SPIRITISM aka SPIRITUALISM
Spiritism is more commonly known as Spiritualism, being a practice of communicating with disembodied spirits through various techniques. A Spiritualist is one who believes that communications are possible between living persons and the spirits of the departed through the agency of a medium. Practicing mediums and psychics are at the lead of the modern metaphysical movement. Many books have been written by individuals who have merely transcribed what they were told by spirits. Jane Roberts published several books about Seth, the spirit who spoke to her. The Course in Miracles is a book that has a huge following today, having been channeled into print. Urantia is an esoteric book that was produced in 1934, supposedly channeled messages from spirit-beings. Long after their deaths, Helene Blavatsky and Alice Bailey are still attracting disciples The New Age movement is flooded with instructions, lectures, revelations, prophecies, and spiritual teachings whose source is spirits from the "other side." The vulnerable and gullible receiver is often informed that he or she is a highly evolved being whose destiny it is to bring enlightenment to humankind. Most spirits never mention Jesus Christ, although a few do claim to represent him, or even to be Him.
During the early 1980's I joined a New Age Metaphysical group in Phoenix, Arizona. It was fascinating stuff for a conservative, traditional, and typically naive Christian. It is easy for one to be greatly impressed by spirits who sound so spiritual and enlightened. It is exciting to feel so privileged that one might be permitted to hear such great beings. I have a great number of cassette tapes of recordings I made, of spirits talking through mediums who have gone into deep trance, permitting said spirits to take over oneís voice. I was quite seduced by this whole business. After some months, when I was able to be more objective, I began to see the truth. I learned that such spirits can enter into a person when he or she is vulnerable and open to them. Practicing such things as table tipping, rapping, tarot readings, Ouija board, psychic readings, drugs, some occult rituals, and even sleep deprivation can open the psychic plasma channel to the entrance of spirits who anxiously await such an opportunity. Then, once one has a spirit dwelling within, it is so enjoyable that the dupe is reluctant to ever let it go. Many are convinced that they have a direct channel with God and that He is doing the speaking.
I would preface any further remarks with this, that I am convinced the spirits are real. Most of the psychics and mediums are truly channeling spirits "from the other side." Some of them claim to be spirits of departed loved ones, but you should doubt whether they are telling the truth. Rather, I suspect that all who channel through a medium are "deceitful spirits," of which the Bible speaks. To be more blunt, I consider that they are all lying spirits. Oh, they might impress you that they are wise and telling the truth because much of what they say is true. The catch is that if you buy into their line, there is enough which is not true that will cleverly draw you away from the true Jesus Christ and into their clutches.
Worst of all, some individuals will pass on a message received from one of the familiar spirits, saying "God told me - - - - !" Such arrogance, vanity, and blasphemy puts that person on a path that I certainly want to avoid! Better to tell such a person to stay away from you until he or she has run the demon off, and then found a true humility in place of it. One can only wonder if it is possible for a person to get rid of his or demon. Consider yourself in that situation, convinced that you are hearing God Himself, you would be pretty reluctant to question that, wouldn't you. Your spirit would probably accuse you of having a lack of faith. It must be extremely rare that anyone might actually test that spirit to see if it is really God. In the Old Testament, Godís instructions are to simply kill the person. But in the N.T., Jesus, and sometimes the Disciples, would perform the miracle of exorcizing the demon. Then again, the book of Hebrews, chapter 6, says that it is impossible for one who has once been enlightened, and then fallen away, to return. Based on the Bible verses copied below, my advice is to flee the person and maintain the separation. And it is my experience that you will never convince the person that his or her demon is not a representative of God who has come to show him or her special favor. Donít even bother to try. Just flee!
If a rare "sensitive" is actually concerned whether his "familiar" spirit is of God, the Bible says to "test the spirits, whether they be of God." The way to do that is to be very skeptical and to challenge any voice you might "hear." Challenge the spirit to express Truths which Jesus taught, and to amplify the True Jesus. Pray to God that the spirit be blocked if it is not from Him. Pray that you might be protected from temptation and delivered from evil. Make it difficult for a spirit to come through to you. Focus on Jesus and insist that your spirit acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Rarely will a spirit dare to claim Jesus. Then, if the spirit can seemingly prove that it is of God, hear it but still be skeptical. The Holy Spirit of the True God will not abandon one who intensely cares whether the spirit voice is valid or not, rather you will be blessed for being so defensive against the legions of lying spirits who are very good at deception, and who are popular in so many people today.
The spirits are real; they are members of Satanís legions. They do not come to you as terrors, but rather pretending to be godly and good and holy, or perhaps some departed loved one. Confusion arises because we cannot say with absolute certainty that ALL spirits are demonic. The fact is that the Bible illustrates that the spirit of a dead person actually can appear through a medium. About 1004 BC Saul was king of Israel and about to be attacked by a great army. Saul sought a medium, a woman at Endor who had a familiar spirit, namely one who spoke to her and who had capabilities of bringing forth other spirits of dead persons (necromancy). Saul used her to call the great Prophet Samuel for counsel. Samuel DID appear, and then chastised Saul for calling him back from the dead. The crime was so serious that Samuel announced that the next day Saul and his sons would die and the army of Israel would fall into the hand of the enemy. (See I Samuel 28 - in the Septuagint it is I Kings 28. See also I Chronicles 10). So, you see, it is possible for a spirit to be called back.
But after seeing what happened to Saul, you might have a little concern about the penalty for your crime. While that incident was dramatic, there are also rational arguments against the practice of empowering and accrediting spirits by willingly listening to them. My primary argument regards the purpose of life itself, that individuals are given life by God for the purpose of developing their personal talents and skills to glorify their Father. It is not part of Godís natural plan that helpful (familiar) spirits should intervene to guide oneís activities or thoughts. We have no Bible record that God ever gave one a companion spirit to guide the way through life. During the centuries prior to Jesus, there were singular instances when God did clearly guide some special leaders and prophets, but the last such person was John the Baptist. With Pentecost, a new order was established in which a child of God would be guided by Godís own Spirit IF he will seek after God with unreserved devotion, but that guidance is more subtle than a whisper; it is actually a spiritual knowingness rather than the hearing of a voice. One who seeks God from his spiritual yearning knows that the Father no longer intervenes in our lives by sending personal spirits to be our crutches. We have the presence of God within us and He doesn't come to us as a voice or message from somewhere else. Certainly, many of todayís Christians believe strongly in the power of prayer and of faith to obtain miraculous answers from God. And, surely God must intervene occasionally to answer such prayers. But, those interventions are singular events; they are not the granting of a companion spirit to promote oneís grandiose vanity of being so special that God honors him or her by speaking directly as "familiar," or as He did to some great leaders in the Old Testament.
A few BIBLE REFERENCES which pertain to such practices of spiritism are copied below. If you wish to search for yourself in a Concordance, search for passages which contain the words, divination, sorcery, witch, magic, augury, familiar spirit. Below is the text of a few passages of interest. A divining spirit is one which foretells what is ahead and perhaps gives advice to direct you. Today divination is the occupation of psychics. Divination was a serious taboo in the Old Testament, as you will see below.
"And when you shall have entered into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to do according to the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found in you one who purges his son or his daughter with fire, one who uses divination, who deals with omens, and augury, a sorcerer employing incantation, one who has in him a divining spirit, an observer of signs, questioning the dead. For every one who does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God; for because of these abominations the Lord will destroy them from before your face. You shall be perfect before the Lord your God. For all these nations whose land you shall inherit, they will listen to omens and divinations; but the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so."
"You shall not regard those who have in them divining spirits, nor attach yourself to enchanters, to pollute yourselves with them: I am the Lord your God."
"And the soul that shall follow those who have in them divining spirits, or enchanters, so as to go a whoring after them; I will set my face against that soul, and will destroy it from among its people. And you shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy."
"And as for a man or woman whosoever of them shall have in them a divining spirit or be an enchanter, let them die the death; you shall stone them with stones, they are guilty."
II Kings 21:6
"And he caused his sons to pass through the fire, and used divination and augury, and made groves, and multiplied wizards, so as to do that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger."
I Chronicles 10:13
"So Saul died for his transgressions, wherein he transgressed against God, against the word of the Lord, forasmuch as he kept it not, because Saul enquired of a wizard to seek counsel, and Samuel the prophet answered him; and he sought not the Lord, so He slew him, and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse."
"Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy and in your Name cast out demons, and in your Name perform many mighty works? And then I will declare to them: I never knew you. Depart from Me, ones working lawlessness."
In conclusion, it is a powerful motivation for a person to seek public acclaim, to have the spotlight, to be the one who can perform supernatural wonders, even to be one who speaks for God. One reason for this is that the modern Christian church fails to teach the New Covenant that God has made with His own children, that He will put in their hearts and minds that which they need to know. For many who read this article, it might even be surprising information to learn that Jesus obtained for us a new contract with God to replace that Old Covenant of laws which we broke and which He satisfied. The New Contract is found in Hebrews chapter 8:10ff. It says: "This is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the Lord; putting my laws into their mind, and I will write them upon their hearts, and I will be God to them, and they will be to me a People. No more may each one teach his fellow citizen, and each one his brother, saying to Know the Lord; because all will know me from the small to the great of them, because I will be merciful with their wrongdoings and of their sins I will by no means remember any longer."
There. That is the contract we presently live under. Chances are that your preacher has never told you about it, yet it is the very foundation of our relationship with the Almighty God. Why havenít you heard about it? Why is it scorned by the Christian religion? Simply because it dictates there should be no more teachers, that God Himself will put His rules in our hearts and minds. God is saying quite forcefully, "Preachers, stand aside. These are my children, and I will teach them, myself. And I wonít be remembering their sins, either. So, donít get in between Me and one of my own!"
So, there it is. God knows how to work in the hearts and minds of His children because we are His real dwellingplace. It is He, Himself, that lives within us and moves and expresses Life through us. This contract that Jesus obtained for us eliminates any further need for Godís people to see or hear Him by sight or by voice. We have been taken by Jesus from the Old Testament Temple Courtyard, where we were at a distance from Him, right into the Holy of Holies where we know His presence im-mediately, without any medium or priest or spirit-voice between us and Him. Hallelujah; without any mediary between a person and his Father, then we are all brothers; let us seek Truth and share insights and converse along the way as we prodigals strive toward our Brother who beckons us from that cross on the hill. And, let's make that walk alone, without any deceitful spirits claiming to show us the way.
by Roger Hathaway, November 2006
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