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The Great Deceiver
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
The  Great  Deciever
 
  There is nothing that the great deceiver fears so much as that we shall become acquainted with his devices. The better to disguise his real character and purposes, he has caused himself to be so represented as to excite no stronger emotion than ridicule or contempt. He is well pleased to be painted as a ludicrous or loathsome object, misshapen, half animal and half human. He is pleased to hear his name used in sport and mockery by those who think themselves intelligent and well informed.  Great Controversy, page 516.3
 
While Jesus is pleading for the subjects of His grace, Satan accuses them before God as transgressors. The great deceiver has sought to lead them into skepticism, to cause them to lose confidence in God, to separate themselves from His love, and to break His law. Now he points to the record of their lives, to the defects of character, the unlikeness to Christ, which has dishonored their Redeemer, to all the sins that he has tempted them to commit, and because of these he claims them as his subjects.  Great Controversy, page 484.1
 
 
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. . . . The shout of triumph rings out upon the air, "Christ has come! Christ has come!" The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him. . . . In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. . . .  {FLB 346.2}
 
 
Says the great deceiver: "We must watch those who are calling the attention of the people to the Sabbath of Jehovah; they will lead many to see the claims of the law of God; and the same light which reveals the true Sabbath, reveals also the ministration of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and shows that the last work for man's salvation is now going forward. Hold the minds of the people in darkness till that work is ended, and we shall secure the world and the church also. . . .  {CS 154.2}
 
  The great deceiver has many agents ready to present any and every kind of error to ensnare souls -- heresies prepared to suit the varied tastes and capacities of those whom he would ruin. It is his plan to bring into the church insincere, unregenerate elements that will encourage doubt and unbelief, and hinder all who desire to see the work of God advance and to advance with it. Many who have no real faith in God or in His word assent to some principles of truth and pass as Christians, and thus they are enabled to introduce their errors as Scriptural doctrinesGreat Controversy, page  520.1
 
And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God's commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: "And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim." 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God's ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.  Great Controversy, page 590.1
 
Angels of God will preserve His people while they walk in the path of duty; but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan's ground. An agent of the great deceiver will say and do anything to gain his object. It matters little whether he calls himself a spiritualist, an "electric physician," or a "magnetic healer." By specious pretenses he wins the confidence of the unwary. He pretends to read the life-history and to understand all the difficulties and afflictions of those who resort to him. Disguising himself as an angel of light, while the blackness of the pit is in his heart, he manifests great interest in women who seek his counsel. He tells them that all their troubles are due to an unhappy marriage. This may be too true, but such a counselor does not better their condition. He tells them that they need love and sympathy. Pretending great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are completely in his power, and sin, disgrace, and ruin are the terrible sequel.-- Review and Herald, June 27, 1882.  {Ev 607.2}
 
A number of persons were present at this meeting who held to the popular theory of sanctification, and as the claims of God's law were presented and the true character of this error was shown, one man was so much offended that he rose abruptly and left the meeting hall. I afterward heard that he had come from Stockholm to attend the meeting. In conversation with one of our ministers he claimed to be sinless and said that he had no need of the Bible, for the Lord told him directly what to do; he was far beyond the Bible teachings. What can be expected of those who follow their own imaginings rather than God's Word but that they will be deluded? They cast away the only detector of error, and what is to prevent the great deceiver from leading them captive at his will?  {FW 53.2}
 
Thus it was shown that Scripture gives no warrant for men to remain in ignorance concerning the nearness of Christ's coming. But those who desired only an excuse to reject the truth closed their ears to this explanation, and the words "No man knoweth the day nor the hour" continued to be echoed by the bold scoffer and even by the professed minister of Christ. As the people were roused, and began to inquire the way of salvation, religious teachers stepped in between them and the truth, seeking to quiet their fears by falsely interpreting the word of God. Unfaithful watchmen united in the work of the great deceiver, crying, Peace, peace, when God had not spoken peace. Like the Pharisees in Christ's day, many refused to enter the kingdom of heaven themselves, and those who were entering in they hindered. The blood of these souls will be required at their hand.  {GC 372.1}
 
 
Character  of  the  great  deceiver
 
In the contest between Christ and Satan, during the Saviour's earthly ministry, the character of the great deceiver was unmasked. Nothing could so effectually have uprooted Satan from the affections of the heavenly angels and the whole loyal universe as did his cruel warfare upon the world's Redeemer. The daring blasphemy of his demand that Christ should pay him homage, his presumptuous boldness in bearing Him to the mountain summit and the pinnacle of the temple, the malicious intent betrayed in urging Him to cast Himself down from the dizzy height, the unsleeping malice that hunted Him from place to place, inspiring the hearts of priests and people to reject His love, and at the last to cry, "Crucify Him! crucify Him!--all this excited the amazement and indignation of the universe.  Great Controversy, page 501.1
 
 
Let not one who has named the name of Christ refuse to take up the work God has given him to do. Let no one indulge the thought, "I have no influence; I am too insignificant to be a light to others." If you have reasoning powers, you will have an influence, either for good or for evil. You will be Christ's missionary, gathering with him, or you will scatter from him. By doing nothing you will encourage in others a spirit of indifference and slothfulness. Our life always exerts an influence, whether consciously or unconsciously. You may not occupy a prominent position, yet you must associate with some who will be affected by your example, either being led away from devotion and self-sacrifice, or being encouraged to work with all the ability they have, for the conversion of souls. Listen to the words of the apostle: "In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works." In this world we shall never know the result of our words and example, but when the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, then all secrets will be revealed. Our only safety is in closely following the Pattern. While we present Jesus to the world, our example should correspond to the doctrines we advance; but if our daily life is unlike that of Christ, we are only helping on the cause of the enemy; we are representing the character of the great deceiver.   {ST, September 28, 1891 par. 8}
 
 
In the contest between Christ and Satan, during the Saviour's earthly ministry, the character of the great deceiver was unmasked. Nothing could so effectually have uprooted Satan from the minds and affections of the heavenly angels and the whole loyal universe as did his cruel warfare upon the world's Redeemer. The daring blasphemy of his demand that Christ should pay him homage, his presumptuous boldness in bearing him to the mountain summit and the pinnacle of the temple, the malicious intent betrayed in urging him to cast himself down from the dizzy height, the unsleeping malice that hunted him from place to place, inspiring the hearts of priests and people to reject his love, and at the last to raise the cry "Crucify him! crucify him!"--all this excited the amazement and indignation of the universe.  {4SP 321.1}
 
 
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