Is it okay for Christians to seek mediums or spiritualists?
Is it okay to seek mediums or spiritualists? Do our loved ones send us messages from the other side?
This subject had come up in a couple of Christian Bereavement groups over the past few months. I believe strongly about this so I am posting my thoughts.
For me, this is not a matter of fear of the unknown but a fear of the One who has made Himself Known.
I am not afraid of something I don’t understand; this is not a matter of ignorance on my part. I am aware of truth regarding such things. I have studied truth on the subject – truth that comes not from a TV show, conventional wisdom, pop culture, or the supposed experiences of others, but truth which comes from the only source of true wisdom and real truth: the Word of God.
God makes His view of this very clear.
I am not afraid of spiritual things or of mediums. I do fear God, as we all should! “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”
I am not judging anyone who has been to a medium. Judging people is not my place; “there is only one Lawmaker and Judge – the One who is able to save and destroy” – The Creator, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Omniscient One.
I don’t believe we can choose what we think is right. The Old Testament is full of men who did “what was right in their own eyes” rather than doing what is right in the sight of God. They each faced dire consequences for their behavior as did those they ruled. Our choices to ignore what God commands affects not only us but also those around us.
We must know truth and and obey it. We must be doers of the Word. We must do what is right not in our humble opinions but in the sight of the One True God. The great I AM, God Almighty, Ruler of all things. He rules and reigns over all!
We are fools to disregard what He says in preference for what brings temporary comfort to our carnal flesh at the expense of possibly spending eternity in hell. If we reject the Son, we reject the Father. If we reject the Son, we have no place in the Kingdom of God.
Truth is found in the Word of God and the truth of God will set us free. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
I am looking at the Word of God, not judging anyone or anyone’s personal experiences. Only God can see your heart.
But I am commanded to speak the truth in love. I love the people in these groups! I want each of us to know the peace that surpasses all understanding and which can come only from knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Such true peace will never come from outside the will and commands of God.
Seeking mediums or messages from the dead is evil in sight of God. It is an abomination. It is sin. (By dead I mean those whose bodies have died.)
This not something that is up for debate, or should even be considered, among Christians.
God’s Word is clear: we are not to seek wisdom among the dead, among those who are separate from their bodies. We are not to seek, listen to, or even mention what those who are in darkness do.
God makes it clear in His Word that those who have left their earthly home in Christ are now “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:10) who is seated at the right hand of God in the heavenly places. They are separate from their bodies and at home with the Lord in heaven. They are very much alive with Chist. They are at rest and at peace in His presence. Their memories, their love, the things we loved about them – these we treasure in our hearts.
God does give us gifts, good gifts! He may send a beautiful butterfly or flower or bird to show you His love for you and to remind you of the beauty of His creation. Scripture says that it is appointed for each of us to die once. If our loved ones become birds or butterflies, they would die a second time when that animal dies. This does not make sense in light of scripture.
God sometimes gives us dreams of our loved ones. I’ve had many dreams of my parents, in-law, and son. I believe they are gifts from God, not visitations by those whose bodies have died. These are gifts from God, not messages from the dead. Even Jesus made it clear that the dead do not come back to earth to give us messages. (Luke 16:19-31).
There are two unique occurrences of dead people appearing in the Bible: Elijah and Moses appeared when Christ was transformed on a mountain and when Jesus died tombs were open.
The first is found in Matthew 17.
1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Matthew 17:1-8 | ESV
Notice that Jesus is transformed and then Elijah and Moses appear. The scripture indicates that Elijah and Moses speak to Jesus, not Peter and James. God speaks audibly to them as well. Yes, Peter and James saw it all. There is no other occasion where this happened and no indication that it will ever happen again. When Jesus walked the earth, He did many things that only God can do – like conquer sin and death by going to the cross to die for our sins. God can cause dead people to appear if He chooses. But there is no indication in scripture that this is a recurring event. And He does make it clear that we are not to seek or practice communication with the dead.
The second event happened the moment Jesus died. It is found in Matthew 27.
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Matthew 27:50-53 | ESV
Jesus yielded His spirit, the veil was torn, an earthquake happened, and many bodies came out of the tomb. These were people who had died prior to the crucifixion, they had faith in God, thus they were called saints, and were raised from the dead when Jesus’ body died. The key event that started this is Jesus crucifixion, a one-time event. People came back to life! It was not their spirits visiting people, it was literally that their bodies and spirits were reunited and they were brought back to life, just as Jesus had raised others from the dead while in His earthly ministry prior to his death.
Are we to look to those who have left their bodies and are at home with Lord for comfort, wisdom, or guidance? No. We are to look to Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, not to men. We are to set our minds on things of the Spirit and walk in the Spirit.
Yes, God does sometimes give people visions or dreams of things to come. Many of you experienced a warning that something bad was going to happen. But not all such feelings are true indicators of what is to come. How do we know which are truly from God? Ask Him for wisdom. And if they come to pass they are true. If not, they are false. This is one of the test of false prophets in the Bible: what they say comes true. How can you possibly test what a medium tells you your child is saying when your child is not here to confirm it?
Throughout scripture God tells us not to seek mediums or practice sorcery, magic, divination (speaking to the dead, those separate from their bodies), and the like.
It is real, but it is not from God. Even demons know what has happened; they can tell the medium things only you and the one you are hoping will “come through” would know because we are always surrounded by spirits. These evil spirits, fallen angels, can see things happen and remember them. Through them, a spiritualist can appear to speak to the dead.
Some mediums may be able to summon the dead. It happened in the Bible: in 1 Samuel 28. Samuel had died. King Saul wanted answers. God had not answered him, so he sent for a medium. Samuel told King Saul he had disturbed him from a great rest. You can read the story for yourself. The message Samuel brought was not pleasant!
Here is part of it:
1 Samuel 28:3-17
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land. 4 The Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem. And Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.” 9 The woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?” 10 But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” 11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul.” 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do.” 16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done to you as he spoke by me, for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David.”
King Saul lost his kingdom and his life because he disobeyed God and sought advice from a medium, the witch of En-dor.
1 Chronicles 10:13-14 ESV
So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.
Test the spirits
According to 1 John, we are to “test the spirits.” Any spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God and we should not seek them or their “wisdom”.
This passage does not say a person must be spiritual or a good person. It does not say they can’t take money for fortune-telling or must approach you with a good message. Their spirit must confess Jesus – who is God, who died on a cross for our sin, was buried, and rose on the third day to conquer sin and death – came in the flesh. If not, they are not of God.
God also says elsewhere in the Bible that those who are not for Him are against Him.
1 John 4:1-6 | ESV
4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Here are more scripture reference:
Leviticus 19:31 ESV
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.
Isaiah 8:19 ESV
And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Where are we to seek wisdom during trials/grief?
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Two type of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.