A lot of concern has been expressed in lectures, articles, and books regarding the context of the “alpha and omega” deception that Satan has in store for God’s people—as demonstrated in our denomination’s past history. Efforts to expose emerging church liturgy and theology with the dangerous errors of contemplative prayer, mystical meditation, and dependence upon intellectualism are important for protecting the Church from deadly decay and spiritual decline. However, there is another deception of the greatest importance and this warning must be expressed with the utmost earnestness of alarm. “… I was instructed to call it unholy spiritual love” (Ellen White, Vol. 8, Testimonies, 292).
“Spiritualism is about to take the world captive.… The foundation for the success of Spiritualism has been laid in the assertions that have been made from the pulpits of our land. The ministers have proclaimed as Bible doctrines, falsehoods that have originated with the arch deceiver” (Ellen White, Evangelism, 602).
The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are given to help us understand what great danger we are presently in as Spiritualism overtakes us like a flash flood. What messages can we find in these sources regarding the nature and context of the “alpha and omega” deceptions? Will we then trust these revelations to expose the deceptions as they relate to the plan of salvation? Since the Christian economy of God’s grace can be swept away by spiritualist theories and teachings, shouldn’t we pay special attention to an ecumenical counterfeit of God’s love?
“We have a Bible full of the most precious truth. It contains the alpha and the omega of knowledge” (Ellen White, Gospel Workers, 309). “Christ Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the Genesis of the Old Testament, and the Revelation of the New. Both meet together in Christ” (Ellen White, MS 33, 1897).
Let us study what Genesis and Revelation have to say about the “alpha and omega” of deceptions.
The first words spoken to Adam, as recorded in Genesis, are found in God’s command, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (KJV, 2:16, 17). How did Satan work to remove the effectiveness of God’s decree? By a countermand, “Ye shall not surely die” (KJV, 3:4).
Satan asserted that God was not trustworthy, that He was subtle in preventing Eve’s ascent to even greater knowledge and power. If Satan could somehow get Eve to question God’s wisdom and love expressed in the prohibition, then he would successfully separate her from God—just like he was separated from God. Eve took the bait. Then she became Satan’s agent in tempting Adam to make a choice between God and Eve—who would he love more? Adam chose to die with Eve.
Just as soon as Adam chose to die with Eve, Jesus chose to die for them. As transgressors of God’s holy, unselfish Law of Love—by their sins of covetousness, theft, and idolatry—their treacherous spiritual adultery was manifest in choosing Satan as their judge instead of God. Yet God demonstrated the glorious height, depth, and breadth of unselfish love by sending His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for failing to meet the conditions of God’s love—“obey his commandments and live, or believe the tempter, disobey and perish” (Ellen White, Vol. 1, Spirit of Prophecy, 40).
This leads us, then, to carefully understand the deep meaning of God’s words spoken to Adam and Eve regarding this plan of salvation on mankind’s behalf. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (KJV, Genesis 3:15). What might Satan use to overthrow the Christian economy in these words that would also uphold his first deception?
God said, “I will put enmity….” What is the definition of enmity? It is a “positive, active, and typically mutual hatred or ill will” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary) directed at something or someone. It is typically associated with animosity toward a common enemy and loathing for the methods used by that enemy. If Satan could successfully misrepresent God’s promise for enmity, then how would he do it and remain consistent with his initial lie?
In the first lie, he presented the possibility that there would be no punishment—no death penalty for disobedience. His next lie must then consistently present the possibility that God is incapable of hating anything or anyone. By modifying the term “love” in such a manner as to overthrow the conditions of God’s righteous, holy, unselfish Law of Love, Satan can successfully do away with the Law of Love while convincing others that the emotional glue of his rebellion is an unlimited love that cannot rebuke, reprove, or correct the selfish love that originated with him. If this is true, then we ought to be able to find in the writings of modern spiritualism precisely these sentiments.
“Unconditional love comes from the Spirit World. It’s to be used in many ways. It is to be used in your actions, in your manners. It is to be used in the love that you should share, that you must share with others. That is the way of the Spirit World and that is the way that we would like to see in your world; Love one another, it’s very rewarding…. Learn to be positive, to go forth with love. Practice love, share love, and use love in the way it is meant to be shared, to be shown and to be unconditional…” (Bradley F. Gosselin, The National Spiritualist Summit, Feb. 2002, 24).
“Love and freedom are the same; if there is a condition to freedom, then it is not unconditional. Freedom is given from unconditional love…. Because love, freedom, and choice are unconditional, there can be no PUNISHMENT associated with them; once again-no punishments. Here is where the so called enlightened fall by the wayside. They cannot accept any of these things without the recourse to punishment. You can practice unconditional love, unconditional freedom, and unconditional choice with no punishments! God will never punish you! Retribution is a lie, it was all made up…” (mediumsworld.wordpress.com).
“Spirit is love and Spirit’s Love is ours: unconditionally, eternally. As improbable and wildly fantastic as it sounds, there is absolutely nothing we can do to lose God’s love. Think about that for a moment. Feel it and know it in your hearts. God’s Love is always there, for all of us, at all times” (Edmund Bujalski, The National Spiritualist Summit, June 2001, 25).
The Bible does not support these views. In fact, we find several passages from Scripture that reveal the truth about God’s love and His power to put enmity between those who love Him and those who unrepentantly rebel against Him. “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight; thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man” (KJV, Psalms 5:5, 6). “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious” (KJV, Hosea 9:15).
In fact, when we join in the misrepresentation of God’s love, we are guilty of wearing Him out!
“Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?” (KJV, Malachi 2:17).
Because God does place enmity between those who serve Him and those who serve Satan, we can believe the promise that those who serve God will have the power of discernment to distinguish between true worshippers of God and the false. “… I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (KJV, 3:17, 18).
For the moment, we can conclude that the alpha of Scripture does indeed reveal to us the nature of Satan’s deceptions. Over the millennia of the existence of sin and rebellion, Satan has refined those deceptions first used upon the angelic host, and now foists them on mankind in an effort to rob God of His subjects. What will the omega of Scripture reveal to us?
(Stay tuned for part 2)
David H. Thiele