SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS, above all people, believe in charismatics. Where would we be as a church without the gift of prophecy? Here is a gift, expressly given for "building up the body of Christ" (Eph.4:12, R.S.V.). Here is a gift that has withstood the test of time and the impassioned attack of a multitude of critics. Here is a gift that is as relevant today as when it was first given.
How ridiculous it would be to discard this well-proved and firmly established charismatic manifestation in favor of con temporary sensations or less well-established claims. Yet we are living in a time when many sincere people will fall into these kinds of satanic delusions.
We have been given clear in sight into the very thing that is now taking place. While God's people are still waiting and praying for the promised outpouring of the Spirit of God upon His church, while there are still evidences of Laodicean lukewarmness and lack of love in the church, the enemy of souls will introduce a counterfeit (see The Great Controversy, p. 464). Any counterfeit that is worth its salt must be so close to the true that it is not readily recognized. And Satan's final masterpiece of delusion will be so overwhelming that God's people have been warned against yielding "to the evidence of their senses" (ibid., p. 625).
Many contemporary observers of religious movements consider that we have already entered into what will become one of the most religious eras of our history. Young people today are turning away by the thousands from the established churches to a variety of cults, creeds, communes, and charismatics.
What an opportunity this presents the church of God. It is not a time to stand as nonparticipating observers on some antiseptic vantage ground, shaking our heads and clucking our tongues. It is a time for falling on our knees, earnestly pleading for the full outpouring of the greatest charismatic gift of all—love.