People believe what they believe because of what they have been taught and exposed to, and many times people will blindly accept what they are taught without checking “the facts” as it were against the truth of God’s Word. In Genesis 2:16, God had told Adam that the very day that he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “thou shalt surely die.” The Serpent, as the Devil is called in Genesis chapter 3, stated otherwise. In Genesis 3:4, “the Serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die.” Cloaked in sincerity, this original lie is still being palmed off on men and women today.

God had said, “thou shalt surely die.” The Serpent said, “ye shall not surely die.” Somebody’s got to be a liar! (My money is on the Serpent). Life after death is understandably a subject of great interest as man investigates and endeavors to come to terms with his own mortality, and the loss of those whom they love. Sadly, most come to terms with the subject apart from an understanding of the truth of God as made known in Scripture, and fall prey to the original lie of the Serpent.

Currently there is a very popular nationally syndicated radio talk show called, “The Other Side, with Steve Godfrey,” where Mr. Godfrey displays his sensitivity to the “spirit world,” allowing call-in guests to “get in touch” with those from “the other side.”

The truth of the matter is Mr. Godfrey is displaying the age old practice of conjuring up (exercising) “familiar spirits.” Familiar spirits are so called because of their being “familiar” with things, people, and events that have taken place in the senses realm. (Only you and Grandpa knew how you would sneak up to the barn after he went inside and puff on the cigar he left on the window sill. Nobody else ever saw it, knew it, or could possibly know it, so this has to be Grandpa that Mr. Godfrey is talking to on your behalf). The Old Testament speaks of the practice of exercising familiar spirits and the consequences it brings –

Leviticus 19:31
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20:6
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

II Kings 23:24
Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.

Isaiah 8:19
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

One of the contributing factors that led to the death of King Saul, beside his continuous rejection of the Word of God in his life, was his asking council of a woman who had a familiar spirit.

I Chronicles 10:13
So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;

Spiritualism, and the practice of conjuring up familiar spirits, is still a very popular field of interest today. Even in the toy aisle in most department stores you can still find Ouija Boards. (What a wonderful way to introduce children to the spirit world! “Oh, but it’s just a harmless game.”)

Perhaps men and women fall prey so easily to the Devil’s original lie, and seek council of those who are exercising familiar spirits, because most mainstream “Christian” churches offer few clear, biblical answers or comfort concerning death. While condemning those who are investigating or operating spiritualistic practices (i.e. exercising familiar spirits), they themselves teach that when you die “you’re not really dead,” you’ve just gone home to be with Jesus! The original lie of the Devil of, “ye shall not surely die,” is still being palmed off on men and women today by sincere (but dead wrong) respected religious leaders.

Most mainstream “Christian” churches and the likes of Steve Godfrey both will tell you the same thing – that those who have died are not really dead. The difference however is that while those same churches tell that you cannot or should not talk with your dead loved ones because that would be sin, Mr. Godfrey will tell you that you can and should talk with your dead loved ones. Mr. Godfrey will help you get in contact with those on “the other side.” He will tell you that your dead loved ones want to talk with you, to tell you not to worry about them, to tell you not to grieve, to tell you about the beauties of the after-life. Which one sounds more appealing, more comforting, and more inviting?

Mainstream “Christian” teaching for centuries has propounded that those who have died are not really dead, but are in one of two or more places. This is exactly what the Serpent told Eve in the Garden of Eden when he said, “ye shalt not surely die.” The Serpent’s original lie is still being palmed off on people today by sincere and trusted religious leaders who propound that those who have died are not really dead, but rather are alive, either in eternal bliss with the Lord or in the eternal flames of Hell, or in a temporary place of waiting until entrance is granted into one or the other. All of which are false teaching if the Bible, the Word of God, is true.

Thinking men and women have grown dissatisfied with what is all too evident in so many mainstream “Christian” churches today – that it lacks spiritual authority and power, and is destitute of the supernatural, sorely lacking sound, simple, biblical doctrine, and clear, logical answers. This has resulted in thousands upon thousands being drawn into this harmful and deadly snare of the Devil, turning to the likes of Steve Godfrey and the multitude of others who seem to be operating genuine “supernatural” abilities.

The question I have is if death takes a person into the presence of God, then why are Christians the first ones to pray for healing for the sick? Why not be consistent in their logic? Why not pray for, and do everything they can to hasten death? Why not support suicide? (You see, when you tell a lie you have to remember the lie and continue to come up with illogical, dishonest and unbiblical ways to cover for the original lie you told.)

The truth of the matter is that death is not a welcomed friend that takes us home to be with the Lord. According to the Scriptures, death is an enemy (I Corinthians 15:26) that robs us of life and joy and fellowship with God and our loved ones. It is an enemy that, with the return of Christ, will ultimately be destroyed. The so-called “supernatural” abilities being demonstrated by Mr. Godfrey and other spiritualists are nothing more than the conjuring up (exercising) of familiar spirits, which are devil spirits, which brings severe consequences to the operator and those who listen to them.

The truth of the matter is that the scriptures are very clear for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. The Bible clearly teaches that ALL who have died are DEAD, with the exception of the lord Jesus Christ who is called in I Corinthians 15:20, 23 the “firstfruits” from the dead, and in Revelation 1:5 “the first begotten of the dead.” If Jesus Christ is the “firstfruits” from the dead and the “first begotten” from the dead, then Abraham is dead! Moses is dead (Hebrews 11:13)! David is dead (Acts 2:29)!

The Word of God declares that there is no consciousness in death, and that ALL those who have ever died remain in the grave in the continuing state of death until the return of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, when ALL will be made alive – in particular order and sequence. The Scriptures also declare that those who produce these “supernatural” phenomena are acting contrary to the truth of God’s Word and are possessed by, and operating, devil spirits. For further study you may want to check the following sections of scripture – Ecclesiastes 9:5-10; Psalms 30:9; 115:17; 88:5-12; 146:4; 6:5; Isaiah 38:18, 19; Acts 2:29, 34; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:1-58.

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