The Quiet Place

The Bible has very specific marks for identifying the Roman Catholic Church as the anti-christ of Bible prophecy. In II Thessalonians she is referred to as the mystery of iniquity. There are some very interesting things written about this from history, the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible of how she could deceive people, Protestants and Adventist groups alike, into praying the rosary.

In the book, Last Day Events, 164, are three paragraphs that are not in the public domain. The entire document, called “The Personation of Satan,” is available from the White estate on request.

Referring to right near the end of the probationary period, it says, “Satan sees that he is about to lose his case. He cannot sweep in the whole world. He makes one last desperate effort to overcome the faithful by deception. He does this in personating Christ. He clothes himself with the garments of royalty which have been accurately described in the vision of John (Revelation 1:13–16). He has power to do this. He will appear to his deluded followers, the Christian world who received not the love of the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (transgression of God’s law), as Christ coming the second time (II Thessalonians 2).

“He proclaims himself Christ, and he is believed to be Christ, a beautiful, majestic being clothed with majesty and, with soft voice and pleasant words, with glory unsurpassed by anything their mortal eyes had yet beheld. Then his deceived, deluded followers set up a shout of victory, ‘Christ has come the second time! Christ has come! He has lifted up His hands just as He did when He was upon the earth, and blessed us.’ …

“The saints look on with amazement. Will they also be deceived? Will they worship Satan? Angels of God are about them. A clear, firm, musical voice is heard ‘Christ is come. Christ is come!’ ” How could they say such a thing unless they had previously seen Christ? I believe they have, and I will show here from the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible that they have seen him many times, just not in this appearance. Those who stubbornly retain even one cherished sin will say, “Christ is come, Christ is come!” and be deceived. Sin, in its very nature, is deceiving.

There is a type of prayer that seems to bring Christ down from heaven into your mind so that you can actually converse with Him personally. About 500 years ago this method was called, “The Spiritual Exercises of Loyola.” Today it is called “Contemplative Prayer.”

Ellen White says, “Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.” The Signs of the Times, June 18, 1902. The reverse of this is, I can bring God down to me any time I want, just as long as I’m in this state of mind. The deluded followers of Christ can say, “Christ is come, Christ is come,” because they have seen Him or who they think is Him many times right here in their own lives.

There are some important principles about prayer that we need to take into account:

In I Kings 8:46–49 is the story of Solomon when the temple he built was dedicated. He said, “If they sin against Thee, [he said if] (for there is no man that sinneth not), and Thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto Thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; and so return unto Thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto Thee toward their land, which Thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which Thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for Thy name then hear Thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven Thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause.”

The condition for God hearing and answering prayer is confession, repentance, and turning away from sin. (See Psalm 55.) The devil would like to develop a method of prayer that allows you to converse with him and have a religious experience while still living in sin.

God can reach down to us no matter where we are but raises our prayer to Him in His holy temple. Jonah was in the belly of a fish with seaweed wrapped around his head and said, “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple.” Jonah 2:7. His prayer was directed to heaven. He wasn’t asking God to come down in the belly of the fish with him; he said, “My prayer ascended up to heaven.” Prayer does not bring God down to us; it lifts us up to God.

It would be wise to realize that the devil is a student of Bible prophecy. In fact, we are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that the devil knows the Bible better than anyone. His intelligence far exceeds that of men, and only by a diligent study of the Word can he be beat. In the sixteenth century, two movements were raised. Martin Luther, born in 1483, grew up in a home that was very, very strict. He completed his college studies, but during those years he began to feel that his soul was not right with God. His father wanted him to be a lawyer, so after he graduated from college he went on to the university to further his study in that field. He was a very bright and intelligent man and the monks wanted him to join them. After a short time in the university he dropped out of law, and searching for a way to find peace in his heart and to be right with God, he joined the monastery. But he found no peace there. He beat himself, and sometimes so severely that he would go unconscious and lose much blood. He also fasted for many days on end in his search for peace.

Finally a man came to Martin Luther and said, “Martin, God loves you. You don’t need to go through all these strict austerities to try to find peace in your heart with God. Accept His love into your heart.” Martin Luther began reading a Latin Vulgate on the wall of his monastery and began to find the love of God. He began to discover that God would supply the grace to enable him to be forgiven and find that peace he so desired. Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation, the reformation that you and I need to complete.

Another man was born eight years later in 1491, Ignatius Loyola. He also struggled with the same burden that Martin Luther had in his own life, going through the same rituals, whipping himself, fasting and living in monasteries to try to find the peace that he desired. These two monks were destined to follow entirely different paths. Ignatius, instead of feeling that his remorse was sent to drive him to the foot of the cross, persuaded himself that these inner reproaches proceeded not from God, but from the devil, and he resolved never more to think of his sins. He erased them from his memory and buried them into eternal oblivion.

Luther turned towards Christ; Loyola only fell back on himself. This is very interesting. One falls upon Christ, the other falls upon himself. If you don’t like your sins and you try to erase them, as Loyola did, the devil is going to give you an experience. Visions came along to confirm Loyola in the conviction to which he had arrived. His own resolves had become a substitute for the grace of the Lord. His visions had become his substitute.

His own imaginings had supplied the place of God’s word. He had looked upon the voice of God in his conscience as the voice of the devil, and accordingly the remainder of his history represents him as given up to the inspirations of the spirits of darkness. One day Loyola met an old woman, as Luther in the hour of his trial, was visited by an old man. But the Spanish woman, instead of proclaiming remission of sins to the penitent, Manresah predicted visitations from Jesus. Such was the Christianity to which Loyola had recourse.

Loyola did not seek truth in the Holy Scriptures, but imagined in their place immediate communication with the world of spirits. He soon lived entirely in ecstasies and contemplation. These numerous apparitions had removed all his doubts. He believed he was right with God because of the experiences that he was having. He believed, not as Luther believed by faith what is written in the word of God, but because of the visions he had seen. This is very fascinating history as we look at what is happening in modern-day times. This is not old stuff buried in history; this is new stuff, resurrected for Christianity today.

Just about 40 or 50 years ago Vatican II, which was called the ecumenica, had a specific agenda of how to bring the Roman Catholic Church and all the Protestant churches, and all the Muslem churches, as well as everybody else, into union with one another.

Notice a statement found on their website: “The theology of the church forged at Vatican II provided the relationship of the church with the other Christian traditions in more positive terms than had hereto been the case. The council gave the green light for full participation of the Catholic Church in a search for Christian unity which had already been under way for over 50 years.”

Not too long ago there was a segment on the news about the importance of Vatican II, because it was an anniversary. It was reported that the theme of the documents of Vatican II was reconciliation, and they allowed for Catholics to pray with other Christian denominations and encourage friendship with other non-Christian faiths.

It’s very interesting that they would mention prayer as a means to bring Christian unity. Now I ask, “Could the Roman Catholic Church teach Protestants and even Adventists to pray rosaries?” The Roman Catholic Church went on a quest to evangelize the world, including Protestants, because you and I are considered separated brethren, separate from the Mother church. Notice this apostolic letter, which was written in 2002, and its reference to the rosary.

John Paul II, Apostolic letter, 2002:

“It can be said that the rosary is in some sense, a prayer-commentary on the final chapter of the Vatican II Constitution. To recite the rosary is nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ. I desire that during the course of this year, the rosary should be especially emphasized and promoted in various Christian communities [not just Roman Catholic!] But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the apostolic letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, as a genuine training in holiness.”

Do you have holiness of heart when you pray to God while you are still living in sin, and you know it? No.

“What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer.” Remember, Roman Catholics were given permission to pray with other Christian denominations. What are they teaching us? “We should not be surprised that our relationship with Christ makes use of a method. God communicates Himself to us respecting our human nature and its vital rhythms. Hence, the Christian’s spirituality is familiar with the most sublime forms of mystical silence in which images, words, and gestures are all, so to speak, superseded by an intense and ineffable union with God.”

What is this mystical silence he is talking about? It is contemplative prayer, a spiritual exercise of Ignatius Loyola, which teaches you to pray through meditation. Meditation is mentioned in the Bible, but it’s much different than the meditation you see nowadays. In contemplative prayer, you empty your mind of all your thoughts and activities, and you enter into a quiet place, and there, you empty your thoughts and focus in on one of the mysteries he is speaking about, and that’s the only thing you focus in on. Keating, who is a Jesuit, has written many books that are used in our Seventh-day Adventist universities today.

He describes this silence you come to, and in the meditative process of prayer you repeat words over and over again, as in the rosary, which is why it has been emphasized. As the rosary is repeated, your mind comes into a state of quietness, and there you see in your mind the face of Jesus, or the face of the Father or you see Mary, and you go in and you can converse with one of them, one on one. Remember, prayer does not bring God down to us; it lifts us up to God. Most religions have engaged this system of prayer, and it is willingly accepted among many groups today.

This is a mystical silence. In the book, The Secret History of the Jesuits, by Edmond Paris (Chick Publications, Chino, California, 1975), is a statement that Loyola made that sounds very similar to John Paul II’s statement. In talking about the methods of prayer in his life, he states, “The third way of praying is by measuring the words and periods of silence.” In reference to the rosary you will see this word mentioned over and over again, entering into this quiet place, this stillness, this silent time, in your own mind, and there you have an experience with God within you.

Continuing the John Paul II Apostolic Letter 2002: “A discovery of the importance of silence is one of the secrets of practicing contemplation and meditation. Just as moments of silence are recommended in the liturgy, so too in the recitation of the rosary, it is fitting to pause briefly after listening to the word of God, while the mind focuses on the content of a particular mystery.” You can see this official letter on the Vatican website,

While in Africa, I walked by a Muslim with beads in his hands. Like Catholics, Muslims pray on beads. He was about ready to go to prayers, and I asked him what was in his hand. He told me that they were his prayer beads. There were 90 beads on the string and he prayed every single one of them, rolling them through his hand. I calculated in my mind that 90 beads prayed the five times each day that Muslim’s are required to pray, add to 450 times per day praying the same prayer. Continual repetition of the same phrase causes a hypnotic state. Statistics show that of a population of around 7 billion in 2013, there are 1.6 billion Muslims and 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world. Add to this number the non-Christian religions, Buddhists and other Eastern religions that embrace this same method of prayer or trance using prayer beads or sticks of incense and you find that it numbers in excess of half the population.

The devil is preparing the world for something big. When you see him coming as Christ and everybody is saying, “Christ has come, Christ has come,” you can know that they have seen this person before in their own minds and they recognize him, for they have been hypnotized. The spiritual exercises of Loyola have been resurrected in these last days, especially after Vatican II, evangelizing the world through this method. Today it is called centering prayer—bringing the mind into the center and entering into the quiet place!

On the website,, Thomas Keating says: “Centering prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us.”

Eve was told the same lie in the Garden of Eden. “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This same thing is happening here in contemplative prayer. It says this presence of God is within us and it says, “closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself is God in us.”

Looking at what is going on, the following text in Matthew 24:23, 24 is very fascinating: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” They are going to show us “great signs.” The Greek word is semeion, which means miracles or wonders, something to wonder at. These wondrous signs from the devil are going to be so hypnotic that even the elect could be deceived.

Then verses 25 and 26 say: “Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Who are these personators? They are false christs and false prophets, and if they tell you Jesus is in the desert or secret chambers, do not believe.

In the desert I can understand, but what does it mean by “the secret chambers”? This expression is often translated as inner rooms. The original Greek word for inner rooms means a dispensary or magazine. This is a chamber on the ground floor or interior of an Oriental house (generally used for storage or privacy, a spot for retirement)—secret chamber, closet, storehouse. A dispensary or a magazine is an old term. Gun shells like bombs and things were put in what we call a magazine, a holding place, a storehouse of some sort. If you were to go to this place, you would be given something in this secret chamber.

The text says that this could deceive even the elect. How could this be if God’s elect are studying their Bibles, or has something else been substituted for the study of God’s word, an experience maybe?

Could these secret chambers or inner rooms where we retire and go to pray, entering into these silent meditations to find Christ, the deception that Jesus warned about? The devil will love to give an experience to all who seek God but refuse His cleansing power. “I turned to look at the company who were still bowed before the throne; they did not know that Jesus had left it. Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to draw back and deceive God’s children.” Early Writings, 56.

“Satan determines to unite them [church members] in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of Spiritualism.” The Great Controversy, 588.

Spiritualism is the uniting factor that joins all the churches together, regardless of religion. “Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.” Ibid.

Paul says, “Even him [the lawless one], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth.” II Thessalonians 2:9, 10.

Why didn’t they love the truth? They loved the experience that they were having more than they loved God and His word. “They received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Verses 10–12.

To be saved in sin is a very attractive lie, one that the devil loves to promote. I John 5:17 says, “All unrighteousness is sin” and I John 3:4 says, “sin is the transgression of the law.” People are going to come to a point in earth’s history where they are going to love breaking God’s law, while claiming Christ and having a “form of godliness” (II Timothy 3:5).

The devil is working to sweep the entire world into one mind by using these methods of prayer. Revelation 17:13 says, “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” The beast is the papal power. It is going to have the lending hand of Protestants and worldlings alike.

“The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country [America] will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 588.

I believe that hand is already extended, and we are welcoming the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church into our communion. There are people who do not have a love for the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness, in breaking God’s law. God is going to send them strong delusions. That powerful delusion of Satan coming as Christ is going to sweep in the whole world except for a little group of people, the remnant, who have put away sin in their life.

The devil is going to give an experience to people who won’t put away sin just like he did with Ignatius Loyola. He will give visions, dreams, and all kinds of experiences. He is a master at trickery.

“Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden. ‘Ye shall not surely die.’ ‘In the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 3:4, 5). Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism.” The Great Controversy, 561.

His coming as Christ is the masterpiece of his deception.

“They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him.” Ibid., 572. Loyola wanted his conscience to be quiet, so he cast his sin off into oblivion and the devil supplied him with visions and ecstatic experiences.

The new spirituality is teaching that we can have an experience with God while living in sin. When you come into this quiet place where you see these apparitions in your mind, it is the devil speaking to you, not God. Prayer does not bring God down to us. We are viewing the enemy himself. And when he appears as this majestic being from heaven, like in Revelation chapter 1, the majority will say, “Christ has come. Christ has come!” They will know him because they have seen him over and over again in their experience.

Our only defense is God’s word. The true method of prayer is to get on your knees and confess your unworthiness, your sinfulness, and ask God to search your heart. When you cooperate with the heavenly agencies, by God’s grace, sin will be eliminated from your life.

If you don’t have a real experience with the only true God, the devil will certainly give you one, a method of forgetting His word, but at the same time passing as a Christian.

These new methods of prayer are deluding many people. We need God’s grace to enable us to put sin out of our lives. May our hearts and minds continue to be lifted up to heavenly things.

(Unless appearing in quoted references or otherwise identified, Bible texts are from the King James Version.)

Mike Bauler was ordained into the ministry in 2005 and serves as pastor of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. Prior to locating in Portland, Pastor Bauler served as a Bible worker for Steps to Life Ministries. His goal is to help give the gospel to the greater Portland area with an emphasis in helping his Bible students discover the truths in Bible prophecy, which are so often neglected today. His wife, Amanda, a family nurse practitioner, and their daughters Hannah, Esther and Abigail assist him in his ministry.