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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 17

The Dark Side of Spiritualism

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Let us ask for God’s assistance:
Lord,

We want to thank You for all the blessings You give us day after day, and above all for the gift of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ, by whom we can obtain forgiveness for our sins, and inherit everlasting life.

May You guide us once again, by Your Spirit, while we open Your Holy Book to better understand Your will for each one of us.

In Jesus Christ.

Amen.
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John 16:12 Comments
[Jesus said,]

«I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.»
For a better understanding of the content of this lesson, we strongly advise you to review first the previous three lessons: «Body, Soul, and Spirit», «After Death...», and «Is There Really a Hell?».

It would also be a good idea to review Lesson 4, «Why Does Evil Exist?», to better understand what will be presented here.
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Isaiah 8:19 (NKJV) Comments
And when they say to you,

«Seek those who are mediums (...).»
Today, we will tackle the subject of spiritualism.

Spiritualism could be defined as a belief admitting the existence of spirits of all kinds (for example, the spirits of the dead) and the possibility to communicate with them.

What does God think of that belief, and of occultism in general? Which warnings does He give us, and why?

In this lesson, the Bible will provide us with precise and clear answers to these questions.
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Leviticus 19:31 (NKJV) Comments
Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God. First, let us note that attempts to communicate with the dead or spirits go back a long way.

God already forbade this practice centuries ago.
Leviticus 20:6 (NKJV)
And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.
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Deuteronomy 18:10-13 (NKJV) Comments
There shall not be found among you (...) a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.
Let us note God’s firm opposition against all attempts to communicate with the dead or spirits.

God drove out the heathen nations that were practicing these things and other forms of occultism.
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2 Kings 21:2,6 (NKJV) Comments
[Manasseh] did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. (...)

He consulted spiritists and mediums.

He did much evil in the sight of the Lord.
The Old Testament gives us many examples of kings who did not hearken to God’s warnings, and decided to devote themselves to spiritualism.
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Malachi 3:5 Comments
«And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers (...),» said the Lord of hosts. Judgment will be severe towards sorcerers, that is, people practicing occultism.

We must ask this question: why does God warn us so seriously against spiritualism and occultism?
Revelation 21:8
Sorcerers (...) shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
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Psalm 115:17 Comments
The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence. In the lesson «After Death...», we have learned that when someone dies, he falls into a state which the Bible compares to a sleep, a state of total unconsciousness, until the day of his resurrection.

Since the deceased cannot hear us, it is therefore useless to try to communicate with him.
Ecclesiastes 9:5,10
The dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. (...)

There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, where you go.
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Job 7:9,10 Comments
As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he that goes down to the grave shall come up no more.

He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.
Thus, the haunted house phenomenon cannot be explained by the return of the late tenants.

Since the dead rest unconscious in the grave, then another power must perform the different occult phenomena like, for example, during seances in which spirits are called up.

What is that power?
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2 Corinthians 4:3,4 Comments
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not. Since his fall (see the lesson «Why Does Evil Exist?»), Satan has been incessantly trying to deceive men, to keep them away from God.

To this end, spiritualism is one of his most efficient weapons.
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
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Genesis 3:2-4 Comments
The woman said to the serpent,

«(...) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”»

And the serpent said to the woman,

«You shall not surely die.»
Satan’s first lie to mankind was to claim that man was immortal.

Today, this very same lie deceives millions of people, making them believe that the dead are not really dead, but on the contrary are more alive than ever, always ready to communicate with them!
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1 Samuel 28:6,7 (NKJV) Comments
And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.

Then Saul said to his servants,

«Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.»
The example of Saul consulting the medium of Endor perfectly illustrates how Satan can deceive us by means of spiritualism.

The prophet Samuel being dead, and God keeping silent, King Saul decided to disobey Him by trying to communicate with the late prophet.

Now, the following verses will show us that Saul communicated with Satan, not with Samuel.
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1 Samuel 28:11 Comments
Then said the woman, «Whom shall I bring up to you?»

And [Saul] said, «Bring me up Samuel.»
First of all, let us remember the clear teaching of the Word of God. The dead are in a state of total unconsciousness: it is therefore impossible to bring them up to communicate with them.
Job 14:12
So man lies down, and rises not.

Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
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1 Samuel 28:13 Comments
And the king said to her, «Be not afraid: for what saw you?»

And the woman said to Saul, «I saw gods ascending out of the earth.»
The medium described the vision as «gods ascending out of the earth». But the prophet Samuel would not have accepted to be designated as a «god».

However, Satan, «the god of this world», tolerates this title quite well...
2 Corinthians 4:3,4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not.
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1 Samuel 28:15 Comments
And Samuel said to Saul, «Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up?» Let’s repeat it, the dead cannot come up to communicate with the living.

But Satan can easily impersonate the dead in order to deceive us.
Job 7:9
He that goes down to the grave shall come up no more.
2 Samuel 12:23
[David said,] «But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.»
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1 Samuel 28:16 Comments
Then said Samuel,

«Why then do you ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from you, and is become your enemy?»
God is our friend, not our enemy. He is always willing to forgive anyone who sincerely repents from his sins.

But Satan tries to make us believe the contrary, as he did here by impersonating the prophet Samuel.
Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
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Job 4:15-19 Comments
Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up. It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof.

An image was before my eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,

«Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?

Behold, He put no trust in His servants; and His angels He charged with folly: how much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?»
Satan often tries to make us believe that our situation is hopeless, that God has become our enemy.

Let us not be deceived by this lie.
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1 Chronicles 10:13,14 (NKJV) Comments
So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because He consulted a medium for guidance.

But he did not inquire of the Lord.
Sadly, Saul did not repent of his disobedience.

He died believing that God had become his enemy, deceived by the false teaching of his real enemy, Satan, who had impersonated the late prophet Samuel to mislead him more efficiently.
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1 Timothy 4:1 Comments
Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. Now, what about spiritualism today?

The Word of God says that the latter days will be marked by a revival of spiritualism and different occult practices: astrology, fortunetelling, divination, clairvoyance, etc.
Matthew 24:4
Jesus answered and said to [His disciples],

«Take heed that no man deceive you.»
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Matthew 24:24,25 Comments
[Jesus said,]

«For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Behold, I have told you before.»
Satan will soon display his most powerful devices, to keep men away from the gospel of Jesus Christ announcing the way to salvation.
Galatians 1:8
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
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Matthew 7:21-23 Comments
Not every one that said to Me, «Lord, Lord,» shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to Me in that day, «Lord, Lord, have we not (...) in Your name done many wonderful works?»

And then will I profess to them,

«I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.»
Satan will even use people claiming to do miracles in the name of Jesus, but one will recognize them by their rebelliousness towards God’s will.
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2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 Comments
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, (...) even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Only through the study of God’s Word can we avoid being deceived by Satan.
John 12:35
Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come on you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes.
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Jeremiah 27:9,10 Comments
Therefore listen not you to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak to you, saying,

«You shall not serve the king of Babylon.»

For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and you should perish.
By using spiritualism and occultism, Satan will manage to deceive man, making him believe that he does not need a Savior, and thus bringing him to reject the salvation in Jesus Christ that God offers him.
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Isaiah 8:19,20 (NKJV) Comments
And when they say to you, «Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,» should not a people seek their God?

Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

To the law and to the testimony!

If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
The one and only trustworthy source of revelations is «the law and the testimony», that is, the Word of God.

If Satan succeeds in keeping us away from this precious Book, he will make us fall into his snares.
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1 Corinthians 10:20 Comments
I would not that you should have fellowship with devils. Trying to communicate with the dead places us on the enemy’s ground, thus in danger of being deceived.

Even praying to the dead (praying to saints, to a deceased friend, etc.) is not only useless but dangerous.

The Bible tells us to pray to God only (see the lesson «Using God’s Hot Line»).
Ephesians 5:10,11
(...) proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
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1 John 4:1 Comments
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Let’s never forget: as we live in the last days, Satan will try to deceive us by all means.

The most «inoffensive» form of occultism or spiritualism can be a powerful device to keep us away from the truth.
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Isaiah 47:13-15 Comments
You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save you from these things that shall come on you.

Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, even your merchants, from your youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save you.
We cannot consult both God and the astrologers.

We must choose right now whom we want to trust, and then live with the consequences of our decision.
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Ephesians 6:11,12 Comments
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
God’s whole armor (the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God) will give us victory!
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Let us thank God for His assistance:
Our Father,

The end of all things draws near, and we know that the enemy will multiply his deceptions, among which are spiritualism and occultism, to keep us away from You.

But You have given us Your Word as a trustworthy guide, which reveals Satan’s wiles and warns us against them.

Please give us Your Holy Spirit that He may remind us, when we need it the most, the precious teachings we have learned today.

In Jesus Christ.

Amen.
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Lesson 17 - Test The test of Lesson 17 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Header Picture: Picture from the DVD «Final Events of Bible Prophecy - Introduction», Amazing Facts. Screen 1: In: «Photo Gallery 25,000» by Media Graphics International, CD #1, AA092.JPG. Screen 2: BLOCH, Carl. «The Sermon on the Mount», Frederiksborg Slotskirke, Hillerod, Denmark. Screen 3: DELVILLE, Jean. «Orpheus» (1893), Collection of Anne-Marie Gillion Crowet, Brussels. Picture from the Web site: http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/d/p-delvill1.htm Screen 4: In: «Vous pouvez vivre éternellement sur une terre qui deviendra un paradis», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, p.91. Screen 5: In: «Vous pouvez vivre éternellement sur une terre qui deviendra un paradis», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, p.97. Screen 6: BRICE, N. In: «The Bible Pageant, Volume 3: Kings and Queens» (NEFF, Merlin L.), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1948, p.62. Screen 7: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (March 1, 1987), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.1. Screen 8: Picture from the Web site: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9608/17/cyprus.pm/funeral.lrg.jpg Screen 9: Picture from the Web site: http://www.stetson.edu/departments/csata/fotos/ihh_5.jpg Screen 10: In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (March 1995), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.7. Screen 11: COXCIE, Michel van (1499-1592). «Original Sin», Art History Museum, Vienna. Picture from the Web site: http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/c/p-coxcie2.htm Screen 12: In: «The Illustrated Children’s Bible» (CHRISTIE-MURRAY, David), Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1978, p.97. Screen 13: MUELLER, Carl. In: «The Living Bible Encyclopedia in Story and Pictures, volume 4», New York, H.S. Stuttman Co. Inc., 1968, p.516-c. Screen 14: NYE, Vernon. In: «The Bible Story, volume 4» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1955, p.52. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 15: MOUNT, William Sidney. «Saul and the Witch of Endor» (1828), The Smithsonian Institution, National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington D.C. Picture from the Web site: http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/m/p-mount4.htm Screen 16: WEST, Benjamin, (1728-1820), «Saul and the Witch of Endor». In: «The Reader’s Digest Bible, Illustrated Edition», Reader’s Digest Association Far East Ltd., 1990, p.310. Screen 17: BURTNETT, Jim. In: «Unmasking the Spirits» (WHELPLEY, Theresa A.), Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1977, front cover. Used by permission. Copyright ©1977 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 18: «The Death of Saul». In: «Beautiful Bible Stories» (MARTIN, Patricia Summerlin), Southwestern Company, 1964, p.223. Screen 19: Photo by Betty Blue/Enrique Fuentealba. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (November 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.2. Screen 20: HUNT, Robert. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (August 1992), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.10. Screen 21: In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (July 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, front cover. Screen 22: Photo by P. BLEECKX. In: «Le Moniteur», Pacific Press Publishing Association, First Quarter 1999, front cover. Screen 23: Bettmann/CORBIS. «Woodcut Of Seance In The 19th Century». Image ID: BE038739. Picture from the Web site: http://search.corbis.com/default.asp?i=11148794&vID=1&rID=101 Screen 24: CRUZ, Nery. In: «La Sentinelle» magazine (March 1984), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.1. Screen 25: Picture from the Web site: http://www.fst.org/fstphoto.htm Screen 26: Picture from the Web site: http://www.kittyparker.com/k-phone2xmx.jpg Screen 27: In: «Réveillez-vous» magazine (November 22, 1989), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.2. Screen 28: HARLAN, Russell. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), Press Publishing Association, p.152. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 29: In: «Photo Gallery 25,000» by Media Graphics International, CD #1, FRICE037.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 17 - Test The test of Lesson 17 is waiting for you!