Eve did not design to rebel against God. However, in believing Satan’s lie, she distrusted God, and so came under the penalty of the law, which is death. We, in the judgment, will be held responsible for believing the truth and using opportunities to learn what is truth.
Satan’s great lie is that disobedience to God does not result in death, but rather will lead to a higher level of existence, and a broader field of knowledge. Had he (the serpent) not received this higher level of existence? Did he not now have the power of speech from eating the fruit? He promised them that they would become wise like God.
Satan tempts men to disobedience by leading them to believe they are entering a wonderful field of knowledge. But this is all a deception.
So, the first use of a medium, to gain man’s attention and then to draw him into rejecting God’s instructions, plunged the human race into sin and under the penalty of death. Satan has used the same pattern of deception since the fall of man. We are warned that the deception of the devil will be world-wide and greatly increased in power at the end of this world’s history. Christ foretold this in Mark 13:22.
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
In Matthew chapters 24 and 25 we have an enlarged recording of the conversation referenced above in Mark 13. When asked by the disciples about signs of His coming and the end of the age, He not only spoke of certain physical signs, but the real emphasis was on the great deceptions that were to come, so as to lead the saints astray. The parables appearing in these chapters are there to support the message of warning, to not be deceived. He said that even the elect might be deceived. The entire passage of these two chapters is making the point that deception will be almost overwhelming and could cost us eternal life, deception that would cause us to reject salvation through Jesus Christ and follow the Prince of this world, Satan, unknowingly. Paul, too, warned of the great deception to come:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. (Colosians2:8).
E.G. White, in the book Spiritual Gifts Vol. 4, p. 87, refers to this verse as especially referring to the great spiritual deception that is to occur at the end of time.
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (II Thessalonians 2:9). And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:14, 15).
Paul also warned Timothy:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (I Timothy 4:1).
John, three times in the book of Revelation, wrote about this deception to come:
And he doeth great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which head power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Revelation 13:13, 14).
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:13, 14).
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20).
Mrs. White adds this warning concerning events of the last days:
The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.
There will be a false revival. Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, points to the special working of Satan in spiritualism as an event to take place immediately before the second advent of Christ. Speaking of Christ’s second coming, he declares that it is
…after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. II Thessalonians 2:9
Present-day religions teach the imminent coming of a Messiah. Satan has done his best to have the world looking for someone other than the Son of God, a different Messiah.
In the book of Revelation, chapter 11, we learn about the rise of spiritualism and militant atheism —“the beast from the bottomless pit,” in the latter part of the 19th century and its dominance in the French revolution. This power did not continue in the position as “head of government” but it did stay alive. It has been an influence in the world ever since and has been growing rapidly. In the last twenty-five years it has actually mushroomed to a place of prominence in the thinking of men. Satan has laid his trap carefully and is preparing to join with the forces of religion in our time. He has been quietly at work to condition people’s thinking until total control of their minds, and the rejection of God and His law is accomplished. We have seen in recent years the amalgamation of Eastern religions and their spiritualism with occultism of the West. This neo-occultism and neo-paganism has been planting its seeds of thought through the press, radio, schools, television, and in the churches.
For years the West has been seeing changes in that which is taught in schools, even to an open attack on the Creator God. In the entertainment industry, we see efforts to change the views of people by devaluating Christian concepts and elevating atheistic and paganistic ideas. This same shift is seen in music, games, comic books, movies, environmental movements, and in the special focus of this book, that of health and healing.