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The Doctrine of Christ

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    Section XVIII—MISCELLANEOUS

    LESSON EIGHTY-EIGHT Spiritualism

    1. Some of the angels sinned, and they, with their leader, Satan, were cast out of heaven and took up their abode in the regions of darkness. 2 Peter 2:4; Revelation 12:9.TDOC 281.1

    2. These rebellious beings are recognized in the Scriptures as evil spirits. Revelation 16:13, 14; Luke 7:21; 8:2.TDOC 281.2

    3. Dealing with these evil spirits was called witchcraft, and those who followed this practice were shut out from God’s people. 1 Samuel 15:23; Deuteronomy 18:10, 11.TDOC 281.3

    4. The people of God were instructed to have nothing to do with those who practiced witchcraft in any form. Leviticus 19:31, ARV; Isaiah 8:19.TDOC 281.4

    5. Although Saul had expelled these mediums from his kingdom, yet when Jehovah refused to communicate with him on account of his wicked course, he resorted to one who dealt with the evil spirits. 1 Samuel 28:3, 6, 7.TDOC 281.5

    6. In the séance which followed, one of these evil spirits impersonated Samuel. 1 Samuel 28:8-19.TDOC 281.6

    7. This lapse into Spiritualism was one of the reasons why Saul was deprived of his kingdom. 1 Chronicles 10:15. TDOC 281.7

    8. Among the evil things which Manasseh did is mentioned his dealing with these mediums. 2 Kings 21:6.TDOC 281.8

    9. The apostle Paul dealt with one of these agents of Satan at Philippi. Acts 16:16-18.TDOC 281.9

    10. We are warned of the working of these same evil spirits “in later times.” 1 Timothy 4:1.TDOC 281.10

    11. These evil spirits have clear knowledge concerning God and his Son, Jesus, and understand that they are to be destroyed. Mark 1:23, 24; Matthew 8:28, 29. (Cf. James 2:19.)TDOC 281.11

    12. Any communion with these evil spirits shuts one out from fellowship with Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:20, 21.TDOC 281.12

    NOTES
    Evil spirits personating the dead

    “Familiar spirits. These are evil spirits personating dead human beings, and attaching themselves only to ‘mediums’ and those who give up their will to them.”-“The Companion Bible,” comment on Leviticus 19:31.TDOC 282.1

    Read the “Source Book,” pages 529-532.TDOC 282.2

    Spiritualism breaks down the defenses of the soul

    “When Satan has undermined faith in the Bible, he directs men to other sources for light and power. Thus he insinuates himself. Those who turn from the plain teaching of Scripture and the convicting power of God’s Holy Spirit, are inviting the control of demons.TDOC 282.3

    Criticism and speculation concerning the Scriptures have opened the way for Spiritualism and Theosophy-those modernized forms of ancient heathenism-to gain a foothold even in the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. Side by side with the preaching of the gospel, agencies are at work which are but the medium of lying spirits. Many a man tampers with these merely from curiosity, but seeing evidence of the working of a more than human power, he is lured on and on, until he is controlled by a will stronger than his own. He cannot escape from its mysterious power. The defenses of the soul are broken down. He has no barrier against sin.”-The Desire of Ages, 294.TDOC 282.4

    Fallen angels

    “The principalities and powers of darkness were assembled around the cross, casting the hellish shadow of unbelief into the hearts of men. When the Lord created these beings to stand before his throne, they were beautiful and glorious. Their loveliness and holiness were in accordance with their exalted station. They were enriched with the wisdom of God, and girded with the panoply of heaven. They were Jehovah’s ministers, But who could recognize in the fallen angels the glorious seraphim that once ministered in the heavenly courts?”-Id., 913.TDOC 282.5

    Results of fanciful views of God

    “The sophistries regarding God and nature that are flooding the world with skepticism are the inspiration of the fallen foe, who is himself a Bible student, who knows the truth that it is essential, for the people to receive, and whose study it is to divert minds from the great truths given to prepare them for what is coming upon the worn I have seen the results of these fanciful views of God, in apostasy, Spiritualism, and free-lovism. The free-love tendency of these teachings was so concealed, that at first it was difficult to make plain its real character. Until the Lord presented it to me, I knew not what to call it, but I was instructed to call it unholy spiritual love.”-Testimonies for the Church 8:292.TDOC 282.6

    A threefold union of Romanism, Spiritualism, and apostate Protestantism

    “When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near. As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to take her flight, never to return.”-Testimonies for the Church 5:451.TDOC 283.1

    An evil spirit impersonated Samuel

    There are several things to be noted in the record of the experience of Saul in seeking a message from the dead prophet. The Lord refused to give him any answer through channels of communication which he himself had established. 1 Samuel 28:6. Saul then tried to secure some information through a channel which the Lord had expressly forbidden to be used. When he resorted to the woman who had the familiar spirit, he voluntarily placed himself on Satan’s ground, and submitted to his working. The séance which followed is the exact parallel of modern séances. It was held “at night.” Verse 8. Darkness is the abode of the evil angels, or spirits. Jude 1:6. After Saul had told the medium that he wished to see Samuel the medium saw Samuel, just as mediums now see those who are called for. The same evil spirit who impersonated Samuel told the medium who her caller was. The conversation was between the medium and Saul, or there would have been no occasion for the, presence of the medium. Saul did not see anything, but from the woman’s description he recognized the appearance of Samuel as he had seen him. Saul confessed that God had departed from him (verse 15), and he therefore resorted to one who professed to deal with evil spirits, although he himself had driven all such mediums from the country. Verse 3. It was impossible for Samuel to answer the call of the medium and to talk with Saul. Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10; 3:22, ARV. (Cf. 2 Samuel 12:21-23.) Satan made Eve see what was not true (Genesis 3:6), and he caused this woman to see some one who was not there, but one who was impersonating Samuel. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14.) From first to last this experience has a bad flavor, and it is plain that the example of Saul is one to be shunned rather than to be followed.TDOC 283.2

    Saul’s intercourse not with the prophet of God, but with an evil spirit

    “The Scripture account of Saul’s visit to the woman of Endor has been a source of perplexity to many students of the Bible. There are some who take the position that Samuel was actually present at the interview with Saul, but the Bible itself furnishes sufficient ground for a contrary conclusion. If as claimed by some, Samuel was in heaven, he must have been summoned thence, either by the power of God or by that of Satan. None can believe for a moment that Satan had power to call the holy prophet of God from heaven to honor the incantations of an abandoned woman. Nor can we conclude that God summoned him to the witch’s cave; for the Lord had already refused to communicate with Saul, by dreams, by Urim, or by prophets. These were God’s own appointed mediums of communication, and he did not pass them by to deliver the message through the agent of Satan.TDOC 283.3

    The message itself is sufficient evidence of its origin. Its object was not to lead Saul to repentance, but to urge him on to ruin; and this is not the work of God, but of Satan. Furthermore, the act of Saul in consulting a sorceress is cited in Scripture as one reason why he was rejected by God and abandoned to destruction: ‘Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; and inquired not of the Lord; therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.’ Here it is distinctly stated that Saul inquired of the familiar spirit, not of the Lord. He did not communicate with Samuel, the prophet of God; but through the sorceress he held intercourse with Satan. Satan could not present the real Samuel, but he did present a counterfeit, that served his purpose of deception....TDOC 284.1

    Evil spirits deceive even professed Christians

    “The belief in communion with the dead is still held, even in professedly Christian lands. Under the name of Spiritualism, the practice of communicating with beings claiming to be the spirits of the departed, has become widespread. It is calculated to take hold of the sympathies of those who have laid their loved ones in the grave. Spiritual beings sometimes appear to persons in the form of their deceased friends, and relate incidents connected with their lives, and perform acts which they performed while living. In this way they lead men to believe that their dead friends are angels, hovering over them, and communicating with them. Those who thus assume to be the spirits of the departed, are regarded with a certain idolatry, and with many their word has greater weight than the word of God.TDOC 284.2

    Spiritualistic phenomena not human imposture, but satanic deception

    “There are many, however, who regard Spiritualism as a mere imposture. The manifestations by which it supports its claims to a supernatural character are attributed to fraud on the part of the medium. But while it is true that the results of trickery have often been palmed off as genuine manifestations, there have also been marked evidences of supernatural power. And many who reject Spiritualism as the result of human skill or cunning, will, when confronted with manifestations which they cannot account for upon this ground, be led to acknowledge its claims.TDOC 284.3

    “Modern Spiritualism, and the forms of ancient witchcraft and idol worship, all having communion with the dead as their vital principle, are, founded upon that first lie by which Satan beguiled Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day you eat thereof, you shall be as gods.’ Alike based upon falsehood and perpetuating the same, they are alike from the father of lies.”-Patriarchs and Prophets, 683-685.TDOC 285.1

    The work of evil spirits In the days of the apostles

    “As the messengers of the cross went about their work of teaching, a woman possessed of a spirit of divination followed them, crying, ‘These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days.’TDOC 285.2

    “This woman was a special agent of Satan, and had brought to her masters much gain by soothsaying. Her influence had helped to strengthen idolatry. Satan knew that his kingdom was being invaded, and he resorted to this means of opposing the work of God, hoping to mingle his sophistry with the truths taught by those who were proclaiming the gospel message. The words of recommendation uttered by this woman were an injury to the cause of truth, distracting the minds of the people from the teachings of the apostasy and bringing disrepute upon the gospel; and by them many were led to believe that the men who spoke with the Spirit and power of God were actuated by the same spirit as this emissary of Satan.TDOC 285.3

    “For some time the apostles endured this opposition; then under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Paul commanded the evil spirit to leave the woman. Her immediate silence testified that the apostles were the servants of God, and that the demon had acknowledged them to be such and had obeyed their command.”-The Acts of the Apostles, 212, 213.TDOC 285.4

    Satanic witchery captivating many minds today

    “Every day adds its sorrowful evidence that faith in the sure word of prophecy is’ decreasing, and that in its stead superstition and satanic witchery are captivating the minds of many. Today the mysteries of heathen worship are replaced by the secret associations and séances, the obscurities and wonders; of spiritualistic mediums. The disclosures of these mediums are eagerly received by thousands who refuse to accept light from God’s word or through his Spirit. Believers in Spiritualism may speak with scorn of the magicians of old, but the great deceiver laughs in triumph as they yield to his arts under a different form. There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of Spiritualism. Others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of Theosophy and other Oriental religions.”-Prophets and Kings, 210.TDOC 285.5

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