In our first two editorials on this subject, we pointed out how, for over 100 years, Adventists have revealed the identity of the antichrist power; this power, which is spoken of in the last days, and whom Bible prophecy warns us so plainly about.
While we have confidently shown the identifying marks of the antichrist power (it is easy from just Daniel 7, II Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 13 to list over 60 identifying, or descriptive, marks of the antichrist power) we have not suspected that we could ever get in such a situation ourselves. We thought that we understood Bible prophecy and we would never acknowledge any part of antichrist. The Spirit of Prophecy does not give us such an optimistic picture, however.
“If all that appears to be divine life were such in reality; if all who profess to present the truth to the world were preaching for the truth and not against it, and if they were men of God guided by His Spirit,–then might we see something cheering amid the prevailing moral darkness. But the spirit of antichrist is prevailing to such an extent as never before. Well may we exclaim: “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” I know that many think far too favorably of the present time. These ease-loving souls will be engulfed in the general ruin. . . .the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 79.
What is this spirit of Antichrist that is prevailing to such an extent as never before? The spirit of antichrist includes man’s desire to be as god (This was the issue at the 1901 General Conference. Study the library speech.) The Greek work anti means, first of all, someone who is in the place of someone else, or in this context, another who stands in the place of Christ and receives that which only Christ can lawfully receive, such as worship. Any such person obviously would have become a god because only God can lawfully receive worship.
The things that the Spirit of Prophecy specifies will eventually make many in Adventism a part of antichrist are the following:
- Worldly policy
- Presuming to judge the motives of others
- Idolizing human wisdom and setting the opinions of men above the revealed wisdom of God
- Rejecting the prophets and holding to the traditions of men.
- Molding ourselves (getting our own way)
- Following human nature (not dying to self).
- Manifesting a love for supremacy.
These brief quotations support these statements:
“Worldly policy is taking the place of the true piety and wisdom that comes from above, and God will remove His prospering hand from the conference. Shall the ark of the covenant be removed from this people? Shall idols be smuggled in? Shall false principles and false precepts be brought into the sanctuary? Shall antichrist be respected?” Counsels to Writers and Editors,
“Whoever presumes to judge the motives of others is again usurping the prerogative of the Son of God. These would-be judges and critics are placing themselves on the side of antichrist, Lift Him Up, 335.
“All that have refused to be taught of God hold to the traditions of men; they at last pass over on the side of the enemy against God and are written antichrist.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 18, 1897.
“There are rank infidels, those who believe in the lying wonders of Spiritualism, and those who reject the claims of divine truth. All these are placed among the class that John has written of, and are controlled by the spirit of antichrist.” Manuscript Release, vol. 20.
“Those who will not practice the lessons of Christ, but keep themselves in hand, to mold themselves, find in antichrist the center of their union. While the two parties stand in collision, the Lord will appear.” Ibid., 113.3.
“The crisis is just before us. The fierce conflict of mind with mind, of principle with principle, of truth with error, which is fast approaching, and which has already begun, calls for constant vigilance. . . .the walls of antichrist shall fall.” Ibid.
“The spirit of antichrist is developing rapidly. Soon there will be a time when those who follow their own human nature, who manifest a love for supremacy, will be found to be on the losing side.” Ibid., 176.