“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6
Spiritist activities go by many names and is quite a profitable craft. The names I know of are as follows:
Voodoo – a black religious cult practised in the Caribbean and the southern US, combining elements of Roman Catholic ritual with traditional African magical and religious rites, and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession (google.com).
Obeah – a kind of sorcery practiced only in the Caribbean. Similar to voodoo.
Necromancy – dealings with the dead as means of divination. Recall the meaning of divination as mentioned part two of this blog—is the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers.
Incidentally, voodoo, obeah and necromancy are also types of black magic. Most times, a personal item belonging to whomever is the intended target is used in the ritual. People pay lots of money to either garner spiritual protection, hear their fortunes told or to have someone fall in love with them, remain in love with them, maimed or killed by the aforementioned methods. The one seeking protection from evil is usually required to wear a talisman, also called a fetish or amulet on his or her person. The use of such objects does nothing. The evil spirits behind the act cause the diviner to get the information that is needed and the actions carried out. However, I believe the most sinister purpose behind spiritist activities is believing one can talk to the dead.
The Ouija board or talking board, an object in many horror movies may or may not be used during a séance (a meeting at which people attempt to make contact with the dead, especially through the agency of a medium.) The medium is usually the one through which the spirit communicates or someone else might be employed as the medium.
Now, the spirit speaking through the medium is not actually the spirit of your dearly departed but what the bible calls, a familiar spirit.
“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God” (Lev. Ch. 19 v. 31).
6“The person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. 7Sanctify yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God” (Lev. Ch. 20 vs. 6 -7).
Walter Martin defined spiritism as “The masquerade of demonic forces, who pretend to be departed spirits with the intent of deceiving, through the power of Satan, those foolish enough to believe the testimony of demons in preference to the authority of the Word of God himself.”
So abominable were the acts of spiritism, Exodus Ch. 22 v. 18 states the ultimate punishment for the offensive practice — “You shall not permit a sorceress to live.” Again, in Leviticus Ch. 20 v. 27, “A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death.”
God out of love, yes love, instituted the harshest punishment for such evil practices as a deterrent. Nevertheless, the practice continued well into the New Testament.
The Apostles had their work cut out for them where encounters with people practicing sorcery was concerned. One such person was 9“A certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,
10to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying “This man is the great power of God.”
11And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.
Simon was very popular. He could do things, astonishing things. People with these ‘abilities’ can be extremely arrogant and egoistic. They make it their business to remind people about what they can do if anyone ever crosses them.
12But 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.
The power of Almighty God can break every yoke, releasing you from bondage.
13Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
14Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
15who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
…17Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
18Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
19saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Simon did not understand that the power of the Holy Spirit could not be bought. Even though the scripture above says he also believed, he remained the same arrogant, egoistic fool.
20But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
21“You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God (The Acts Ch. 8 vs. 9-21).
For those who still think that the above ‘abilities’ are gifts from God, chronicled in Acts Ch. 16 vs. 16-19, Paul and Silas also had an encounter with a girl who practiced divination.
16Now 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.
17This 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.”
18And 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.”
19But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.
There are two things to note from the scripture above. First, demons know who you are. Second, her ‘ability’ or ‘gift’ was not from God but from Satan. Therefore, Paul dealt with the source of her ‘gift,’ the evil spirit within her.
Believers, you need to understand something about Satan—He mimics everything God does but with an evil twist and many accept his lies.
However, I thank God Almighty, for the Spirit of Jesus, His Holy Spirit, The Spirit of truth, in us to guide us into all truth (John Ch.16 v. 13).
I bemoan the fact that many believers behave as though the Word of God is not enough for them. They seek out other means of spiritual assistance via the various methods mentioned during this three-part discussion.
Nevertheless, 1 John Ch. 4 vs. 1 & 4 says, 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world…
What does it mean to test the spirits? If it does not line up with scripture, then it is not of God.
4You are of God, little children and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Saints, may you be sensitized to the voice of the Holy Spirit and Almighty God continue to bless you all.