The Signs of the Times


June 4, 1894

Satanic Delusions to Increase


“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Prior to and at the first advent of Christ, religious teachers set forth strange ideas that were so mingled with portions of truth that they were full of deceptive power, and led souls away from God, although they still preserved the appearance of being his true worshipers. We find a similar condition of society in these last days, and those who depart from the faith, mingle with their belief diversities of human opinion. The Bible is brought into criticism. Is it because the Scriptures are inconsistent and contradictory that ministers differ so widely in their interpretation?—No, the trouble is that men are doing today as they did in the time of Christ, and are teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Religious teachers are in the same condition as were the Pharisees of whom he said, “Ye are both ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God.” The very men to whom these words were spoken were presumed to teach and interpret the Scriptures to the people. ST June 4, 1894, par. 1

Are the Scriptures vague and inconsistent? Is there any foundation for the conflicting opinions and various sentiments and doctrines that find credence in the religious world? If so, then we may entertain doubts of their divine origin; for it is not the inspiration of God that leads people to come to diverse opinions. Those who undertake to interpret the Bible, have corrupted the word of God and wrested the Scripture from its true meaning, by seeking to harmonize the truth of God with the inventions and doctrines of men. The Scriptures are perverted and misapplied, and the gems of truth are set in the framework of error. These teachers are blinded, and cannot clearly discern what is the true meaning of the Scriptures. ST June 4, 1894, par. 2

In the time of the apostles, teachers of this character sought to insinuate themselves among the teachers of truth. They tried to mingle the chaff with the wheat, and their theories were called “strange doctrine;” but the Lord would have us distinguish truth from error. The apostle exhorts us to “come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Peter, John, Jude, and Paul had to contend with men who sought to unsettle the unstable, and who made the word of truth of none effect. Those who were filled with vain philosophy and impressed with science falsely so called, were prejudiced against the truth. ST June 4, 1894, par. 3

Human inventions please the carnal mind, and pacify the conscience as it clings to sin. It was not palatable to men to see and practice the faith that works by love and sanctifies the soul. Sin was not forsaken and despised, and in order to excuse it a means had to be devised by which the edge of the sword of truth might be blunted; so men brought in human reasonings and assertions. If men had permitted the word of God to do its work upon the heart and intellect, they would have distinguished and separated the spurious from the true. If they had received the Scriptures in their simplicity, they would not have given themselves up to worldly pursuits, to fulfilling their temporal hopes. But they made of none effect the word of God through their traditions, and wrested the Scripture from its true meaning. The Lord says that the word of truth is able to make men wise unto salvation. It is a safeguard and shield, and protects men from the delusions of the enemy. “Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light; for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” ST June 4, 1894, par. 4

Jesus, who gave his life to save men, has given us a warning as to what shall come to pass in the last days. The disciples came to him privately to ask him concerning the end of the world, and Jesus said: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many,” Satanic delusions and deceptions will increase as we near the end of earth's history. Jesus warned his followers as to what should take place just prior to his coming. He said: “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” ST June 4, 1894, par. 5

The deceiving power of Satan will continually increase to the very end. Through his agencies he will do 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, ... saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” ST June 4, 1894, par. 6

Our world is fast approaching the boundary line when probation will no longer be granted. ST June 4, 1894, par. 7

A long-suffering God bore with the inhabitants of the world in the time of Noah; but at last he declared to his servant saying, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth; and God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” ST June 4, 1894, par. 8

The condition of society today is similar to what it was in the time of Noah; and if Jesus was among us, he would say, “Can ye not discern the signs of the times?” “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” ST June 4, 1894, par. 9

“Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such as hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.” The world is given up to the pursuit of temporal affairs, as men were in the days of Noah. They are eating, drinking, planting, building, marrying, and giving in marriage. These things are all lawful in themselves, but it is the carrying of them to excess that is sinful. The world has had great light, and has been greatly favored, and yet the people of the world come short of living up to their responsibilities. The warning Christ gave to the cities that had been most highly favored and had not repented, applies to the world in this day: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.” ST June 4, 1894, par. 10