In Ernie’s dreams, the Herald says that spiritualism is being used within the SDA Church. This section will identify what spiritualism is, which will lay the foundation for further sections of this chapter.
Maranatha, p. 168
Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, points to the special working of Satan in spiritualism as an event to take place immediately before the second advent of Christ. Speaking of Christ's second coming, he declares that it is "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." 2 Thessalonians 2:9.
The Great Controversy (1911), p. 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.
As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.
Apostate SDAs are reaching “across the gulf,” and if they do not repent, they will join hands with the papacy when Sunday laws are passed.
What is spiritualism?
Many believe that spiritualism is simply communicating with spirits. However, the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy teach that it is more than this. Rebellion against God is at the heart of spiritualism.
1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
The Great Controversy (1911), p. 556
But spiritualism, which numbers its converts by hundreds of thousands, yea, by millions, which has made its way into scientific circles, which has invaded churches, and has found favor in legislative bodies, and even in the courts of kings-- this mammoth deception is but a revival, in a new disguise, of the witchcraft condemned and prohibited of old.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
The Review and Herald, June 26, 1900
Christ warns his followers, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves." He exhorts us not to be deceived when false shepherds present their doctrines. These men tell us that the commandments of God were done away at the death of Christ. Shall we believe them, these men who claim to be sanctified, while they refuse to obey God? They say the Lord has told them that they need not keep the ten commandments; but has the Lord told them this?--No; God does not lie. Satan, who is the father of lies, deceived Adam in a similar way, telling him that he need not obey God, that he would not die if he transgressed the law.
Spiritualism more than just communication with the dead
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 21, p. 173
There is a strain of spiritualism coming in among our people, and it will undermine the faith of those who give place to it, leading them to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. I have seen the arch-deceiver tempting several of our ministers, teachers, and medical workers, presenting fanciful theories to them in a most subtle and charming manner, to wean their affection from those whom they should love and cherish. He shows them charming pictures of women whom they have found congenial, suggesting that in the future life they will be united to the one who is so congenial and whom they will ever love throughout the ages of eternity.
Evangelism, p. 606
There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism, such as the Emmanuel movement. Still others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of theosophy and other Oriental religions.
What does spiritualism encompass?
Communication with the dead
Evangelism, p. 603
The belief in communion with the dead is still held, even in professedly Christian lands. Under the name of Spiritualism, the practice of communicating with beings claiming to be the spirits of the departed, has become widespread. It is calculated to take hold of the sympathies of those who have laid their loved ones in the grave.
The Signs of the Times, December 5, 1895
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [Spiritualism]; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
What does spiritualism teach?
Disregard the law
The Great Controversy (1911), pp. 557-558
It is true that spiritualism is now changing its form and, veiling some of its more objectionable features, is assuming a Christian guise. But its utterances from the platform and the press have been before the public for many years, and in these its real character stands revealed. These teachings cannot be denied or hidden.
Even in its present form, so far from being more worthy of toleration than formerly, it is really a more dangerous, because a more subtle, deception. While it formerly denounced Christ and the Bible, it now professes to accept both [postmodernism]. But the Bible is interpreted in a manner that is pleasing to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God, but it is degraded to a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction between good and evil. God's justice, His denunciations of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight. The people are taught to regard the Decalogue as a dead letter. Pleasing, bewitching fables captivate the senses and lead men to reject the Bible as the foundation of their faith. Christ is as verily denied as before; but Satan has so blinded the eyes of the people that the deception is not discerned.
We can see how the pure truth in the King James Version of the Bible is the first to be rejected.
The Acts of the Apostles, p. 474
To many the Bible is as a lamp without oil, because they have turned their minds into channels of speculative belief that bring misunderstanding and confusion. The work of higher criticism, in dissecting, conjecturing, reconstructing, is destroying faith in the Bible as a divine revelation. It is robbing God's word of power to control, uplift, and inspire human lives. By spiritualism, multitudes are taught to believe that desire is the highest law, that license is liberty, and that man is accountable only to himself.
Education, p. 227
Spiritualism asserts that men are unfallen demigods; that "each mind will judge itself;" that "true knowledge places men above all law;" that "all sins committed are innocent;" for "whatever is, is right," and "God doth not condemn." The basest of human beings it represents as in heaven, and highly exalted there. Thus it declares to all men, "It matters not what you do; live as you please, heaven is your home."
Evangelism, p. 608
Spiritualism declares that there is no death, no sin, no judgment, no retribution; that "men are unfallen demigods"; that desire is the highest law; and that man is accountable only to himself. The barriers that God has erected to guard truth, purity, and reverence, are broken down, and many are thus emboldened in sin. Does not such teaching suggest an origin similar to that of demon worship?
Teaches falsehood about God
Manuscript Releases, Vol. 4, p. 57
There is a strain of spiritualism coming in among our people, and it will undermine the faith of those who give place to it, leading them to give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Errors will be presented in a pleasing and flattering manner. The enemy desires to divert the minds of our brethren and sisters from the work of preparing a people to stand in these last days.
I am instructed to warn our brethren and sisters not to discuss the nature of our God. Many of the curious who attempted to open the ark of the testament, to see what was inside, were punished for their presumption. We are not to say that the Lord God of heaven is in a leaf, or in a tree; for He is not there. He sitteth upon His throne in the heavens.
A warning to Seventh-day Adventists
The Signs of the Times, August 26, 1889
The condition of society today is the same as when God presented before Israel the abominations of the heathen; and the same warnings are necessary to the remnant people. Spiritualism is advancing through the land in triumph. "The spirits of devils working miracles" are going "forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." Men are seeking unto them that have familiar spirits; but the people of God cannot in any sense follow the practices of the world. They must keep the commandments of the Lord. The line of separation must be distinctly marked between the obedient and the disobedient. There must be open and avowed enmity between the church and the serpent, between her seed and his seed.
Battle Creek Letters, p. 108
In his [Dr. Kellogg’s] presentation he cloaked the matter somewhat, but in reality he was presenting scientific theories which are akin to pantheism.
Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, p. 34
Living Temple contains the Alpha of these theories. The Omega would follow in a little while. I tremble for our people. These beautiful representations are similar to the temptation that the enemy brought to Adam and Eve in Eden. When but a girl I went to New Hampshire to bear warning against these same doctrines. There was a man by the name of Billings and another by the name of Bennet who were preaching a higher spirituality.
Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 292
Those who continue to hold these spiritualistic theories will surely spoil their Christian experience, sever their connection with God, and lose eternal life.
The Great Controversy (1888), p. 561
Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: "Ye shall not surely die." "In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs; ... they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." Revelation 16:13, 14. Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.
Spiritualism is not just crystal balls and the New Age movement. At its heart, it teaches rebellion against God and clothes its false doctrines in beautiful representations. In the Garden of Eden, all the forms of spiritualism were revealed. There we find that:
- Satan misrepresented the character of God.
- Error was made to appear as truth.
- Eve was convinced that by disobeying the Word of God she would not lose eternal life.
- Satan’s lies are the foundation for the erroneous teaching of the immortality of the soul.
Ellen White trembled for the SDA Church because of the omega of apostasy. It is of a most startling nature, teaches a “higher spirituality,” and is received by those who do not believe the warnings of God. Her prophecy is being fulfilled today.
Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol. 1, p. 41
God calls upon His servants to study His mind and will. Then when men come with their curiously invented theories, enter not into controversy with them, but affirm what you know. "It is written" is to be your weapon. There are men who will try to spin out their fine threads of false theories. Thank God that there are those also who have been taught of Him and who know what is truth.