The Signs of the Times


August 26, 1889

Spiritualism the Masterpiece of Deception


Spiritualism is the masterpiece of deception. It is Satan's most successful and fascinating delusion,—one 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 those loved ones, and 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 over them, and communicating with them. These evil angels, who assume to be the deceased friends, are regarded with a certain idolatry, and with many their word has greater weight than the word of God. Thus men and women are led to reject the truth, and give “heed to seducing spirits.” ST August 26, 1889, par. 1

The word of God declares in positive terms that “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.” This plain scripture directly contradicts the teaching of Spiritualism, and if it were heeded would save souls from the snare of the enemy. ST August 26, 1889, par. 2

Many are investigating Spiritualism simply from curiosity. They have no real faith in it, and would start back horrified at the idea of becoming mediums; but they are venturing on forbidden and dangerous ground. When they are fast in the toils of the deceiver, they find they are in the power of him who makes the most abject slaves of his servants, and nothing can deliver them but the power of God. The only safety for us is in trusting implicitly and following faithfully the instruction of the word of God. The Bible is the only chart that marks out the narrow path which shuns the pitfalls of destruction. ST August 26, 1889, par. 3

It was God's purpose to deliver Israel from the abominations that wrought havoc in the idolatrous nations around them. They were not to sacrifice to Moloch, nor to make their sons or their daughters pass through the fire, nor to seek unto wizards, nor defile themselves by communion with those who had familiar spirits. The instruction of God to his ancient people is profitable to us today. “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy; for I am the Lord your God, and ye shall keep my statutes, and do them; I am the Lord which sanctifieth you.” ST August 26, 1889, par. 4

The Lord presented before his people the results of holding communion with evil spirits, in the abominations of the Canaanites; they were without natural affection, idolaters, adulterers, murderers, and abominable by every corrupt thought and revolting practice. Says the apostle Paul, the “things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God; and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” Sodom had been consumed for the same crime that existed in Canaan; but could it be that the people who had been privileged to behold the glory and power of Jehovah, had need to be warned by these examples, lest they fall into the same errors and die under similar judgments? Men do not know their own hearts, for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;” but God understands the tendencies of the depraved nature of man. ST August 26, 1889, par. 5

Satan was watching for an opportunity to lead the people of God into conditions favorable to the development of rebellion and transgression, that they might make themselves as abhorrent to God as were the Canaanites. The adversary of souls is ever on the alert to open channels for the unrestrained flow of evil in our nature, that we have not overcome; for he desires that we may be ruined, and be condemned before God. ST August 26, 1889, par. 6

The condition of society today is the same as when God presented before Israel the abominations of the heathen; and the same warnings are necessary to the remnant people. Spiritualism is advancing through the land in triumph. “The spirits of devils working miracles” are going “forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Men are seeking unto them that have familiar spirits; but the people of God cannot in any sense follow the practices of the world. They must keep the commandments of the Lord. The line of separation must be distinctly marked between the obedient and the disobedient. There must be open and avowed enmity between the church and the serpent, between her seed and his seed. ST August 26, 1889, par. 7

Satan was determined to keep his hold on the land of Canaan, and when it was made the habitation of the children of Israel, and the law of God was made the law of the land, he hated Israel with a cruel and malignant hatred, and plotted their destruction. Strange gods were introduced through the agency of evil spirits; and because of transgression the chosen people were finally scattered from the land of promise. ST August 26, 1889, par. 8

The same experience is repeating in the history of God's people. God is leading them out from the abominations of the world to keep his law in the land of the enemy, and the rage of “the accuser of the brethren” knows no bounds. “The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” The antitypical land of promise is just before us,—a land where no strange god shall ever come, no evil spirit enter; and Satan desires to destroy the people of God, and cut them off from their inheritance. ST August 26, 1889, par. 9

It is time to heed the Saviour's injunction as never before: “Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Trust in God, however perplexing may be your situation. Seek his counsel, and turn not after them that have familiar spirits to be defiled by them. He who has died to redeem you, has promised to guide you, and clothe you with his own righteousness, if you will but loathe sin, and purge yourself from evil by washing your robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. ST August 26, 1889, par. 10

What love, what wonderful love, that God bears with the perversity of his people, and sends help to every soul that desires to do his will, and forsake sin! If man will but co-operate with the agencies of Heaven, he may come off more than conqueror. Fallen creatures as we are, capable of the most revolting crimes, yet we may become victors, through the power of the grace of Christ, and have a place in his everlasting kingdom, to reign with him forevermore. ST August 26, 1889, par. 11