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Now the Scriptures teach plainly what these agencies in Spiritualism are not, and what they are.
What They Are Not
They are not the spirits of the dead communicating messages to the living.
In one of the earliest written portions of Holy Scripture, the Lord declared plainly that the dead have no knowledge of the living:
"He passeth: Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." Job 14:20, 21.
The dead have no part in any communications with the living on earth:
"Neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun." Eccl. 9:6
What They Are
Already we have told what they are in quoting the warnings of prophecy concerning the special deceptions of Satan in the last days.
"The working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." 2 Thess. 2:9.
"Seducing spirits." 1 Tim. 4:1.
And as they were shown to the prophet John in a vision of the very end, he declared:
"They are the spirits of devils, working miracles." Rev. 16: 14.
These are the agencies through which come the supernatural manifestations of Spiritualism. It is a terrible deception that leads men and women to seek to satanic agencies, supposing that they are communicating with the spirits of their dead friends. Satan and his angels can readily simulate the personality of the dead, and so deceive those who disobey God in seeking to the dead for knowledge.
The Climax of Deception
That the marvels of Spiritualism would increase as the end nears, was plainly taught by our Saviour in describing the workings of Satan just before the second advent. He left us the warning:
"Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matt. 24: 23, 24.
Evidently, then, by the miracle-working power that he possesses, Satan will work mighty deceptions through both human and supernatural agencies. And the crowning deception will be his own manifestation as the Promised One, simulating Christ's second coming. But the power and glory that will fill all earth and the heavens at Christ's coming, cannot be copied by Satan, with all his miracle-working skill. That is why it is so important that we understand the Bible teaching as to the nature and manner of Christ's second advent. The doctrine of the silent, secret, mystical coming is all abroad in the world, the teaching exactly calculated to prepare the way for Satan's purposes of deception. Therefore Christ forewarns us:
"Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matt. 24: 25-27.
The teachings of ancient theosophy and spiritualism the mysticism of the East-have been permeating Christendom in recent years. Mme. Jean Delaire, writing in a London review, said some years ago:
"India has apparently still a mission to fulfil, for her thought is slowly beginning to mold the thought of Europe and of America; our keenest
minds are today studying her philosophy; our New Theology is founded upon the old, old Vedanta."- National Review, September, 1908, p. 131.
This flood of ancient spiritualism from the East has come about according to Isaiah's prophecy of things that were to come to pass in the latter days:"
"Thou hast forsaken Thy people the house of Jacob, because they are filled with customs from the East, and are soothsayers like the Philistines." Isa. 2:6, A. R. V.
In 1909 one of the leading representatives of theosophical thought, Mrs. Annie Besant, of India, toured America with the message of a coming messiah. She announced:
"My message is very simple: 'Prepare for the coming Christ.' We stand at the cradle of a new subrace, and each race or subrace has its own messiah. Hermes is followed by Zoroaster; Zoroaster by Orpheus; Orpheus by Buddha; Buddha by Christ. We now await with confidence a manifestation of the Supreme Teacher of the world, who was last manifested in Palestine. Everywhere in the West, not less than in the East, the heart of man is throbbing with the glad expectation of the new avatar."
The leaven of the spiritualistic philosophy has been working its way through Christendom during this generation. We see clearly that the evil one is preparing the way for his final work of deception.
MAN'S NATURE AND STATE IN DEATH
A WIDE-OPEN door for Spiritualism is afforded by the teaching that man has life in himself-immortality by nature; and that death is not really death, but another form of life.
The Scriptures close this door of false hope, teaching us that man is mortal, that death is really death, and that immortality is the gift of God through Christ by the resurrection from the dead.
Clearly and definitely the Bible teaches that God only has immortality, styling Him "the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality." 1 Tim. 6: 15, 16.
This scripture disposes of every idea that man is immortal by nature, and opens the way for a consideration of the Scripture teaching concerning man's nature, his state in death, and the promise of life and immortality in Christ.