THE PITFALL OF SPIRITUALISM
Rupert Gauntlett, U.K.
THE following is written in the hope that those who may have been attracted by the phenomena of Spiritualism (Spiritism), and thereby to an association with an activity FORBIDDEN BY GOD will, after reading it, realise their error, and for the sake of their hereafter relinquish the practice of consulting or consorting with
OUR LORD has told us that He only is THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE.
The growth of Spiritualism under its many forms has been one of the outstanding features of this generation and this movement is still seeking and obtaining fresh
adherents every day. This being so the question which must arise in the mind of every churchman and woman regardless of denomination is this, does the practice and teaching of that which goes by this name conflict or agree with that which we are taught in the Bible?
We find it CONFLICTS with Bible teaching and that so decisively that it is vitally important to bring home this fact to all those that have perhaps become inadvertently entangled and fail to realise that they cannot be Spiritualists and Christians at one and the same time. God has forbidden clearly and definitely all
communication with the dead or as our Spiritualistic friends call them "those that have passed over." On this subject we are not left with a situation in which we can decide for ourselves whether or not we will take part in the phenomena which Spiritualism offers, for we are forbidden, under severe penalty, to have anything whatever to do with Mediums or with that teaching which they propound.
In the 19th Chapter of Leviticus we find these words:
" Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."
From the number of instances which are given in the Bible it is clear that this injunction was not made only because of the folly of such proceedings but because of
its wickedness. When God sees fit to remove from this world those whose work is done it is an obvious intrusion on His prerogative if we provide these souls with a means of communication with the earth, when He, in His wisdom has not done so. If God wishes them to contact the earth again He can do so by means within His power, as for example when He endowed John the Baptist with the Spirit of Elijah, but He has denied us the right of interfering with His handiwork in removing them from this earthly sphere. The attempts to do so is an unspoken but tacit rebellion against His decision and constitutes a refusal to recognise His sovereignty over His creation. We believe that Christians that realise this will have nothing whatsoever to do with Spiritualism and will not need to have their decision enforced by the penal clauses contained in the Bible, yet we give them for those that are not fully satisfied.We are told in the 20th Chapter Leviticus, 27th verse:-
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death.
A sentence which is not merely punitive so far as the Medium is concerned but is a sentence passed for the protection of that man or woman's fellows who can be
thus led astray and into a life expelled from God. The severity of this sentence is surely a very real indication of the abhorrence with which God contemplates the
activities of the Medium. That our own Laws today do not enforce this penalty is no proof that they have been rescinded by God but is merely indicative of how far in this as in many other ways we have departed from His guidance.
EVERY SPIRITUALLY AND PHYSICALLY HEALTHY BEING HAS A NATURAL REPUGNANCE FOR THE IDEA OF A "FAMILIAR SPIRIT" DOGGING ONE'S COMINGS AND GOINGS. The idea that such a being can break in on one's privacy at any moment that suits them, that can utilize their tongues, their minds and their emotions for their own gratification is essentially repellent to clean living men and women, THEN HOW MUCH MORE TO THOSE THAT HAVE ACCEPTED THE GUIDANCE OF GOD IN THEIR DAILY LIVES AND HAVE REALIZED THAT SUCH ASSOCIATIONS ARE FORBIDDEN BY HIM. The book of Leviticus 20:6 again has these words:
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
In the three verses which we have now quoted from Leviticus, it has been made perfectly clear that not only those that have familiar spirits, or are as we should say
today, Mediums, but those that consult those mediums are under an equal curse from God, with this difference, that although mediums are ordered to be punished by man,God has undertaken the punishment of those that consult mediums Himself, for He has said in the verse quoted above that He, God,will cut such off from among His people. Let us see what this sentence means for we are sure that this has not been sufficiently realised by many people who dabble in spiritualism - they have not realised that their actions are diametrically opposed to God's will, as expressed by Him, and are indulged in at a cost that one day must be paid. OF WHAT COMFORT IS A "SPIRIT MESSAGE" TO ANYONE IF IT IS OBTAINED AT THE EXPENSE OF GOD'S WRATH, and ensures that the soul which obtains this message from a medium "shall be cut off from among his people." We cannot deny from these verses in Leviticus that this wrath and its penalty has been clearly pronounced, without circumlocution and that God clearly states the punishment which is this; that those who have consulted mediums in order to get in touch with those whom they have temporarily lost by death have sold their opportunity of spending eternity with them for a few doubtful moments of vicarious communion through a medium. Is it worth it? WE NOTICE THAT THERE IS NO PUNISHMENT RECORDED FOR THE DISEMBODIED SPIRIT THAT HAS BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO HAVE SPEECH WITH THE LIVING, AND THIS IS PROBABLY DUE TO THE FACT THAT IN THE MAJORITY OF INSTANCES, IF NOT ALWAYS, THE SO-CALLED SPIRIT IS NOT WHO IT PURPORTS TO BE, but is an emanation of evil masquerading under the guise of the one who has been "called up," and is already under such a curse as would make further punishment redundant.
That this is the right clue is indicated by the story of the Witch of Endor. Saul - who had enquired of the Lord and had not been answered because "the spirit of the Lord had departed from him (I Sam.16:14), determined to have Samuel called up from the dead by one who had "a familiar spirit." To this woman he went in simple ignorance, believing that Samuel would come, but we notice that although, the witch had intended to raise a spirit and would not have been disconcerted had her "familiar" or another of the same kind appeared, was thoroughly disturbed when Samuel himself arose. It was quite beyond her calculations for she spoke to Saul saying "I saw gods ascending out of the earth" and she knew from this fact that her own evil power had been superseded for an unaccountable reason which presaged great misfortune for herself.
We have frequently met nice, kind, gentle and cultured people who have told us what a comfort they have derived from communications that have come to them from "the other world" through the ministrations of some of the professional mediums, many of whom have well-known names, but we feel sure that these people have failed to realise that whatever has come to them has been at the cost of disobedience to God and at this further cost of excommunication which He has pronounced against them. Their action if continued in, must of necessity lead to complete severance of their association with their departed relatives and friends when they in turn "pass over." We ask again is it worth it?
A lady said to us when we had been speaking against spiritualism, "well, it can't be wrong, because many clergymen believe in it, and here in this town there is one who appears in the local press every week." We could only say in reply that for such clergymen there is a very special judgement awaiting them, and that it is " a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God" (Heb.10:31).Thank God it is not for us to judge, but we can read the Word of God and see what He has to say about false shepherds.
The apostacy of the professing Church is one of the signs of the end of the Age, of which St.Paul has warned us in his epistle to the Thessalonians, 2 Thess. 2:3.
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;
The deception offered by spiritualism to unwary persons isone of the instances of "falling away" referred to by St. Paul and if it is true that some of our clergy should be taking part in this deception, terrible as it would be, we should at least have the encouragement of knowing that it is one of those things that herald the Second Coming of our Lord.
We are today surrounded on every hand with activities parodying the rites and ceremonies of the Christian Faith and doing so in the hope of deluding the unthinking, catching people unawares owing to the similarity of some part of their teaching with Christian teaching but leaving out the essential fact of our Faith.
Writing to Timothy, 2 Tim.3:1-6, St.Paul says:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
He also says: (2 Tim 4:3)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We cannot speak too strongly against those that occupy the pulpits and platforms of our land yet fail to realize the responsibility that rests upon them to preach the Word of God pure and undefiled, neither adding to nor taking away from that which He has said, who deliberately take part in the dissemination of false doctrine and feed their flocks upon "fables." Such persons, theological students, for the most part, have not even the excuse of ignorance which may to some extent excuse the offence of weaker brethren, and they step on to those platforms and pulpits or appear in print, with a heavy responsibility from which they wll not lightly be discharged.
Zechariah tells us in 10:2 & 3
For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds...
From these extracts which we have quoted above it is clear that divination, necromancy or the calling up of the dead for the purpose of "enquiring of them", is
definitely forbidden and as to this there can be no dispute. As human beings God has given us free will with whic we can do as we like. He has not closed down the
possibilities of divination or necromancy, He does not tell us these things cannot be. The natural laws under which these things work still continue, and we may defy Him if we wish. We cannot alter His laws, but we need not obey them. We can pursue any path of thought or action that we desire and none will gainsay us, but we must not feel aggrieved if our actions when opposed to God's commands bring us to their inevitable conclusion. The pathway of disobedience brings us to an end, the pathway of obedience to another, each goal is inevitable and each the reasonable outcome of the direction which we have taken.
One of us may be a Christian and one a Spiritualist, the choice is ours and the results are in accordance with Law.There isone thing, however, which we cannot be, and that is a "Christian Spiritualist," for a Christian would not oppose God's wishes. Such a title is as contradictory as if we should say that the North and the South Poles are the same.
The use of this title "Christian Spiritualist" which had been adopted by some of the Spiritualistic bodies is, however, instructive. It shows that somewhere in their
organization there is an uneasy conscience at work, which hopes to placate the Deity whilst continuing to defy Him, yet we are told "be not deceived, God is not
mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" (Galatians.6:7). Sow tares and reap tares, sow corn and reap corn, but do not imagine that by naming tares with another name their nature can be changed and that God can be trapped into supplying something that has not been sown. Christ himself told us that we can give no divided allegiance, that we cannot serve God and mammon, that no re-naming of opposite facts can alter their relationship with one another. The whole Bible teems with references to people who wanted to have a foot in two camps, people who wanted to follow after their own desire and wanted also to give some show of service to God.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Isa. 29:13,14.
The late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, shortly before his death was interviewed in connection with his association with the Spiritualist community working in the West End of London, and was asked this question - "Do you believe in the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation?" to which he replied "the whole doctrine of original sin, the fall, the vicarious atonement, the placation of the Almighty by blood - all this is abhorrent to me. The spirit guides do not insist upon these aspects of religion."
We will pass by the misrepresentation of Christian Doctrine contained in the first part of Sir Arthur's reply and confine ourselves to the last sentence. Here in a word is the cloven hoof of unbelief revealed and worse still the deliberate overthrow of the One and Only Mediator is made for "spirit guides," who even from the avowals of spiritualists themselves, are but disembodied human beings. How amazing that a man who had carved himself a no mean place amongst the prominent authors of his day should have ended his life as the plastic tool of "spirit guides" and should have found himself wlling to be taught by the precept of dead men, and come under the ban pronounced here by Isaiah.
(I Ki 18:21) And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Elijah was right, for we cannot follow both, and no one can be both a Spiritualist and a Christian, God's word makes that clear, and the teachings of the spiritualists
but emphasise what God has already told us.
A close study of the Satanic method of attack has shown us that the counterfeiting of God's real plan for humanity is the principal method adopted by the Evil One for leading people astray. Never the direct challenge, but always a flank movement. Never the direct defiance of God's orders, but always some form of substitution
which amongst the unlettered, ignorant or spiritually dead passes as the real thing, and so today we find that the spiritualistic movements in this and other countries
are desperately arixious to use the word "Christian" and the forms of Christianity, although their leaders must know perfectly well that these are forbidden them. They dare not attempt to establish their own system of worship and belief by honestly stating that they are antagonistic to Christianity, although this is at once
apparent to any clear thinking, and so to obviate as far as possible any difficult questions they use Christian forms, slightly altered, which may pass the notice of the
unwary. A few years ago the writer attended a spiritualistic meeting in London, and was horrified when at the conclusion of the service a gross travesty of the
Blessing was pronounced. The Leader, said: "The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the holy spirits be with you always."
Nothing can alter the fact that the use of this Blessing altered in the way in which it was, conveyed an insult to the Third Person of the Trinity, a piece of blasphemy was perpetrated which the Bible tells us is unforgivable - a sin against the Holy Ghost. "What?" you may say, "just the addition of one little letter, just the use of the word "spirits" in the place of Spirit and all this fuss about it?" Yes, reader such a little alteration that half the people in the hall hardly noticed it and many of them that did merely thought "what a sweet brotherly gesture, what an all-embracing phrase, gathering both the dead and living into one great harmony with God!" We say that, that is the way the Devil works, a small substitution, hardly noticeable, yet if accepted we have transferred our allegiance from God to Baal.The association of the Third Person of the Trinity on terms of equality with discarnate human entities is no less blasphemous that an attempt to put the Lord Jesus Christ on a level with ourselves.We need hardly say that never again did we attend a spiritualistic meeting; for we had learned all that we wanted to know - that the essence of these meetings is EVIL.
Let us, however, examine this phrase a little more closely, so that we may be sure that we have not exaggerated "The fellowship of the Holy Spirits!" Why, and how, holy? Nothing can be more certain than that we, when we pass the gateway known as death are exactly the same as we were in life, but minus the physical
body, and that the gateway of death does not confer "holiness" upon us. We pass out of this life with the desires and appetites upon us as animated us in life, a fact which the Church of England recognizes when in the Litany it causes us to pray "from sudden death, Good Lord deliver us." No erring human being can wish to be plunged into the other world without some moments, however short, for making peace with God. The mere suggestion that holiness comes with death is ridiculous, and it is equally so to suppose that post mortem repentance can alter the goal of those that have "passed over." "As we have sown, so shall we also reap" unless saved by Grace.
Most spiritualists admit quite readily that those who have "passed over" retain their earthly interests, so once again where the holiness comes in is difficult to understand. We never hear of the demise of any of their leaders without hearing at the same time of the preparations those leaders have made for producing
unassailable proofs of their after-death survival and their capacity for communicating again with the earth with the assistance of "mediums." The fact that they have
been doing this for centuries and still seek "proof" does. not deter them from continuing the effort.That which is a matter of certainty to the Christian is something which the spiritualist still seek proof for, and although these various movements have been in existence, under various forms for a countless number of years, we still
find them restlessly seeking "proofs" which have not been accorded to them in the fullness which they desire, that is proofs acceptable beyond the possibility of doubt by the carnal mind.We have all heard that when Sir Oliver Lodge died he had left behind him sealed letters, the contents of which were known to himself alone, and that when in life he stated that he would return to say what those letters contained. If he has done so, why is that proof not available to the whole world, why is it that only people who declare themselves satisfied are those that are adherents of these spiritualistic movements?
This however is not really part of our argument, for GOD HAS NOT SAID THAT COMMUNION BETWEEN THE LIVING AND THE DFAD IS NOT POSSIBLE. Our argument rests upon the fact that He has forbidden it, and that indulgence in divination and necromancy is punishable by exclusion from the Kingdom of Heaven and from communion with those we love after we ourselves have passed away. Christians know that the life after death is a fact, what some, however, have not realized is that God in His wisdom has determined that His people shall not tarnper with these things, that alive or dead, none that believe in Him shall have any part or lot in the jugglery of the seance room.
The departed soul that has accepted Jesus Christ is protected from the machinations of the spirit raisers, and consequently the mediums have to fall back on the help of those discarnate entities who in their earth life would never have been received in the society of cultured people. Most of the mediums professionally engaged
today claim to be controlled by Red Indians, Chinese doctors, young Negresses and similar disembodied souls. Doubtless each and all of them were very estimable people in their earth lives, we set up as judge over no man, but we cannot ignore the fact that there are standards acceptable to educated folk which, are not reached by the majority of these "spirit guides," and one would prefer that here and there, at any rate, a guide with some pretensions to culture might appear. As it is
these mediums claim to be controlled by these entities without apparently exhibiting the slightest sense of shame in having surrendered their God-given right to the control of their own bodies, and expect those that consult them to accept the platitudes of their "guides" as they would the voice of God. There is one well known
medium who professes to be controlled by an Indian who uses the name "White Cloud." This medium is consulted on every type and manner of subject, often of a most intimate character, and those that do so mould their lives and actions on the pronouncements which the medium SAYS that "White Cloud" makes. They have
not even got the proof that he does, indeed make the statements attributed to him, but no doubt they have good reasons for accepting the bona fides of the medium?
Such are the "holy spirits" which the leader to whom we have already referred calls down in "blessing" at the meetings over which she presides. St. Peter tells us in
2 Pet. 2:1 & 2
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
Many to whom this is said reply "Oh, we don't deny the Lord, we invoke Him at all our meetings, we repeat the Lord's Prayer"; but in saying that either deliberately
or ignorantly they are shutting their eyes to what He has told us. He has said "I am the Way the Truth and the Life no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." Toseek for comfort or spiritual consolation from anyone else living or dead, is such a denial. It is tantamount to the denial into which Peter once fell, "I know not the Man," by reason of which denial Peter lost for a while his Discipleship and by reason of which we too, may lose our refuge in Him.
An invocation of a prayer to anyone less than God Almighty is a heresy and a blasphemy which, as St Peter has told us, above shall bring "swift destruction," and
after the events of the night of our Lord's arrest and trial no one should know better the truth of that than St Peter himself. Did we not see this exemplified in the national life of France, that poor country which lay under the heel of the Nazi Devil-ridden regime? On France's last day of National Prayer she called upon her relics and idols to deliver her from the oncoming hordes of German soldiery.We quote the actual report, taken from the Dublin Standard, of the prayers used in Paris on that day:
"Led by the Cardinal and her Prime Ministers, France invoked in a mighty act of faith all the great leaders of that Christian past which has made her. High on the
shoulders of the boy scouts the priceless reliquaries of the crown of thorns and of St Louis the King were carried over the head of the faithful, whilst from the pulpit
a mitred Prelate implored, his arms outstretched to heaven, all the saints of France, in a paroxysm of beseeching faith: - 'Come thou our Lady and thou St Michael, thou St Genevieve who protected Paris; thou Louis, model of all monarchs, thou Joan of Arc, liberator of our territory, thou simple Cure d'Ars, and little Therese, who have sprung from our homesteads, come to our help, all of you, saints of France.'''
In their lifetime great and good men and women doubtless, but now if the Spiritualists and Roman Catholics are to be believed, HOLY SPIRITS, men and women sprung from the soil of France are placed upon a pinnacle denied to God, for we notice that His Name was not mentioned in this "mighty act of faith." These men and women were invoked by the French Nation in an act of National Faith,and as a consequence France was visited with "swift destruction." The National Day of Prayer held in this Country at the same time as that in France was followed by the Miracle of Dunkirk, whereby our army was saved, although our prayers were of no avail for our, then, ally which however is not to be wondered at. Let us never forget that although a day of National Prayer such as France indulged herself in was more spectacular than the private devotions of an individual, the principal involved is just the same. God has given us one Mediator - the Lord Jesus Christ and
none other and to turn from Him and "enquire of the spirits" is to do as France did and to reap a similar, if less spectacular reward.
We wonder if many of those who attend spiritualistic meetings really appreciate where their practice is leading them? Probably very few, and it is for these that this is
written.We would not for one moment consider writing this if its purpose was merely to hurt the feelings or hopes of another, mistaken though that other might be, but it is written in the belief that many people have not understood the inner implications of that which they are lending themselves to, and that when these things are brought home to them they will cease a practice which will cause them very great misery in the life after death. Unfortunately many of us are so easily led by specious adventurers, we won't think for ourselves, we wrap ourselves up in comfortable emotions, soft music, the singing of hymns, clouds of incense, and if the message that is given also appeals to our emotions then we absorb that too without another thought.
Let us give a word picture of what occurs at an ordinary spiritualist meeting where clairvoyance is the advertised attraction. Those who have been to such will
recognize the description, but for those who have not we assure them that it is a fair and unexaggerated resume of what takes place. The meeting begins with a
hymn, most of which have been taken from various Christian hymnals, although lately some of these bodies have had a few written especially for themselves. The
purpose of these hymns is to bring about the requisite "atmosphere" and in the event of strangers being present it will be assumed that the use of such hymns ensures that "atmosphere" being Christian, and so lulls criticism to sleep. This is generally followed by a prayer, carefully phrased, and passing muster for all but those who are alert to its implication. Probably the "holy dead" will be invoked but not sufficiently blatantly to catch the attention of those not actually listening for something of the sort. Then there is a speech on one of the various phases of psychism, after which the real thing for which the majority of the people have come, is staged - the clairvoyance. In common justice to the clairvoyants we do not deny that many of them appear to have some faculty which enables them to contact non-physical beings that are, for some reason or another "earth bound." Such clairvoyants have the "familiar spirits," the possession of which in an earlier age would have been sufficient to earn them a sentence of death, but be this as it may, it is probable that the majority of these clairvoyants are reasonably honest according to their
lights, and if they fail to give any messages of real spiritual value it is because the entities with which they come into contact have nothing to give; had they something they would not he there, for they would he aware of the fact that God has forbidden these practices.
The medium or clairvoyant, generally a woman, comes forward and something like this occurs- Pointing to someone in the middle of the audience she says- "There is a lady wearing such and such a hat" - giving a description enabling the wearer of the hat to recognize that she is being addressed. Then the clairvoyant says something like this - "I see building himself up about you an elderly man, tall with grey hair, rather thick eyebrows, somewhat hollow cheeks, he gives the name of William or Wilfred, he passed over some years ago after a good deal of pain. Do you recognize him?" If the lady says "yes" the clairvoyant continues with a little more confidence, but if the lady disavows any knowledge of a person resembling this description a number of other vague resemblances are mentioned and ultimately the lady agrees that sometime, somewhere, she has lost a male relative by death, but his name was neither William or Wilfred but Wallace, and the clairvoyant agrees that that was the name she meant, but she says in defence that names are always difficult to get. The message then comes and it generally amounts to this, that the lady is contemplating some particular line of action which the communicating spirit wishes to assure her should or should not be undertaken. Everything is nebulous in the extreme, and although the writer has heard dozens of the messages, never once has he heard anything meriting remembrance. It must be understood that the above word picture is a composite one made up from many opportunities of observance and represents the sum total of the effect that has been made by them on the writer's mind. It is possible that there have been messages through clairvoyants of importance and value, on special occasions, as in the case of Samuel and Saul, but this does not alter the fact that "enquiry of the Spirits" is forbidden and is generally valueless. It should be realized that by the very nature of things only earthbound or unhappy spirits return to the sphere of their earthly lives, from which we see at once how impossible it is for such to give messages of real spiritual value.They literally have neither the knowledge nor the capacity to do more than utter platitudes, unless, and this is important, they are positively EVIL and deliberately working against God. Then, and then only is it possible to get a striking message, but knowing the source from which it comes, Christians having the Word of God as their guide, know without doubt how such coming messages should be treated.
We see, therefore, that folly and evil are inextricably mingled together in all dealings with the disembodied that attempt to enter into communication with this world
through the medium of the seance room. When they are not evil they are foolish, and when they are not foolish they are evil, and in either case valueless to those that
would lead a spiritual life.
The Apostle John, in the 4th chapter of his first Epistle, provides us with a safeguard against false or evil spirits, such as those that work through mediums. He says:
1 John 4: 1, 2 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.
St. John's instructions to "try" the spirits does not give permission to disobey God's Word that necromancy must not be practised, it was not intended by him to
cover the activities of the seance room because these were definitely and finally forbidden by God, backed by sentences of punishment which would ensue if these
orders were disregarded, but John's instruction does cover those instances where disembodied spirits of their own free will get into touch with human beings. It is in
such instances as these that we are ordered to demand of them whether they believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Word made Flesh and did dwell amongst us. We have the assurance that no evil spirit can answer this question in the affirmative and that by their reaction to that question may we know from whence they come.
It may be that some amongst our readers are Spiritualist, or are at any rate investigating this matter. If this be so, we would ask them to make the test given to use by St. John. At any further seance which they attend, or at any "private" sitting which they may arrange let them determine that on the appearance of any spirit, whether it be by materialization or through the mouth of a medium, they will at once meet that appearance with these words:
"Do you accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God, the Word made Flesh?"
and, having done so, abide by the reaction which follows. If St. John's word be of God, which we do not hesitate to assert, then the reaction of that spirit will be in accordance with the facts of its nature. Unless you take this step, testing the spirits in the way in which St. John indicated and in no other, you cannot say that you
have tried them, and you run the risk of being continuously misled until you do. In Biblical times when the death penalty for harbouring "a familiar spirit" was enforced, earthbound spirits such as now infest the modern seance room or utilize the body of a medium, had no where to go, and therefore crowded into the body of an epileptic or similar unfortunate. We read in Luke 8: 26-35 of such a case, and how, when our Lord proposed turning them out, they besought Him to let them enter into a herd of swine.
Our attention was brought to a case where St. John's test was made, and the results that ensued. One who had apparently received great comfort from spirit
messages from her grandmother, but whose suspicions were gradually wakened by the complete lack of spiritual vision which that spirit exhibited. It came about in this way. The enquirer had lost her parents as a child and had been brought up by her grandmother, a Godly and spiritual woman. When she died this lady was greatly distressed, and decided to go to some seances in the hope of getting into touch again with her grandmother. She was not immediately successful, but did presently receive a message, the nature of which momentarily convinced her that her grandmother was indeed speaking, as it dealt with some trifling home matter
known only to the grandmother and herself. That this message came at all was in itself a comfort, but it gradually dawned upon the recipient as she attended many other meetings that her grandmother's vision and interests, if indeed she were her grandmother, had very considerably lessened in her after-death state, so she
determined to make the test that St.John indicates, and at her next meeting with this spirit she put the question, to be met immediately with a flood of oaths and
blasphemy, which the medium was quite unable to control. This was quite sufficient for this lady, for she knew that her grandmother in earth life would have been
quite incapable of using the language which poured from the mouth of the medium when this test was put.
Another friend of ours had known a medium for nine years, an apparently God-fearing woman. She went into trances occasionally in the home itself, and often gave
messages of quite a beautiful character. Our friend, however, determined that she would make the test indicated above when next an opportunity came and did so in due course. With exactly the same result as in the first case quoted.
Although we do not admit that anything St. John tells us may be interpreted as giving permission "to enquire of such as have familiar spirits" yet we do strongly urge
those that have already dabbled in this evil thing and are not yet convinced by argument or precept, to make this test for themselves at the earliest possible moment, for the march of world events is highly significant of the approaching end of this Age, when all evil must be put under foot It would be a terrible thing if many thousands of people are to be trapped in this delusion who might be saved by a little forethought and an intelligent testing of the spirits, as distinct from an unthinking acceptance of all that comes through these mediums. This kind of thing is going on up and down the country in countless towns and villages. It is sapping the virility and independence of the people who have been so misled, it is causing many thousands to rely upon "spirit messages" rather than their own common sense, yet
dispassionately investigated it is all so evil and foolish that it is difficult to believe that intelligent men and women can be deceived into thinking that in attending these meetings they are engaged in a religious exercise having the approval of God, and yet it is so. There are hundreds of thousands of simple folk, fundamentally good who are being weaned away from the one True God by this forbidden practice and who find as their excuse when challenged that "many clergymen believe in it and teach it; therefore it cannot be wrong." Our Lord has told us:
(Luke 14: 1, 2). Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
The Judgment of God is a terrible thing to face, yet faced it must be by all but those that in their life time have accepted the sacrifice of their Saviour and found
Redemption in His Precious Blood. God has told us that at the end of the Age, that time in fact that is already with us, He will pour out His Spirit upon all men, but will He pour out that Spirit on those so full of the contamination of evil spirits that, as He has told us in Leviticus "they shall surely die?" No, this cannot be, from His own Word, therefore if we want to share in that glorious outpouring we must be prepared by pure lives, by pure thoughts from all appearance of evil, and that is why we must now put this terrible thing called Spiritualism away from us whilst there is yet time.
We live in such an emasculated age, that when we are told that the wages of sin is death we are horrified. We are not horrified at our sin but we are horrified at the
penalty, as being in our opinion altogether out of proportion to the enormity of our faults. Really we ought to get this matter clear. If the wages of sin be death,
remember that the concomitant promise is that the Gift of God is Eternal Life. If we are satisfied with the Gift we should at least realize that it is proportionately greater than anything we could possibly deserve. If through sin death is what we have earned, what justification whatever have we for expecting etemal life, and the
answer is "none at all," for that is "the gift of God." Though the wages be just, the gift is generous, for it springs from the boundless love of the Creator. Many of
us go through life so comfortably and easily, with so little self-searching that we profess astonishment when we are told that our thoughts and our actions have merited death, and that both physically and spiritually we are kept in the lane of the living only by the One Sacrifice poured out for us and for all men on Calvary.We hear people say when illness or disaster overtakes them "what have I done to deserve this?" failing to realize that whatever happens to them has been less, far less than that which they have earned, and that they have been saved from the full consequences of sin by the Atoning Grace of our Lord.
Into the perfect world which God created, man introduced disobedience and sin and the existence of sin in that perfection destroyed God's handiwork. Why should He not, if He wills, destroy utterly that which continues to mar His perfection? When we realize this we cease to wonder that the wages of sin is death, and marvel the more that God can yet, in His infinite mercy, grant us etemal life. The only reason is His intense love for the humanity which He created, that love which yet we cannot understand:
I cannot tell why He whom Angels worship,
Should set His love upon the sons of men,
Or why, as Shepherd, He should seek the wanderers
To bring them back, they know not how or when.
Dear reader, believe us when we say that we have found no pleasure in making an attack upon something which we know is bringing temporary relief from the strain of life to many people today, much as morphia by drugging our senses destroys the concept of pain but provides no cure, and we would not have written as we have but that we know this spiritualism is an evil thing in our midst, masquerading under the guise of "holiness," which must be ruthlessly cut out. Possibly you are one of those that have fallen into this terrible error and are unknowingly drifting further and further away from God. If this be so we ask you in all sincerity to reconsider your position whilst there is yet time. You feel perhaps that life would be very drab and dull without the stimulus of the phenomena to which you have become
accustomed, BUT remember that you will never attain to the comfort and stimulus of the Holy Ghost whilst you trifle with lesser things. If you knew the wonder and joy of serving Christ as He wishes to be served and not as you wish to serve Him, you would drop this thing which is eating into your spiritual future, with disgust. If the urge within you for spiritual things is so great that you feel you must attempt to get in touch with the "other world" at any cost, well then be prepared to pay the
cost; believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and accept Him as your Guide and control, cut yourself adrift from all that does not satisfy Him, pay the price by severance of
yourself from all ties and ambitions that strangle your real spiritual life and step forward into the new life which He has promised shall be theirs that accept Him utterly and completely.
John 14: 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by ME.
Does not this statement by our Lord completely cut from under us any "way", any path of attainment but that which comes through Him? Can there be any room for "spirit guides" when Christ Himself provides the way and tells us there is none other? Is it possible for Christianity and Spiritualism to be linked together as one and the same thing as so many of these bodies are attempting to do today, when those that call themselves spiritualists look for another "Way" or other "guides" than Christ?
We have spoken of hundreds of thousands of spiritualists. Do we realize that as against these thousands there are and have been millions who, live and will live in the sunshine of our Lord, who live and will live in "the summer land" of His Presence that has no end? Do those that seek this other "way" realize that amongst us there is no other one, of any degree or estate, in this country or in this world that could offer us anything to take the place of what we have found, and that we are happy and
satisfied because we live in the Light of our Lord!? If this is so for us, why not for ALL?
Jesus Thou joy of loving hearts.
Thou Fount of life,Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts
We turn unfilled to Thee again.
Thy Truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee, Thou are good,
To them that find Thee, ALL IN ALL.
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