Spiritualism Coming In Among our People
When Christians are deceived by Satan, they think that something wonderful has happened. That is why it is so deceptive. In 1903, Ellen White said that in her days a strain of spiritualism was coming in among the people. (See Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, 173.) That was the time of the Kellogg crisis, the pantheism crisis, the alpha of deadly heresies, which, Ellen White said, would go on and later the omega would be manifested.
She said there is a strain of spiritualism coming in among our people. This is the first part, the first phase of the attack. Ellen White said that this spiritualism would “undermine the faith of those who give place to it, leading them to give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (Ibid.)
Now, I wonder, these people who are giving heed to these seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, what are they thinking or doing? What is going on in their minds?
I am so thankful that the Spirit of Prophecy opens up the secrets of the arch deceiver, so we can understand what is happening. Do you know what it means to be under the seducing spirits and doctrines of devils? Do you know what happens when you are under that influence?
Where Are Your Affections?
I was very interested in the way Ellen White described it. She said it produces a change in the state of your affections. People who have a change in the state of their affections have changed leadership.
If you told them that they were under the influence of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, they would say, “Why, no! No! I am an Historic Adventist. I believe everything that you believe.”
What has happened to your affections? Have they changed? Are your affections pure and holy in the sight of God, so you would not have a guilty conscience, if Jesus should come today?
Let us see what the prophet wrote: “I have seen the arch-deceiver tempting several of our ministers, teachers, and medical workers, presenting fanciful theories to them in a most subtle and charming manner, to wean their affections from those whom they should love and cherish.” Ibid.
Now who are the people that you should love and cherish? If you are married, have you taken vows to love and cherish anybody? Yes, you have. You have made a solemn covenant in the presence of witnesses and in the presence of God. It is the devil’s business to wean your affections, to get you to place your affections on somebody else.
Do you know how deceptive this gets? Here is what happens. “He [that is the devil] shows them charming pictures of women whom they have found congenial, suggesting that in the future life they will be united to the one who is so congenial and whom they will ever love throughout the ages of eternity.” Ibid.
The people to whom this counsel was written did not leave their wives or their husbands, but there had been some change in their affections. It is still a violation of the marriage vow, and the person that has a change in his affections like that is on a direct road to hell. They are not converted. They do not belong to Jesus Christ at all. She says, “My message to our teachers is, if you hold such views you need to be taught the first principles of truth. You need to stand where you know that you are not departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. When you break the spell that is upon you, and become teachable, you will escape Satan’s snare.…To all who are thus tempted I would say, I want to see you standing free before God. I want to see you sound in the faith, holding the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. Leave every false issue alone.” Ibid.
Oh, friends, the devil wants to wean your affections away from those you should love and cherish and get them on somebody else. If he can do that, he already has you. He does not need to wait for a Sunday law for you. He already has you, right now.
Uniting with Babylon
Then there is another design; another way he attacks to deceive God’s people. People do not want to have to stand for something that is unpopular, and they do not want to be alone. They want to be united with others so much that they want to fraternize with Babylon. People do not like to call it Babylon anymore. Adventists have forgotten who Babylon is, and so they go and associate with Babylon.
Oh, friend, it is under cover now, so I cannot say very much about it, but there is plenty of evidence that God’s professed people, secretly, are in the process of uniting with the Papacy. I can tell you that it is going to happen. I am not saying that it has been completed now, but I know that it is going to happen, because prophecy predicts that it will happen. We know that it will happen.
“Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’” Luke 19:41, 42.
People do not really know what is best for their peace. If you want to be at peace with God, you see to it that you are standing in favor of, and taking a bold and uncompromising stand for, the Three Angels’ Messages.
In commenting on this text in Luke 19:41, 42, Ellen White said, “When the Saviour saw in the Jewish people a nation divorced from God, He saw also a professed Christian Church united to the world and the Papacy.” Review and Herald, October 8, 1901.
Who was that professed Christian Church united to the world and the Papacy? If you continue reading that Review and Herald article, you will see very clearly that she is talking about Seventh-day Adventists. Uniting with the Papacy is the first part of the attack.
The Final Attack
Let us look at the second and final part of the attack, which will seem very long but actually will be very short.
We know the devil has deceived the great majority already, for we have people today who want to sue others for openly and publicly proclaiming the Three Angels’ Messages. There are people who no longer know who Babylon is. And when Seventh-day Adventist Churches start having Sunday worship services, they have been deceived.
After the majority are deceived, then the final attack will be on the remnant, the ones who are not deceived, to force them into submission. That will be the Sunday law crisis. The Sunday law crisis will result from the great apostasy we see occurring in Christendom today. It is predicted in Revelation 13 that the leading churches in the United States are going to unite on those doctrines that are held by them in common. Do we see that happening? Yes, we do.
When they unite, they are going to have power to influence the government and get it to do what they want. The government will be forced to submit to the wishes of the church, because the church will have enough of a majority that they will be able to elect whomever they want. They will influence the government to enforce their decrees.
When they do that, Ellen White says, “Then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” The Great Controversy, 445.
There are three ways in which the churches will influence the government to enforce their decrees:
The Judicial Process
1 The churches will, through the judicial process, force the courts to make happen what they want to happen. That is the first step. Of course, that is forbidden in Scripture. (See Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 6.)
Mrs. White tells us that those who ignore this Bible counsel will be written in the courts of heaven as unbelievers. God is very clear on that point. Are you really part of the church if you are written in the books of heaven as an unbeliever? She also says God will take away from them His Holy Spirit. Will the Latter Rain be poured out on people who are doing something like that? Absolutely not. (See Selected Messages, vol. 2, 299.)
When you try to force, you cannot always get what you want to happen, therefore, since the first step quite often does not work, you have to go to step two.
2 The second step is to go to the legislature and get different laws passed. That will result in a national Sunday law.
The Executive Branch
3 Use the executive branch of the government to enforce what you have legislated. That means using the police, jails, fines and so forth. “The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.” Ibid.
Receiving the Wrath of God
If you read history, there is one thing about the Third Angel’s Message, in Revelation 14:9–12, that stands out crystal clear. In the Third Angel’s Message, two groups are described. One group is going to receive the mark of the beast and, as a result, the wrath of God. But there is another group described who are called the saints of God. (See verse 12.) The saints of God keep the commandments.
What about those who receive the mark of the beast; what is their problem? They do not keep the commandments, and they receive the wrath of God. The Bible says that nobody who obeys the truth receives the wrath of God. But the people who receive the wrath of God are those who obey unrighteousness. (See Romans 2:8.)
“All unrighteousness is sin.” 1 John 5:17. And “sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. So nobody receives the wrath of God unless they obey unrighteousness or unless they sin, unless they break God’s law. Since the people who receive the mark of the beast will receive the wrath of God, it is evident that the mark of the beast involves the breaking of God’s law. And the mark of the beast involves a deliberate, intentional change in God’s law.
What is the area of God’s law that prophecy predicts the antichrist power would deliberately attempt to change and that the whole world would follow after? It is the area of God’s law that deals with time, according to Daniel 7:25. That is the very area that the antichrist power claims they have changed.
The Papacy Speaks
Here is a statement from them in answer to the question as to what day is to be observed in obedience to the fourth commandment: “During the old law Saturday was the day sanctified, but the church, instructed by Jesus Christ and directed by the Spirit of God, had substituted Sunday for Saturday so now we sanctify the first not the seventh day. Sunday means and now is the day of the Lord.” Catholic Catechism of Christian Religion.
So in their own words, the change of the Sabbath is the sign, or the mark, of authority of the Roman Church. It is the sign, or the mark of the beast power. It is the sign, or the mark, of the antichrist power. Protestants acknowledge the same. Here is what one Protestant paper says about that: “To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ discussion with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false (Jewish Traditional) glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during the forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He had said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing those founded, discuss or approach the subject. Dr. E. T. Hiscox, report of his sermon at the Baptist Minister’s Convention, in “New York Examiner,” November 16, 1893.
So there is no biblical evidence. There is no evidence from the apostles. There is no evidence from Jesus. It is the sign, the mark, of the authority of the papal power. When people reject the Bible Sabbath and accept Sunday worship knowing this, and as Sunday observance and the movement for the enforcement of Sunday observance grows stronger, as it is doing right now, those who understand the claims of the fourth commandment and choose to observe the false instead of the true Sabbath, thereby pay homage to that power by which alone Sunday worship is commanded—the Papacy.
Forming an Image to the Beast
In the very act of enforcing a religious duty by secular power, the churches would themselves form an image to the beast. So the enforcement of Sunday keeping in the United States would be an enforcement of the worship of the beast and his image.
Force, of course, is the last resort of every false religion. We have the promise that as we draw near this final attack, God’s grace will be given in every way proportionate to the trials suffered to come upon us. Is that not wonderful encouragement?
“My grace,” the Lord said to Paul, “is sufficient for you.” (See 2 Corin-thians 12:9.) Ellen White wrote, “Angels will be sent to our rescue.…If we do not deliberately go into temptation, God will sustain us when the temptation comes.” Signs of the Times, September 2, 1897. If we have enough faith for the times in which we are living, we will be sustained. The most exciting times in world history are right before us, because the signs are all there that Bible prophecy is about to be fulfilled in rapid succession, and Jesus is coming soon.
But we have a work to do to see to it that we are not deceived, that the devil does not change the state of our affections so that we are not ready for Jesus to come. The devil is working. In Patriarchs and Prophets, in the chapter, “Apostasy at the Jordan,” (453–461 onward.) Mrs. White talks about this and gives approximately 20 ways in which the devil tempts people to break the seventh commandment. She says that just as he did with Israel right before they entered the Promised Land, he is going to do with us just before we enter the Promised Land. I want to tell you, friend, it is happening all over the world.
Breaking the Seventh Commandment
The devil is seeking to bring about a change in the state of our affections, because if he can do that, he has got us. Do not accept all of the devil’s lies. The devil tells people, “You can do it, and then later on people will forgive you, and you can be rebaptized and join the church again.” Watch out! The devil is talking to you! There are going to be plenty of people who come to the marriage supper but are not allowed in.
There are many, many people who make their final separation from God’s people, but they go to church every week. They get divorced, and then they remarry, when they had no biblical grounds. Friends, God has not changed, but the devil has come in to deceive the people. This is one of the main areas where he is deceiving the conservative Adventists.
“Satan often finds a powerful agency for evil in the power which one human mind is capable of exerting on another human mind. This influence is so seductive that the person who is being molded by it is often unconscious of its power. God has bidden me speak warning against this evil, that His servants may not come under the deceptive power of Satan. The enemy is a master worker, and if God’s people are not constantly led by the Spirit of God, they will be ensnared and taken. For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days, he is linking the human mind with his own, and imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will.” Our High Calling, 110.
They still go to church. They still think that they are Seventh-day Adventists. “The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women, that none but his voice will be heard.” Ibid.
Spiritualism Prepares the Way
Oh, friends, we are looking forward to the final phase of the attack. Do not be deceived and get taken over by the devil in the preliminary phase before the final attack even happens. “Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism.” The Great Controversy, 561.
Where spiritualism is involved, it involves changing the state of a person’s affections. That is how the devil uses spiritualism in the Adventist Church; he changes the state of a person’s affections. “He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time.” Ibid.
Oh, friend, I believe that we are living in that last remnant of time, where we see the devil reaching the full accomplishment of his designs. He is bringing spiritualism right in among Seventh-day Adventists and deceiving them in such a skillful way that they do not even know anything is happening.
Be ready for the attack. It is Satan’s last attempt to thwart God’s purpose. God has something wonderful for you, friend. The Lord wants to deliver you from all attachment to sin. He wants to restore the state of your affection so that you love God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.
Oh, friend, the devil is after you. Do you want to keep this from happening? Do you want to seek divine strength and help for the attack? See if the state of your affections has been changed. If it has, when the attack comes, you will not make it. To make it, you are going to have to be ready.
The devil is trying to destroy us all before it even happens. Do you want the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and in your mind so that you will be ready to survive the devil’s attack on your soul? Are you praying? Are you studying? You must be praying, “Lord, work in my heart by Your Holy Spirit so that my heart will be pure and holy, so the state of my affections will be acceptable in Your sight.”