In the Steps to Life staff worship each workday morning, we have recently been reading the many testimonies of Ellen White, which were sent as letters to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and are published in volume 8 of Testimonies for the Church.
Dr. Kellogg was the leader who attempted to introduce pantheism into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He might have been successful if there had not been a living prophet at that time. Few people in the church today realize how many leaders in Adventism accepted all or parts of this theory. It was in regard to these developments that Ellen White wrote, “In the book Living Temple [authored by Dr. Kellogg] there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 200.
“Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature.” Ibid., 197. We are warned, “many will depart from the faith.” Will you be one of them, or will you be among those who will be able to say with the apostle Paul, “I have kept the faith,” 11 Timothy 4:7? Most of those who depart from the faith do not know it.
Ellen White described it as follows: “The developments of these last days will soon become decided. When these spiritualistic deceptions are revealed to be what they really are,—the secret workings of evil spirits,—those who have acted a part in them will become as men who have lost their minds. . . .
“The world is to be flooded with specious fallacies. One human mind, accepting these fallacies, will work upon other human minds, who have been turning the precious evidence of God’s truth into a lie. These men will be deceived by fallen angels, when they should have stood as faithful guardians, watching for souls, as they that must give an account. They have laid down the weapons of their warfare, and have given heed to seducing spirits. They make of no effect the counsel of God and set aside His warnings and reproofs, and are positively on Satan’s side. . . .
“A marvelous work shall take place. Ministers, lawyers, doctors, who have permitted these falsehoods to overmaster their spirit of discernment, will be themselves deceivers, united with the deceived. A spiritual drunkenness will take possession of them. . . .
“Some who have been deceived by men in responsible places will repent, and be converted. And in all our dealings with them, we must remember that none of those who are in the depth of Satan’s snares know that they are there. . . .
“Those who are bound in Satan’s coils are the most confident and the most boastful. They will protest at the thought that they are ensnared, yet it is the truth.” Battle Creek Letters, 124–128. [Emphasis added.]
There is only one way for us to avoid being snared in these last days. We must humble ourselves on our knees before God, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we study the Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture. “Brethren, cling to your Bible, as it reads, and stop your criticisms in regard to its validity, and obey the Word, and not one of you will be lost.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 18.
How does the Bible read? (Have you checked carefully in your concordances the meaning of each Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic word before accepting new teachings?) What does it say? What is the weight of evidence? Are there any texts of Scripture that say something different than does a new teaching? If there are, it is time to be more than just cautious, because truth never contradicts itself even in a single instance. Have you counseled with Christians of experience before accepting new teachings? If not, how do you know that you will not be deceived as have millions of others?