Throughout all the ages of man, there has been a tendency to intrude into matters “invisible”. Man’s latent curiosity has often been aroused to know about, and to try to contact, those who have “passed on”. The Bible records much evidence in the Old Testament of groups of people devoted to practices of this kind, and the Lord gave Moses dire warnings for the children of Israel, that should anyone be found indulging in such practices, they would be under penalty of death.
Let us hear the actual words, found in Deuteronomy 18:10-12. “There shall not be found among you one – – that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter of familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.”
To study the original Hebrew words used in those verses is a real eye-opener, and worth the effort. But this cannot be part of our present study lest it become cumbersome and lose direction.
The main point for us at this moment is to record how “spiritualism” suddenly burst into the western world in 1848, and created the modern scene, with its millions of adherents. We shall see throughout this study that after the dark day of 1780 God began to plant seeds of a new work in the earth. And every time He planted a seed, the Devil dropped a tare, so as to confuse the message. Hence one must appreciate what has been occurring “behind the scenes”, so to speak, in order to understand the movement of events in our present world.
The event that triggered off the modern craze began in Hydesville, New York, on March 31st 1848, in the house of John Fox. For some while his two young daughters had listened to strange tapping noises during the night, and wondered what they were. They had eliminated the possibilities of rats, mice, or wind. But on this particular night they light-heartedly attempted to play a game with the noises. They began tapping out noises themselves, and were surprised to find an answering pattern! They had established a dialogue with “something” or “someone”.They began in earnest to find out who was behind the noises, and invented a progressively complex code of taps and answers. It turned out to be the “spirit” of someone who had died, and was buried under the floor. Eventually this was confirmed by digging up the remains.
The event naturally caused a sensation, and neighbours from all around came to hear the noises, and be convinced that communication was taking place between the living and the dead. Man’s natural curiosity was once again aroused, and this time in no small measure. The news travelled far and wide, and within a short space of time was the prime investigation of millions of people. The modern “spiritualist” scene had taken off with a vengeance. It’s amazing how strongly and rapidly tares grow! One small event with two little girls produced a spiritual earthquake across the globe!
The phenomenon was investigated, not only by the rank and file, but by some who were well-known in society, for example Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author and creator of the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes, and Sir William Crookes, the English physicist who worked on the nature of electrical discharges in vacuum tubes.
Gradually more sophisticated techniques were found for contacting those on “the other side”, such as the seance (French for a “sitting”), and the Ouija Board, (French and German for “Yes”). In the 19th century seances became the rage in fashionable society throughout Europe and America.
Coming down to the present day, one finds sadly that the Ouija Board is often found in toy shops as just another “game” for children to play. In my teaching years, back in the 1960s, I found students playing this game, and they came to me in a frightened state, having learned from their devilish device that their lives were in peril. Only by prayer and commanding the evil spirits did they have their sanity restored. But more than that, it became the means whereby they were introduced to the Saviour of mankind, the Lord Jesus Himself. Satan had overstepped himself!
The famous stage magician Harry Houdini (1874-1926) spent no less than 30 years pursuing people who ran seances, and in quite the majority of cases he proved that they were frauds, using darkened rooms with clever gadgets to bring about effects that seemed supernatural. He declared that he had “not found one incident that savoured of the genuine.” However, for all the good work he did in unmasking the tricksters, who were hauling in large dividends on the credulity of the public mind, there still remained the hard core of real spiritual darkness that God had spoken about in Deuteronomy.
Most of the genuine effects of spiritualism come about as a result of demonic activity, spiritguides, and fallen angels, and these are real enough. Many Christians in the world today arehaving continual evidence, and sustained battles against these unseen forces of darkness. We ourselves have from time to time had to war against the principalities and powers of darkness, but this is not the place or the time to give further details. Let it suffice to say that the new surge of spiritualism began in 1848, and has blossomed throughout the world like stinking weeds ever since.
Just as the word “spiritualism” suggests something good, whereas in fact it should be “spiritism”, so also another word arose in those early days which is a verbal charlatan. I am speaking about “enlightenment”. This word was coined to describe the mainly French brand of philosophy that grew up in the years immediately after the dark day of 1780. Based upon the writings of those who had gone before, a new brand of idea was promoted, and its origin has already been ascribed to Adam Weishaupt and the Illluminati.
The earlier philosophers such as Rene Descartes in France (1596-1650), Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and John Locke (1632-1704) in England, combined with the gargantuan work of Denis Diderot (1713-1784) in France, with his ENCYCLOPEDIE of 28 volumes of “philosophy, art, science, and other matters”, published in 1777, laid the ground for this period of “enlightenment”, which in fact from a Biblical point of view was quite the opposite, being far more like the darkness experienced in 1780.
In that great Encyclopedie, the first of its kind ever to be published, was written the ideas of men like Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Count Buffon, Turgot, Quesnay, and others, all of whom strove to overthrow the Biblical concepts of life in favour of rationalism, the elevation of the human mind as being the greatest factor in human life.
Taking Rousseau as an example, he wrote a book entitled “Du Contrat Social” (The Social Contract) containing his political thought. He wrote of man in a state of nature as a “narrow stupid animal.” His well-known opening remark “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains” continues, “One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they are.” But Rousseau didn’t think of his ideal society as putting men in chains, on the contrary, he said that man is chained by his own passions and ignorance until he enters this society and submits to the general will of the population as a whole. But, as Voltaire saw, a number of men might feel freer outside such a society and prefer not to submit to it. Rousseau’s answer was that such men must be “forced to be free”, and forced to accept and appreciate “their true moral nature.” The “body politic” as he called it, should have “absolute power over all its members” and whoever “refuses to obey the general shall be forced to do so.”
During the French Revolution Rousseau’s ideas were used to justify both the pursuit of liberty, and also the use of oppression and tyranny, in the ultimate interests of the people. It is little wonder that he has been acclaimed as both the founder of modern democracy AND the forerunner of modern totalitarianism.
The German philosopher Karl Marx (1818-1883) was a man of action as well as a theorist. Basing his thinking on all that the “enlightenment” had thus far produced, he worked together with his friend Friedrich Engels to produce a document for the working class ofindustrialised Europe, preparing them for revolution. The document was entitled THECOMMUNIST MANIFESTO, and it was published in 1848, the same year in which “spiritualism” first appeared.
We must stop here for a moment and investigate this man’s life in a little more detail. In doing so, I am indebted to a little booklet written by Richard Wurmbrand, entitled “Was Karl Marx a Satanist?”
It may come as a surprise to learn that in his early youth Marx was a Christian. He was born of Jewish parents, who had decided on changing their religion, and becoming Baptists. His father was a lawyer of some repute and standing in society. Karl’s first extant written work is called, “The union of the faithful with Christ.” In this, we read the following words. “Through love of Christ we turn our hearts at the same time toward our brethren who are inwardly bound to us and for whom He gave Himself as a sacrifice.” And a bit later in the same writing, “Union with Christ could give an inner elevation, comfort in sorrow, calm trust, and a heart susceptible to human love, to everything noble and great, not for the sake of ambition and glory, but only for the sake of Christ.”
Such great beginnings as a youth, suddenly became shattered by an experience wholly unknown and mysterious as to its origin, because about the time he reached manhood, a new Marx, profoundly and passionately anti-religious began to emerge. He writes in a poem about that time, “I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above.” Why? No oneknows. There is nothing in all his writings to give us the faintest clue. It could not have been to do with deprivation, because he belonged to a relatively well-off family, and lacked nothing of a material nature. Listen to the words of a short poem he wrote, entitled, INVOCATION OF ONE IN DESPAIR.
So a god has snatched from me my all
In the curse and rack of destiny.
All his worlds are gone beyond recall!
Nothing but revenge is left to me!
Whatever caused this great reversal must have been a most traumatic event. He goes on in the poem a bit later –
I shall build my throne high overhead,
Cold, tremendous shall its summit be.
For its bulwark – superstitious dread.
For its Marshall – blackest agony.
These lines remind one of Lucifer’s boast “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” (Isa.14:13)
It becomes clearer as he proceeds that his dramatic reversal is so powerful that he becomes involved in Satanic ritual. He wrote a poem called OULANEM, which is a reverse anagram of Emanuel, God with us. This is a standard practice of Satanists to take holy things and invertthem, read them backwards, desecrate them, or otherwise twist them into something foul. Hence Marx was already beginning to do this hardly before he had started his twenties. The poem OULANEM takes as its theme his own quest to drag all humanity down into the abyss with him, whilst he laughs.
When did this change occur? The only clue we have comes from a letter which he wrote to his father on November 10th 1837, when he was 19 years of age. “A curtain has fallen. My Holy of holies was rent asunder and new gods had to be installed.” His father, in referring to this when writing to a friend, said, “I refrained from insisting on an explanation about a very mysterious matter, though it seemed highly dubious.” What was this “mysterious matter”? No one knows. In 1841 George Jung, a friend of Marx at the time, wrote – “Marx will surely chase God from His heaven and will even sue him. Marx calls the Christian religion one of the most immoral of religions.” This was because he had from somewhere obtained the impression that Christians of former times had slaughtered men and eaten their flesh.
It was in that year that Marx met Moses Hess, (1812-1875) the German Jewish Socialist, and was converted to communism. Later he met Engels in Cologne, and wrote to Hess saying “He parted from me as an over-zealous communist. This is how I produce ravages.” Hess was the force behind the writing of The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. But after the publication of this document, Hess broke with them, and gave his energies to the founding of Zionism of a most diabolical kind. We shall later see how Theodore Herzl produced another kind of Zionism. There is a tomb in Israel today on which one can read the words, “Moses Hess, founder of the German Social-Democrate Party.” Such evil men as these may be seen as the tares that Satan sowed amongst the wheat of God’s new work in the earth.
One other factor about Marx must be stated here, and it will lead us on to the last section of this chapter about new philosophies. When Charles Darwin published his “Origin of Species” in 1859, Marx was one of those who read it with relish. He wrote to a friend about it, saying “God has been given the death blow.” And with enthusiasm he wrote to Darwin, asking permission to dedicate Das Kapital to him. But Darwin refused, saying that he didn’t want to be associated with attacks on religion.
At the same time Conway Zirkle, in his book, “Evolution, Biology, and the Social Scene,” said, “Evolution of course, was just what the founders of communism needed to explain how mankind could have come into being without the intervention of any supernatural force, and consequently it could be used to bolster the foundations of their materialistic philosophy.”
So what about Charles Darwin? Like Marx, he began as a Christian, and went to Cambridgein 1827 to prepare for Holy Orders in the Church of England. Because of lack of interest he didn’t last out the course, deciding rather to become an adventurer and sail the high seas in search of interesting specimens. This led to his theory of evolution, which was not his own brain-child (as many have thought) but based on the writings of Count Buffon, (whose ideas were expressed in Diderot’s famous Encyclopedie), August Werner (1749-1817), William Smith (1769-1839), Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), James Hutton (1726-1797), Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) and eminently to the writings of Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) in his “Principles of Geology”. He even borrowed ideas from his forebear Erasmus Darwin.
Darwin was a man of great intellect, but of a certain weakness of mind. It is doubtful whether he would have published “The Origin of Species” had it not been for two factors. First, the forceful nature of his friend the Biologist Thomas Huxley, the “bulldog” who pressed him to publish, and second, the fact that another adventurer by the name of Alfred Russell Wallace had written to him expressing an almost identical evaluation of his findings, and might at any time publish his own work, and Darwin’s own self-esteem prompted him to yield the more rapidly to Huxley’s goading.
Reading from some of Darwin’s works, one can see what happened. Let me quote here from “The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin.”
“I had gradually come by this time, that is 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus.”
“The Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events. They differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eye-witnesses, and by such reflections as these – – I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation.”
“I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this. – – Unbelief crept on me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress.”
In Marx’s case it was something very sudden that turned him violently against the Christ of his earlier years. But with Darwin there was an almost imperceptibly slow decline in belief. It was almost as though he was acting out his own theory of evolution during his life. He was always talking about “imperceptibly slow processes” in nature.
This chapter has been about “philosophies.” Later on we shall see that God spoke to a Russian monk, saying that these so-called philosophies were none other than “spirits from hell.”
In our lifetime we have seen how the theory of evolution has become established as “fact” the world over, even though to men of discernment it is still but a theory, and one which cannot stand the rigorous tests of scientific analysis. As Malcolm Muggeridge said at one of the Paschal Lectures in Ontario, Canada, “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.”
Professor D.M.S.Watson has declared, “Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur – – or can be proved by logical coherent evidence, but because the only alternative, Special Creation, is clearly incredible.”
This hits the nail on the head, and Watson speaks out what many others would not be willing to admit, in other words that evolution has no grounding in true science whatsoever, and is just another “spirit from hell” sent by Satan to lead men and women away from God.
We have recently seen the demise of Russian communism, but as yet there seems to be no sign of the death-blow to evolution that Muggeridge speaks about. But God will have His way, when the time is right.