|Series Theme: The Occult|
Title: 5. Mediums & Seances (Consulting the Dead)
A simple consideration of this alternative approach to getting guidance in life
1. Why go to a Medium?
A medium is someone who through occult powers claims to be able to contact the dead. This is likely to take place at a Séance , when the medium “calls up” the spirit of the departed person. So why do it?
If you, or someone near you that you know, have consulted a medium in this way, it is probably because you have lost a loved one and the pain and distress of your grief at their loss in your life has driven you to seek further contact with them.
2. Is it real?
When the medium produces either information or a voice, is it really the one you love? Is it genuine or perhaps one of the nastiest forms of hoax possible?
There are always likely to be two types of medium: those who are false and are in it simply to make money, and those who genuinely believe in what they are doing.
Putting aside those who are simply in it for the money, what about those who genuinely believe in what they are doing? Are they right or are they misguided?
The difficulty in anything is knowing a) what to believe and b) what authority there is that can tell us the truth about the matter. Both are important. Obviously we would like to be reassured about what we believe so we are not being mis-guided. The authority, person or system, behind the belief is also important. Can we believe what a person, often seeking to make a living out of something, says is true. Why should we believe them?
Christians have come to understand that the Bible is the supreme source of authority from God, for life. In this page we will, therefore, examine what the Bible says about the subject of mediums, Séances and seeking the dead. We'll also consider more fully, our motivation for getting involved in these things.
3. A Séance in the Bible
The only time a Séance is recorded in the Bible is in 1 Samuel, chapter 28, verses 7 to 23. In that story Saul was king and his spiritual mentor, Samuel, had died. Now Saul is in difficulties and so he seeks out a medium to call up Samuel. Note the following:
• Mediums faced the death penalty (v.9) because they were banned by the Law of God (see later).
• When the spirit appears the medium is deeply distressed and clearly indicates she was not expecting it to work (v.12)
• Samuel (if it really was him) rebuked him for doing what he was doing (v.15) and then directed him to the will of God that had already been declared to him (v.16-19).
• Saul was killed as judgement of God on him for seeking a medium and not seeking God instead (1 Chron 10:13,14)
Mediums sometimes use that example to legitimise their practice but actually everything about it says that this was a bad, forbidden practice, and even if God allowed Samuel to appear, it was to denounce the medium and the one using teh medium.
4. The Bible's general teaching on mediums
The Law given by God to Israel specifically spoke against mediums:
Lev 19:31 A warning not to turn to mediums or seek out spiritists
Lev 20:6 God's declaration that He is against any person who turns to mediums and spiritists.
Lev 20:27 The Law that in Israel a man or woman who is a medium or spiritist should be put to death
Although these are a limited number of references, they are clearin their direction. Moreover, throughout the Old Testament, there were constant prohibitions against seeking guidance from any source other than God.
5. What is the Power at Work?
How can we raise a spirit? What is the power that brings this about? Is it real?
The Bible indicates that doing this is denounced by God, therefore whatever happens is not of Him. If we are doing something that is clearly spoken against by God, it means we are being disobedient and rebellious and that we are, therefore, opening ourselves to the other spiritual forces that the Bible speaks about.
What are these spiritual forces? There is first of all God, who works for good, and good angels who work under His direction. There are also fallen or rebellious angels, otherwise called evil spirits or demons, the chief of which we call Satan or the devil.
When we move into this area of forbidden activity we move into an area where Satan is allowed to work and can bring deception. Jesus Christ described him as a liar (John 8:44) and in his activities he always seeks to get us to believe things that aren't true.
When Jesus came, he came bringing greater revelation and he taught that once a person dies there is no contacting them and no bringing them back (Luke 16:19-31 ).
But how does the “spirit” sound like my loved one and know things about them?
Very simple. Satan sees what goes on, he knows what they were like, he can imitate voices and recall information from the past - but he can't see into the future!
So he can make you believe this is real, but all the time it takes you away from God, from the one you ought to be speaking to. HE is the One who is able to comfort (2 Cor 1:3,4), He alone can genuinely help us.
6. At the heart of seeking a medium
At the heart of you thinking of going to consult a medium are two needs that you have:
1. A Need to be comforted.
If we have lost a loved one, we do need comforting in our loss. God loves you and wants you to know Him and know HIS comfort that He alone can bring.
2. A Need for Security
Maybe you are having difficulties in life, maybe you've been unsettled by the death of a loved one. You are perhaps feeling unsure of yourself and are looking for help outside yourself.
7. What Sort of Help?
You can either get mystic help from moving into forbidden areas of spirituality, which in the long term simply brings a bondage to fear, or you can turn to God and, through Jesus Christ, find a new life full of love, assurance, confidence and freedom.
Maybe the times are difficult but Jesus said if we come to him he will give us rest and comfort. (Matthew 11:28,29)
Jesus invites you to come to him, to “hitch up” alongside him and to learn of him. He's gentle and humble and wants to bring you into a full knowledge of all of God's love, that will bring you into a place of refreshing and restoration in your life.
So those are the two possibilities, strange ultimately destructive powers, or a loving God. A wise person chooses the latter.