Among the rescued fire-singed letters was the vision of Dr Kellogg addressing his colleagues, and the prophet’s amazement at how enthusiastically his hearers accepted the doctor’s theories.
Her letter concluded, “Let the world go into spiritualism, into theosophy, into pantheism, if they choose. We are to have nothing to do with this deceptive branch of Satan’s work.” Series B No.6. p211. 1904.
What of Kellogg’s theories -- were they pantheistic?
Sister White used the words “akin to pantheism”, and according to the 1828 dictionary, pantheism is “the doctrine that the universe is God… or the supreme God.” In this sense, Kellogg did not believe in strict pantheism, because he still believed, for a time, that the Father and Son were in heaven. The word used today for Kellogg’s understanding is panentheism, ‘God in all’, rather than ‘God is all’.
However, Sister White said of Kellogg’s theories, “If God is an essence pervading all nature, then He dwells in all men; and in order to attain holiness, man has only to develop the power within him.” Ministry of Healing p428.
What about the Omega?
In 1985, Loma Linda University hosted meetings by Louis Tice entitled, ‘New Age Thinking for Achieving your Potential’. Those attending were informed that “alignment with the ‘right spirit’ can make people ‘constructive wizards’ who are helpful to others… You know I have the power invested in me, by me. You know I have it. I've been on TV. You know they wouldn't have me here if I didn't have this power.
I declare you associate wizards. Go act Like it.” ‘The Omega Identified at Loma Linda’ by Deone Hanson. http://www.temcat.com/013-Spiritualism/Omega%20at%20LLU.pdf
Is this the “omega” of deadly heresies?
Sister White said in 1904, “‘Living Temple’ contains the alpha of these theories. I knew that the omega would follow in a little while.” 1 Selected Messages p203. (1904+1985 = 80-81 years)
We must ask ourselves – Is eighty years ‘a little while’?
You would agree, it is too long to be relevant.
In the alpha, Kellogg had God in the tree, the flower, and in man himself. His belief was certainly notthe teaching of the church; in fact, the prophet said he had “virtually destroyed the Lord God”. Letter 300. 1903. His religion also became man-centred. He ended up believing the new birth was simply a change of attitude toward God. J.N. Anderson. 1919 Bible Conference. July 13. As far back as 1899, it was said publicly that “every breath (of man) draws in a direct breathing of God into his nostrils.” Gen. Conf. Daily Bulletin. Feb 23. 1899. Eventually Kellogg refused to be governed by any man, “…(not) by Sister White, nor the General Conference…” Quoted in A.G. Daniells by John J Robertson p95. (In relation to the sanitarium in Sth Africa)
By 1907, John Harvey Kellogg had moved so far from truth that he was disfellowshipped.
As we view our history, we need to ask ourselves if pantheism (or panentheism) developed ‘in a little while’ as was prophesied.
The answer is No.
It may have arisen on occasion, but we have no record of an ever-growing pantheistic teaching in our church. However, the growth and establishment of the Trinity doctrine can be followed throughout our denominational history.
When Kellogg moved away from the pioneer teaching of God and His Son, the devil was able to put thoughts into his mind about God dwelling in nature.
Sad to say, there is evidence that the noxious omega plant is at this moment maturing in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Once more it is a combination of the two beliefs – the Trinity and pantheism, or more accurately for us today, panentheism. The Trinity itself has well and truly matured, but its union with pantheistic-type teachings is being formed through ‘spiritual formation’.
Dr Jon Dybdahl, once president of Walla Walla College, wrote, “Spiritual formation is a topic being raised by many pastors and church leaders in a growing number of Christian denominations. It’s no longer enough to just know doctrine and facts – in today’s hectic society people are searching for something deeper and more meaningful, something that makes sense in their whirlwind lives. Spiritual formation is not a new idea or concept, and a lot of Protestants are in the same boat – we are rediscovering it.” Adventist News Network.
According to teachers of spiritual formation, a person is told to read a verse and think about it. Gradually “a more simplified and powerful way is (shown) to keep repeating a single word in that verse and eventually just sit there in a blank-minded silence, which is called ‘contemplation’… this is the deeper stage into which everyone seriously devoted to mental prayer should arrive. This is said to be true prayer and meditation.” The Truth about Spiritual Formation. Vance Ferrell. p55.
This procedure is no different to Yoga and the repeating of a mantra to induce transcendental meditation. The Christian mantra may be a Bible verse, phrase or word. It may be a Bible scene, called visualisation in NLP, a modern form of hypnotism. (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
When the ‘alpha state’ is induced, demons can implant ideas into the mind. These thoughts will be deceptive, yet they may be very appealing.
A former Hindu (now Adventist), said the sensation is euphoric, like being high on a drug. The Omega Rebellion. Rick Howard.
Spiritual formation originated with the Buddhists and Hindus, and was modernized by the Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, Ignatius Loyola, as part of his Spiritual Exercises. It is now being taught in many Adventist facilities. The Truth about Spiritual Formation. Vance Ferrell p149-260.
“Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship…
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ.” From a Catholic website.
An article ran in the ‘Signs of the Times’ promoting ‘centering prayer’ in 2004, called ‘Stillness is Golden’. “Contemplation is essentially wordless, but its core cry is ‘I consent to Your presence and Your action within.’ (See Psalm 139:1-4; Romans 8:26, 27.) Feel your hunger for connection with the Divine and express your adoration. God is waiting to connect with you (Revelation 3:20.21), but it may take some time for you to focus. If you are distracted by thoughts, let them float past you without following.
One method, called ‘centering’ prayer, encourages you to refocus on God by internally saying one of the names of God that you relate to. This can help you to be present with God again.” Signs of the Times. Australia-NZ. November 2004.
This is not a Christian concept, but an occult practise.
The room is often in semi-darkness, with quiet music, candles, incense, prayer stations.
There are also labyrinths, which is a “spiritual experience that invites you to be still and silent as you participate in progressive experiences integral to the spiritual journey.” Signs of the Times. Australia-NZ. November 2004.
If men and women involve themselves in ‘silencing the mind’, there is no question the devil will quickly and quietly take up residence.
The words of 14th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart are now believed by many to be truth -- “Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence.” This type of thinking is plentiful in mystic circles.
Note the words of Ramana Maharshi, an Indian mystic, “What exists in truth is the Self alone. The self is that where there is absolutely no ‘I’ thought. That is called Silence. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is ‘I’; the Self itself is God.”
It is from these sentiments that contemplative prayer is drawn.
It is true the Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10), but notice what the prophet says of this verse, “Through study of the Scriptures, through earnest prayer, they may hear His message to them, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ When every other voice is hushed, when every earthly interest is turned aside, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. Here rest is found in Him. The peace, the joy, the life of the soul, is God.” Fundamentals of Christian Education p440.
In 2011, the following took place at Newbold College during a Week of Prayer. “In candlelight and against a background of tranquil music, the path led individual seekers on a spiritual journey where they encountered music, meditation, art, media and symbolic activities at interactive stations. Audio prompting challenged participants to rethink their relationship with themselves, other people, the planet, and God.”
One student said, “‘It was beautiful. I cried three times. When I dropped the stone into the water, it felt like Jesus was beside me lifting the burdens from my shoulders. It was so real.’” http://adventistnews.org.uk/news607.htm
A non-Adventist website said, “Definition of Contemplative Spirituality: a belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is often wrapped in Christian terminology; the premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all).” www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/cp.htm
The above author asks, “Does pantheism have a legitimate place in orthodox Christianity? This is a vital question because pantheism is the foundational worldview among those who engage in mystical prayer.
Ken Kaisch, an Episcopal priest and a teacher of mystical prayer… noted: ‘Meditation is a process through which we quiet the mind and the emotions, and enter directly into the experience of the Divine…. there is a deep connection between us … God is in each of us.” Ray Yungen. Ibid.
The practice of spiritual formation may not have reached full maturity in the Adventist Church, but practicing the art of mystical-type meditation is a big step towards it. Not only will it reach maturity in the days ahead, but it will be a means of uniting Christendom with the false spirit.
Praise God there are Adventists who are speaking out against spiritual formation, such as Walter Veith, Howard Peth, Rick Howard, John Bradshaw, Doug Batchelor, and others. Some media ministries and colleges are deeply involved, others will have nothing to do with it. Mark Finley wrote an excellent article in ‘Ministry’ magazine (August 2012) on the subject, and in the same issue, Derek Morris, Editor of ‘Ministry’, spoke of his experience with spiritual formation twenty five years ago, and how he had embraced the false concept, but now regrets any confusion that may have been caused.
The truth is that spiritual formation, coming from Eastern Mysticism, fulfils the deceptions Ellen White warned against so many years ago -- spiritualism, pantheism, and theosophy.
But do not miss the connection --- a false god results in a false experience.
It is easy to concentrate on the phenomenon of spiritual formation taking place today, and forget that the mega begins with an understanding of God that is not Biblical --- the Trinitarian root is still a problem.
* The alpha was a combination of the Trinity with pantheistic-like theories, which formed the alpha of deadly heresies.
* The omega is also a belief in the Trinity, but joined together with a far more dangerous form of pantheistic beliefs and occult practices.
One can visit a theosophical bookshop and see shelf after shelf of books teaching the same soul-destroying theories.
In her book ‘The Secret Doctrine’, Helena Blavatsky, the founder of theosophy, includes among her many pagan trinities, the Trinity believed by the churches, saying, “The process of manifestation can be explained through this Trinity, where we understand ‘the Father’ as the creating Spirit, ‘the Son’ as Logos, or Christ Consciousness (see Isis Unveiled, v.2, p.41), and ‘the Holy Ghost’, or ‘the Mother’, as the divine energy (love) flow (Shakti).” The Secret Doctrine. Helena Blavatsky. (Brackets in quote) Quoted in Trinity and Triunity: the Main Mechanism of Creation by Rosa and Margarita Riaikkenen. Theosophy Downunder Home Library of Theosophical Lectures. Dec 6. 2011.
Theosophy was founded in 1875, and well-developed by the time Ellen White warned of the dangers of spiritualism, pantheism and theosophy. The blending with Christian beliefs is often subtle, but to one well-versed in Bible truth, it is overt and appalling.
It must be remembered that Satan was determined to “be like the Most High”, and in deceiving our church leaders into accepting the Trinity doctrine, the denomination has fallen at the feet of another deity. Isaiah 14:13.14.
Even if it is hard to believe, it cannot be quickly cast aside. Satan knows he has “but a short time” and will do anything to keep us deceived. Revelation 12:12.
It is a serious matter, the most serious we will face before the time of trouble.
The counsel of the prophet remains the same. “We are to hold the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end. Let no one attempt to tear down the foundation of our faith, or to spoil the pattern by bringing into the web threads of human devising.” Letter 249. 1903. Medical Ministry p97.
Sadly, the original pattern given to our pioneers has been spoilt, and the foundation of our faith torn down. We cannot afford to remain deceived.
Please do not ignore the facts.
When Kellogg was directing men to tear down the pillars, God asked, “Where are the watchmen that ought to be standing on the walls of Zion? Are they asleep?” 1 Selected Messages p204.
Many were asleep back then, and the work of apostasy progressed with little opposition. A new organisation was established, and books of a new order were written. We have been deceived, and without our knowledge or consent, have been placed upon another foundation.
But God’s truth is eternal; it is immovable. And the pillars of truth that support the foundation stand secure.
“As a people, we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only foundation.” Ibid p201.
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