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Clarence Larkin :: Chapter 15. Spiritualism

Spiritualism, or "SPIRITISM" as it should more properly be called, is an attempt to hold communication with the "spirits" of the departed dead. It has another name, "IMMORTALISM," and its investigations are carried on in these days under the title of "PSYCHICAL RESEARCH." The Biblical name for it is "DEMONISM."

It is forbidden in the Scriptures.

"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." Lev. 20:6.
"A man or woman that hath a 'FAMILIAR SPIRIT,' or that is a 'Wizard,' shall surely be put to death; they shall STONE THEM WITH STONES." Lev. 20:27.
"There shall not be found among you any one * * * that useth 'Divination,' * * * or a 'Witch,' * * * or a consulter with 'Familiar Spirits,' or a 'Wizard."' Deu. 18:10-11.
"When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have 'FAMILIAR SPIRITS' and unto the 'Wizards,' that chirp and that mutter; should not a people seek unto their God on behalf of the living, should they seek unto the dead?" Isa. 8:19 R.V.

The "Familiar Spirits" of the Old Testament are the same as the "Demons" and "Seducing Spirits" of the New Testament.

Of the revival of "Spiritism" in these days we have been fully warned in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, says-

"Now the Spirit (Holy Spirit) speaketh expressly, that in the 'LATTER TIMES' (the last days of this Dispensation) some shall depart from the Faith (that is, give up the Christian Faith) giving heed to 'SEDUCING SPIRITS,' and 'DOCTRINES OF DEVILS' (Demons), * * * forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats." 1 Tim. 4:1-3.

The phrase "forbidding to marry" does not refer to "celibacy," but to the abrogation of the marriage relation, the practice of "FREE LOVE" and the doctrine of "AFFINITIES," which Spiritism leads to. The phrase "Abstain From Meats" is not a reference to fasting, but the requirement of a "vegetable diet." It is a will known fact that a "vegetable diet" renders the body more susceptible to spiritual forces than a meat diet.

The close connection of this warning of the Apostle with the words "Refuse profane and 'OLD WIVES' FABLES,' in verse seven, is doubtless a reference to some of the "ISMS" of these last days. For "Christian Science" is but an "OLD WIFE'S" Fable, for Mrs. Eddy was an "Old Wife" in the sense that she had been many times married.

It is an indisputable fact that most of the "Witches" and "Mediums" of Scripture, and these "Latter Days," were and are women. It was through Eve and not Adam that Satan sought to destroy the race. The reason may be that the nervous and impressionable character of women is better adapted to demon influence.

We are also told in Rev. 9:1-12, of an invasion of "Infernal Cherubim" or "Locusts" from the "Bottomless Pit" in the "Last Days." And we are told that "Three Unclean Spirits," or "Spirits of Demons" are to gather the Kings of the Earth for the great Battle of Armageddon. Rev. 16:13-16. And we read in Rev. 18:2, that the restored and rebuilt City of Babylon, shall, before its destruction, "become the HABITATION OF DEVILS, and the HOLD OF EVERY FOUL SPIRIT, and a cage of every UNCLEAN AND HATEFUL BIRD."

The revival of "Spiritism" then is one of the "Signs of the Times," and should be a warning to every true child of God of the approaching end of the Age. But alas! because of the absence of warning from the pulpit, thousands of God's Children are entering these "Perilous Times " unprepared to meet the subtile attack of "Spiritism" because they have not been taught the doctrine of

DEMONOLOGY.

The authorized English version of the New Testament is less clear in its presentation of "Demonology" than is the original Greek, because it translates "diabolus," "daimonion," and "daimon," by the same word "Devil." The word "diabolus" (Devil), meaning "slanderer" or "false accuser," is only used in the New Testament in the singular, and appears 35 times. The words "daimonion" and "daimon" are used in the New Testament both in the singular and plural, but never interchangeably with "diabolus," and should be translated "demon," or "evil" or "unclean spirit." The word "daimonion" occurs 56 times, and "daimon" 5 times.

There is but one Devil (Satan), but multitudes of "demons," and Beelzebub (Satan) is the "Prince of the Demons." Matt. 12:24-30. Satan has not the power of omnipresence, and so many things attributed to him should be attributed to demons. On important occasions, as the Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness, Satan himself is the agent. The "Demons" belong to the "Powers of Darkness." They are not few in number, but are a great "Martially Host," veterans in the service of Satan. Their central camp or abode, is the "Bottomless Pit" from which they "sally forth" at the command of their leader. Rev. 9:1-11. They are not angels. Angels have bodies. But the fact that demons can enter in, and take possession of, and control human beings and animals (swine), is proof that they are "Disembodied Spirits." They are supposed by many to be the "spirits" of the inhabitants of the "Pre Adamite Earth," whose sin caused its wreck, and whose bodies were destroyed in the catastrophe that overwhelmed it, and their desire and purpose in entering human bodies is to re embody themselves again on the earth where they once lived. That the "Demons" have a personality is clear from the fact that Jesus conversed with them, asked them questions, and received answers. Luke 8:26-33. They are possessed of more than ordinary intelligence. They know that Jesus is the "Son of God," and that they are finally to be confined in a place of "Torment." Matt. 8:29.

THE POWER OF DEMONS OVER THE HUMAN BODY

They can cause DUMBNESS (Matt. 9:32-33), and BLINDNESS (Matt. 12:22), and INSANITY (Luke 8:26-35), and the SUICIDAL MANIA (Mark 9:22), and PERSONAL INJURIES (Mark 9:18), and impart SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH (Luke 8:29), and inflict PHYSICAL DEFECTS AND DEFORMITIES. Luke 13:11-17. Once they have got control over a human body they can come and go at will. Luke 11:24-26.

The Devilish character of "Demons" is seen in the use they make of their victims. They use them as "instruments of unrighteousness," (Rom. 6:13), for the proclamation of the "DOCTRINES OF DEVILS," (1 Tim. 4:1), and the teaching of "DAMNABLE HERESIES." 2 Pet. 2:1. The effect of such use of the victim is not only unmoral, it is IMMORAL. It leads to vicious and inhuman conduct. The conduct of "demonized" men and women seems to indicate that the "Demon" takes possession of them for the purpose of physical sensual gratification, thus letting us into the secret of the cause of the wreck of the Pre Adamite Earth, the SIN OF SENSUALITY. This accounts for the desire of the victim to live in a state of nudity; to have lustful and licentious thoughts. In these days of increasing tendency to yield to "Seducing Spirits" it may account for the immodesty of fashionable attire, and the craze of dancing. The purpose of the "Demon" is often to alienate husband and wife, and break up homes by preaching the doctrine of "FREE LOVE." In short, the "Demon," for personal gratification has the power, once he is in control of his victim, to derange both mind and body, and wreck the victim's health, and if deliverance is not obtained by turning to Christ, who alone has power to cast out the Demon, the victim will be lost soul and body.

Demon possession must not be confounded with diseases, such as "Epilepsy," which causes the victim to fall in convulsions, foam at the mouth and gnash the teeth, for the Scriptures make a clear distinction between them.

"And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were POSSESSED WITH DEVILS (Demons "daimonizomai," demonized or demon possessed), and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them." Matt. 4:24.

In 1 Cor. 10:20-21 we read-

"But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they SACRIFICE TO DEVILS (Demons), and not to God; and I would not that ye should have FELLOWSHIP WITH DEVILS (Demons). Ye cannot drink the 'Cup of the Lord' (Communion Cup), and the 'Cup OF DEVILS'; ye cannot be partakers of the 'Lord's Table,' and of the TABLE OF DEVILS (Demons)"

This passage proves that behind all heathen worship there is the "Spirit of Demonism," or "DEVIL WORSHIP," and accounts for the "wild orgies" and voluptuous and licentious mode of worship of the heathen.

That the "Demons" have the power of "DIVINATION" is clearly revealed in the New Testament.

"And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel POSSESSED WITH A SPIRIT OF DIVINATION met us, which brought her masters much gain by SOOTHSAYING. The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the 'Most High God,' which shew unto us the Way of Salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the 'SPIRIT' (the Evil Spirit, or Demon), I command thee in the name of JESUS CHRIST to come out of her. And he came out the same hour." Acts 16:16-18.

It is clear from the context that this young woman was a MEDIUM, and that she performed her work through the instrumentality of an "Evil Spirit" or "Demon." This reveals the source of information of modern "Mediums." The information they furnish is given, not by the person they profess to call up, but by an "Evil Spirit" or "Demon," who, for the purpose impersonates the person called for.

If there ever was an exception to this method of communication between this and the world of departed spirits, it was the case of Samuel, recorded in 1 Sam. 28:6-25. There is a diversity of opinion as to whether Samuel really appeared, or was impersonated by an "Evil Spirit." But the account is so circumstantial, and the evident and undisguised surprise of the Witch of Endor at the appearance of Samuel, whom she doubtless had known, and the conversation between Saul and Samuel without the aid of the Witch as a MEDIUM, seems conclusive evidence that Samuel did really appear. But the Witch did not bring him up. God sent him as a rebuke to Saul. Thus the exception proves the rule.

Some claim that because Samuel said "Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me," that it was not Samuel that appeared, but an "Evil Spirit," for Saul and his sons would not go to the same place in the other world as Samuel. But we must not forget from our study of the chapter on the "Spirit World," that "Paradise" and "Hell" were at that time both in the heart of the earth, from which Samuel came up, but were separated by a "Great Gulf." So the words "Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me," meant that they should be with Samuel in the "Underworld," but in separate compartments, separated by a "Great Gulf." And the, fact that we are told that Saul's death was partly caused by his asking counsel of a "Familiar Spirit" (1 Chron. 10:13), reveals God's displeasure with those who resort to Spiritism.

The account of the Transfiguration, in which Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount with Jesus, and in the presence of Peter, James and John (Matt. 17:1-8), is used by Spiritualists to prove that our departed ones can come back again to the earth. But we must not forget that Moses and Elijah were not in the state of the dead. Moses had been resurrected, and Elijah had never died, and the Transfiguration scene is a foreview of the condition of the dead after the FIRST RESURRECTION, when those who are with Christ shall return to the region of the air to reign with Christ over the earth. In that day the saints will have communication with the earth, but not in this Dispensation.

The story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) reveals the fact that communication with the spirits of our departed dead, is not only unnecessary, but is not permitted. It is not necessary, for we have Moses and the Prophets, that is, the Holy Scriptures, to give us all we need to know of the state of the dead. And it is not permitted, or Lazarus, or the rich man himself, would have been allowed to return to the earth and warn his brethren. The inevitable conclusion to be drawn from this story is, that the spirit of a good man MAY not, and the spirit of a bad man CANNOT return to this earth. If this be true then Spiritism is a fraud, and is one of the devices of Satan in these latter days to lead astray the unwary. Those who dabble in Spiritism are in great danger of having their "understanding darkened" (Eph. 4:17-19) and come under the power and control of Demons.

The Apostle John says "Believe not every spirit, but TRY THE SPIRITS whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. The test is "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ IS COME IN THE FLESH is not of God." 1 John 4:3. Ask the "spirit" that comes to you personally seeking entrance, or speaks to you through a "Medium," if Jesus Christ IS COME IN THE FLESH, that is, was born of the Virgin, and is the "SON OF GOD," and if it says YES! that is the Holy Spirit, for no man can say that Jesus is the LORD, but by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:3. But if the "Spirit" gets angry, and denies the Deity of the Lord Jesus, and the authority of the Word of God, then it is clear that the "spirit" is an "Evil Spirit" or "Demon." The Holy Spirit will not teach anything contrary to the Scriptures, so a person to be able to "TEST THE SPIRITS" must be thoroughly conversant with the Word of God.

Another of the "Signs of the Times" is the revival of what is called the

"GIFT OF TONGUES,"

in which the recipient claims that he is taken possession of by the "Spirit of God" and empowered to speak in an "unknown" or "foreign tongue." But the conduct of those thus possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of "demon possession," than a work of the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit does not lend Himself to such vile impersonations.

From what has been said we see that we are living in "Perilous Times," and that all about us are "Seducing Spirits," and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray by them.



CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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