A loving message from Jesus to the Laodicean Church

What is the Very Last Deception of Satan?


We should be extremely grateful that God has told us in no uncertain terms what our enemy is up to, and how he plans to pull us into his snare. God cares enough about us to give us a clear warning message!


What is the very last deception of Satan in the church?

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" (Proverbs 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. There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded. {1SM 48.4}

As we even now recognize the intense hatred that many in the church are manifesting toward the testimonies, we understand this to be a fulfillment of prophecy. As this satanic hatred increases, so also will be a genuine appreciation of the testimonies by those who are drawing closer to God:

As laborers with God we need more fervent piety and less self-exaltation. The more self is exalted, the more will faith in the testimonies of the Spirit of God be lessened. Those who are the most closely connected with God are the ones who know His voice when He speaks to them. Those who are spiritual discern spiritual things. Such will feel grateful that the Lord has pointed out their errors , while those who trust wholly in themselves will see less and less of God in the testimonies of His Spirit. {5T 134.2}

So, we have in the church two distinct classes: those who are coming to appreciate the testimonies more and more, as they bring their lives into harmony with inspired counsel, and those who neglect and reject the testimonies.

It is not alone those who openly reject the Testimonies, or who cherish doubt concerning them, that are on dangerous ground. To disregard light is to reject it . {5T 680.2}

What is the general opinion of the church?

I am filled with sadness when I think of our condition as a people. The Lord has not closed heaven to us, but our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders . {5T 217.1}

In the following paragraph, Sister White links our lack of spiritual power and faith with the neglect of the testimonies.

The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt, and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from His word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us. {5T 217.2}

While it is the Holy Spirit's job to convict us of sin, it is our responsibility to seek truth, and listen to His voice as we learn God's will.

While the Spirit of God is convicting you of the truth, do not stop to cavil, but believe.If you are in search of truth, obedience will not be difficult. If you really want to know the Master's will, you will thankfully receive it .{RH, December 2, 1875 par. 9}

Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth. {DA 489.5}

We are counseled to read the testimonies for ourselves, so we can read the entire context.

Tell the people to take no man's word regarding the Testimonies, but to read them and study them for themselves , and then they will know that they are in harmony with the truth. {9MR 113.2}

If we have access to light, but choose to walk in darkness, this is the same as rejecting light. If we ignore the testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy while we are feeding our minds with worldly entertainment, how can we expect to accept the straight testimony when it comes in full force?

I am authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the Testimonies will shine upon your pathway, until you make a practical use of the light already given . The Lord has walled you about with light; but you have not appreciated the light; you have trampled upon it. While some have despised the light, others have neglected it, or followed it but indifferently . {LS 199.2}

By familiarizing ourselves with inspired counsel now, and asking God for a new heart that delights to do His will, we are preparing for the crisis just ahead. By walking in the light as we receive it, we are settling into the truth, so we can't be shaken out.

Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads--it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually , so they cannot be moved--just as soon as God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, . . . that we may know what is coming. {FLB 288}

It is very important for us to read the testimonies and apply them to our individual lives, but we are never, ever to force strong statements on unready, unwilling hearts.

But let the testimonies speak for themselves. Let not individuals gather up the very strongest statements, given for individuals and families, and drive these things because they want to use the whip and to have something to drive. Let these active, determined temperaments take the Word of God and the testimonies, which present the necessity of forbearance and love and perfect unity, and labor zealously and perseveringly. With their own hearts softened and subdued by the grace of Christ, with their own spirits humble and full of the milk of human kindness, they will not create prejudice, neither will they cause dissension and weaken the churches. {2MR 106.3}

We need to recognize that this is an individual work, and God will use the messages of warning and instruction to prepare each willing heart for Christ's soon coming.

Ever are we to keep in mind the solemn thought of the Lord's soon return, and in view of this to recognize the individual work to be done. Through the aid of the Holy Spirit we are to resist natural inclinations and tendencies to wrong, and weed out of the life every un-Christlike element. Thus we shall prepare our hearts for the reception of God's blessing, which will impart to us grace and bring us into harmony with the faith of Jesus. For this work of preparation great advantages have been granted to this people in light bestowed, in messages of warning and instruction, sent through the agency of the Spirit of God . {HP 347.3}

We must understand this subject! If we aren't preparing our hearts to receive the straight testimony, we will be eternally lost! God asks regarding us:

Are they heeding the messages of warning given them? Is it our greatest concern today that our lives shall be refined and purified, and that we shall reflect the similitude of the divine? This must be the experience of all who join that company who are washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. {1SM 56.2}

The bottom line is-the straight testimony is the voice of Jesus speaking to us through the agency of His Spirit, inviting us into an intimate relationship with Him, so that we may be prepared to live with Him forever! It's an incredibly loving message, containing precious and valuable truth that we desperately need. Only those with renewed hearts can truly appreciate this message. Jesus is willing to empower us so that every decision we make will be in harmony with the mind of Christ. What amazing love He has for us!

The importance of understanding and heeding the testimonies increases as we near the end.

As the end draws near and the work of giving the last warning to the world extends, it becomes more important for those who accept present truth to have a clear understanding of the nature and influence of the testimonies , which God in His providence has linked with the work of the third angel's message from its very rise.--5T 654 (1889). {LDE 44.1}

God wants us to study the testimonies, so we can heed His earnest instruction!

Never have testimonies been more clearly brought before the people than those that have recently been traced by my pen. God bids me urge upon the attention of our people the importance of their study . Let this work begin now. {1SM 56.3}

When we grasp the point that God is speaking to us personally through these messages, we will value them as precious gems, sent from God's loving heart.

In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days He speaks to them by the testimonies of His Spirit. There was never a time when God instructed His people more earnestly than He instructs them now concerning His will and the course that He would have them pursue.-- Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 661. {3SM 30.2}

As we study the Word of God and the testimonies, God will lead us into all truth.

The Bible must be your counselor. Study it and the testimonies God has given; for they never contradict His Word.{3SM 32.3}

The Lord has revealed many things pointing out the truth, thus saying, "This is the way, walk ye in it.{3SM 32.2}

Once we understand the importance of the straight testimony, we realize we cannot afford to neglect or resist it. Now is the time to heed the counsel of the True Witness, so we won't be spewed out of His mouth! Now is the time to eagerly respond to His loving correction.

The word of the Lord comes to us all who have not resisted his Spirit by determining not to hear and obey. This voice is heard in warnings, in counsels, in reproof. It is the Lord's message of light to his people. If we wait for louder calls, or better opportunities, the light may be withdrawn, and we left in darkness . {PH117 51.1}

Each one needs to take a stand now, acknowledging the Spirit of Prophecy as God's voice to us, to that we may be prepared for the shaking time just ahead.

We call upon you to take your stand on the Lord's side, and act your part as a loyal subject of the kingdom. Acknowledge the gift that has been placed in the church for the guidance of God's people in the closing days of earth's history. From the beginning the church of God has had the gift of prophecy in her midst as a living voice to counsel, admonish, and instruct . {3SM 83.1}

The straight testimony, the pointed testimonies, the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy-which includes all the writings of Ellen White, all of these contain a message from God that will keep us from being deceived in these last days.

Men may get up scheme after scheme and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from the truth, but all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White and has given her a message will be safe from the many delusions that will come in these last days. --3SM 83, 84 (1906). {LDE 44.2}

In conclusion, we have before us a wealth of precious counsel from God. Are we even now reading the testimonies and seeking to overcome on every point, and walking in all the light that we have received? This is a serious and solemn time, dear brothers and sisters. It is high time that we accept the straight testimony with responsive, appreciative and loving hearts. As the end draws near, we are either moving toward becoming permanently settled in the truth, or being shaken out. Which will it be for you?


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Revelation 3

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.