Mind, Character and Personality/Pseudoscience
[See chapter 3, “Dangers in Psychology”]
God’s Work and Science—Human knowledge of both material and spiritual things is partial and imperfect; therefore many are unable to harmonize their views of science with Scripture statements. Many accept mere theories and speculations as scientific facts, and they think that God’s Word is to be tested by the teachings of “science falsely so called” (1 Timothy 6:20). The Creator and His works are beyond their comprehension; and because they cannot explain these by natural laws, Bible history is regarded as unreliable. Those who doubt the reliability of the records of the Old and New Testaments too often go a step further and doubt the existence of God and attribute infinite power to nature. Having let go their anchor, they are left to beat about upon the rocks of infidelity.—The Great Controversy, 522 (1911).
More Than Worldly Science Needed—Let us go to the Word of God for guidance. Let us seek for a “Thus saith the Lord.” We have had enough of human methods. A mind trained only in worldly science will fail to understand the things of God; but the same mind, converted (p.698) and sanctified, will see the divine power in the Word. Only the mind and heart cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things.—Gospel Workers, 310 (1915).
Satan Uses the Science of the Mind—I have been shown that we must be guarded on every side and perseveringly resist the insinuations and devices of Satan. He has transformed himself into an angel of light and is deceiving thousands and leading them captive. The advantage he takes of the science of the human mind is tremendous. Here, serpentlike, he imperceptibly creeps in to corrupt the work of God. The miracles and works of Christ he would make appear as the result of human skill and power.
If he should make an open, bold attack upon Christianity, it would bring the Christian in distress and agony to the feet of his Redeemer, and his strong and mighty Deliverer would put the bold adversary to flight. He therefore transforms himself into an angel of light and works upon the mind to allure from the only safe and right path. The sciences of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism [See note in chapter 3.] are the channel through which he comes more directly to this generation and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation.—Testimonies for the Church 1:290 (1862).
Satan Knows Well the Properties of the Mind—For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days, he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women (p.699) that none but his voice will be heard.—Letter 244, 1907. (Medical Ministry, 698).
New Theories Propounded—The light of truth which God designs shall come to the people of the world at this time is not that which the world’s men of learning are seeking to impart, for these men in their research often arrive at erroneous conclusions, and in their study of many authors become enthused with theories that are of satanic origin. Satan, clothed in the garb of an angel of light, presents for the study of the human mind subjects which seem very interesting and which are full of scientific mystery. In the investigation of these subjects, men are led to accept erroneous conclusions and to unite with seducing spirits in the work of propounding new theories which lead away from the truth.—Testimonies for the Church 9:67, 68 (1909).
That Which Contradicts God’s Word Is Guesswork—He who has a knowledge of God and His word has a settled faith in the divinity of the Holy Scriptures. He does not test the Bible by man’s ideas of science. He brings these ideas to the test of the unerring standard. He knows that God’s word is truth, and truth can never contradict itself; whatever in the teaching of so-called science contradicts the truth of God’s revelation is mere human guesswork.—Testimonies for the Church 8:325 (1904).
Counterfeit of Truth—There are but two parties. Satan works with his crooked, deceiving power, and through strong delusions he catches all who do not abide in the truth, who have turned away their ears from the truth, and have turned unto fables. Satan himself abode not in the truth; he is the mystery of iniquity. Through his subtlety he gives to his soul-destroying errors the appearance of truth. Herein is their power to deceive.
It is because they are a counterfeit of the truth that spiritualism, theosophy, and the like deceptions gain such power over the minds of men. Herein is the masterly (p.700) working of Satan. He pretends to be the saviour of man, the benefactor of the human race, and thus he more readily lures his victims to destruction.—SpT Series A, No. 9, Sept 24, 1897. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 365.)
Satan’s Bewitching Power—The magicians of heathen times have their counterpart in the spiritualistic mediums, the clairvoyants, and the fortunetellers of today. The mystic voices that spoke at Endor and at Ephesus are still by their lying words misleading the children of men. Could the veil be lifted from before our eyes, we should see evil angels employing all their arts to deceive and to destroy. Wherever an influence is exerted to cause men to forget God, there Satan is exercising his bewitching power. When men yield to his influence, ere they are aware, the mind is bewildered and the soul polluted. The apostle’s admonition to the Ephesian church should be heeded by the people of God today: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).—The Acts of the Apostles, 290 (1911).
Venturing on Satan’s Ground—We must keep close to the Word of God. We need its warnings and encouragement, its threatenings and promises. We need the perfect example given only in the life and character of our Saviour. 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 (p.701) 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 counsel 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.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 116, 1890. “Latent Forces” of the Mind—The apostles of nearly all forms of spiritism claim to have power to heal. They attribute this power to electricity, magnetism, the so-called sympathetic remedies, or to latent forces within the mind of man. And there are not a few, even in this Christian age, who go to these healers instead of trusting in the power of the living God and the skill of well-qualified physicians.
The mother, watching by the sickbed of her child, exclaims, “I can do no more. Is there no physician who has power to restore my child?” She is told of the wonderful cures performed by some clairvoyant or magnetic healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge, placing it as verily in the hand of Satan as if he were standing by her side. In many instances the future life of the child is controlled by a satanic power which it seems impossible to break.—Prophets and Kings, 211 (1917). (See Testimonies for the Church 5:193; Evangelism, 609.)
Satan’s Electric Currents—Satanic agents claim to cure disease. They attribute their power to electricity, magnetism, or the so-called sympathetic remedies, while in truth they are but channels for Satan’s electric currents. By this means he casts his spell over the bodies and souls of men.—The Signs of the Times, March 24, 1887. (Evangelism, 609.)
Following God’s Will Versus Gain and Life Itself—Those who give themselves up to the sorcery of Satan (p.702) may boast of great benefit received thereby, but does this prove their course to be wise or safe? What if life should be prolonged? What if temporal gain should be secured? Will it pay in the end to disregard the will of God? All such apparent gain will prove at last an irrecoverable loss. We cannot with impunity break down a single barrier which God has erected to guard His people from Satan’s power.—Testimonies for the Church 5:199 (1882).
Curiosity Lures On—Side by side with the preaching of the gospel, agencies are at work which are but the medium of lying spirits. Many a man tampers with these merely from curiosity, but seeing evidence of the working of a more than human power, he is lured on and on until he is controlled by a will stronger than his own. He cannot escape from its mysterious power.
The defenses of the soul are broken down. He has no barrier against sin. When once the restraints of God’s word and His Spirit are rejected, no man knows to what depths of degradation he may sink.—The Desire of Ages, 258 (1898).
Science and Revelation—To many, scientific research has become a curse. God has permitted a flood of light to be poured upon the world in discoveries in science and art; but even the greatest minds, if not guided by the Word of God in their research, become bewildered in their attempts to investigate the relations of science and revelation.—The Great Controversy, 522 (1911).
Christ Could Have Opened the Door of Science—A minister once said that he could but think that Christ must have known something about science. Of what could this minister have been thinking? Science! Christ could have opened door after door of science. He could have revealed to men treasures of science on which they might have feasted to the present time. But knowing that this knowledge would have been appropriated to unholy uses, He did not open the door.—Manuscript 105, 1901. (Medical Ministry, (p.703)
Dark Hours of Trial Are to Come to Everyone as Part of His Education—That night in that boat was to the disciples a school where they were to receive their education for the great work which was to be done afterward. The dark hours of trial are to come to everyone as a part of his education for higher work, for more devoted, consecrated effort. The storm was not sent upon the disciples to shipwreck them, but to test and prove them individually....
The time of our educating will soon be over. We have no time to lose in walking through clouds of doubt and uncertainty.... We may stand close to the side of Jesus. Let none ... shirk one hard lesson or lose the blessing of one hard discipline.—Lt 13, 1892. (HC 56.)