The Spirit of Antichrist
A ROTTEN EGG?
Because of promoting the truth about the gospel I have lost a few friends. I have received a few letters that have severely chastised me for my point of view. In fact, one brother wrote to say that when he did not hear from me for a while he realized that I was taking a long time to hatch this rotten egg, as he called it. This has caused me to pray a great deal.
From the beginning I realized that anytime you stand up for what you believe is true, if it is true, then there are some who will support you and some who will oppose, and that is the way it should be, so I was not surprised. As a human being you cant help feeling somewhat disappointed when somebody who has been your friend turns against you, like this brother in Australia who had been my friend for quite a few years and who wrote and compared the doctrine to a rotten egg. I could feel the difference in the letter that he wrote. I could feel the barrier that had come up between us, and these things always affect you on a personal level even though in your mind you are still convinced that the direction that you are taking is true.
How do you know that it is true? Because you and God know what is happening between you both in those quiet hours when there is nobody else around. You know it is true because of this and also because it is based on the facts of what you study in the Word of God.
Nevertheless, once again I return to the subject and I dont want you to think that it is a desire to simply push my point of view or to stir up more controversy. Its just that what has been in my mind as I have searched and prayed cannot be held back. As Paul cried, woe is me if I preach not the gospel.
At the beginning there are certain facts that I would like us to get clear so that we may proceed on the right footing. Let us decide on certain definitions right at the start.
The first thing that I want us to settle is the question, Who is the antichrist of Scripture? Of Prophecy? Can we give him a name?
Yes we can. The antichrist is the Pope, or the Papacy, which is the dynasty of Popes. We can all agree on that. The antichrist of Bible prophecy2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13, and Daniel 7is the Papacy.
An interesting thing about this antichrist is that the Bible says that the antichrist will manifest himself in the temple of God, and although it has often been suggested that this temple of God refers to St. Peters Cathedral in the Vatican, those who study the Bible realize that St. Peters is not the temple of God but is rather a pagan temple, and the temple of God refers rather to the Christian Church. (See Ephesians 2:19-22.)
Within the boundaries of the Christian church there would arise an institution, or a dynasty, which would go by the name Christian but would be opposed to the very foundation principles of Christianity. Now that we have set that foundation let us move on a bit.
Let us turn to 1 John chapter 2 and read verses 18 and 19:
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
There are two points that I would like to make on the basis of these two verses. First of all, we can see clearly that it was an understood teaching; it was an understood prophecy in the days of the apostles that someone would come who would be called the antichrist. But it said now that already antichrists were going out from them. Was John talking about this final, ultimate antichrist? No, but he meant that already there were some who had the same spirit and teaching of the final antichrist who were going out from among the Christians. When he said they went out from us, I believe what he meant was not necessarily a literal walking out of the congregation and a separation from the fellowship, but rather that they were moving away from the teachings of the truth. They could have been sitting in worship right there, but they were embracing other doctrines, so he says, they went out from us, meaning that their minds were being turned away from the truth. They were embracing satanic teachings, so he said, there are many antichrists. They had the very spirit and principles of this final antichrist of prophecy.
So the second point is that there are certain teachings which are peculiar to the antichrist, teachings which are the chief identifying marks of the antichrist, and those who embrace these teachings and principles may also be said to be antichrists.
THE TEACHINGS OF ANTICHRIST
What are these teachings, these principles of antichrist? There are three places in the Bible which mention these teachings specifically. Let us look at the following verses which show us three specific teachings of this antichrist. Continuing in the same chapter, 1 John chapter 2 and verses 22-23:
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
Again I see two points in those two verses which I want to highlight. First of all, John says the first thing about the antichrist is he denies that Jesus is the Christ. He is a liar who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Secondly, he says that the antichrist denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same hath not the Father.
What did he mean when he said that the antichrist denies the Son? He said, The antichrist will deny the Son. How do you deny the Son? How can a person deny the Son of God? It can only be by refusing to acknowledge Him to be the Son of God. John says, in this same way, you also deny the Father, because you deny Him to be the Father of Jesus. Now let us just quickly look at chapter 4 and verse 15 to make sure that we are not taking a wrong tangent in this interpretation.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
So verse fifteen really explains the one which we read before where it says that the antichrist would deny the Son. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. Clearly, there are two things that would characterize the antichrist teaching. Firstly, the antichrist teaching would deny that Jesus is the Christ, and secondly, that Jesus is the Son of God. It would claim that Jesus is not the Son of God.
Now there is also a third teaching of the antichrist. Let us look at 1 John 4:1-3. It says:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
John says, dont believe everybody that calls the name of Christ; dont believe everybody that says, I am a Christian, or even who says, I am a reformer. There is a rule by which you can know the true follower of God, and the follower of Satan. He says, there is a rule which you can use. He does not say, it is because they keep the commandments. He does not say, it is because they keep the Sabbath. He does not say, it is because of the place where they worship. Look at the simple rule that he gives us by which we may identify the spirit of truth as opposed to the spirit of antichrist:
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
Now remember, we said at the very beginning that the great antichrist of prophecy is the papacy. We are all agreed on that. Now here are three marks which the Bible tells us are the marks of antichrist and, according to our interpretation of prophecy, we are to look for these marks in the papacy.
Now we need to look at these three teachings and see how they destroy the very foundations of Christianity.
Let us examine first, point number one: why is that point so important? Why is the fact that Jesus is the Christ, Gods Anointed One, so important? It is because Jesus Christ is the one who represents the Father more fully than any other being anywhere in the universe. If you want to know what the Father is like, where must you look? You look at Jesus. You look at Gods Christ. Yet this can only be a blessing to you if you really believe that Jesus is Gods complete revelation of Himself.
Now the Muslims say that Christ was a great prophet; so was Abraham; so was Jacob, but they say that the final and the greatest prophet was Mohammed. They deny that Jesus is Gods anointed One, and because of that when you talk about the love that Jesus preached and the principles of forgiveness displayed in His life, it means little to a Muslim, because Mohammed preached violence and waged war against his enemies. They think that Mohammed is a greater revelation of God than Jesus, so the blessing that comes from beholding Christ is not available to them. This teaching that Jesus is not the Christ hits at the very foundation of the Christian faith. If a man were to go around saying that Jesus was not the Anointed One of God, he would be attacking Christianity at its very foundation. He would be destroying the power of the life and teachings of Christ to help anyone. We can see then, why it is so vital that we understand this truth that Jesus is Gods Christ and why John said that the spirit of antichrist would be opposed to it.
Let us look at teaching number two: the truth that Jesus is the actual Son of God. Now what is the greatest revelation that can come to any Christian and, in fact, to any person on the earth, or in the entire universe for that matter? What is the greatest thing which we need to understand about God? Is it not His love? His love which found its greatest expression in the outpouring of itself on behalf of sinful men. There is nothing more wonderful in the entire universe. There is no subject which is more important for a person to understand than the love of God. Let us ask ourselves a question: where do we see the greatest revelation of the love of God? How can we discern it? Let us read what the scriptures say:
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9,10)
Now is that plain enough? It says, this is how Gods love is manifested, or revealed, or made known. You can know the love of God by the fact that He sent His only begotten Son into the world. However, if we say that Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God does it change the meaning of that text? Does it change the demonstration of Gods love? Suppose God gave a friend, or whoever Jesus might have been. If He were not the only begotten Son of God would it change the force of the message? The verse says, This is how Gods love is manifested; in the gift that He gave; by the value of that gift.
If somebody is getting married and I give that person a gift of a thousand dollars while another person gives a two-week holiday somewhere, are the gifts the same? What I mean is, the extent of a persons regard for you may be determined by the extent to which he is willing to sacrifice for your sake, isnt that right? Gods love can be measured by the kind of gift that He gave. The Bible says, this is how you may know His love: by the fact that He gave His only begotten Son for you.
So here come some people who say, Jesus was not actually the Son of God. What are they doing?!! They are destroying the very foundation of the Christian faith; they are making it impossible for people to appreciate the love of God; they are destroyingthey are attacking Christianity at its very roots, and John says, this is the spirit of antichrist.
Now on to point number three. The antichrist says that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh. Think for a moment on this point. John says there were people who were saying that Christ did not come in the flesh. What were they insinuating when they said that? What did they mean by that? In what form then did He come? What kind of being was He? They were teaching that He was a supernatural being. He was not a normal man with the limitations of a normal human being, but was rather a supernatural being who could not be tempted as we are tempted, who could not really die as we die, but was one outside of the realm of human experience. He did not come in the flesh.
Can you see why we are examining these verses today? There is a teaching, which is the foundational doctrine of Roman Catholicism, which embodies all three of these dangerous heresies. We are all aware of this teaching, but let us read it again. Many times when people are defending the Sabbath they pick up the writings of the Roman Catholic Church and read where the Catholic Church boasts, we changed the Sabbath, and they make a big thing of it. Let us also read from the writings of the Catholic Church as we examine this issue. In the book Catholicism we read the following statement:
Unless (people) keep this Faith whole and undefiled, without doubt (they) shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic faith is this: we worship one God in Trinity.
Now the Roman Catholic institution is the organization which embodies the whole system of the antichrist, and in Catholicism you should expect to find the essence of the spirit of antichrist. What does the Roman Catholic Church claim as the whole foundation of her faith; as the fundamental basis upon which her doctrines are established? The Catholic Church says, the Catholic faith is this: we worship one God in Trinity.
In the Handbook For Todays Catholic, on page 16, we find these words:
The mystery of the trinity is the central doctrine of Catholic faith. On it are based all the other teachings of the Church.
Those are striking words from the writings of the Roman Catholic Church itself.
THE TRINITY DOCTRINE DENIES THREE TRUTHS CONCERNING JESUS CHRIST
Does the trinity doctrine deny these three essential truths concerning Jesus Christ, thereby demonstrating that it is the very embodiment of the doctrine of antichrist?
Do you know what are the two great movements in the world in these last days that Satan will use in the effort to destroy Gods people? Can we give them a name? Yes we can. They are apostate Christianity and neo-paganism, otherwise called modern spiritualism in the form of the New Age Movement. These are the two great forces that the devil will use to work against God and His truth in these last days. These basically are the two great antichristian powers on the earth in these last days.
Interestingly, those who know anything about the New Age Movement will realize that the New Age Movement denies that Jesus is the Christ. The people who belong to this movement are looking for a messiah to come in the year 2000. Years ago when I was in college, one of the tutors was an apostle of this New Age messiah. He spent a great deal of his time trying to convince people that a saviour would arrive on earth in the year 1999, named Sananda, who would lead the world into a thousand years of enlightenment and peace. He would be the next Christ.
Most of those in the New Age movement and the eastern religions believe in a recycling of the ages; an endless repetition of the cycles of life for all eternity. And they believe that Jesus was just one of many messiahs who would arrive on the scene from time to time. They believe that Gods revelation of Himself changes with the revelation of each new messiah, and that there are still greater revelations of the Christ-Spirit to come.
In the New Age concept, the Christ is a human being who is possessed of the divine influence, or the Christ Spirit, in a marked mannernot somebody who is a once-and-for-all-time revelation of God; not really the actual, literal Son of the Almighty God. In this concept, there can be many Christs or sons of God. This teaching clearly denies that Jesus is THE Christ.
According to this teaching the only way in which Jesus could have been the Son of God was in the sense that the spirit or substance or essence of God dwelt in Him. He would have been a man who was indwelt by the God-substance, thus making Him the Son of God for the earthly period of His existence. He was the Son of God, not by virtue of who He was intrinsically, but rather by virtue of the fact that an emanation from God rested upon Him. His human identity was not really who He was, but was actually, simply a body which the Christ-Spirit inhabited. When the body died the divine spirit departed so that only a human being died. Logically, any other human being, similarly possessed by the divine spirit, could also be the Christ, or the Son of God.
Obviously, this teaching would lead to the conclusion that the man Christ Jesus, was a different individual from the being called the second person of the godhead. Jesus was not one person, divine/human because of His origin, but was rather two persons, inhabiting one body and sharing the same identity.
Unhappily, the doctrine of the trinity has led many Christians to adopt a concept of the incarnation of Christ which is very similar to the teaching of the New Age religions. Many Christians today teach that on Calvary the human part of Jesus died but the divine part did not die. Does this not suggest that Jesus was not one person, but two, and that the incarnation was not a divine being becoming human, but rather a divine being sharing a body with a human being.
Clearly see that this abominable teaching is the result of an attempt to make sense of the Trinitarian doctrine.
In essence the doctrine of the trinity, as taught by many Christian denominations, teaches that God is one Entity or Substance which is actually three Beings. These three persons who make up the one God are equally immortal; they cannot die. They are equally eternal; none is older than the other. They are equally omnipotent; they are all completely, equally and absolutely powerful in every respectall three of them. Now by this definition, if Jesus Christ is the Son of God it is only by name, because since they are the same age none was before the other. Jesus Christ could not, therefore, have been Gods Son.
Another version of the trinity claims that God is really one Being who manifests Himself in three ways so that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are really all the same person. Note the following statement of an Adventist author:
...In OT revelation, as Yahweh Christ was the Father. In the NT He who was first called Father fulfilled another role in which He is called the Son. In biblical testimony the same Jesus is both Father and Son, but at different times...
The Father and Son do not exist as separate beings, they coexist as one God... (The Trinity Debate - Part One, by V.R. Christensen)
We see clearly how, from another angle, this doctrine of the trinity attacks the true identity of Jesus Christ and makes a lie of the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This doctrine destroys the reality of that statement and makes God into a person who does not say what He means. The measure of Gods love is the fact that He gave His Son. Yet this doctrine clearly says He did not give His Son!
Officially, if you go to these churches and you ask to see their statement of beliefs, you will see as one of their doctrines, God gave His Son to die for mankind. But in actual fact, by the teaching and definition of another of their doctrines, that of the trinity, you are to understand that though God says He gave His Son to die you are not to really believe that He did because Jesus was not actually His Sonsomeone whom He had the authority to give or to withhold. You are not to believe He really did die, because He could not really die (for God cannot die). So in actual fact we say one thing, but we believe something else. Let me tell you something. You dont rule your beliefs. Your beliefs rule you! In consequence, I, for twenty-one years of my Christian life, could not appreciate Calvary. I couldnt appreciate or understand what God did for me there.
I am not a hypocrite. By nature I am not a hypocrite. I seek for the reality of things. When I read a Bible text I try to find out what it is saying for me! When I read something I want to get a proper understanding of it! Why does God say He gave his Son when it wasnt really His Son whom He gave? Why did He say His Son died for my sins if He really didnt die? What kind of double talk is that?
You know, in all of this I hear the echo of the voice of a person who many years ago asked the question: Yea, hath God said ? I hear an echo of the voice of that person in this teaching. God says one thing but He means something else. You cant really deal with God. You cant really understand what God is doing; dont bother to try. Dont bother to put your puny minds to it. God is much bigger than you, and He is really just playing with you little mortals down here. It is safest to keep at a distance from Him. I hear an echo of that voice and those sentiments in this teaching.
John 3:16, the Trinitarian way: Do you know what it says really? I am not trying to be amusing. I am trying to be realistic.
For God [For the one God, who is really three persons. The first confusing idea.]
so loved the world that He gave His Son [gave His Son to die . who did not really die]
gave His only begotten Son [who was not actually His real Son] that whosoever believes in Him . [Believes what? Believes that He was His Son though He was not His Son! Whosoever believes that lie] should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Now if the first part of the text is so confusing, can you believe the last part? When it says, shall have everlasting life, does it really mean, shall have everlasting death? I mean Satan has fixed it so that we really have no way of properly appreciating the message of this verse! Now, we dont really read it this way most of the time, but if we tell the plain truth, is this not what a person is required to believe if he believes in the doctrine of the trinity? And isnt there a corresponding feeling in the back of your mind if you are a Trinitarian which says, God is mysterious and incomprehensible. They say I ought to love Him and they say He loves me. I cannot see it, but I am going to try to love Him and to try to believe that He loves me, though my reason really cannot appreciate or understand in what way his love for me was so exceptionally manifested when Jesus went to the cross. Firstly, He was not really Gods Son, and secondly, He did not really die. So where is the sacrifice which God made? Do we need to be reminded again? You dont rule your beliefs. Your beliefs rule you. This is why we live in a generation of Christians who dont love God, because they dont understand the love of God.
What is the reason why we fall into sin so often in spite of our desire to do otherwise? Why is it that in spite of our desire to glorify God, we let Him down over and over again? I am discovering that there is only one reason: We dont love Him enough. The Scripture says, We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19) It says, the love of Christ constraineth us. (2 Cor 5:14) And yet we find that the knowledge of the love of God in Christ is not powerful enough to keep us from committing sin, and we must realize that something is wrong. We are not seeing Gods love properly.
Satan has succeeded in blinding the world to the greatest truth which men need to understand, and that is why this is the teaching of antichrist! It has worked insidiously for the better part of two thousand years to blind the world to the greatest truth that it so desperately needsthe revelation of the measure of the love of God.
This is the reason why we must not leave this subject alone, because we are told that the cross will be the science and song of the redeemed for all the ages of eternity. What God did for me through Christ will be my study, and I tell you the truth, I could never see the wonder in it. It totally eluded me until I came to see the truth about the godhead. I had to realize that it was truly His own, only begotten Son that God gave. I had to realize that this Son really died. I had to realize that when Christ was on earth He was limited as all men are. He was not possessed of the powers of the omnipotent God who knew all things. He was not the Almighty God. How could the Almighty God say to Himself, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? I mean what a sham and a pretense the whole thing becomes if we look at it through the eyes of the doctrine of the trinity!
Now let us turn to the book of Hebrews and examine another text which also makes it clear why it is so important to correctly understand this matter. Let us go to Hebrews 2:9:
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death .
Why was Christ made lower than the angels? FOR THE SUFFERING OF DEATH! So that He could die! When Christ came to the earth, one of the main reasons why He actually became a man was so that He could really die. So let us ask another question: What is death? Its a cessation of life. Its a separation of body and spirit and it puts the dead person in such a state that he knows nothing, remembers nothing, has nothing to do with anything at all, because His body and mind have ceased to function. Now if this teaching of the Trinitarians that Jesus Christ raised Himself from the dead is true, then what it means is that Christ did not really die, or that death is not really an unconscious sleep. An unconscious person cannot raise himself from the dead! This is another of those confusing doctrines which is the fruit of the Trinitarian belief. This doctrine, in fact, gives strength to the teachings of spiritualism, and in particular to the belief that death is really a state of conscious existence in which a person retains all his faculties of mind and consciousness, simply exchanging this fleshly state for another less tangible. Let us continue to examine the verse. It says:
crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
Now, if Jesus Christ died for every man, it is obvious that the death which He died is the death which every man should have died. The death that we should die is a cessation of life. If Jesus did not die that death, it means that he did not really die for men. Can you see how the whole plan of salvation is being made out to be just a sham by this doctrine? To be just a form; just a cleverly acted play without any substance or reality to it.
Let us go down to verse 16 of the same chapter. It says:
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 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 2:16,17)
The point here is that if He was not made exactly like His brethren He cannot be a merciful and faithful High Priest.
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)
God cannot be tempted. Where does it say that? James 1:13. God cannot be tempted. You cannot tempt a Being who sees the end from the beginning, but Christ was truly tempted, so the scriptures say, and He had to be tempted in order that He could succour, or help us. He had to be human, He had to be subject to death in order that He could die for our sakes. It was not a sham or a pretense. But the trinity doctrine, I say, attacks these foundational truths, therefore, it is the teaching of antichrist.
However, the apostasy does not stop there. I was interested to find out that from the very beginning it was Satans desire to be worshiped like God. We all know the story. Isaiah 14 brings out that point very clearly where Satan says,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13,14)
Now let me ask you: from the very beginning of Satans rebellion in heaven what was Satans bone of contention? Specifically, what was the incident that sparked his rebellion against God?
The issue was that he was not called to participate in the counsel between God and Christ that planned the creation of the world and man.
How many Beings were in that counsel? Three? Can we find one piece of evidence to say it was three? Is there anywhere in any inspired writing where it says there were three in that counsel? Zechariah 6:13 says:
... the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Of course this refers to another counsel between the Father and the Son, (the Hebrew word translated both means two) but even in that pre-creation counsel, if you examine it from the Bible or the writings of Ellen White, you cannot find one single piece of evidence to say that there were three persons. There is no such evidence. Over and over we are made to understand that it was a counsel between Father and Son.
The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father one in nature, in character, in purpose the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 34)
It is said that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the godhead in the same manner that the Father and Son are, but strangely, either he was not in the counsel or Satan was not jealous of his position!!
The truth is that there were only two persons in that counsel.
Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. (Patriarchs and Prophets p.36)
However, there was one person who felt that there should be three persons. This person wanted to be the third member of the counsel. He felt that he should have been in there, and this person was Satan.
WHAT DID SATAN WANT?
Let us just look at an interesting little angle to Satans ambitions. Did Satan have any ideas that he could give to God? I mean to say, were there insights and suggestions that he could have made to the Father and the Son to enhance their plans for creating the world and mankind? Could he, perhaps, by adding his power to Gods power, have helped in making the creation of the world easier? Of course not! So why would he want to go into a planning counsel when he had nothing to offer? Why? The only thing that Satan could have achieved by getting into that counsel is that his image would have been enhanced. It would have given the impression that he was on equality with God and His Son; in fact, it would have made it appear that he himself was worthy of worship. This was really what Satan was after! He wanted to be glorified. He wanted to be worshiped as God. He had nothing to offer, absolutely nothing. He only wanted to get in there because he wanted an opportunity to be exalted and to be worshiped.
Because of his presumptuousness, Lucifer was kicked out of heaven. What do you think his main desire has been since he came to this world? Have his ambitions changed since he came to live among men? No! His goals remain the same, and he has carried on the same campaign for worship here in this world. According to the Bible he will have his worship here on planet earth because Revelation 13:4 says: And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast. Now you know, when they worship the dragon they dont fall down on their faces and say, hail Satan!
Whose name is it that they actually call upon? It is Gods name! But in actual fact they are worshiping Satan! Why? Because they are worshiping God in the wrong way! This is similar to what Paul says. He says, look here; I dont want you to eat food which has been sacrificed unto idols. Now we know that an idol is nothing in the world. But the things that the gentiles offer unto idols they offer unto devils, and I dont want you to have fellowship with devils. (See 1 Corinthians 8:4; 10:19, 20.)
You may know that there is no meaning to the idol or to the worship services dedicated to the idol, but you cannot mix up with idolaters or participate in their rituals. They think they are worshiping God, but actually it is devils who are answering their prayers and who they are dealing with, so you have nothing to do with them. And he shows us that even though we are Christians it is dangerous to be mixed up with a false philosophy and a false idea.
PAGANISM REVEALS THE TRUTH!
Now Satan wanted from the beginning to be a member of the godhead. For his presumptuousness, God cast him out of heaven. But down here on earth Satan has more carefully and subtly worked to achieve the same goal by insinuating his ideas into the thinking of men. In paganism, which is more openly under the control of Satan, more evidently controlled by satanic principles and philosophies, where he reveals himself fully and openly, I have found something that is frightening. If I wasnt startled before this, I certainly was frightened when I discovered this.
I first found this information in Websters New World Dictionary, and subsequently found essentially the same information in several encyclopedias, including Colliers and Comptons. I looked up the word Trinity and found that there is a trinity in the Buddhist belief, a trinity in the belief of ancient Egypt, (Isis, Horus and Seb), and there is a trinity in the Hindu religion. I didnt know that. I thought the Hindus worshiped a million gods, but apparently these lesser gods in the Hindu religion, such as Hanuman the monkey god and Ganesh the elephant god, are something like the saints and holy men who are venerated by the Catholic Church. But they believe in this supreme trio of three gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
1. the supreme and eternal essence or spirit of the universe
2. the chief member of the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva) and creator of the universe. (A Book of Beliefs by Allan, Butterworth & Langley)
This sounds just like God the Father and, but for the name, we Christians could almost go with that as a description of God, the Father.
the second member of the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva), called the Preserver and popularly held to have had several human incarnations, most important of which is Krishna. (Ibid.)
Again this is startlingly like Christianity. Strangely, the second member of the Hindu trinity is believed to have been incarnated or born as a human being several times, with the most outstanding incarnation being Krishna, and the word Krishna sounds amazingly like Christ. So again, the similarity is startling.
Now please remember, as we go to the third member of the Hindu trinity, what I said. Satan reveals himself more openly in paganism than in Christianity. Let us now go to the third god of the Hindu trinity.
Hindu god of destruction .
Shiva differs in character from Vishnu. He has a dark and grim side to his nature ... Shiva is often described as lurking in horrible places such as battlefields and cemeteries. In sculpture he is often shown wearing a garland of skulls and surrounded by evil spirits as he dances the grim dance by which he destroys the world. (Ibid.)
In Hinduism, a pagan religion where Satan manifests himself openly, the third person of the godhead is the god of death and destruction!
However, in Christianity, Satan would not dare to reveal himself so openly. In order to deceive Christians Satan must insinuate himself more cunningly. Here, if he revealed himself in his true identity, he would be repulsed and shunned in horror. So instead, he has invented a third being who does not exist and in this way he has created an avenue through which he may be worshiped.
On most Sundays the following prayer to the Holy Spirit appears in the Jamaican newspaper, The Sunday Gleaner:
Holy Spirit, thou who make me to see everything and show me the way to reach my ideals. You who give the divine gifts to forgive and forget any wrong done to me and who are in all instances in my life with me. Help me to do no wrong to anyone. In this short dialogue I want to thank you for everything and confirm once more that I never want to be separated from you, no matter how great the material desires may be. I want to be with you and my loved ones when Jesus comes. Amen. Say this prayer for three consecutive days without stating your wish. It will be granted to you on the third day, no matter how difficult. Promise to publish the prayer as soon as your wish is granted. Thank you Holy Spirit.
Now although this seems to be a fine prayer with nice sentiments, this is not the way of God. This is the way of the Obeah man or the witch doctor! You can get anything you want! Just say this prayer three times. Who prays that way? Pagans. This is vain repetition. Just repeat these words over and over and you will have your answer. This is a prayer addressed to somebody other than God, no matter how good and beautiful the sentiments may be that are expressed in it.
What happens when you pray with a false concept of God, or of His work and purposes? Do you remember what Ellen White wrote in Early Writings, page 54?
Then I saw an exceeding bright light come from the Father to the Son, and from the Son it waved over the people before the throne. But few would receive this great light. Many came out from under it and immediately resisted it; others were careless and did not cherish the light, and it moved off from them. Some cherished it, and went and bowed down with the little praying company. This company all received the light and rejoiced in it, and their countenances shone with its glory.
I saw the Father rise from the throne and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness Then a cloudy chariot, with wheels like flaming fire, surrounded by angels, came to where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was borne to the holiest, where the Father sat. . . . Those who rose up with Jesus would send up their faith to Him in the holiest, and pray, My Father, give us Thy Spirit. Then Jesus would breathe upon them the Holy Ghost. In that breath was light, power, and much love, joy, and peace.
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.
It says that the Father and the Son moved from a certain place and went into another place. Some people (Christians!) remained in the first place, praying to God they were praying to God! They were calling His name; they were directing their prayers upwards, yet what happened? Satan presented himself and began to answer their prayers and to pour out a spirit upon them. They were praying to God and yet Satan was being permitted to answer their prayers and to enshroud them in darkness. Why? Because their worship was not according to the light which God had revealed. They were attempting to worship God, but in contradiction to revealed truth! Because of that, Satan presented himself to answer their prayers and to receive their worship. He used the opportunity.
What I am saying is that it is not a light thing to pray to a person who does not exist. It is not a light thing to be praying to God in a way that is contrary to His revelation. Today when you see people praying for the Holy Spirit and being filled with a spirit that is strange and ungodlike, you have to realize that something very serious is happening. Can it be that this Holy Spirit manifestation is the great agency by which Satan will receive worship in the world in the last days?
Now that is a striking, startling thought. But when I look at the scriptures, and even at these facts concerning the Hindu trinity, and see so clearly the identity of Shiva, I am frightened. Chills run down my spine. There was a time in my life when I tried to pray to the Holy Spirit. Any of you who have ever tried this will find that it is very difficult. You cannot truly pray to, and become acquainted with, a being who does not exist. All you will have to depend on is your own imagination, and this is a very poor substitute for reality. I tried it because I thought that I should pray to the Holy Spirit. I thought that he was another person in the godhead like the Father and the Son, so why should I neglect him? In reality, I could not break through to God and was in danger of making contact with another being with whom I wish to have nothing to do!
The Scriptures do not teach that the Holy Spirit is a separate Being from the Father and the Son. When Jesus says, the comforter will come, He explains what He means by saying, I will come. (See John 14:16,18) Jesus is a real Being. The Father is a real Being. If when the Spirit comes it is the actual presence of the Father and the Son, then the Holy Spirit must be a real Being; a real Person, but it is the Person of the Father Himself. Not Someone separate and apart from Himself. We find in human thinking a dim reflection of the truth of the matter. Some people believe that it is possible for you to be here and for your spirit to leave your body and to wander around the place. Now we know that in human beings this is not possible. But is this difficult for God? Jesus said that God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) He has always filled the universe from the days of eternity. We are not to imagine that because we may go to heaven and see Him sitting on a throne that this is all there is of the Father. The Almighty God, the Father of all infinity, cannot be confined to one body or to one place. His mind, His presence, His personality still does, and always will, fill heaven and earth. This omnipresent personality of the Father, filling the entire universe, is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God.
Popular Christianitys belief concerning God is perfectly typified, is perfectly exemplified, in Revelations description of Babylon because even within the common fellowship of Trinitarian Ecumenism, Trinitarians have many different definitions of their Trinitarian God! It was Jesus who said to a woman once, You worship, you know not what, and when He said it He did not say it in a complimentary way. He did not compliment the woman for her ignorance. He went on to say, God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in TRUTH! Not only in spirit, but in truth. We must know who and what we worship because the Bible has clearly revealed who God is. It is a peculiar kind of darkness which makes Christians insist that we should not bother to study the subject of who God is in spite of the fact that the Bible has so plainly explained it.
We are living in a frightening age and I am convinced that Satan is accomplishing his aims while men sleep; very subtly, but very successfully. Sadly, most people think they are worshiping God when the reality is that they dont even know what they are worshiping. Satan is the one who takes advantage of this ignorance and receives this worship.
I want you to consider that the majority of those who are called Christians are actually possessed, in this teaching, of the spirit of antichrist, including those who call themselves Seventh-day Adventists, if they hold to the beliefs of the denomination as they are defined today.
A WORTHWHILE PROJECT
What I am saying, finally, is this: Let us pray that God will help us so that for the rest of our lives we might work to exalt this truth about who God is, with single-minded devotion. We cannot exhaust the subject because the Lord tells us that we will study it for all eternity. There are different angles and avenues to this subject, and every other truth if it is truth, including the sanctuary truth, must harmonize with this teaching. I intend to search that out. But I am saying to you brothers, and sisters as well, let us study it out for ourselves and as we find it to be true, take up the project of promoting it far and wide. The first angels message says, fear God and give glory to Him. There is something there about who God is; about whom the TRUE God is and how He ought to be worshiped that is the focus of the message of the last time. Therefore, let us study the subject and if you think it is worthwhile, take up this project of promoting the worship of the only true God.
God wants people who will stand up for His truth in this time, and if we dont do something soon we just might be among the most enlightened people in the lake of fire. It is not those who are ever learning who will be saved, but it is those who are ever putting into practice what they learn. At the last day God will not ask you what you learned, but what you did! So I hope that we will remember this, and I hope that God will help us to understand these truths better and to live by them.
Published by Smyrna Gospel Ministries HC 64 Box 128B Welch, WV 24801-9606 phone: (304) 732-9204 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; and Restoration Ministries P. O. Box 23, Knockpatrick Manchester, Jamaica, W.I. Phone: (876) 904-7392 e-mail: email@example.com