Bible Study Guides – “Peace With God Through Our Lord Jesus Christ”

January 22, 2000 – January 28, 2000

Memory Verse

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:” Romans 5:1.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 23–35.


“Justification is a full, complete pardon of sin. The moment a sinner accepts Christ by faith, that moment he is pardoned. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, and he is no more to doubt God’s forgiving grace. There is nothing in faith that makes it our savior. Faith cannot remove our guilt. Christ is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe. The justification comes through the merits of Jesus Christ. He has paid the price for the sinner’s redemption. Yet it is only through faith in His blood that Jesus can justify the believer. The sinner can not depend upon his own good works as a means of justification. He must come to the point where he will renounce all his sin, and embrace one degree of light after another, as it shines upon his pathway. He simply grasps by faith the free and ample provision made in the blood of Christ. He believes the promises of God which through Christ are made unto him sanctification and righteousness and redemption.” Signs of the Times, May 19, 1898.

“The Goodness of God”

1 Who made the first move in the salvation of man? Romans 5:8.

note: See In Heavenly Places, 13.

2 Where does the impulse to repent come from? Romans 2:4.

note: “With untold love our God has loved us, and our love awakens toward Him as we comprehend something of the length and breadth and depth and height of this love that passeth knowledge. By the revelation of the attractive loveliness of Christ, by the knowledge of His love expressed to us while we were yet sinners, the stubborn heart is melted and subdued, and the sinner is transformed and becomes a child of heaven. God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart. By it He changes pride into humility, and enmity and unbelief into love and faith.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 76.

“He is Faithful”

3 What precious promise is made to those who confess their sins? 1 John 1:9.

note: See Desire of Ages, 266.

4 If we have sinned against others, what must we also do as well as confessing to God? James 5:16.

note: “If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you have sinned against his Creator. True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.” The Faith I Live By, 128. (See also The Faith I Live By, 34; The Upward Look, 176.)

“He That Covereth His Sins”

5 What example did David set in confessing his sins? Psalm 32:5.

note: “How anxious are you to remove the record of the past, to have your wrong-doings blotted out? What depths of iniquity are open to God’s sight, that are hidden from all mortal view! Every secret thing shall be brought into judgement, whether it be good or evil. Past sins, unrepented of and unforgiven, will be brought up then, only to condemn us, and appoint our portion with the lost. But the promises of God are full of encouragement for us. ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’” Review and Herald, January 13, 1891.

6 What contrast is made between those who confess their sins and those who try to hide them? Proverbs 28:13.

note: “If those who hide and excuse their faults could see how Satan exults over them, how he taunts Christ and holy angels with their course, they would make haste to confess their sins and to put them away. Through defects in the character, Satan works to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome. But Jesus pleads in their behalf His wounded hands, His bruised body; and He declares to all who would follow Him, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9. Let none, then, regard their defects as incurable. God will give faith and grace to overcome them.” The Faith I Live By, 203.

“If I Have Taken Any Thing”

7 What promise is given to those who make restitution for their wrongs? Ezekiel 33:15.

note: “If we have injured others through any unjust business transaction, if we have overreached in trade, or defrauded any man, even though it be within the pale of the law, we should confess our wrong, and make restitution as far as lies in our power. It is right for us to restore not only that which we have taken, but all that it would have accumulated if put to a right and wise use during the time it has been in our possession.” Desire of Ages, 556.

8 What example of true repentance is given by Zacchaeus? Luke 19:1–10.

note: “No sooner did Zacchaeus yield to the influence of the Holy Spirit than he cast aside every practice contrary to integrity. No repentance is genuine that does not work reformation. The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin. Every converted soul will, like Zacchaeus, signalize the entrance of Christ into his heart by an abandonment of the unrighteous practices that have marked his life. Like the chief publican, he will give proof of his sincerity by making restitution. If we have injured others through any unjust business transaction, we should confess our wrong, and make restitution as far as lies in our power. It is right for us to restore not only that which we have taken, but all that it would have accumulated if put to a right and wise use during the time it has been in our possession.” Conflict and Courage, 302.

“Let the Wicked Forsake His Way”

9. In order to return to the Lord and receive His pardon, what decision must the sinner make? Isaiah 55:7.

note: “There are some who do not readily respond to the invitation to forsake their own way, and come into harmony with God’s way. They prefer to follow a way of their own choosing. Those who wish to do so, have the privilege of continuing to walk in their own unconsecrated way, but the end of that way is sorrow and destruction.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, March 23, 1910. (See also Steps to Christ, 47.)

10 Must we reform ourselves before we can return to God? Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 31:3.

note: “Do not listen to the enemy’s suggestion to stay away from Christ until you have made yourself better; until you are good enough to come to God. If you wait until then, you will never come. When Satan points to your filthy garments, repeat the promise of Jesus, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.’ John 6:37. Tell the enemy that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. Make the prayer of David your own, ‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.’ Psalm 51:7. Arise and go to your Father. He will meet you a great way off. If you take even one step toward Him in repentance, He will hasten to enfold you in His arms of infinite love. His ear is open to the cry of the contrite soul. The very first reaching out of the heart after God is known to Him. Never a prayer is offered, however faltering, never a tear is shed, however secret, never a sincere desire after God is cherished, however feeble, but the Spirit of God goes forth to meet it. Even before the prayer is uttered or the yearning of the heart made known, grace from Christ goes forth to meet the grace that
is working upon the human soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 206. (See also Review and Herald, April 10, 1900.)

“He Will Abundantly Pardon”

11 What precious promises of pardon does the Lord make? Micah 7:18–19.

note: “Behold Christ. Dwell upon His love and mercy. This will fill the soul with abhorrence for all that is sinful, and will inspire it with an intense desire for the righteousness of Christ. The more clearly we see the Savior, the more clearly shall we discern our defects of character. Confess your sins to Christ, and with true contrition of soul co-operate with Him by putting these sins away. Believe that they are pardoned. The promise is positive, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ Be assured that the Word of God will not fail. He who has promised is faithful. It is as much your duty to believe that God will fulfil His word, and forgive you, as it is to confess your sins.” Review and Herald, May 21, 1908.

12 What gracious invitation does the Lord make? Ezekiel 18:23, 31–32; Ezekiel 33:10–11.

note: “God does not desire the destruction of any.…Throughout the period of probationary time His Spirit is entreating men to accept the gift of life. It is only those who reject His pleading that will be left to perish. God has declared that sin must be destroyed as an evil ruinous to the universe. Those who cling to sin will perish in its destruction.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 123. (See also Prophets and Kings, 325.)

Bible Study Guides – “Made Him to be Sin for Us”

January 15, 2000 – January 21, 2000

Memory Verse

“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.

Study Help: Selected Messages, Book 1, 392–394.


“‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save.’ (Mark 15:31.) It is because Christ would not save Himself that the sinner has any hope of pardon or favor with God. If, in His undertaking to save the sinner, Christ had failed or become discouraged, the last hope of every son and daughter of Adam would have been at an end. The entire life of Christ was one of self-denial and self-sacrifice; and the reason that there are so few stalwart Christians is because of their self-indulgence and self-pleasing in the place of self-denial and self-sacrifice.” This Day With God, 236.

“Despised and Rejected”

1 How was Jesus received by those He came to save? John 1:11.

note: A literal translation of this verse might read: “He came unto His own home and His own people received Him not.”

“The Jews were privileged with the presence of Christ manifested in the flesh. This inestimable blessing which God bestowed upon them should have called forth their devout acknowledgements. But in blind prejudice they refused the mercies offered them by Jesus. His love was lavished upon them in vain, and they regarded not His wondrous works. Sorrow fled at His approach; infirmity and deformity were healed; injustice and oppression shrunk ashamed from His rebuke; while death and the grave humbled themselves in His presence and obeyed His commands. Yet the people of His choice rejected Him and His mighty miracles with scorn. The Majesty of Heaven came unto His own, and His own received him not.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 19.

2 What reception for Jesus did the prophet Isaiah foretell? Isaiah 53:2, 3.

note: “This chapter should be studied. It presents Christ as the Lamb of God. Those who are lifted up with pride, whose souls are filled with vanity, should look upon this picture of their Redeemer, and humble themselves in the dust. The entire chapter should be committed to memory. Its influence will subdue and humble the soul defiled by sin and uplifted by self-exaltation. Think of Christ’s humiliation. He took upon Himself fallen, suffering human nature, degraded and defiled by sin. He took our sorrows, bearing our grief and shame. He endured all the temptations wherewith man is beset. He united humanity with divinity: a divine spirit dwelt in a temple of flesh. He united Himself with the temple. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,’ because by so doing He could associate with the sinful, sorrowing sons and daughters of Adam.” Youth’s Instructor, December 20, 1900.

“He Learned Obedience”

3 How are we shown that Christ is our example in obedience? Hebrews 5:8, 9.

note: “If we would be partakers with Christ of His glory, we must also be willing to share with Him in His humiliation.…We should not murmur if we are called upon to share the suffering part of religion. There are many who do not feel averse to suffering, but they do not exercise simple, living faith. They say they do not know what it means to take God at His word. They have a religion of outward forms and observances. It is painful to see the unbelief that exists in the hearts of many of God’s professed followers. We have the most precious truths ever committed to mortals, and the faith of those who have received these truths should correspond to their greatness and value.” Review and Herald, March 5, 1889.

4 How great was Christ’s struggle against temptation? Hebrews 5:7.

note: “Jesus came to bring moral power to combine with human effort, and in no case are His followers to allow themselves to lose sight of Christ, who is their example in all things. He said, ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.’ Jesus presents the truth before His children that they may look upon it, and by beholding it, may become changed, being transformed by His grace from transgression to obedience, from impurity to purity, from sin to heart-holiness and righteousness of life.” Review and Herald, December 22, 1891.

“He Hath Borne Our Griefs”

5 What reason was given by men for the sufferings of Christ? Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 27:39–46.

note: See Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, 155, 156.

6 What was the real reason for Christ’s sufferings? Isaiah 53:5, 6.

note: “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.’” The Desire of Ages, 25.

“Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?”

7 What was the worst aspect of Christ’s sufferings? Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1.

note: “The spotless Son of God took upon Himself the burden of sin. He who had been one with God, felt in His soul the awful separation that sin makes between God and man. This wrung from His lips the anguished cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’ Matthew 27:46. It was the burden of sin, the sense of its terrible enormity, of its separation of the soul from God—it was this that broke the heart of the Son of God.” The Faith I Live By, 101.

8 Why was Jesus willing to undergo this sense of separation from His Father? Romans 5:8.

note: “The value of a soul, who can estimate? Would you know its worth, go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Christ through those hours of anguish, when He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Look upon the Savior uplifted on the cross. Hear that despairing cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ Mark 15:34. Look upon the wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Christ would have laid down His life, you may estimate the value of a soul.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 196.

“This Man Hath Done Nothing Amiss”

9 How are we shown that Christ’s innocence was obvious to many? Luke 23:4, 14, 15, 39–41, 47.

note: “ Many had flocked to the crucifixion from curiosity, and not from hatred toward Christ. Still they believed the accusations of the priests, and looked upon Christ as a malefactor. Under an unnatural excitement they had united with the mob in railing against Him. But when the earth was wrapped in blackness, and they stood accused by their own consciences, they felt guilty of a great wrong. No jest or mocking laughter was heard in the midst of that fearful gloom; and when it was lifted, they made their way to their homes in solemn silence. They were convinced that the charges of the priests were false, that Jesus was no pretender; and a few weeks later, when Peter preached upon the day of Pentecost, they were among the thousands who became converts to Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 770.

10 How did even Judas show his conviction that Christ was innocent? Matthew 27:3, 4.

note: See The Desire of Ages, 722.

“In All Points Tempted As We Are”

11 What assurance do we have that, though Jesus shared our common humanity and was made to be sin for us, He was without sin? Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:21, 22.

note: “Christ came to this world to reveal God’s character as it really is. He is the perfect representation of the Father. His life of sinlessness, lived on this earth in human nature, is a complete refutation of Satan’s charge against the character of God.” Bible Training School, October 1, 1902.

12 What was Christ’s purpose in being made sin for us? 2 Corinthians 5:21.

note: “Christ has made every provision for the sanctification of His church. He has made abundant provision for every soul to have such grace and strength that he will be more than a conqueror in the warfare against sin. The Savior is wounded afresh and put to open shame when His people pay no heed to His word. He came to this world and lived a sinless life, that in His power His people might also lead lives of sinlessness. He desires them by practicing the principles of truth to show to the world that God’s grace has power to sanctify the heart.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, January 17, 1906.

Bible Study Guides – “In All Things Like Unto His Brethren”

January 8, 2000 – January 14, 2000

Memory Verse

“Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17.

Study Help: Confrontation, 32–47.


“The Elder Brother of our race is by the eternal throne. He looks upon every soul who is turning his face toward Him as the Savior. He knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are our wants, and where lies the strength of our temptations; for He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. Are you tempted? He will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. Are you wounded? He will heal. The Lord ‘telleth the number of the stars;’ and yet ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:4, 3.’” Desire of Ages, 329.

“The Word Was Made Flesh”

1 How does John describe the incarnation of Christ? John 1:14.

note: “The Son of God stooped to uplift the fallen.…He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He knew what it meant to be hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He was a stranger and a sojourner on the earth–in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women of today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin. Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God.” Acts of the Apostles, 472.

2 How did Paul describe the incarnation of Christ? Philippians 2:7.

note: The marginal reading for “made Himself of no reputation” is “emptied Himself.” It is to this that Charles Wesley referred in his well-known hymn, “Amazing Love.” “He left His Father’s throne above, so free, so infinite His grace, emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race.”

“Jesus came to the world not as an angel of light; we could not have endured His glory if He had come thus.…For our sake Jesus emptied Himself of His glory; He clothed His divinity with humanity that He might touch humanity, that His personal presence might be among us, that we might know that He was acquainted with all our trials, and sympathized with our grief, that every son and daughter of Adam might understand that Jesus is the friend of sinners.” Signs of the Times, April 18, 1892.

“I Can of Mine Own Self Do Nothing”

3 How did Jesus show that He had laid aside His omnipotence? John 5:19, 30.

note: “Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was.” Desire of Ages, 664.

4 How did Jesus state His dependence on His Father? John 7:16; John 12:49, 50; John 14:10.

note: “The knowledge of divine truth is promised to those who will render obedience to the light and truth that have been given to them. An entrance into the strait gate is not dependent upon the possession of learning or riches, but it is dependent upon the possession of a teachable spirit.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 110.

5 How did Jesus show that even His miracles were not accomplished through His own power? John 14:10–12.

note: See Steps to Christ, 75.

6 What did Jesus want us to learn from His earthly life? John 8:28.

note: “So utterly was He emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plan for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent, declaring, ‘I do nothing of Myself,’ how much more should the human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God’s will. Oh, that failing, erring mortals would be content to seek wisdom from God, and be entirely submissive in working out His directions, in exemplifying His character! If ever mortals needed to send to heaven an earnest cry, ‘Lord, show me Thy way; teach me the way of the Lord,’ it is now. Only those will have a fitness for the mansions above who give to God full and implicit obedience. God knows that we would not appreciate His rarest gifts if we were not perfectly submissive to His will.” Signs of the Times, November 21, 1892.

“In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh”

7 Why did Christ share our common humanity? Hebrews 2:14.

note: See The Desire of Ages, 117.

8 Which of Christ’s earthly ancestors does the Bible especially mention? Romans 1:3; Hebrews 2:16.

note: See The Desire of Ages, 49.

9 What warning does John give against those who deny the completeness of Christ’s humanity? 1 John 4:1–3.

note: “By misrepresentation and falsehood the emissaries of Satan had sought to stir up opposition against John and against the doctrine of Christ. In consequence dissentions and heresies were imperiling the church. John met these errors unflinchingly. He hedged up the way of the adversaries of truth. He wrote and exhorted, that the leaders in these heresies should not have the least encouragement. There are at the present day evils similar to those that threatened the prosperity of the early church, and the teachings of the apostle upon these points should be carefully heeded.” The Sanctified Life, 64, 65.

“Yet Without Sin”

10 Despite the fact that Jesus was tempted in exactly the same way that we are, of what are we assured? Hebrews 4:15.

note: “We should have no misgivings in regard to the perfect sinlessness of the human nature of Christ.…He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was in all points tempted like as we are. And yet He ‘knew no sin.’ He was the Lamb ‘without blemish and without spot.’ Could Satan in the least particular have tempted Christ to sin, he would have bruised the Savior’s head. As it was, he could only touch His heel. Had the head of Christ been touched, the hope of the human race would have perished. Divine wrath would have come upon Christ as it came upon Adam. Christ and the church would have been without hope. Not even by a thought could Christ be brought to yield to the power of temptation.…Christ declared of Himself, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.’” The Faith I Live By, 49.

11 How did Paul explain the purpose of Christ assuming our fallen nature? Romans 8:3, 4.

note: “The sinful nature of man was weak, and he was prone to the transgression of God’s commandments. Man had not the power to do the words of God; that is why Christ came to our world, that He might give him moral power. There was no power in heaven or in earth but the power of Christ that could deliver. . . . He came to meet the difficulty and to remove it. His own arm brought salvation. God sent forth His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh that He might condemn sin in the flesh and reveal the fact to heaven, to the worlds unfallen and also the fallen world, that through the power of divine grace, through partaking of the divine nature, man need no longer stand under the curse of the law or remain in transgression.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, 82, 83.

See also Signs of the Times, January 16, 1896; Review and Herald, May 7, 1901.

Bible Study Guides – “He Shall Save His People from Their Sins”

January 1, 2000 – January 7, 2000

General Introduction

Satan’s work is to make the truth of God of none effect. Cast out of heaven because of his transgression, his aim has ever been to defeat God’s purpose for man. He seeks to make it appear that the law is imperfect, unjust, tyrannical. He declares that it is impossible for man to keep the law. And in his own power man cannot keep the law. Without a Savior, he is without hope.

“Christ saw the helpless condition of the race, and He came to redeem them by living the life of obedience the law requires, and by paying in His death the penalty of disobedience. He came to bring us the message and means of deliverance, an assurance of salvation, not through the abrogation of the law, but through obedience made possible by His merits….

“Christ’s death shows God’s great love for man. It is the pledge of our salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting out the sun. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. Jehovah looks upon it with the relenting compassion of a Father’s love. He looks upon the suffering His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and He accepts us in the Beloved.

“Without the cross, man could have no connection with the Father. On it hangs our every hope. In view of it the Christian may advance with the steps of a conqueror; for from it streams the light of the Savior’s love. When the sinner reaches the cross, and looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy; for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ; and the words of pardon are spoken: Live, O ye guilty sinners live. Your repentance is accepted; for I have found a ransom.

“Through the cross we learn that our Heavenly Father loves us with an infinite and everlasting love, and draws us to Him with more than a mother’s yearning sympathy for a wayward child. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, ‘God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’? It is our privilege also to glory in the cross of Calvary, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then with the light of love that shines from His face on ours, we shall go forth to reflect it to those in darkness.

Review and Herald, April 29, 1902.

Compiler’s Foreword

The doctrine of the assurance of salvation is of Calvinistic origin and is based on the five points of the Synod of Dort, 1618, which attempted to answer the objections made by Jacob Hermann (Arminius), to the way in which the Dutch Reformed Church had developed the teaching of John Calvin. The five essential points of Calvinism, proposed by the synod and advocated by Reformed churches of the Calvinistic persuasion today, are as follows:

  1. Total depravity. Man can do nothing at all to bring about his salvation, not even to believe.
  2. Unconditional election. The decision that determines man’s salvation is entirely God’s, and not man’s in the slightest degree.
  3. Limited atonement. Jesus died on Calvary only for the elect.
  4. Irresistible grace. God’s grace, when presented to the sinner, cannot be resisted or refused.
  5. Perseverance of the saints. The elect are assured of salvation and can never be lost, no matter what they may do. (“Once saved, always saved.”)

Jacob Hermann, in contrast, had proposed that:

  1. Man is endowed by God with free will. He can choose to respond to, or reject, Christ’s call.
  2. Our election to eternal life is based on God’s foreknowledge as to who would choose to believe.
  3. Because God loves everyone, Christ died for the world and the Father is not willing that any should perish.
  4. Man, through exercise of his free will, may resist God’s grace.
  5. Man may, through exercise of his free will, choose to fall from grace.

When the Calvinists speak of the assurance of salvation, they refer to their belief that those chosen by God to eternal life can never be lost, no matter what sins they may commit. This teaching of the assurance of salvation is commonly described as “once saved, always saved.” Seventh-day Adventists have always held that “once saved, always saved” is unscriptural and a dangerous and misleading error. The term “assurance of salvation” is never found in Scripture. Ellen White employs the term only once in the following quotation: “Christ saw the helpless condition of the race, and He came to redeem them by living the life of obedience the law requires, and by paying in His death the penalty of disobedience. He came to bring us the message and means of deliverance, an assurance of salvation, not through the abrogation of the law, but through obedience made possible by His merits.” Review and Herald, April 29, 1902.

Here we are shown that the assurance of salvation that Christ brings is dependent on the Christian’s obedience to the Law of God, made possible through the merits of Christ.

Memory Verse

“And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.

Study Help: Steps to Christ, 17–22.


“The Christian must represent Jesus by both being good and doing good. Then there will be a fragrance about the life, a loveliness of character, which will reveal the fact that he is a child of God, an heir of heaven. Brethren, be no longer slothful servants. Every soul must battle against inclination. Christ came not to save men in their sins, but from their sins. He has made it possible for us to possess a holy character; do not, then, be content with defects and deformities. But while we are to seek earnestly for perfection of character, we must remember that sanctification is not the work of a moment, but of a lifetime. Said Paul, ‘I die daily.’ (1 Corinthians 15:31.) Day by day the work of overcoming must go forward. Every day we are to resist temptation, and gain the victory over selfishness in all its forms.” Ye Shall Receive Power, 353.

“All Have Sinned”

1 What is the human problem from which we all need to be saved? Romans 3:23.

note: “The only definition we find in the Bible for sin is that ‘sin is the transgression of the law.’ (1 John 3:4.) The Word of God declares, ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23.) ‘There is none that doeth good, no, not one.’ (Romans 3:12.) Many are deceived concerning the condition of their hearts. They do not realize that the natural heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. They wrap themselves about with their own righteousness, and are satisfied in reaching their own human standard of character; but how fatally they fail when they do not reach the divine standard, and of themselves they cannot meet the requirements of God.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 320.

2 What is the inevitable consequence of man’s sin? Romans 5:12.

note See The Great Controversy, 532, 533.

“Your Father the Devil”

3 What does sinful behavior reveal? John 8:44.

note: “The enmity to God has struck its roots deep in human hearts. It has become widespread, both in the world and in the professed churches of Christ. The world and the professed people of God are united by the all-pervading principle of aversion to God’s government. Their opposition to the law of God is sufficient to bind them together, to bear together the burden of their accumulated guilt. Any indication of returning to loyalty and obedience to God is denounced as treachery against the confederacy of disloyalty. A wakeful impiety is quickened into an instinctive vigilance, and rouses to demonstration of hatred against the testing truth for this time. Wherever the truth shall be proclaimed, it will be opposed in a decided manner, for men possess the attributes which Jesus charged upon the Jews when He said, ‘Ye are of your father the devil,’ and ‘ye do the deeds of your father.’” Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, 57.

4 How does Paul describe the activities of those who follow their sinful inclinations? Galatians 5:19–21.

note: “The greatest detriment to our churches, that which brings them into weakness and disfavor with God, is unhappy jealousies and differences. ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Then let every soul examine himself, and see if he is approaching the committal of any such sins. ‘This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.’ Unsanctified hearts will be revealed in unsanctified actions.” Review and Herald, June 28, 1887.

5 What does Paul say about the consequences of sinful conduct? Galatians 5:21, last part.

note: “The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ. When men who claim to be Christians retain all their natural defects of character and disposition, in what does their position differ from that of the worldling? They do not appreciate the truth as a sanctifier, a refiner. They have not been born again.” Maranatha, 237.

“But God…”

6 How does Paul describe the situation of those who have not been born again? Ephesians 2:1–3.

note: “By nature we are alienated from God. The Holy Spirit describes our condition in such words as these: ‘Dead in trespasses and sins;’ ‘the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint’; ‘no soundness in it.’ We are held fast in the snare of Satan; ‘taken captive by him at his will.’ Ephesians 2:1; Isaiah 1:5, 6; 2 Timothy 2:26. God desires to heal us, to set us free. But since this requires an entire transformation, a renewing of our whole nature, we must yield ourselves wholly to Him.” The Faith I Live By, 87. (See also Testimonies, vol. 6, 426, 427.)

7 What difference is accomplished in the life by the power of God? Ephesians 2:4–6.

note: “The warfare against self is the greatest battle that was ever fought. The yielding of self, surrendering all to the will of God, requires a struggle; but the soul must submit to God before it can be renewed in holiness. Many realize their helplessness; they are longing for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God, and are striving to obtain it. But in vain.…Let those desponding, struggling ones look up. When sin struggles for the mastery.…look to the Savior. His grace is sufficient to subdue sin. Let your grateful heart, trembling with uncertainty, turn to Him. Lay hold on the hope set before you.…His strength will help your weakness; He will lead you step by step. Place your hand in His, and let Him guide you. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin. He is always near. His loving presence surrounds you. Seek Him as One who desires to be found of you. God’s promise is, ‘Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.’” The Faith I Live By, 87.

“Repent and be Converted”

8 In order to receive forgiveness for the sins he has committed, what must the sinner do? 1 John 1:9.

note: “The conditions of obtaining mercy from God are simple and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order to gain forgiveness. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression. He that ‘confesseth and forsaketh’ his sin ‘shall have mercy.’ Proverbs 28:13.” Acts of the Apostles, 552.

9 How does David describe this experience? Psalm 32:5.

note: “How anxious are you to remove the record of the past, to have your wrong-doings blotted out? What depths of iniquity are open to God’s sight, that are hidden from all mortal view! Every secret thing shall be brought into judgement, whether it be good or evil. Past sins, unrepented of and unforgiven, will be brought up then, only to condemn us, and appoint our portion with the lost. But the promises of God are full of encouragement for us.” Review and Herald, January 13, 1891.

10 What other elements are essential parts of repentance? Ezekiel 33:15; Isaiah 55:7.

note: “Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus.…In this chief of the publicans was awakened a longing for a better life.…He felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him.…Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.” Conflict and Courage, 301. (See also Patriarchs and Prophets, 203.)

“I Will Receive You”

11 Can a sinner make himself righteous? Jeremiah 13:23.

note: “If you see your sinfulness, do not wait to make yourself better. How many there are who think they are not good enough to come to Christ. Do you expect to become better through your own efforts?…There is help for us only in God. We must not wait for stronger persuasions, for better opportunities, or for holier tempers. We can do nothing for ourselves. We must come to Christ just as we are. Yield yourself to Christ without delay; He alone, by the power of His grace, can redeem you from ruin. He alone can bring your moral and mental powers into a state of health.” The Faith I Live By, 133.

12 What precious promise is given to those who choose to turn their backs on their former lives of sin? 2 Corinthians 6:17.

note: “God has given men faculties and capabilities. God works and cooperates with the gifts He has imparted to man, and man, by being a partaker of the divine nature and doing the work of Christ, may be an overcomer and win eternal life. The Lord does not propose to do the work He has given man powers to do. Man’s part must be done. He must be a laborer together with God, yoking up with Christ, learning His meekness, His lowliness. God is the all-controlling power. He bestows the gifts; man receives them and acts with the power of the grace of Christ as a living agent. ‘Ye are God’s husbandry.’ (1 Corinthians 3:9.) The heart is to be worked, subdued, ploughed, harrowed, seeded, to bring forth its harvest to God in good works. ‘Ye are God’s building.’ You cannot build yourself. There is a Power outside of yourself that must do the building of the church, putting brick upon brick, always cooperating with the faculties and powers given of God to man. The Redeemer must find a home in His building. God works and man works.” Faith and Works, 26.

Food for Life – Raisin-Nut Treats

Inspiration Counsels Against Stimulants and Narcotics

Happy Holidays! How are you going to spend this holiday? Are you going to think of your Best Friend and how much He has done for you? Or are you going to serve self and those you love better than Jesus? Do think this matter over seriously, dear friends, and determine by the grace of God to do better than you have in the past. God gave all Heaven for you, in the form of His Beloved Son, how can you do less for Him? So determine in your hearts that you will return to the Giver what He requires of you, and thank Him mightily for all His goodness to you in this past year. Then you will have a truly happy holiday and also be laying up treasure in Heaven where “moth and rust doth not corrupt.”

Now to continue last month’s article on the bad effects of narcotics and stimulants: “The continued use of these nerve irritants is followed by headache, wakefulness, palpitation of the heart, indigestion, trembling, and many other evils; for they wear away the life forces. Tired nerves need rest and quiet instead of stimulation and overwork. Nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies. When her forces are goaded on by the use of stimulants, more will be accomplished for a time; but, as the system becomes debilitated by their constant use, it gradually becomes more difficult to rouse the energies to the desired point. The demand for stimulants becomes more difficult to control, until the will is overborne and there seems to be no power to deny the unnatural craving. Stronger and still stronger stimulants are called for, until exhausted nature can no longer respond.

“Tobacco is a slow, insidious, but most malignant poison. In whatever form it is used, it tells upon the constitution; it is all the more dangerous because its effects are slow and at first hardly perceptible. It excites and then paralyzes the nerves. It weakens and clouds the brain. Often it affects the nerves in a more powerful manner than does intoxicating drink. It is more subtle, and its effects are difficult to eradicate from the system. Its use excites a thirst for strong drink and in many cases lays the foundation for the liquor habit.

“The use of tobacco is inconvenient, expensive, uncleanly, defiling to the user, and offensive to others. Its devotees are encountered everywhere. You rarely pass through a crowd but some smoker puffs his poisoned breath in your face. It is unpleasant and unhealthful to remain in a railway car or in a room where the atmosphere is laden with the fumes of liquor and tobacco. Though men persist in using these poisons themselves, what right have they to defile the air that others must breathe?

“Among children and youth the use of tobacco is working untold harm. The unhealthful practices of past generations affect the children and youth of today. Mental inability, physical weakness, disordered nerves, and unnatural cravings are transmitted as a legacy from parents to children. And the same practices, continued by the children, are increasing and perpetuating the evil results. To this cause in no small degree is owing the physical, mental, and moral deterioration which is becoming such a cause of alarm.

“Boys begin the use of tobacco at a very early age. The habit thus formed when body and mind are especially susceptible to its effects, undermines the physical strength, dwarfs the body, stupefies the mind, and corrupts the morals.” The Ministry of Healing, 326–329.

Recipe – Raisin-Nut Treats

2 cups shelled nuts

6 tablespoons Fruit Source syrup

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons carob powder

½ cup sesame seeds

In blender grind nuts to flour and put in mixing bowl. Add syrup and mix well. Add the raisins and mix to a sticky mass. Measure carob powder and sesame seeds into two small bowls. With a teaspoon and your hands shape a lump of syrup-nut mixture into a one inch ball. Dip these, one at a time, in the carob powder and place on wax paper. After 15 minutes, the syrup will soak through the carob; now roll the carob covered balls into the sesame seeds. Makes about 36 treats.

Children’s Story – Light in the Darkness

For many years Eva Tavor had been unable to see. Doctors offered no hope. All the brightness of life seemed blotted out, but in the darkness she learned to love and trust in a Savior that she had so often ignored when she earlier had sight.

She found that verse that says, “Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.” Psalm 139:12. And, with it, another: “The day is Thine, and the night also.” Psalm 74:16.

And so, day by day, she sang songs in the night (Psalm 42:8) and through it all, she learned that God is an ever-present Help, and that the more she praised Him for the blessing she had, the more she received.

And then, one bright August morning, she learned that a new operation had been developed that might offer hope. Gone now were the old days, when in full sight she walked blindly. Now, she praised her heavenly Father at each step—and submitted all her life and future to His keeping. If the operation would bring healing, then that would be well: but if not, she would continue, unfaltering, in her trust in God.

And then the operation was performed. And it restored her sight.

Now it was an October morn, and Eva stood by the kitchen sink. She could see the sparkle of the sunlight in the water, and the brightness of the room shone all about. Before her, through the open window, she could see the bright colors of fall on the trees in the woods outside. Quietly splitting the early morning mists, rays of sunlight were falling in slanted streaks through the leafy bowers of foliage, and lightening patches of grass and ground below.

It was all a delight to Eva, and she thanked God for it all. Then, swirling her hand through the dish water, she picked up a large soap bubble and held it to the sunlight. Through it could be seen all the colors of the spectrum in an intermingling of blues and reds, greens, yellows and violets. And she remembered the words of the old song:

When thou hast truly thanked thy God

For every blessing sent,

But little time will then remain

For murmur or lament.

Are you and I thanking God for all our blessings? Do we realize that the more we thank Him for all that we have, the more we shall have to thank Him for?

Taken from Shelter in the Storm. This compilation of Steps to Christ and chapters from The Great Controversy is available through Steps to Life or by writing Harvestime Books, Altamont, TN, 37301.

Friendly Fire

Many people are unaware that friendly fire is a serious problem. We think that because of modern technology, friendly fire is a sad fact of the past. However, the statistics tell a different story. During six years of the Vietnam War, there were over 29,000 casualties due to friendly fire. In operation Desert Storm, 45% of all American casualties were due to friendly fire.* The government spends enormous amounts of money on research focused on inventing and utilizing devices that can prevent friendly fire, because, in a war, one of the most dangerous problems is not knowing who the enemy is and who he is not.

We all know what literal friendly fire is. It is when a person, or military unit is fired upon by one of his own side. It is impossible to win a war if you are wounding or killing your own men and not the enemy, thus in a war, if you are going to be victorious you must know who the enemy is and who the enemy is not.

Although this is a problem that many in the military and government are concerned about, literal friendly fire is not where my concern lies. What concerns me is that friendly fire is not isolated to the military world; spiritual friendly fire has become a problem of large magnitude in the church today.

In Galatians 4:14–16, Paul gave us an example of spiritual friendly fire. He wrote this about his experience with the Galatian Christians: “And my trial, which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”

Paul here is asking a very interesting question of the Galatian believers. He recounts how, when he first brought the gospel to them, they received him “as an angel of God.” If it were possible, he said, they would have even plucked out their own eyes and given them to him. However, a change took place. A change in the Galatian church, that caused them to look at Paul as their enemy instead of their beloved teacher and friend. The Galatians forgot who the real enemy was and they began using spiritual friendly fire. They turned their weapons, not only upon their brother, but upon the very one who had brought the precious truths of salvation to them. They became confused about who the enemy was and as a result became guilty of spiritual friendly fire.

Since friendly fire involves firing upon your comrade, instead of your enemy, it is imperative that we understand very clearly the true identity of the enemy. Jesus had many objectives when He came to this earth, but one of them was to reveal to us who the enemy is and who he is not. Sister White wrote, “While on earth Christ sought to sweep away the distinction that had been made by the Jews as to who was their neighbor and who was their enemy.” Home Missionary, June 1, 1897. This topic is something that we, as humans, have had a problem with for a long time. It is so easy for us to become confused about the true identity of the enemy.

The entire parable of the Good Samaritan was given to correct the erroneous belief the Jews held concerning who was their neighbor. “Among the Jews the question, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans. These were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation and among the different classes of society? Whom should the priest, the rabbi, the elder, regard as neighbor?” Christ’s Object Lessons, 376. The Jews were certain that the heathen and Samaritans were their enemies, but Jesus came to reveal a higher order of love. Through the teaching of this parable, He swept away the prevalent thoughts of the day about who their neighbor was and who their enemy was. And the lesson He taught the Jews then is just as applicable to us today. “He teaches us to regard every man as our neighbor who is in need of our sympathy, of our assistance and our love.” Home Missionary, June 1, 1897. Who is in need of our sympathy, our assistance and our love? That encompasses nearly every person alive today and we need to regard each one, not as our enemy, but as our neighbor.

Who is Not the Enemy?

The first group that is not the enemy are those people that are in Babylon and that do not know this precious truth that we know. Like the Jews we are inclined to think that the “heathen” are our enemies, but if we think this, we are just as wrong as they were. We can never preach the truth in love, as God desires, if we regard the people in Babylon as enemies. We must come to the realization that although they do not believe the truth from the Word of God, they are not our enemies. They are the ones most in need of our assistance, our sympathy and our love. It is our work to do everything in our power to bring them to a knowledge of the truth; that they may not just be our neighbors, but our brothers and sisters also.

The second group that is not the enemy is even more subtle than the first. This group is made up of those who believe some heresy or fanaticism. Once again, it is not difficult to develop a mindset that looks upon these people as the enemy. We must not sanction heresy or error, and there are times that discipline is essential, but those that have been deceived into accepting false doctrines are not our enemies. They are in need of our assistance to show them the truths from the Bible. They are in need of our sympathy and love. None will ever be rescued from error if they are contemptuously treated as enemies!

Paul counseled us about exactly how we should deal with cases like this. “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” II Thessalonians 3:14, 5.

The last class who are not our enemies is perhaps the most difficult for us to deal with. These are those who believe the truth, and are striving to live it, but who think or work differently than we do. Although they think, act, and work differently from us they are not our enemies. This is often very hard for us to handle because we are often brought in contact with them every day, but it is essential that we learn not to regard them as our enemies, because, if we do, we will eventually become guilty of spiritual friendly fire.

“Christ said, ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.’ Matthew 10:16. If we are to meet opposition from our enemies, who are represented as wolves, let us be careful that we do not manifest the same spirit among ourselves.” Ibid. Let us be careful that we do not become guilty of spiritual friendly fire. Are we being careful? Or have we started firing our weaponry at our brothers and sisters? Is historic Seventh-day Adventism being riddled with friendly fire because we have manifested the same spirit toward each other that our enemies manifest toward us? Are we confused about who we are fighting?

Who is the real enemy behind the error and fanaticism in the world today? Jesus said: “The enemy who sowed them is the devil.” Matthew 13:39. It is true that there are “children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38) in the church and in the world, but they are not the enemy. They are the very ones whom we need to love and help so that they may become “children of the kingdom.” Matthew 13:38.

How to Prevent Friendly Fire

In 1 John 4:7, 8, we read: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” What must we do so that we are not guilty of spiritual friendly fire? We must learn to love one another. And, this is not something that comes naturally to us; it is contrary to our nature, and thus it is possible only through the grace of Christ combined with much effort on our part.

Jesus came to this earth, not only to die that our sins might be forgiven, but He “took the nature of humanity, in order to reveal to man a pure, unselfish love, to teach us how to love one another.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1126. It was one of Jesus’ special missions to teach us how to love one another, how to be free from friendly fire. Have we learned the lesson yet? Or are we still in the combat zone with one another?

Sometimes we think it is enough to have the truth, but we must not only have the truth, we must live it as well. The truth lived out in our lives is going to lead us to have deep brotherly love for one another. Speaking of the power of the word of God, Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth: Your word is truth.…That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us.” John 17:17, 21. If we do not have this love among ourselves, those in the world will not be attracted to the truth, instead they will be driven away. (John 13:35.)

While I was in Ghana, earlier this year, I talked with a man who was a minister from another denomination. As we were talking, I discovered that he had previously been educated and served for many years as a minister of a Sabbath-keeping church, but he had left that church and joined a Sunday-keeping church. This aroused my curiosity. Why had he abandoned the Sabbath to join another church? It was not because he no longer believed in the Sabbath truth. He still knew that the Sabbath was the day God had sanctified. He told me that he left the Sabbath-keeping church because he did not see very much love among the members and leaders, and he found a loving atmosphere in the Sunday keeping church. How many others are there like this? Are people drawn to our churches because of the brotherly love they see there or do they spurn the truth because of the friendly fire that exists?

Learning Brotherly Love

Inspired writings contain counsel on many practical ways that we can learn to love one another. However, there are three main guidelines that, if applied to our lives, will bring about a transformation in our homes and in our churches.

The first and most important of the three is found in I Corinthians 13:5. In this verse it gives the following description of love: Love “does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” This is the most important thing to remember in our study on how to love one another. We must think no evil of one another. Spiritual friendly fire originates in our thoughts. In the military, no one can be guilty of friendly fire by only thinking about it, but this is how spiritual friendly fire most often occurs. If we are going to overcome friendly fire, this is where we must begin. Fortunately for us, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy give us much instruction on what steps we need to take in order to think no evil of our brothers and sisters.

In Our High Calling, 178, we read, “See how you can forgive those who trespass against you, even as you want your Father in heaven to forgive your trespasses.” Probably all of us have had a brother or sister do something to us that hurt or offended us in some way. It is important, then, that we learn to forgive, because that is one of the first steps in thinking no evil and learning to love one another. Forgiveness is a much large topic than most people realize. It must go deeper than just saying that we forgive one another—it must come “from the heart” (Matthew 18:35) and be as deep and full as the forgiveness that the Lord freely gives to us.

God freely forgave Paul, who assisted in the murder of His appointed messenger. Can we forgive the one who wrongs us that much? God’s forgiveness is not just lip service, it is full and deep. At the close of the judgment, all the sins of the truly penitent will be “blotted out.” (Acts 3:19.) Can we blot from our memory the wrongs that have been committed against us? If we are going to have the love for one another that Jesus prayed would exist, we must.

“Jesus, who died for us, loves us with a love that is infinite; and we must love one another. We must put away all selfishness, and work together in love and unity. We have loved and petted ourselves, and excused ourselves in waywardness; but we have been unmerciful toward our brethren, who may not be as faulty as ourselves. The Lord loves us, and bears with us, even when we are ungrateful to Him, forgetful of His mercies, wickedly unbelieving; but consider, brethren, how relentless we are to one another, how pitiless; how we hurt and wound one another, when we should love as Christ has loved us. Let us make a complete change.” Gospel Workers, 429. If we are going to love one another, we must put away our selfishness. We must not look on our own things, but on the things of others. (Philippians 2:4.) We have loved, petted and excused ourselves while we are unmerciful toward our brethren. All of these things originate in how we think about one another. We must consider our own deplorable condition and how God deals with us and then deal with our brethren in the same manner.

“Then let us feast upon Christ. Let us enjoy His love, and praise God for this great salvation. Then we shall come together, heart to heart. When we shall subdue our pride, when we shall pluck from the garden of the soul every fiber of the root of bitterness, our hearts will flow together as the heart of one.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, April 13, 1891. Pride must come out of our hearts. It was pride that caused the great division in heaven and pride will continue to do so here. Also every fiber of bitterness must be thoroughly uprooted. If we are harboring bitterness of any kind in our minds, we will not be loving our brethren as we must and we will be defiled. (Hebrews 12:15.)

“Then all this heart burning and distrust must cease, and in place of it, there will be love and union, courtesy, kindness, and tenderness.” Ibid.

In Our High Calling, 178, we are told, “Press together. Do not make little wedges of slight differences of opinion, and drive them in to separate heart from heart, but see how you can love one another even as Christ has loved you.” The slight differences of opinion that will inevitably arise among us can become little wedges. Just as a wedge begins by making an ever so slight crack and continually increases it until the wood is split in two, so slight differences of opinion can drive us far apart. At first they may be ever so small, but if harbored and dwelt upon, they can separate the dearest of friends.

Our natural tendency is to be lenient with our mistakes, but to be harsh on others. This also must change if we are going to stop using friendly fire. “We must be kind, forbearing, patient with one another’s errors; we must keep our sharp criticisms for ourselves, but hope all things, believe all things, of our brethren.” Gospel Workers, 429.

“Then how dare you allow one thought of opposition against one child of God? How dare you do it? We want melting mercy to fall upon us. And Jesus says it is not possible for the Father to love us if we do not love one another. It is possible to love one another. Therefore you must not make up your minds you cannot do it.” Sermons and Talks, vol. 2, 16. If we are striving to not think evil of our brethren, then we must not allow thoughts of opposition against a child of God to fester in our minds.

Speak No Evil

The second main point that we must adhere to, if we are going to cease our friendly fire, is found in 1 Peter 2:1. “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.” If we have learned to think no evil of our brethren, the second step will be a natural result; we will speak no evil.

“How the enemy has brought his own spirit into our work! We do not love one another, as Christ has enjoined upon us, because we do not love Christ. If your track is crossed in any way, if any one differs in opinion from you, then in place of feeling humility of mind, in place of carrying your burden to Christ, and asking Him for wisdom and light to know what is truth, you draw from Him, and are tempted to present your brother’s views in a false light, that they shall not have influence.” Review and Herald, August 27, 1889.

If you have ever heard two sides of the same story, you realize the relevancy of this counsel. We always tend to present our side in the best colors possible and our brother’s side in as dark hues as we can, but this must stop. We must learn to go to Jesus for wisdom and light and leave the enemy’s spirit out of our work.

“Those who learn His meekness and lowliness learn also how to love one another as He has loved them. They reach the place where they refuse to criticize and condemn others.” Upward Look, 359. Have we come to that place yet? If we are going to learn to speak no evil of our brethren, we must reach this place.

Love Shown In Our Actions

Lastly, if we have applied the other two points, our actions will show our love to one another. Jesus spoke about this high ideal in the sermon on the mount. He said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Matthew 5:44. It is difficult not to think or speak evil of those with whom we do not see eye to eye. However, Jesus’ ideals are even higher than simply not thinking or speaking evil. He says that we must love, bless, do good, and pray for those with whom we have differences.

Jesus exemplified this in His life when, as the Roman soldiers drove the spikes through His hands, He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” We can and must reach the point where we too can say when someone drives those figurative spikes through our hands, “Father forgive them for they do not realize what they are doing. They do not realize that I am not the enemy.”

The very top of the ladder of brotherly love is found in 1 John 3:16. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Jesus demonstrated that perfect love for us by dying for us while we were yet His rebellious children, and He desires that love to be perfected in us. If we are finding it difficult to love someone, we need to go to our closet and plead with the Lord to give us love enough to die for that person. The Lord will answer that prayer if we are only willing to follow the steps that He has already walked before us.

* These statistics were taken from the following web sites: and

Early Ecumenical Aspirations

The message of the second angel of Revelation 14 is that the churches of the last days have fallen. Has spiritual Babylon always been fallen? No. At some previous time these churches must have been in an unfallen condition in order to become fallen! Why have they fallen? Because in 1844 they rejected the First Angel’s Message—the truth about Christ’s work in the heavenly Sanctuary.

“The Second Angel’s Message had its initial sounding early in the summer of 1844 in the call to the Advent believers to come out of the nominal churches that had rejected the proclamation of the First Angel’s Message.” Appendix Note, Early Writings, 304. (See also, “The Final Warning,” The Great Controversy, 603–612.)

A Closer Look At Modern Babylon

The message of the fourth angel of Revelation 18, which adds power to the message of the second and third angels of Revelation 14, is that the Church of Rome and her harlot daughters have fallen, and the angel fervently calls God’s people to come out of the fallen churches of the last days. Indeed, the angel cries aloud that these churches have “become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Revelation 18:2b. The fourth angel comes down from heaven “having great power; and the earth is lightened with his glory.” Revelation 18:1b. Notice that this special angel “cried mightily with a strong voice.” Revelation 18:2a. This, beyond question, is a vivid description of the Latter Rain of the Advent message. Indeed, do not Seventh-day Adventists know the Latter Rain as the “Loud Cry” of the message?

“The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the Third Angel’s Message as it swells to a loud cry. And the people of God are thus prepared to stand in the hour of temptation, which they are soon to meet. I saw a great light resting upon them, and they united to fearlessly proclaim the Third Angel’s Message.” Early Writings, 277. [All emphasis supplied throughout unless otherwise noted.]

“For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,” the fourth angel cries aloud, “and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Revelation 18:3.

Habitation Of Devils

Let us more carefully analyze Revelation 18, verses 1 and 2. The fourth angel states that because the modern churches of Babylon have fallen they have “become the habitation of devils.” What does this mean? The contemporary Roman Catholic and Sunday-keeping churches are now filled with spiritualism in the form of false healing, false speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and using hypnosis in the practice of so-called “Christian psychology.” Rock music, inspired by demons, is now used in the worship service of most contemporary denominations, including the Roman Catholic Church. All of Christendom is rampant with the modern spiritualistic techniques of “Self-Esteem,” and “Neuro-Linguistic Programming,” known as NLP. This, without question, is spiritism in its most subtle and deceptive form!

“When Satan has undermined faith in the Bible, he directs men to other sources for light and power.…Criticism and speculation concerning the Scriptures have opened the way for spiritism and theosophy—those modernized forms of ancient heathenism—to gain a foothold even in the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Desire of Ages, 258.

“History is repeating,” Ellen White warned. “With the open Bible before them, and professing to reverence its teachings, many of the religious leaders of our time are destroying faith in it as the word of God.” Ibid. Like ancient Israel, modern Babylon has accepted spiritualism into their midst. “Side by side with the preaching of the gospel, agencies are at work which are but the medium of lying spirits.” Ibid.

Three Important Concepts Of Revelation 18, Verse 3

  1. “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” The nations have drunk from the wine of her false doctrine.
  2. “The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.” The contemporary Roman Catholic and modern Evangelical churches have sought the power of the state to enforce their so-called Christian values, and to support their institutions.
  3. “The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” The merchants of the earth have become rich from the sale of goods connected with the Christian faith. Christmas, Easter, Saint Valentine’s Day, All-Saints Day (Halloween), Saint Patrick’s Day, and other so-called Christian holidays reap millions in revenue for merchants and the churches.

The blasphemous movie productions, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and the even more blasphemous “Godspell,” reaped millions and millions of dollars. Although the Bible says of Judas, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot” (Luke 22:3), in the production “Godspell,” Judas Iscariot is depicted as the hero. Also in this blasphemous production the disciples crawl around on the stage and bleat like sheep. Jesus is depicted as a clown. He has a contemporary “rock star” Afro hair style, a little red heart on his shirt, and eyes painted with large teardrops under them, like a circus clown.

It is sad that we have become so gospel-hardened that some of these things no longer shock us. However, we should not be surprised by these developments in the fallen churches of Babylon. Seventh-day Adventists have been warned that gross apostasy would increase in the end of time. “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isaiah 60:2. But what is most astounding is that these two blasphemous movie productions were endorsed by the major denominations as tools for evangelism among the youth. (See, Bob Larson, Rock and the Church, available at most Christian book stores.)

The False Doctrines Of Modern Babylon

The wine is the false doctrine of Roman Babylon and her fallen harlot daughters are apostate Protestantism. Let us now examine the false doctrines of modern Babylon.

“This is the same message that was given by the second angel. Babylon is fallen, ‘because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication’ (Revelation 14:8.) What is that wine?—Her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the falsehood that Satan first told Eve in Eden—the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, ‘teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ Matthew15:9.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 118.

“The whole chapter shows that the Babylon that has fallen is the churches who will not receive the messages of warning the Lord has given in the First, Second, and Third Angel’s Messages,” Ellen White states. “They refused the truth and accepted a lie. Anyone who reads this chapter need not be deceived.” Manuscript Releases,
vol. 1, 302.

Notice that these fallen churches have “refused the truth and accepted a lie.” Are we to join hands with those who have accepted a lie?

The false leaders and teachers of modern Babylon will lead the masses of earth’s final generation to perdition. Only a few of earth’s billions will come out of Babylon. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:14. From Egypt only two passed into the promised land. Only eight were saved in Noah’s day. After the flood they all apostatized into Babylon. A few followed when the Lord called Abraham. Fewer still stood at the cross. “And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.” Luke 23:49. Only one hundred and twenty in the upper room received the early rain of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. A small company believed William Miller. Fewer still accepted the Sanctuary and Sabbath truths, the Spirit of Prophecy, and became Seventh-day Adventists. Today many are living in the broad way. However, there remains a small remnant throughout the earth. “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh,” Jesus asked, “shall He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8.

A Link Between Church and State

“When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common,” Ellen White warned, “shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, 277.

“By this first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the papacy.…Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience.…Persecution always follows religious favoritism on the part of secular governments.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 278.

Although God has given up on the Sunday-keeping churches of Babylon, He has not given up on the people in those denominations As in the days following the crucifixion of Christ, there was probation for the people—but there was no probation for the leadership of Israel! Jesus had declared, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Matthew 23:38.

A Warning Against Fellowship With Modern Babylon

The early Christian Church apostatized in the rise of the Papal Church and her link with the secular State. The Protestant churches apostatized when they rejected the message of the first angel. Now, through the message of the second angel, and the amplified message of the special angel of Revelation 18, God is calling His people out of Babylon, out of these false churches. He warns that if they do not come out of Babylon, they shall be “partakers of her sins” and will receive of her plagues. (See Revelation 18:4.)

Again, the point cannot be over-emphasized that, the message of the second and fourth angels call people out of Babylon, and to reject the false teachings of the fallen Protestant churches of the end times. It is a message directly against the Ecumenical Movement, which champions the brotherhood of all Christian churches. We, as Seventh-day Adventists, should not turn toward the churches of Babylon, but should be calling people out of these false churches!

Why can we not have fellowship and brotherhood on all sides with these Christians of other denominations? Why cannot Seventh-day Adventists become members of the National and World Council of Churches? “There is as great a difference in our faith and that of nominal professors,” Ellen White replies. “as the heavens are higher than the earth.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 300.

“The world is against us, the popular churches are against us, the laws of the land will soon be against us,” Ellen White wrote. “God has committed to us the special truths for this time to make known to the world.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 236.

How can we fellowship with the false Sunday-keeping churches of Babylon when “the popular churches are against us.” Indeed, did not Jesus Himself say, “For he that is not against us is on our part.” Mark 9:40. If the modern churches of Babylon are no longer against us, perhaps we are no longer teaching and preaching the historic Advent truth!

James White also gave some wise counsel on the subject of ecumenism and fellowship with the Sunday-keeping churches of Babylon. Notice carefully his wise counsel: “Here is a man, for instance, who does not agree with us on the subject of the second coming of Christ. He believes that we are wholly mistaken in regard to this great truth. Can we feel union with such a man, and take him into our fellowship and communion? We cannot. We can but feel that he shuts his eyes to some of the clearest light of the Scriptures, and refuses assent to their most unequivocal testimony. We cannot therefore extend to him the hand of Christian fellowship. Just so with the Sabbath. Can we fellowship with the man who violates it? We cannot. On a vital point connected with the teaching of the word of God, we are at issue; and the union that would otherwise exist between us, is of course destroyed. So with the subjects of baptism, the sleep of the dead, the destruction of the wicked, etc. Where there is not agreement in theory, there can be, in the Christian sense, no real communion of heart and fellowship of feeling.” James White, “Fifty Unanswerable Arguments,” Review and Herald, January 14, 1861.

“Where there is not agreement in theory [theology],” James White states, “there can be, in the Christian sense, no real communion of heart and fellowship of feeling.” Can anything be more plain? Pioneer Seventh-day Adventists did not believe in ecumenicalism. They did not advocate joining in mutual fellowship with the churches of Babylon, or recognizing all those who lift up Christ, though they reject the truths of these last days.

“I saw that since Jesus left the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary and entered within the second veil, the churches have been filling up with every unclean and hateful bird. I saw great iniquity and vileness in the churches, yet their members profess to be Christians. Their profession, their prayers, and their exhortations are an abomination in the sight of God. Said the angel, ‘God will not dwell in their assemblies. Selfishness, fraud, and deceit are practiced by them without the reprovings of conscience. And over all these evil traits they throw the cloak of religion.’ ” Early Writings, 274.

Notice that it is the voice of an angel that says, “God will not dwell in their assemblies.” If God does not dwell with these assemblies (National and World Council of Churches), why do we wish to “dwell” with them when God does not?

Again, is it possible to have unity with modern Babylon? Can we have dialogue and goodwill between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the fallen churches of Babylon? Pioneer Adventists did not believe so. The Spirit of Prophecy warns against it.

“After a long and severe conflict the faithful few decided to dissolve all union with the apostate church if she still refused to free herself from falsehood and idolatry. They saw that separation was an absolute necessity if they would obey the Word of God. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls and set an example which would imperil the faith of their children and children’s children.…If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference and even war. Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God’s professed people.” The Story of Redemption, 324.

Notice that Ellen White described the stand of the faithful during the Dark Ages by saying, “If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference and even war.” Then she brings it home to the contemporary Seventh-day Adventist Church: “Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God’s professed people.” In the hearts of God’s professed people? That is us, is it not? It would be well if these principles were revived in the hearts of Seventh-day Adventists.

Ecumenism—Modern-Day Deception of Satan

Before we can continue our study we must first understand the concept of “ecumenism.” Today we often hear the word ecumenical. What is ecumenism? The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Student’s Source Book and SDA Bible Dictionary give a clear answer: “At its most ambitious, the ecumenical movement aspires to heal the
thousand-year-old break between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox churches on the one hand, and the later breach between these and the Protestant denominations on the other.” Editorial, “To a Greater Christian Church,” Life, 49 (December 19, 1960), 24; op. sit., Seventh-day Adventist Bible Student’s Source Book, Art. “Ecumenical Movement,” Second Revised Edition.

“But despite these deep doctrinal differences, these three chief branches of Christianity are on much friendlier terms than they used to be,” the editorial stated. “Their spokesmen are able to meet in serious dialogue without thinking of each other as antichrists; they have learned to know what they believe in common and why they disagree.” Editorial, Life, December 19, 1960.

Notice the phrases, “the ecumenical movement aspires to heal the thousand-year-old break [wound].” Does that sound familiar? “And his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3b. “Their spokesmen are able to meet in serious dialogue without thinking of each other as antichrists.” Have you ever heard, dear reader, the phrase “beast bashing” in today’s Adventist thinking? But the most astounding fulfillment of prophecy is the phrase, “they have learned to know what they believe in common and why they disagree.”

“When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common,” Ellen White warned, “shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy.” Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 278.

So Much In Common

In 1973, Bert Beverly Beach (later secretary of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the General Conference) co-authored a book with Lukas Vischer, Secretary of the World Council of Churches. The title of the book was, So Much In Common, the subtitle, “Between the World Council of Churches and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” The book was published by the World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland, in 1973. The title of the book alone tells the story, “So Much In Common, Between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the World Council of Churches.” What do Seventh-day Adventists have in common with the World Council of Churches? How did Adventists ever come to the place where they thought they had something in common with the great assembly of the churches of Babylon, the harlot daughters of Rome?

In 1977, Bert Beach was President of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At that time Beach was also serving as Secretary of the World Confessional Families, the theological branch of the World Council of Churches. On May 18, 1977, as Secretary of the World Confessional Families, meeting in Rome, Italy, Beach presented a medallion to Pope Paul VI. (See Religious News Service (RNS), Foreign Service, May 19, 1977; W.D. Eva, Adventist Review, “Book, Medallion Presented to Pope,” August 11, 1977, page 23.)

The Goal Of Ecumenism

“As long as the Catholic is Catholic and the Protestant is Protestant, there is only one way to union—the conversion of one to the views of the other. If that should
happen, either Catholicism or Protestantism would disappear. There can never be a Catholic-Protestant Church, or even a Catholic-Protestant fellowship of churches. This is the basic fact.

“The Catholic must say to the Protestant that the [Catholic] Church was substantially right, and therefore any endeavor toward reunion will be a return to her unreconstructed, unreformed unity.” Gustave Wiegel, A Catholic Primer on the Ecumenical Movement, 50, 51, 64, 66. Copyright 1957 by The Newman Press, Westminster, Md.

Ecumenism Will Triumph

“Through the two great errors, [1] the immortality of the soul and [2] Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions,” Ellen White concluded. “While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome.” The Great Controversy, 588.

“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 will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” Ibid.

—To be continued…

The Battle for the Mind

Healed by Satan

In the case report which follows, we relate the astounding experience of a Seventh-day Adventist woman who was “healed” through an agent of Satan. We cannot emphasize too strongly that whenever we submit to be healed by one of Satan’s agents the devil does not work His miracles and then leave us alone. Whenever such a miracle takes place the healed one remains in the hands of Satan as his captive.

This experience occurred in Jamaica some years ago, and was told by a now deceased Seventh-day Adventist American missionary minister, John ___. We will refer to him as Elder John.

In Elder John’s church, a Seventh-day Adventist member suffered from a form of palsy which caused her to have a severe and rather disabling tremor, possibly much like Parkinsonism. She asked Elder John if he thought it wise that she consult a certain Jamaican healer who was reputed to have great success in healing all manner of diseases. Quickly Elder John advised her: “No, do not go!” Nevertheless, eventually she went to the healer and was apparently healed of her affliction. She did not fully realize that “the enemy [Satan] is revealed in persons to whom he has given power to work miracles.” Manuscript 125, 1901.

Concurrently with her healing, however, she stopped attending church services. She was very happy about being healed, but at the same time she had lost all interest in spiritual things. The Holy Spirit kept on wooing her, and in due time her lack of interest in spiritual matters began to worry her. She finally became so concerned and frightened that she sent for Elder John. She explained to him that she was greatly troubled, for since her healing she had lost all her desire to read her Bible or attend religious services.

“If I pray for you,” Elder John said, “should it be God’s will would you be willing to have the return of your former affliction, provided you could love God again, and worship with His people?” Undoubtedly, he explained to her how this might happen. “Yes, oh, yes, I would!” she answered. So Elder John offered a brief, sincere prayer in her behalf. Instantly, even during his prayer, she began to tremble with her hands as she had formerly done, indicating that her affliction had returned. However, her mind was once again attracted to the teachings of the Bible and she now desired to return to church to worship with God’s people. She had experienced a reconversion.

Satan Works Miracles

We are told that, where miracles are concerned, we will not be able to depend upon the evidences of our senses—what we see with our eyes and what we hear with our ears. (See The Great Controversy, 625.) We must depend wholly upon the counsels of inspiration; upon a “thus saith the Lord.”

Through His written Word, God clearly reveals that Satan is to work miracles by which he will take the world captive: “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.” Revelation 13:13, 14.

“Evil angels are working all the time upon the hearts of men. Satan is working with everyone who is not under the control of the Spirit of God. It is the lying wonders of the devil that will take the world captive, and he will cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men. He is to work miracles; and this wonderful, miracle-working power is to sweep in the whole world.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 51.

Posing as leader of the Christian world, Satan will cause disease and then apparently heal it: “We are approaching the end of this earth’s history, and Satan is working as never before. He is striving to act as director of the Christian world. With an intensity that is marvelous he is working with his lying wonders. . . . He creates sorrow and suffering and disease. Seeming to change his attributes, he apparently heals those whom he himself has tormented.” Manuscript 125, 1901.

In this connection, note the following passage: “Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles. They will make people sick by casting their spell upon them, and will then remove the spell, leading others to say that those who were sick have been miraculously healed. This Satan has done again and again.…These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

These are called apparent works of healing because Satan was instrumental through his agents in the tormenting of or casting a spell upon the sick one, causing the disease which he then apparently heals.

Apparent Healing—a Test

Please note carefully the last sentence of the above quoted passage: “These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Ibid. Who will be brought to the test by works of apparent healing? Specifically, Seventh-Adventists.

As we near the end, Satan will multiply his miracles and his apparent healings. He will, through his agents, appear to cure a great variety of maladies, including such physical disease as cancers and abdominal conditions, as well as psychological and demonic problems. We should not discount all of these healings as wholly fakes, for Satan is to work miracles in our day.

We have, as Seventh-day Adventists, felt secure, thinking that we, who have been warned of these false miracles, will surely recognize them. But let us remember that it is indeed Seventh-day Adventists who will be brought to the test by these miracles. Therefore it behooves us to study carefully and thoroughly the inspired differences between the false and the true.

Satan’s Agents

In these days of Satan’s multiplied deceptions, we need to realize that Satan has chosen agents to whom he gives his satanic power to work miracles. “Men under the influence of evil spirits will work miracles.” Ibid.

“He selects those who have not been drinking of the living waters, whose souls are athirst for something new and strange, and who are ever ready to drink at any fountain that may present itself.” Ibid., 50.

“The Word of God declares that when it suits the enemy’s purpose, he will through his agencies manifest so great a power under a pretense of Christianity that, ‘if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.’ The enemy is revealed in persons whom he has given power to work miracles.” Manuscript 125, 1901.

So great a power to work miracles will be displayed by Satan’s agents, that it will bring the very elect to the test. But let us bear in mind that “though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 51. Therefore, power—even great power—in working miracles is not evidence showing that an agent is a servant of God, or that his miracles are from God. On the contrary, these healings may be performed through “the miracle-working power of the great deceiver.” Ibid. Light and much power are not tests or an evidence that a work is from God.

“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.

True light and power experienced by God’s people will be accompanied with sweet love, joy and peace.

Miracles Are Not a Test Indicating God’s Favor

Because there will be both false and true miracles, and true and false agents, having great miracle-working power, miracles, in themselves, are not a test as to whether or not they are true. Yet, Satan will point to his false miracles as evidence that his works are from God: “We are warned that in the last days he will work with signs and lying wonders. And he will continue these wonders until the close of probation, that he may point to them as evidence that he is an angel of light and not of darkness.”
Selected Messages, Book 2, 51.

While Satan and his agents will be pointing to their false miracles as evidence that Satan is the true healer, God’s people will be declaring that miracles in and of themselves, are not proof of a divine origin. Since these false miracles are to be performed before the close of probation we should expect to see them in our day—now! “The works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.” Ibid., 53. Could it be that this testing has already begun in our midst? We must bring every miracle-working claim to the law and to the testimony to determine its origin—including exorcism miracles.

The True Test

“None need be deceived” (Ibid., 50), for Seventh-day Adventists have in their hands the true test of agents, miracles or teachings—the law and the testimony. “Satan gives his power to those who are aiding him in his deceptions; therefore those who claim to have the great power of God can only be discerned by the great detector, the law of Jehovah.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1087.

“To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.

“Christ says, ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ If those through whom cures are performed, are disposed, on account of these manifestations, to excuse their neglect of the law of God, and continue in disobedience, though they have power to any and every extent, it does not follow that they have the great power of God. On the contrary, it is the miracle-working power of the great deceiver.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 50, 51.

In fact every statement and every miracle must be tested by God’s Word: “The people of God are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God’s work the prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.” The Great Controversy, 593.

True Modern Miracles

Why are there so few modern miracles of which God is the author in this our day? If the popular healings are either fraudulent or satanic in origin, does not this offer a splendid opportunity for God’s people to demonstrate genuine miraculous healings? Sister White answers this question: “God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought.” Medical Ministry, 110.

“The way in which Christ worked was to preach the word, and to relieve suffering by miraculous works of healing. But I am instructed that we cannot now work in this way; for Satan will exercise his power by working miracles. God’s servants today could not work by means of miracles, because spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, will be wrought.

“For this reason the Lord has marked out a way in which His people are to carry forward a work of physical healing combined with the teaching of the word.” Ibid., 14.

For the reason that Satan will exercise his power in working miracles, and because of the spurious works of healing, claiming to be divine, God’s servants today will not find their safety in working miracles. Perhaps there will be but few genuine healing miracles wrought through the power of God, before that time when the latter rain falls upon God’s purified church, and then “the sick will be healed,” and “signs and wonders will follow the believers.” The Great Controversy, 612.

Sister White explains further that “The world will not be converted by the gift of tongues, or by the working of miracles, but by preaching Christ crucified.” Testimonies to Ministers, 424.

Today, our methods should be the same as were Christ’s: “He would not convert the world by His miracles. His work was to present the Word.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 4, 411. Likewise, our work is to present the Word—Christ crucified.

Are God’s People Ready to Stand?

How sad to read that when Seventh-day Adventists are brought to the test by works of apparent healing, many, even of the members of God’s church, will be among those who will be deceived by Satan’s miracles. Are we prepared to stand during these perilous times?

“Evil angels are upon our track every moment. We expect a readiness on the part of bad men to act as Satan suggests; but while our minds are unguarded against his invisible agents, they assume new ground and work marvels and miracles in our sight. Are we prepared to resist them by the word of God, the only weapon we can use successfully?

“Some will be tempted to receive these wonders as from God. The sick will be healed before us. Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial which awaits us when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? By departing from the plain precepts and commandments of God, and giving heed to fables, the minds of many are preparing to receive these lying wonders. We must all now seek to arm ourselves for the contest in which we must soon engage. Faith in God’s word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan’s power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 302.

“It is fully time that every responsible worker should take his stand firmly on the word of God. This word is to be our defense when Satan works with such lying wonders that if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. It is then that those who have not stood firmly for the truth will unite with the unbelieving who love and make a lie. When these wonders are performed, when the sick are healed and other marvels are wrought, they will be deceived. Are we prepared for the perilous times that are right upon us? or are we standing where we will fall an easy prey to the wiles of the devil?” Manuscript Releases, vol. 5, 352.

What a perilous time this will be for all of us who are living in these last days! “A superficial faith results in a superficial experience. . . . The light given me has been very forcible that many would go out from us, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” Ibid. Let us determine not to be among those having a superficial faith who will go out from us.

The Elect Shall Not Be Deceived

We have the promise that we shall not be deceived if Christ dwells within us: “Every one of us will be sorely tempted; our faith will be tried to the uttermost. We must have a living connection with God; we must be partakers of the divine nature; then we shall not be deceived by the devices of the enemy, and shall escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 50.

“Satan is playing the game of life for every soul.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 264. The battle for our minds will be severe.

“Let not the days pass by and precious opportunities be lost of seeking the Lord with all the heart and mind and soul. If we accept not the truth in the love of it, we may be among the number who will see the miracles wrought by Satan in these last days, and believe them. Many strange things will appear as wonderful miracles, which should be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.” Selected Messages, Book 2, 53.

Have we brought the test of the law and the testimony to the miracles claimed by the modern miracle-workers of our day? Even though these men may have great power to any and every extent it may be a power bestowed upon them by the great deceiver. Satan’s agents are pointing to their miracles claiming them to be a test of their authority. Have we carefully compared their methods and miracles with God’s Word? Let us not be among that number who will accept strange things which appear as wonderful miracles, if they ought to be regarded as deceptions manufactured by the father of lies.

“God calls for men of decided fidelity. He has no use in an emergency for two-sided men. He wants men who will lay their hand upon a wrong work and say, ‘This is not according to the will of God.’” Notebook Leaflets, No. 1, 4.

Editor’s Note: Taken from The Battle for the Mind, by Lloyd and Leola Rosenvold. Excerpts from the chapters “Satan is to Work Miracles” and “Healed by Satan.”

The “Star” of the New Evangelization of America, Part II

In part one, we saw how the world is ready for Satan’s final great delusion—spiritualism. In part two we will learn how important it is for Adventists today to be prepared for these overmastering deceptions.

Will She Deceive the Very Elect?

And will Seventh-day Adventists 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 Seventh-day Adventists 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. Modern Babylon’s image is the Virgin Mary (Madonna) and baby Jesus, and it is set up in the church and the faithful are called to worship it as 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 that the Catholic Church remov ed the second commandment from the moral law?

Jeremiah recorded 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.

The Betrayal

One may ask, “Will Seventh-day Adventists really accept spiritualism and the false Mary?” To this I ask, “Will the majority of Seventh-day Adventists worship on Sunday when it is enforced by law?” Here are some very sobering comments from inspiration bearing on this matter: “‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’…Soon God’s people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear as genuine and true will prove to be base metal….They will cowardly take the side of the opposers. The promise is: ‘They that honor Me I will honor’…To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few—this will be our test.” Testimonies, vol.5, 136. “I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved.” Testimonies, vol.1, 608.

The Spirit of Prophecy has also told us that ministers in the “open air will urge upon the people the necessity of keeping the first day of the week.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1884. (If you read the context of this statement, you will discover that she is referring to Seventh-day Adventist ministers.) She has also given this warning: “As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the Third Angel’s Message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side. Men of talent and pleasing address, who once rejoiced in the truth, employ their powers to deceive and mislead souls. They become the most bitter enemies of their former brethren. When Sabbath-keepers are brought before the courts to answer for their faith, these apostates are the most efficient agents of Satan to misrepresent and accuse them, and by false reports and insinuations to stir up the rulers against them.” The Great Controversy, 608.

Does this mean that apostate Seventh-day Adventists will turn in faithful Adventists to the Catholics? Ellen White was shown in vision that “the nominal church and nominal Adventists, like Judas, would betray us to the Catholics to obtain their influence to come against the truth. The saints will be an obscure people, little known to the Catholics; but the churches and nominal Adventists who know of our faith and customs…will betray the saints and report them to the Catholics as those who disregard the institutions of the people; that is, that they keep the Sabbath and disregard Sunday.” Spalding and Magan Collection, 1.

If professed Seventh-day Adventists will accept one of the two great errors, namely, Sunday-keeping, why won’t they accept the other—the immortality of the soul. After all, the easy, popular side will already be worshipping the “demon Mary.” In fact, goddess worship today ties together approximately 75% of the world’s population:

  • Roman Catholicism, 974 million
  • Eastern Orthodox, 164 million
  • Buddhism/various sects, 1 billion 100 million
  • Hinduism, 690 million
  • Japanese Religions, 230 million
  • Tribal Religions, 100 million (approx.)
  • Mohammedism, 924 million
  • Protestants, 351 million

(Information taken from Almanac 1991)

A Terrifying Dream

Ellen White, the messenger of the Lord, once had a terrifying dream that she could not understand at the time. It occurred while on a journey with her husband to Battle Creek. “I dreamed that I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene had changed. The company now presented the appearance of a Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, and another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying the reed made a circle around the house, saying three times: ‘This house is proscribed. [“In ancient Rome, to announce the name of a person as condemned to death and subject to confiscation of property.” Webster’s College Dictionary.] The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order.’ Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, through the north door, and found myself in the midst of the company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes wherever I turned. I repeated frequently: ‘If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said or what I have done!’” Testimonies, vol. 1, 578. Had she seen the omega!

The Betrayal Has Already Begun

Dear friends, has the betrayal already begun in light of the recent official compromises and associations between Seventh-day Adventists and Catholics? Such as the Week of Prayer at Pacific Union College that was led by an ex-priest, who had the students recite several times after him: “We are Easter men and Easter women, Alleluia, that’s our name.” I heard the cassette recordings with my own ears. Another example is PorterCare of Adventist Health Systems, which has lost its investment grade rating due to its involvement with financially struggling Centura Health—Colorado’s largest hospital system. Centura is a jointly managed company, formed in 1995 between PorterCare and the Sisters of Charity Health Services, now part of Catholic Health Initiatives. And what about Willow Creek Church, an inter-denominational, Pentecostal-style church near Chicago that focuses on church growth and celebration-style worship—an ecumenical ploy of Vatican II? Since at least 56 SDA churches have joined the Willow Creek Association, I wonder if we will soon see charismatic SDA churches as a result? Unsurprisingly, an SDA pastor just informed me that Adventists in Southern California are speaking in false tongues—another spiritualistic manifestation that will be used by Satan to unify the churches of all denominations!

And what about the tragedy at College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, where the Cardinal and Archbishop of Baltimore preached on baptism and sprinkled the heads of those present as a symbol of baptism!! And why, during communion, are some SDA ministers calling their congregations forward—a standard procedure of the Catholic mass—to receive the “Holy Eucharist”—a Roman Catholic term applied to the wafer, which according to Catholic doctrine, becomes the “literal body of Jesus Christ”? In the meantime, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has filed a trademark lawsuit against a brother who is placing ads in major newspapers, warning the world of Dies Domini and the coming Sunday Law—the mark of the beast—the mark of Rome! And, sad to say, they may be using tithe money to pay their legal fees. Undoubtedly, Rome has infiltrated the headquarters of the corporate church; and when the headquarters is infected, it affects the whole body of believers. “Satan’s chief work is at the headquarters of our faith. He spares no pains to corrupt men in responsible positions and to persuade them to be unfaithful to their several trusts.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 210.

The prophet has warned us that Satan’s threefold union will be formed when Protestantism and spiritualism “reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power” and trample “on the rights of conscience.” The Great Controversy, 588. You can, then, understand the shock I felt when I read the following in Sunday—a quarterly magazine published by The Lord’s Day Alliance of the United States. In a special tribute to Dr. James Wesberry, Executive Director-Editor and Administrative Assistant, for his loyal service from 1975 – 1992, it was noted: “He also made history for the alliance when he spoke at Andrews University and Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and led in exploration of ways The Lord’s Day Alliance and Seventh-day Adventists could work together. ‘In spite of differences of opinion in reference to the Sabbath question,’ Wesberry explained, ‘we had clasped hands across these differences and denominational lines and felt the warm, sincere grip and gracious friendship among brothers and sisters in Christ.’” Sunday, Vol. LXXIX, no. 3, 11. Why did the SDA Theological Seminary join hands with one of the most ardent promoters of the Sunday-Sabbath? Is the answer betrayal?

I would like to conclude my summary of events in this growing apostasy in Adventism with the most recent stab to my already aching heart. On January 26 and 27, 1999, Modern Manna went to St. Louis for the papal visit with 100,000 copies of Is the Virgin Mary Dead or Alive? At the same time, The Eternal Gospel Church of Seventh-day Adventists had also run The Earth’s Final Warning in the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Were we justified in feeling betrayed when we learned that Seventh-day Adventist men, in responsible positions, were already apologizing to the beast of Bible prophecy, “Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Church, for discrimination, hatred and persecution inspired by offshoot groups” in St. Louis. Adventist Today, January, 1999. E. G. White hit the nail on the head when she prophesied: “Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry.” The Great Controversy, 572. The Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters raised the white flag to Rome! (See Adventist News Network News Release: 27 January 1999).

But this is not the end of the story, friends, for I am sad to say there is more. During the ecumenical service held on January 27 at the Basilica of St. Louis, B.T. Rice, pastor of the Northside Seventh-day Adventist Church and president of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition, presented a document to the “man of sin” welcoming him to the community and acknowledging “his tireless example on behalf of interfaith understanding and community relations.” He also presented him with “a hand-made banner, bearing the logo Faith Beyond Walls.” (St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jan. 27, 1999, in the article entitled “Many faiths join to work for a better community.”)

How symbolic! The wall of separation between Catholicism and Seventh-day Adventism is certainly breaking apart. This is a clear example of pure ecumenicalism—a movement promoting cooperation and unity among religious groups—of which the Demon Mary will be the “Star!” Friends, certainly this is a time to be “sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in…the church!” Testimonies, vol. 5, 209, 210. I am trembling for our people, for they have drunk deeply from Rome’s intoxicating cup, and the omega is just around the corner!

The Very Last Deception

Did not E. G. White foresee, in the terrifying dream referred to earlier in this article, a future time when Seventh-day Adventists will betray their own people—including their prophet. Could this dream have its fulfillment when Seventh-day Adventists betray not only their brethren, but also the truths entrusted to them by God—by rejecting or “betraying” the Spirit of Prophecy, or Testimonies, written by the prophet herself? Remember, “In rejecting the truth, men reject its author.” The Great Controversy, 583. “Satan is…constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ Proverbs 29:18. Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.

“There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 48. This is my reason for writing these articles! Will we forget the lessons of the past? During the alpha of apostasy, the Spirit of Prophecy also came under attack.

Please remember, beloved, the Spirit of Prophecy is one of the two identifying marks of the remnant church of Bible prophecy. (See Revelation 12:17.) It is a gift from God! Why, then, must we continue to rebel against God’s Word when He has so clearly warned us of the following: “One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,—the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith!” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, 57.

Ellen White’s Most Solemn Warning

Ellen White, perhaps, issued her most solemn warning to Seventh-day Adventists when she penned what would happen if they disseminated the seductive, spiritualistic theories of the alpha of apostasy:

“I was shown a platform braced by solid timbers,—the truths of the Word of God. Someone high in responsibility in the medical work was directing this man and that man to loosen the timbers supporting the platform. I heard a voice saying, ‘Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep? This foundation was built by the Master Worker, and will stand storm and tempest. Will they permit this man to present doctrines that deny the past experience of the people of God? The time has come to take decided action.’

“The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and 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 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 [the sanctuary, the nature of Christ, sanctification, the beast, etc.]. A new organization would be established [who is setting up the new organization?] Books of a new order [new theology] would be written. A system of intellectual theology would be introduced [SDA ministers are receiving their advanced education and “philosophies” from the evangelical teachers of the world]. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath, of course, would be lightly regarded, and also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement [lawsuits against faithful Seventh-day Adventists for preaching the Three Angels’ Messages, ordering them to drop the name, etc.]. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice [loving apologies to Rome and peace and safety sermons], but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure.” Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, 54, 55. Oh, friends, the structure church is quickly heading down the primrose path! But, Praise God, not one faithful soul, not one true Israelite, will be lost!

What Will You Do?

Now, dear friends, ask yourself this question: “Are you seeing the inroads of any of the points listed above in your church?” Or, perhaps, is there just a dead silence from your ministers and church leaders? Should we be silent at this hour? How about your own heart? Even Ellen White delayed sending this letter out which the Spirit of the Lord had impelled her to write. But she realized, in the providence of God, that the errors that had been coming in must be met. She then alludes to a story about a ship, in the fog, meeting an iceberg. She was presented in the night the following scene: “A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, ‘Iceberg just ahead!’ There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg [pantheism-spiritualism]. An authoritative voice cried out, ‘Meet it!’ There was not a moment’s hesitation. It was time for instant action.…With a crash she struck the ice…and the iceberg broke in pieces.…The passengers were violently shaken…but no lives were lost.” Ibid., 56, 57. Oh, may the church repent and return to the first principles of the denominated faith—the “old paths” spoken of by Jeremiah the prophet! (Jeremiah 6:16.) For history is seeking to repeat itself, and, in fact, soon will!

Friends, not only is the great apostasy waxing stronger, but its climax, the omega—spiritualism under a Christian guise—as exemplified by the iceberg, is right before our eyes! Just as the spiritualistic science of pantheism was the alpha of “deadly heresies,” the “startling nature” of “modern spiritualism”—pantheism’s big sister—with Satan being “converted after the modern order of things” will be the omega. The startling nature of the omega is that spiritualism will closely imitate the nominal Christianity of the day.

What will you do, beloved? Will you meet it head on, even at the risk of being ostracized or disfellowshipped from the church which you love? As in the alpha of apostasy, evil angels took captive the mind of John Harvey Kellogg. So in the omega, Satan will be “using all his science in playing the game of life for human souls. His angels are mingling with and instructing them in the mysteries of evil. These fallen angels will draw away disciples after them, will talk with men, and will set forth principles that are as false as can be, leading souls into paths of deception. These angels are to be found all over the world, presenting the wonderful things that will soon appear in a more decided light.” Manuscript Releases, 760, 17. Says spiritualism, pantheism’s big sister, “I’m back!”

Warnings from God

Most Seventh-day Adventists have read Isaiah 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” But how many of us have noticed in what context this verse was written? Isaiah 8:19 warns: “And when they shall say unto you, seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead?” The admonishment of Isaiah 8:20 is warning us of spiritualism—in conversing with our beloved dead, who are really demon imposters! Incidentally, this is why I refer to the Virgin Mary, universally beloved by Christians, as the “demon Mary.”

And what about the famous Letter 55, written in 1886, that says: “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out.” What is it that threatens the elect to such a magnitude as this? The sentence that precedes the ones quoted above is rarely mentioned in conjunction with them. It reads: “Satan will work his miracles to deceive; he will set up his power as supreme.” Thus, spiritualism—the omega—will be a great test of a most startling nature for the people of God!

—To be continued…