The Bible tells us that in the last days, messages will be proclaimed in our churches, our homes and in great assemblies, but they will not all be from God. In Revelation 16:13 we are told, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” The unclean spirits coming out of the mouth represent a message or a doctrine, and here we see they are coming out of the three powers represented as the dragon, the beast and the false prophet.
These three unclean spirits giving messages are competing with the three angels’ messages recorded in Revelation 14:6–12. You need to know the spirit behind these messages and if they are being presented in your churches. Do you believe in the everlasting gospel or another gospel? Are you learning of Jesus the Creator of the world or another Jesus?
In Revelation 14:6 it says, “And I [John] saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” A second angel and then a third angel followed. This means that there are three parts to the message that is to go to the whole world.
The opposing message in Revelation 16:13 describes the three unclean spirits that do not come from heaven, but out of the beast, the false prophet and the dragon. Verse 14 says, “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” These spirits are not coming to meet the Lord in peace but to fight against Him. They are gathering the whole world together to fight against God when He comes. The messages given by the three angels are calling people out of the world to prepare them for the day that they might meet Him in peace.
Two messages are given: one calls the saints who receive the spirit of true worship of God out of the world and to receive the everlasting gospel, while the other will gather and bind the world in bundles ready to be burned and destroyed at the coming of Jesus. Both groups receive a spirit. However, the majority receive the spirit that is breathed out of the mouth of the beast power, breathed out of the mouth of the false prophet, and breathed out of the mouth of the dragon.
We should all be able to identify these three powers. They represent religious powers on the earth just as the three angels represent God’s truth and His messengers. Revelation 12:9 says, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” The dragon power represents Satan. Revelation 12:9. Revelation 13:2 says, “The beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” It is the dragon, Satan, that controls all of the heathen religions as well as the papacy.
Revelation 13:4 says, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” The Papacy is here identified as a war-like religious power that ruled in a temporal power for 42 months or in prophetic time, 1260 years. The papacy breathes out a message that to a great degree is capturing another portion of the world.
The third power is called the false prophet. It is one of the three unclean powers with the beast—the papacy and the dragon—the heathen religions of the world, which are identified in Revelation 19:20. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him [the papacy], with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
This false prophet is specifically identified in Revelation 19:20 as that power, religious entity, or movement that will do miracles in the face of the papacy and for the papacy. These miracles will cause people to believe them; they will worship this image and ultimately the beast and receive his mark.
Revelation 13 speaks of two beasts. The second is the two-horned beast that has lamb-like horns and “spake as a dragon” (verse 11). Out of the bosom of the heart the mouth speaketh. This beast has a dragon heart. The principles of Satan that were received in the heart caused it to give power to the papacy just as the dragon himself gave power to the papacy in Revelation 13:4. The second beast is America.
Revelation 13:13–17: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
America is going to be the political power that causes this worship, this mark, and this image to receive worship and that turns back its power straight to the papacy. This action will happen as a political movement provoked by religious groups. Religion is a great factor in shaping policy and we see the religious right resurging and coming back strong. The evangelical world is strengthening by encouraging a resurgence of the ten moral principles of America or getting back to America’s Christian roots or by legislating morality—which also means the Sunday law and all of the various things that we as Seventh-day Adventists have been talking about for many years.
In Revelation 16, unclean spirits are coming out of the mouth of the papacy. The Marian movement has, for 30 years, been promoting the apparitions of Mary worldwide. The papacy has been promoting these prophecies of Mary and the esoteric exercises that she has been supposedly giving to the Catholics to preach, to teach, and to believe, causing the whole area of the world stamped with Catholicism to be bound together for the end. The whole heathen world claims to be waiting for the new age Christ to come. All of these exercises and religious teachings are being bundled together and given by séances. These teachings from the dragon power are binding together nations, kings, and leaders in preparation for the final fight against God.
Through the religious right in America, or apostate Protestantism, unclean spirits are being promoted and are affecting the people. The charismatic gift of the “Holy Spirit” supposedly descends upon these people, causing them to have aesthetic utterances and uncontrollable movements. Attached to this bedlam are all kinds of loud music and drums. This practice is prominent throughout the world where the three angels’ messages are also trying to do a work.
The influence of these practices permeates even our own churches with its loud music and entertaining type services. Would we notice if tongue speaking came in among us? What about the teachings that the Bible calls “the wine of Babylon” that are so popular in Catholicism as well as most other Christian churches? Sunday is becoming more prominent with even Sabbath-keeping churches conducting Easter sunrise services. Maybe the church raised up to spread the final warning to the world has come under the tainted breath of the dragon! Surely, these spiritualistic teachings do not come from the three angels’ messages. The Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible teach that before Jesus comes, all the world will be bound into these three groups and that the same teachings that cause the whole world to fight against God will come in among us.
“Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much. ‘If thou hadst known,’ said Christ, ‘even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.’ ” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 409.
There was a time when ministers boldly preached the unadulterated three angels’ messages. Today there are few preaching these messages, uncompromised, and giving a certain sound in our churches and with a trumpet call to the entire world.
The kings of the whole world will be gathered together because of a popular three-spirit message instead of the three angels’ messages. If that three-spirit message were allowed to come in among us, the same thing would be seen among us. We will see yoga classes and martial arts classes in Adventism. We already see Easter sunrise services among us. We already see ecumenical meetings among us. We already see our communion services set up like the mass among us. We already see drums and music among us. We already see tongue speaking among us.
The true message causes the development of character. If we had the three angels’ messages, we would have a specific work, a specific organization, a specific way of working and a specific result. When we have the three spirits, we are not going in the way of preparation for God’s coming but in rebellion against Him and are preparing to fight against Him.
These unclean spirits are going to the entire world to teach error and to seduce them into another type of movement. The Bible says in I Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” Many have been seduced from the faith and even departed from it because they have given heed and become attracted to the seducing spirits. Many who once had faith have heeded another message and accepted doctrines of devils. It is a dangerous thing to dabble with evil. If you listen to them, you shall depart from the faith. Departing from the faith does not mean departing from the church. Some “will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 409.
Eve initially had an experience with God and even though she was in a perfect place—the Garden of Eden—she was deceived and seduced by an evil spirit that gave her a doctrine of the devil. Paul warns in II Corinthians 11:3, 4, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [seduced] Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Could it be possible that some will sit in a Seventh-day Adventist church, will have given baptismal vows under faithful ministers, will have read the Spirit of Prophecy and continually done the things that God shows them that are part of being prepared for the end time, and still be deceived? They are health reformers, they dress right. They believe in the right type of music and they are educated correctly and do everything that God has asked them to do. They believe in His message. But, Paul says, “I fear … ye might well bear with him.” It is a scary thought that you can sit and listen to a false gospel from Sabbath to Sabbath and not be aware of who it is that breathes on you.
Tolerating the doctrines of devils will cause you to depart from the faith. God says that Eve was not safe to even go near the tree and to listen to that sophistry. She was seduced because she listened to the serpent and believed his lie. The three angels and the three unclean spirits are all contending for the minds and hearts of everyone in the world. A danger that exists today among church members is that although they know of the warning that there would be some in the church with “the hellish torch of Satan,” but they believe God will deal with them and push them out of the church. They just have to hold on until God purifies the church. In the meantime they are being seduced by messages of another Jesus, a new-age Jesus, a Roman Jesus, even an evangelical Jesus that Jesus does not know anything about. In many pulpits doctrines are being promoted that do not bear the principles of God’s three angels’ messages.
“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error.” Selected Messages, vol. 1, 205.
Here are some areas of our doctrine that have been considered fanatical or even in error: health reform; the heavenly sanctuary and significance of it; keeping the Sabbath holy; true principles of worship and godly worship and godly music; keeping the commandments; preaching on prophecy, even Revelation 13; the mark of the beast; creation as opposed to evolution.
“A new organization would be established.” Ibid. This has happened decades ago and these things are tolerated and even condoned under church membership, under the church manual. “Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, [in many cities church members have no problem eating out at restaurants on the Sabbath] as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement.” Ibid.
Notice the word new movement. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is no longer the same as it was for many who were baptized many years ago and many long-time Adventists today feel out of place in many churches. The mood has changed, as has the music, the acting, the dress and the food.
“The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” Ibid.
“The spiritualistic theories concerning God make His grace of no effect. If God is an essence pervading all nature, then He dwells in all men; and in order to attain holiness, man has only to develop the power within him.” The Ministry of Healing, 429, 430
Depending upon the power within you, self-esteem is a philosophy taught by psychology. Psychologists say you need to develop the power within, bring out the good and repress the bad. However, the Bible declares that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
It goes on to say: “These theories, followed to their logical conclusion, sweep away the whole Christian economy. They do away with the necessity for the atonement and make man his own savior. These theories regarding God make His word of no effect, and those who accept them are in great danger of being led finally to look upon the whole Bible as a fiction. They may regard virtue as better than vice; but, having shut out God from His rightful position of sovereignty, they place their dependence upon human power, which, without God, is worthless.” Guard the avenues to your soul. We are bombarded today with television, radio, the Internet. Select carefully the messages that go into your mind so that your light does not fade into darkness and you end up believing darkness to be light because you have not learned to love the truth and end up believing a lie.
God does not want us to come to a point when Jesus has to say to us, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17. It is past time for a reformation in each life. Be determined to do God’s will. There is a world to be warned that they are keeping the spurious Sabbath. God calls His faithful ones to stand up for the truth. Get involved and do a work for your family and for your community. Jesus is coming very soon and many people are falling for the counterfeit. Soon all cases will be decided. Will you be bound in apostate Protestantism or will you be gathered together according to Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”?
John R. Cofer is currently engaged in establishing training schools under the name, The Schools of the Prophets for the youth. He and his wife, Maria, have established a digital media company to create and promote video media teaching the unique message of Adventism using social media such as Facebook and Youtube.