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Mediums, Psychics and "Spiritualism"

by Gary T. Panell

There is a rash of programs these days on television that are about mediums. One would think that this is something new "under the sun," but in reality it has been around for thousands of years.  I believe science has taught for so long that there is no supernatural, that people have a desire to find out for themselves if this is true.  They are fascinated by the thought that there may be something out there that they don't know about. This, again, is because we are taught from the earliest days in school how everything came about by pure chance, and that there is only the material universe.  Even the thought that there is something supernatural out there intrigues us. For one example, people wonder, Can Psychic Mediums help solve crimes, and make this a better world?

I believe the reason for the upsurge in interest in Spiritual Mediums and Psychics can be traced to this need to know things like: Can someone really tell you your future? Can we communicate with those who have passed on?  What is it like in the spirit world? Is there life after death?  What about reincarnation?  What is the after life like, if there is one? These and many more questions like them plague people until they start experimenting with the spirit world. The curiosity about these subjects, and a real desire to know the truth drives people to start asking questions, and dabbling with the mystical arts. This could also explain why children, teens, and adults around the world have become fascinated with the best selling series Harry Potter, and books, movies, and television programs like it.

In this article I hope to help you understand the truth about the Spirit World, Mediums, Psychics, and Spiritualism. Let's begin by looking at a true story from the Bible where a king, who lived thousands of years ago, went to a medium for advice.  The story is found in 1 Samuel 28: 5-15:

When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.  And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets.  Then Saul said to his servants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.'  And his servants said to him, 'In fact, there is a woman who is a medium at En Dor.'  So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night.  And he said, 'Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.'

Then the woman said to him, 'Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land.  Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?' And Saul swore to her by the LORD, saying, 'As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.' Then the woman said, 'Whom shall I bring up for you?' And he said, 'Bring up Samuel for me.' When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, 'Why have you deceived me?  For you are Saul!' And the king said to her, 'Do not be afraid. What did you see?' And the woman said to Saul, 'I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.'  So he said to her, 'What is his form?'  And she said, 'An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle.'  And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down.  Now Samuel said to Saul, 'Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?'  And Saul answered, 'I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.'

First, theologians argue about whether or not this was really Samuel that was brought up or an apparition.  My personal view is that it was in fact the spirit of Samuel the prophet. It is quit clear that something different happened than was normal, because when the medium saw Samuel, "she cried out with a loud voice." God permitted, I believe, Saul to actually speak to Samuel, one last time. It was wrong of King Saul to go to a medium, but God allows us to do many things that are wrong. This is also one reason Saul was killed.  Look at this passage in 1 Chronicles 10: 13-14: "So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.  But he did not inquire of the LORD; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse."

Here are the comments from The Defender's Study Bible by Dr. Henry M. Morris on these Scripture texts:

28:7 famililar spirit. Communication with spirits is evidently as old as history, but has been strictly forbidden by God (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). The entities called forth by spirit mediums (a process called "channeling" in the New Age movement) are not the spirits of deceased human beings, as often claimed, but are evil spirits, or demons, under the direction of Satan. When a spirit controls the body of a medium, essentially the body is demon possessed. Any "guidance" from such a source will inevitably be deceptive and dangerous, leading the one so deceived still further from the Lord. 28:12 the woman saw Samuel. The "witch of En-dor" (I Samuel 28:7) undoubtedly expected to call up her own "familiar spirit," who could feign a message from Samuel. God, however, actually allowed Samuel's own spirit to return to deliver one final message of condemnation to rebellious Saul. This is why the woman screamed out in shock and fear; her channeling had never before communicated with the departed spirits of real humans.

Now let us look at this reference in Deuteronomy where it says:

When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritists, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.  You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).

Walter R. Martin has done a great job of describing this false cult that is spreading, like wildfire. The title of his book is, The Kingdom of the Cults, and in it, on the chapter called "Spiritism-the Cult of Antiquity," he gives several actual accounts of mediums at work.  He also shows from writings of those into Spiritism, what they say they believe. Then there is a pamphlet compiled by Keith L. Brooks and revised by Irvine Robertson called The Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Error. These are good resources to use to share with others on this subject of Spiritism.  As Martin points out, Spiritism is often erroneously referred to as Spiritualism.  However, in speaking of this cult, it is sometimes necessary to use that term in order to communicate in the vernacular of our day.

Martin says in his book, "Since the first World War the religious horizons of the globe have seen the rapid rise of various forms of Spiritism, a religion unique in that it offers contact with and information from, beings beyond the grave. The crude séances exposed by Houdini, the famous magician, and nemesis of fraudulent mediums, have given way to the sober testimonies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dr. William Crookes, men of great learning and scientific background.  They put spiritistic phenomena to the most grueling tests of scientific method, and confirmed its reality beyond doubt" (Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults p. 200).

Really, we had all the proof we ever needed from the Bible that spirits exist, and we learn a great deal about the demons from Christ's ministry. You see the Bible makes it very clear where Mediums' and Psychics' power comes from. Look at these Scriptures: "But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, 'This man is the great power of God.'  And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed" (Acts 8:9-13a). I want to make it perfectly clear right here and now that even if you have gotten involved with Spiritism, Christ can still save you, and He wants to deliver you from the power Satan has over your life. He will do this through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, if you will allow Him to do this.

When a person is saved and delivered from witchcraft, which is what we are really talking about, they should do as the new converts in the Bible did with their paraphernalia, and that is burn it! "And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver" (Acts 19:18-19).

Let me assure you that Satan's powers are very real, and there are real demons that work for him to accomplish what he wants on this earth. Even though Spiritists and Physics will claim that there is no such thing as a devil, they are still working for him.

You see, when we were missionaries in Trinidad and Tobago we were confronted with Satan's power. We were new missionaries and rather naive at Satan's power.  Growing up in the States and Canada we had never seen demon possession first hand. We thought of it as a thing of the past, but while we were in Trinidad we had a rude awakening. There we were confronted with Satan's power first hand.  Let me tell you one important lesson we learned right away, though, and that is, the power in the blood of Jesus is far greater than Satan's power! If you remember nothing else from this short study, please remember this.

We were confronted several times with people who were demon possessed. They got that way by doing just as many people around the world today are doing, and that is by playing, or experimenting with the supernatural. For example, one girl was possessed because she cursed her mom and went out when her mom told her not to. She then went to where demons were being cast out of people, and she made fun of the whole thing. She was possessed, but later was delivered through the blood of Jesus. From what I had seen in the Bible, where Jesus cast out demons, it seemed to me that it was instantaneous.  So being new at this, I thought it would work this way for us. This was not the case.  We prayed much with the person involved, but nothing seemed to happen. However, after evangelist KK, the elders in the church, my wife, and I spent time in fasting and prayer, her deliverance finally took place.

One time Jesus' disciples came to Him because they could not cast out a demon, and they wanted to know why. "And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 'Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, 'O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.' And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?' So Jesus said to them 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting" (Matthew 17:14-21).

Mediums and Psychics are operating under the power and authority of Satan today, just as they were in Jesus' time. When a person goes to Mediums, Psychics or Spiritualist they are playing with fire and opening themselves up to demon possession. It is not something we play with, make fun of, or take lightly! Look at these verses: "Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'" (Jude 8-9).

Unless one is a Christian in right standing with the Lord, he or she should not even try to cast out demons. One time there were unsaved Jews who tried to be "Ghost Busters" in their own strength and not the power of the Lord, see what happened to them. "Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.' Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?' Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded" (Acts 19:13-16).

We are no match for Satan's powers in ourselves, we are not "Ghost Busters," but God is!  In Ephesians 6:10-13, it says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

In the power of the Lord Jesus Christ we can overcome evil spirits and their authority, look at these verses in Acts:

Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, "O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time." And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord (Acts 13:6-12).

Mediums, Psychics and Spiritualists are working for Satan and are trying to keep people from the truth of God's Word. Make no mistake about it, they are of the devil! Millions have been deceived into trusting in their powers, only to end up worse than they were before they went to them for help. God holds people accountable for their actions; it is not a light thing to play around with sorcery.

Christians are not to have anything to do with things that relate to Mediums, Psychics or Spiritualism. For example, I am told that my brother-in-law, Dallas, was at one time experimenting with an Ouija board. The board started flying around the room and he never played with the thing again. He was a Christian and knew better.  It is a wonder that something worse didn't happen. But how many Christians are watching programs on television about Mediums and Psychics? These things are strictly forbidden by the Bible, and when we don't listen to God's Word we are opening our lives up to disaster.

Steve Wohlberg, on the back cover of his book Hour of the Witch,says, "Most parents view Harry Potter as harmless entertainment, yet others are certain dark spiritual forces lurk beneath those magic-made-fun pages."  He also points out that Scripture states that "[t]hrough sorcery all nations were deceived" (Revelation 18:23). Parents we don't let our children play with physical fire, why would we allow them to play with spiritual fire?

Satan doesn't like it when we talk about subjects like this, because he has deceived many people through the years, making them think it is just all in fun, and there is nothing really to it.  Also, have you ever noticed how Satan always demands a price for his work? If a person calls a Psychic or Medium, the first thing they will want is your money, which should tell you something is wrong right away! If a person is of God they will not ask for money to pray for you or to help you spiritually.

There is a true story from Acts in the Bible to illustrate this point: "Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. The girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, 'These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.' And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And he came out that very hour. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place to the authorities" (Acts 16:16-19).

Now I would like to answer the questions that we said we would answer in this article.First, Can Psychic Mediums help solve crime, and make this a better world? To the first part of the question, I would have to say, Yes.  Demons can give information to Psychics as to certain things that have happened or are happening. Will it make this a better world? No. Satan always demands a price for his "help". When King Saul went to the Medium for information, he was killed as a result.

Do you think Satan would help solve a crime unless he has some ulterior motive in mind?  No. Satan is very smart, and he is thinking of ways to trick people into thinking he is good and wants to help them.  He may help people, and even do miracles for them, but in the end these same people will pay dearly for his help.  He wants people to worship him and his demons (gods) that are working behind the scenes, making it look like he is helping them. "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods'-which you have not known-'and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).

Can Psychics and Mediums know some things about people that would not otherwise be known? Yes. Can they do wonders (miracles) sometimes? Yes. But what is Satan's motive for helping, other than to deceive people? The Bible says that in the last days that these things would happen more and more.  "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12).

Jesus says, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).  You see, Mediums and Psychics say they are working for God, but in reality they are working for the devil. This is a real deception and many are being deceived by what they have to say.  They have been deceived by Satan into thinking they are something, and that they are helping others.

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Just like Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden even so the demons are teaching people things that are partly true and partly false. If they only told lies few would believe them, but because they mix truth and error together they can deceive many people. That is why we need to know the Bible very well so we will not be deceived!  They say that you train a bank teller by showing them the real money, then when they know what real money looks like they will recognize a counterfeit when it comes along. So, too, if we know the Word of God real well, we will not be taken in by Satan's lies as Eve was and so many people today are.

Can someone really tell you your future? Satan knows some things that we do not know, but most of the time, I believe, he is just guessing, or making general statements.  Only God knows the end from the beginning.  However, there may be some information that the spirits (demons) are privy too that we do not know yet. For example, a demon might know whether a lover is going to propose to someone. This person may have been talking about it to family members or friends and the demons overheard it.  (I am not sure if they can read our thoughts or not, even though they can give suggestions to our minds.) So a spirit could reveal to a Medium or Psychic the information they know. This information can be passed on to the persons inquiring of a Medium or Psychic, for a price, of course.

Some Mediums say they will not put curses on people, but others will. This happens in other countries when people go to a shaman (witchdoctor). In Trinidad, one family gave their baby to the devil so they could put a hex or curse on another family. Sometimes objects are used to carry the hex. For example an object was hidden in the gravel pile where a family was building something. As long as that object was there the family could not have good success at building.

Can we communicate with those who have passed on? This, of course, is the main claim to fame of the Mediums. No, they cannot communicate with the dead! What the demons do is impersonate a person that had been living. They will glean information, no doubt, from other demons that knew the person, and relay this information on to the familiar spirit of the Medium or Channeler. These then will take the form of the individual and make their voice like the person's voice was and so on. "Communication with discarnate entities has become a big pastime and big business, from attempts to speak with Elvis to trance-channeled New Age ascended masters. Channeler J. Z. Knight claims to summon Ramtha, a thirty-five-thousand-year-old entity from the lost continent of Atlantis. For a seminar attendance fee of four hundred dollars, searching souls learn that California will sink into the ocean and acid rain will pollute New England's water supply. Kevin Ryerson, the channeler who tutored Shirley MacLaine on her New Age Quest for transcendent reality, claims 75 percent accuracy for the information his discarnate entity dispenses" (Bob Larson, Satanism, pp. 39-40).

I have not seen channeling first hand, and really have no desire as a Christian to be around it. However, as I said before, in Walter R. Martin's book The Kingdom of the Cults, he does have some actual accounts of this happening. When we were in Trinidad and Tobago, as missionaries with Child Evangelism Fellowship, we did see demon possession. In these cases the demons could use accents or voices from different people in different countries. The individual had not learned these languages, but could speak them. You knew it was a demon, because when they were speaking, it might be a man's voice coming out of a woman, but different from the individual's voice. They would also be swearing and saying disrespectful things about Jesus Christ, God the Father, the Bible and the Cross of Christ. This is not to say, all demons are cussing when they speak, this would be too obvious.  Always they are teaching their false doctrines, this is why Jesus did not allow them to say much before he cast them out. Nor should we be listening to their teachings. I have put at the end of this article some of what they say, so you can see the difference between what they teach and the Bible.

The false doctrines we have in the world today have come through people listening to fallen angels or demons impersonating holy angels or people from the "other side" as they call it. This is where we have gotten the false cults such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Spiritualism, Christian Science, Armstrongism, Eastern Mysticism, The Way International, Bahai Faith, Unity, Unification Church, New Age Movement, Wicca, and many, many others. All of them claim as, Satan told Eve, "You will be like God." They also claim that Jesus Christ of the Bible is not God, nor is He God's only begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary. They claim, that there is no need of salvation through the blood of Christ, you just need to do the right works, and all will be well.

According to Walter Martin, Spiritualism teaches that "[m]an is a spiritual being, evolved from the lower forms of life, up through the period of consciousness, to the state of the higher moral and spiritual faculties, which survive, unaffected, the decomposition of the physical body" in the Philosophy of Spiritualism Spiritualist Manual Revision of 1940 (Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, p. 209).

Paul told the Galatians, "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:6-8).

The Scripture also says, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). We have to be on our guard all the time Christians, Satan is trying to get you to listen to the Wicca group. He wants you watch the Medium on T.V. do her thing.  He wants you to read the Horoscope in the newspaper; he wants you to call that Psychic. All these things will cause you to turn away from the Lord! If you have done them, you need to repent and ask God's forgiveness! If you will, He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness, as it says in 1 John 1:9.

What is it like in the spirit world? We need to get our information from the Bible, and it has a lot to say about what happens to the lost, and to the saved: "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented" (Luke 16:22-25).

There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. Spiritualism teaches that there is no hell, and no devil. "Hell does not exist and never will. All spirit people of wisdom, knowledge, and love know there is no hell and no devil. No resurrection-no judgment. When you believe in spiritual manifestations, you will feel far happier than you do now. You will not fear the threats of damnation and hell. such doctrine is wrong" (Arthur Conan Doyle, The New Revelation, p. 68).

As far as "reincarnation," this is another lie of Satan. God says, "And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Hebrews 9:27-28).  Have you received Christ as your personal Savior from sin yet? There is only one hope that we can spend eternity with God in Heaven, and that is if we repent of our sins (turn from them) and turn to Christ, Son of God the Father, to save us from our sins. What is your decision? Do you want to follow Jesus Christ of the Bible or do you want to follow Satan? Jesus told the false religious leaders of His day (which could apply to those in our day as well), "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God" (John 8:44-47).

Please receive Jesus as your Savior, if you have not as yet, and we will meet in eternity with Him! God loves you, and wants you to be saved. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

*All the verses of this article are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

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