Lesson Number Nineteen
The Spiritual World
Few will deny that there are spirits who communicate with people. Those who deny it have but to investigate the facts to find that there are supernatural agencies. Great miracles have been and are being performed by these mysterious beings. Through spiritualistic media messages are sometimes received that a certain catastrophe will take place, advising the traveler not to reserve or book a seat, or some miraculous appearance draws the attention of thousands of onlookers. Often such appearances are of a religious nature. Many who sorrow over deceased loved ones seek comfort in the semi-darkness of the séance, where at the bidding of the medium, the spirit of the departed one seems to appear. It speaks with the same voice and the appearance looks the same as the one so dear to them. Is the claim of spiritualists right? Are these appearances the spirits of the dead? Are they good or evil? The Bible is not silent on this point, so let us turn once again to God’s Word.
Who Are the Spirits?
In Lesson Number Ten we already learned that there are two kinds of spirits, good and evil.
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14.
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles . . .” Revelation 16:14 (first part).
Yet how do we explain the existence of men who have departed from the living? We learned in Lesson Number Eighteen that people are totally unconscious in death and that they have no part in anything that transpires here on earth. “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.
Therefore the spirits that are contacted in séances can not be the spirits of dead people, as claimed by the spirits and those who communicate with them. Neither can they be the unfallen angels, because these spirits seek to deceive people by masquerading as the spirits of the dead. Holy angels of God would never deceive.
There is, therefore, but one conclusion. The spirits that convey messages through spiritualistic media are the spirits of devils. They are under the direction of their master, Satan, who by every possible means, seeks to deceive people and cause them to be lost, especially in these last days.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9.
The Spirits Revealed
We are not left in darkness regarding this delusion. The Scriptures clearly show the way in which these evil spirits seek to deceive people. Many believe that spiritualism is merely a human deception, but when they are brought face to face with superhuman manifestations they cannot but regard them as supernatural. They will be deceived.
The apostle Paul warns us that before the second coming of Christ there will he many manifestations of Satanic power. The Lord’s coming is preceded by “. . . the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.
The apostle John also declares: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do . . .” Revelation 13:13, 14.
The miracles which these agents of Satan have power to do are real and many will be deceived by them. The only safeguard against the lying claims of spiritualism is the Holy Scriptures. God has given ample light to discover the snare.
Spiritualism in the Last Days
Today, just before the return of Christ, the Bible has prophesied a great revival of ancient witchcraft.
“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.” 1 Timothy 4:1.
This text gives us the time when evil spirits will stage their greatest work of deception. Their influence is seductive and disastrous, for they lead their followers away from “the faith.” The greatest apostasy of all times will manifest itself in the church before the second coming of Christ.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. . . . And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-10.
Has witchcraft been introduced in a modern form in these last days? The modern style of spiritualism had its beginnings in the village of Hydesville, New York, with the Fox Family. On the night of March 31, 1848, two of the younger daughters, Margaretta and Katie, were awakened by a mysterious rapping, that could he heard all through the house.
The children imitated the raps by clapping their hands, Katie calling out, “Mr. Splitfoot, do as I do.” For every clap there was an answering rap. She then held up her fingers—a different number each time—asking Splitfoot to tell the number, each time the correct number of rapping’s was received. They realized that the cause of the rappings was intelligent. From this beginning these two sisters became agents to the spirits, leading up to modern spiritualism. By the turn of the century, spiritualism had spread over the world at an alarming rate and in recent years spiritualism has declared itself a church.
The stage is set for the last great deception. The world has accepted spiritualism as a bona fide religion. It has influenced most denominational churches. Soon the arch deceiver, Satan, will stage his last great spiritualistic manifestation.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 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.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
Testing the Spirits
How can we know if we have had anything to do with an angel of God or an evil angel? How will we be able to discern the difference in the future? The Bible gives us some clear Bible proofs: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19, 20.
Are the teachings of spiritualism in harmony with the law of God and the testimony of His Word? On the contrary, spiritualism teaches that there is no sin, and no death; the same lie spoken by the serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4).
Séances are generally held indoors in semi-darkness. They always take some form of communicating with the unknown. Many speak with the dead, or conjure up an appearance of the dead. The spirits who appear are devils impersonating relatives, strangers or the saints who have died. Some have even claimed to be Christ himself. If you are invited to see these manifestations, remember the warning of Christ: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” Matthew 24:26.
The apostle John admonishes us: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1.
To try the spirits mean to compare them with “the law and testimony.” If they do not match up with God’s Word, we are to have nothing to do with them. John also tells us how we can test the spirits: “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 1 John 4:2, 3.
Spiritualism denies that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. It considers the Bible as any other book, and refuses to acknowledge it as the holy Word of God. The apostle Peter declares: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:20, 21.
In the Bible witchcraft is condemned as an abomination. “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31.
“When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 18:9-13.
Another test is given in Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”
What Are the Fruits of Evil Spirits
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in the past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.
Notice that among these works of the flesh are witchcraft, heresies, and drunkenness. These fruits were all manifested in the lives of the founders of modern spiritualism—the Fox sisters. They led thousands into the heresy of spiritualism which is called witchcraft in the Bible. They both ended their lives as alcoholics.
On the other hand, what are the fruits of the Holy Spirit of God?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23.
Our Only Safety
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:10-12.
We are called to be on guard against these evil spirits who are not ordinary enemies. They are mighty spiritual agencies. In our own strength we are unable to withstand them, but God has made provision for us. By taking notice of what God says we may be fully protected against the attacks of Satan and his angels.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:13-16.
The armor is complete, and if we wear it, it will certainly protect us in time of danger. Notice that one part of the body is not protected, the back! That means we should never turn our back on the enemy! We are fully protected by the armor of God, as long as we face the battle against evil. When we are thus prepared for the warfare, we need never fear defeat.
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Romans 8:37.
Quiz For Lesson Number Nineteen
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