“The Very Last Deception…”


Clarence Settle

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We are told that “Satan is…constantly pressing in the spurious––to lead away from the truth. 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.’ (Prov. 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.––10 MS:312.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. ––Letter 40, 1890.” 1SM:48


This study will endeavor to prove that this “last deception of Satan” is taking place right now among us, and it’s being perpetrated by those who claim to be defenders of fundamental, historic Adventist truth, those who claim to be preserving the truth in its purity. Our focus will be the “Day-Star Extra”, which is an enlargement of the very same account found in Early Writings pp. 54,55.  Space does not allow us to reproduce the entire article, but in summary, it is an account of Jesus going from the holy into the holy of holies in 1844. Two companies are mentioned. One company looked to Jesus and followed Him into the holy of holies. The other company, careless and uninterested, did not realize that Jesus had left the holy place and that “Satan appeared to be by the throne, trying to carry on the work of God. I saw them look up to the throne, and pray, ‘Father, give us Thy Spirit.’ Satan would then breathe upon them an unholy influence; in it there was light and much power, but no sweet love, joy, and peace. Satan’s object was to keep them deceived and to DRAW BACK AND DECEIVE God’s children.”  And in the “Day-Star Extra” this significant sentence is added: “I saw one after another leave the company who were praying to Jesus in the Holiest, go and join those before the throne and they at once received the unholy influence of Satan.


This vision has been adamantly opposed and rejected as not referring to the present corporate SDA church because it strikes at the very heart and root of those halfway ministries who are calling for a reconciliation with the apostate structure, and it also offends those who are going back into the apostasy and are now speaking against the separation movement, the movement they once belonged to, defended and believed in. Many, it seems, have loved ones or relatives still within the structure. Perhaps that is the reason for their turnabout. If so, how sad and tragic indeed. There are two arguments raised against the application of this vision to the present SDA structure. One, they state that it cannot refer to the present time but rather applies only to that period of time around 1844 when the message was being given. Let’s look at that and see if it has any light in it.


In Early Writings p:55 it states: “Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, ‘Wait here; I am going to my Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.’”  Now if we accept the argument that this was only for that period of time back there, then either they are still waiting (which is too ridiculous to even consider), or Jesus returned from the wedding before those waiting ones died. Let’s look at that view.


We read: “The proclamation, ‘Behold the Bridegroom cometh,’ in the summer of 1844, led thousands to expect the immediate advent of the Lord. At the appointed time the Bridegroom came, not to the earth, as the people expected, but to the Ancient of days in heaven, to the marriage, the reception of His kingdom. ‘They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage and the door was shut.’ They were not to be present in person at the marriage; for it takes place in Heaven, while they are upon the earth. The followers of Christ are to ‘wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding.’ Luke 12:36. But they are to understand His work, and to follow Him by faith as he goes in before God. It is in this sense that they are said to go in to the marriage.” GC:427


Again, in establishing the time period when Christ shall return from the wedding, we read:  “The great truth of Christ’s second coming is ever to be kept before the church. ‘Let your loins be girded about,’ we are admonished, ‘and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto Him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” 10RH:11-13-13


As can be shown by these and many other statements, when Christ told His faithful followers to “WAIT HERE” until He returned from the wedding, He was telling them to stay there in the Most Holy place until His 2nd coming! So how can any reasonable and rational person claim that the vision only applied to that time period. Why is that vision recorded in Early Writings then? Is it just an inconsequential account? Would the Lord leave such instructions knowing it was only to give His people false hope?   God does not work like that.


Another objection vehemently raised to the application of this vision to present time is that this very same vision is tied to statements found in Early Writings pp.260-261: “I saw that as the Jews crucified Jesus, so the nominal churches had crucified these messages, and therefore they have no knowledge of the way into the most holy, and they cannot be benefited by the intercession of Jesus there. Like the Jews, who offered their useless sacrifices, they offer up their useless prayers to the apartment which Jesus has left, and Satan, pleased with the deception, assumes a religious character, and leads the minds of these professed Christians to himself, working with his power, his signs and lying wonders, to fasten them in his snare…The churches are elated, and consider that God is working marvelously for them, when it is the work of another spirit. The excitement will die away and leave the world and the church in a worse condition than before.


I saw that God has honest children among the nominal Adventists and the fallen churches, and before the plagues shall be poured out, ministers and people will be called out from these churches and will gladly receive the truth. Satan knows this; and before the loud cry of the third angel is given, (“The first, second, and third angel’s messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church {not by the church} Babylon the great is fallen..come out of her.RH:10/31/99) he raises an excitement in these religious bodies, that those who have rejected the truth may think that God is with them. He hopes to deceive the honest and lead them to think that God is still working for the churches, But the light will shine, and all who are honest will LEAVE THE FALLEN CHURCHES, and take their stand with the remnant.” EW:260-261.


The reason these statements are almost violently opposed as not referring to the present apostate SDA structure, according to their reasoning, is that when E.G. White said nominal Adventist, she meant the other Seventh-day churches of her day, (7th Day Baptists, etc.) and therefore that terminology cannot apply to the SDA church of today. We shall see if this is in fact a legitimate argument for rejecting this vital testimony. The dictionary defines nominal as “professed, in name only,” but these defenders of the structure adamantly state that we cannot go by what the dictionary states––only by how E.G.White allegedly defines the word. Strangely enough they conveniently ignore a few of E.G. White’s plainest statements such as:  “Regarding the testimonies, nothing is ignored; nothing is cast aside; but time and place must be considered.” 1SM:57. Another principle that is also overlooked by these folk is: “The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value for our own time.” GC: 343.  Well, it will be conclusively demonstrated that the word nominal also refers to the present day SDA structure. There will be absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind, though of course there will be some who as in Christ’s day “neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”


The bottom line is this: The SDA church is either in the first Apartment, or (by faith) in the Holiest, where Jesus is right now.  The SDA church is either worshipping or praying to God in the most holy place, or they are worshipping and offering up their useless prayers to Satan in the apartment, which Jesus has left. There is no third position or location possible. There is no third choice. It’s either one or the other! What does the Spirit of Prophecy tell us, and what does the evidence show us?


We read: (In reference to the SDA church) “The command is, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.' These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some, who had been dishonoring God, repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But THE GLORY OF THE LORD HAD DEPARTED FROM ISRAEL; although many still continued the forms of religion, HIS POWER AND PRESENCE WERE LACKING.5T:210. Before we go on, the question is: If God’s power and presence are lacking, if His glory is departed, then who are the many continuing to worship and pray to, and which apartment are they in if Jesus is in the most holy place, but He is not where they are? But let us go on:


In case some question that the previous testimony was specifically referring to the SDA church, the next two examples leave absolutely no room for doubt that the SDA church is being referred to. We read: “In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, ‘Found wanting.’ By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged…I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: ‘Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? How is the faithful city become an harlot? My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, A PLACE WHENCE THE DIVINE PRESENCE AND GLORY HAVE DEPARTED! For this cause there is weakness and strength is lacking.” 8T:247 & 250.


Again comes the question: If the divine presence and glory have departed, then who are they worshipping, who are they praying to, and who is answering their prayers? And since the divine presence and glory have departed, which apartment of the sanctuary are they occupying? But let us go on. We read: The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. (Reorganization is something that takes place on a denominational, not individual basis. So we can see once again that this is referring to the entire SDA Church structure.)…Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but GOD BEING REMOVED, they would place their dependence on human power, which, WITHOUT GOD, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. 1SM:204,205. Again the question must be asked: If God is removed, and they are without God, then what apartment is the Seventh-day Adventist church in, who are they worshipping, and who are they praying to, and who is answering their prayers?


Again we read: “Many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. If doubts and unbelief are cherished, the faithful ministers will be removed from the people who think they know so much.”  TM:409-10. Here we have indisputable proof that the faithful ministers will not remain to preach in “our” pulpits. Why?  Because if the ministers that remain in the church are preaching with their torch “kindled from the hellish torch of Satan” then it is obvious who they and those that remain to listen to them are worshipping; it is obvious who they are praying to and who is answering their prayers, and WHICH APARTMENT OF THE SANCTUARY THEY ARE IN!


We read: “It is with reluctance that the Lord WITHDRAWS HIS PRESENCE from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favored with His presence and guidance; but THEY DEPARTED FROM HIM and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure.” 5T:212 This quotation clearly illustrates the experience of those who “one after another leave the company who were praying to Jesus in the Holiest, go and join those before the throne and they at once received the unholy influence of Satan” and are now standing in the SDA Church pulpits giving Satan’s falsehoods. [“Laodicea is going through! You’ll be lost if you  leave this church! etc.]


Thus far we have looked at the words of Inspiration, but is there actual, irrefutable evidence that clearly illustrates that the SDA church structure is now presently in the first apartment of the Sanctuary instead of the Holiest, in fulfillment of the Day-Star article? Let us look at a few undeniable examples.


1.    1.      The Tithe–– Inspiration tells us: The tithe is to be used for one purpose,––to sustain the ministers whom the Lord has appointed to do His work. It is to be used to support those who speak the words of life to the people, and carry the burden of the flock of God.” 1MR:188.  Millions of dollars of God’s money has been invested and lost in such schemes as the Davenport fiasco in the early 1980’s where some $40 million were lost––and no one was ever brought to account for it. And just recently, some $3.4 million has been lost in some “video Bibles for kids” scheme––and no one seems to know where the money went! And what about the millions of church dollars invested with firms having sizable department of defense contracts that were invested by the G.C. in the 1970’s? These were companies that were making such things as M-16 rifles, missile and weapon systems, howitzers and antipersonnel launchers, bombing navigation and weapon systems and other such instruments of death! Not to mention the millions of church dollars invested in such firms as the K Mart Corp. and Southland Corp.––places that not only ignore the fourth commandment but also sell liquor and cigarettes! Is it God’s will that His money be used for gambling in the stock market? And what about the hundreds of thousands of tithe dollars that are used by the G.C. to pay Catholic attorneys for lawsuits against “dissident” Seventh-Day Adventists, many of whom are simply “contending for the faith once delivered to the saints”? “There are only two places in the world where we can deposit our treasures––in God’s storehouse or in Satan’s, and all that is not devoted to Christ’s service is counted on Satan’s side and goes to strengthen his cause.”  6T:448  So with this blatant misuse of God’s money, again the question comes: God or Satan, who is being worshipped here? Who’s cause is being strengthened? In who’s storehouse is this treasure being deposited?


2.    2.      Witnessing––“In the very time in which we live the Lord has called His people and has given them a message to bear. He has called them to expose the wickedness of the man of sin who has made the Sunday law a distinctive power, who has thought to change time and laws, and to oppress the people of God who stand firmly to honor Him by keeping the only true Sabbath, the Sabbath of creation, as holy unto the Lord.” TM:118  Is the SDA church structure carrying out this divine mandate? Can it be said that, at least in this respect, the church is following and obeying God?  What do the facts say?  In 1968 it was reported in the RH, May 30th that three Adventist leaders (Pierre Lanares, Roland Hegstad, Leif Kr Tobiassen), members of the Church-State Commission, went to the Vatican to receive a souvenir medal directly from the Pope’s hands. Would Jesus or His apostles graciously accept a souvenir medal from the pope, Caiphas or even Satan himself––would Ellen G. White?  In a turnabout of events, in 1977 B.B. Beach, Secretary of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division presented a book and a medallion to Pope Paul VI on May 18. The medallion was a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-Day Adventist church.  RH August 11, 1977. And the Catholic Bi-weekly paper - Glas-Koncila quoted B.B. Beach as stating that it was a distinct honor to have had “an audience here in Rome with the Holy Father.” This treacherous action by the leadership of the SDA Church resulted in many tears being shed by faithful souls [realizing how significant symbols are to God, as illustrated to us in the study of the Sanctuary],  as they realized the significance of the church being handed over to the representative of Satan. But aren’t these the expected actions of a church standing in the first Apartment?  But there’s more: In 1990 while thousands of SDA delegates were reading the business agenda in the Hoosier dome at that years G.C. Session in Indianapolis, IN, hundreds of thousands of Indianapolis residents were reading a booklet mailed to them that week entitled United States In Prophecy, which was merely a topical condensation of the Great Controversy. Over 350,000 of these booklets which identified the “Beast” of Rev. 13 as the papacy, and the “Image of the Beast” as “apostate Protestantism” were mailed out, and many were agitated enough to ask their religious leaders and even the press for more information.  Upon receiving a copy of the booklet, Carol Elrod (a Roman Catholic) and news reporter for THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR, contacted the SDA leaders at Hoosier dome for comment. Shirley Burton, as spokeswoman for the SDA church called the booklet “trash” and then said, “We want our friends in Indianapolis to know that this is nothing official endorsed by the church. We need to apologize to the city…This kind of thing puts us on the level of a cult, which we are not.” (In another incident in Little Rock, AR. September 9, 1990, Kenneth H. Wood, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Seventh-Day Adventist General Conference and the Ellen G. White estate, referring to this same booklet called the unauthorized condensation of E.G. White’s book “absolute trash.”) Again, in reference to the 1990 G.C. Session in Indianapolis it was reported in the ARKANSAS CATHOLIC-  July 29, 1990John F. Fink, editor of The Criterion, Indianapolis archdiocesan newspaper, The Seventh-Day Adventists have a history of anti-Catholicism, like many other Protestant religions in the U.S. during the 18ty and 19th centuries. However, the main body of the Church has moved away from an anti-Catholic position. The new position of cooperation with the Catholic Church was exemplified by the invitation from the Seventh-day Adventist to the Vatican to send an official observer to the conference. Rev. Thomas J. Murphy, director of the Indianapolis archdiocesan office of ecumenism, acted as the Vatican observer. He addressed the conference July 10.”  What did this officially invited priest of the Vatican state as he stood before the entire assembly? “I bring you personal greetings from the archbishop of Indianapolis, promising and assuring you that prayers are being offered within our community for the blessed success of this General Conference.” Then he closed his remarks with a prayer from the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. Let us consider a few vital facts. Here is the Roman Catholic hierarchy saying prayers for the “blessed success” of the SDA General Conference Session. To whom were they praying, and if answered, who answered their prayers?  Isn’t the answer undeniably obvious? Is “nominal” really an issue in accepting the Day-Star?


3.    3.      Organization––“What we want now is reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation and to build upon a different principle.”GCB-1901, p.25, E.G.White. Decentralization was the call of the 1901 plan. Although surface changes occurred, the principles actuating the church government remained the same. E.A. Sutherland wrote: “Now it seems to me the thing we are to fear more than anything else in this is the danger of centralization and consolidating, it is a fact that during the last two years, in spite of everything, there has been a tendency to centralize..and we know that the work has been retarded because of that spirit.” 1903 GCB  167,168.  In March 1984 Judge Hart made this startling but true assessment. “Church documents that prescribe the church’s structure and governance confirm that all parts of the church are parts of a single entity. Next to the Roman Catholic Church, the Adventist church is the most centralized of all the major Christian denominations in the country.” And again, Raymond Cottrell (former associate editor of the Adventist Review and the SDA Bible Commentary) states: STRUCTURE. At the local conference level the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a representative form of church government. Above that level the polity of the Seventh-day Adventist church is hierarchical: authority flows downward and members have virtually no voice. Above that level (local) the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a closed, self-operating and self-perpetuating system similar to the Roman Catholic Church, in which those in authority are not elected by, representative of, or administratively accountable to local congregations or the membership at large.” Spectrum, March, 1984. So here we have proof that the Seventh-day Adventist Church structure is a copy of Satan’s representative structure on earth, the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, Neal Wilson, the then president of the General Conference said it well when he stated: “There is another universal and truly catholic organization, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”AR:3/5/81. That he said what he meant, and meant what he said can be evidenced by the fact that at the 1985 General Conference at New Orleans, five times he called some of his vice-presidents “cardinals.” AR:7/3/85.  Cyprian (d. about 258) is considered the founder of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. He advocated the theory that there is but one true church, and that outside of it there is no access to salvation.” 4BC:835––the very same papal concept that is being promoted by those defenders of the SDA Church.


We can go on and on giving example after example, proof after proof that the SDA Church structure has fulfilled the Day-Star Extra vision. We can see that the issue of nominal Adventist is a moot point, a smokescreen to divert the attention away from the actual facts.


We were warned: “The Lord has declared that the history of the past shall be rehearsed upon the closing work. Every truth that He has given for these last days is to be proclaimed to the world. Every pillar that He has established is to be strengthened. We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organization; for this would mean apostasy from the truth.” MR 20:151. The present SDA Church structure IS a new organization, the greatest religious counterfeit of true Seventh-day Adventism! And those individuals and ministries that are calling for an alliance with, or a return to that structure, are acting in direct defiance of Inspiration, when God is saying “As in the days of Noah and Lot, there must be a marked separation from sin and sinners.”  And again: “There was a coming out, a decided (not symbolic or figurative) separation from the wicked, an escape for life. So it was in the days of Noah; so with Lot; so with the disciples prior to the destruction of Jerusalem; and so it will be in the last days.” PP:167. 


There can be no denying that the corporate SDA Church structure is not following, obeying, worshipping or praying to the Almighty God of Heaven despite all their claims and protests to the contrary. It is plain that the corporate SDA Church structure is not to be found in the Most Holy place where Christ’s presence is. It is plain to see that those halfway ministries who are calling for reconciliation with the apostate SDA Church structure, and those who left originally because of the apostasy and have now gone back even though the apostasy is only worsening, and are endeavoring to call their former separated brethren back to join them––to the point where they are adamantly denying truths they once proclaimed, have been drawn back and deceived, as the vision states, and “at once receive(d) the unholy influence of Satan” deserve our prayers and sympathetic concern.  Our duty now is to realize that we are in a battle––“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)––a battle for our souls, where there can be no truce, no peace, no cease-fire. So let us be resolved to stand firmly for the truth, our hand in our Savior’s hand, never losing sight of the fact that only in His strength can we come out conquerors.


     “How came the Reformation? The Reformation did not and does not consist in exposure and denunciations of the iniquities of the Roman church. That is included in the Reformation, as an incident; because it is of the essence of Christianity to hate iniquity, as it is to love righteousness.

     “It was the iniquities, enormities, and desolations, wrought by the Roman church, that caused the universal desire and the pressing demand that there should be a reformation. Yet the reformation was not wrought by magnifying or dwelling upon those things.

     “The Reformation springs from another principle, lives in another atmosphere, and works in another field than that.

     “If exposure and denunciation of the iniquities could have wrought reformation, then the Reformation would have been in the world more than five hundred years before it was.

     “The…many scathing words of denunciation and exposure of the Roman church on her own part, and of the papacy as a whole, and all by men of standing in that church itself, are sufficient to show that if that could work reformation, there was enough of it to have accomplished the most complete and perfect reformation.

   “Yet all that is only a little of what could just as easily be quoted. And all of it said by men who lived all their days and died in full and honored membership in that church; and some of them are now saints of that church.       

“The men whose preaching made the   Reformation could have said all that they

 ever said, and more in denunciation of the

iniquity in the church and the enormities of    the Popes; and yet could have remained in             good standing in that church, all their days: if they had still held that church to be the only and true church, and have held themselves in conformity with her accordingly.

    “All men saw the iniquities practiced. They actually felt them on every side. Nobles, kings, emperors, priests, bishops, cardinals, and councils called for reformation. Even Popes confessed the sore need of it…

   “The church was ‘the ark of God,’ the ‘ship of Salvation.’ The pilot, the captain, and the crew, might all be pirates, and use every motion of the ship only for piratical purposes, and load her to the sinking point with piratical plunder, and keep her ever headed toward perdition, yet ‘the grand old ship’ herself was all right and would come safely to the heavenly port. Therefore ‘cling to the ark,’ ‘stand by the old ship,’ and you will be safe and will land at last on the heavenly shore…

   “They denounced the men and the activities of the men, even of the Popes and the papal court, but still apologized and pleaded for the machine.

   “They condemned the evil practices, but justified the system by which alone it was possible that those practices could not only be perpetuated, but could even exist.

   “So long as this delusion was systematically inculcated, blindly received, and fondly hugged, of course reformation was impossible.

   “But as soon as there arose men with the courage and conviction and the confidence of truth and spoke out plainly and flatly that the Roman system is not the Church at all in any feature or any sense, then the Reformation had begun. A.T. Jones “Lessons from the Reformation”


Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” Rev.3:9                           


     Clarence  A. Settle