End Time Deceptions

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. —Ralph Waldo Emerson.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.—2 Timothy 4:4–5, ESV

There is a definite shift in today’s society that is echoed loudest in the ‘social’ media platforms that is clearly stated here in Second Timothy. Another translation of these verses as “following teachers of their own opinions” or joining in bands of like-minded individuals and eschewing differences of opinion or ‘unpopular’ facts. The recent memory of the Arab Spring, the Ukrainian unrest and, most notable for North Americans, the Presidential election of 2016, all have had profound strains of what is now referred to as “fake news.” The ability to reach broad audiences through social media platforms and weaponized them for one entity or another has come to the forefront of our news cycles and political party talking points.[1]

Shifting from a society of open flowing ideas between diverse groups into one that is notably marked by sectionalism, nationalism, or tribalism, has come at a cost. The high cost that a vast section of society has paid has been their basic decency. Conversations between family, friends, and dear friends can become a landmine field of triggering content that quickly devolves into ad hominem attacks. What a better way for Satan to divide than to let who we voted for or what opinion we hold on a minor topic separate us from the body of Christ.

It becomes increasingly difficult to have debates about critical issues of biblical evidence, beliefs, or interpretations of scripture when there appears to be shifting sands on what constitutes truth. “When the power of God testifies as to what is truth, that truth is to stand forever as the truth…. Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith.”[2]

The foundation of our faith must continue to be a trust in God’s word, the truth that Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement is sufficient for all, and that it is our duty and charge to take this message to the world. The Great Commission commands us to spread this gospel message to every tribe, kindred, tongue, and people, something we cannot do if we are beholden to lies and suspicions about our brothers and sisters.

As the availability of more “knowledge has increased,” the ability of lies and rumors to be spread has increased as well.[3] The work that individuals must put into researching and finding out truth amongst all the garbage has also increased because of the ability of individuals to create content and share that content, true or not, on social media.[4] Research from Notre Dame Professor Tim Weninger initially shows that on one website, less than one tenth of one percent control what is seen by the majority of users.[5]

The responsibility of Seventh-day Adventists today must be to spread truth, shun lies, and to encourage each other in a Christ-like manner. God is not afraid of our questions and has promised to give wisdom liberally to all who ask of Him. So why shouldn’t we study scripture, pray for the outpouring of God’s spirit, and humble ourselves to listen as to learn instead of to respond. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”[6]

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart…. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.[7]

May we all strive to be like Jesus and run the race with endurance, lifting each other up, and pulling out any bitter roots in our own lives that will cause trouble or strife. There will be more times of trouble ahead, but we must dive deeper into the life changing power of Jesus daily as to be more like Him to a world that needs goodness and mercy evermore.

“Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”[8]

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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[1]D. Patrikarakos, War in 140 characters: How social media is reshaping conflict in the twenty-first century (New York: Basic Books, 2017).

[2]White, Ellen G. (1905). Selected Messages Vol. 1, 161.1.

[3]Revelation 22:10, Daniel 12:4.

[4]Weninger, Tim. "Changing the Hive Mind – How Social Media Manipulation Affects Everything by Tim Weninger." An Experimental Publishing Technology News Aggregator. December 22, 2017. Accessed May 24, 2018. https://pubtechgator.bmj.com/2017/12/changing-the-hive-mind-how-social-media-manipulation-affects-everything-by-tim-weninger/.

[7]Hebrews 12:1–3, 14–15.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8795

This is a very meaningful statement, one that we should keep in mind at all times when we talk about truth. Being vigilant and alert about deceitful “add-ons” to the biblical truth, like LGT for example, is a sine qua non condition for a clear understanding of biblical truth. The sufficiency of the Gospel cannot be negotiated in favor of some extraneous, deceitful intruders like the old perfectionism theory. We have to be astute to recognize when a new skin over an old body shows up pretending being sheep.


Within this article on deceptions is scripture that clarifies that a particular one used as a “pillar” of their denomination, FB #24, is false…

Jesus “sitting” refers to the fact that His work of redemption is done and nothing changed in 1844.


This Sabbath I’m facilitating the Sabbath School discussion, and I know that I’ll have difficulty with Wednesday at least (“Sabbath and the Theory of Evolution” when they’ll get to diss poor Charles Darwin), plus quite a few other sections throughout the week’s lesson. I appreciate this article, though most of the class will rather work out the definitive explanation of the Mark of the Beast. Maybe I’ll just put my head down on the pew…

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The New deceit is that the biblical Christian Perfection (God’s desire for us to actually love Him enough to hate sin), is wrong because I say it is, now that’s food for discussion. Or you talking about the perfectionism of the early 1900’s in which they said they were sinless and incapable of sinning, but were indulging in a vile life. Yet because they said they were, they were. Now that’s real deceit.

Don’t confuse the terms because we have enough confusion already with people who don’t know the difference.

My friend, look through the Bible when the position of Jesus in the last two thousand years is under consideration. Sitting denotes ruling and judging. (Daniel 7:9) Standing involves the opposite, the delivering of the judging process. (Daniel 12:1). The Old Testament gives us examples of kings who are ruling or handing out judgment. Numerous verses in Revelation chapters four and five tell us exactly that also, except in these chapters we now have the scene before us of the right to rule and govern, and the right to judge.

The text you have quoted, HEB 12:2, i taken out of context. Note also it companion text in HEB 10:12. Look at the wording of these and the surrounding verses. They are talking about the authority Jesus has, His right to rulership, His oneness with the heavenly Father, His favored place at the “right hand.” The right hand denotes favor in this instance, favor and Divine recognition of His Son. When illustrating positions in the Scripture, the right always signaled a favored or exalted position. Sitting here in these two verses denotes rulership and has nothing to do with the judgment, except that we should note we have the same position, that of seating as is used in Daniel when discussing the judgment.

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The use of the word “denotes” comes very handy when one is explaining the meaning of the obvious. This is when accommodation, adjustment, and often distortion happen.

He is our high priest and mediator. Priests never sat down while in the inner sanctuary. Because He was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets He sat down on the right side of God signifying His work complete and parity with God. The real point of this discussion is when this happened which was at His ascension, not 1844.

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Hi Carolyn. Good to see you “in action”. I too am leading the study this Sabbath in Wales, but I’m going to try and shift the focus from the negative aspect of “End time Deceptions” to the positive aspect of what Jesus did for us on the Cross. Undeserved grace, forgiveness etc etc. Focussing on the negative (i.e. the church’s definition of deceptions), may mean we may miss the real deal.
We can NEVER know at all times if we are being deceived. Look at the fake murder of the journalist in Kiev this week. Focus of the positive.

Ray Morris


There is a fundamental mistake in making every action and every personal qualification of the Old Testament fit exactly the work of Jesus. For instance, Hebrews tells us He was after a different order of priesthood. A Melchisedec priesthood. Surely we would agree that He need not wander about the heavenly sanctuary taking in sin offerings, sprinkling the blood, and all the rest of the procedure that the earthly priest did. HEB 9:2 clearly states that.

His High Priestly ministry is prefigured in the reasons the OT priests did their work. In the OT sanctuary where were the books of record kept? yet we are told in Scripture there is a book of life (eight times), book of remembrance (once), and the book of record (four times). Where were these in the OT sanctuary?

The ministry of Jesus is entirely different in location, in method of dealing with sinful man, in recording, in the type of sin dealt with, and with the type of priest. In the OT priesthood, they were ordinary men, but were to be whole men and without physical damage or handicap. In the heavenly sanctuary Jesus now carries the scars of Calvary, and of the spear, as a sign of His right to redeem His people, and the depth of sacrifice He gave to redeem us.

Again, we should note that this statement “sat down” has no parallel in the OT sanctuary service on which to draw, but signifies a right to rulership. It is in this setting the text is given, and not to denote (sorry George) his High Priestly ministry. Don’t confuse the two otherwise the Fordian hangers on will confuse you. As I said Revelation 4&5 are about rulership rights and authority and not about sanctuary ministry.

There are those among us, unfortunately, who want to belittle the ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary any way they can. Some have derided this message with slur type thrusts such as, "does the heavenly sanctuary have a roof on it? or is it the size of a dog box? or perhaps we believe in some little rooms up there in which God the Father was separated from Jesus for approx 1800 years until Jesus finally went into the Most Holy Place in 1844? Such are foolish man’s meanderings indeed. And to think such, demonstrates poor Scriptural knowledge. Even if we fail to understand all the imagery in Ezekiel chapter one and chapter ten, at least we see that the fiery thrones in heaven are movable.

So to draw an unwarranted parallel in the sitting down of the High Priest and the standing work of the priest in the OT is to wrest Scripture from its context.

Just one earthly example of reaching a wrong conclusion before I finish. Many years ago my father-in-law had an old drilling rig which was built on an old London bus chassis. It had hard solid tyres with such low gearing that it would be a hazard on today’s roads, it traveled so slow. (You can now guess it was pretty old). If I told you that he stood up without telling you that that is actually how you drove this old thing along, you might surmise that he had stopped and had now hopped out - perhaps standing on the ground. In fact the opposite is true in this instance. If you thought that he was stopped and on the ground, you had jumped to a conclusion without all the facts.

I put it to you this has happened with the idea that when Jesus sits, His ministry is exactly like the OT priests ministry, and His sitting means He no longer performs that ministry work, the text is not dealing with priestly ministry but authority. Just as the priesthood of the Aaranic was different to the Melchisedec priesthood, so Jesus ministry is prefigured, but not duplicated in every detail.

This makes one of the arguments surrounding AD31 and 18444 irrelevant and is worthy of another discussion.

There’s that dry humor again. :thinking:

Thanks very much for your thoughts and ideas Ray! Lovely to hear from you, and I hope your class went well today.

I wish the depth and seriousness of my comment could have been captured. Obviously, it was not, but rather taken as “humor.” There is nothing humorous when Scripture is “interpreted” in a way that distorts it.
No room for humor on this. Trying to make it a “humor” appears to be an attempt to distract from what the comment about “denotes” was.

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You mean those that say the atonement wasn’t completed at the cross when Jesus said “It is finished” and the earthly temple veil split in two? You mean those that say Jesus waited until 1844 even though scripture said He was beside the Father after ascension? To that I would agree.


Do you agree or disagree? Everything in the OT system, including the law and the prophets, which He fulfilled, pointed to Christ.

Since 99% of Christianity is already deceived, what would be the greatest deception in SDA churches?

It is the warped gospel that one is secure just because of what Jesus did on the cross.

Jesus is the author & finisher of our faith.
As we have received Christ Jesus so walk in Him.

SDA need to finish & walk.

Probably no greater deception than that, the cross not being enough. Good luck telling that to God the Father!

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This is it. Those are the people distorting Scripture.

I agree, and believe more so than you do if you doubt 1844 date and whatever else. But when you make these types in the service and function of the priest into a “He must walk around like the OT priest” kind of parallel, this is where we must differ. I use the Bible when it comes to the description of where, and how, Jesus conducts His High Priestly ministry which tells me He sits in judgment (DAN 7:9, 10, 26; MATT 19:28; REV 20:4). This is where the Aaranic priesthood differed from the heavenly priesthood of Jesus. They were mere men, with families and day to day duties both in the temple and home. They walked everywhere, but this is not the parallelism discussed in the Bible.

Jesus sits upon a throne ruling and judging from that throne, a position of authority way beyond anything the earthly priest had. The earthly priest did not own property in the first establishment of that system. Jesus as Co-Creator owns everything in the universe. I have already given some of the dissimilarities before, and I could go on and on. Please do not make the ministry of Jesus subject to the earthly priesthood. The earthly was intended to depict the heavenly as far as mortal man was capable. As HEB 7:11-14 tells us His priesthood was different, as does HEB 5:6; 6:20; indeed the entire chapter of HEB 7 differentiates between the earthly priesthood and the heavenly. Several times in the Revelation we find that God the Father sits on a throne, and at His right hand, Jesus sits on a throne, Chapters 4 & 5 being obvious examples.

In the OT using the Jewish idiom in expressions, we find numerous times that the priests and their lineage were to be “priests forever” yet this was not so. When this expression was used, it referred to as long as the person or his family line lasted. Now when we take this expression and apply to either God the Father and the Son, we must give it a different application. Forever when referring to God means for all eternity. Here too, we find differences that should not make us stumble.

Even the earthly temple was a miniature copy of the heavenly. They are not the exact same in dimensions, or perhaps some or all of the outward building manufacture. When we look at the things in the Holy Place and Most Holy Place, then we become more specific. They have an exact parallel in the type and representation of the heavenly because they represented ministry. Why is this so hard to accept?

I agree that the OT system prefigured the ministry of Christ, and in the parallel or type, the priest officiated in the courtyard in which he did walk around. This was not the work of judgment, but of the sin offering. This work Jesus performed while here on earth. He became the offering and the priest in this instance. In this there is no parallel in the OT priests. Let’s not strain at what we might deem a parallel in the “walking” of the priest and make the priesthood of Jesus to fit the type in every respect. If we were to do so, who is to stop someone else trying to count the number of steps the earthly priest took, and make the judgment work of Christ to be exactly the same. I hope you see the futility of that.

I just think you’re old enough to know what denote means. I shouldn’t have to explain it to a grown man. Then there’s the internet, with all its dictionaries and 'pedia’s. Look them up and you will have my meaning.