Under the Garb of Christianity
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 marvellous he is working with his lying wonders. Satan is represented as walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He desires to embrace the whole world in his confederacy. Hiding his deformity under the garb of Christianity, he assumes the attributes of a Christian, and claims to be Christ Himself.–8MR 346 (1901).
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 pretence of Christianity that, “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” [Matt. 24:24].–Ms 125, 1901.
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.–GC 588 (1911).
The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honourable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. . . . Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may thus become decoys of Satan to entice souls over the precipice of ruin.–Ed 150 (1903).
Even in the Adventist Church
We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honour, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.–1SM 122 (1887).
Lying Spirits Contradict the Scriptures
The saints must get a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures. They must understand the state of the dead, for the spirits of devils will yet appear to them, professing to be beloved friends and relatives, who will declare to them that the Sabbath has been changed, also other unscriptural doctrines.–EW 87 (1854).
The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth. They deny the divine origin of the Bible.–GC 557 (1911).
Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome.–GC 588 (1911).
Persons will arise pretending to be Christ Himself, and claiming the title and worship which belong to the world’s Redeemer. They will perform wonderful miracles of healing, and will profess to have revelations from heaven contradicting the testimony of the Scriptures. . . .
But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God’s unmingled wrath shall be poured out.–GC 624, 625 (1911).
I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them.–EW 261 (1858).
Before the final visitation of God’s judgements upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. . . . The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work, and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavour to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power, he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. . . .
There is an emotional excitement, a mingling of the true with the false, that is well adapted to mislead. Yet none need be deceived. In the light of God’s Word it is not difficult to determine the nature of these movements. Wherever men neglect the testimony of the Bible, turning away from those plain, soul-testing truths which require self-denial and renunciation of the world, there we may be sure that God’s blessing is not bestowed.–GC 464 (1911).
Music Is Made a Snare
The things you have described as taking place in Indiana,[1. THESE COMMENTS WERE MADE IN CONNECTION WITH THE “HOLY FLESH” MOVEMENT AT THE INDIANA CAMP MEETING OF 1890. FOR FURTHER DETAILS, SEE SELECTED MESSAGES, BOOK 2, PP. 31-39.] the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. . . .
A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of satanic agencies blend with the din and noise to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit’s working. . . . Those things which have been in the past will be in the future. Satan will make music a snare by the way in which it is conducted.–2SM 36, 38 (1900).
Let us give no place to strange exercisings, which really take the mind away from the deep movings of the Holy Spirit. God’s work is ever characterised by calmness and dignity.–2SM 42 (1908).
False Speaking in Tongues
Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this have not been good. “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Fanaticism and noise have been considered special evidences of faith. Some are not satisfied with a meeting unless they have a powerful and happy time. They work for this and get up an excitement of feeling. But the influence of such meetings is not beneficial. When the happy flight of feeling is gone they sink lower than before the meeting because their happiness did not come from the right source.
The most profitable meetings for spiritual advancement are those which are characterised with solemnity and deep searching of heart, each seeking to know himself and, earnestly and in deep humility, seeking to learn of Christ.–1T 412 (1864).
Evil Angels Appear as Human Beings
Satan will use every opportunity to seduce men from their allegiance to God. He and the angels who fell with him will appear on the earth as men, seeking to deceive. God’s angels also will appear as men, and will use every means in their power to defeat the purposes of the enemy.–8MR 399 (1903).
Evil angels in the form of men will talk with those who know the truth. They will misinterpret and misconstrue the statements of the messengers of God. . . .
Have Seventh-day Adventists forgotten the warning given in the sixth chapter of Ephesians? We are engaged in a warfare against the hosts of darkness. Unless we follow our Leader closely, Satan will obtain the victory over us.–3SM 411 (1903).
Evil angels in the form of believers will work in our ranks to bring in a strong spirit of unbelief. Let not even this discourage you, but bring a true heart to the help of the Lord against the powers of satanic agencies. These powers of evil will assemble in our meetings, not to receive a blessing, but to counterwork the influences of the Spirit of God.–2MCP 504, 505 (1909).
Personation of the Dead
It is not difficult for the evil angels to represent both saints and sinners who have died, and make these representations visible to human eyes. These manifestations will be more frequent, and developments of a more startling character will appear as we near the close of time.–Ev 604 (1875).
It is Satan’s most successful and fascinating delusion–one calculated to take hold of the sympathies of those who have laid their loved ones in the grave. Evil angels come in the form of those loved ones and relate incidents connected with their lives, and perform acts which they performed while living. In this way they lead persons to believe that their dead friends are angels, hovering over them and communicating with them. These evil angels, who assume to be the deceased friends, are regarded with a certain idolatry, and with many their word has greater weight than the Word of God.–ST Aug. 26, 1889.
He [Satan] has power to bring before men the appearance of their departed friends. The counterfeit is perfect; the familiar look, the words, the tone, are reproduced with marvellous distinctness. . . . Many will be confronted by the spirits of devils personating beloved relatives or friends and declaring the most dangerous heresies. These visitants will appeal to our tenderest sympathies and will work miracles to sustain their pretensions.–GC 552, 560 (1911).
Satan Personates Christ
The enemy is preparing to deceive the whole world by his miracle-working power. He will assume to personate the angels of light, to personate Jesus Christ.–2SM 96 (1894).
If men are so easily misled now, how will they stand when Satan shall personate Christ, and work miracles? Who will be unmoved by his misrepresentations then–professing to be Christ when it is only Satan assuming the person of Christ, and apparently working the works of Christ?–2SM 394 (1897).
Satan will take the field and personate Christ. He will misrepresent, misapply, and pervert everything he possibly can.–TM 411 (1898).
A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama–Satan coming as Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are binding themselves together in secret societies.–8T 28 (1904).
Satan Resembles Christ in Every Particular
There is a limit beyond which Satan cannot go, and here he calls deception to his aid and counterfeits the work which he has not power actually to perform. In the last days he will appear in such a manner as to make men believe him to be Christ come the second time into the world. He will indeed transform himself into an angel of light. But while he will bear the appearance of Christ in every particular, so far as mere appearance goes, it will deceive none but those who, like Pharaoh, are seeking to resist the truth.–5T 698 (1889).
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. (Rev. 1:13-15). The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: “Christ has come! Christ has come!”
The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed.–GC 624 (1911).
Satan Pretends to Answer the Saints’ Prayers
Satan sees that he is about to lose his case. He cannot sweep in the whole world. He makes one last desperate effort to overcome the faithful by deception. He does this in personating Christ. He clothes himself with the garments of royalty which have been accurately described in the vision of John. He has power to do this. He will appear to his deluded followers, the Christian world who received not the love of the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (transgression of the law), as Christ coming the second time.
He proclaims himself Christ, and he is believed to be Christ, a beautiful, majestic being clothed with majesty and, with soft voice and pleasant words, with glory unsurpassed by anything their mortal eyes had yet beheld. Then his deceived, deluded followers set up a shout of victory, “Christ has come the second time! Christ has come! He has lifted up His hands just as He did when He was upon the earth, and blessed us.”. . .
The saints look on with amazement. Will they also be deceived? Will they worship Satan? Angels of God are about them. A clear, firm, musical voice is heard, “Look up.”
There was one object before the praying ones–the final and eternal salvation of their souls. This object was before them constantly–that immortal life was promised to those who endure unto the end. Oh, how earnest and fervent had been their desires. The judgement and eternity were in view. Their eyes by faith were fixed on the blazing throne, before which the white-robed ones were to stand. This restrained them from the indulgence of sin. . . .
One effort more, and then Satan’s last device is employed. He hears the unceasing cry for Christ to come, for Christ to deliver them. This last strategy is to personate Christ, and make them think their prayers are answered.–Ms 16, 1884.
How the Counterfeit Differs From the Genuine
Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ’s advent.–GC 625 (1911).
Satan . . . will come personating Jesus Christ, working mighty miracles; and men will fall down and worship him as Jesus Christ. We shall be commanded to worship this being, whom the world will glorify as Christ. What shall we do? Tell them that Christ has warned us against just such a foe, who is man’s worst enemy, yet who claims to be God, and that when Christ shall make His appearance it will be with power and great glory, accompanied by ten thousand times ten thousand angels and thousands of thousands, and that when He shall come we shall know His voice.–6BC 1106 (1888).
Satan is striving to gain every advantage. . . .Disguised as an angel of light, he will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments; good words will be spoken by him and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified. But on one point there will be a marked distinction–Satan will turn the people from the law of God. Notwithstanding this, so well will he counterfeit righteousness that, if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Crowned heads, presidents, rulers in high places, will bow to his false theories.–FE 471, 472 (1897).
Miracles Will Be Performed
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?–1T 302 (1862).
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.–2SM 53 (1903).
Wonderful scenes, with which Satan will be closely connected, will soon take place. God’s Word declares that Satan will work miracles. He will make people sick, and then will suddenly remove from them his satanic power. They will then be regarded as healed.
These works of apparent healing will bring Seventh-day Adventists to the test.–2SM 53 (1904).
Satan can, through a species of deceptions, perform wonders that will appear to be genuine miracles. It was this he hoped to make a test question with the Israelites at the time of their deliverance from Egypt.–2SM 52 (1907).
Fire From Heaven
We must not trust the claims of men. They may, as Christ represents, profess to work miracles in healing the sick. Is this marvellous, when just behind them stands the great deceiver, the miracle worker who will yet bring down fire from heaven in the sight of men?–2SM 49 (1887).
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.–2SM 51 (1890).
Satan will come in to deceive if possible the very elect. He claims to be Christ, and he is coming in, pretending to be the great medical missionary. He will cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men to prove that he is God.–MM 87, 88 (1903).
It is stated in the Word that the enemy will work through his agents who have departed from the faith, and they will seemingly work miracles, even to the bringing down of fire out of heaven in the sight of men.–2SM 54 (1907).
“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” (Rev. 13:13, 14). No mere impostures are here foretold. Men are deceived by the miracles which Satan’s agents have power to do, not which they pretend to do.–GC 553 (1911).
Satan Will Be Deified
In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God’s holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her” [Rev. 18:8].–TM 62 (1893).
As the second appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ draws near, satanic agencies are moved from beneath. Satan will not only appear as a human being, but he will personate Jesus Christ, and the world that has rejected the truth will receive him as the Lord of lords and King of kings.–5BC 1105, 1106 (1900).
Miracles Prove Nothing
Go to God for yourselves, pray for divine enlightenment, that you may know that you do know what is truth, that when the wonderful miracle-working power shall be displayed, and the enemy shall come as an angel of light, you may distinguish between the genuine work of God and the imitative work of the powers of darkness.–3SM 389 (1888).
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,[2. MIRACLES WILL ACCOMPANY THE MINISTRY OF GOD’S PEOPLE UNDER THE LOUD CRY (SEE CHAPTER 14), BUT THEY WILL NOT HAVE THE SIGNIFICANCE THEY DID IN CHRIST’S DAY. THE PERFORMING OF MIRACLES WILL NO LONGER BE A PROOF OF DIVINE ENDORSEMENT.] 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.–2SM 54 (1904).
God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought.–9T 16 (1909).
Miracles Cannot Supersede the Bible
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.–2SM 50, 51 (1885).
The Bible will never be superseded by miraculous manifestations. The truth must be studied, it must be searched for as hidden treasure. Wonderful illuminations will not be given aside from the Word or to take the place of it. Cling to the Word, receive the engrafted Word which will make men wise unto salvation.–2SM 48 (1894).
The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvellous 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.–GC 593 (1911).
The Deception Is Almost Universal
There is now need of earnest, working men and women who will seek for the salvation of souls, for Satan as a powerful general has taken the field, and in this last remnant of time he is working through all conceivable methods to close the door against light that God would have come to His people. He is sweeping the whole world into his ranks, and the few who are faithful to God’s requirements are the only ones who can ever withstand him, and even these he is trying to overcome.–3SM 389 (1889).
The forms of the dead will appear, through the cunning device of Satan, and many will link up with the one who loveth and maketh a lie. I warn our people that right among us some will turn away from the faith and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and by them the truth will be evil spoken of.
A marvellous work shall take place. Ministers, lawyers, doctors, who have permitted these falsehoods to overmaster their spirit of discernment, will be themselves deceivers, united with the deceived. A spiritual drunkenness will take possession of them.–UL 317 (1905).