The Signs of the Times


November 13, 1884

Science Falsely So Called



Says Paul, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” This scripture is especially applicable as a warning against modern Spiritualism. If the mind commences to run in the channel of phrenology and animal magnetism, it is almost sure to lose its balance. “Vain deceit” takes possession of the imagination. Many think there is such power in themselves that they do not realize their need of help from a higher power. Their principles and faith are “after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” Jesus has not taught them this. He does not direct the minds of men to themselves, but to God, the Creator of the universe, as the source of strength and wisdom. ST November 13, 1884, par. 1

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” In this verse a special warning is given. The teachers of Spiritualism come in a pleasing, bewitching manner. Their object is to deceive, and those who listen to their fables are beguiled by the enemy of righteousness. When one is overcome by this fascinating influence, the mind is poisoned, and faith in Christ as the Son of God is destroyed. The victim of this sophistry is beguiled of his reward; for he is led to rely upon his own merits for salvation. Many exercise voluntary humility, are even willing to make sacrifices, to debase themselves, and to yield their minds to the belief of supreme nonsense. They receive the most absurd and erroneous ideas from those whom they believe to be their dead friends, now angels in a higher sphere; and their eyes are so blinded and their judgment so perverted that they see not the evil. ST November 13, 1884, par. 2

Spiritualism is a most successful and fascinating delusion,—one that is calculated to take hold of the sympathies of those who have laid their loved ones in the grave. Evil angels come in the form of these loved ones; they relate incidents connected with their lives, and perform acts which they performed while living. In this way they lead persons to believe that their dead friends are angels, hovering about them and communing with them. These evil angels who assume to be dead friends, are regarded with a certain idolatry, and with many, what they may say has greater influence than the word of God. This holy word they entirely reject, or they select the vital portions which testify of Christ and point out the way to Heaven, and change these plain statements to suit their own corrupt nature and ruin souls. ST November 13, 1884, par. 3

With due attention to the word of God, all may be convinced if they will of this soul-destroying delusion. That word declares in positive terms that “the dead know not anything.” Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6: “For the living know that they shall die; but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” The word of God expressly declares that the dead have no more a portion in anything that is done under the sun. Spiritualists say that the dead know everything that is done; that they communicate to their friends on earth, give valuable information, and perform wonders. “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.” Satan, transformed into an angel of light, works with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. He who could take up the Son of God, and place him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and again could take him up into an exceeding high mountain, and present before him the kingdoms of the world, can exercise his power upon the human family, who are far inferior in strength and wisdom to Jesus, even after he had taken upon himself man's nature. ST November 13, 1884, par. 4

“Intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,” says the apostle. Some tamper with Spiritualism to gratify their curiosity. They have no real faith in it, and would start back with horror at the thought of being mediums; yet they place themselves in a position where Satan can exercise his power upon them. They do not mean to enter deep into this work; but they know not what they are doing. They are venturing upon forbidden ground; and the mighty destroyer considers them his lawful prey, and exercises his power upon them against their will. They have yielded their mind to his control, and he holds them captives. Nothing can deliver these ensnared souls but the power of God in answer to the earnest prayers of his faithful followers. ST November 13, 1884, par. 5

Satan cannot control minds unless they are yielded to him. But those who depart from the right are in serious danger. They separate themselves from God and from the watch-care of his angels; and the prince of darkness, who is ever upon the alert to destroy souls, begins to present to them his deceptions. Such are in the utmost peril. If they see the snare, and try to free themselves from it, it is not an easy matter. They have ventured on Satan's ground, and he claims them. He will not hesitate to engage all his energies, and call to his aid all his evil host, to wrest a single human being from the hand of Christ. Those who have tempted the devil to tempt them cannot free themselves from his power without making a desperate effort. But when they begin to work for themselves, angels of God, whom they have grieved, come to their rescue. Satan and his angels are unwilling to lose their prey, and the conflict is severe. But if those who have erred continue to plead, and in deep humility confess their wrongs, angels that excel in strength will prevail, and wrench them from the powers of darkness. ST November 13, 1884, par. 6

The only safety now is in searching for the truth as it is revealed in the word of God, as we would search for hid treasure. The great and important truths for this time will prove as an anchor to hold God's people amid the perils of the last days. But the mass of mankind despise God's word, and prefer fables. They receive not the “love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” ST November 13, 1884, par. 7

The most licentious and corrupt are highly flattered by these spirits, which they believe to be the spirits of their dead friends, and the wicked and vile are vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds, “not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increaseth with the increase of God.” They deny Him who ministers strength to the body, that every member may increase with the increase of God, and each man become perfect in Christ Jesus. ST November 13, 1884, par. 8

Vain philosophy! The members of the body are controlled by the head. Spiritualists lay aside the Head, and believe that all the members of the body must act out their nature, and that fixed laws will lead them on in a state of progression without a head. Said Jesus: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” ST November 13, 1884, par. 9

Christ is the source of our strength. He is the vine, we are the branches. We must receive nourishment from the Living Vine. Deprived of the strength and nourishment of that Vine, we are as members of the body without a head, just the condition that Satan wishes us to be in, that he may control us as he pleases. He works “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Spiritualism is a lie. It is founded on the great original lie, “Thou shalt not surely die.” ST November 13, 1884, par. 10

Satan is Christ's personal enemy. He is the originator and leader of every species of rebellion in Heaven and on earth. His rage increases as the time to work grows shorter, and we do not realize his power. Evil angels are upon our track every moment. Are we prepared to resist them? Will not many souls be ensnared and taken? We should all now seek to arm ourselves for the contest in which we must soon engage; and the word of God is the only weapon which we can use successfully. That word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan's delusive arts, and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of the Lamb. ST November 13, 1884, par. 11