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    Chapter 13—Consulting Spiritualist Physicians

    From time to time I have received letters from both ministers and lay-members of the church, inquiring if I think it wrong to consult spiritualist and clairvoyant physicians. So numerous are these agents of Satan becoming, and so general is the practice of seeking council from them, that it seems needful to utter words of warning.CTBH 111.1

    God has placed it in our power to obtain a knowledge of the laws of health. He has made it a duty to preserve our physical powers in the best possible condition, that we may render to him acceptable service. Those who refuse to improve the light and knowledge that have been mercifully placed within their reach, are rejecting one of the means which God has granted them to promote spiritual as well as physical life. They are placing themselves where they will be exposed to the delusions of Satan.CTBH 111.2

    Not a few in this Christian age and Christian nation resort to evil spirits, rather than trust to the power of the living God. The mother, watching by the sick-bed of her child, exclaims, “I can do no more. Is there no physician who has power to restore my child?” She is told of the wonderful cures performed by some clairvoyant or magnetic healer, and she trusts her dear one to his charge, placing it as verily in the hands of Satan as if he were standing by her side. In many instances the future life of the child is controlled by a satanic power which it seems impossible to break.CTBH 111.3

    I have heard a mother pleading with an infidel physician to save the life of her child; but when I entreated her to seek help from the Great Physician, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come to him in faith, she turned away with impatience.CTBH 111.4

    When Ahaziah, king of Israel, was sick, “he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this disease.” On the way they met Elijah, and instead of a message from the idol, the king heard the awful denunciation from the God of Israel, “Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.” [2 Kings 1:4.] It was Christ that bade Elijah speak these words to the apostate king. Jehovah Immanuel had cause to be greatly displeased at Ahaziah's impiety. What had Christ not done to win the hearts of Israel, and to inspire them with unwavering confidence in himself? For ages he had visited his people with manifestations of the most condescending kindness and unexampled love. From the time of the patriarchs, he had shown how his “delights were with the sons of men.” [Proverbs 8:31.] He had been a very present help to all who sought him in sincerity. “In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them.” [Isaiah 63:9.] Yet Israel had revolted from God, and turned for help to the Lord's worst enemy.CTBH 112.1

    The Hebrews were the only nation favored with a knowledge of the true God. When the king of Israel sent to inquire of a pagan oracle, he proclaimed to the heathen that he had more confidence in their idols than in the God of his people, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In the same manner do those who profess to have a knowledge of God's word dishonor him when they turn from the source of strength and wisdom, to ask help or counsel from the powers of darkness. If God's wrath was kindled by such a course on the part of a wicked, idolatrous king, how must he regard a similar course pursued by those who profess to be his servants?CTBH 112.2

    Many are unwilling to put forth the needed effort to obtain a knowledge of the laws of life and the simple means to be employed for the restoration of health. They do not place themselves in right relation to life. When sickness is the result of their transgression of natural law, they do not seek to correct their errors, and then ask the blessing of God, but they resort to the physicians. If they recover health, they give to drugs and doctors all the honor. They are ever ready to idolize human power and wisdom, seeming to know no other God than the creature,—dust and ashes.CTBH 112.3

    It is not safe to trust to physicians who have not the fear of God before them. Without the influence of divine grace, the hearts of men are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” [Jeremiah 17:9.] Self-aggrandizement is their aim. Under cover of the medical profession, what iniquities have been practiced, what delusions supported! The physician may claim to possess great wisdom and marvelous skill, while at the same time his character is abandoned, and his practice contrary to the laws of health. The Lord our God assures us that he is waiting to be gracious; he invites us to call upon him in the day of trouble. Furthermore, the teaching of these physicians is continually leading away from the principles God has given us in regard to health, especially on the diet question. They say we are not living as we ought, and prescribe changes that are contrary to the light God has sent. Brethren, how can the Lord let his blessing rest upon us when we are going right upon the enemy's ground?CTBH 113.1

    Why is it that men are so unwilling to trust Him who created man, and who can, by a touch, a word, a look, heal all manner of disease? Who is more worthy of our confidence than the One who has made so great a sacrifice for our redemption? Our Lord has given us definite instruction, through the apostle James, as to our duty in case of sickness. When human help fails, God will be the helper of his people. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” [James 5:14, 15.] If the professed followers of Christ would, with purity of heart, exercise as much faith in the promises of God as they repose in satanic agencies, they would realize, in soul and body, the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.CTBH 113.2

    God has granted to this people great light, yet we are not placed beyond the reach of temptation. Who among us are seeking help from the gods of Ekron? Look on this picture—a picture not drawn from imagination. In how many, even among Seventh-day Adventists, may its leading characteristics be seen! An invalid, apparently very conscientious, yet bigoted and self-sufficient, freely avows his contempt for the laws of life and health, which divine mercy has led us as a people to accept. His food must be prepared in a manner to satisfy his morbid cravings. Rather than sit at a table where wholesome food is provided, he will patronize restaurants, because he can there indulge appetite without restraint. A fluent advocate of temperance, he disregards its foundation principles. He wants relief, but refuses to obtain it at the price of self-denial. That man is worshiping at the shrine of perverted appetite. He is an idolater. The powers, which, sanctified and ennobled, might be employed to honor God, are weakened, and rendered of little service. An irritable temper, a confused brain, and unstrung nerves are among the results of his disregard of nature's laws. He is inefficient and unreliable. Whoever has the courage and honesty to warn him of danger, thereby incurs his displeasure. The slightest remonstrance or opposition is sufficient to rouse his combative spirit. But now an opportunity is presented to seek help from one whose power comes through the medium of witchcraft. To this source he applies with eagerness, freely expending time and money in the hope of securing the proffered boon. He is deceived, infatuated. The sorcerer's power is made the theme of praise, and others are influenced to seek his aid. Thus the God of Israel is dishonored, while Satan's power is revered and exalted.CTBH 114.1

    In the name of Christ I would address his professed followers: Abide in the faith which you have received from the beginning. “Shun profane and vain babblings.” [2 Timothy 2:16.] Instead of putting your trust in witchcraft, have faith in the living God. Cursed is the path that leads to Endor or to Ekron. The feet will stumble and fall that venture upon this forbidden ground. There is a God in Israel, with whom is deliverance for all who are oppressed. Righteousness is the foundation of his throne.CTBH 115.1

    There is danger in departing in the least from the Lord's instruction. When we deviate from the plain path of duty, a train of circumstances will arise that seems irresistibly to draw us farther and farther from the right. Needless intimacies with those who have no respect for God will seduce us ere we are aware. The fear of offending worldly friends will deter us from expressing our gratitude to God, or acknowledging our dependence upon him.CTBH 115.2

    We must keep close to the word of God. We need its warnings and encouragement, its threatenings and promises. We need the perfect example given only in the life and character of our Saviour. Angels of God will preserve his people while they walk in the path of duty; but there is no assurance of such protection for those who deliberately venture upon Satan's ground. An agent of the great deceiver will say and do anything to gain his object. It matters little whether he calls himself a spiritualist, an “electric physician,” or a “magnetic healer.” By specious pretenses he wins the confidence of the unwary. He pretends to read the life history, and to understand all the difficulties and afflictions of those who resort to him. Disguising himself as an angel of light, while the blackness of the pit is in his heart, he manifests great interest in women who seek his counsel. He tells them that all their troubles are due to an unhappy marriage. This may be too true, but such counsel does not better their condition. He tells them that they need love and sympathy. Pretending great interest in their welfare, he casts a spell over his unsuspecting victims, charming them as the serpent charms the trembling bird. Soon they are completely in his power, and sin, disgrace, and ruin are the terrible sequel.CTBH 115.3

    Our only safety is in preserving the ancient landmarks. “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” [Isaiah 8:20.]CTBH 116.1

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