7. Far from sanctioning the false Christs and false prophets, as some people take pleasure in saying, spiritual phenomena comes, on the contrary, to deal them a death blow. Do not ask Spiritism for prodigies or miracles, since it positively declares it does not perform them. In the same manner that physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology reveal the laws of the material world, so Spiritism reveals other unknown laws which govern the relationships existing between the physical and spiritual worlds; laws which just as much as those of science, are laws of Nature. By giving an explanation for certain types of phenomena, which until now had remained inexplicable, it destroys all that remains of the miraculous. Consequently those who feel tempted to exploit these phenomena for personal gain, by pretending to be messengers from God, will not be allowed to abuse the credulity of the general public for long, but will be quickly unmasked. Moreover, as has already been said, these phenomena alone prove nothing. Every mission is proved by its moral effects, and these cannot be produced by everyone. One of the results of the development of the Spiritist science is that through research into the causes of certain of these manifestations, many mysteries are explained.
Only those who prefer darkness rather than light have every interest in combating this progress. But truth is like the sun, which dissipates even the most dense clouds.
Spiritism also reveals another far more dangerous aspect of false Christs and false prophets, which is to be found not amongst men, but amongst the discarnate. These are the deceiving, hypocritical, prideful and falsely-wise Spirits, who on passing from Earth into their spiritual wanderings, have adopted venerated names as masks under which to hide, in order to facilitate the acceptance of the most strange and absurd ideas. Before mediumistic relationships were understood they acted less conspicuously, by means of inspiration and unconscious mediumship heard or spoken. There are a considerable number who in various epochs, and above all in recent times, have presented themselves as some of the old prophets, Christ, the Virgin Mary and even God himself. John warns against these Spirits by saying: "Beloved, believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." Spiritism offers us the means of trying them when it shows us the characteristics by which we may recognise the good spirits which are always moral, never material *. It is particularly to the manner by which the good may be distinguished from the bad that these words of Jesus may be applied. "It is by the fruits that you know the quality of the tree. A bad tree cannot produce good fruits." Spirits are judged by the quality of their works, just as a tree is judged by its fruits.
* See the manner by which spirits can be identified in THE MEDIUM'S BOOK - second part, chapter 24 and subsequent chapters.