Steve Wohlberg’s Second Letter
This appendix contains Steve Wohlberg’s second letter. You can view the orginal pdf version here.
Comments about the latest dream, “Love and Rebuke,” given to Ernie Knoll
By Steve Wohlberg
April 22, 2008
Please pray before reading this.
On page 1, Ernie admits that some readers of his dreams are concerned that “the Herald” is a deceiver. He also states that some have counseled him to test the Herald with 1 John 4:3. Ernie wrote:
Knowing that an angel of Satan can only answer that Jesus did not come in the flesh, if the Herald stated this, it would prove that he is an agent of Satan and is trying to deceive many. However, if the Herald answered that Jesus did come in the flesh, then that would mean I am not being deceived.
How do we know for certain that Satan’s angels cannot make such a confession? And even if the Herald does make a true confession, does this really “prove” that he is of God and that Ernie has not been deceived? Concerning the “1 John 4:3 Test,” here are some thoughts to consider:
- The test is biblical, but it is not the only test in God’s Word.
- The context reveals that this test should be used to detect “false prophets” who have “gone out into the world” (vs. 1). These verses do not say that such a test should be directly applied to an angel, or that a fallen angel cannot make this confession.
- Demons are brilliant deceivers. They know exactly who Jesus is. The question should be asked: Why can’t demons confess that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” if they so choose? What would stop them from doing so? Luke reports: “And demons came out of many, crying out and saying, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of God!’” Luke 4:41. This confession was correct. Thus demons can correctly confess who Jesus Christ is, and still be demons.
- A key message within 1 John is that a simple verbal confession or profession is not enough. Six times in chapters one and two, John wrote, “If we say...” (1:6; 1:8; 1:10) and “He who says...” (2:4; 2:6; 2:9), showing that mere words are not enough. Making his point, John wrote, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (3:18).
- Many Adventists today openly “confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh,” even in fallen flesh, but this doesn’t mean they are led of God in everything they do or teach. Thus it is obvious that a human being can make the correct confession, but still be a deceiver. Why can’t a demon do the same thing?
- Truly confessing Jesus Christ means more than merely speaking words. “He who would confess Christ must have Christ abiding in him...The disciples might speak fluently on doctrines, they might repeat the words of Christ Himself; but unless they possessed Christlike meekness and love, they were not confessing Him. A spirit contrary to the spirit of Christ would deny Him, whatever the profession" (The Desire of Ages, 357). “A mere profession of godliness is worthless” (The Faith I Live By, 130).
On page 2, the dream begins. At the bottom of page 2, after seeing three angels, and hearing one of them quote Philippians 2:5-11, Ernie wrote:
I now know I am safe because of what the angel just quoted and that these are angels of God and not of Satan. These three angels meet the criteria of testing the spirits. I hold out my right hand and we quickly ascend. We are traveling extremely fast. Their wings have the appearance of pure light.
To me, Ernie is too quick to trust these “angels.” Cannot Satan quote Scripture too? Yes. We know this from Matthew 4:6 where, while tempting Jesus, Satan also says, “It is written...” Thus, when Ernie said, “I now know I am safe because of what the angel just quoted...” he is not on solid ground. Just because an “angel” quotes Scripture before us, this is not really proof that he is of God, and that we are “safe.”
On page 3 a scene is presented and three individuals are seen. One holds a sign that says, “The Herald is of Satan.” Ernie told me in an email that these three represent me, Ed Reid, and Ethel Price. Concerning “the woman” (Ethel Price), the dream declares:
The woman stands proudly and proclaims, “I have studied and I know all there is to be known. I have all the answers and will correct you of your errors. Listen only to what I say.”
I admit that I don’t know Ethel really well, but we have met, and corresponded some. But from what I do know of her, this is a very unfair characterization of her life and convictions. Concerning Ed Reid, the dream states:
The third man, whom I do not recognize, is counting money. I hear him say, “All money belongs to God and is to be kept in only my storehouse.”
I do know Ed Reid. He is a good friend and one of the godliest men I know. His end-time books, 3ABN presentations, and many talks at camp meetings have blessed tens of thousands of people. He is a true man of God seeking to prepare others for the return of Jesus Christ. Yet the dream acknowledges none of this. Ed is only portrayed as a money counter who wants to keep the money in “my storehouse.” How unjust! The dream then prepares for the Herald’s “confession” of 1 John 4:3:
I stand on the left side by myself. In front of where I stand is a podium and on it lays a very large Bible with very large letters. The Herald stands in the middle of the room and faces us. The three angels that escorted me here quickly go and stand one to the left, one to the right and one directly behind the Herald. I notice that the Herald stands a little taller than the other three angels. Several angels in battle gear enter the room and stand on the left and right side of the room. I then hear a voice descend over us from above that all at the same time has the sound of a thundering waterfall, a soft gentle stream and a quiet trickle of water. The voice says, “Ask so as all may see whom My Herald serves.” The Herald takes one step forward. I look at the Bible and the pages instantly turn to 1 John 4. I look down and read verses 1, 2 and 3 aloud. I then look back at the Herald. He is not smiling but has a look of calm, yet his demeanor is one of humbleness.
One would assume that the “voice” heard is the voice of God. It seems quite strange that God Almighty would so dramatically seek to defend an angel!
On page 4, the Herald says,
He says, “This is a question that if I answer quickly many will not understand. Many will say it was too vague. Many will say that it was not made plain enough for them to accept. Please allow me to share in great detail so all cannot wonder, but acknowledge Whom I serve. This will be so all can continue on as one in the great work we all have ahead.”
It seems to me that a true angel from God would not make so much out of a mere verbal “confession.” According to “the Herald,” the purpose of his “confession” to convince “all” that he speaks the truth, so that we may all unite with him “in the great work.” But if he is a demon, such a strategy is makes perfect sense.
The balance of page 4, and most of page 5, contains the Herald’s “confession” to prove his orthodoxy and divine credentials. While most of it sounds good, the careful reader may discern some problems. He stated,
I watched as it was decided that Jesus would come to Earth as a created Being.
While it is true that Jesus Christ is acknowledged by the Herald as being our Creator, it is not true that He came to earth “as a created Being.” The Herald stated this a number of times. Do a Bible search. Do a SOP search. You will never find such language applying to the Son of God. Instead, both the Bible and the SOP teach that the Eternal Son of God took on human form and clothed His divinity with humanity. Yet all throughout, “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). Even after taking human form, Jesus was still the great “I AM” (see John 8:58). Significantly, immediately following Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 3:16, in the very next verse, he warned that “seducing spirits” will teach otherwise and lead some to “depart from the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1). Notice this:
Satan fell because of his ambition to be equal with God. He desired to enter into the divine counsels and purposes, from which he was excluded by his own inability, as a created being, to comprehend the wisdom of the Infinite One. It was this ambitious pride that led to his rebellion, and by the same means he seeks to cause the ruin of man (The Faith I Live By, p. 68).
Thus it is Satan who is “a created being,” and his jealousy of Jesus Christ over this very issue is part of the reason why he fell! Thus it makes sense that one of his angels would portray Jesus in this way. But again, it’s not true. Here, the Herald lied.
On page 5, the Herald’s “confession” reaches its climax:
You ask if I will confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. With my testimony and my witness to all that I have seen I do stand before my Creator, the Father, the Holy Spirit, and all of His created beings throughout the universe. I do openly and without reservation declare with my voice, yes, Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, came in the flesh.”
It is obvious that the Herald is trying hard to prove his divine credentials. But think about it: doesn’t it seem strange that a true angel would present such proof? Have you ever heard of a heavenly angel trying so hard to defend himself? I haven’t. The whole thing seems highly suspicious, and very much like what a demon would do to gain our confidence. Next, the three angels “shoot upwards” like “three beams of pure light.” While “pure light” is good, Paul also warns that “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14).
On page 6 the Herald says, referring to Christ,
He has placed in my hands a message for all. It is a message of love but it is also a message of rebuke. I will read what He has sent and it is up to you to take His rebuke and walk in the light that has been given. If you who are His are willing to accept the testimony of what I just shared as well as the messages God has sent to His servant that stands here today, you must acknowledge these messages are of God.”
Here the Herald declares, “you must acknowledge these messages are of God.” This is quite forceful. According to this statement, it is not enough for us to acknowledge the truth that is in the Bible and SOP (salvation through Jesus Christ, the Three Angel’s Messages, etc), but now we “must acknowledge these messages are of God.” Thus he points, not just to Biblical truth, but to the dreams themselves. Then the Herald rebukes Ernie. Let’s analyze his rebuke carefully. The Herald told Ernie:
You were wrong in sharing your response with a few that had questions in the “Stand Fast” dream regarding tithe. You must understand, you like I am just a messenger. You were told if they do not understand you were to ONLY tell them to take their questions to the One who holds the keys to the Great Storehouse. You were wrong in what you did in sharing your studies. How can others learn and depend on God if you do the studying for them? How can they learn to have a close relationship to the Father if you don’t allow them to pray?
Here the Herald informs Ernie, “You were wrong...in sharing your studies” about tithe with others. This is a very strange “rebuke” from Jesus. Nowhere in the Bible or in the SOP are we commanded not to share what we study with others. Paul said, “study...” (2 Tim. 2:15) Then he said, “teach” (verse 24). Then the Herald rebukes Ernie for not doing what he was “told” to do. This is all highly significant. Thus the Herald tells everyone that we “must” acknowledge his messages, and that Ernie should do what he is “told.” Here he is becoming quite controlling and is acting exactly like we would expect a demon to act. Take note:
The enemy does everything in his power to gain control of the minds of men and women (Sermons and Talks, Vol. 2, p. 196).
With a determination that many do not dream of he [Satan] is seeking to gain control of their minds and to make the commandments of God of no effect in their lives.--MS 93, 1909.
Before we leave his rebuke of Ernie, notice this one sentence. The Herald asked Ernie, “How can they learn to have a close relationship to the Father if you don’t allow them to pray?” Personally, I don’t think this is a fair statement to Ernie, or an accurate one. In sharing his studies, did Ernie really intend to not allow people to pray? By sharing personal studies, does this prevent people from praying? I don’t think so.
After his rebuke of Ernie, on the bottom of page 6, the Herald then begins to rebuke those who have opposed his “messages”:
The Herald now steps back and walks to the middle of the room. He holds out the three glass tablets as one tablet and says, “This is a message for all who will accept and be willing to hear.” The tablet says, “Let he that rides dismount and prostrate before the Lord of hosts, the Creator of the universe, He who came to be the created. Bow before your Master and confess your sins so all will hear of your rebellion. A message was sent to a chosen messenger and you denied your Lord’s ear and convinced others to turn away.
Here the Herald declares that those who oppose the dreams should “confess” their “sins so all will hear of your rebellion”! Here there is absolutely no recognition whatsoever of the true motivation of many who are opposing the dreams. The Herald simply states, “sins” and “rebellion.” When I first read this, the Spirit of Truth only deepened my conviction that the Herald is a deceiver, and not an angel sent from the One who died for my sins. Let me speak for myself (as I am apparently one of the “three” people specifically rebuked in this dream), what has motivated me is not “sins” and “rebellion,” but a sincere desire to follow God’s counsel and to watch out for demonic deceptions (see Mat. 24:4; 2 Cor. 11:14, etc). The real Jesus Christ knows both the truth and my heart; yet in this case, the Herald totally missed it. He “misspoke,” just like Hillary Clinton recently did concerning her landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. In a previous document to Ernie’s board I shared the following quote. This is what been driving me to become concerned about these dreams:
All along our pathway to the heavenly Canaan we see many souls that have made shipwreck of faith, and in their false movements have led others astray through the supposition that they were led of God in special revelations. I have had to write many, many pages to correct these errors. I have been burdened and oppressed night after night, unable to sleep because of the agony of my soul for God's heritage, His people, who are in danger of being misled. Many things in these visions and dreams seem to be all straight, a repetition of that which has been in the field for many years; but soon they introduce a jot here, a tittle of error there, just a little seed which takes root and flourishes, and many are defiled therewith (2 SM 86).
The greatest care should be exercised concerning those who claim to receive revelations from God (2 SM 91).
None of this is acknowledged by the Herald. He just says, “sins” and “rebellion.” Dear reader, God knows the truth, and in his “rebuke” the Herald is not speaking it. Finally, at the conclusions of the dream, the Herald ends his “rebuke” with these words,
Kneel, confess your sins lest the streams and rivers dry up and the horse that drinks die, lest you walk the face of the earth and every ear turn away from you as the words you speak fall like rocks from your mouth. Repent lest the Lord God spew you out of His mouth as boiling seawater. Let he that holds the keys to the vault repent for the evil you have done and spoken against Me and My servant. Let him prostrate himself before the Master Key Maker and ask for forgiveness and walk no more in the ways of your errors. Let him confess before all of misconstruing what he knows is truth as he has been shown. Confess before all lest the keys be knocked from your hand and placed in the hands of another. Let this person humble them self before the Lord of truth for speaking errors. Let this person acknowledge a proud boasting walk and ask for humbleness. Let this person admit their faults of using a tongue that speaks against truth lest that tongue be cut off and you walk the earth dumb. Let all who have spoken evil against the message and messenger I have sent prostrate themselves before the throne of God. Ask for forgiveness in the name of His Son. Let them admit fault and take up their cross and follow the path of Jesus. Let them do this before the book is closed and the name is not written in the book.”
What a threat! Here the Herald says that if those who oppose these dreams don’t “repent” their tongues will be “cut off” and they will be spewed out of God’s mouth “as boiling seawater!” After reading this, a number of Bible texts came to my mind. First, I thought about Jesus Christ’s warning about “ravenous wolves” who come “in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15). Many times in these dreams, the Herald smiles and his dimples show. Yet in the above “rebuke,” the wolf speaks and snarls. As for me, the only conviction the Herald’s wild rebuke brings is a deeper conviction that he is a demon. This text also brought great comfort to my mind:
In the Lord I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart
On page 7, Ernie then wrote, “This is where my dream ends.” And this is where my comments end. I urge everyone who reads this, including Ernie, Becky, and their board, to pray earnestly for spiritual discernment and for the fulfillment in each of our lives of this Bible text:
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen (Romans 16:20).