'You will not surely die': the lie that spawned spiritualism

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

Friends, I want to thank the Lord so much for how far He has brought us. This study will be the last in our series on The Truth about Death. This last study is captioned: "You will not surely die": the lie that spawned spiritualism. It is my prayer that the Lord will use this study to open our eyes to the myriad of satanic deceptions that surround us and give us the strength to continue to abide in Him.


When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them conditional immortality. In other words, they were going to live eternally if they were faithful to His commandment. God narrowed the test of their allegiance to Him to only a single commandment. From Genesis 2:16-17, we read the commandment of God to the human race: "16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."


Adam and Eve were happy in the Garden of Eden when they heeded the command of their Maker. But one day as Eve drifted from her husband, she wandered into the middle of the garden that the Lord had specially prepared for them. There, in the midst of the garden, lurked Satan, the fallen angel who was bent on deceiving this new creation of God. From Genesis 3:1-6, we read the sad events of what took place when our mother Eve encountered the devil: "3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;

3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.

3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die.

3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."

(Genesis 3:1-6)
As the passage above clearly points out, Satan was successful in deceiving our first parents to sin against the clear command of God. The punishment of their sin was death (Genesis 2:17). Immediately after man had eaten of the forbidden fruit, he began to degenerate. The process of death had begun. But then our first parents were yet to understand what death really meant! It wasn't long before they came to understand the clear meaning of death; for their elder son Cain killed his junior brother Abel (see Genesis 4:8). With sorrow of heart, Adam and Eve understood the penalty of their transgression when Abel had to be lowered into the grave that had been prepared for him. Their agony knew no bounds when they realized that it was their sin that had brought death unto their beloved son. With a heart full of sorrow for their sin, they clung unto the promise of the Redeemer to come (see Genesis 3:15). With the passing of time, our first parents learned that until the restoration of all things by the coming Redeemer, mankind will have to endure the agony and separation that death will bring as a result of their sin.


Adam and Eve came to understand that God was not evil as the devil had painted him. They realized that there was nothing good that the Lord had withheld from them (James 1:17). Our first parents realized through their transgression that Satan was rather a liar. This captain of evil demons had deceived them to transgress against the clear command of God; and now death was their portion. From Genesis 5, we learn about the sad story of death. We learn about how the human race began to die one generation after the other. The sad portions of this genealogy are recounted as follows: 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

5:8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.

5:11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

5:14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

5:17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

5:20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.

5:27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

5:31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.

(Genesis 5:5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, 31)


Even though Satan was happy that he had succeeded in tempting man to sin, the evidence of mankind's death was a constant evidence of his lie. Satan understood that mankind now considered him a liar because the promise he offered Eve had failed. With this situation at hand, the devil and his host of evil angels began to think. The question they needed an answer to was this: how would they perpetuate the lie that their leader (Satan) had told Eve in the Garden of Eden? (see Genesis 3:4-5).

Friends, a clever solution was found and quickly put to work. The devil and his agents were going to sow the seed of the immortal soul concept into the heart of mankind. He will suggest to man that there is a soul or spirit in him that continues to live on even after his physical death. This idea was seen in the ranks of the fallen angels as a brilliant idea and the host of demons quickly began work to ensure that mankind will continue to cherish a false hope of immortality even after their death. Satan decided to roll out this wonderful concept through several approaches. One approach the devil decided to utilize in spreading this falsehood was to plant the concept of the immortal soul in the various cultures of the world.


Satan and his host of evil angels have worked hard to plant the falsehood of the immortal soul concept in the various cultures of the world. As you read this study today, there is not a single cultural group in the world that does not have some element of the immortality of the soul concept embedded in their culture. For instance, in the Ashanti culture in Ghana where I come from, we have the following examples of the immortality of the soul concept embedded in the very fabric of the society:

A) Spirit World (Asamando): This is the home of the spirits of the dead. It is believed that the spirits of the dead do continue to live on at this place.

B) Ghost (Saman): ‘Saman’ is the term that is used to denote the spirit of a dead person. Within the Ashanti culture, there is the belief that the spirits of the dead possess more knowledge and powers than the living. It is believed that these spirits can communicate with the living physically, through a medium or through dreams. The word ‘samantwèntwèn’ is used to describe the spirits of people who are not able to go to the ancestral land due to the sudden nature of their death. It is believed that these spirits did not exhaust their total number of years before they died. As a result of their situation, these spirits are sometimes seen hovering around the neighbourhood where they lived.

C) Necromancy (‘Nsamanfrè'): This is the process whereby human mediums such as fetish priests are made to call up the dead on behalf of the living. Sometimes, when the family of a dead person suspects that their dead relative did not die a natural death, they will request from a human medium (usually fetish priests) to bring up the soul of the dead person so that he or she will tell the identity of the murderer. In some cases, the medium challenges the decease to use his or her superhuman powers to punish his or her killers.

D) ‘Nsamantoa’: This term denotes a summons to the spirit world. If a sacred responsibility entrusted to a close friend or relative by a person before his decease (such as the responsibility to educate some particular children) is neglected, sometimes the one who has been charged to perform such a responsibility may die suddenly in a mysterious manner. Usually, when the family of such a person who dies under such strange circumstance requires the cause of his death from a medium such as a fetish priest, they are told that their relative has been summoned to the spirit world to explain the reason for his negligence of a sacred duty entrusted into his care.

E) Ancestor worship: The ancestors are the spirits of the dead who lived exemplary lives and actually worked hard to save or bring development in the community. Ancestor worship is carried out through activities such as pouring of libation to the ancestors and offering sacrifices to them. Ancestor worship is ingrained in the Ashanti culture to the extent that in some places food and drinks are provided at regular intervals for these ancestors.

F) ‘Kòsanba’: Within the Ashanti culture in Ghana, when a woman consistently loses a new born child through early death, it is believed that it is the same child that comes from the spirit world to be born and then goes back again through early death. The common name given to such a child is ‘kòsanba’, which literally means; "it goes and comes back". When a child who is believed to be a ‘kòsanba’ dies, the family of the child will place a distinct mark on the body before his or her burial. The strange phenomenon in relation to this experience is that when the woman in question later gives birth to another child, the distinct mark that was placed on the body of the previous child who died is found exactly on this new born child. To deter the ‘kòsanba’ from going back to the spirit world through early death once again, he or she is given a shameful name such as ‘Sumina’ (refuse), ‘Kaya’ (slave), ‘Dònko' (slave), et cetera. Surprisingly, the new born child with the distinct mark will now live on into adulthood.

Friends, if you are wondering how Satan is able to accomplish this, then you are not alone. In fact, the Bible describes the host of fallen angels as spirits of devils working miracles (Revelation 16:14). You see beloved, in as much as we have psychic healers who are able to perform physical surgery through spiritualism today, it shouldn't surprise us that Satan can give the same distinct mark that was placed on a dead child to a new born child to further his deception that there is a spirit world where the dead continue to live on.

G) Immortality of the soul concepts embedded in funeral rites of the Ashanti people:

i) ‘Adesiedeè': These are things that are collected from family and friends to be used in burying a dead person. They may comprise of items such as ring, clothes, sandals, beads (if the dead person is a woman) et cetera. The mindset behind the provision of these items is that the spirit of the dead person will use these items in the spirit world. And so in the Ashanti culture, the dead are buried with a lot of items that are given out by well-wishers to aid them to settle comfortably in the spirit world. This belief was deeply ingrained within the culture to the extent that when a king died, people were even killed and their heads severed to be added to the items that were used in burying the king. The belief behind this action is that the dead king will continue to need servants to aid him in the spirit world. Even though the advent of Christianity and Western culture has affected some of these practices (such as burying people with various items and the killing of people when a king died), yet among very primitive Ashanti families, a lot of these cultural practices are still carried out.

ii) ‘Nsamankòm’: This is a spiritual phenomenon which occurs during funeral celebrations. ‘Nsamankòm’ is a term that is used to describe the situation whereby the voice of the dead person is suddenly heard speaking through a living person usually on the cause of his or her death. Through this phenomenon, the dead person may also address a particular individual or the family on issues that he or she finds unpleasant in relation to his or her funeral celebration. When the person or family that was addressed by the dead refuses to heed the given instruction, negative incidents will usually befall such a person or family.

iii) Widowhood rituals: Within the Ashanti culture in Ghana, a lot of rituals that widows go through have their backgrounds from spiritualism. One particular ritual that is highly connected to the immortality of the soul concept is the practice whereby widows are not allowed to greet people during the funeral celebration of the late husband. The idea behind this practice is that since the woman's husband is dead, a male who might be interested in the widow may scratch the palm of the widow in the process of greeting her to forward a proposal of love. Now, since the funeral of the late husband is not yet over, it is believed that the ghost (saman) of the husband is right there at the funeral grounds observing whatever is going on. Now, when a male scratches the palm of the wife indicating an offer of proposal, the spirit of the dead man will strike this person to death in his fury. And so to prevent any calamity happening at the funeral grounds, the widow is prevented from shaking the hand of any person.

Beloved, I believe you can understand how difficult it is for someone surrounded by all these cultural phenomena to really understand and appreciate the biblical teaching on the state of man after death. Our people are born into this deception of the immortal soul that the devil has cunningly wrapped into the culture. It takes only the power of God working through the Holy Spirit to break through the tide of these satanic deceptions that has been well accepted as 'truth' and embedded into the culture.

(Do you find examples of the immortality of the soul concept in your own culture? You may write to us about these concepts so we can use them to update this study)


After the enemy of souls had planted the lie of the immortal soul in the various cultures of the world, he further developed the concept as a religion; that is, the religion of spiritualism with its key theory of spiritism. Some of the core beliefs of spiritualism are expressed in the following quotes:

i) "Spiritualism says that the dead know more than the living. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. Genesis 3:4. In this, as in many other Bible passages, the Devil told the truth and the Lord is in error." - E. W. Sprague, Spiritualist.

ii) "The fundamental principle of spiritism is that human beings survive bodily death, and that occasionally, under conditions not yet fully understood, we can communicate with those who have gone before." - John Arthur Hill (Spiritism: History, Phenomena, and Doctrine), p. 25.

iii) "There is no death in the graveyard. I have frequent talks with the dead. I cannot doubt that people live after death for I frequently talk with them." - Sir Oliver Lodge, Spiritualist.

iv) "Both sides of death live in unbroken fellowship ... All the facts point to the continuing existence of our loved ones ... We shall be united with them, meanwhile, we continue in fellowship with those who dwell in the spirit world." - Norman Vincent Peale.

These quotes represent the basic beliefs of spiritualism and its theory of spiritism. But friends, we notice from Genesis 3 that Satan did not just tell Eve she will not surely die (Genesis 3:4). The arch deceiver added a second lie that her eyes will be opened and that she will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). Beloved, from this second lie is founded the grand aspirations of the occult - to be like God and obtain all hidden knowledge. In pursuing this aspiration, occultists rely on spiritualism and other associated activities such as astrology, horoscopes, mediums, sorcery, reading palms, spells, magic and witchcraft. By promising mankind a spiritual life beyond the grave, and the hidden knowledge of the supernatural, Satan was able to start a religion that millions found attractive to enlist.


Friends, it is important to note that the devil was not just interested in creating the religion of spiritualism and the occult. It was his plan to push their underlying teachings into the major religions of the world. By pursuing this strategy, the devil saw the whole world being deceived and coming under the influence of his power. At the moment friends, the enemy of souls has been very successful in reaching this goal. Here are some few examples of his success story:

i) Hinduism and its concept of reincarnation. Hindus believe that "a soul reincarnates again and again on earth until it becomes perfect and reunites with its Source. During this process the soul enters into many bodies, assumes many forms and passes through many births and deaths." - Jayaram V. (

ii) Islam and its belief in the continued existence of the soul after death. Muslims believe that: "Until the Day of Judgment, deceased souls remain in their graves awaiting the resurrection. However, they begin to feel immediately a taste of their destiny to come. Those bound for hell will suffer in their graves, while those bound for heaven will be in peace until that time." (

iii) The new age movement and its connections with eastern spiritualistic phenomena such as channelling, meditation, psychic medium, psychic healing, palm reading, card reading, Ouija boards, astrology, magic charming, automatic writing, astrology and horoscopes. "Many elements of the New Age, like faith healing, fortune-telling and transmigration of souls, go back for centuries." [Otto Friedrich, "New Age Harmonies," TIME, Dec. 7, 1987.]

iv) Christianity and its popular teaching in the souls of people going straight to paradise or hell immediately after death. From, we read the following: "There has always been a separation of believers and unbelievers after death (Luke 16:19-31). The righteous have always gone to paradise; the wicked have always gone to hell. For right now, both paradise and hell are temporary holding places until the day when Jesus Christ comes back to judge the world based on whether or not individuals have believed in Him."

Beloved, have you ever wondered why the theory of the immortality of the soul seems to be a common denominator in almost all belief systems today? How can Pagans, Satanists, Occultists, Spiritualists, Hindus, Muslims, New Agers and Christians have the same underlying belief in something that is so important as what happens to man after death? The straightforward answer to this question is found in the following quote: "The Teachings of spiritualism will go on conquering until the whole world shall know and rejoice in the great truth: There is no death and all God's great family are linked in glad communication and fellowship." - (A.B.C. of Spiritualism, Question No. 100). Friends, Satan has had a huge success in infiltrating the major religions of the world with spiritualism and its theory of spiritism. From William E. Gladstone, we learn that "The pagan doctrine of the Immortality of the soul crept into the back door of the church - (Watchman, 1940). However today, this concept is regarded as one of the fundamental doctrines in Christendom.


Friends, the popular teaching of the immortality of the soul which serves as the foundation of spiritualism was never taught by prophets, Christ or His apostles. The teaching is a lie that has been cleverly sold to the Christian church by Satan himself. The Bible clearly teaches that God alone is immortal. From 1 Timothy 6:16, we read the following from the apostle Paul: "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen" (see also 1 Timothy 1:17).

Beloved, even though God is immortal, the Bible makes it clear that man is mortal; that is he is subject to death because of sin (Romans 6:23). According to the apostle Paul, the children of God now seek for immortality (Romans 2:7). And this hope of immortality will be realized at the second coming of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Friends, the concept that man has an immortal soul is not a doctrine of the Bible. The Bible's clear teaching on this subject is that the soul or person who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4; Ezekiel 18:20). These passages in Ezekiel bring out a clear point that the soul is not immortal. Many of God's children are confused on this subject because they have been taught by their spiritual instructors that they possess a soul which is immortal. However, the Bible clearly teaches that man does not possess a soul. Rather, he is a soul; the product of dust and breath (see Genesis 2:7; Acts 2:41; Acts 27:37. For a detailed explanation of the various components of man such as soul, spirit, breath and body, please request for our previous study captioned: What happens to man after death through our WhatsApp number below).

Beloved, if man could live on after physical death, then there was no need for Christ to come and die for us, paying on the cross the penalty of eternal death which was ours to bear. As the Bible plainly points out, the wages of sin is death (the cessation of life), not a transition into a spirit world (see Romans 6:23). Christ came to die, so that we may have life (1 Thessalonians 5:10).


Friends, the immortality of the soul concept is a lie that came from the lips of Satan himself. It is this lie that spawned the religion of spiritualism with its basic theory of spiritism. From the authoritative National Spiritualist Association Yearbook, we read the following: "Spiritualism is God's message to mortals, declaring that There Is No Death. That all who pass on still live. That there is hope in the life beyond for the most sinful. That every soul will progress through the ages to heights, sublime and glorious to God himself." Beloved, the quote above is basically a summary of the theory of spiritualism that comes directly from the arch deceiver (Revelation 12:9). From John 8:44, the Bible describes Satan in the following manner: there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Friends, spiritualism is not a message from God but from Satan, the father of lies. It is important to note that the statement found in the quote of the National Spiritualist Association Yearbook above is a direct contradiction of several clear teachings of Scripture. In fact, the Bible forcefully puts forward the claim that death has become the lot of humanity because of sin, yet there is the hope of a better resurrection for all who come to believe in the atoning blood of Christ (Romans 6:23; John 3:16; Hebrews 11:35; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

As I have quoted time and again in this series, the Scripture makes it clear that the dead know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6; Psalm 146:3-4; Job 14:20-21), and that their abode is not a spirit world but the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:10; Job 17:13), where they rest unconscious until the resurrection (Psalm 13:3; Job 14:12; Job 7:8-10; Job 16:22; John 5:28-29). Contrary to the claims of spiritualism, the Bible further teaches that there is no hope of repentance for the sinner after death. For the Bible clearly echoes: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).

Friends, this text in Hebrews cannot be misunderstood. Once a person dies, his or her probation closes. From the prophet Isaiah, we read the following in relation to this same teaching: "18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: THEY THAT GO DOWN INTO THE PIT CANNOT HOPE FOR THY TRUTH. 19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth (Isaiah 38:18-19; Capital Emphasis Added).

Beloved, as the prophet Isaiah rightly proclaimed, the dead cannot hope for any truth from the Lord. In other words, there is no opportunity of repentance after death. It does not matter the long prayers one will say for the dead, their eternal destinies are irreversible. My dear friend, if there are any positive changes you need to make in your life, it is today, even now that you are alive (see Hebrews 4:7; 2 Corinthians 6:2).

Beloved, it is sad to say that many of God's children have embraced the falsehood of spiritualism because they have not made the Word of God a lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their paths (Psalm 119:105). Instead of studying the rich treasures of God's Holy Word, many professed children of God fill their minds regularly with the garbage from today's secular movies. And as a result, many are those who have been influenced to embrace the theories of spiritualism through the movie industry.

In several movies today (such as Harry Potter and its like), the spirits of the dead are portrayed as having more knowledge than the living. These spirits are portrayed as being able to communicate with the living. It is not uncommon to see in a lot of local movies today, the dead coming back from the spirit world to fight the living; while others are portrayed to be sorrowing or weeping for their beloved friends and relatives who are going through a hard time in the physical world. It is important to note that all these phenomena of spiritualism have been inserted into the movie industry by evil angels. The aim of Satan in doing this is to influence the masses to embrace the theories of spiritualism, and thus be easily carried away by his great deception that is soon to break upon the world.

10. Beloved, we have considered in this study various strategies that Satan has used to perpetuate the lie that he told our mother Eve in the garden of Eden; the lie that man will not surely die, but that he will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5). We have seen how he has sown the seeds of spiritualism in the various cultures of the world. We have seen how he has infiltrated the Christian church and other religions with the subtle theories of spiritism and the occult. We have seen how he is working through the movie industry to promote the lie of spiritism. But friends, in as much as the enemy of souls has worked hard to immerse the world into the falsehood of spiritual phenomena, the good news is that all who fortify their minds with the plain truths of Scripture will not be deceived.

Exhortation: "The saints must get a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures. They must understand the state of the dead, for the spirits of devils will yet appear to them, professing to be beloved friends and relatives, who will declare to them that the Sabbath has been changed, also other unscriptural doctrines.--EW 87 (1854). {LDE 156.3}

The apostles, as personated by these lying spirits, are made to contradict what they wrote at the dictation of the Holy Spirit when on earth. They deny the divine origin of the Bible.--GC 557 (1911). {LDE 157.1}

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome."--GC 588 (1911). {LDE 157.2}"

E. G. White (Last Day Events), pages 156, 157.


I would like to give special thanks to elder Owusu Yaw Loius (a.k.a. Abusua) for providing important information in regard to the immortality of the soul concepts embedded in the Ashanti culture in Ghana. Your rich knowledge in this area has added great value to this study. May the Lord richly bless you sir!

Moreover, to our cherished Bible students who are receiving our studies from various parts of the world, we wish you the wonderful blessings of God and encourage you to keep shining for King Jesus.


Powered by White Throne Ministries