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Chapter 15

Spiritism Outlaws the Bible

To the true Christian the Bible is God's Word of truth -- God's communication to him. It has guided him by unerring precepts; it has comforted him in his hours of sorrow; it has given him hope in place of despair; it has set a light before his face which all the darkness of this world can never dim. He has proved it to be all that it claims to be. Knowing how it has proved itself true in its powers of consolation, he has comforting satisfaction in knowing he can trust it for all the future.

But with the ardent Spiritist, the Bible fades out of his life in inverse ratio to the hold that Spiritism gains upon his soul. And then comes positive denial of its fundamental principles, denial of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of men, and denial of God Himself, except in a ridiculously accommodated sense.

As frequently stated in these pages, the Bible teaches unequivocally that the dead are asleep, and will continue in that condition until the voice of God shall call them from their tombs. It is proposed in this chapter to show how Spiritism specifically attacks that fundamental principle of the divine plan, contradicting the Bible in deliberate and uncompromising terms, and seeking, through demoniacal impersonation of the dead, to prove its assertions and to demonstrate the Bible false.

The investigations conducted by Sir Oliver Lodge have convinced him that there are intelligences communicating with him from "the spirit world." By calling up incidents in the life of his son Raymond, they have convinced him that they are what they claim to be,-- the discarnate spirit of that son. It never seems to have occurred to that eminent physicist that fallen spirits are acquainted with the details of the lives of human beings, and that they could carry on their preparation for those impersonations through a lifetime. If Sir Oliver had investigated his Bible as carefully and sincerely as he has investigated the doings of beings he cannot see, he would have been prepared for their deceptive impersonations and would not have been ensnared by them. Whoever accepts Spiritism for what it claims to be, should know this fact at the outset: he must discard the Bible for what it claims to be. He cannot have both. Let us note a number of quotations from the book "Raymond" that touch this point:

"There is no real breach of continuity between the dead and the living. . . . Methods of intercommunion across what has seemed to be a gulf can be set going in response to the urgent demand of affection."--Page 83.

"He has gone, . . . but he is -- I venture to say -- certainly not dead in the same sense as the body is dead. It is his absence which allows the body to decay; he himself need be subject to no decay nor any destructive influence. Rather he is emancipated."-- Page 297.

"It is well to be emphatic . . . in order to indicate our disagreement with the policy of harping on worms and graves and epitaphs, or on the accompanying idea of a general resurrection, with reanimation of buried bodies. Hence in strenuous contradiction to all this superstition comes the use of such phrases as 'transition' or 'passing,' and the occasional not strictly justifiable assertion that 'there is no death.' . . .

"They [those who say there is no death] definitely mean to maintain that the process called death is a mere severance of soul and body, and that the soul is freed rather than injured thereby. The body alone dies and decays; but there is no extinction even for it -- only a change. . . .

"We change our state at death and enter a region of--what? Of ether, I think, and still more myriad existence."-- Page 298.

"There is no extinction, and the change called death is the entrance to a new condition of existence -- what may be called a new life. Yet life itself is continuous, and the conditions of the whole of existence remain precisely as before."-- Page 306.

"I recommend people in general to learn and realize that their loved ones are still active and useful and interested and happy--more alive than ever in one sense. . . . What people should not do is to close their minds to the possibility of continued existence."-- Page 342.

"I must confess that with some of the ecclesiastical superstructure which has descended to us from a bygone day, a psychic investigator can have but little sympathy. Indeed he only refrains from attacking it because he feels that, left to itself, it will be superseded by higher and better knowledge, and will die a natural death [he is speaking of the domain of faith]."--Page 343.

One has gone a long distance on the back track toward heathenism (which has always believed in Spiritism) and toward infidelity (which has always denied and antagonized the Bible) when he can deliberately place before the public such sentiments as are contained in the above. If they are true, the Bible, with all it stands for, must be flung aside, and we must then place all our hope and all our confidence for the future in the fallible, uncertain, worthless, and contradictory emanations from the spirits that impersonate the dead. When Christians understand all that means, there will be no question as to their choice.

The Vale Owen scripts are saturated with the same contradiction of the Bible's teaching concerning the condition of the dead. The following will be found in Mr. Owen's books:

"We were with you, although you did not see us. . . . We love to come and join with our fellow worshipers still incarnate, and also to give what we are able to help in their worship."--" The Life Beyond the Veil," book I, p. 55.

"Many, as you know, do not realize for some time the fact that they are what they would call dead, because they find themselves alive and with a body, and their previous vague notions of the after-death state are not, by any means, lightly thrown away."--Id., p. 51.

"How would you begin to explain to one who had little idea of a spirit world about him the truth of survival beyond the grave and the reality of this life and all its love and beauty? First you would probably endeavor to bring home to him the fact of his present actual existence as an immortal being."-- Id., pp. 88, 89.

"Last week we received a woman who had left a husband and three small children, and she begged to be allowed to go and see how they were managing at home. She was so anxious that at last we took her and arrived at evening time just as they were all sitting down to supper."-- Id., pp. 146, 147.

"In birth the child comes forth out of darkness into the light of the sun. In death the child is born into the greater light of the heavens of God -- no more, no less. . . . By death he goes forth on wider service. . . . Death therefore ends nothing, but carries forward what has been begun."-- Id., book 3, p. 101.

"So we say that death is a sacrament, and indeed it is a very holy thing."-- Id., p. 103.

Every assertion made in the above quotations is a distinct contradiction of specific Bible teaching. If those statements are correct, then the Bible is wrong and misleading, and never was true. Take, for instance, the one in the third preceding paragraph. It is there definitely asserted that the dead mother returned to her home. But the inspired writer declares: "He [the dead] shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more." The issue is sharp and decisive, and there is no avoiding it.

Fremont Rider, a Spiritist author, bears this testimony:

"The Society of Psychical Research . . . has practically demonstrated the existence of the soul as an entity, distinct from the body." --"Are the Dead Alive?" p. 59.

"Our records [says Frederic W. H. Myers] . . . prove survival, pure and simple; the persistence of the spirit's life as a structural law of the universe; the inalienable heritage of each several soul. . . . They prove that the surviving spirit retains, at least in some measure, the memories and the loves of earth."-- Id., p. 147.

"'Do the dead return?' is best answered [says William T. Stead] by asking another question: 'Do the dead depart?' I do not believe the dead depart. They are still with us, closer and nearer than they ever were before they laid aside this earthly vesture of decay."-- Id., page 171.

"During the last sixty years [says Alfred Russel Wallace] evidence has been accumulating in every part of the world which affords demonstration that the so-called dead have never really died at all, but have passed into a new and higher stage of existence. Many of these are able to communicate with us, and most of them assure us that when they wake from the sleep we call death, they find themselves much more alive than ever they were before."-- Id., p. 221.

"How love grows and deepens on this side."--"The Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," p. 3.

The Bible says: "Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished." EccI. 9: 6.

"Death by no means ends all desires. . . . Here we still love all we left on earth."-- Id., p. 58.

"Children, being immortal, begin to live in the next state of existence just as they leave off living here. . . . They become happy little souls full of fun, joy, and laughter."-- Id., p. 140.

It can thus be seen that whatever inconsistencies and contradictions and absolute blunders and false statements show themselves in the communications received from spirits, they are all in harmony in denying the Bible declarations regarding the state of the dead. They all -- and scores of pages of such testimonies could be given -- flatly contradict God's Word upon this question. One is true; the other is false: and the true Christian will have no hesitancy in deciding which is to be the man of his counsel.

There are many questions upon which Spiritism contradicts the Bible. Only a few will be cited here. Jesus Christ's words concerning our attitude toward friends and enemies is expressed in these words:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?" Matt. 5: 43-46.

What says Spiritism?

"Don't bother yourself about trying to like people you've got an antipathy for, it's a waste of you. Keep love for those who want it, don't throw it away on those who don't."--"Raymond," p. 234.

The first of these two is godlike. The second is steeped in the selfishness of Satan. In fact, it emanates from him, and not from the poor lad whom he impersonates and misrepresents.

The Christian takes great joy and comfort in the thought that one day he will see his Lord and Redeemer. Job, writing under divine inspiration, declares:

"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another." Job 19: 25-27.

The prophet Isaiah testifies:

"Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." Isa. 33: 17.

Jesus Himself declared:

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matt. 5: 8.

The prophet-apostle John was inspired to declare:

"The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it [the earth]; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." Rev. 22: 3, 4.

The testimony of Scripture is thus very plain and conclusive, that when the work of redemption is finished, the ransomed ones will be with their God and Saviour, and will see them and rejoice in their presence. Let us see what Spiritism says on the same question:

"One of the elementary truths which it is necessary to assimilate in order to progress, is that God is no more visibly present here than He is in the earth life. They expect to see Him bodily, and are much disappointed when they are told that that is quite a mistaken idea of the way of His dealing with us."--"The Life Beyond the Veil," book I, page 123.

"Have you seen Him then, Leader?

"In that form [a presence form, or vision] yes; but not in His naked loveliness, as I have lastly told."-- Id., book 3, p. 123.

"So we passed before the altar, and at some distance away, and then we too knelt down and adored the fount of Being, the One supreme, who becomes manifest to us only by Presence Form, and that rarely."--Id., p. 232.

"Two communicators sent messages, the first of whom spelt out as a name Dorothy Pothlewaite,' a name unknown to any of us. . . . She had been a Catholic and was still a Catholic, but had not fared better than the Protestants; there were Buddhists and Mohammedans in her sphere, but all fared alike; she had never seen Christ and knew no more about Him than on earth, but believed in His influence."-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, quoted from American Signs of the Times, June 22, 1920.

"Jesus Christ, we are informed in the work connected with the name of Judge Edmonds, is so far advanced, that such spirits as those of Swedenborg and Bacon, though they have been one or two centuries in the spirit land, have not yet got even a sight of Him."--"Modern Mysteries," p. 36.

"Oliver J. Lodge: Before you go, Raymond, I want to ask you a serious question. Have you been let to see Christ? [Raymond's alleged spirit replies] Father, I shall see Him presently. It is not time yet. I am not ready. But I know He lives, and I know He comes here. All the sad ones see Him if no one else can help them."-- "Raymond," page 207.

Some spirits admit seeing Christ, using the term in an accommodated sense, and different from what we understand by the Scripture language which speaks of that privilege of the redeemed. Others have never seen Him; and still others, so far from seeing Him, have not learned anything more about Him than they knew upon earth -- which evidently was not a great deal. There seems to be an unbridgeable difference between Spiritism and the Bible on this score as well. One Spiritist, reading this scripture according to the incorrect punctuation, "I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise," rejoices in the prospect of being with Christ immediately at death; while the voices from spiritland seem to be unanimous that no one sees Him immediately at death, and some seem never to be able to reach His realm. (See " The Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," p. 19.)

That text, when correctly punctuated -- and the punctuation was done by men, and not by Inspiration -- does not teach that the soul goes immediately to heaven. If it taught that, the Scripture would contradict itself. Its teaching is this: "I tell you truly today, in spite of these seemingly contradictory and apparently impossible circumstances, you shall be with Me in Paradise." The adverb "today" modifies the verb "tell" rather than the verb "shalt be." A similar use of the word "today," accompanied by a promise for the future, is found in Zechariah 9:12.

So, while our Saviour has not promised us admission to heaven at the hour of death, He has promised us very definitely that we shall be with Him where He is. To the sorrowing disciples He gave this comforting assurance:

"In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14: 2, 3.

When the advent into those mansions takes place, is also clearly revealed in this scripture:

"I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [" precede," R. V.] them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4: 13-17.

There is nothing uncertain about this. It is all plain and easy to be understood. They see Him coming; they meet Him in the air; they go with Him to be always with Him where He is. They lift up their eyes when they see Him coming, and exclaim in glad ecstasy: "Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." Isa. 25: 9. The inspired psalmist exclaims: "As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness." Ps. 17:15. "They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads." Rev. 22: 4.

Satan has sought to blind our eyes to these blessed and comforting assurances, that he might turn us away from the Light of the world and the Saviour of mankind, and send our feet down the slippery path to the abode of eternal death. But the risen Christ still holds out these blessed assurances, beckoning us with nail-pierced hands of love into the way of faith and hope and righteousness, and into the light that shines from the open door of the sanctuary on high.

I could ardently wish that I had exhausted the contradictions of Spiritism against the Bible; but, like the fallen spirits themselves, they are legion. It is impossible to exhaust them, for they are continually being added to as the days go by.

The Bible teaches that a fire has been "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25: 41), which will destroy them and all the wicked, root and branch. Mal. 4: 1-3. It will be a day of vengeance and of complete destruction of all the workers of iniquity. 2 Thess. 1: 7-9; 2: 7-12. Spiritism has no place for this, and denies it by its teaching.

"There are, as we know, many 'angels of darkness' who are in the darkness because of some twist in their natures, some obstinate trait which prevents the good in them having its effect. And these one day may pass us on the road of the ages, and become greater in the kingdom of the heavens than we who now are more blessed than they."--"Life Beyond the Veil," book I, p. 32.

There is no room in such a program for the destruction of sin and sinners out of the world, as specifically pronounced in several scriptures.

God has told us very pointedly of the culmination of His controversy with sin, and has given us no hope that after this life there will be opportunity to reform and to rise from sphere to sphere through efforts of our own. The Scripture declares:

In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." Eccl. 11: 3. Where death leaves us, the judgment will find us. When the Christ comes, bringing His reward with Him, those rewards are apportioned out to each one "according as his work shall be." Rev. 22:12. The basis on which those rewards are made will never be changed. Before they are given, this decree will have gone forth:

"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22: 11, 12.

That means a judgment, for it is a decree, a sentence, handed down from the Supreme Court of the universe. It is based upon human conduct. The evidence is found in the records that have been kept by the hands of angel witnesses. John had a vision of that judgment scene. It is recorded in these words:

"I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20: 11:15.

Ages ago men were warned of this. Says the writer of Ecclesiastes: "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Eccl. 12:14. The spirit, through Paul, declares that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10. When Paul, standing before the Roman governor of Israel, "reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled." Acts 24: 25.

There is no more definitely established doctrine in the Word of God than that of the judgment to come, which settles the eternal destiny of souls. But Spiritism will have none of it. The idea of a judgment is entirely ruled out of Spiritism's program, thus proving its antipathy to another fundamental principle of Heaven's program. The Bible specifically declares that there shall be a judgment. Spiritism denies.

"'Where is the Judge?' [one who had just "passed over is alleged to have inquired. To this another is alleged to have replied,] 'My child, your judgment will take place whenever you desire, . . . for you yourself are judge, and will mete out to yourself your punishment.' "--"The Life Beyond the Veil," book I, p. 135.

"We no longer think of 'rewards' and 'punishments,' but inevitable results of conduct. This is why the 'judge' does not really 'judge,' but only selects or separates the 'goats' from the 'sheep;' the only judge is conscience."--"The Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," page 14.

More evidence could easily be given, but this will suffice. Spiritism will not deny that it has ruled out the judgment. It has also ruled out the Judge, ruled out the Saviour, ruled out the cleansing of this world by fire, ruled out the destruction of the finally impenitent wicked. Spiritism speaks of a god, but he is not a being, and exists nowhere in particular. It admits a being called Christ; but He is many spheres removed from those who "pass over," and seems to be still moving on. In fact, every essential principle of the gospel as outlined in the Bible is denied by Spiritism, or so interpreted as to be emasculated and destroyed.

It is therefore plainly apparent that in that system we have a propaganda that is diametrically opposed to Christianity, and has set out to undermine every pillar of the faith once delivered to the saints. The sooner Christians realize the nature of the enemy we have to deal with, and the subtle methods of his attack, the better it will be for both the church and the individual Christian. To be asleep when such an attack is in progress is a criminal offense against the cause of Christ.

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