This is a book about Spiritualism and Spiritism by a man who was miraculously saved out of that movement. This is the last chapter of this book. Notice the parallel methods used by the enemy to what is going on in the Third Wave, counterfeit revival movement of today -- in the Toronto “Blessing” and Pensacola “Outpouring” churches and leaders that have received “the anointing”. It appears that the enemy has not changed his tactics too much, only that today they are being evidenced in churches that formerly considered themselves to be doctrinally sound.
Connections to Spiritualism/Spiritism have been documented in the faith healers of this same time period of the early 1900s, such as William Branham and Kathryn Kuhlman. Other more recent individuals have been linked to necromancy such as Benny Hinn. The same techniques and manifestations are also now present in the counterfeit revival, including Indian-style chanting, visions where dead “Christians” appear and give advice, and ugly degrading "manifestations" of the “spirit”. Test the spirits and judge for yourself where this “new revelation” and “anointing” is coming from.
This is an old book and may be out of print. However, it is still listed with the Library Of Congress and the new publisher is Logos International of Plainfield, NJ, 1979. Notice the original publisher was the Assemblies of God Publishing House. Ironic, in view of the Brownsville A/G in Pensacola, FL.
THE CHALLENGING COUNTERFEIT - A Study Of Spiritualism
By Raphael Gasson
The Assemblies Of God Publishing House, Copywrite 1996
Chapter 13 - TRYING THE SPIRITS
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits and see whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. John 4, 1.
To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because them is no light in them. . . . " Isaiah 8, 20.
It must be obvious to the unbiased reader of the previous chapters that a cult that can claim so many earnest adherents as Spiritualism does at this present day must have a definite reality about it and is very far from being all imagination or the results of clever hoodwinking by mediums of credulous people. Obviously again this Movement--as do all Movements--must suffer to some degree from over-credulous people that make it easy for deliberate deceptions to take place, but one cannot judge a whole Movement by a small minority of individuals. However, allowing for this gullibility, it is still a matter of strong inference that something really does happen at séances that can and does convince sane and intelligent people that spirit communication is not only possible but can become an everyday experience and that these communications do develop to earnest seekers into a system of teaching, which is bound to some extent to alter their outlook on life. Since this cannot be denied the only question that remains is not its reality but its origin. Spiritualists claim that they have contact with spirit "guides" and the spirits of people who have died or departed from the earth. The Scriptures are equally definite in stating that man has no contact with departed spirits or they with us, e.g., Job 14, 2, Ecc. 9, 5, also Luke 16, 26. Neither are "spirit guides" offered to the Christian-"There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2, 5-6). Anybody else acting as a "go-between" between God and man would not only be superfluous but blasphemous . . . " He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son." (I John 5, 10.)
Seeing then that the Bible is so clearly against all contact with the departed, how do we account for the phenomena that take place in modern Spiritualistic séances? Men like Sir Oliver Lodge and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were both men of renown and there is no reason to doubt that their statements are true, as far as facts are concerned. Their conclusions drawn from these facts are another matter. We must grant that phenomena does take place and we can therefore come to but two conclusions, either of which the reader must decide for himself as to correctness.
Dealing with the second conclusion that the communicating spirits must be "evil spirits" impersonating spirits of the dead - what sort of messages would the listener at the séance expect to receive? What methods would these spirits use? Naturally they would be of comfort and consolation to overcome any anxiety or worry to those left behind. With all fear of the future gone, and death explained only as a natural process of evolution with no judgment seat at the other side of it, there is no need to take heed of the Word of God when it warns us that it is appointed unto man once to die and after death the judgment. If we believe this then we must make some definite decision and take our stand in this life, for Christ-but if we can do away with this belief for the time being, it will be too late after death to seek the grace and salvation of God, and Satan has grasped another soul to accompany him to the fire prepared for him and his angels. To accomplish this purpose the spirits will tell the listener that their loved ones are perfectly happy on the other side of life, that care and suffering are non-existent, and all this in spite of the beliefs they held-or did not hold-in this life with regard to Almighty God and the salvation He has provided for us. True, as mentioned in previous chapter, if one has lived a very bad life on earth, retribution has to be made on the other side, but eventually one and all attain to perfectness, even if it takes Eons to bring this about.
In order to remove all doubt from the mind of the inquirer the evil spirit would then show some intimate knowledge of the one it is impersonating-the listener is by this time convinced that the spirit which is communicating is really and truly the spirit of a loved one. This kind of knowledge is perfectly easy for a demon to get hold of and to use. Note that up to now the evil spirit has very kindly removed all worry and anxiety, given confidence to the listener, and removed all doubts in the mind. Having accomplished this it is only to be expected that the demon will then discuss religion and Christianity which, of course, he does most efficiently. It must be remembered that the Devil knows the Scriptures better than we do, and it requires no effort on his part to quote the Bible with a subtle twist, making many a child of God to stumble.
In spite of the fact that Spiritualists often quote Scriptures as a basis for their doctrines or arguments (in favor of their own viewpoint, of course) it is to be noted that these quotations are only fragments of the Scriptures and they do not take into consideration the sound doctrines that arise from a study of the whole Word of God, rightly divided. This was a sound principle in the Early Church, as Augustine taught, "Not what one Scripture says, but what all say." Most of the peculiar heresies of various religious sects arise from this practice of isolating texts from the whole setting and it is to be remembered that Satan himself used the written Scriptures in an attempt to confound the Lord Himself during the temptation in the wilderness. (Matt. 4, 6.) The use of Scriptures, therefore, is in no way a hallmark of the inspiration of God behind a Movement, although many people are led on by this apparent evidence of a heavenly benediction, even to the extent of being able to say that they have done many wonderful works in His Name. (See Matt. 7, 21-23.) Their surprise will no doubt be as terrible as it is unexpected to receive the command, "Depart from Me, I never knew you,"
The teaching of these spirits would be so full of enlightenment, of deep truths, of superior knowledge and religious matter, plus worldly wisdom, that the unconscious victim would be gradually led on into darkness without noticing that he was being surrounded by false teaching and deception, until the Bible and its teachings would be, to all practical intent, forgotten and superseded by something professing to be "deeper". Such is the method which we would expect the Devil and his emissaries to use, and that is exactly what happens!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his book The New Revelation, describes how he became a Spiritualist; he describes conversations with spirits, also the messages received, and states that these messages are from spirits of the departed. He also states that these spirits testify that the information given is at the Divine Will of God and that the Lord has permitted this "NEW REVELATION" to be given. Presumably the revelation of Calvary is not sufficient for this modem age-we need an additional revelation to inspire us that the apostles and martyrs did not have!
On close examination of different conversations with these so called departed spirits, recorded at various times, we find that the methods used are exactly on the lines suggested above, that they do in fact use the very system that would be expected of evil spirits impersonating the dead, with the air and purpose of leading people away from the truth which is found in Christ. Let us look at an instance or two: -
A supposed son, killed in the war, appeared to his father at a séance and spoke of the good quality of the whisky and cigars supplied in the spirit world!
Satan obviously aims at making us believe that everything is happy in the after life and such information as obtained from the well-known cricketer and others is a great comfort to a bereaved parent whose son has lived a life void of God, indifferent to the claims of Christ. Such a parent would rejoice to know that in spite of the son's Godless, Christ-less life, he is still perfectly happy in the spirit world. The fear of retribution of an eternal nature has passed away from that particular inquirer who, once convinced of the genuineness of the communicating spirit, leaves himself open to believe anything that is put forward, and Satan has well prepared the ground for lying deceptions that will in the course of time lead the victim completely away from Christ.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle admits in his New Revelation that Spiritualism is contrary to the Bible, yet Spiritualists will quote Scripture to back up their claims. He even says, "Though The New Revelation may seem destructive to those who hold Christian dogmas with extreme rigidity, it has quite the opposite effect upon the mind which has come to look upon the whole Christian scheme as a huge delusion." In other words, he considers Christianity to be a delusion to some people, admits that Spiritualism is destructive to Christianity and that those who are deluded by Christian beliefs would find Spiritualism to be "reconstructive". He evidently supposed that it is possible for those who are born again, who are blood-washed, who stand amongst the redeemed, to find that their whole experience has become a delusion, He little knew the power of God to make new creatures out of those who trust in Him.
Further on, in his same book, he writes, "Spiritualism would greatly modify conventional Christianity in the direction of explanation and development." It will be remembered that the serpent beguiled Eve in the same way, e.g., he pretended that he could modify God's instructions to Adam and Eve when He said, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen . 2, 17.) The attitude of the serpent was one of modification, explanation and development (using the words of Sir Arthur). He modified God's instructions, explained them according to his own interpretation and developed them to suit his own ends. " Hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" The woman having agreed that this was so, that God had said, ". . . lest ye die" (Gen. 3, 3), the serpent then proceeds to modify, "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 from evil." (Gen. 3, 5.) Satan modified, explained and developed God's instructions and as a result of giving heed to his seductions, Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden.
The Christian can indeed rejoice in the fact that although Satan gained an apparent victory in the garden, eastward in Eden, the real victory was gained by our Saviour in the other garden of Gethsemane, where He sweat great drops of blood for us, The victory of the Cross was also gained by the Lord Jesus Christ, not by Satan, and the glorious resurrection occurred in a garden. Apparent defeat is always turned to glorious victory by our all conquering Lord.
God Himself said that the head of Satan would be bruised and the child of God can look ahead to final victory through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, God is saying to-day, in effect Ye shall not touch this tree (Spiritualism), ye may not eat of it, lest ye die." Satan says, " In the day ye eat of it your eyes will be opened to a new and wider revelation—ye shall surely not die." Modifications, explanations and developments of Christianity—a new revelation. Destructive methods are used by Satan and his hosts of demons.
Here is another statement:-
(2) That He is inferior to God the Father.
Again, Sir A. Conan Doyle denies the fall of man, saying, "Man has developed from a man-like ape to ape-like man," thus indirectly backing up the Darwin theory of evolution and openly claiming that the Word of God is wrong when it says that God made man in His own image.
Sir Conan Doyle was an eminent Spiritualist in his life-time and his " spirit " still presides over one of the Spiritualist organizations (already mentioned in a previous chapter). His book is almost a text-book to Spiritualists generally speaking, so that we have a fairly high authority of general opinion in his writings.
In another Spiritualist book, entitled Whatever is, is Right, we read in question and answer form "What is evil?" The reply is " Evil is good." Ques.: " What is a lie?" Ans.: "A lie holds a lawful place in creation, it is a necessity." Ques.: " What are evil spirits?" Ans.: "There is no Devil, there is no Christ. "
Another Spiritualist journal describes God (as revealed in Scriptures) as harsh, cruel, vindictive and partial, going on to say, "Reasoning will soon convince that neither the personal Jesus nor the Apostles ever existed." There seems to be something queerly antagonistic to historical records here, but that apparently is of no matter to the peculiar style of reasoning expected from one.
To anyone who would ask why these spirits deny the fall of man, the reason is very clear. If there is no fall of man, there is no need for redemption or atonement, or the victory of the cross (the Lord's death becomes as ordinary as any other death) or necessity of any power in the Blood of Christ, whereas according to Scriptures, " Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins ". Spiritualists hold the belief that man becomes his own saviour which is flat against all Scriptural teaching, e.g., Eph. 2, 8-9, "For- by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." (See also Titus 3, 5 and Acts 4, 12.)
We therefore see that Spiritualism can be nothing but communion with demons—against Scripture—and we must remember that God passed the death sentence on all mediums that had familiar spirits and also upon people consulting with them. It is sternly forbidden by God as defiling. It certainly is no new thing, but a backward movement to the worst form of heathenism and not an advance as so many Spiritualists claim. We also find in the story of Dives and Lazarus, that the Scriptures are very definite against the dead returning to earth. We see Lazarus, representing the dead in Christ, in "Abraham's bosom"-a favorite term amongst the Jews, meaning Paradise-while Dives is in Hell. Lifting up his eyes he beholds Lazarus and cries to Abraham, "Send Lazarus." It is clearly not possible for one in paradise to reach one in hell or vice-versa, as there is a gulf fixed between the two. Dives, realizing the hopelessness of his own position, cries, "Send Lazarus to warn my brethren," and again Jesus makes it plain that even if it were possible, it would serve no useful purpose as "if they believe not Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded by one returning from the dead," proving that it is not God's will to make contact with the dead. A gulf is set between Paradise and hell, and it is not permitted for a saint in Paradise to return to earth, but Spiritualists will claim that there is nothing to prevent Dives himself from returning to his relations as the Scriptures do not say that there is any gulf fixed between hell and earth. We know, however, that thousands of souls are passing into a Christless eternity and that the gates of hell only open inwards and not outwards; but there is no reason why Satan's fallen angels should not be able to visit the earth. They are the principalities and powers of the air and not yet confined to eternal damnation in the lake of fire.
Sir A. C. Doyle again says, "No common sense man can see any justice in vicarious sacrifice . . . too much attention has been given to the death of Christ." In other words, the death of Christ is of no more avail than that of thousands of others who have given their lives for some just cause. This is most certainly the doctrine of seducing spirits and demons.
Satan having convinced his followers that there is no fall and therefore no need of redemption, and that it is possible to amass evidence of contact with the dead, goes further with his pernicious doctrine and teaches that there is no punishment (eternal) for sin, nor a hell from which to be saved. At the most one only stays in the lower spheres for a matter of time, however lowly evolved one might be. All of which, of course, makes Spiritualism to be a very comfortable religion that required no heart-searching conviction of sin, and a realization of utter worthlessness before God, to establish it. The denial of these fundamental truths presents Spiritualism to us with its mask off and we are able to see clearly that it is of the Devil, that the outcome of it is just what we would expect of evil spirits impersonating the departed. The Word of God is gradually torn to shreds before the eyes of believers in this cult, the very foundations upon which the Christian faith is based are undermined and in spite of pretensions towards calling themselves "Christian Spiritualists" as so many of them do, they are in reality at the mercy of the hosts of darkness, without the weapons which God has ordained to be used against this Enemy of our souls-the Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit-and the power of the saving blood of Jesus Christ.
We can certainly try these spirits and see whether they are of God and having done so, we find that Spiritualism is one of the most fiendish of Satan's methods of instilling lying deceptions into the minds of people. Having tested the spirits and the claims they make through their mediums, we most certainly find them contrary to the Word of God, which tells us most explicitly that "in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils".
"If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."