It is an interesting world that we live in today, but it is a very frightening world. We are not quite sure what tomorrow will bring. We have almost lost hope for peace, terror and crime are everywhere. Homes are broken, faith is gone, fear grips the hearts. Even many theologians who were supposed to give hope to the world, to lead the people to peace, tolerance, and understanding, have let us down miserably. Instead of being solid rocks, they have become rolling pebbles swayed and confused themselves by every wind of doctrine. Their faith has disappeared like vapor.
Leading Catholics and Protestants are leaving their churches searching for something more. Searching for an answer to the future. Longing for peace of mind. Many are making long journeys to India to meditate with the Maharishis who claim to be incarnations of God Himself. When one of those Yogis came to New York City and sold tickets for $3.00 a piece in Madison Square Garden, a large crowd flocked to see and hear him.
Others have turned their eyes towards the heavens in search of flying saucers and contact with outer space. In a Gallup poll 5 million Americans said they are certain they have seen flying saucers or other UFOs. Forty-six percent of Americans believe they are real says the Gallup poll. The well-known writer Mr. Frank Riwards in his book Flying Saucers- Serious Business, tells the story of TV personality Arthur Godfrey, a veteran airplane pilot. Godfrey lived in Virginia and had his own private plane and pilot, and flew back and forth to his broadcasting duties. Arthur Godfrey told of his unusual flight one night between New York and Washington. They were having a routine flight, said Godfrey, and were near Philadelphia when a brightly lighted object suddenly appeared off the right of their twin-engined Convair. Godfrey at the controls, rolled his plane sharply to the left to avoid a possible collision. He contacted the FAA tower at Philadelphia and asked if any air traffic was near him. The tower replied that no aircraft was near him. Godfrey said at that instant the object reversed its course and circled them, coming up seconds later behind their left wing. Mr. Godfrey again banked sharply away from the UFO and tried to increase the distance between them. The object banked right with him. Every time Godfrey made an effort to elude the UFO, it duplicated his moves. Godfrey said it stayed right there off his left wing no matter what he did. Godfrey also said that he and his pilot, Munciello, both veteran pilots with thousands of hours of flying time, were scared by what had happened to them. They could not shake the UFO no matter what they tried. It simply stayed right with them until it got ready to leave, and then it veered upward and away into the night.
I could go on and tell you hundreds of similar stories. Much of it fact, and much of it hoax. With erosion of the Christian Faith and the inborn desire of the human heart to believe in someone or something, the belief in the existence of UFOs has made millions of Americans and Canadians and people around the world susceptible to UFO hoaxes: phonograph records or hubcaps tossed in front of cameras make weird photographs contrived by darkroom manipulation. Many people accepted as evidence a photograph of a weird little creature that had supposedly emerged from his saucer and died. A few recognized it for what it was:a shaved monkey.
But even though there are many delusions and hoaxes that have tricked the minds, the ears, and the eyes of literally millions of people into believing lies, we must also face the reality of the situation that flying saucer stories are not all hoaxes. There is much that is fact as we delve into the spirit world. And much that is propounded as a sign of the last days of this earth just before the Second Coming of Christ as is pointed out in the Bible. Revelation 16:14 says "For they are spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world." The Bible warns us that spirits of the devil, angels of the devil, are going to do miracles and signs and wonders in the last days that will almost sweep the whole world away to eternal destruction. Spiritism will sweep the world. Satan himself will impersonate Christ. He will hypnotize the multitudes. They will believe a lie. Jesus said even the very elect will be deceived.
You begin to see now why it is so important that we understand spiritism, death and life or we will be swept away to destruction too. In Bible times, if one delved into spiritism, he was put to death. For that was the counterfeit territory of Satan. But today ministers of many churches go boldly into the realm of spiritism yielding their lives to Satan's influence while at the same time professing to preach the Bible. This is Satan's plan to make people think it is from God when nothing could be further from the truth. But Satan's scheme is working. Millions are being deceived.
Men like the late Bishop Pike have turned to spirit mediums to consult the dead who, the Bible says, know not anything. These voices, purported dead loved ones, the Bible says, are masquerading spirits of the devil. One day in February 1966 in his Cambridge apartment, Bishop Pike said he found his clocks stopped at 8:19. This was the same time when his son, James Jr., had shot himself to death in New York City two weeks earlier. At the same time he said his books were mysteriously moved from place to place. He said he also found clusters of safety pins appearing where they had not been before, all open to the position that the hands of the clocks were in at 8:19. He decided that James Jr. was trying to contact him from beyond the grave. After that Bishop Pike claimed he communicated with his son many times through the help of sympathetic spirit mediums. The most dramatic encounter took place in September of 1967 when in Toronto, Canada, he participated in a televised seance with spiritualist medium Arthur A. Ford of Philadelphia. After going into a trance he reported the forms of several of Pike's deceased friends emerging. More moving was when the son was supposed to have talked to his father concerning his relationship with his father, his confused and mental disturbance before his death. According to the Bible the living cannot talk to the dead. This is a cruel trick of the devil, often used to play on the emotions of sorrow-burdened humans.
The idea that when a person dies he doesn't really die is of paganistic, Satanic origin. Some support the idea that just the body dies, that the soul is the part that doesn't die, that the soul is immortal (immortal means one never dies). But this idea, too, is false and of paganistic origin and not Christian. The idea of the immortality of the soul has been derived from ancient paganistic philosophers as far back as one can read history.
Contrary to popular supposition, Judeo-Christianity does not consider man, in himself, "immortal." This is an unbiblical Greek and Oriental idea which sees man as a duality of separate entities, corrupt body and pure soul. In sharp contrast, Scripture views man as an integral, psychosomatic being, body and spirit, and views death with melancholy realism. But Scripture also upholds the hope of man's ultimate resurrection, through a power beyond his own.
Thus you can clearly see that the immortality of the soul idea is of paganistic origin and not Christian at all. That is why in some countries like China, the ancient paganistic custom of furnishing the deceased with money and passports to the next world still survives.
The Dear Abby column in a newspaper not long ago further substantiated this point. It read: "Dear Abby: We have a foreign exchange student from an Asian country living with us. We were laughing hysterically while reading the letter in your column about the man who gave a â€˜birthday' party every year for his wife who had been dead for twelve years (He said he'd invite his friends for a regular â€˜birthday party,' after which they'd all go out to the cemetery to talk to Ruby and leave her a piece of birthday cake.) Our Asian friend couldn't see anything funny about that. He said it is an old Oriental custom to visit the cemetery once a year and take along some food for their ancestors to â€˜eat'."
The paganistic idea of the immortality of the soul has also reached into some religions by the philosophy of reincarnation. This is the idea that when you die your soul departs but returns years later to this sinful world in the form of another person or maybe the same person twice. In some countries the reincarnation of the soul comes back in a form of a cow or even a bug. That is right, even a bug. Some actually believe that. Depending on how good you were in this life. If you were pretty good you might come back in the form of a roe, but if your life here was a little careless you might well come back in a form of a cockroach. Dr. James Hyslop says, "Ancestor worship, in most cases simply the spiritualism of the East, survives as the exponent of immortality."
I suppose one of the biggest stirs concerning death and the soul has been caused by James Kedd, an Arizona copper miner. Kedd mysteriously disappeared in 1949 and was declared legally dead in 1965. Arizona authorities found among his possessions a handwritten will in which the prospector directed that his estate, consisting of stocks and bonds worth $198,138.53 be used for research for some scientific proof of a soul of the human body which leaves at death. Over 4,500 letters of advice came from people trying to collect the "soul money." One letter was a foot thick.
At the court hearing a 57 year old housewife maintained the soul had no physical substance but consists of a hazy, tinted form resembling that of a body. At the hearing she insisted she detected Kedd's soul in the courtroom pacing up and down with his hands behind his back, shaking his head at the proceedings because the judge was refusing to accept her story and thus not giving her the $200,000.00.
Another California housewife at the hearing claimed to be in constant contact through her entire nervous system with a dentist friend who had died two years before. She said she asks the dead dentist's soul yes or no questions about the beyond. She said the soul replies by causing her head either to nod or shake upwards or sideways. And, of course, at the hearing the soul was shaking her head vigorously up and down to show the judge that she was supposed to get the money.
One letter came all the way from India and suggested: "Take a man who is about to die into a small room. All the doors, windows, and ventilators should be thoroughly closed so that there is no place for the soul to get out. As soon as the man dies his soul shall pierce or crack the window glass, thus giving proof of the soul's existence after death."
Are you beginning to understand the importance of our subject? How Satan has tricked multitudes in to believing that the soul is immortal. How Satan has actually used his evil angels to make people think that they are talking to their dead loved ones when it isn't dead loved ones at all. It is a cruel plot of the devil taking advantage of your longing desire to communicate with your departed loved ones. And Satan makes it seem so real that even the Word of God cannot make you believe otherwise. Because you don't want it any other way, you would rather believe a lie. In fact, some people actually get angry when they are shown from the Bible that it wasn't dead loved ones they were talking to at all but spirits of devils.