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Posts Tagged ‘witchcraft’

The End of Days

In Spiritualism on May 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

In a chapter referring to the last days, the Lord says by the prophet, “Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” (Isa. 60:2) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?” (Matt. 6: 23) Jesus declares of  Himself, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)  The psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps. 119: 105) In the teachings of Christ, in the revelations of the word of God through the prophets, the light of God is shining in the darkness of this world. Satan, the prince of darkness, has always counterworked God’s Spirit of light and truth. Sometimes he directly opposes the work of God, and leads his subjects in open rebellion. Sometimes he unites with the professed people of God, and, by insensible degrees, leads them into error, until the very light which is in them “becomes darkness.” And then are fulfilled again the words of the Scripture which says:—“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1: 5) Satan has ever endeavored to counterfeit the work of God. Every prophecy of the Bible he fulfills, if possible, in his own way. Any method to lead the world into darkness, and away from God’s true light, is employed by himself and his angels.

The Second Coming of Christ

Satan is a close student of prophecy. With a mind while in heaven second only to that of Christ, and though fallen, yet possessing a keen and brilliant intellect, sharpened through six thousand years of cunning and deception, he can quite accurately forecast the times and seasons as foretold in the Scriptures.  He knows that the time is near when Jesus will come again. To meet and forestall the solemnizing effect of the message of this great event, he employs many counterfeits and  He cares not what they are, only that they  lead away Men from the real issue.  Some are made to believe that Christ comes at death for the purpose of taking the immortal soul to glory. To others he appears at the conversion of the sinner. To some Spiritualists the coming of so-called”new truths” answers the requirements, while to others He appears in person in majestic form, from the secret cabinet of a private seance. Each variation is made to meet the peculiar “credulity” of the individual mind. Satan cares not a straw as to which error is accepted, for all are alike false and fatal. But to the student of God’s word our Saviour has Himself laid bare all these deceptions. In His great prophecy of Matthew 24, He says:

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Vss. 4, 5.“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Vs. 11.“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning Cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Vss. 23-27.

Satan cannot counterfeit the Manner of the second coming of Christ, as described in the foregoing verses, but he will appear in many places, working miracles, and claiming that he is Christ.

A Message of Woe.

“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12 : 12) How does Satan know that he has but a short time? Because he studies the prophecies, and believes the prophecies, although he is able to convince the most of the world that they are untrue, that they mean something else, or, if true, they are of little moment. Why is the devil possessed of such “great wrath?” Because he knows that the end is near, and that he has but a short time ,in which to work. This fact incites him to fury, and he works for the destruction of humanity as he has never worked before in all his six thousand years of evil. What he does must be done quickly. He realizes that his race is nearly run. So with all the devices which his ages of experience in evil have given him, he redoubles his attacks to deceive the dwellers on the earth. Through Spiritualism, through the avenues of a lukewarm, fallen, and apostate church, and through the utter evil of fallen and wicked men, he pursues his victims to the limit of his ingenuity.

Fire from Heaven

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.” (Rev. 13: 13, 14) The miracles of Christ were presented by Him as the evidence of His Messiahship. He said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11) Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice, and thus proved to Israel that Baal was no true god, and that Jehovah alone was God. Miracles are being, and will be shown still more abundantly, through the channels of Spiritualism, to prove its authenticity. The supreme test of fire from heaven will yet, with other miraculous demonstrations, be used to sweep the world off its feet. Let us not make the mistake of calling these miracles frauds. The text declares that Satan has power to do them. We must be ready therefore to know and understand the source of this power.

Source of Miracle-Working Power.

“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go 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.” (Rev. 16:14)  This scripture presents the last, closing work of this deceptive power, and places the responsibility upon the devil, where it belongs. Just before Christ comes, the deceptive powers of evil will gather the nations of the earth together in one sweeping, closing, clash of arms. This is the call to the awful battle of Armageddon of verse 16. In chapter 14:19 it is spoken of as the “wine-press of the wrath of God.” In this fearful battle the carnage will be so great that the blood is described as flowing “even unto the horse bridles.”

What a climax to the six thousand years of the malignant workings of Satan and the fallen angels! What a maelstrom of horror and woe this presents for the contemplation of those who are willing to be led by this great deceiver! What a warning to the earnest Bible student! The deceptions are so cunning that there is only one place of safety for any soul, and that is in the “secret place of the Most High.” None else will escape the destruction which is soon to sweep the world. The “elect” will know and be safe, because they alone heed the warnings of God’s word, and have their abiding place “under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Spiritualism

In Spiritualism on April 24, 2012 at 8:00 am

The Old Testament Scriptures contain numerous references to, and denunciations of, the manifestations of ancient Spiritualism, under the names of familiar spirits, witchcraft, necromancy, etc.

To Israel, on their journey from Egypt to Canaan, the Lord gave the warning, “When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (Deut. 18:9-12)

While encamped before Sinai the Lord said to Israel, “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:31)  Moses wrote, “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit [one who is a spirit medium], or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with ,stones; their blood shall be upon them.” (Lev. 20: 27)  Samuel said to King Saul, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” (1 Sam. 15: 23) The disobedience of Saul was counted as rebellion, and rebellion was a heinous sin. It was compared to witchcraft, one of the worst of crimes in the sight of God.  Of Manasseh, king of Judah, it is written, “And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought nmch wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.” (2 Kings 21: 6)

As the ancient people of earth forgot God, and in consequence lost communication with heaven, they invented false systems of worship to take the place of the true service of the living God. Hence came the worship of fire, the sun, “all the host of heaven,” and a numerous  deities. Their gods were often the spirits of great men who had lived on the earth. Heathenism, idolatry, and ignorance always breed superstition. Not having faith in the only true God to sustain them, the heathen nations turned toward any form of worship which contained the elements of the supernatural. Hence they became an easy prey to evil men and women who dealt in soothsaying, magic, astrology, necromancy, witchcraft, spirit incantations, etc.

These were the abominations of the heathen against which God warned His people Israel.  At one time Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had a dream which troubled him exceedingly. As a superstitious heathen, he attached great importance to signs and dreams. And in this instance, although the king had forgotten the dream, he was not able to banish the impression of it from his mind. “His spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.”  “Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.” (Dan. 2: 2)  But these men were helpless. Evil spirits do not know our thoughts, and can not enter into the secrets of a midnight dream. Hence they could not aid their servants, the sorcerers and Chaldeans, in their time of peril.

It was not until Daniel, the prophet of God, was called that the dream and its interpretation were revealed to the king. This was, in the providence of God, a lesson demonstrating the utter worthlessness of the source of information upon which the king had heretofore relied. It taught the power of the true God, and the reliance that can be placed upon communications from the realm of light.

At an earlier date King Pharaoh of Egypt, when confronted with the miracles performed at the hands of Moses and Aaron, withstood them with the magic of evil men who appeared to duplicate the first three miracles of the servants of God. See Ex. 7: 11, 12, 22 ; 8: 7.  God had set the bounds on these evil men. “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no farther.” After the third effort their power to counterwork the miraculous evidences sent of God, failed. They recognized a power greater than that which possessed them, and cried out to the king, “This is the finger of God.” The work of evil spirits had again been defeated by the invisible power of heaven.  The readiness of these heathen kings to call upon the charlatans of their court in case of perplexity, is again illustrated in the account of Belshazzar of Babylon. At the height of the great impious feast of his closing dynasty there came the terrifying scene of the “handwriting on the wall.” None present could read the writing or explain its import. The king therefore sent for his court “astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers.”

The foregoing incidents show that spirit communion constituted a large part of the stock in trade of the wise men in the courts of Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar. These men claimed supernatural powers through the influence of spirits. Even the Chaldeans, who were the educated men of the court of Babylon, relied upon their supposed communion with the spirits of the dead for much of their mysterious information. These manifestations of the far-distant past were identical with those of the Spiritualism of the present day.

Who are the Familiar Spirits?

In Familiar Spirits on April 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

The familiar spirits are the Fallen Angels.  Facts from the Holy Scriptures:

1. The Scriptures inform us that Satan, who was once an obedient servant of the God of heaven, long since raised the standard of revolt against Him. John 8 : 44; 1 John 3:8; Eze. 28.

2. That a large body of the angels joined in this revolt. 2 Pet. 2 :4; Jude 6; Rev. 12 : 7-9.

3. That these wicked spirits are not now in torment, but they await the day of judgment, when with wicked men they shall be sent into everlasting fire. Jude 6; Malt. 25 : 41; Rev20; Matt. 8 : 29; James 2 : 19.

4. That this vast body of fallen angels have been engaged during the whole history of our race in the most mighty efforts to involve mankind in ruin. I Pet. 5:8, 9; Job 2:2; Luke 22 : 31; Rom. 8:38, 39;Eph. 6:12.

5. That hypocrisy, deception, and fraud have been the chief of the ways in which they have ruined mankind. 2 Cor. 11: 14, 15; Gen. 3; John 8: 44; Rev. 12 :9; 20:3, 8.

6. The Old Testament plainly teaches that the work of the familiar spirits is false, deceitful, and ruinous. The New Testament shows who they are that deceive, seduce, and ruin mankind. It is the fallen angels, with Satan at their head.

These scriptures are sufficient to show that dealing with familiar spirits, otherwise called sorcery, or witchcraft, is a sin of fearful magnitude in the sight of God. Nor can it be said that this is an Old Testament sin, of which the New Testament knows nothing. For Paul, Luke, and John, or rather the Spirit of God speaking through them, classes this with the vilest of sins; and excludes those who are guilty of it from any part in the kingdom.  The ‘familiar spirits’ are so called because they associate with men.   Their character is entirely unlike that of the angels of God, in that they form intimate union with wicked men, and unite with them in the works which God forbids.  There is nothing in their manifestations that inspires awe, veneration, or reverence.  But when the angels have visited men, so awe-inspiring has been their appearance that even God’s most favored servants have fallen upon their faces with terror, or stood trembling in their presence.

Webster says, “A familiar spirit is a demon, or evil spirit, supposed to attend at call.”

Ancient Spirtualism Manifestations

In Spiritualism on February 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm

At the time of our Saviour evil spirits took possession of men, controlled their actions, and compelled them to speak as they should dictate. There are authentic records of men and women who, under the guise of modern Spiritualism, are as completely controlled by the spirits of Satan as were the demoniacs in the days of the apostles.

The First Spiritualist Medium.

The first spiritual medium of which we have any account was the serpent in the garden of Eden. Lucifer had rebelled, had fallen, and had determined to lead Adam and Eve into sin and so complete their fall.  The dominion of the earth had been given to man at creation. Satan desired the possession of this earth as his home and kingdom. If he could cause our first parents to follow him in rebellion, they would fall as he had fallen, and the sovereignty of the world would come to him. How could he accomplish the ruin of man? If he should approach Adam and Eve in his true character, he could never succeed, for they had been warned of his design. Hence he chose as a medium of communication, the serpent, at that time one of the most intelligent of the animal creation. The record states that “the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” (Gen. 3:1)  And through this serpent Satan introduced the doctrine of natural immortality, which is the foundation upon which the superstructure of Spiritualism is reared. For if the soul is immortal, and goes to its reward at death, it is but a step to believe that this immortal soul can come back to earth and communicate with its former friends. And that is Spiritualism pure and simple. The Lord had said that if man ate of the forbidden fruit he should surely die. See Gen. 2:17. Through the medium of the serpent Satan affirmed to Eve that the Lord had not told the truth. He said, “Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3 : 4, 5)  Evil was the very thing man had no business to know. Satan introduced it through the channel of Spiritualism. It was a lie he told then, and that lie he has kept alive by continuous repetition. Its acceptance brought sin, disgrace, and suffering to our first parents, and the result has been the same with all their descendants who have given ear to the same falsehood.   This deplorable episode in the lives of Adam and Eve was the first manifestation of what is now known as modem Spiritualism.

Saul and the Witch of Endor.

The account of this seance is found in 1 Sam. 28:3-20. In substance it is as follows:—  The prophet Samuel was dead and buried in Raman. The hosts of the Philistines had come up against Israel, and pitched at Shunem. King Saul called out the armies of Israel, and camped at Gilboa.  When Saul saw the immense host of his enemies, he was afraid. So, as in other days, he called upon the Lord for instruction and help. But Saul had not served the Lord for many years, and “the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” When Saul saw that the Lord would not undertake his cause, he said to his servants, “Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit [in other words, a Spiritualist medium, called in those days a witch], that I may go to her, and inquire of her.” They replied, “Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.” Then Saul took two men and went by night to Endor, and when they found the woman Saul said to her, “I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.” The woman did not know it was Saul who spoke to her. But she doubted the sincerity of her visitors, and said, “Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land; wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?” But Saul replied with an oath, “As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.” Then the woman questioned, “Whom shall I bring up unto thee?” Saul answered, “Bring me up Samuel.” Then the woman called upon her familiar spirit, and there came up an apparition representing Samuel. It is evident that as soon as the apparition appeared it informed the woman that the man who stood before her was Saul, for she cried out: — But Saul answered, “Be not afraid: for what sawest thou?” She replied (R. V.), “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” Then the king asked, ‘‘ What form is he of?” And she said, “An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.” The text adds, “And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.” Then the apparition spoke, and said, “Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?” And Saul answered, “I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.” The apparition, acting the part of Samuel to perfection, reproves the king sharply for his departure from God, and informs him that the kingdom is taken from him and given to David. Then Saul is told of the outcome of the impending battle.  “The Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

How closely this whole episode is reproduced in the Spiritualism of today! The same characters are introduced and the same methods adopted. It was the working out of the problem of Satan’s first lie then, and it is the ministration of the messengers of evil today.

SUMMING UP

Saul relates to Samuel his sore distress. And now behold the result of serving Satan, and then calling upon him for help in the day of dire extremity.  Satan flatters men during all the time in which they can repent, telling them the path in which they are walking is the path of the righteous; or, if it is not, it is just as good as that of the righteous, and will end at last in heaven; or, if it be not just right, there is plenty of time for repentance, and that they may safely neglect it for many years.  But when the last hours of their probation are expiring, he comes upon his victims with overwhelming power, telling them it is now too late, and drives them to despair by repeating the history of their sins, until, perhaps, they take their lives with their own hands.  Such was the case with Saul of Israel see the comparison.  The agencies which the king employed were the woman and the familiar spirit. Saul said to the woman, “Divine unto me by the familiar spirit” and “bring me up Samuel.” As the wicked woman calls upon her familiar spirit, he must actually bring Samuel from the grave, or, if he cannot do this, he must impersonate him so accurately that Saul shall really believe that it is Samuel.  If Samuel was there in person, he came because the familiar spirit had the power to bring him up, or because the Lord saw fit to resurrect the holy prophet and send him to converse with Saul. Both these positions are absurd; for:— First, a familiar spirit does not have power to raise the dead. Secondly, God had commanded that all who dealt with familiar spirits should be put to death. Then how impossible the supposition that He would bring Samuel at the call of a witch, and at the request of a familiar spirit.  Thirdly, Saul had sinned so grievously that the Lord would not hold communion with him through any of His appointed methods. Then how can it be supposed that He would send Samuel, or permit him to come, at the call of a witch whom He had sentenced to death, or a familiar spirit which He abhorred? Fourthly, Saul did not see Samuel, for he asked the woman, “What seest thou?” She replied (R. V.), “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” Again he asked, “What form is he of?” She answered, “An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.” In his credulity, with this meager description, the record says that Saul “perceived that it was Samuel.” But if Samuel was actually present, how could it be that he was seen by the woman and not by Saul? Fifthly, Samuel, if actually present, must have appeared as an immortal spirit from glory, or have been raised from the grave, and so have been present in bodily form. But the text says that he “ascended out of the earth,” therefore he could not have come from the realm of heaven. Again, he could not have been resurrected bodily, for witches and familiar spirits combined, have no power over the sacred dust of the servants of God. To Jesus Christ alone has been delegated the power to raise the dead. John 5:25, 28, 29. Sixthly, the conclusion seems evident, that at the call of the woman, the familiar spirit, a messenger from the realm of Satan, impersonated Samuel at this interview. It was this spirit who talked with Saul, and not Samuel. His sleep in the grave at Ramah was not broken.  But how perfect was the deception! The familiar spirit begins by calling to the mind of Saul the sins of his past life. His reproofs are clear and truthful. They are just what the wicked king would expect from the prophet of God. It was this feature that fastened the deception upon the mind of Saul, and prepared him to accept, unquestioned, the forecast of the awful doom awaiting him in the battle with the Philistine host.  But it is well to note that the scathing rebuke administered by the supposed prophet was but a repetition of denunciations as given by Samuel while in the flesh. With all this past Satan was familiar, and it was easy for him at this time to repeat these rebukes to the discouraged and broken-hearted king. Even the last thrust regarding his falling dynasty was but a quotation from the former words of Samuel. The prophet had, more than once, told Saul that his line should cease with himself, and that David should succeed to the throne of Israel. Then the familiar spirit leads out in predictions regarding the future. A battle would be fought on the morrow. Israel would be smitten before their enemies, and Saul and his sons would be slain.  Saul returned to Gilboa carrying the conviction that his doom was sealed. He joined battle with the Philistines, as foretold by the evil spirit of Endor. The army of Israel was defeated, and the king’s sons were slain before him. So far the predictions of the familiar spirit proved true. But here comes a break in the forecast. Saul was not slain in battle, but only wounded. With hope gone, believing himself predestined to immediate death, he fell upon his own sword and died a suicide.

Knowing all these things, how easy it was for Satan, when summoned before Saul by the witch of Endor, to forecast the outcome of the impending battle, and then to personally superintend it, and see that his predictions were fulfilled. The Spiritualism of today owes its success it has attained to just such shrewd manipulation by the prince of evil.

Communications From the Realm of Satan

In Familiar Spirits, Luicfer, Satan on February 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

Communications from the hosts of the evil one are as real as those which come from the angels of God. Their origin is the same, and they had long dwelt and ministered together in heaven, the home of God. When sin entered among them, the sinning angels were driven out, and took up their abode on this earth.

Through the sin of man the dominion of the earth passed under the control of Satan and his sinful legions. From that time forward a constant warfare has waged between the two hosts,—the angels of God laboring unwearyingly to rescue man and bring the earth back to allegiance to God, while the hosts of evil are unceasing in their efforts to hold mankind in the bondage of sin, and to retain the earth in their possession.  Being of the same nature as the angels of God, the evil angels have the same power of communication with man.

To our Saviour, while a man upon earth, Satan appeared in visible form. He tempted Him in the wilderness, and bore Him bodily to the pinnacle of the temple and to the mountain top.

He can assume before men any form he chooses; he can transform himself “into an angel of light.” See 2 Cor. 11:14. His evil hosts assume the form and take on the peculiarities of those who are dead, personating them so accurately as to deceive their closest and dearest friends. They communicate openly through mediums, thus counterfeiting, though often in a low and undignified manner, the work of the Holy Spirit in its inspiration of the prophets.  But it is in their unseen, silent influence for evil that their greatest power lies. It is felt in every heart, and its fruit is borne in every life. As the angels of God influence toward a better life, so the evil angels counterwork. Through six thousand years of evil, cunning, and deceit they have become adepts in leading mankind away from God, into sin and unrighteousness. It will thus be seen that every medium of communication, every influence for good which God employs, is counterfeited by Satan and his evil host.  Heathenism and all forms of false worship have had their origin with Satan. He is responsible for the many forms of religion which, while they may contain much of good, have enough that is contrary to God’s word to mar the religious experience of those who conform to them. Satan is pleased to foster any religion which contains much of truth, if he can mix with it enough of error to mar the character and unfit men for the kingdom of God.  A professedly religious man who holds to serious errors, can do more to lead men from the true service of God than can an avowed infidel. His profession of religion disarms suspicion, and gives him an advantage which no out-and-out worldling possesses. Every weapon that can be devised to overthrow the true worship of the living God is employed by the enemy.

Character of Satanic Spirit Manifestations.

Our Saviour declares in regard to all false teaching, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matt. 7:16)   There is beauty and awful grandeur in the appearance of the messengers from the courts above. Their communications have always been with dignity, and whether given in person or through a prophet, are usually accompanied with a reference to God as commanding what they have to declare. They hold no communication with wicked men, and depart from God’s people when they become estranged from heaven, as in the case of Saul, 1 Sam. 28:6.  In contrast with this are many of the common, degrading manifestations of familiar spirits, both ancient and modern.  In ancient times these familiar spirits communicated with wicked men and women, called wizards, witches, etc. See 1 Sam. 28:7, and other texts. Ancient Spiritualism originated among heathen nations.

They counterfeited the work of God, as in the case of the miracles performed through Moses and Aaron before the Egyptians. See Exodus 7, 8. Through their mediums they attempted to bring discredit upon the work of Christ when on earth. See Mark i: 23-26, etc. Through the soothsaying damsel they attempted to bring reproach and ridicule on the work of Paul and the other apostles. See Acts 16: 16-18. They took forcible possession of men and women, cast them down, threw them into the fire, and made their lives a burden to themselves and a terror to those around them. See Matt. 17: 14, 18. They compelled those whom they possessed to blaspheme and to speak contrary to their own desires.

In their rage they took possession of beasts, as in the case of the swine of Gergesa. See Matt. 8 : 18-32. In our own times the manifestations of these familiar spirits are often more common and degrading than in ancient days. In the Spiritualist organ, Spiritual Telegraph, No. 182, Amherst declares that he has “seen mediums rolling on the floor, uttering grunts like swine; giving vent to the most hideous yells; and at times beating their bodies and tearing their hair like lunatics.”

From the foregoing it may be readily seen that the term, “familiar spirits,” is well applied.

Familiar Spirits

In Familiar Spirits on February 8, 2011 at 8:00 am

Who are these familiar spirits? To this question two answers have been returned :—

1. They are the spirits of our dead friends.

2. They are the fallen angels who imitate or counterfeit them.

One of these answers must be true; both of them cannot be; which, therefore, shall we accept as the truth?

If we could believe the familiar spirits themselves, the first answer must be true; for they profess to be the spirits of the dead, and they claim to bring up any of the dead who are called for. But there are some reasons for distrusting their testimony.

1. In the case which the Bible gives at length, as a specimen of their works, familiar spirit which consorted with the witch of Endor professed to bring up the dead at pleasure, and to enable them to speak; yet we have found this to be a false pretense; for the familiar spirit did all the speaking and dead Samuel had nothing to say.

2. The Bible warns us against them all as wicked and deceitful. Deut. 18.

The New Testament is very plain in its denunciation of all forms of Spiritualism. Its statements are worthy of our consideration, in the light of the same manifestations in the Spiritualism of to-day.  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft,’ hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21)  Philip and Peter met with the deceptions of a Spiritualist medium during their ministry at Samaria: “There was a certain man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.” (Acts 8:9-11)  This “medium” was nominally converted by the preaching of Philip; but his experience in the occult led him to desire to replace the power which formerly controlled him by the power of the Holy Spirit which attended the work of the apostles. Being too gross to understand its sacredness, he offered to buy from the apostles this power with money. To this proposition Peter administered the scathing rebuke, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. … I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” (Acts  All belong to this class who, for a money, profess to “cure,” “heal,” “restore,” or perform any other miraculous work by the power of God, through prayer, by the ministration of spirits, or in any other way. And to the evil work of those who would make merchandise of religion and the things of God, the name “Simony” has been attached in recognition of this circumstance.

The doctrine that  familiar spirits are the spirits of the dead, in ancient times rested upon the following propositions:—
1. That the spirits of the dead are now in a state of conscious existence.  2. That they are now endowed with superior intelligence. 3. That they inhabit a region within the earth itself.

“In modern times, however, the same doctrine is supported thus: — 1. That the souls of men are immortal.  2.That death is the gate to endless joy.  3.That they enter upon their reward at death.  4.That they are in death endowed with superior intelligence.  5.That they are ministering spirits to the living, having their abode, either in heaven or upon earth, at pleasure. “The modern doctrine is an improvement upon the theology of the days of Saul. But the Bible sweeps away this cunningly devised fable of ancient days, and with it the doctrine that dead men can hold converse with the living. Thus, the Bible teaches us : —

1. That God made man of the dust of the ground, and gave him life from His own breath. Gen. 2.

2. That He warned him that for transgression he should be deprived of life, and turned again into dust. Gen. 2:17.

3. That all men are now under the sentence of death, and are both mortal and corruptible. Heb. 9: 27; Job 4:17; Rom. 1: 23.

4. That those who seek immortality shall receive it at the resurrection, from Him who is its only source. Rom. 2:7;1 Cor. 15: 51-55; 1 Tim. 6:15,16.

5. That death came into the world by sin; that it is the last enemy; that Satan has had the power of it; and that death and Satan shall both be destroyed in the lake of fire. Rom. 5:12; I Cor. 15 : 26; Heb.2 : 14; Rev. 20.

6. That in death there is no remembrance of God. Ps. 6: 5.

7. That in the day of death the thoughts perish. Ps. 146:4.

8. That the dead know not anything; and that their love, and envy, and hatred, is now perished. Eccl. 9: 5, 6.

9. That the dead do not praise God. Ps. 115 : 17.

10. That sheol, or hades, the under-ground abode of the dead, is a place where there is no work, device, knowledge, nor wisdom; a place of silence, secrecy, darkness, corruption, and death. Eccl. 9: 10; Job 14: 10-15″. 17: i3~l6

11. That the righteous are not to be with Christ till He  comes back after them. John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:32; 1 Thess. 4.

12. That men are neither rewarded nor punished till they have first been judged. 2 Peter 2:9; Rev. 22 : 12 ; Matt. 16 : 27.

13. That the dead, both righteous and wicked, are now asleep. Dan. 12:2; Job 14: 12; 1 Thess. 4: 14; 1 Cor. 15:6,18,20.

14. That the keys of death and hades are not in the hands of familiar spirits, but in those of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rev. 1 : 18.

These facts are certainly sufficient to show that the familiar spirits do not come from the dead themselves, and that they do not, and cannot, bring up any of the dead. Who, then, are the familiar spirits? We need not deny their existence, nor can we without denying the Bible. Nor should we pronounce it an inexplicable mystery that our dead friends, whose very thoughts have perished, and who sleep quietly in the silent dust, are by them apparently made to speak in so wonderful a manner.