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April 2005 Table of Contents

 
    May 29, 2005 - June 4, 2005
 
 

The Impending Conflict, Part 11

 

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.

 

Suggested Reading:  Testimonies, vol. 5, 98–105, 711–718.

 

1    In the final conflict, how will Satan appear?  What kind of work will he and his spirits do?  11 Corinthians 11:13, 14; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2; Mark 13:5, 22, 23.

note:  “As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare.  Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things.  He will appear in the character of an angel of light.  Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed.  And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.”  The Great Controversy, 588.

 

2    List three groups that Satan brings under his deceptions.  Revelation 16:13, 14.

note:  “The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.”  The Great Controversy, 588.

 

3    What objective does this coalition hope to achieve?  Revelation 16:14, 16; 1 Thessalonians 5:3.  See Old Testament type in Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:10.

note:  “Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism.  Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded.  Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.”  The Great Controversy, 588, 589.

 

exercise:  See if you can match the four groups identified in the two references above with those described in Revelation 16:13, 14.

 

4    Who is the instigator of the many wars that are occurring around the world today?  For the teaching of Jesus, see John 8:44.  See also Revelation 12:9.  For Old Testament type, see Isaiah 14:4–6, 12, 16, 17.

note:  “Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer.  His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. . . .  Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood.  It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.”  The Great Controversy, 589.

 

5    Who works through the elements to cause as much destruction as possible?  For Old Testament example, see Job 1:9–19; 2:6, 7.

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. . . .  Satan has control of all whom God does not especially guard.  He will favor 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.

“While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation.  Even now he is at work.  In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hail-storms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power.  He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow.  He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence.  These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous.  Destruction will be upon both man and beast.  ‘The earth mourneth and fadeth away,’ ‘the haughty people . . . do languish.  The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.’  Isaiah 24:4, 5.”  The Great Controversy, 589, 590.

 

6    Who does the great deceiver persuade the people of the world to perceive as the cause of all the wars, disease, and natural disasters that are occurring in the world?  For Old Testament type, see 1 Kings 18:17, 18.

note:  “And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils.  The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors.  It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity.  Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: ‘And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.’  1 Kings 18:17, 18.  As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah. . . .

“Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God.  They will lament the great wickedness in the world, and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday.  Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony.”  The Great Controversy, 590, 591.

 

7    What has been Satan’s policy since the war in heaven began?  Matthew 24:24.

note:  “While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes in the order and laws of heaven were necessary for the stability of the divine government.  Thus while working to excite opposition to the law of God and to instill his own discontent into the minds of the angels under him, he was ostensibly seeking to remove dissatisfaction and to reconcile disaffected angels to the order of heaven.  While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he with consummate craft caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty and to preserve harmony and peace.”  Patriarchs and Prophets, 38.

“Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in Heaven.  He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow.  And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels.”  The Great Controversy, 591.

 

8    How has the Roman church been carrying out this same policy all through its history?  Daniel 7:20, 21, 25; 8:23–25; 11:36–39.

note:  “The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church.  It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law.  Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evil-doers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals.”  The Great Controversy, 591.

 

Comment:  This work of the papacy was described by the prophet Daniel in Daniel 7:25.

 

9    In the final conflict, upon which we are now entering, how will Satan try to destroy God’s people?  1 Peter 2:12; 3:16; Revelation 12:10.

note:  “So it will be now.  While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God’s law, he will cause them to be accused as law-breakers, as men who are dishonoring God and bringing judgments upon the world.”  The Great Controversy, 591.

 

10  Describe the difference between the way the God of heaven works with people and the way Satan works.  Exodus 34:6, 7; 1 John 4:16; John 14:15, 23; 7:37; Matthew 11:28–30; Revelation 13:15, 16.

note:  “God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort—to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce—is compulsion by cruelty.  Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself.  To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.”  The Great Controversy, 591.

 

11  From the above reference and the one below, whom does it say that Satan works through to accomplish his objectives?  For New Testament type, see John 19:1–16.

note:  “The church has received warning after warning.  The duties and dangers of God’s people have been plainly revealed. . . .  No man can tell how far he may go in sin when once he yields himself to the power of the great deceiver.  Satan entered into Judas Iscariot and induced him to betray his Lord.  Satan led Ananias and Sapphira to lie to the Holy Ghost.  Those who are not wholly consecrated to God may be led to do the work of Satan, while yet they flatter themselves that they are in the service of Christ.”  Testimonies, vol. 5, 103.

 

12  How will the popular ministry respond to those who honor the Bible Sabbath in the controversy over the law of God?  For Old Testament type, see Jeremiah 26:7–11.

note:  “Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth.  Their conscientious scruples will be pronounced obstinacy, stubbornness, and contempt of authority.  They will be accused of disaffection toward the government.  Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God.  In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned.  A false coloring will be given to their words; the worst construction will be put upon their motives.”  The Great Controversy, 592.

 

13  How will the Protestant churches respond to those who honor the law of God in place of their Sunday laws?  For New Testament type, see Acts 18:5–7, 12–16.

note:  “As the Protestant churches reject the clear, Scriptural arguments in defense of God’s law, they will long to silence those whose faith they cannot overthrow by the Bible.  Though they blind their own eyes to the fact, they are now adopting a course which will lead to the persecution of those who conscientiously refuse to do what the rest of the Christian world are doing, and acknowledge the claims of the papal Sabbath.”  The Great Controversy, 592.

 

14  What course will the secular rulers and legislators follow in this controversy over the law of God?  For New Testament type, see Acts 16:16–24.

note:  “The dignitaries of church and State will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday.  The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments.  Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance.  Liberty of conscience, which has cost so great a sacrifice, will no longer be respected.  In the soon-coming conflict we shall see exemplified the prophet’s words:  ‘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.”  The Great Controversy, 592.

   
   

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