Words of Hope…
The doctrine that we are naturally immortal came from pagan philosophy. In the darkness of the great apostasy it became a part of the Christian faith, where it has now replaced the truth that “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Many people believe that the spirits of the dead are the “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14).
The belief that spirits of the dead return to help the living has prepared the way for modern spiritualism. If the dead are entrusted with knowledge far beyond what they had before, why not return to earth and instruct the living? If spirits of the dead hover around their friends on earth, why not communicate with them? How can those who believe in human consciousness in death reject “divine light” that comes through glorified spirits? Here is a channel that people think is sacred but which Satan uses. Fallen angels appear as messengers from the spirit world.
The prince of evil has power to bring before people the appearance of departed friends. The counterfeit is perfect, reproduced with amazing exactness. Many take comfort in the assurance that their loved ones are enjoying heaven. Without suspecting danger, they open their lives “to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Those who went into the grave unprepared claim to be happy and to occupy high positions in heaven. Pretended visitors from the world of spirits sometimes give warnings that prove to be correct. Then, as they win people’s confidence, they present doctrines that undermine the Scriptures. The fact that they speak some truths and at times foretell future events makes them appear reliable, and people accept their false teachings. The law of God is set aside, the Spirit of grace despised. The spirits deny the deity of Christ and place the Creator on a level with themselves.
While it is true that the results of trickery have often been presented as genuine manifestations, there have also been clear exhibitions of supernatural power, the direct work of evil angels. Many believe that spiritualism is nothing more than human fraud. When they come face to face with happenings that they cannot explain as anything but supernatural, they will be deceived and will accept them as the great power of God.
With help from Satan, Pharaoh’s magicians counterfeited the work of God (see Exodus 7:10-12). Paul testifies that before the coming of the Lord we will see “the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception” (2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10). And John declares: “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do” (Revelation 13:13, 14). This is not predicting mere tricks. People are deceived by the miracles that Satan’s agents actually do, not that they only pretend to do.
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Source: Ellen G. White, The Great Hope, pp. 38-39.