The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 2


VIII. Inner Philosophy Based on Principle of Desire for Deification

The inner philosophy of Spiritualism and its power of attraction are stated thus:
“Satan beguiles men now as he beguiled Eve in Eden, by flattery, by kindling a desire to obtain forbidden knowledge, by exciting ambition for self-exaltation. It was cherishing these evils that caused his fall, and through them he aims to compass the ruin of men. ‘Ye shall be as gods,’ he declares, ‘knowing good and evil.’ Spiritualism teaches ‘that man is the creature of progression; that it is his destiny from his birth to progress, even to eternity, toward the Godhead.’ And again: ‘Each mind will judge itself and not another.’ ‘The judgment will be right, because it is the judgment of self.... The throne is within you.’ Said a Spiritualistic teacher, as the ‘spiritual consciousness’ awoke within him, ‘My fellow-men, all were unfallen demigods.’ And another declares, ‘Any just and perfect being is Christ.’” 79
CFF2 734.4

So, some are enticed by the “refined and intellectual” approach, others through its “grosser forms.” 80 CFF2 735.1

But again we are brought back to the foundational fallacy of Spiritualism:
“The theory which forms the very foundation of Spiritualism is at war with the plainest statements of Scripture. 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.” 81
CFF2 735.2

That is the crux of the issue. CFF2 735.3


The insidious peril of Spiritualism is that it flouts the prohibition laid down by God:
“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 to-day, 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.’ The work of dealing with familiar spirits was pronounced an abomination to the Lord, and was solemnly forbidden under penalty of death.” 82
CFF2 735.4


Noting the widespread “contempt” in which “witchcraft” is now held, and how “intercourse with evil spirits” is often considered a vestige of the “Dark Ages,” Ellen White declares its kinship to ancient witchcraft: CFF2 735.5

“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.” 83 CFF2 735.6


After rehearsing Spiritualism’s frequent contention that there is “no difference between righteousness and sin,” that the “Bible is a mere fiction,” that “the Book that is to judge” men has been cast aside, and that man’s only Saviour is to be regarded as no more than a “common man,” Ellen White says: CFF2 736.1

“It is true that Spiritualism is now changing its form, and, veiling some of its more objectionable features, is assuming a Christian guise. But its utterances from the platform and the press have been before the public for many years, and in these its real character stands revealed. These teachings cannot be denied or hidden.” 84 CFF2 736.2


But this very change of form makes its “delusive pretensions” only the more dangerous. Then comes this final warning, and exposure of purpose and plan: CFF2 736.3

“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.’ Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of Spiritualism.” 85 CFF2 736.4

Its “full accomplishment” will be “reached in the last remnant of time.” 86 It is pre-eminently a present peril. CFF2 736.5


In this connection this point should be added. Back in 1874 Mrs. White pointed out that Spiritualists make the “path to hell” attractive. “Men are praised who have traveled the broad path to hell, and after they die are exalted to the highest positions in the eternal world.” 87 She also tells how they “triumph in their freedom in sin,” in violation of the moral law. In bondage to Satan’s power themselves, they nevertheless promise “liberty” to those who follow the same course in sin. 88 Such is the anomalous enticement of Spiritualism. She then adds two incriminating indictments: “They are in rebellion against the law of God, and they dispose of the blood of Christ.” 89 CFF2 736.6


It is interesting to note that less than a year after the Spiritualist rappings first broke forth in Hydesville, New York, in 1848, and then continued as the Rochester knockings, Ellen White not only declared that they were produced by the “power of Satan” but predicted that such manifestations would become “more and more common,” and in time would be “clothed in a religious garb.” This was repeated in her first published book in 1851 and amplified in 1854. CFF2 737.1

She likewise spoke of how Spiritualists would claim that “all the mighty works” of Jesus were actually accomplished by the instrumentality of Spiritualism. Such claims have since characterized their literature. She especially pointed out that “appearance of forms purporting to be our relations or friends,” even characterized by the “same tone of voice,” but actually the personating “spirits of devils,” would mark the continuing course of Spiritualism. CFF2 737.2

She likewise told of its contravention and depreciation of the Bible and of its making no difference “between the precious and the vile.” This she illustrated by their setting forth the deceased Thomas Paine as now highly exalted and actually “teaching in heaven.” Spiritualism would likewise, she said, deny the miraculous “birth, death, and resurrection” of Jesus. This too has since become a commonplace charge. Mrs. White soberly declared Spiritualism to be the “masterpiece of Satan.” 90 She was thus one of the first to expose the sinister character and malign origin of Spiritualism. CFF2 737.3