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.'
John, the beloved apostle, records his preview of a worldwide spiritual conspiracy led and inspired by evil spirits. These evil spirits issue from the mouths of the three spiritual leaderships of the world—"the dragon," "the beast," and the "false prophet." From the mouths of these groups, once so divergent in teaching and ministry, are to issue identical philosophies and pronouncements that will unite the inhabitants of the whole world, high and low, kings and vassals, into one mighty confederation arrayed against the God of heaven. Within this vast multitude there at last emerges unity from division, and harmony from discord. These unified philosophies are inspired by the spirits of devils that reinforce their teaching with miracles and supernatural phenomena designed to deceive all mankind and to move them to forsake and oppose the Creator, God.
The Frog Symbol
In considering John's preview of these events, one cannot but be curious to know why God chose the frog as a symbol of these moving spirits that will rally the masses of the world into the camp of Satan near the close of time.
The frog is one of the most primitive and universally worshiped of all pagan gods. Its veneration can be found among the nations of antiquity, the Hindus and Buddhists of the Orient, and among the Indians of North, Central, and South America. In the Vedic poetry of India the frog is extolled as a deity of the returning rains ending the drought and refreshing the earth. "May the cow-toned, the goat-toned, the speckled, the green (frog, severally) grant us riches! May the frogs in the fertilizing (season of the rain), bestowing upon us hundreds of cows, prolong (our) lives!' In the writings of the ancient Egyptians are found many references to creation and the origin of life as being associated with certain small animals that were supposed to possess powers of creation and self-generation. The frog was among these.
Most of these referred the origin of life to some god, but there was a superstition which attributed self-generative powers to various small forms of animal life, such as mice, snakes, or flies. The frog was particularly prominent in this connection, doubtless owing to the numbers in which tadpoles appear, just as though they had come into existence by themselves out of the wet mud. Hence not only did the frog become a symbol of the resurrection . . but it was intimately associated with the beginning of things.3
The cult of the frog is one of the oldest in Egypt, and the Frog-god and the Frog-goddess were believed to have played very prominent parts in the creation of the world.4
The association of the frog with new life and the resurrection was so much a part of the religious life of the Egyptians that small figurines, or amulets, of this little deity were made and deposited in the royal tombs. This symbol also was adopted by the Egyptian Christians (Coptic) for use in their churches.
Another amulet of importance in connection with new life and new birth is the frog, small models of which have been found in tombs of all periods of Egypt.5
There must have been some very profound and sacred meaning to this symbol, since, notwithstanding the risk of being charged with a disgusting form of zoolatry, the early Egyptian Christians adopted it in their Churches. A frog or toad, enshrined in a Lotus-flower, or simply without the latter emblem, was the form chosen for the Church-lamps, on which were engraved the words "I am the resurrection"
The Frog was a prophet of Rain in some countries, and of spring-time in others. In Egypt it was the prophet of Inundation, hence Hekat was a Consort of Khnum, the Lord of Inundation, and King of Frogs. . . . As prophesier of Rain, or of the Inundation, it was the herald of new life to the land of Egypt, and this would be one reason for its relationship to the resurrection. But, in making its transformation from the tadpole state to that of the frog, it was the figure of a still more important natural fact. This, in the Mythology, was applied to the transformation and renewal of the Moon and to the transformation of the Mortal into an Immortal in the Eschatology, a type of Ptah, who in one form is portrayed as the frog-headed God.7
The foregoing gives evidence that the frog was a deity associated with the bringing of rain, and of new life and new birth. Likewise it was considered to be a self-generating deity, a symbol of immortality, possessing creative powers. These qualities should be noted in connection with John's prophecy of the "spirits like frogs," which are to shape and mold the spiritual conditions of the last days, for there is a definite parallel to be drawn from this.
To hold that the human mind is divine, immortal, possessing creative powers that can control man's physical environment and spiritual destiny, is to endorse the philosophies of the ancient frog cult. The parallel does not end here, for near the close of time Satan will inspire a worldwide religious revival. He will inundate the world with spiritual power, a spurious "latter rain," doing "great wonders" to deceive men into believing that they are witnessing a second Pentecost. Thus will climax the work of the "spirits like frogs," the satanic "gods of inundation."
The Trio of Deception
Heretofore Spiritualism and its satellites have been the chief contenders for the pantheistic doctrines that are now being revived and advocated in the field of parapsychology. Now, however, interest and support are coming from other sources. Dr. Rhine called attention to an increased interest on the part of scholars in parapsychology, and its spiritual significance.'
Some very prominent Protestant ministers are boldly affirming the spiritualistic concepts of parapsychology. This trend is seen in the writings and teachings of such distinguished men as Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Dr. Alson J. Smith of the Methodist Church, and the Right Reverend Austen J. Pardue of the Protestant Episcopal Church. These are doubtless but the beginnings of the public acclaim of parapsychology by Protestant leadership.
The Catholic Church will doubtless not be far behind in giving approval to these philosophies. Andre Dumas, writing of religious developments in France, says:
In religious circles there is keen interest in parapsychology and Spiritualism. The Catholic church is wondering how it can, without endangering itself, use them to strengthen its own teaching of a spirit life after death.9
This sympathetic attitude of the Catholic Church toward psychic phenomena that apparently reinforce her own teaching of inherent immortality, will undoubtedly cause her in due time to succumb to the powerful influence of miracle-workinc, spirit forces.
It should be further observed that John did not see the spirits of devils entering into the three symbols of spiritual leadership, but rather issuing from them. This would suggest that the essence of the deceptive philosophy by which the "spirits like frogs" deceive the world was in these organizations already, needing only some impetus to activate it into a rallying force for worldwide religious unity. Such an impetus has been provided by psychical research in the field of parapsychology, which has led many psychic scientists to affirm their belief in the inherent divinity and immortality of the human mind. Spiritualism's self-immortality of the soul and self-deification of man, together with the repudiation of the Decalogue, will constitute the principal heresies that will gather mankind under one ecumenical banner for the great battle of God.
Our Dependence Upon God
Seventh-day Adventists must not suppose that they will be untouched or unaffected by these conditions. It is the enemy's avowed purpose to deceive the very elect. The "spirits like frogs" will not pass us by unnoticed. The danger from their deceptive teachings is far greater than many would believe possible, for Paul writes about the "latter times" when some "shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." "
We have been warned that—the very spirit of heathen idolatry is rife today, though under the influence of science and education it has assumed a more refined and attractive form. Every day adds sorrowful evidence that faith in the sure word of prophecy is fast, decreasing, and that in its stead superstition and satanic witchery are captivating the minds of men. All who do not earnestly search the Scriptures and submit every desire and purpose of life to that unerring test, all who do not seek God in prayer for a knowledge of His will, will surely wander from the right path and fall under the deception of Satan.11
If Satan can lead us to believe that within the mind there resides some inherent power that will aid us in acquiring the graces of godliness and defeating the tendencies of evil, if he can make us believe that we can use some device of parapsychology to achieve the excellencies of the victorious life, then he will have taken our eyes from the atonement of Jesus Christ, and from the central truth of the gospel. We have thereby lost our dependence upon God, and our danger in this self-dependence is great.
Unless divine power is brought into the experience of the people of God, false theories and erroneous ideas will take minds captive, Christ and His righteousness will be dropped out of the experience of many, and their faith will be without power."
He who loses sight of his entire dependence upon God is sure to fall. We are contending with those who are stronger than we."
It is not profound and startling theories about the mind that are needed, but rather an understanding of the teachings of Jesus concerning our personal relationship with Him in the matter of spiritual regeneration. We need more of the facts of God and less of the fiction of men.
Let the thought, the aptitude, the keen exercise of brain power, be given to the study of the thoughts of God. Study not the philosophy of man's conjectures, but study the philosophy of Him who is truth?'
The Danger of Near Truths
The spiritual danger of our time is found in the near truths of the present-day forms of Satan's theories. So like the scriptural teaching of the indwelling power of God do they seem, that only by the intuition of the Holy Spirit can we be fortified against their falsehoods.
If there was ever a time when we should watch and pray in real earnest, it is now. There may be supposable things that appear as good things, and yet they need to be carefully considered with much prayer; for they are specious devices of the enemy to lead souls in a path which lies so close to the path of truth that it will be scarcely distinguishable from the path which leads to holiness and heaven.15
He who was cast out of heaven has come down with great power. With every conceivable artifice and device he is seeking to take souls captive. Unless we are constantly on guard we shall fall an easy prey to his unnumbered deceptions.16
Satan through modern scientific occult philosophies seeks to gain control of the human mind, and unite it with his own. If he can succeed in doing this, he can silence the voice of God in the soul, steal the heart, and defeat the redemption of man.
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 that none. but his voice will be heard?"'
Our only safety is to be fully yielded to the divine power of the Spirit of the living God. His far greater power awaits our welcome at the portals of the mind. The divine Spirit will bring into the soul the voice of truth, silencing all the bewitching voices of error:
Amid the confusion of delusive doctrines, the Spirit of God will be a guide and a shield to those who have not resisted the evidences of truth, silencing every other voice but that which comes from Him who is the truth."
We are nearing Satan's last hour of deception for the world. Into his final assault will be poured every scheme and stratagem that his hellish intellect can invent. The essential issues are now taking shape before us. Among these are (I) a satanic substitute for the new birth, and (2) a substitute for the divine memorial of creation. Seventh-day Adventists are not likely to be misled by a false Sabbath, but a "psychological" new-birth experience embodies a satanic counterfeit that the unaided human mind will fail to detect. Without the discerning power of the Holy Spirit we cannot escape being deluded.
It is impossible to discern between the human and the divine without the enlightenment of the Spirit of God. It is next to impossible for human beings to separate the sacred from the common—the divine from the human—notwithstanding discerning power is in our midst."
The Hour of Temptation
We are nearing also the close of our preparation for the "hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." 20 How are we spending these crucial hours? What thoughts absorb our minds? What activities fill our time?
The enemy of all righteousness is on our track. Satan is marshaling his host; and are we individually prepared for the fearful conflict that is just before us?21
These should be days of victory and triumph for us in our Christian experience. Days and nights of prayer should bring us into the greatest possible intimacy with God. Our heavenly Father, realizing our danger, eagerly awaits our reception of His provision for our spiritual security. Unless we avail ourselves of this divine protection, we face inescapable confusion and failure.
The "spirits of devils working miracles" will introduce a false religious experience into every mind to which they can gain access, and confirm this counterfeit with convincing spiritual power. We each stand in grave peril that we shall be unable to identify the origin of this experience.
1 Revelation 16:13, 14.
2 Rig-Veda Sanhitei Sukta XIV (CIII) (London: N. Trubner & Co., 1886), No. 10, P. 204, translated by H. H. Wilson.
3 Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by James Hastings (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1930), vol. 8, Section 11, p. 24.
4 E. A. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians (Methuen and Co., London, 1904), vol. 2, p. 378.
5 ________________________ , Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1911).
6 H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (London: The Philosophical Society, 1893), vol. 1, pp. 413. 414.
7 Gerald Massey, Ancient Egypt the Light of the World, (London: T. Fisher Umv in), vol. 1, p. 11.
8 See The Journal of Parapsychology, March, 1954, editorial by Dr: J. B. Rhine.
9 Andre Dumas in The National Spiritualist, vol. 35, no. 347, p. 7.
10 1 Timothy 4:1.
11 Ellen G. White, Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 192.
12 White, in The Review and Herald, Sept. 3, 1889.
13 White, Gospel Workers, p. 332.
14, White, Testimonies, vol. 8,p 319.
15 White, Testimonies to Ministers, p. 229.
16 White, Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 100.
17 White, Medical Ministry, p. 111.
18 white, Gospel Workers, p. 289.
19 White, in The Review and Herald, Dec. 18, 1888.
20 Revelation 3:10.
21 White, in The Review and Herald, April 23, 1889.
22 White, Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 479.