“The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’ (Prov. 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.”–Letter 12, 1890 (1SM 48)
I found this to be quite a thought provoking passage especially since studying the Prophetic Gift, while contemplating it I also heard a great Message from Pr Skeet and then I began considering another post I made on the liberal or conservative issue, now with all these thoughts skipping through my neurons, I began to distill the ideas and draw some conclusions, eventually this might even be a sermon but for now I am just looking to crystallize my thoughts. (my apologies to both liberal and conservative believers, as I am likely to offend both camps).
What we want to know is how, how is satan going to accomplish this? all you have to do is talk to people to see this is already hapenning, but how has he shifted our viewpoint, what mechanism was/is being used to lever the Spirit of Prophecy out of the hands of so many church members?
Deception Part 1:Preparation
Clearly satan does not have to try overly hard to discredit Mrs White outside the church, false information abounds in easily accessible ways for them, but for people inside the church… the ones who should be benefiting from her counsel are reading her writings less and less. the preparation for this move (I believe) began at Vatican 2 when the Catholic church officially decided to introduce and foster charismatic worship styles, in order to unify the people.
Today we see this worship style in many Catholic churches, bleeding throughout the evangelical movement, and unfortunately, to an increasing degree in our own Adventist churches, then to offset this, he embittered many conservative believers, this of course will limit, if not shut off the flow of love between the two groups, making the chasm wider.
Deception Part 2:Hide the truth
The thing is, the conservative believers, continue to hold onto the writings of Mrs White whereas the more progressive/liberal believers start to loosen their grip, and skip over the parts which disagree with their viewpoint deeming it “No longer culturally relevant” they demote her writings to the inspirational level of Philip Yancey and Max Lucado, rather than the inspired level at which She should be regarded.
The end result is the pure message, the blessings of the Spirit of Prophecy, testimonies which God sent to guide his end-time people, are made of no effect as many of the conservative believers have become a clanging cymbal, without love or compassion, this results in others reacting by closing their minds to God’s admonition, paving the way to being seduced by progressive/liberal worship and eventually, theology.
Who is Right?
Unfortunately I do not believe there is a safe one-size-fits-all answer, the facts are, satan created an alternative that would be based on feelings, thus “making God in our own image” (Proverbs 14:12) then went about taking the joy from our conservative brothers and sisters, driving others into the awaiting deception. Balance must be found and it can only be found in Jesus, the few people I have met who (I believe) are bearing the good fruit of the gospel are characterized by a few things, their unconditional love and compassion for others, and their adherence to scripture as the base for all truth and they accept the role of the Spirit of Prophecy, heeding it’s counsel, on surface inspection that may look like conservatism but it is driven by a passion for the Savior and the lost.
The Gospel is not about us doing what we want or seeking comfort, no my friends, the Gospel does not center around our comfort or conversely, even our sacrifice, the center of the Gospel is Jesus and HIS sacrifice, we should not be concerned about worshiping him or believing in a way that conforms to our feelings, but we should be more concerned with being “transformed by the renewing of our minds” that we might be able to enjoy what he enjoys, thus allowing us to worship him in spirit and in truth.