To begin, I would like to share a statement from the pen of inspiration that is most sobering and pertinent to the times in which we live: “Those who oppose the teachings of spiritualism are assailing, not men alone, but Satan and his angels. They have entered upon a contest against principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high places. Satan will not yield one inch of ground except he is driven back by the power of heavenly messengers. The people of God should be able to meet him, as did our Savior, with the words: ‘It is written.’ Satan can quote Scripture now as in the days of Christ, and he will pervert its teachings to sustain his delusions. Those who would stand in this time of peril must understand for themselves the testimony of the Scriptures.” The Great Controversy, 559. [All emphasis throughout the article is supplied.]
“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 ye 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. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: ‘I saw three unclean spirits like frogs…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.’ Revelation 16:13, 14. Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.” Ibid., 561, 562.
The Two Great Errors
There are two doctrinal errors that nearly all Christendom has swallowed as part of the “wine of Babylon.” The first is the false teaching that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Lord’s day; and the second, which is more deadly, is the hellish doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul and man’s consciousness in death.
Friends, do you realize that two of the pope’s last Apostolic letters deal with these two doctrinal errors? On July 7, 1998, the Vatican released the pope’s 104-page Apostolic letter entitled Dies Domini—On Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy. Point 67 of Dies Domini actually states: “Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy….Sunday must be sanctified.” On the same day, The Denver Post quoted Rome as saying; “A violator should be punished as a heretic.” Has not prophecy warned us that “When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state [“civil legislation”] to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image to the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters [heretics] will inevitably result.” The Great Controversy, 445.
Many Seventh-day Adventists are familiar with Dies Domini, but not many are aware of the pope’s Apostolic Exhortation that he gave to the Synod of Bishops, in Mexico City, prior to his historic visit to St. Louis, in January of 1999. It is called Ecclesia [Church] in America of the Holy Father John Paul II: The Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America. At the council of Bishops in Mexico, the theme of the event was to discuss new strategies for evangelism that the church in America must attain in the third Christian millennium (which begins with the year 2000). And will the Virgin Mary be a major player in the new evangelistic efforts of the Roman Catholic Church?
The Star of the New Evangelization
While in Mexico, the pope dedicated the Americas to the Virgin Mary. From the Exhortation, we read: “With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. In the prayer of the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as ‘Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization. In view of this, I welcome with joy the proposal of the Synod Fathers that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated throughout the continent on December 12. It is my heartfelt hope that she…will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early church (cf. Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.”
Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America. Furthermore, the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City draws 20 million visitors a year. It is regarded as the most sacred shrine outside of Europe. Mary, that is the spirit apparition of Mary, is the “Star” of the Roman Catholic Church’s new evangelization of the Americas.
Before I precede any further, I want you to know that the Catholic Church acknowledges the pagan origin of many of the shrines and statues of Mary. A Catholic publication stated the following: “Devotion to Mary began in the earliest years of Christianity, and she is revered in Christian literature as early as A.D. 150…Throughout the history of the world, sites associated with any one religion have often been re-used by its successor. To do so reinforces the new religion, but may also result in characteristics of deities of different faiths becoming intermingled. Statues of the Virgin…used to be paraded around the fields to ensure a good harvest. The moon and stars, symbols of Diana, Greco-Roman goddess of hunting were later associated with the Virgin, and Mary is frequently referred to as Stella Maria—Star of the Sea. Festivals, too, were assimilated [from paganism] into the new faith: the Festival of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin on 2 February was originally a Roman Festival of purification. And Christians often took over the pagan shrines of the ancient world’s goddesses and rededicated them to Mary. A good example is the shrine to Diana at Ephesus, which was re-established in the fourth century as a shrine to the Virgin.” Shrines of Our Lady, 6, 7.
Amazing! Rome blinds the eyes of ignorant souls worldwide, and once loyalty to their pagan statues is gained, they empty the pockets of their victims. In Acts 19:24, 25, we read: “For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.”
The Love of the Truth or Strong Delusion
Beloved, as a former Roman Catholic and Mary devotee, I am amazed and saddened by the lethargy of Seventh-day Adventists, who have been entrusted with the Three Angels’ Messages, and their silence on this issue! Who is sounding the trumpet? Who is warning our people that spiritualism will soon break upon us with a magnitude that may deceive the very elect! The Bible warns us that the day is near when “miracles” and “lying wonders” will deceive those that “love not the truth.” I believe the warning in 2 Thessalonians 2:10–12 is written for every professed Christian who has either not heeded or even has rejected the light sent from heaven, regardless of his church affiliation, and especially for Seventh-day Adventists.
Paul writes: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. Even him, 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, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie [including the devil’s first lie that “Ye shall not surely die” Genesis 3:4]: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8–12.
What denomination has been given the truth? And please notice, not only do many of the professed Christians whom Paul refers to “love not the truth,” but also they do not love it because they have “pleasure in unrighteousness.” Certainly, the majority of professed Seventh-day Adventists today are enjoying the pleasures of the world, and this is most evident by the celebration worship services they have adopted from Rome—a product of Vatican II!
And what will be the “strong delusions” that will deceive, if possible the very elect? In 1 Timothy 4:1 we read: “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.”
The Alpha and the Omega
Nearly 100 years ago, Ellen White gave the following warning: “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.…I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 16, 53. At the time she wrote this statement, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, in his book The Living Temple, was promulgating the doctrine of [New Age] pantheism—that God is in everything in the material world—“the flower, the tree, the atmosphere, and even the sinner, and in each one of us, as virtually ‘doing away with God,’ and therefore seriously undercutting the sanctuary truth.” Manuscript Releases, 760, 1. This leaves you with an impersonal god, not one who is ministering in your behalf in the heavenly sanctuary, but one that is diffused through nature. Such teachings will lead to the worship of the creature, or to creation, rather than to the Creator. After all, is it not Satan’s ultimate goal to rob God of the homage due only Him by whatever medium he himself chooses!
Dear reader, let it be understood that pantheism, the alpha of apostasy, is a form of spiritualism! In fact, the prophet linked pantheism and spiritualism together on a number of occasions. On one occasion she wrote: “Let the world go into spiritualism, theosophy [mysticism], and pantheism, if they choose. We are to have nothing to do with this deceptive branch of Satan’s work.” Battle Creek Letters, 109. Webster’s College Dictionary gives several definitions for the word spiritualism, one of which is: “The belief that all reality is spiritual [pantheism].” Ellen White labeled Kellogg’s teachings as “fascinating, spiritualistic science of Satanic origin.” And she goes on to say: “That these beautiful representations are similar to the temptation that the enemy brought to Adam and Eve in Eden.” Ibid., 103; Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 341.
In Eden, Satan spoke through the medium of a serpent. Pantheism teaches that God is in everything, even animals. Have not even animated, talking animals, such as Disney characters, been used as a form of spiritualism to prepare millions of innocent children to drink of the devil’s future master delusions? In fact, I just learned that a Hollywood movie, called The Sixth Sense, has been the number-one moneymaker for seven weeks in a row! It is about a young boy who is communicating with the dead. Spiritualism, just like pantheism, is a spiritualistic science of Satanic origin! In the last days, in his grand efforts to deceive, Satan will again speak through mediums, but this time expanding “familiar spirits” to include, not only human-like agencies, but also well-known deceased Christians. The world, with the help of Hollywood, is quickly being primed to accept the demon Mary and other imposters that shall appear.
I believe Ellen White saw that spiritualism and its influence upon God’s people would not cease, but, to the contrary, would culminate in the omega of apostasy: “I am instructed to speak plainly. ‘Meet it,’ is the word spoken to me. ‘Meet it firmly, and without delay’.…In the book Living Temple, 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. No wonder she “trembled” for our people, for Satan is determined to sweep “all into the ranks of spiritualism”!!! The Great Controversy, 588.
Spiritualism Will Imitate Nominal Christianity
Revelation 13 warns us that the United States will experience “great wonders…on the earth in the sight of men. And which will deceive them that “dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles, which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.” Revelation 13: 13, 14. “The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in your sight, claiming that he is Christ; and if your feet are not firmly established upon the truth of God, then you will be led away from your foundation. The only safety for you is to search for truth as for hid treasures. Dig for the truth as you would for treasures in the earth, and present the word of God, the Bible, before your heavenly Father and say, ‘Enlighten me, teach me what is truth’.…You should store the mind with the Word of God; for you may be separated, and placed where you will not have the privilege of meeting with the children of God. ” Review and Herald, April 3, 1888.
Picture the day when supernatural events, such as Mother Teresa, the Virgin Mary, or the Apostles of Christ walking on this earth, strengthen the efforts of the religious teachers who are urging Americans to obey the altered ten commandments, which include the worship of the Sunday sabbath. “As Spiritualism assimilates more closely to the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things…Through the agency of Spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and express regard for Sunday, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 406. This will be a time when violators will be threatened with civil fines and imprisonment if they refuse to obey the laws of the land and the words of Satan’s “familiar spirits.” What will you do then, beloved? In the exhortation given at the Synod of Bishops in Mexico City, Pope John Paul II saved his best for the last. In Article 73, entitled The Challenge of the Sects, he states: “The proselytizing activity of the sects [historic SDAs?] and new religious groups in America is a grave hindrance to the work of evangelization….The success of proselytism by sects and new religious groups in America cannot be ignored.” Indeed, the end is upon us!
Celebration 2000—The Grand Jubilee
In case you are not aware, Rome is planning a great celebration or jubilee to welcome in the third millennium—the year 2000, a Marian year—and the holy doors will be opened Christmas, December 25, 1999—the starting date of the Grand Jubilee celebration. The Vatican plans a series of masses and other celebrations to mark Christianity’s third millennium, and 20 million people are expected to flock to Rome. John Paul II has declared 2000 a jubilee year—a time of pilgrimage and celebration.
Pope John Paul II, in his new book, Celebration 2000, tells us who in the spiritual realm is in charge of leading the church to Christ in the year 2000. He states: “I entrust this responsibility of the whole church to the maternal intercession of Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer: She, the Mother of fairest love, will be for the Christians on the way to the Great Jubilee of the third millennium the star which safely guides their steps to the Lord.” Celebration 2000, 268.
Malachi Martin, author of The Keys of This Blood, said that the pope is anxiously awaiting a potent worldwide Marian Vision—“an event that will fission human history….It will be an event on public view in the skies, in the oceans, and on the continental landmasses of this planet. It will particularly involve our human sun….But on the day of this event, it will not appear as the master star of our so-called solar system. Rather, it will be seen as the circumambient glory of the Woman whom the apostle describes as ‘clothed with the sun’ and giving birth to ‘a child who will rule the nations with a scepter of iron.’” The Keys of This Blood, 639.
If you doubt this could happen, research what occurred in Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917. The “Miracle of the Sun” took place. “The sun seemed to flicker on and off, first one way and then another. It shot rays in different directions and painted everything in different colors, the trees, the people, the air and the ground. The sun did not hurt the eyes. Everything was still and quiet, everyone looking upwards. At a certain moment, the sun seemed to stop and then begin to move and to dance until it seemed that it was being detached from the sky and was falling on the people. Thousands of the people present saw this phenomenon and the newspapers wrote about it.” Our Lady of Fatima Web Site.
Interestingly, Malachi Martin, ex-Jesuit, died July 27, 1999, and reports are varied on the cause of his death. The Sunday Visitor, August 22, 1999, featured an article by Greg Erlandson, Editor in Chief, in which he labeled Malachi Martin as “half brilliant, half loon, given to incredible conspiracy theories.” Perhaps, he revealed too much!
Will the pope’s expected vision be cataclysmic and bring the normal activity of the world to a standstill? Some are praying that Mary—“the Star of the new evangelization”—will walk through the holy doors of the Vatican on Christmas 1999, the inauguration of Jubilee 2000. If the vision occurs, I believe it could be what the pope needs to exalt him as the head of the New World Order. Would world chaos and calamities precede this expected vision? Could it validate the global reign of Pope John Paul II, a Marian pope, who credits Mary with saving his life, and establish him as the spiritual judge of the planet and the Roman Catholic Church as the only true church and this pope as God’s ordained leader? Compare this thought with E.G. White’s conclusion on page 588 of The Great Controversy: “Satan determines to unite them [professed Christians and the ungodly] into one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. 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 [and who believe in the immortality of the soul], will also be deluded…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.” The Great Controversy, 588, 589. It has been said that those who are involved in the New Age movement will also accept a worldwide Marian (goddess) vision preceding the appearance of the false Christ—the lord Maitreya.
The New Age, Mother Earth, and the Goddess
In his most blasphemous book, The Armageddon Script, The Power of Prophecy and the Secret Life of Jesus, New Ager Peter Lemesurier writes enthusiastically about the worship of the “Great Mother Earth.” He writes as if he is an astronaut in a spaceship in orbit around the earth. “As they rounded the barren lunar globe for the…last time, and the resplendent half-earth once again rose behind that now familiar curved and rocky horizon, what they saw coming up to meet them was strangely familiar….A god out of the world of the archetypes. It was none other than the rounded form of the Great Mother, earth herself, clad in the same flowering robes of shining blue and white that had been those of mother-goddess of earth and sky throughout history—and not least his most recent mother-goddess, the Virgin Mary herself.” The Armageddon Script, 245, 246.
Peter Lemesurier, as a pagan worshipper, has no difficulty recognizing the truth that the worship of the Virgin Mary is ancient pagan idolatry. Therefore, non-Christian Pagans the world over will have little difficulty accepting the worship of “the Virgin Mary,” which is actually an evil spirit impersonating Mary. (See 2 Corinthians 11:13–15.)
Spiritualism and the Unification of Churches
The prophet has warned us that spiritualism is the means by which Satan will “unite the churches,” and Rome will use spiritualism to “validate” that she is the true church! I believe the demon Mary will play a critical role in the accomplishment of this goal, and not only Protestants, but also New Agers, will fall for it, because they all believe Rome’s false doctrine of the devil’s first lie—the immortality of the soul. Remember, “The whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion.” The Great Controversy, 562.
The world is ready and ripe for this almost overpowering deception. In fact, the December, 1996, issue of Life magazine featured, on its front cover, a picture of a statue of Mary and the caption: “Two thousand years after the Nativity, the mother of Jesus is more beloved, powerful, and controversial than ever. The Mystery of Mary.” The ending of this article was especially of interest to me. It stated: “Mary…might lead to an ecumenical reunion of Christian churches [see The Great Controversy, 445.] It might lead to a closer understanding of the teenage girl who gave birth in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago….Can we ask this simple girl to guide what has become not a cult but a huge and passionate congregation, a movement requiring a hero, a world-wide flock that has long demanded more of her? That has demanded, in some instances, that she deliver her message herself? I wonder: If Mary became merely human—if people could truly touch Mary—would Mary be enough?” After all, Rome makes the assertion that not only is the pope the Spiritual father of all Christians, but Mary is their mother! A quote from A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, 27, states: “The Blessed Virgin is our Mother also because, being the brethren of Jesus, we are the children of Mary.”
Will She Deceive the Very Elect?
And will SDAs also be overcome by this wonder-working demon? Please, study the prophecies of Ezekiel 8 and 9. Ellen White alludes to Ezekiel 9 in Volume 5 of the Testimonies in the chapter called The Seal of God, 207–216. Here she likens the destruction of apostate SDAs to the destruction by the slaughtering angels of Ezekiel 9, which begins in the sanctuary, or the church. “Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interest of the people, had betrayed their trust….Thus, ‘Peace and safety’ is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 211. And for what reason will the Lord destroy the people called by His name? Because the “abominations” in Ezekiel 8 are being practiced in the Lord’s house—His church—one of which is the worship of the “image of jealousy.” “The faithful few… lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 210.
Historian Alexander Hislop tells us in his book, The Two Babylons, that the “image of jealousy” is that of the Babylonian Madonna, the “queen of heaven.” Therefore, what provokes the wrath of God today is that “the child she [Modern Babylon] holds forth to adoration is called by the name of Jesus, His son.” (The Two Babylons, 88). With “Satan himself” being “converted after the modern order of things (see The Great Controversy, 588),” the image would be that of “Babylon, The Great” [Roman Catholicism’s] Madonna, or the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus [who really would be Tammuz (see Ezekiel 8:14)], set up in the church that claims to worship the true God. The Lord commanded: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath….Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” Exodus 20:4, 5. Is it any wonder why the Catholic Church removed the second commandment from the moral law?
Furthermore, Jeremiah records that God’s people obeyed not “the voice of the Lord, nor walked in His law, nor in His statutes, nor in His testimonies,” for they were burning “incense to the queen of heaven.” Jeremiah 44:23, 25. Is this another example of “the sure word of prophecy?” 2 Peter 1:19. Ellen White was shown in vision many years ago that “Modern Israel are in greater danger of forgetting God and being led into idolatry than were His ancient people.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 609.
“It is to be remembered that the greater the light bestowed, the greater the delusion and darkness of those who reject the word of God and accept fables.” Signs of the Times, November 8, 1899. After all, was it not the leaders of the Jewish nation that had Christ murdered with the aid of the Roman power! Will history be repeated? “However high any minister may have stood in the favor of God, if he neglects to follow out the light given him of God, if he refuses to be taught as a little child, he will go into darkness and satanic delusions and will lead others in the same path.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 214.