in deportment. Unless the spirit and principles that characterized the life of Christ are planted in the heart, they can not control the life. The law of God must be written in the heart, the truth of God must illuminate the soul. Holiness, mercy, truth, love, must be brought into the life. Unless the soul-temple is cleansed from its defilement, unless there is purity of heart, unless earnest efforts are made to meet the standard of God’s word, they will never be fitted to be the companions of the pure and holy; they will never wear the white linen which is the righteousness of the saints.” Review and Herald, November 28, 1899.

  1. As we face the final phase of the great conflict between Satan and Christ, what preparation is necessary? 1 John 3:3, 2 Peter 3:14.

NOTE: ” The world would not be what it now is if professed believers in Christ were receivers of His divine nature. It is the example of men who claim to believe the truth, but who do not practice the truth, that detracts from the influence of Christianity. They hold the truth as a theory, but unrighteousness surely characterizes their course of action. Many reveal that they are far away from Christ, because they are destitute of Christianity. Please read the ninth and tenth chapters of Ezekiel. Should we not seek to understand the work which God requires us to do? Its results are sacred and awful. If one thread of selfishness is woven into God’s service, He is greatly dishonoured. Unless those who have knowledge of the truth are sanctified through the truth, their profession counts for nothing, and their condemnation will be proportionate to the light granted them, which they have not honoured by walking in the light as Christ is in the light. Truth as it is in Jesus is the creating power of Christ. Those who claim to have advanced light must reveal the influence of that light in their words, their deportment, their voice, their actions, at all times and in all places.” Gospel Herald, January 1, 1900.

Bible Study Guides – “WAR IN HEAVEN”

By Gordon Anderson

MEMORY VERSE: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44.

STUDY HELP: Patriarchs and Prophets, 33–43.

INTRODUCTION: “The question is asked, How is the existence of sin reconcilable with the government of a wise, merciful, and omnipotent God? Why was sin permitted to enter heaven? Why was it permitted to take up its abode on the earth to cause discord and suffering? It certainly was not God’s purpose that man should be sinful. He made Adam pure and noble, with no tendency to evil. He placed him in Eden, where he had every inducement to remain loyal and obedient. The law was placed around him as a safeguard. Evil originated with the rebellion of Lucifer. It was brought into heaven when he refused allegiance to God’s law. Satan was the first lawbreaker.” Review and Herald, June 4, 1901.


  1. By what name was Satan known when he was in heaven? Isaiah 14:12.

NOTE: “Lucifer, ‘son of the morning,’ was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 35.

[It is clear from this verse that the reference is not to an earthly king of Babylon.]

  1. What position did Lucifer hold in heaven? Ezekiel 28:14.

NOTE: “Lucifer was the covering cherub, the most exalted of the heavenly created beings; he stood nearest the throne of God, and was most closely connected and identified with the administration of God’s government, most richly endowed with the glory of His majesty and power.” Signs of the Times, April 28, 1890.

[Verse 14 shows clearly that the primary reference is not to an earthly king of Tyre.]

  1. When he was created, what was Lucifer like? Ezekiel 28:15.

NOTE: “The angels had been created full of goodness and love. They loved one another impartially and their God supremely, and they were prompted by this love to do His pleasure. The law of God was not a grievous yoke to them, but it was their delight to do His commandments, to hearken unto the voice of His word. But in this state of peace and purity, sin originated with him who had been perfect in all his ways.” Signs of the Times, April 28, 1890.


  1. What went wrong with Lucifer’s thinking and led him into sin? Ezekiel 28:17, first part.

NOTE: “The change from perfection of character to sin and defection did come even in heaven. Lucifer’s heart was lifted up because of his beauty, his wisdom was corrupted by reason of his brightness. Self-exaltation is the key to his rebellion, and it unlocks the modern theme of sanctification. Satan declared that he had no need of the restraints of law, that he was holy, sinless, and incapable of doing evil; and those who boast of holiness and a state of sinlessness, while transgressing the law of God, while willfully trampling under-foot the Sabbath of the Lord, are allied on the side of the first great rebel. If the sanctified, holy angels became unsanctified and unholy by disobedience to God’s law, and their place was no longer found in heaven, think you that men, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, will be received into glory who break the precepts of that law which Christ came to magnify and make honourable by His death upon the cross? Adam and Eve were in possession of Eden, and they fell from their high and holy estate by transgression of God’s law, and forfeited their right to the tree of life and to the joys of Eden.” Signs of the Times, April 28, 1890.

  1. Because of his pride, whose position did Lucifer wish to seize? Isaiah 14:13, 14.

NOTE: Notice the self-centerdness of these verses, the number of times Lucifer spoke of “I” and “my.” “Pride in his own glory nourished the desire for supremacy. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as the gift of God and called forth no gratitude to the Creator. He gloried in his brightness and exaltation, and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host. Angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was the acknowledged Sovereign of heaven, one in power and authority with the Father. In all the councils of God, Christ was a participant, while Lucifer was not permitted thus to enter into the divine purposes. ‘Why,’ questioned this mighty angel, ‘should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He thus honoured above Lucifer?’” Great Controversy, 495.

“None are too high to fall. Sin originated with Satan, who was next to Christ. Lucifer became the destroyer of those whom heaven had committed to his guardianship. Satan has a church in our world today. In his church are all the disaffected ones and the disloyal. All who harbor pride, ambition, vain-glory, or selfishness, will be found wanting when weighed in the balance of the Lord.” Australasian Union Conference Record, October 1, 1906.

  1. What was the outcome of Lucifer’s ambition? Revelation 12:7.

NOTE: “Until this time all heaven had been in order, harmony, and perfect subjection to the government of God. It was the highest sin to rebel against His order and will. All heaven seemed in commotion. The angels were marshaled in companies, each division with a higher commanding angel at its head. Satan, ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus, was insinuating against the government of God. Some of the angels sympathized with Satan in his rebellion, and others strongly contended for the honor and wisdom of God in giving authority to His Son. There was contention among the angels. Satan and his sympathizers were striving to reform the government of God. They wished to look into His unsearchable wisdom, and ascertain His purpose in exalting Jesus and endowing Him with such unlimited power and command. They rebelled against the authority of the Son. All the heavenly host were summoned to appear before the Father to have each case decided. It was there determined that Satan should be expelled from heaven, with all the angels who had joined him in the rebellion. Then there was war in heaven. Angels were engaged in the battle; Satan wished to conquer the Son of God and those who were submissive to His will.” Early Writings, 145.

  1. What was the outcome of the war in heaven? Revelation 12: 8, 9.

NOTE: “Even when it was decided that he could no longer remain in heaven, Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since the service of love can alone be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. Evil must be permitted to come to maturity. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, Satan must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might forever be placed beyond all question.” Great Controversy, 498, 499.

“Satan is a deceiver. When he sinned in heaven, even the loyal angels did not fully discern his character. This was why God did not at once destroy Satan. Had He done so, the holy angels would not have perceived the justice and love of God. A doubt of God’s goodness would have been as evil seed that would yield the bitter fruit of sin and woe. Therefore the author of evil was spared, fully to develop his character. Through long ages God has borne the anguish of beholding the work of evil, He has given the infinite Gift of Calvary, rather than leave any to be deceived by the misrepresentations of the wicked one; for the tares could not be plucked up without danger of uprooting the precious grain. And shall we not be as forbearing toward our fellow men as the Lord of heaven and earth is toward Satan?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 72.


  1. How does God’s Word define sin? 1 John 3:4.

NOTE: At a time when theologians are proposing multiple definitions of sin, like “inherited guilt,” “a broken relationship,” “missing the mark,” “our natural spiritual condition, the condition of sinfulness,” “being by nature spiritually bent,” etc., it is important to know what God Himself defines as sin.

“Our only definition of sin is that given in the Word of God; it is ‘the transgression of the Law.’” Great Controversy, 493.

“The only definition given in God’s Word is: ‘Sin is the transgression of the Law,’ and the apostle Paul declares, ‘Where no law is, there is no transgression.’” Bible Echo, June 11, 1894.

  1. Why do we choose to sin when tempted by the devil? James 1:14, 15.

NOTE: “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed. He is turned away from the course of virtue and real good by following his own inclinations. If [you] possessed moral integrity, the strongest temptations might be presented in vain. It is Satan’s act to tempt you, but your own act to yield. It is not in the power of all the host of Satan to force the tempted to transgress. There is no excuse for sin.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 623.

  1. What will cause our attempts to obey God’s Law to fail? Romans 14:23.

NOTE: ” ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ In order to be prepared for the judgement, it is necessary that men should keep the law of God. That law will be the standard of character in the judgement. The apostle Paul declares: ‘As many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law, . . . in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.’ And he says that ‘the doers of the law shall be justified.’ Romans 2:12–16. Faith is essential in order to the keeping of the law of God; for ‘without faith it is impossible to please Him.’ And ‘whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:23.” Great Controversy, 436.


  1. What was Christ’s purpose in coming to earth and taking our nature? Hebrews 2:14.

NOTE: “We need not place the obedience of Christ by itself as something for which He was particularly adapted, because of His divine nature; for He stood before God as man’s representative, and was tempted as man’s substitute and surety. If Christ had a special power which it is not the privilege of a man to have, Satan would have made capital of this matter. But the work of Christ was to take from Satan his control of man, and He could do this only in a straightforward way. He came as a man, to be tempted as a man, rendering the obedience of a man. Christ rendered obedience to God, and overcame as humanity must overcome. We are led to make wrong conclusions because of erroneous views of the nature of our Lord. To attribute to His nature a power that it is not possible for man to have in His conflicts with Satan, is to destroy the completeness of his humanity. The obedience of Christ to His Father was the same obedience that is required of man. Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations except as divine power works through humanity. The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what God in His own divine person could do, but what He could do through humanity. Through faith man is to be a partaker of the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset.” Signs of the Times, April 10, 1893.

  1. When will the sins of the righteous be finally blotted out of the books of record? Revelation 22:11, 12. Compare Acts 3:19.

NOTE: “When the Third Angel’s Message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received ‘the latter rain,’ ‘the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received ‘the seal of the living God.’ Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘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.’ Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death. Christ has made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins.” Great Controversy, 613, 614.

  1. How complete will the destruction of Satan and sin? Malachi 4:1, Psalm 37:9, 10, Ezekiel 28:19.

NOTE: “Then the end will come. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off. Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch (Malachi 4: 1), Satan the root, and his followers the branches. The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, ‘Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.’ Then ‘the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;’ ‘they shall be as though they had not been.’ Ezekiel 28:6–19; Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 16.” Desire of Ages, 763.

Inspiration – Heaven’s Part in Life’s Conflict

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:10–17.

“Now do we do it?…Do we take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?

“I wish to call your attention…to the importance of everyone understanding that we cannot keep ourselves, that God has angels. These angels from heaven communicate with the children of men, and not one of us, by anything we may do, can uphold or keep ourselves. We are where we are, kept every moment by the power of God. I have thought that we do not make the ministration of heavenly angels as important as we should.

“We do not…keep in remembrance that every soul with whom we are connected has the guardianship of heavenly angels, sent forth to minister unto those who shall be heirs of salvation.

“I want you to consider this point, What should we do without them? I want you to consider what kind of position we should be left in if we had not the ministry of holy angels.

“From my text we see that ‘we wrestle not against flesh and blood.’ We meet the opposition of men, but there is someone behind that opposition. It is the prince of the powers of darkness, with his evil angels, who is constantly at work. We want to consider, all of us, that our warfare is against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.

“Who is it that is ruling the world today? And who is it that has chosen to stand under the banner of the prince of darkness? Why, it is nearly the whole world at large. All the world that has not accepted Jesus Christ has chosen for their leader the prince of darkness, and just as soon as they stand under his banner, they have connection with evil angels.

“Either the evil angels or the angels of God are controlling the minds of men. Our minds are given to the control of God or to the control of the powers of darkness, and it will be well for us to inquire where we are standing today—whether under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel or under the black banner of the powers of darkness. We must make every preparation in our power in order to resist the enemy of souls. Every provision has been made; everything in God’s plan has been arranged so that man should not be left to his own impulses, to his own finite powers, to carry on the warfare against the powers of darkness in his own finite strength, because he would certainly fail if he were thus left to himself. I thank the Lord that we have a power provided for us.

“When Christ bowed on Jordan’s banks He encircled the race with His own human arm, while with His divine arm He grasped the throne of the Infinite. And what does that mean? It means that finite man, who is connected with the earth, is again united with God through the merits of Christ, and earth is again united with heaven.…

“In the Psalms David speaks of God’s being a refuge and a strong tower, a refuge and a fortress; unto Him we can run and we can be saved. How precious is the thought that God is our refuge and that He will be our helper in all times and in all places, and that in every emergency we have God with us. He says that He will give His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways.

“But why can we not take this matter in? As we walk the streets, or wherever we are, Satan is on our track. When Christ engaged to fight the battles for man on this little speck of a world, He engaged to stand as our substitute and surety, and God put all heaven into His hands, with all the facilities and all the powers that heaven could afford. Now heaven is open to man, and the light and the glory of heaven is imparted to him through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Then in our God we have a helper, and we will trust in Him. We must constantly look in that direction, believing that the angels of God are round about us, and that heaven is in communication with us, because these heavenly messengers are…watching and guarding the children of men. They keep us from the influence of sin and sinning, and when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord lifts up for us a standard against the enemy.…

“There will be constant temptations that will come to a church, large or small, no matter where it is, and the temptations will come just according to the circumstances. How is it with us? Are we standing with the whole armor on, so that we can work in harmony with the angels of God who are working for us? If we separate ourselves from these angels by taking our own course of action, then we place ourselves where the wicked one can tempt us.…

“Curiosity is something bewitching, as says the apostle: ‘Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?’ [Galatians 3:3]. Do you think the devil is asleep? He is not asleep, he is wide-awake, and he is on the track of every one of us. We are right upon the very borders of the eternal world. While some are at strife on little points of doctrine—oh my soul!—they had better be fasting and praying and seeking God with all their hearts that they may find Him.…

“We are nearing the end; we are nearing the judgment; and every power that can break up our unity, our harmony, our pressing together, is at work to hinder our sustaining…[what] God has established. Every influence that can be brought to bear to bring us in connection with tendencies that are evil will arise, and Satan will use his power to confuse the minds. We want to stand as men and women of God.…

“Brethren and sisters, we need a great deal more of God. The angels of God are in our midst, and we want to put ourselves under their guardianship. We must be pressing together, and sustaining one another. In the place of drawing one another down, in the place of beating on the wrong track, we want to work where God works; we want to exert a telling influence in behalf of God’s people, and we want to listen for the voice of God. We want to hear what it saith.

“We are now coming down to the last days, and the devil wants to shake and confuse the confidence of His people.…He wants to bring persons where they will have a bad influence, where they have no love for the truth and things which we believe to be of God.

“Those who are doing…missionary work had better find out from whom they get their orders; they had better find out who has commissioned them to do this wonderful missionary work. We want to see that they are sailing under the proper colors. We want to see that they are laboring in harmony with the influence of the Spirit of God.…

“We want to stand as a unit, and those who stand ready to quibble over little points of doctrine to maintain their ideas are not really converted. Just as soon as you are truly converted, this quibbling will cease. You need to go to God with your Bible, with fasting and prayer. God wants us to be united in bringing this people up to a right standard,…for Satan is playing a deep game for their souls and many will be ensnared.

“Angels of God are all around us. You do not discern them with your human vision. Satan and his angels are here…today. Oh, we want to know these things, and fear and tremble, and to think much more of the power of the angels of God that are watching over and guarding us than we have done hitherto.

“We want to place ourselves under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel. We do not want to be serving Baal. We do not want to be giving ourselves up to the powers of darkness. Angels of God are commissioned from heaven to guard the children of men, and yet they draw away from their restraining influences and go where they can have communication with the evil angels. And then the evil angels fasten impressions in their minds that they will never get rid of so long as they live, just as going to the theater, billiard hall, and all such places lead them from the path of God to stand under the black banner of the prince of darkness. Oh, that we might all obey the injunction of the apostle (read 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).…

“The vials of God’s wrath and the sprinkling of them, are already coming. What is the matter that we do not discern it? It is because the light of truth does not affect the heart. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world.

“You hear of calamities by land and by sea, and they are constantly increasing. What is the matter? The Spirit of God is taken away from those who have the lives of men in their hands, and Satan is coming in to control them, because they give themselves to his control. Those who profess to be the children of God do not place themselves under the guardianship of the heavenly angels, and as Satan is a destroyer, he works through those men and they make mistakes.…

“And see the storms and tempests! Satan is working in the atmosphere; he is poisoning the atmosphere, and here we are dependent upon God for our lives—our present and eternal life. And being in the position that we are, we need to be wide-awake, wholly devoted, wholly converted, wholly consecrated to God. But we seem to sit as though we were paralyzed. God of heaven, wake us up!

“Don’t you read the newspapers and see the casualties? And don’t you feel afraid to place yourself out of the guardianship of the holy angels, under the control of the evil angels by going right where they are? Will you invite them to connect with you? Can we afford it? Why, you insult the living God if you do; and you are not converted, whoever you may be, rich or poor, high or low, in office or out of office; it is an abomination in the sight of God. And not only is it an abomination in the sight of God, but it is an abomination in our land. Let us stand clear from all these things, that the converting power of God may come into our midst.

“May God help us, brethren and sisters, to realize that this is missionary soil. We claim to be missionaries and workers for Christ, but while you are laboring, be sure that you are seeking to build up what God is building up. Be sure that you are working with all the powers of your being to build up the church, to establish it, and to bring all the piety and all the devotion that the Spirit of God will impart to you, into the church that it may be a living church, and that you may be light bearers to the world.…

“Shall we take hold of this work? Shall we take hold of it right? God help us to work where the angels work; God help us to work where Christ works; God help us to work where God works, that we may see the salvation of God.—Manuscript 1, 1890.” [Sermon at Battle Creek, Michigan, February 1, 1890.]

Sermons and Talks, vol. 2. 57–70.

Knowing the Time, Part I

In Romans 13:11–14, we read: “And, knowing the time, that already it is the hour for you to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is far gone, the day has drawn near. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us be clothed with the weapons of light. Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not with carousing and drunkenness and sexual orgies and sensuality, not with strife and jealousy. But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not make provision for the flesh that you should do its lusts.” That is quite a Scripture!

Paul says that now is the time. It is the hour already for you to awake out of sleep. Do you know the time? Do you know that now is the time? Now is the time to wake up, because we do not have very much time left.

Knowing the Time in the World

I would like for you to consider just two things. The first thing is knowing the time in the world. I will not take the space to prove this, although it can be proven. If we compare Daniel 7 and Daniel 11, we will see that the great time of persecution of God’s saints, which was to last 1,260 years, was to extend until the time of the end. When that period was over, then the world was going to enter the period called, in Daniel’s prophecy, the time of the end. Most Bible writers call it the latter days or the last days.

That period of time (1,260 days) came to an end in 1798. We, then, have been in the last days or in the time of the end for over 200 years. The last days—the time of the end—is the last epochal period of this world’s history. At the end of that time, probation will close, and Jesus will come, and that will be the end of this age, the end of the world, as we know it. We are not at the beginning of the time of the end; we are at the end of the time of the end.

Increased Travel

Daniel said, in Daniel 12:4, that at the time of the end two things would happen.

He said that many are going to travel to and fro. In other words, it is going to be a time of great travel. Are we living in a time of the greatest travel since the beginning of the world? There has never, ever been a time like today. Never!

Society thought we were living in a time of great travel when I was a boy, because we had airplanes. I traveled half way around the world when I was about seven years old. But let me tell you, it was absolutely nothing compared with today.

When I was boy, I used to go with my father to the Stapleton Airport in Denver, Colorado. My father was a businessman, and at times he would need to travel by plane. While waiting for my father to depart, I would look out the airport windows, and would usually see four or five airliners waiting there—DC7s and a few Lockheed Electras. Those planes could hold between 40 and 50 passengers. That was the total number of airplanes generally at Stapleton at any one time, and I was there many times.

How is it today? At the new Denver International Airport, there are between 50 and 100 airplanes at any given time, and those planes do not hold just 40 or 50 passengers, like they did when I was a boy. They hold 100, 200, or more passengers!

We are living in a time when there is more travel. I have done a little traveling myself, and I have been in the airports of London and Paris, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Los Angeles. If you go to any one of these places, you will see people from all over the world.

There has never before been a time like this. We are living in the time of the end. In the time of the end, travel is going to be increased.

Increased Knowledge

The second thing mentioned, in Daniel 12:4, is that in the time of the end there is going to be a great increase of knowledge. It says, “Knowledge shall be increased.” Are we living in a time when there has been an explosion of knowledge?

Some of you are too young to remember how things used to be, just a short time ago. Do you realize that just a few years ago, if you had a cataract in your eye and you had it removed, that after the surgery you would be sandbagged? Sandbags would be placed around your head, and you would have to lie in a hospital bed, sometimes for up to two weeks or more. But do you know how it is done today? I recently took a close relative of mine to have a cataract removed, and it was an outpatient procedure. We walked in, got it done, walked out, and went home—pretty much business as usual the rest of the day. That is just one example; there are hundreds of other examples.

A second example of increased knowledge is our cars, our airplanes, and our machines. Computers now monitor these things, indicating to us when service, repairs, or changes are needed. I am old enough to remember when it was not that way. Things were mechanical, and we thought we had a great increase of knowledge then, but now things are electrical, and everything is connected to a computer.

I remember telling people 20 years ago that we were living in an age of an explosion of knowledge—that there would soon come a time when, through the computer, we would be able to access central data banks and find out whatever we wanted that is known to man. We have been doing that now for several years.


Third, in Matthew 24, Jesus said that in the last days there would come a time when there would be great earthquakes. Have you noticed the increase of earthquakes lately?

We used to live in southern California, and, while residing there, we were always apprehensive of earthquakes. While traveling in southern California recently, I was shown a newspaper that identified the different areas where earthquakes had occurred in the last several weeks—there were over 60 places! We do not even hear about those earthquakes on the news, because the news does not report the little ones.

If you want to do an interesting study, look on the Internet for the web site that is just about earthquakes. Do you know when the incidents of earthquakes started increasing? About 1800. The time of the end is going to be the time of earthquakes. They started increasing at the time of the end. It is interesting to note that the number of earthquakes stayed about the same for many hundreds of years—for over a thousand years—until about 1800; then, for a reason no one can explain, they started increasing. Why? Jesus said that in the time of the end there would be earthquakes. Since 1950, the number of occurrences has skyrocketed. So much so that between 1980 and 1990 there were as many serious major earthquakes as the world had experienced between a.d. 526 and 1797. That is a period of almost 1,300 years. Somebody may challenge that in old times they did not record them all, but they did record them when something major happened. They did not have seismographs, but they recorded the big ones, when buildings started falling down. It is one of the signs that we are living right near the end.

Rumors of War

Another sign, the fourth, which Jesus gave, was that there would be “wars and rumors of wars.” We do not need to expound on this. World War I was going to be the war to end all wars. Did it end all wars? No, the United States was in another world war within 20 years after it ended. Since World War II, there has been a war somewhere in the world all the time—some coup d’état, revolution, or war somewhere in the world.

Peace Movement

The fifth sign of knowing the time in the world you can study out for yourselves. Bible prophecy tells us that in the last days there is going to be a great, international religious peace movement. Predicted both in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4, it is not a true revival or a true religion. Read Micah 4:1–6 carefully, and you will see that is the case. They are going to be preparing for war at the same time they are talking peace.

Hearts Fail for Fear

And, then, number six. In Luke 21, Jesus said that the time of the end will be a time when men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Are we living in a time when men’s hearts are failing them for fear? People are afraid. One thing of which they are afraid is what is happening to the worldwide economy—not just the United States, not just Europe, but the economy of the world. The worldwide economy is shaky today, and economists are scared to death. People are saying that we are out of the recession, but we are deeper in debt than ever before.

We are concerned about the environment. We are destroying our environment. One reason for concern is the natural disasters.

Have you heard on the news of the concern regarding Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming? A certain part of the park has been closed off, because the experts are saying that this area in the park could blow at any time. If it blows, it will be the biggest volcanic explosion in history, and it will be heard hundreds of miles away.

At the huge crater, where the ground is lifting, the temperature is rising and has now risen so much that all the fish are dead and there is nothing living directly around it. Just a few inches under the soil, the temperature is 200 degrees. If it completely blows, the scientists are telling us that the entire United States will be completely covered with five inches of ash, and there will be no living thing within about a 600-mile radius—everything will die. It could bring on a miniature ice age; it could destroy crops all through the Midwest.

I am not saying it will be as bad as predicted; nobody knows. But the people who have studied this phenomenon are scared. Jesus said, “Men’s hearts would be failing them for fear because of the things that are coming on the earth.” Do you realize the economic consequences of something like that? If it occurs, just that one thing alone could cause a worldwide depression.

And then, of course, there is terrorism. Everybody knows about terrorism today—not just the United States. They know about it in Spain. They know about it in London. They know about it in the Middle East. They know about it in South America. Terrorism! And, of course, there is crime, crime, crime.


Number seven. Jesus said that in the last days there would be pestilences. We are experiencing pestilences like never before in world history. One example is cancer. Oh! Somebody may say that cancer has been around for hundreds of years. Of course it has, but in 1945, do you know how many people were getting cancer? One in fifteen. In 1945 (if you read the Spirit of Prophecy), the number getting cancer had skyrocketed from what it had been in the past. Do you know what the numbers are today? One in three. Is that a pestilence? It is a pestilence, friends.

Then we have the new pestilences such as Mad Cow Disease. If you have ever read the book Deadly Feasts (Richard Rhodes, Touchstone, New York, New York, 1998), you know that Mad Cow Disease is a ticking time bomb. It is a disease that, in the future, could absolutely decimate Western Europe, the United States, and many other countries of the world. Some people think this disease is even more dangerous than AIDS. Whether or not it is I do not know. It is one of those illnesses that has a long lapse from the time a person is exposed until symptoms develop. In addition to AIDS, we have the plague or the pestilence of all the old diseases that we thought had been cured.

For example, when I was in graduate school—less than 30 years ago—we were told that the disease of smallpox would be completely eradicated, because it is a disease peculiar only to human beings. We were told that vaccinations would be available to everyone, and this would eliminate it. It would die out and would be known only in the history books. Well, this we did not succeed in doing!

We are discovering that the diseases we were so confident in knowing how to control, we cannot control. For example, have you heard in the news that we now have new bugs or new microorganisms? They are actually the old ones, but they are now resistant to our drugs. This is serious. If an elderly person gets a staph infection that does not respond to drugs, they will be in a very critical situation.

Days of Lot

In Luke 17:27–30, Jesus said that in the last days it is going to be like it was in the days of Lot. You have read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Book of Genesis. You have probably read what Ezekiel said about it in Ezekiel 16:49, 50, what Jude said about it, and what Peter said about it in 11 Peter. Jesus told us that this is the way the world is going to be in the last days when the Son of man is revealed.

I studied this subject a few years ago, and what I found was shocking. Do you realize that never before in the history of the world has homosexuality been accepted worldwide, until our time? It was accepted in Sodom, and it was accepted among the Canaanites. In Leviticus 18, we find that that is one of the reasons why the Canaanites were destroyed. It was accepted in the ten tribes of Israel, and that is one of the reasons why they were destroyed, sent out as wanderers among the nations. At a later time, it was accepted in the city of Rome, and that is one of the reasons why Rome was destroyed. It later was accepted in the nation of France, and that is one of the reasons for the French Revolution. But in the last days, it will not be a country or a city only that accepts it; it will be accepted by the whole world. We do not realize how true prophecy always is. When it says worldwide, it means worldwide.

A few days ago my wife and I were visiting with our nephew who is serving in the United States armed forces. He told me something I did not know. You think you can never get shocked, but then you learn something new. He told me that among the Muslims in Afghanistan, where he served, and throughout the neighboring countries, homosexuality is rampant. He said that they do not want the Christians to find out about it; they try to keep it secret. The United States military has to instruct the soldiers to be careful in certain situations. The prophecy of Jesus has been fulfilled exactly. We are living right at the time of the end.

When homosexuality becomes accepted, study the story of Sodom; study the story of the ten tribes; study the story of the Canaanites; study the story of Rome; study the story of France. God is not going to let that go on, friends. It is going to end.

Great Unbelief

Number nine. In the last days, according to the Book of Revelation, according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:24, there will come a time of gross darkness of the greatest deceptions ever to come on the world. We are living in that time.

And, finally, number ten. According to 11 Peter 3:3–7, the last days will be a time of great unbelief. The unbelief will be so great that it says that those living will deny that the heavens came into existence by the Word of God. That is exactly what has happened in the last few years—and all of it has happened since 1798. The theory of evolution to explain how we got here without God has been developed. We want a reason explaining how we got here without God. It says, in 11 Peter 3, that they would say that “since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning.” Do you realize that that is a word-for-word description of the theory of Uniformitarianism on which modern geology is based?

In 1979, my family and I traveled to the East Coast of Pennsylvania to visit my brother who was pastoring there. During Christmas time we went to the Smithsonian Institute, and while we were there, we split up to go to different places, because we could not see it all, and different people wanted to see different things. I decided that I wanted to see the geology building, which is where they tell you that this item is this many millions of years old and that item is that many millions of years old.

I visited every single exhibit to see what evidence they had for the age of each item. Do you know what evidence they had? They had only one piece of evidence for everything. This is the Uniformitarian Theory. Peter predicted the Uniformitarian Theory long before these people believed they invented it. The Bible predicted that it would be in the last days.

To be continued . . .

[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]

Pastor John Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.

Bible Study Guides – Our Warfare

December 26, 2010 – January 1, 2011

The Church Militant

Key Text

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10.

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 505–510; Early Writings, 104–107.


“While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 938.

1 Why should we take a warning from the failures of ancient Israel? Romans 15:4.

Note: “Satan’s snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel just prior to their entrance into the land of Canaan. We are repeating the history of that people. Lightness, vanity, love of ease and pleasure, selfishness, and impurity are increasing among us. There is need now of men who are firm and fearless in declaring the whole counsel of God; men who will not sleep as do others, but watch and be sober.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 160.

2 What should every believer be doing continually, and why? I Corinthians 10:12; Ephesians 6:10, 11.

Note: “As we approach the close of time, as the people of God stand upon the borders of the heavenly Canaan, Satan will, as of old, redouble his efforts to prevent them from entering the goodly land. He lays his snares for every soul.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 457.

3 Through whom does Satan introduce his most dangerous snares? Acts 20:30.

Note: “Do not forget that the most dangerous snares which Satan has prepared for the church will come through its own members who do not love God supremely or their neighbor as themselves. Satan is continually striving to wedge himself in between brethren. He seeks to gain control of those who claim to believe the truth, but who are unconverted; and when he can influence these, through their own carnal nature, to unite with him in trying to thwart the purposes of God, then he is exultant.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 477.

4 Who are Satan’s primary targets? Why? Isaiah 9:16.

Note: “Satan’s chief work is at the headquarters of our faith. He spares no pains to corrupt men in responsible positions and to persuade them to be unfaithful to their several trusts. He insinuates his suspicions and jealousies into the minds of those whose business it is to do God’s work faithfully. While God is testing and proving these helpers, and fitting them for their posts, Satan is doing his utmost to deceive and allure them, that they may not only be destroyed themselves, but may influence others to do wrong and to injure the great work. He seeks by all the means in his power to shake the confidence of God’s people in the voice of warning and reproof through which God designs to purify the church and prosper His cause.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 210, 211.

5 How does Satan attempt to affect the work of truth? Galatians 3:1.

Note: “It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 211.

6 Why is human wisdom insufficient to distinguish truth from error? Matthew 11:25; I Corinthians 2:5.

Note: “Every conceivable deception will be brought to bear upon those who have not a daily, living connection with God. In our work no side issues must be advanced until there has been a thorough examination of the ideas entertained, that it may be ascertained from what source they have originated. Satan’s angels are wise to do evil, and they will create that which some will claim to be advanced light, will proclaim as new and wonderful things; and yet while in some respects the message is truth, it will be mingled with men’s inventions and will teach for doctrines the commandments of men. If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. There may be supposable things that appear as good things, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer, for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from the path which leads to holiness and heaven. But the eye of faith may discern that it is diverging from the right path, though almost imperceptibly. At first it may be thought positively right, but after a while it is seen to be widely divergent from the path of safety, from the path which leads to holiness and heaven.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 229.

7 How can we prove that honesty does not protect from deception? Revelation 3:17; I Corinthians 15:33.

Note: “The message to be borne to His [God’s] people by ministers whom He has called to warn the people is not a peace-and-safety message. It is not merely theoretical, but practical in every particular. The people of God are represented in the message to the Laodiceans as in a position of carnal security. They are at ease, believing themselves to be in an exalted condition of spiritual attainments. [Revelation 3:17 quoted.]

“What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 252, 253.

8 Under what conditions is a person able to discern the truth? Matthew 16:17; John 7:17; Philippians 3:14, 15.

Note: “Christ places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest in works of righteousness. Doing, not saying merely, is expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built. ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ Romans 8:14.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 149, 150. [Author’s italics.]

9 What does Jesus declare of many who profess His name? Luke 9:55. Explain one way that this may be manifested.

Note: “Some have felt no spirit of freedom when they met for worship. They were afraid upon the Sabbath to speak out their real feelings and faith, expecting that he [Brother B] would criticize what they would say. There has been death in the meetings and but little freedom.

“Brother B desires that others should look up to him as a man who can explain the Scriptures, but I was shown that he is deceived and does not understand them. He has started upon a wrong track in seeking to get up a new faith, an original theory of faith. He would uproot and misplace those waymarks which show us our correct bearings, that we are near the close of this earth’s history. He may flatter himself that he is being led of the Lord, but it is surely another spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 440.

10 Why must we constantly be watchful of the motives of our heart? Jeremiah 17:9; Proverbs 3:7.

Note: “Man must cooperate with the heavenly agencies; he must use his God-given abilities to their utmost in earnest endeavor to keep his own soul from being degraded by sin; but he must not trust in his own finite strength, for it will be as a broken staff, a bruised reed. With his human endeavor he must mingle faith in a divine Deliverer, and express his dependence upon God in prayer. … We are to unite prayer with watchfulness, and thus lay hold upon His mighty power, feeling our insufficiency to cope with self and the powers of darkness.” The Signs of the Times, May 15, 1893.

11 How and through whom may Satan scatter darkness and confusion in the church? Romans 16:17; I Thessalonians 5:14.

Note: “Satan, by his skillful and wicked strategy, led our first parents from the Garden of Eden—from their innocence and purity into sin and unspeakable wretchedness. He has not ceased to destroy; all the forces which he can command are diligently employed by him in these last days to compass the ruin of souls. He seizes every artifice that he can use to deceive, perplex, and confuse the people of God.

“He has used you as his agent to scatter darkness and confusion, and he finds that you work admirably in his hands. You are the very instrument that he can handle with good effect to hurt, discourage, and tear down. You are not zealous to put your shoulder under the load with the people of God; but when they would move, you throw yourself as an additional load to prevent them from doing what they might do in advancing in the right direction.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 455, 456.

12 With what class of believers does Satan have considerable success? James 1:8; Ephesians 4:14.

Note: “While professing to be Christians, many have the mold of the world upon them, and their affections are not set upon God. They are double minded, making an attempt to serve God and mammon at the same time; but the world’s Redeemer has declared, ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon’ (Matthew 6:24). By trying to serve two masters, they are unstable in all their ways, and cannot be depended upon. To all appearances they are serving God, while at the same time in heart they are yielding to the temptation of Satan and cherishing sin.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 938.

Review and Thought Questions

1 What will Satan do as we approach the close of time?

2 Where does Satan concentrate his main efforts?

3 Why must we watch and pray now more than ever before?

4 What reveals that a person is led by the wrong spirit?

5 What attitude leaves us most open to deception?

©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – Is It Easy?

September 11, 2011 – September 17, 2011

Key Text

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 67–76; Patriarchs and Prophets, 453–461.


“Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you.” Steps to Christ, 72.


  • Who are we fighting if we are seeking to do God’s will? Ephesians 6:12.

Note: “There is little enmity against Satan and his works, because there is so great ignorance concerning his power and malice, and the vast extent of his warfare against Christ and His church.” The Great Controversy, 507.

  • Who is the enemy seeking to destroy and how does he propose to do this? Numbers 25:1, 2. What warning should we heed? I Corinthians 10:11, 12.

Note: “Satan is continually seeking to overcome the people of God by breaking down the barriers which separate them from the world. … All who are not decided followers of Christ are servants of Satan. In the unregenerate heart there is love of sin and a disposition to cherish and excuse it. In the renewed heart there is hatred of sin and a determined resistance against it.” The Great Controversy, 508.

“It was by associating with idolaters and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God’s law and bring His judgments upon the nation. So now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the ungodly and unite in their amusements that Satan is most successful in alluring them into sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 458.


  • In this warfare, what must we remember? Luke 18:1.

Note: “Christian life is more than many take it to be. It does not consist wholly in gentleness, patience, meekness, and kindliness. These graces are essential; but there is need also of courage, force, energy, and perseverance. The path that Christ marks out is a narrow, self-denying path. To enter that path and press on through difficulties and discouragements, requires men who are more than weaklings.” Evangelism, 479.

  • What will enable us to endure in this warfare and develop perseverance? II Peter 1:4; John 14:14.

Note: “The Scriptures are to be received as God’s word to us, not written merely, but spoken. …

“So with all the promises of God’s word. In them He is speaking to us individually, speaking as directly as if we could listen to His voice. It is in these promises that Christ communicates to us His grace and power. They are leaves from that tree which is ‘for the healing of the nations’ Revelation 22:2. Received, assimilated, they are to be the strength of the character, the inspiration and sustenance of the life. Nothing else can have such healing power. Nothing besides can impart the courage and faith which give vital energy to the whole being.” The Ministry of Healing, 122.

“If we live according to His word, every precious promise He has given will be fulfilled to us. …

“But only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’ Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” Ibid., 226, 227.

  • What promises does our Father give us as we seek to develop families that will honor His name? Psalm 32:8.

Note: “Not only are the best beloved to receive particular attention, but also the restless, wayward children, who need careful training and tender guidance.” The Adventist Home, 276.


  • As we see our weakness and insufficiency, what promise is especially important to us? II Corinthians 12:9.
  • What is God’s grace? I Corinthians 1:4, 5; II Corinthians 9:8.

Note: “Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings.” The Ministry of Healing, 161.

“To learn of Christ means to receive His grace, which is His character.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 271.

  • What other promises are there for the partakers of His grace? Colossians 1:11; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:19.

Note: “You are to give all—your heart, your will, your service—give yourself to Him to obey all His requirements; and you must take all—Christ, the fullness of all blessing, to abide in your heart, to be your strength, your righteousness, your everlasting helper—to give you power to obey.” Steps to Christ, 70. [Emphasis author’s.]

  • What circumstances, if any, are very difficult and seemingly impossible to change? Philippians 4:13.

Note: “Men and women can reach God’s ideal for them if they will take Christ as their helper. What human wisdom cannot do, His grace will accomplish for those who give themselves to Him in loving trust. His providence can unite hearts in bonds that are of heavenly origin.” The Ministry of Healing, 362.

“The power of the love of Christ wrought a transformation of character. This is the sure result of union with Jesus. When Christ abides in the heart, the whole nature is transformed. Christ’s Spirit, His love, softens the heart, subdues the soul, and raises the thoughts and desires toward God and heaven.” Steps to Christ, 73.


  • How can I, my family, and my church have this experience with Jesus Christ? John 15:4, 5.

Note: “Do you ask, ‘How am I to abide in Christ?’ In the same way as you received Him at first. ‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him’ (Colossians 2:6). …

“Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, ‘Take me, O Lord, as wholly Thine. I lay all my plans at Thy feet. Use me today in Thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in Thee.’ This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to Him, to be carried out or given up as His providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 69, 70.

  • What must be our attitude? Acts 9:6.

Note: “Many who are really conscientious, and who desire to live for God, he [Satan] too often leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses, and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory. We should not make self the center and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be saved. All this turns the soul away from the Source of our strength. Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in Him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in Him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears. … Rest in God. He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him. If you will leave yourself in His hands, He will bring you off more than conqueror through Him that has loved you.” Steps to Christ, 71, 72.

“Then if Christ is dwelling in our hearts, He will work in us ‘both to will and to do of His good pleasure’ Philippians 2:13. We shall work as He worked; we shall manifest the same spirit. And thus, loving Him and abiding in Him, we shall ‘grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ’ Ephesians 4:15.” Ibid., 75.

“At times the heart may be ready to faint; but a living sense of the dangers threatening the present and future happiness of their loved ones should lead Christian parents to seek more earnestly for help from the source of strength and wisdom.” Child Guidance, 64.


  • What commands are given to us who have received such great light and blessing? Ephesians 5:1–8.

Note: “It is the privilege of all to give to the world in their home life, in their customs and practices and order, an evidence of what the gospel can do for those who obey it. Christ came to our world to give us an example of what we may become. He expects His followers to be models of correctness in all the relations of life. He desires the divine touch to be seen upon outward things.

“Our own homes and surroundings should be object lessons, teaching ways of improvement, so that industry, cleanliness, taste, and refinement may take the place of idleness, uncleanness, coarseness, and disorder. By our lives and example we can help others to discern that which is repulsive in their character or their surroundings, and with Christian courtesy we may encourage improvement.” The Ministry of Healing, 196.

“The Lord’s workers cannot be too careful that their actions do not contradict their words; for a consistent life alone can command respect. If our practice harmonizes with our teaching, our words will have effect; but a piety which is not based upon conscientious principles is as salt without savor. To speak, and do not, is as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. It is of no use for us to strive to inculcate principles which we do not conscientiously practice.” Counsels on Health, 559, 560.

“The consistent life, the patient forbearance, the spirit unruffled under provocation, is always the most conclusive argument and the most solemn appeal.” The Ministry of Healing, 494.

“The pure influence of truth will elevate the whole man. … He will carry the sanctifying influence of the truth into his family and let his light so shine before them that they by seeing his good works may glorify God.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 415, 416.


1 What makes the upward walk difficult?

2 How can you persevere and endure unto the end?

3 What is God’s grace and what will it do for you?

4 How can you have a changed life?

5 What will be the result of converted members of the family?

Copyright © 2002 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Bible Study Guides – The Search for True Knowledge

April 29, 2012 – May 5, 2012

Key Text

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7.

Study Help: Testimonies, vol. 3, 221–227.


“In a knowledge of God all true knowledge and real development have their source.” Education, 14.


  • As Christians, what is our greatest battle? Galatians 5:17, 24.

Note: “Wrongs cannot be righted, nor can reformations in character be made, by a few feeble, intermittent efforts. Sanctification is the work, not of a day, or of a year, but of a lifetime. The struggle for conquest over self, for holiness and heaven, is a lifelong struggle. Without continual effort and constant activity there can be no advancement in the divine life, no attainment of the victor’s crown.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 312, 313.

  • What does Paul show that it is vital to Christian life? I Corinthians 15:31.

Note: “Paul’s sanctification was the result of a constant conflict with self. … His will and his desires every day conflicted with duty and the will of God. Instead of following inclination, he did God’s will, however crucifying to his own nature.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 313.

“It is the daily dying to self in the little transactions of life that makes us overcomers. We should forget self in the desire to do good to others.” Ibid., vol. 2, 132.

“You need a fresh conversion every day. Die daily to self, keep your tongue as with a bridle, control your words, cease your murmurings and complaints.” Ibid., vol. 1, 699.


  • What urgent decision should be made by all who hear Christ’s invitation? II Corinthians 6:1, 2.

Note: “We have no time to lose. We know not how soon our probation may close. Eternity stretches before us. The curtain is about to be lifted. Christ is soon to come. The angels of God are seeking to attract us from ourselves and from earthly things. Let them not labor in vain.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 314.

  • What declaration will soon be pronounced? Revelation 22:11, 12.

Note: “A storm is coming, relentless in its fury. Are we prepared to meet it?

“We need not say: The perils of the last days are soon to come upon us. Already they have come. We need now the sword of the Lord to cut to the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites, and passions.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315.

  • In view of our limited time before probation closes, what decisive actions must we be taking? Philippians 3:13, 14; Colossians 4:5.

Note: “If we would press forward to the mark of our high calling in Christ Jesus, we must show that we are emptied of all self, and supplied with the golden oil of grace. God is dealing with us through His providence. From eternity He has chosen us to be His obedient children. He gave His Son to die for us, that we might be sanctified through obedience to the truth, cleansed from all the littleness of self. Now He requires of us a personal work, a personal self-surrender. We are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. God can be honored only when we who profess to believe in Him are conformed to His image. We are to represent to the world the beauty of holiness, and we shall never enter the gates of the city of God until we perfect a Christlike character. If we, with trust in God, strive for sanctification, we shall receive it. Then, as witnesses for Christ, we may make known what the grace of God has wrought in us.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 24, 1899.


  • As believers, what requirement is essential for us? Matthew 16:24.

Note: “Man’s great danger is in being self-deceived, indulging self-sufficiency, and thus separating from God, the source of his strength. Our natural tendencies, unless corrected by the Holy Spirit of God, have in them the seeds of moral death. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we cannot resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin.

“In order to receive help from Christ, we must realize our need. We must have a true knowledge of ourselves. It is only he who knows himself to be a sinner that Christ can save. Only as we see our utter helplessness and renounce all self-trust, shall we lay hold on divine power.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315, 316.

“Without a murmur or complaint lift the cross. In the act of lifting it, you will find that it lifts you. You will find it alive with mercy, compassion, and pitying love.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 12, 1901.

  • How long must we deny self and look to God? Isaiah 26:4.

Note: “It is not only at the beginning of the Christian life that this renunciation of self is to be made. At every advance step heavenward it is to be renewed. All our good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves; therefore there needs to be a continual reaching out of the heart after God, a constant, earnest confession of sin and humbling of the soul before Him. Perils surround us; and we are safe only as we feel our weakness and cling with the grasp of faith to our mighty Deliverer.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 316.

  • How does this process involve thoughts? Proverbs 1:7; I Peter 1:13.

Note: “Minds that have been given up to loose thought need to change. … The thoughts must be centered upon God. Now is the time to put forth earnest effort to overcome the natural tendencies of the carnal heart.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 315.


  • For victory, where must we focus our attention? Colossians 3:1, 2.

Note: “We must turn away from a thousand topics that invite attention. There are matters that consume time and arouse inquiry, but end in nothing. The highest interests demand the close attention and energy that are too often given to comparatively insignificant things.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 316.

  • How are we warned against indulging in speculation on strange, new theories? Hebrews 13:9, first part; I Timothy 1:4–7.

Note: “Accepting new theories does not bring new life to the soul. Even an acquaintance with facts and theories important in themselves is of little value unless put to a practical use. We need to feel our responsibility to give our souls food that will nourish and stimulate spiritual life.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 316.

“I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage to injure the cause.

“But such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future.” Early Writings, 63.

“We are not doing the will of God when we speculate upon things that He has seen fit to withhold from us. The question for us to study is: ‘What is truth, the truth for this time, which is to be cherished, loved, honored, and obeyed?’ The devotees of science have been defeated and disheartened in their efforts to find out God. What they need to inquire at this time is: ‘What is the truth that will enable us to win the salvation of our souls?’…

“There are many who, in dwelling too largely upon theory, have lost sight of the living power of the Saviour’s example. They have lost sight of Him as the humble, self-denying worker. What they need is to behold Jesus. Daily we need the fresh revealing of His presence. We need to follow more closely His example of self-renunciation and sacrifice.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 317.


  • What does it really mean to know Christ—and to be truly educated? Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 3:10.

Note: “The knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ expressed in character is an exaltation above everything else that is esteemed on earth or in heaven. It is the very highest education.” Testimonies, vol. 8, 317.

  • What experience do we sorely need, and how will it affect our relationships with others? I Peter 1:15, 16; Philippians 2:5–8, 3.

Note: “He [God] desires that we shall constantly be growing in holiness, in happiness, in usefulness.” The Ministry of Healing, 398.

“Be so considerate, so tender, so compassionate, that the atmosphere surrounding you will be fragrant with heaven’s blessing. Do not discourage yourself and others by talking of defects of character. Talk of the light of which heaven is full. Look away from the imperfections of others to the perfection of Christ. Praise wherever you can. Love God and those around you. Forget yourself. …

“Let joy and love and the grace of Christ perfect your character. Let a willingness to obey make your path bright.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 12, 1901.


1 What daily need do we too often overlook in our Christian life?

2 In view of the shortness of time, what ought to be our priority?

3 How does looking to the cross affect our thoughts and plans?

4 Into what pitfall do many plunge, even with the Bible in hand?

5 If we attain a high level of true education, will we cause others to feel intimidated, belittled, and inferior—or instead, will they somehow feel more hopeful, brighter, and themselves uplifted by our contact?

© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.

Keys to the Storehouse – Lift that Shield

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16.

“The shield which covered Joseph’s heart was the fear of God, which caused him to be faithful and just to his master, and true to God. … The grace of God he called to his aid, and then fought with the tempter. He nobly says, ‘How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God’ [Genesis 39:9]. He came off conqueror.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3, 145.

When temptation comes, is your conviction the same as was Joseph? “It is not necessary that anyone should yield to the temptations of Satan and thus violate his conscience and grieve the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 574.

Joseph lifted that shield against the devil’s temptations. He had a steady, reliable allegiance to God and was not ashamed as he called to God for help. Is that shield covering your heart? Are you able to say: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth … . For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16, 17.

“From faith to faith” means that each time the shield of faith is exercised it gains strength in deflecting temptations. “You need ever to cultivate spirituality, because it is not natural for you to be heavenly-minded.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 520.

Take that shield, lift it up against those fiery darts and quench them—put the fire out. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego exercised amazing faith—they held their shield high as they chose allegiance to God over the threat of a fiery death! (See Daniel 3.)

To obtain eternal life, we must “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” I Timothy 6:12.

Satan continually hurls his fiery darts of temptation in our direction, but they can only reach their target while we let our shields of faith down by not believing God is in control and is working everything out for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28, 29. Do you really believe that God is in control? Then, lift that shield of faith!


  • Our shield is the first line of defense. “Above all, taking the shield of faith.”
  • When we allow doubt to creep in, our shield is lowered leaving vulnerability for the devil to make his onslaught.
  • Peter, while walking on water, became distracted by the waves. When his shield of faith went down, he started to sink. (Matthew 14:24–32.)
  • Lift that shield of faith against the enemy!

Heavenly Father, Equip me with the spiritual armor needed for the same spiritual battle fought by my brothers, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Give me strength to lift my shield high to deflect all of the fiery darts of Satan. I want to be part of the Lord’s army, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it truly is Thy power unto salvation to everyone that believes. It is Thy righteousness revealed in us from faith to faith. Amen.

Weapons of War

For eight minutes there was a major attack called “shock and awe” on the city of Baghdad by the American military and her allies. This war strategy was specifically intended to completely destroy Saddam Hussein’s strongholds and any and every support base that he might have had, especially in the capital city. This attack was made possible because weeks before, previous assaults were made on significant points of defense which ultimately demolished them all, leaving Mr. Saddam Hussein and the people of Iraq totally vulnerable to the assaults of America and her allies. In order to seriously weaken or cripple an enemy in war, one of the first, if not the first thing that the attacking army seeks to destroy, is the enemy’s communication systems and units. By so doing the adversary knows that the enemy is significantly weakened and is therefore at his mercies; it’s only a matter of time and victory will be realized.

In like manner also as it is in the physical realm, so it is in the spiritual realm. Satan is waging war on the Christian daily and the first point of defense he goes after is the Christian’s line of communication known as prayer. We are told by God’s messenger that, “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.” The Great Controversy, 519.

The South African missionary, Andrew Murray, wrote concerning the value of prayer. He said, “When I meet with God in prayer, His presence is my strength for service.” In the book The Acts of the Apostles, 564, we are given a wonderful definition of prayer: “Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; and the promise is, ‘Ye shall receive’ (Matthew 21:22).”

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Christians at Ephesus states: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:10–18.

Interestingly, Paul uses the phrase “praying always” which is similar to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) which he admonished the Thessalonian believers to do. In the literal sense, these two phrases mean, praying in every season or on every occasion. The Apostle having to identify to the Ephesian Christians the war, the nature of the war, as well as the kind of enemy they are up against, goes on further to instruct them as to the weapons needed in this battle. He hastens to tell them of the need to put on the whole armour of God, which involves:

  • the girdle of truth,
  • the breastplate of righteousness,
  • sandals of the gospel of peace,
  • the shield of faith,
  • the helmet of salvation, and
  • the sword of the Spirit.

For Paul, prayer is not another weapon; rather, it is the spirit and the manner in which the whole armour is to be worn and the battle fought. The apostle is here urging it as a perpetual state of mind, a continuous attitude of communion with God. This was what Jesus contemplated as recorded by Doctor Luke, “And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Luke 18:1. And in his epistle to the Philippian church the apostle Paul encourages them, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6.

So what we are here made to understand is that “the armour of God” and prayer work together. The armour of God is calculated to defend against cunning attacks that would otherwise destroy the Christian warrior. On the other hand, prayer is the attitude that is maintained by the Christian as he wears the armour and which enables him to continue to wear it. Therefore, it is needful that every Christian keep in mind this fact: “The life of a true Christian is a life of constant prayer. He knows that the light and strength of one day is not sufficient for the trials and conflicts of the next. Satan is continually changing his temptations. Every day we shall be placed in different circumstances; and in the untried scenes that await us we shall be surrounded by fresh dangers, and constantly assailed by new and unexpected temptations. It is only through the strength and grace gained from heaven that we can hope to meet the temptations and perform the duties before us.” Gospel Workers, 257.

Again I need to remind us that Satan’s studied effort is to destroy this means of defense in the experience of the Christian, for he knows far more than we do of the power and value of prayer. This we are told by the Servant of the Lord: “The prayer of faith is the great strength of the Christian and will assuredly prevail against Satan. This is why he insinuates that we have no need of prayer. The name of Jesus, our Advocate, he detests; and when we earnestly come to Him for help, Satan’s host is alarmed. It serves his purpose well if we neglect the exercise of prayer, for then his lying wonders are more readily received. That which he failed to accomplish in tempting Christ he accomplishes by setting his deceitful temptations before man.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 296.

This is how Jesus lived a sinless life; this is how He defeated the Devil every step of the way while He sojourned here on earth. The gospel writer Mark tells us concerning Christ’s prayer life, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35.

Jesus started each day by communicating with His Father because He knew that prayer is the life of the soul and without it He would surely be defeated by the enemy-Satan. Christ, our great example, also knew that the Devil dreads prayer for he has no power over the one who maintains a consistent prayer life. We are reminded that, “There is a mighty power in prayer. Our great adversary is constantly seeking to keep the troubled soul away from God. An appeal to heaven by the humblest saint is more to be dreaded by Satan than the decrees of cabinets or the mandates of kings.” The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881.

We are also told that, “Prayer unites us with one another and with God. Prayer brings Jesus to our side, and gives to the fainting, perplexed soul new strength to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 250.

My question to you is, when was the last time you truly prayed? When was the last time you gained victory over Satan? How important is prayer to you? Are you being constantly defeated by the Devil? Please remember this: “Satan leads many to believe that prayer to God is useless and but a form. He well knows how needful are meditation and prayer to keep Christ’s followers aroused to resist his cunning and deception. By his devices he would divert the mind from these important exercises, that the soul may not lean for help upon the Mighty One and obtain strength from Him to resist his attacks.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 295.

So what is our only safety? “Praying always”; “Pray without ceasing”; “… enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6.

In the book Prophets and Kings, 82, we are told, “When Solomon should have been in character as a sturdy oak, he fell from his steadfastness under the power of temptation. When his strength should have been the firmest, he was found to be the weakest.

“From such examples we should learn that in watchfulness and prayer is the only safety for both young and old. Security does not lie in exalted position and great privileges. One may for many years have enjoyed a genuine Christian experience, but he is still exposed to Satan’s attacks. In the battle with inward sin and outward temptation, even the wise and powerful Solomon was vanquished. His failure teaches us that, whatever a man’s intellectual qualities may be, and however faithfully he may have served God in the past, he can never with safety trust in his own wisdom and integrity.”

One of the great values of prayer is to help us to identify and know for certain who really is our enemy, whom are we fighting against! For sure it is not a human being for Paul tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Ephesians 6:12. Therefore the enemy we are fighting against is not any of our brethren or sisters, thus we should be mindful as to how we treat each other. In counseling some leaders and members about the great need to watch and pray, Ellen White made the following remarks: “Men undertake the job of tinkering up the defective character of others, and only succeed in making the defects much worse. They would better leave God to do His own work, for He does not regard them as capable of reshaping character.

“What they need is to be imbued with the spirit of Christ. … The less of the meekness and lowliness of Christ the human agent has in his spirit and character, the more he sees perfection in his own methods and imperfection in the methods of others. Our only safety is to watch unto prayer, and to counsel together.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 191.

The Christian’s enemy is the devil, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and we can only overcome him as we watch unto prayer and pray without ceasing!

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:7, 8.

Remember dearly beloved, “Secret prayer is the strength of the Christian. He cannot live and flourish in the Lord without constant watchfulness and earnest prayer.” In Heavenly Places, 218. Amen!!!

Pastor Ivan Plummer ministers through the Emmanuel Seventh Day Church Ministries in Bronx, New York. He may be contacted by telephone at: 718-882-3900.

Children’s Story – Amazing Rescue

If the one who experienced this almost unbelievable battlefield bewilderment was not known for his extreme truthfulness and reliability, this would be too much to believe.

The Somme River rises above St. Quentin, near the Belgian border in northern France, and flows into the English Channel. In what was once a rich farming area near the river, the astounding scene took place.

Before the war, this man was an irreligious man. He had attended some evangelistic meetings once but did not become a Christian. After entering the war he was shipped to France. As he was crossing an open field, shrapnel struck him down. His fellow soldiers left him as they deemed him dead.

“I could hear the battle,” he related, “and the humming of bullets was all about me. I saw that I was bleeding and hoped that a corpsman would find me. But night came without one person coming near by the bit of a hollow where I fell.

“The next morning I was very weak from the loss of blood and from hunger. I had a little food in my knapsack but was unable to turn over or to unbuckle my straps to get it. I realized that I was lying in my own blood. I was helpless and giving myself up to die.

“Five days later, the medical corpsmen were out in the field searching for any one who could possibly still have life in him. I saw them come closer and closer. I tried to call to them, but they were too far away to hear my weak voice.

“Closer and closer they came. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, one of them stopped, cupped his hand to his ear, and heard my plea for help. After administering some first aid, he called to a companion to get a stretcher. When the two of them started to take me off, I asked them to look around and see if they could see what had saved my life. Puzzled and thinking I was delirious, they started on with their task.

“Wait,” I cried, “at least look at the evidence of what has happened.” After seeing those ten definite objects of proof that I had miraculously been preserved from starvation, we made our way to the mobile army surgical hospital.

“In the portable hospital tent, I had time to reflect back on the astounding way in which that God I had rejected in those evangelistic meetings had not rejected me. I gave my heart to Him and vowed to go back home, look up the people who held those meetings, and allow them to help me become a real bonafide Christian.

“My testimony of God’s stunning battlefield protection was confirmed by the two medics so that no one would miss out on the power of it all through doubt or disbelief.

“You see, when I could not turn over or unbuckle my strap with my one free arm so that I could eat the meager provisions of my K-rations, the Lord interceded.

“Lying there the morning after my being wounded, I first thought I was having an hallucination, because standing near the very tip of the five fingers of my one free hand was a real, live hen!

“What’s more, the hen laid an egg right then and there!

“I broke the egg, cupping most of its contents in one half of the shell, and swallowed it. It was not much, but it was enough to keep me alive until the next day.

“What’s even more wonderful is the fact that this same hen that I saw walk slowly away after laying that first egg came back to almost the very same spot the next day to lay another egg.

“The hen came from a nearly shelled farm house, an orderly told me later. But it came five days in a row. And the corpsmen saw the ten halves of the five eggs broken by my body.

“From this day forward I will never be able to eat chicken. The chicken means life to me, and I can’t ever take one’s life again.”

W.A. Spicer and Helen Spicer Menkel, The Hand That Still Intervenes, Concerned Publications, Inc., Clermont, Florida, 1982, 33–35.