“The tempter has no power to control the will or to force the soul to sin. He may distress, but he cannot contaminate. He can cause agony, but not defilement. The fact that Christ has conquered should inspire His followers with courage to fight manfully the battle against sin and Satan.”
Lessons I’ve Learned
1. Some of the lessons in this chapter that impressed me are:
a. Even as Christians, we do not always understand or we greatly under-estimate, the methods, the power, and the commitment that Satan has to deceive us and allure us from our allegiance to Christ.
b. Satan’s plan is to fill the earth with woe and desolation, and then he points to this evil as the result of God’s work.
c. Good qualities in a person – such as talent, education, wisdom, and culture — are admired and honored. However, these qualities must be consecrated to God or they become a power for evil. Satan can do a powerful work through a person who is admired by others but is not committed to Christ.
d. Conformity to worldly customs converts the church to the world; it never converts the world to Christ.
e. Although Satan uses all his forces and throws his whole power into this critical combat, he usually meets a limited amount of resistance. The reason the soldiers of Christ are so indifferent is:
- They have so little real connection with Christ
- Sin is not to them repulsive and abhorrent, as it was to their Master
- They do not meet it as did Christ, with decisive & determined resistance.
- They do not realize the exceeding evil and malignity of sin
- They are blinded both to the character and the power of the prince of darkness.
This subject is introduced very early in the Scriptures. After Adam and Eve had sinned, God told Satan, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heal” Genesis 3:15. This was not only a sentence pronounced upon Satan, but also a prophecy and promise regarding Jesus. It was at that time Satan knew his efforts to deprave human nature would be interrupted and that, by some means, man was to be enabled to resist his power.
The Spirit exhibited in the Life of Jesus here on earth is a sharp contrast to the Spirit of Satan. That difference has and will continue to cause the followers of Christ to encounter hatred and even persecution by Satan’s agents and this will continue until the end of time.
1. Satan is seeking continually to overcome the people of God by breaking down the barriers that separate them from the world. What are some of the means he uses to do this?
2. Why are people so inclined to blame the problems of this world on God — even to the extent of calling all natural disasters an “ACT OF GOD”?
3. How can I make sure that I stay on Christ’s side in the Great Controversy that is playing out in our world?
Family Worship Activity
Talk about Satan and read Bible texts that describe what he is like and how we can stand against him.
- Is he real?
- What does he look like? (A red devil with a pitchfork??)
- What other names are used for Satan in the Bible?
- From where did he come?
- What is his character?
- How does he work?
- How can we stand up against him?
- What will happen to Satan eventually?
Some suggested texts (but you can find others): Ezekiel 28: 12-17, Revelation 12: 7 -12, Genesis 3:1, Matthew 13:19, Isaiah 14:12-14, Luke 10:18, 1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 6: 10-18, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 20:10.
Hi, I’m Jody Beck. I feel very blessed to have been raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church by a father who was a member of the church; although my mother was of the Catholic faith. It is unusual to see a father alone, bringing four little children to Sabbath School and Church each week, but that is what mine did. I am happy to say, however, that my mother joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church later in life after all we children were grown. I feel that this had much to do with a group of ladies in the Longview, Texas church (where my Dad was teaching) that were prayer warriors on her behalf. I also attended Seventh-day Adventist Schools from 4th grade through 12th grade, and I am married to my high-school sweetheart, Don. We have 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. We are happy to have been members of the Richardson Seventh-day Adventist Church for 35 years.