The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 2


IX. Materialization of “Spirits” Is Deceptive Device


The episode of Saul and the “sorceress of Endor,” in league with a “familiar spirit,” is trenchantly discussed and the personating agency unmasked. Here is the key paragraph: “It was not God’s holy prophet that came forth at the spell of a sorcerer’s incantation. Samuel was not present in that haunt of evil spirits. That supernatural appearance was produced solely by the power of Satan. He could as.easily assume the form of Samuel as he could assume that of an angel of light, when he tempted Christ in the wilderness.” 91 CFF2 738.1


Mrs.White comments on the fact that “the first act of the evil spirit [the “pretended prophet”] which personated the prophet, was to communicate secretly with this wicked woman, to warn her of the deception that had been practiced upon her” by King Saul 92 Noting that “there are some who take the position that Samuel was actually present at the interview with Saul,” she states, “But the Bible itself furnishes sufficient ground for a contrary conclusion.” 93 If Samuel had actually been in Heaven, on such a premise he must have been summoned thence “either by the power of God or by that of Satan.” She then pointedly observes: CFF2 738.2

“None can believe for a moment that Satan had power to call the holy prophet of God from heaven to honor the incantations of an abandoned woman. Nor can we conclude that God summoned him to the witch’s cave; for the Lord had already refused to communicate with Saul, by dream, by Urim, or by prophets. These were God’s own appointed mediums of communication, and He did not pass them by to deliver the message through the agent of Satan. The message itself is sufficient evidence of its origin.” 94 CFF2 738.3


Mrs. White then comments on a related factor:
“Nearly all forms of ancient sorcery and witchcraft were founded upon a belief in communion with the dead. Those who practiced the arts of necromancy claimed to have intercourse with departed spirits, and to obtain through them a knowledge of future events. This custom of consulting the dead is referred to in the prophecy of 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?”’ 95
CFF2 738.4

And she adds that “this same belief in communion with the dead formed the corner-stone of heathen idolatry.” 96 CFF2 739.1


Connecting this with Spiritualism, Mrs. White then observes, “Under the name of Spiritualism the practice of communicating with beings claiming to be the spirits of the departed, has become wide-spread.” But while there is much “trickery” connected with Spiritualism, it is not all imposture. There are “genuine manifestations” in its phenomena, and “marked evidences of supernatural power.” And “when confronted with manifestations which they cannot account for upon this ground [of trickery],” many are “led to acknowledge its claims.” 97 Then comes this incisive statement as to its ancestry and origin: CFF2 739.2

“Modern Spiritualism, and the forms of ancient witchcraft and idol worship,—all having communion with the dead as their vital principle,are founded upon that first lie by which Satan beguiled Eve in Eden: ‘Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,... ye shall be as gods.’ Alike based upon falsehood and perpetuating the same, they are alike from the father of lies.” 98 CFF2 739.3

Applying this principle, she declares: “The ‘familiar spirits’ were not the spirits of the dead, but evil angels, the messengers of Satan.” 99 CFF2 739.4


The Biblical reason for the fraudulency of “communion with the dead” is stated thus:
“The Hebrews were expressly forbidden to engage, in any manner, in pretended communion with the dead. God closed this door effectually when He said: ‘The dead know not anything.... Neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun’ (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6). ‘His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish’ (Psalm 146:4). And the Lord declared to Israel: ‘The soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people’ (Leviticus 20:6).” 100
CFF2 739.5


Citing the apostle Paul’s admonition not to “have fellowship with devils” (1 Corinthians 10:20), Mrs. White plainly states: CFF2 740.1

“Modern Spiritualism, resting upon the same foundation, is but a revival, in a new form, of the witchcraft and demon-worship that God condemned and prohibited of old. It is foretold in the Scriptures, which declare that ‘in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 101 CFF2 740.2

As to the peril of Spiritualism, Ellen White said that “one of the marked characteristics of Spiritualist teachers” is that “they refuse to acknowledge Christ as the Son of God,” 102 and adds: “Spiritualism, by denying Christ, denies both the Father and the Son, and the Bible pronounces it the manifestation of antichrist.” 103 CFF2 740.3


Mrs. White then adds that “it is Satan’s purpose to destroy men’s confidence in God.” And reverting to Saul, she says, “The demon’s message to Saul, although it was a denunciation of sin and a prophecy of retribution, was not meant to reform him, but to goad him to despair and ruin.” 104 Such are the outworkings of Spiritualism. CFF2 740.4

No.PageNameDatePlaceReligionPositionNature of ManIntermediate StatePunishment of Wicked
1535Baker, Lewis C.1881-92U.S.Presby.—Epis.Pastor—ed. (Reconciliation)Not inherently immort.Total destruction
2542Huntington, W.R.1878-1906U.S.EpiscopalRectorLife only in ChristUtter destruction
3547Boardman, G.D.1878-80U.S.BaptistPastorNot natural immort.No eternal torment
4552Phelps, Amos A.1882U.S.Meth.—Cong.PastorNo present immort.Unconscious in deathUltimate destruction
5558Gordon, A.J.1836-95U.S.BaptistPastorImmort. at resurrec.
6567Oliphant, C.H.1884-89U.S.Congreg.Pastor—lecturerPotential immort.Dissolution & destruc.
7572Hopkins, John H.1860U.S.Prot.—EpiscopalBishop—prof.(Mortal)No eternal torments
8573Parkhurst., C.H.1892U.S.PresbyterianPastor—prof.(Mortal)Eventual obliteration
9574Moomaw, B.C.1880-90U.S.DunkardMinisterDependent & ConditionalTotal annihilation
10576Beecher, Edward1878U.S.Congreg.Sem. prof.—coll. pres.(Mortal)Ultimate destruction
11586Olshausen, Her.1840GermanyLutheranUniv. prof.No innate immort.
12587Nitsch, Karl I.1829GermanyLutheranUniv. prof.Created for immort.Will cease to exist
13588Schultz, Hermann1861-82GermanyLutheranUniv. prof.No natural immort.Absolute destruction
14593Rothe, Richard1863-70GermanyLutheranUniv. prof.Conditional immort.Extinction of being
15595Dorner, Isaak A.1881-90GermanyLutheranUniv. prof.(Mortal)Complete destruction
16596Delitzsch, Franzd. 1890GermanyLutheranUniv. prof.No natural immort.
17597Vinet, Alexandre1845SwitzerlandReformedMan is mortal
18598Secretan, Chas.1890SwitzerlandUniv. prof.No inherent immort.Annihilation of wicked
19600Sabatier, Armand1894FranceUniv. prof.No innate immort.Complete dissolution
20601de May, Henry1818-1871SwitzerlandSoul is mortalWicked perish
21602PETAVEL, E.1870-90Univ. prof.No inalienable immort.Final extinction
22621Freer, Fred. A.1877-1902EnglandBaptist—Cong.Trans.—authorImmort. conditionalUtterly extinguished
23625Byse, Charles1872-83Switz.—Belg.Free Ch. (Fr.)Minister—tr.Immort. conditionalUtterly destroyed
24627Gladstone, Wm. E.1896EnglandAnglicanPrime Minister—authorImmortal-Soulism falseSheer extinction
25638Parker, Joseph1899EnglandCongregationl.Pastor (City Temple)Not innately immort.Final eternal extinction
26641STOKES, SIR G. G.1890-97EnglandAnglicanScientist— inherently immort.State of unconcsiousn.2nd death—no resur.
28654Hastings, H. L.1853-65U.S.Adv. ChristianAuthor—ed. (The Christian)Immort. conditionalUnconscious in deathTotal destruction
29655Grant, Miles1861-95U.S.Adv. ChristianEd.—author—evangelistConditional immort.Unconscious sleepComplete destruction
30657Taylor, D. T.1870U.S.Meth.—Adv. Chr.Pastor—authorMortalitySleep in deathFinal extinction
31659Whitmore, J.H.1870U.S.Adv. ChristianAuthorConditional immort.Unconscious in deathTotal destruction
32660Wellcome, Isaac1874U.S.Adv. ChristianHistorian—pub.Man wholly mortalThought & life suspendedUtterly perish (2nd d’th)
33661Piper, F. Leroy1891-1904U.S.Adv. ChristianEditor—authorConditional immort.Unconscious in deathTotal destruction
34664Russell, Chas. T.1874-1908U.S.Jehovah’s Wit.Founder—authorNo inherent immort.Unconscious sleepUtter final destruction
35671White, James1874-81U.S.Chr. Con.—S.D.A.Ed. & pub. (Pres. Truth)Man wholly mortalUnconscious in deathTotal destruction
36675Bates, Joseph1874U.S.Chr. Con.—S.D.A.Preacher—authorMan mortalUnconscious till resurrec.Total destruction
37676White, Ellen G.1874-1915U.S.Meth.—S.D.A.AuthorCreated for immort.Sleeps till resurrec.Utter ult. destruct.
38679Andrews, J.N.1829-33U.S.S.D.A.Author—ed.—missionaryConditional immort.Sleeps till resurrec.Utter destruction
39680Canright, D.M.1870U.S.S.D.A.Preacher—authorConditional immort.Sleep of the deadUtter extinction
40688Smith, Uriah1853-1900U.S.S.D.A.Ed. (R&H)Man wholly mortalUnconscious sleepTotal destruction


1. In the Old World the last quarter of the century saw scientists like Sir George Gabriel Stokes, Cambridge professor and president of the Royal Society, and illustious Prime Minister Gladstone, each with truly remarkable treatises, on the roster of aggressive Conditionalists. Famous City Temple pastor Joseph Parker, of London, takes a strong stand.

2. Dr. Emmanuel Petavel, of Switzerland, produced doubtless the most impressive Conditionalist treatise of the century. And a half dozen renowned German theologians, with reputations encircling the globe, are matched with about the same number of French savants, now championing the Conditionalist position.

3. The last half of the century saw the emergence of entire denominations—the Advent Christians and Seventh-day Adventists—alike espousing Conditionalism. All members of each body hold tenaciously to this tenet, and Conditionalism is thus extended all over the globe.

4. At least a dozen new periodicals, issued by the two groups within the century—principally the World’s Crisis, The Chrstian, Messiah’s Advocate, The Review and Herald, and the Signs of the times—constantly promulgate the Conditionalist position.

5. A publishing work of exceptional proportions issues literally millions of pieces of Conditionalist literature during the closing decades of the nineteenth century.

6. The paralleling, but separate, Second Advent and Conditional Immortality movements of the third and fourth decades now meet and merge in the fith decade in Adventist faith. Prior thereto they had had largely independent emphasis. Now they combine and blend in coordinated emphasis, while the original separate movements wane and fade out of the picture.

7. The most complete and balanced concept of the tenets of Conditionalism is now to be found, surpassing that of any previous period.

8. Even the militantly anti-Evangelical Jehovah’s Witness group also adopts and publicizes widely the essential Conditionalist positions.

9. Spiritualism, starting crudely just before the middle of the century assumes new and appealing forms, and comes to exert an increasing influence in the churches, penetrating intellectual and scientific circles, and especially the metaphysicists. This takes on unprecendented proportions in the twentieth century, and will be discussed there.

Technical and Statistical Aspects of Section C

The preponderant shift to the New World is impressive. The Conditionalist witnesses in this section (C) are spread as follows: North America, twenty-six; Switzerland and France, seven; Germany, six; Engand, four; and Belgium, one.

In religious affiliation in this latter portions of the century, they now stand as Seventh-day Adventist, seven; Advent Christian, six; Anglican or Episcopalian, six; Lutheran, five; Baptist, three; Congregationalist, three; Methodist, two; Christian Connection, two; and one each among the Presbyterians, Independents, Free Church, Reformed, Dunkard, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Finally, as to vocations or positions held by the Conditionalists, they stand, in addition to one prime minister, one bishop, and one baronet scientist, university professors, thirteen; pastors and rectors, eleven; editors, six; publishers, five; founderst of religious movements, three; and one college president, one translator, one historian, and one missionary, This presents a new pircture.