Introduction: Do you sometimes have a difficult time measuring
danger? When the Internet first began, I made sure that all sorts of
contact information for me was available because I thought the
Internet was the future of information sharing. Now, I realize that I
should be careful about having too much information on the Internet
because criminals can use it against me. Think about Facebook. It is
a tremendous tool to increase intimacy with your friends from the
past. They can “join” your life even if they are thousands of miles
away. Facebook does not give us this great gift for free. Instead,
it sells information about us to people who are not our friends. Have
you seen this before? Something that seems so friendly and benign has
an ulterior motive? Our lesson is about that this week. Let’s plunge
in to our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Satan

    1. Read Revelation 12:7-9. Is Satan real?

      1. What, according to these verses, is his work? (To
        lead “the whole world astray.”)

    2. Read Revelation 20:1-3. What has happened to Satan here?
      (God’s angel stops Satan from his work of deception.)

      1. What do these verses in Revelation 12 and 20 tell us
        about Satan and his work? (Satan is real, his work is
        to deceive us, and that work is ongoing.)

    3. Read Genesis 3:1-3. Is this really a snake that is talking
      to Eve? (Did you notice that both Revelation 12:9 and
      Revelation 20:2 refer to Satan as “that ancient serpent.”
      Satan is assuming the appearance of a beautiful snake to
      try to lead Eve into sin.)

      1. Why would Satan take this approach? Why not come to
        Eve and say, “I’m the opposition party. God has not
        trusted you with the truth or let you be like Him
        knowing good and evil. Why don’t you join my side,
        the side of knowledge, truth and justice?” (Satan’s
        failure to take this approach shows us that part of
        Satan’s deception is masking both his identity and
        the nature of his work.)

    4. Read 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. What are we told here about
      Satan’s masking activities? (He wants us to believe he is
      an “angel of light.”)

      1. What point does this establish about “end time”
        deceptions? (Satan started his deceptive work here by
        masking his identity. We should expect that he will

      2. Do you know people who do not believe that Satan

  2. Spirit Guides

    1. A few days ago, I listed to a prominent Christian medical
      doctor. He had a patient who died. After the patient had
      been dead for 40 minutes, the Holy Spirit inspired the
      doctor to try to raise him to life. He prayed and shocked
      the dead person, who revived and two days later regained
      consciousness. The patient reported that he had gone to
      hell, and that experience caused him to convert to
      Christianity. What should we think about this story? I do
      not doubt the honesty of this doctor.

    2. Read Ecclesiastes 9:5-6. Does this settle the matter in
      your mind? That the “dead know nothing?”

    3. Let’s explore Solomon’s total message. Read Ecclesiastes
      9:1-2. Is this consistent with the rest of the Bible –
      that the righteous and the wicked share a “common

    4. Read Ecclesiastes 9:3-4. Does the Bible in other places
      teach that the dead have no hope? That a “live dog” is
      better off than a righteous person who has died?

    5. Read Ecclesiastes 9:7-9. Does the Bible in other places
      teach us that our lives are meaningless – and being
      meaningless is God’s intention for us? (If you are a long
      time reader of these lessons, you know that I think no
      serious Bible student would cite this chapter for proof of
      the state of the dead. Solomon is depressed, and the
      Bible records his depression to give hope to those who
      also suffer from this disease. If we believed Solomon
      intended this as truth about life and death, we would
      conclude that our life here is meaningless, we should just
      have a good time now because whether we are good or bad
      our reward is the same. None of this is otherwise taught
      in the Bible.)

    6. Read Genesis 3:2-5. What fundamental lie does Satan tell
      Eve? (He denies that the penalty for sin is death. God, on
      the other hand, tells Eve that death is the result of sin.
      Unlike Solomon’s depressed statements, this is a theme of
      the Bible: death follows sin. If sinners live forever as
      spirits or forever burn in hell, then Satan was right and
      God was wrong.)

    7. Read Ezekiel 18:19-23. What does this say happens to a
      “soul” who sins? What does this say is the result of right
      living? (This contradicts Solomon regarding whether our
      decisions make a difference when it comes to our eternal
      destiny. It also says that souls who sin die, they do not
      live forever.)

    8. Read 1 Timothy 6:12-16. Who, alone, is immortal? (God!
      Satan, fallen angels and the souls of sinners are destined
      for death, not immortality. We are offered “eternal life”
      when we confess that Jesus is Lord.)

    9. Read 1 John 5:10-12. What do the righteous have that those
      who refuse to accept Jesus are denied? (Life. This is the
      “testimony God has given about His Son.” This is not a
      statement arising out of depression. Those who accept
      Jesus have life. Those who do not are denied life. If you
      are a serious Bible student you should stop citing
      Ecclesiastes 9 and cite this text instead.)

    10. Let’s get back to our Christian doctor. How do we explain
      his report? Is it possible that he raised this fellow from
      the dead? (Yes, the Bible provides several examples of
      this in both the Old and New Testaments. See, 1 Kings
      17:19-22; 2 Kings 4:32-35; Acts 9:40-41; Acts 20:9-12.)

      1. Is it possible that the dead man went to hell? (The
        texts we read reveal that death is the end for the
        wicked death. They do not have a continued life as a
        spirit or otherwise. Consider this from a lawyer’s
        point of view. Lawyers judge the reliability of
        testimony based on the ability of the witness to
        perceive what happened. The doctor is only relating
        what he was told by a fellow who was in a coma for
        two days and whose brain was deprived of oxygen. That
        is not reliable testimony. It certainly should not
        cause us to disbelieve the plain teachings of the

  3. Evolution

    1. In recent lessons we have studied the deception that the
      theory of evolution poses to God’s creation account. How
      do we explain scientific evidence that both the heavens
      and earth are very old?

    2. Read Genesis 1:1 Do the heavens and earth have a
      beginning? (Yes.)

    3. Read Genesis 1:2-3. Does this description say that the
      earth was created during the creation week? (Just the
      opposite. It suggests that the earth pre-existed the
      creation week. It was already “formless and empty,” had a
      “surface of the deep” and involved darkness and water.)

    4. Read 2 Peter 3:5. What does this suggest about timing?
      (Peter says that God spoke the heavens into existence.
      However, the way this is written seems to say that the
      earth was formed after the heavens.)

    5. Read Genesis 1:4-5 and Genesis 1:14-19. When did God
      create “signs to mark seasons and days and years?” (He did
      it on the fourth day of creation.)

      1. What does that tell us about time and the first three
        days of creation? (It allows for the possibility that
        the first three “days” were not measured the same way
        they were after the fourth day of creation.)

    6. Read 2 Peter 3:8. What does this say about God’s timing?
      (A “day” for God is longer than our traditional day.)

    7. Read Genesis 2:4 in the King James Version of the Bible?
      How does it use the term “day?” (It reflects that the
      Hebrew word (yom) for day is used here. The NIV translates
      “yom” as “when.” What this shows is that even the creation
      account uses “yom” (day) to mean something other than a 24
      hour period.)

    8. If it were true that at least some of the “days” of
      creation were not 24 hour periods, would that undermine
      the importance of the Sabbath? (No! Even the Sabbath is
      used in a context other than 24 hour days. See Leviticus
      25:2-4. God’s point is to memorialize His creation on our
      seventh day. This is independent of how many hours were in
      each creation day. While I am still studying this issue,
      my concern is creating unnecessary conflicts between the
      Bible and science. We must not undermine the Bible and
      God’s claim as our Creator based on things we do not

    9. Friend, will you keep your eyes open against deception?
      Will you measure everything you understand by the Word of
      God? Why not, right now, make that an essential part of
      your life?

  4. Next week: America and Babylon.