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Spiritualism

Let me say in the beginning of our broadcast today that we’re dealing with a very serious subject. Spiritualism is becoming a matter of tremendous concern on the part of millions. Psychic research has tried to disprove and debunk the manifestations of spiritualism but several committees of researchers have reported that there is superhuman power involved in some of the demonstrations. We know that there are only two sources of superhuman power- God and Satan. Today we’re going to discover what the foundations of this phenomenon really are.

Our first text is Isaiah 8:19, 20 where we read: “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.” Here God tells us that knowledge beyond human power should be gathered from His Word and not from familiar spirits. But contrary to this instruction, millions today are turning to modern sorcery and spiritualism for the answers to problems. Even some great church organizations are now ready to recommend this avenue as a way of truth. Inroads are being made into vast religious systems and some astounding sentiments are being expressed by Protestant church leaders. The public has already been duly impressed by some of these Protestant positions.

Evidence of this was seen during the war when Wannamakers Store in New York City sold four out of every five books on the subject of spiritualism. One Pittsburg concern sold over fifteen hundred Ouija boards in one week time.

Friends, before I cite some of these strange statements, let me ask, what is the basis of the spiritualist doctrine? The answer is very short and simple. It is fundamentally rooted in the idea that the dead are not really dead at all but living in some other world of higher wisdom and understanding. It also teaches that communication is carried on between the living and the dead.

Now we shall learn in our study today just how unbiblical and false this doctrine really is, but first let’s look at a few statements. Most of you are acquainted with the man whom I’m going to quote right now- at least his secretary is going to give us the word concerning his beliefs. This popular Protestant writer has advice that is eagerly sought by hundreds of thousands of Christians. In his question and answer columns and books we find counsel given in a very widespread media. Recently in answer to a letter on the subject of communication with the dead, this man’s secretary wrote the following: “ It is his personal belief and conviction that there are many occurrences of actual contact between people here on earth and loved one who have passed through death to another and more spiritual world.” No clearer answer could have been given, friends, amazing as it may seem, that this great Protestant leader, along with others, subscribes to the doctrine of spiritualism or at least to the basis of it.

Now let’s look at another equally astonishing statement that appeared in the Methodist monthly magazine, Together. In answer to a reader’s question, “Shall we pray for the dead?” Dr. Nall gave the following answer in the issue of May, 1959. “Why should we not pray for them, even as we believe they may pray for us? Prayer for the dead unites the church, visible and invisible, into a timeless fellowship, binding us all, as Tennyson says, to God Himself.” Now, friends, the very fact that a prominent Protestant author would give status and endorsement to such a view, is a startling revelation of the power of spiritualism.

Perhaps it’s and England that that strongest pitch has been made to favor this rising tide. Sometime ago the Church of England appointed a committee to investigate the growing phenomenon of spiritualism. Appointed by the Archbishops this committee was made up of the nation’s most eminent churchmen, educators, and lawyers. After a two-year study a report was made which shook the city of London and the whole country for that matter. The major emphasis of the report is reflected in this paragraph lifted out of it: “It’s necessary to keep clearly in mind that none of the fundamental Christian obligations or values are in any way changed by our acceptance of the possibility of communication with incarnate spirits.

Where these essential principles are borne in mind, those who have the assurance they have been in touch with their departed friends; may rightly accept the sense of enlargement and unbroken fellowship which it brings.” Perhaps this provides sufficient testimony to alert us that spiritualism is shaping the thinking of Christian leaders to an alarming degree today. But friends, is this doctrine according to the law and the testimony? How does all of this fit in with the teaching of God’s Word? What does the Bible have to say about it? Let’s examine some of the sources of spiritualism for a moment.

The fact is that it started in the Garden of Eden and Satan was the first medium. In Genesis 3:1-4. We read the story of Eve’s fall into sin. God had said that death would follow their transgression but Satan said to Eve, (now notice) “Ye shall not surely die.” When Adam and Eve did die Satan shrewdly tried to cover hi lie. Ever since that day he has tried to make it appear that death is not real death-that it is actually life instead. Because Satan used it to perpetuate his lie, God strictly forbade the practice of necromancy or familiar spirits. Notice these statements from the book of Leviticus. “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. Again, “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 20:27.

Now friends, why is God so opposed to this thing? Why such a severe penalty for engaging in spiritualistic seances? Because it’s a lie and its devil inspired. It’s unsound and anti-scriptural throughout. And God said: “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more 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 forever in anything that is done under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6. Again, describing death, God said, “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:4.

We’ve already established in previous broadcasts that death is a sleep until the resurrection day, an unconscious dreamless sleep. Since the dead could not possible come back to speak to their loved ones, how can we explain these mysterious appearances of those who have died. Numerous instances could be cited of such experiences where the exact form and voice was seen and heard. My friends, there’s only one possible source for such demonstrations. Satan is still trying to sustain that lie which he told Eve. He’s still trying to prove there is no death. He appears in whatever form he chooses, shrewdly imitating the characteristics of the dead. Such lying wonders are well calculated to deceive and convince people that a lie is actually the truth.

Notice how this work of Satan is described in God’s Word. “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. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-11. Here we are told that the truth alone will guard us from the signs and wonders of Satan’s power. In 1 Timothy 4:1 we read of some in the last days who will give heed to seducing spirits and doctrine of devils. Finally, in Revelation 16:14 the prophet describes, “spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world.”

Friends, don’t forget that the devil can work miracles. He can do things that we never will understand. Now we can begin to understand why people have been shaken up so by the apparent appearance of dead friends. After six thousand years of observing human behavior, Satan is able to cleverly counterfeit their forms and voices. At psychological moments, he take advantage of heart broken, bereaved relatives to perpetuate his fraud. No wonder God despises this evil, friends, and sentences its leader to death by stoning.

Well, somebody says, didn’t Saul consult a spiritualist and actually talk to Samuel who was dead? Let’s look briefly at this story in 1 Samuel 28 and see what really happened. In verse 3 we read that Samuel was dead and “Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.” Later the Philistines came up out of Israel and “Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not.” Then Saul had to confess, in verse 15, “God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams.” Finally, Saul located a woman living in a cave at Endor and practicing sorcery. Disguising himself, he visited this woman in the dead of night-a woman, remember, that God had pronounced worthy of death. He tried to slip into this place and consult this demon-filled woman, ashamed to be recognized, rejected by God and turning now to the spirits to advise him.

Notice something else. Saul did not see the apparition that came up and claimed to be Samuel. The woman described the form to him and he “perceived that it was Samuel.” She said, “An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.” Then the supposed conversation takes place in which Saul confesses that God has forsaken him and appealed to Samuel to recognize him.

Well, we know that some counsel was given and the counsel did come true because the next day Saul was killed with his sons on the battlefield of Gilboa. Somebody says, “Well how does this thing come true if it weren’t God speaking?” Remember this, Saul was under the control of Satan and Satan could take his life anytime he wanted to and he did the very next day. He could well predict that thing the day before. So this is no evidence at all, friends, of actual communication between the living and the dead. That form was not Samuel. He will come up in the last day, in the resurrection day, after the sleep of death is ended.

Friends, flee from spiritualism. In the last days Satan will appear as an angel of light and will seek to counterfeit the truth of God. But remember, he’s the father of lies. He was cast out of heaven once because of that and he is going to work mightily in these days to deceive, to twist the truth, and try to lead us to actually believe this great delusion. The dead are sleeping. They are not conscious at all. There is no communication at all between the living and the dead. Don’t let anybody make you think there is, friends.

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