Death does not end all. “The body without the spirit is dead…” (Jas. 2:26). One of the results of the separation of the spirit from the body is the death of the body. Inspiration never predicates death of the spirit. The spirit cannot die, because by its very nature it is immortal. It is the offspring of Jehovah; the body is of the dust.
Consciousness is an attribute of the spirit, not of the body. Consciousness continues with the spirit after the death of the body. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord…” (Rev. 14:13). The word from which blessed is translated may properly be rendered happy. Happy are the dead which die in the Lord. Consciousness is necessary to happiness.
Through the centuries man has desired to see beyond the grave—to know the condition of the dead and talk with them, and through all the years there have been those who professed to have the power to communicate with the dead. In our modern days those professing to have such power are called,
With many it is thought that Spiritualism had its rise in 1847 with the Fox sisters. The facts are, the same things now taught by Spiritualists were known in Egypt among heathens; in Rome by the wicked; in Greece by the curious; and in the Old Testament by God’s enemies centuries before the birth of Christ.
What Is Spiritualism?
The outstanding doctrine of Spiritualism is the teaching that the spirits of those who have died not only can, but in many instances do, return from the spirit world and communicate with the living of our world; that the communications are made possible by certain persons called “mediums.” Those Spiritualists—now called “mediums”—were in other ages called “witches,” “diviners,” “necromancers.” All such were said to possess “familiar spirits.”
Spiritualists insist that the spirits of good people return to earth and are ever present to look after and guard their loved ones; the spirits of the wicked who have died are hovering around places of vice. Spiritualists teach that surrounding the earth are seven spirit spheres. The first two spheres are occupied by wicked and undeveloped spirits. The sphere a spirit occupies is determined by how nearly it has apprehended perfection; that the ones most nearly perfect are in the seventh sphere. These disembodied spirits breath a psychic ether; they are clairvoyant—can see through all space; they are psychometric—in touch with everything and can hear everything.
Meetings had by Spiritualists are usually had at night—with lights extinguished or dimmed. The method by which the “mediums” claim to communicate with the spirits of the dead are varied. At times it is by the rapping of a table, by means of the Ouija board, by looking into glass as clear water, by closing their eyes and maintaining silence and imposing silence on all within the room where the seance is being held. Many have been the ones who have fallen into the hands of Spiritualists and been deceived—things they did not understand were presented. In fact, every trick of Spiritualists has been exposed. Years ago, famed magician Harry Houdini proposed to post a sum of money which would be given to the Spiritualists if he did not duplicate any “demonstration” a Spiritualist would make in one of their meetings, and that then he would explain just how the trick was performed. Not a Spiritualist could be found who would rise to the contest!
Take from Spiritualism its claim that it receives messages from the dead, and the cult will die within the year. Trickery, jugglery, mesmerism, and sleight-of-hand performances account for nine-tenths of the things held by Spiritualists.
Darkness Rather Than Light
Jesus said there were those who “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). The works of Jesus were not performed under the cover of darkness—His works were not done in a “corner.”
When thou art come into the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found with thee anyone that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, one that practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto Jehovah… (Deut. 18:9-12 ASV).
The foregoing passage needs no comment. Its meaning is evident to all who read it.
Yes, ancient magicians, soothsayers, diviners, wizards, and necromancers had various ways by which they professed to communicate with the spirits of those who had died, and all such “mediums” were condemned by Jehovah, and He forbade his people consulting with them.
The Witch Of Endor
It is insisted by Spiritualists that the witch of Endor is the example of a “medium” calling up and communicating with the spirit of one who had died. If the history of this witch and Saul’s visit to her is an example of necromancy, it is the story of a wicked woman and a man Jehovah had forsaken engaging in something He forbade.
Saul was the first king of Israel. He was highly honored by Jehovah and the people. Samuel anointed him king (1 Sam. 10). Saul disobeyed God—“turned his back from following him,” told outright lies, and tried time and time again to commit murder. Through Samuel, God made known the fact that He would remove Saul as king of Israel, and Samuel mourned Saul’s wicked course.
After the death of the prophet Samuel, the Philistines camped at Shunem, and defied Saul to come out and do battle with them. Fearful of the Philistines, Saul stole away by night across the valley of Jezreel to the home of the necromancer of Endor. He knew God’s wrath was resting on him—and such men are cowards. His confidence gone, lashed by an outraged conscience, he rushed on, defying God’s command to have naught to do with such women or their like.
Though he came to the witch disguised, his attempt to conceal his identity could not change the fact that he stood head and shoulders above his fellows. The witch must have known Saul—Saul the tall king of Israel who had put a ban on all the “mediums” of the land. When she reminded Saul of the edict, he gave promise that she would not be molested if only she would serve him. Saul told her that he wished to consult Samuel.
Samuel, God’s faithful servant, had anointed Saul, and then lived to know of his flagrant disobedience to the law of Jehovah; he heard him tell lies, and then revealed to him the fact that he would lose his kingdom. Can you entertain the view that after the death of Samuel, God permitted a wicked woman to “disturb” him? Is it possible that every wicked hag throughout the land, if she chances to be a “medium,” is possessed with power to “disturb” saints who have passed on?
No, it is not said that Saul saw Samuel. A wicked woman, at the request of a wicked man, would interview the dead! God puts an end to the whole scene by sending Samuel and telling Saul of the certain defeat that awaited him, and a few hours later Saul committed suicide. The surprise of the witch at Samuel’s appearance is proof that she did not really expect him to appear.
It has been insisted that if there is nothing real about the “carrying-on” of the “mediums,” if Spiritualism is without any foundation in fact, it would long since have come to naught and there would be no reason why Jehovah legislated against it. How careless some people are in their thinking! In days of old men worshiped idols—worshiped dumb stones carved into the images of men, beasts, birds. They thought there was power in the lifeless stone to hear and answer prayer, to bestow blessings, and to afflict with curses. Though there was no power in the idol to act in any way, Jehovah, nonetheless, legislated against idols.
So when Jehovah legislated against “mediums,” forbidding people to consult them, that in no sense argues that the “mediums” possessed power so professed by them—it no more argues the genuineness of the claim of the “medium” than legislating against the idol argued that the idol could bestow blessings.
You will be astonished if you ask an informed Spiritualist if he believes in legal marriages. With Spiritualists, Jesus was no more divine than any other man is divine. They insist that the doctrine of the atoning blood of Christ is nonsense, and declare that Tom Paine is saved in the same sense the righteous are saved.