The Big Lie
Among the most successful agencies of the great deceiver are the delusive teachings and lying wonders of spiritualism. Disguised as an angel of light, he spreads his nets where least suspected.
The belief that spirits of the dead return to minister to the living. has prepared the way for modern spiritualism. If the dead are admitted to the presence of God and holy angels, and privileged with knowledge far exceeding what they before possessed, why should they not return to the earth to enlighten and instruct the living? Here is a channel regarded as sacred, through which Satan works for the accomplishment of his purposes. The fallen angels who do his bidding appear as messengers from the spirit world. He has power to bring before men the appearance of their departed friends. The counterfeit is perfect: the familiar look, the words, the tone, are reproduced with marvelous distinctness, Many are comforted with the assurance that their loved ones are enjoying the bliss of heaven. and without suspicion of danger, they give ear "to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."
The pretended visitants from the world of spirits sometimes utter cautions and warnings which prove to be correct. Then, as confidence is gained, they present doctrines that directly undermine faith in the Scriptures. The fact that they state some truths, and are able at times to foretell future events, gives to their statements an appearance of reliability; and their false teachings are believed as implicitly as if they were the most sacred truths of the Bible.
When they have been led to believe that the dead actually return to communicate with them, Satan causes those to appear who went into the grave unprepared. By representing the basest of men as in heaven, and highly exalted there, Satan says to the world: "No matter how wicked you are; no matter whether you believe or disbelieve God and the Bible, live as you please; heaven is your home."
The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth. They deny the divine origin of the Bible, and thus tear away the foundation of the Christian's hope and put out the light that reveals the way to heaven. Satan is making the world believe that the Bible is a mere fiction, or at least a book suited to the infancy of the race, but now to be lightly regarded, or cast aside as obsolete. The Savior of the world he makes to be no more than a common man.
Satan beguiles men by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. He declares. "Ye shall be as gods." Gen. 3:5.
Spiritualism teaches "that man is the creature of progression; that it is his destiny to progress toward the Godhead." Thus, in place of the righteousness and perfection of the infinite God, Satan has substituted the sinful, erring nature of man himself as the only object of adoration, the only rule of judgment, or standard of character. This is progress, not upward, but downward.
To complete his work, he declares through the spirits: that "true knowledge places man above all law;" that "whatever is. is right:" that "all sins which are committed are innocent." When the people are thus led to believe that desire is the highest law, and that man is accountable only to himself, who can wonder that corruption and depravity teem on every hand?
Spiritualism is now changing its form, and assuming a Christian guise. In its present form, it is really a more dangerous, because a more subtle, deception. While it formerly denounced Christ and the Bible, it now professes to accept both. But the Bible is interpreted in a manner that is pleasing to the unrenewed heart, while its solemn and vital truths are made of no effect. Love is dwelt upon as the chief attribute of God, but it is degraded to a weak sentimentalism, making little distinction between good and evil. God's justice, His denunciations of sin, the requirements of His holy law, are all kept out of sight.
The Real Truth
But none need be deceived by the lying claims of spiritualism. The Bible declares that the dead know not anything, that their thoughts have perished; they have no part in anything that is done under the sun; they know nothing of the joys or sorrows of those who were dearest to them on earth.
Furthermore, God has expressly forbidden all pretended communication with departed spirits. In the days of the Hebrews there was a class of people who claimed. as do the spiritualists of today, to hold communication with the dead. But the "familiar spirits," as these visitants from other worlds were called, are declared by the Bible to be "the spirits of devils." Compare Num. 25:1-3; Ps. 106:28; 1 Cor. 10:20; Rev. 16:14. Spiritualism, which numbers its converts by hundreds of thousands, yea, by millions, which has made its way into scientific circles, which has invaded churches, and has found favor in legislative bodies, and even in the courts of kings—this mammoth deception is but a revival, in a new disguise, of the witchcraft condemned and prohibited of old.
Says the prophet Isaiah: "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." Isa. 8:19, 20. If men had been willing to receive the truth so plainly stated in the Scriptures concerning the nature of man and the state of the dead, they would see in the claims and manifestations of spiritualism the working of Satan.
Many will be confronted by the spirits of devils personating beloved relatives or friends and declaring the most dangerous heresies. These visitants will appeal to our tenderest sympathies and will work miracles to sustain their pretensions. We must be prepared to withstand them with the Bible truth that the dead know not anything and that they who thus appear are the spirits of devils.
Paul testifies that before the second advent of Christ there will be similar manifestations of satanic power. The coming of the Lord is to be preceded by "the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." 2 Thess. 2:9, 10. And the apostle John, describing the miracle-working power that will be manifested in the last days. declares: "He doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do." Rev. 13:13,14.
Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: "Ye shall not surely die." "In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Gen. 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion.
Copyright © 2000 Family Heritage Books used by permission by Project Restore, Inc. at www.projectrestore.com
Created: 8/1/01 Updated: 1/21/04