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The Nature and Tendency of Modern Spiritualism

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    ANCIENT AND MODERN SORCERY

    “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth.” So denotes in like manner. In the last days, near the coming of Christ, the truth will be resisted by certain ones after the manner that Moses was withstood by his opponents. It will be impossible for us to recognize the fulfillment of this prophecy unless we understand the manner in which it will be fulfilled. This is given in the Scripture account of the mission of Moses.NTMS 16.1

    When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, and to go before Pharaoh, he excused himself, first, because of his unworthiness, and afterward for fear they would not believe him; for he said, “Behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.” Exodus 4:1. The Lord then told him to cast the rod that was in his hand on the ground; and he did so, and it became a serpent. Again the Lord told him to put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out it was leprous, white as snow; and when he put it into his bosom again and took it out, it was restored. The Lord also told him that if they would not believe these signs he should take water and pour it on the ground and it should become blood. These were signs to convince the children of Israel and Pharaoh that the Lord had sent Moses.NTMS 16.2

    When Moses presented himself before Pharaoh and gave the word of the Lord, Pharaoh answered, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5:2. Then Moses and Aaron were directed to show these signs before the king; Aaron cast down the rod, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh called the sorcerers of Egypt, and they did so with their enchantments; they cast down their rods, and they also became serpents. Chap. 7:10-12. Thus was Pharaoh confirmed in his rebellion against God.NTMS 17.1

    Then Aaron was directed to take his rod and smite the waters; and he did so, and the waters were turned to blood. And the magicians did so with their enchantments; and so Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. Verses 20-22.NTMS 17.2

    Next Aaron was commanded to stretch his rod over the streams, and over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. And he did so. The magicians also by their enchantments caused frogs to come up. Chap. 8:5-7.NTMS 17.3

    Again Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and the dust became lice, and they were upon man and upon beast. And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not. After this, the Lord directed Moses and Aaron to show six more signs, none of which were imitated by the magicians. Of these signs and plagues, ten in all, the seventh was a boil or blain upon man and beast, and the magicians could not stand before them, for it was upon them also.NTMS 17.4

    The question is now to be considered, By what power were these wonders wrought? We contend that these signs were wrought by the direct power of God, and not by any power possessed by Moses or Aaron. For this belief we have several reasons.NTMS 18.1

    1. They were first given to Moses to satisfy his mind when he feared the people would not believe his word.NTMS 18.2

    2. He evidently did not expect that the rod would become a serpent, for he was afraid of it, and fled from before it.NTMS 18.3

    3. The Lord said, “I will multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 7:3.NTMS 18.4

    4. The magicians confessed, when their enchantments failed, that the finger of God was in it.NTMS 18.5

    5. Each successive sign was given under the immediate direction of the Lord.NTMS 18.6

    6. The whole was completed by the plague of the destruction of the first-born, a sign in which Moses and Aaron had no agency.NTMS 18.7

    Other considerations, such as the nature of the plagues, darkness over the land, etc., clearly show that no human power controlled these signs. Neither were they illusions or deceptions, by which the people were made to suppose that they saw what they did not see in reality; for they could scarcely be mistaken in regard to the boils or blains upon their own persons, the flies and locusts, or the darkness over the land. The only conclusion that it is possible to arrive at, is that these miracles were wrought by the direct power of the Lord.NTMS 18.8

    We have been thus particular, not because we supposed that any would deny the position assumed, but there is another question involved, which is this: Did the wise men of Egypt possess any more power than Moses and Aaron? We contend that they did not in themselves possess any power to cause their rods to become serpents, nor to turn the water to blood. Neither did their rods become serpents by the same power that Aaron’s did; for, first, they stood in opposition to Moses; and as Aaron’s rod was changed by the power of God, he could not consistently oppose his own power by working also through the magicians; secondly, the Scriptures say that they were sorcerers, and worked with their enchantments; and such are condemned in both Testaments, and declared to be an abomination to the Lord. The only conclusion at which we can arrive is, that the magicians performed these wonders by the power of Satan.NTMS 19.1

    Against this position it is objected that there is no such being; and it is further urged that he cannot exist, as it would be inconsistent with the wisdom and benevolence of God to create a devil and give him such power. To this we agree; we have no idea that God ever created a devil. As it has become very common to deny the existence of such a being, we will noticeNTMS 19.2

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