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6. The Omega Apostasy

David Shin

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Ellen White looked into the future and trembled. What did she see? An examination of the Alpha and Omega apostasy.

Presenter

David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

Conference

Recorded

  • December 31, 2016
    4:15 PM
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Okay, well, last seminar, not last session of GYC but last seminar, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself here and connecting with many of you. Let’s bow our heads together as we pray. Father in Heaven, we thank You for this opportunity that we have to come together on this holy Sabbath as Your people to fellowship, to worship, and to open Your Word. Father, as we study and reflect on this important topic, that Your servant looked into the future, and when she saw the church going through this crisis, she trembled. We thank You that You are the Author of this ship and that You will see us through. Pray that You’d guide us, send us Your Holy Spirit in this discussion. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

We have a lot to cover, so I’m going to ask that you hold your questions till the very end, and if time, we will attempt to have a question and answer if we have time. So let’s move very quickly. I have a lot to cover today, and I want to point out from the very beginning, this is not even touching the tip of the iceberg of what the Omega is dealing with. There are very good books available at the exhibit hall that you will see that will delve into this a lot more. This is just kind of 30,000-foot view of this topic.

 

The term Alpha and Omega, in reference to apostasy is from the writings of Ellen White. She uses the Greek, alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, to describe the apostasy during the time of Kellogg as being the Alpha and the crisis right before the close of probation for God’s church as being the Omega Apostasy. In order to understand the Omega, we need to go back a little bit and look at the Alpha because they are related in nature. The Omega will be like, not identical, but like the Alpha Apostasy.

 

Now, I’m going to read this comment from Ellen White, Sermons and Talks, volume 1, 343, “I was instructed that certain sentiments in Living Temple, the book written by Kellogg, “were the Alpha of a long list of deceptive theories.” Now, I want to go back very quickly to 1902 to this crisis in Adventism that she called the Alpha of Apostasy. There were several events that framed the crisis and the theories that were found in the book The Living Temple.

 

In February 18, 1902, Battle Creek Sanitarium burns to the ground. Ellen White had given very specific counsel to Kellogg indicating that he was not to build a huge structure in Battle Creek but to build smaller sanitariums in unworked areas. That was the model that was shown by Ellen White to Kellogg. Kellogg disregarded counsel and went forward with expanding the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and the sanitarium burned to the ground.

 

March 17, [1902], rather than following Ellen White’s counsel again, he plans on building an even larger structure than the one that had burned down. Plans were laid to rebuild the sanitarium larger, and because of the cost involved, there was a lot of debt that was accruing, and so the brethren got together and decided that in order to fund this project, much like Ellen White had written the book Christ’s Object Lessons to fund certain projects, they thought, “Hey, why not have Kellogg write a book, and the sales and the proceeds from that book would go to fund the new sanitarium.” The book that was written was the book The Living Temple.

 

The brethren got together to review the book The Living Temple later that year in 1902 at the Autumn Annual Council, and they rejected the book The Living Temple from being published by the church through the Review. Kellogg took the initiative and decided to publish the book through the Review as a private order, which the Review had been doing up to that time. And so, the plates were set, the books were about ready to be published, about 5,000 copies, and we know the story. On December 30, 1902, the Review Publishing House burns to the ground.

 

This was a crisis in Adventism. The sanitarium in ashes, the Review Publishing House in ashes, and one witness of the fire of the Review Publishing House made this comment, “There is something strange about your SDA fires, with the water poured on acting more like gasoline.” Interesting. Ellen White’s warning before the fire, “Unless there is a reformation, calamity will overtake the publishing house, and the world will know the reason.” The world will know the reason.

 

Now, after the burning of the publishing house, there were many developments taking place behind the scenes in Battle Creek. Ellen White specifically made a dire warning, and I did not include it here on the screen, but she essentially said that there was a conspiracy to take over the leadership of the General Conference. There was a political maneuvering in that regard. There are very explicit letters going out warning Battle Creek about this, quote, “takeover” about to take place.

 

Now, look at the language that Ellen White uses in reference to the future, and she says, “Living Temple contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while; and I trembled for our people.” There is an implied relationship between the Alpha and the Omega Apostasy, and here is the quotation that is used many times to frame the reference point for the Alpha and the Omega Apostasy.

 

Here it is, “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the [new] movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless.”

 

Now, we can spend our entire seminar parsing each individual aspect of what she’s describing, but in a nutshell it is describing a movement that is a philosophy. It’s a philosophy that does away with the pillars and the identity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and replacing those pillars would be a movement that would do a wonderful work in the cities. She calls it a “wonderful work,” implying to me social justice. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I believe in helping the poor, in ministering to the impoverished, the downtrodden. There are plenty of biblical and Spirit of Prophecy reference for this.

 

But what we’re talking about here is not social justice and the gospel, social justice and the everlasting gospel, I should say, but here it is, social justice replacing the identity and the framework of the Last Day Movement, which I believe is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That is the frame and reference point we’re placing here or we’re looking at here. It says the Sabbath would be lightly regarded. I believe the implication of this is in the way that the Sabbath is kept. So there is a minimizing of standards in the name of “helping” causes that I believe in themselves are virtuous.

 

So this is the nature of what we’re dealing with. It’s a philosophy that does away with the pillars. It’s an emphasis on social reform at the expense of Adventist identity and doctrine.

 

All right, the Kellogg sentiments in the book The Living Temple, you can see from Ellen White’s quotation here that she saw it as an attack against the central pillar of the Adventist faith. Here we have it, “In a representation which passed before me, I saw a certain work being done by medical missionary workers. Our ministering brethren were looking on, watching what was [being] done, but they did not seem to understand. The foundation of our faith which was established by so much prayer, such earnest searching of [the Scriptures], was being taken down pillar by pillar. Our faith was to have nothing to rest upon—the sanctuary was gone, the atonement was gone. I realized that something must be done.

 

“The battle [has] nearly killed me. I saw what was coming in, and I saw that our brethren were blind. They did not realize the danger. Our young people, especially, were in danger. They delighted in the beautiful representations—God in the flower, God in the leaf, God in the tree. But if God be in these things, why not worship them?” This was in 1904.

 

We’re talking about pantheistic ideology, which was in the book The Living Temple. Now, pantheism is an immanent theology. We are transcendence, God is beyond us; immanence, God is with us. But pantheism and its variation panentheism is essentially that God is in everything. It’s an ultra-immanent theology. God is in everything, and if God is in everything, what does it do to the notion of the heavenly sanctuary that God’s presence was in the Shekhinah Glory with us in a space and time? It really just sucks all the validity out of that and the notion that Jesus moved from one compartment to the other, and it just doesn’t make any sense. And so, pantheism, as found in the writings of the book The Living Temple, Ellen White saw it as an attack on the sanctuary doctrine.

 

Moving on, Ellen White says again, “The enemy will bring in false theories, such as doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith.” And notice her language, “will bring in.” So this is an aspect, and there are many other aspects of the Omega that, for the sake of time, I will not be able to go into. But I want to spend the majority of our time this afternoon on this notion of mysticism.

 

Mysticism we typically attribute to Eastern philosophy. Mysticism is this notion that through a certain mechanism we can have direct communion with the metaphysical reality. Notice the language, “direct communion.” And it’s a mechanism that allows us and opens the channel with that metaphysical reality. Now, that metaphysical reality may be different in Eastern philosophy and Eastern religion, but it’s interesting, when we look at mysticism, that Ellen White not only said that the book The Living Temple was an attack on the sanctuary, but she said that it had mysticism that was in the teachings of Kellogg in his book The Living Temple. “One and another come to me, asking me to explain the positions taken in Living Temple. [I reply], ‘They are [unexplainable]’… error is made to appear as truth…in so pleasing a way that unless care is taken, many will be misled.”

 

And notice her language, “We need not the mysticism that is in this book.” Also commenting on the subtlety of the mysticism, Ellen White goes on in another place and says, “The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit.” Notice the metaphor she uses, “the track of truth lies close to the track of error.” In other words, the book The Living Temple, when it was initially reviewed and rejected by the General Conference to be published there, it actually lost the support by just one vote. It was not readily apparent; it was subtle because we as Seventh-day Adventists believe that God is everywhere, and with carefully crafted language, Kellogg led to this notion that God is everywhere and in every thing, very, very subtle. The tracks may lie next to each other, but when they branch off, they are arriving at totally different destinations.

 

She goes on, “We need not the mysticism that is in this book,” The Living Temple. “Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy,” notice the language here, “can talk with them, and lead them away from God.” Notice we said that mysticism was a mechanism through which we can have direct communication with a metaphysical reality. According to Ellen White, that metaphysical reality that mysticism provides an opening, a portal to, is not a heavenly metaphysical reality; it is a demonic metaphysical reality. The rituals, the mechanisms of mysticism, may seem to be opening you to a heavenly reality, but actually it is a counterfeit for demonic communication. That is what Ellen White is indicating. A portal that is being opened through certain practices for direct demonic communication.

 

“We normally think of mysticism as associated with Eastern religions, but its scope is much wider. It has turned up even in some professed Christian faiths, masquerading as Christian meditation,” from History of the Reformation, page 103 through 105. Mysticism, which is a portal for communicating with the demonic reality is coming into the church under the clause of spirituality, and the deception is people think they are communicating with the Divine Heavenly Father, but in reality, they are communicating with a demon.

 

Now, I want to talk a little bit about mysticism and Catholicism. I’m going to be putting some authors up here that are very prominent and are being promoted as individuals that have a certain perspective and a certain authority on spirituality. I want you to see some of their statements in regards to this notion of mysticism.

 

Here is a renowned individual Henri Nouwen, Catholic professor, writer and theologian, in the forward to the book on Hindu Christian spirituality, notice the language here. Henri Nouwen, prominent authority on spirituality, notice his angle, “The author shows,” he’s writing the forward of a book, “the author shows a wonderful openness to the gifts of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Muslim religion. He discovers their great wisdom for spiritual life of the Christian…Ryan,” the author, “went to India to learn from spiritual traditions other than his own. He brought home many treasures and offers them to us in the book.” In other words, we can go to the Eastern mystics and import into Christianity practices that will elevate our spirituality.

 

Now, I want to go on. This is from Thomas Keating and Basil Pennington, two Catholic monks, “Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM,” transcendental meditation, “and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find their inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences.” Transcendental meditation, Zen, these are all Eastern.

 

Let’s go on. Thomas Merton, another authority in spirituality, “Asia, Zen, Islam, etc., all these things come together in my life. It would be madness for me to attempt to create a monastic life for myself [by] excluding all these.” So, you see that there is a strong link between the Catholic monastic mystical life and the Eastern mystical life.

 

I want to go on. Thomas Merton again, “I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian,” mystical, “traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own [Christian traditions].” Fascinating.

 

I want to talk a little bit about mysticism and the Jesuits. The Jesuits were instituted as a response to the Reformation. They were at the helm of the Counter-Reformation. The purpose of the Counter-Reformation was to bring Protestantism back. And, friends, today, we are living on the very cusp of the success of the Counter-Reformation. The Jesuit order has been very successful, and it’s not by accident that for the first time in Catholic history a Jesuit is the Pope.

 

Now, I want to read this statement form Malachi Martin in his book entitled The Jesuits. Now, Malachi Martin is a Jesuit. He worked for Pope John Paul II, passed away not too long ago. “The Society of Jesus,” the Jesuit order, “was established by the papacy in [1540] as a very special,” notice the language, “fighting unit at the total and exclusive disposal of the Roman Pope. From their beginnings, the Jesuits were conceived in a military mode.” This is from, not a Protestant source, not even a Catholic source; this is a Jesuit saying, “Look, this is a militant order.”

 

Ellen White in the book The Great Controversy doesn’t mince words about the Jesuit order. Now, this is a long quote, it’s all consecutive, back-to-back, it’s on three slides, but I want to read it in its entirety. This from the book The Great Controversy, friends.

 

“At this time, the order of the Jesuits was created, the most cruel, unscrupulous, and powerful of all the champions of popery. Cut off from every earthly tie and human interest, dead to the claims of natural affection, reason and conscience wholly silenced…There was no crime too great for them to commit, no deception too base for them to practice, no disguise too difficult for them to assume. Vowed to perpetual poverty [and humility], it was their studied aim to secure wealth and power, to be devoted to the overthrow of Protestantism, and the re-establishment of the papal supremacy.”

 

She goes on, “When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under [this] blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were concealed.” She goes on, “It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church. Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of State, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations.” Now, I’m just reading.

 

I want to go on. This is from Malachi Martin again the book The Jesuits, “There was no continent the Jesuits did not reach,” Ellen White was absolutely right, “no language they did not speak and study, or, in scores of cases, develop; no culture they did not [penetrate], no branch of learning and science they did not explore; no work [in] humanism, in the arts, in popular education they did not undertake and do better than anyone else,” Malachi Martin.

 

Let’s look at the training of the Jesuits. This is from Ignatius Loyola himself who was the head and founder of the Jesuit order. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order stated in regards to the training of the Jesuits, “Imbue into him spiritual forces which he would find very difficult to eliminate later.” Notice the language, imbue into the Jesuit in their training a spiritual force they could not get rid of. How would he do this?

 

Well, let’s go to our friend Malachi Martin again, “Priests who joined this group underwent strenuous initiation. For weeks at a time they maintained absolute silence. Under the skilled supervision of a director they practiced a form of mystical meditation, until each of them emerged from that weeks-long regimen as a spiritual fighter completely won over to warfare…utterly obedient servant of the pope,” Malachi Martin.

 

It was through this mechanism, mystical meditation, that the Jesuit was imbued with spiritual forces. You put that together with Ellen White, that the ends justify the means. Remember we talked about mysticism; it puts you in an open portal communication with a metaphysical reality. That metaphysical reality is not heavenly; it is demonic. The purpose of the Jesuit order is to eliminate Protestantism, bring them back into the fold.

 

Now, let’s talk about mysticism and Protestantism. Here we go. Tony Campolo, prominent Evangelical, “I learned about this way of having a born-again experience from reading the Catholic mystics, especially The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola…Like most Catholic mystics, he developed an intense desire to experience a ‘oneness’ with God,” Tony Campolo. Here’s an Evangelical going to the founder of the Jesuit order to learn this channel, this portal of communication to become one with God, a connection with metaphysical reality. And that “oneness” is not the oneness we’re talking about biblically. It is a very mystical oneness that we’re talking about.

 

Richard Foster, best known for his book Celebration of Discipline, first published in 1978, sold more than two-and-a-half million copies. One of those is in my library! I mean it shows you how pervasive. I mean, Richard Foster is in Protestantism today arguably the most prominent figure of spirituality. Christianity Today lauded Celebration of Discipline as one of the ten best books of the twentieth century.

 

Let’s look at Richard Foster’s perspective on spirituality. In Richard Foster’s book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Foster commends the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order,” notice this, and I quote, “as a school of prayer for all of us.” As a school of prayer for all of us.

 

Here is a quotation from his book, “In your imagination allow your spiritual body, shining with light, to rise out of your physical body. Look back so that you can see yourself lying in the grass and reassure your body that you will return momentarily. Imagine your spiritual self, alive and vibrant, rising up through the clouds and into the stratosphere…” Notice the language here, “Listen quietly, anticipating the unanticipated. Note carefully any instruction given.” They’re waiting for a metaphysical connection, “listen carefully,” “note any instruction given.” And where is this system coming from? The teachings of Ignatius Loyola – fascinating. This is a Quaker theologian.

 

Leonard Sweet, who was listed as one of the most top ten influential Christians of 2010, states, “Mysticism, once cast to the sidelines of Christian tradition is [now] situated in postmodernist culture near the center.” This is a typographical error; it should say it is “now” situated in the postmodernist culture near the center. “In the words of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century,” here’s the word, “Jesuit philosopher of religion/dogmatist Karl Rahner, ‘The Christian of tomorrow will be a mystic, one who has experienced something, or he will be nothing.” This is in his book Quantum Spirituality, page 10.

 

Now, I want to show you just a short clip of an interview of someone that was heavily into transcendental meditation and was imported into Christianity. This is actually a clip from the Adventist Review Television online website, just a few-minute clip. And I’m going to attempt to play this and just make a few comments afterwards. And we will attempt to get the sound right.

 

AUDIO CLIP: (Host) Will grew up in a Christian home. As a teenager, he studied psychology and self-help books. In the early 1980s, he sought out a psychic and later became a member of The Lighted Way New-Age Center. There he began reading books by Alice Bailey, an occult priestess who channeled messages from a spirit guide named Djwhal Khul.

 

(Will) “I was immediately convinced that these books could not have been written by a human being. The language that was used in the books, the philosophical concepts were so advanced they had to come from the divine realm. Being a person that didn’t believe in the existence of Satan, there was no other realm that it could come from.

 

“As a student of The Lighted Way New-Age Center, it was mandatory that you practiced meditation each morning. We’re talking now about the Eastern transcendental meditation. The goal is that eventually you will empty your mind. You will bring it into a state of silence so that you can then listen to the higher self within you. This is claimed to be the god-self or the divinity within you.

 

“One morning my back was hurting, and I wanted to just quit that meditation, but there was a voice speaking inside my mind that was prompting me and saying, ‘Will, just persist.’ And so, I was sitting there on the floor, and I was doing the rhythmatic deep breathing, and I was endeavoring to still my mind of all conflicting thoughts and ideas to try to bring my mind to a state of emptiness.

 

“Suddenly it was if someone would switch on an electric light bulb inside my head, and this light seemed to float throughout the whole of my body. And the pain in my back seemed to disappear. Suddenly this person stood in front of me, and when I first saw him, I thought, ‘Wow, it’s Jesus Christ.’ This person looked just like the way artists have traditionally painted Jesus Christ to look. He had long golden hair that was resting on his shoulders, and he was wearing a long white robe.

 

“This spirit guide that appeared to me and communicated to using telepathy. I could see that his mouth was not moving, but in my own mind I could clearly hear. He told me that he was not Jesus Christ, that he was the master Djwhal Khul. Now, I was familiar with that name Djwhal Khul. The Alice Bailey books clearly describe that on planet Earth there are 49 of these ascended masters. These are God’s representatives on planet Earth. They are human beings that have highly evolved themselves through strenuous practice of yoga and transcendental meditation and other occult techniques, and that they have now become immortal in their flesh-and-blood bodies. New Age teaches that they live as recluses, usually in the Himalayan mountains, but in other reclusive parts of planet Earth. New Age teaches that Jesus Christ is one of these 49 ascended masters, and that this Djwhal Khul is also one of these ascended masters and that he has mystical powers.

 

“I became a disciple of this spirit guide. Later, as I became more attuned and better equipped and skilled at being able to discern this inner voice, he could then communicate to me at any time, not just at the practice of transcendental or Eastern meditation. I could be driving my car down one of the Los Angeles freeways, and all of a sudden he would speak to me, and he would say, ‘Will, I need you to go somewhere else and do something different than what you had originally planned to do.’”

 

(Host) Soon another spirit guide appeared to Will, claiming to be Jesus Christ, and Will became a New Age Christian.

 

(Will) “We became a counterfeit Christian church. We did have Bible study classes, but we were reinterpreting the Bible according to the occult, esoteric understanding. I was given the specific mission to infiltrate Fundamentalist Christian churches, as we called them, to introduce Christian meditation in these churches.

 

“As I started the task of using the Bible to teach transcendental meditation, I realized that all the references to meditation in the Bible were definitely not references to transcendental meditation. Meditation taught in the Bible was simply the study of Scripture and thinking about what you were studying.”

 

(Host) Will attended some evangelistic meetings and felt extremely agitated as the pastor spoke about the shed blood of Jesus.

 

(Will) “There was a lady who sat next to me that saw that I was under a lot of anxiety, and after the end of that meeting, she asked me, she said, ‘Are you a Christian?’ I said, ‘Well, not in the way you guys are.’ And she said, ‘Well, would you like me to pray for you?’ Well, the Lord did intercede. The Lord answered that prayer. The moment came in my life where God gave me a true enlightenment. I knew that the whole New Age spirituality movement was designed to prepare the whole world to accept the final Antichrist as being the Second Coming of Jesus.”

 

(END OF AUDIO CLIP)

 

Notice what he said at the end. He recognized that this mysticism was to bring people together to worship the Antichrist. It’s really spiritualism when you look at it. Now, to be very clear, biblical meditation, as he said, is totally different than this mystical meditation that we’re talking about. Biblical meditation is meditating on the Word of God. Prayer is talking to God, but it is not this portal of direct communication as he was experiencing.

 

You see, what’s happening is that this form of prayer or meditation is hijacking the biblical understanding of prayer. Notice that he’s actually talking to a being that appears as Jesus, except that entity is not Jesus; it is an imposter masquerading as Jesus.

 

Now, I want to move very quickly because you’ll see the role of spiritualism, i.e., mysticism, in the end of time. Mysticism is spiritualism, friends. It’s communication with a metaphysical evil reality. Look in Revelation, chapter 16, verses 13 and 14, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon,” Satan, “out of the mouth of the beast,” apostate Protestantism, “and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” I’m sorry. The beast is the papacy. “…and out of the mouth of the false prophet,” apostate Protestantism. “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Notice these spirits are out there, and they’re gathering. They are bringing these entities together because you’ll see that the only way that Protestantism will come back to Catholicism is if you replace the Word of God with mysticism.

 

Mysticism becomes a platform for a connection between Protestantism and Catholicism. That becomes the platform. And what mysticism does is it minimizes at best, and eradicates at worst, the Word of God because if Protestants are basing their faith in the Word, the union can never happen.

 

Listen to Brian McLaren in his book Generous Orthodoxy. This is in the description to his book. Brian McLaren is a prominent leader of the emergent church movement, all right? “Why I am a missional, Evangelical, post/Protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, green, incarnational, depressed- yet hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian. A confession and manifesto from a senior leader in the emerging church movement.” This is very fascinating, but, notice, it’s just like this hodge-podge of everything.

 

Brian McLaren again, “Then I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many,” not all, “circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.”

 

This is an interesting statement from Ellen White, “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,” the papacy. You can see that mysticism becomes the platform for connecting Catholicism and Protestantism together.

 

And we can see this from the writings of Tony Campolo that it’s not only a connection between Catholics and Protestants, but Tony Campolo makes this interesting, insightful statement, “A theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam. Both religions have within their histories examples of ecstatic-union with God.”

 

Remember what we read in Revelation, chapter 16. There is going to be a gathering that takes place from these spirits that come out like unclean frogs. Mysticism, spiritualism, is becoming that platform for a community of world religions that come together.

 

Now, I want to read this from Ted Wilson’s Sabbath sermon given at the General Conference in July of 2010, “Don’t reach out to movements or megachurch centers outside the Seventh-day Adventist Church which promise you spiritual success based on a faulty theology. Stay away from non-biblical spiritual disciplines or methods of spiritual formation that are rooted in mysticism such as contemplative prayer, centering prayer, and the emerging church movement in which they are promoted. Look within the Seventh-day Adventist Church to humble pastors, evangelists, biblical scholars, leaders, and departmental directors who can provide evangelistic methods and programs that are based on solid biblical principles and the Great Controversy theme.”

 

Why would the president have to say that? We would be naïve to assume that some of these notions are making their way into the remnant church. Now, notice what Ellen White said, “The track of truth lies close to the track of error,” and everyone wants to be spiritual. This is a Trojan horse that comes under the guise of spirituality, which really becomes a vehicle for direct communication with a metaphysical reality that is not heavenly.

 

Now, I want to make a little bit of commentary here on contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer takes many different forms. There’s repeating word or sound over and over again until it becomes meaningless and the mind shuts down, labyrinth walking, focusing on one’s breath, visualizing a mental image, emptying the mind in search of spiritual enlightenment. We need to make sure that our prayer format is not focusing on a ritualistic formula. Jesus taught us in Scripture how to pray. Prayer is talking to God, but it is not talking directly in the form of mysticism where you go through a certain practice, certain mode, in order to get your brain into a certain wave to talk literally to a being that literally talks back to you. That is not biblical prayer, friends. That’s communication, I mean, that’s spiritualism. Let’s call it for what it is.

 

Here’s Henri Nouwen, in his book The Way of the Heart, “The quiet repetition of a single word can help us to descend with the mind into the heart…This way of simple prayer…opens us to God’s active presence.” Now, this is loaded. This is loaded, but notice the “repetition of a single word.” In other words, this becomes unintelligible. The repetition of a single word. I have another quote that I didn’t put here for the sake of time. It’s from Leonard Sweet. He says that, “You can breathe in Yah, breathe out Weh. Do this over and over again, and you are coming into a oneness with God,” very Eastern, very Eastern.

 

Now, before we begin to wrap up, Ellen White makes another notion about how there is going to be a false revival in the end of time. You’ll notice in the book of Daniel that when the image was set up, Dr. “Dacon” in his analysis of that chapter says that there is a very intentional rhythmic repetition of music. Remember? It says, “When you hear the sound of the harp, the psaltery,” and it goes and lists all, and all types of music. Look at that chapter and see how many times that term is repeated. Multiple times, “When you hear the sound of this type of music, you shall know that you shall bow down and worship this image.” Now, we know, according to Bible prophecy, that this is a type of what is going to happen in the Last Days. There is going to be an image set up, and people are going to be called to worship it, and if you don’t worship it, you will face the death penalty, the fiery furnace.

 

Notice that in Daniel, the music sets the stage to bring people together to worship. Now, it’s interesting that Ellen White describes that this will take place before the close of probation. “The things that you have described…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. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

 

“The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.... 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 participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles. No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship.”

 

Moving on, what is to be our response? There’s a lot that we can learn from the interaction, the personal interaction of Ellen White with Kellogg. Before, during and after his fall. We need to remember, friends, that sometimes we can get so zealous for the truth that we can become un-Christlike in the way that we interact with others. The Bible says, “They that worship Me will worship Me in spirit and in truth.” There are many people out there that are Christlike, but they don’t have the truth. There are other people out there that have the truth but aren’t Christlike. The Lord wants us to bring these two together, Spirit and truth.

 

Now, notice this dynamic in Ellen White’s relation to Kellogg, “And you may depend on this,” this is Ellen White’s personal plea to Kellogg, “And you may depend on this: a mother could not hold more firmly to a child that she dearly loves than I [shall] hold to you…I pray for you constantly, in prayer and at family worship. Sometimes I am awakened in the night, and rising I walk in the room, praying, ‘O Lord, hold Dr. Kellogg fast. Do not let him go.’” Friends, we have no business confronting people on, quote, “error” if we’re not willing to die for that person. And we should spend time in prayer until we have the love of God in our hearts so that the way that we engage is Christlike as exemplified in Ellen White’s interaction with Kellogg.

 

Now, I want you to remember Kellogg, the burning down of the sanitarium, the burning down of the Review and Herald, I mean, huge losses to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, mass defections, the church is in crisis, you have the defection of A.F. Ballenger, D. Canright; A.T. Jones, E.J. Waggoner would later follow. I mean, this is an institutional crisis within Adventism, and you can find all the reasons to go back to Kellogg, and yet, look at the redemptive posture of Ellen White. “I am praying for you that you are not lost.” Friends, we need to have that spirit. We need to have the Spirit.

 

Here’s Ellen White commenting to another individual in regards to Kellogg, “I love Dr. Kellogg. He may be lost. I hope and pray not. If he is lost, let him go with you brethren standing by with your hands on his shoulders trying to save him.” And, friends, this is an area that conservatives can really focus on. And I guess you can call me a conservative. It’s all relative, depending on where you’re at, but…This is an area that conservatives can really work on. Sometimes we get so zealous about God’s Kingdom that we become ungodly in the way that we deal with people. And we can’t go around like Jehu, just splitting things up and destroying, the scorched-earth perspective, this is not how we’re about.

 

I mean, look, look. This is at the crisis of fundamental…existential crisis of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and yet you see Ellen White interacting with Kellogg in this way. Friends, we need the love of Christ. Amen? We need the love of Christ. So, I don’t want us all getting out of here and saying, “Oh, the Omega Apostasy!” you know…That’s not what this is about. That’s not what this is about, and so I want to really emphasize this and help us to say, “Look, Spirit and truth.” And we need to pray for the souls of people that are sincere, seeking spirituality and yet had been duped by this mysticism that is endeavoring to bring entities together for the final battle.

 

Let’s move on. “The church,” Ellen White wrote, “may appear as about to fall, but it does not [fall].” Amen? Stay on the ship. It’s going to get a little bit rocky. Stay on the ship. Jesus will see us through. Keep your eyes on Jesus. If the crisis ahead is anything like the early crisis of the Alpha, we may see institutions fall. We may see prominent individuals that we looked up to, heard their sermons, read their books – fall. Great lights will go out. And so, our focus needs to be on the Lord Jesus. And I’m all about listening to speakers, but, friends, we can’t be disciples of these Adventist celebrities, okay. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t listen, we shouldn’t glean, but we need to be a disciple of Jesus. Amen? And go directly to the Word for ourselves. Amen?

 

One last quote, Ellen White from the book Maranatha, “Satan will cast all the reproach possible upon the chosen ones whom he cannot deceive and delude with his satanic inventions and falsehoods. But will Christ, our representative and head, close His heart, or withdraw His hand, or falsify His promise? No; never, never.” Amen? Jesus will see us through, and it’s my prayer, friends, that we will be people that live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Amen? We need to be about biblical spirituality. And while the world is gathering together, putting mysticism in the place of the Word of God, there will be a group of people that will be connecting with God through His Word and through biblical prayer. Amen? Let us be faithful to our Lord Jesus, and when He comes, may we hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant: enter into the joy of your Lord.”

 

Let’s bow our heads together as we pray. Father in Heaven, we thank You so much for the Word of God. We thank You that we have nothing to fear for the future except that we shall forget how God has led us in the past. We recognize that there is a crisis before us. We recognize that this crisis will affect your remnant church. Father, we pray that You would help us keep our eyes on Jesus, to be people of the Book, to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Bless and keep us the rest of our time together at GYC. May we leave this convention with a deeper love for Jesus and His Word. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. God bless you.

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