While serving as editor at Charisma magazine, I received an email from a publicist who aggressively claimed to represent a “devout lifelong Christian” who is also “a clairvoyant, empathic psychic medium and psychic investigator with consultation on more than 100 missing person and cold case files on his resume.”
The man claims he communicates with people who have died and is using his gifts to help authorities “solve the unsolvable cases where tracks had run cold.” In fact, he calls this his life’s work. (Sounds pretty creepy to me.) The trouble with this type of prophetic ministry is that it violates Scripture. I have no doubt he is talking to spirits—familiar spirits who know everything about the deceased person.
Why these familiar spirits would cooperate in solving crimes, I do not know. What I do know is necromancy—which Merriam-Webster defines as “conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events”(1)—is an abomination to the Lord. And that didn’t change with the New Covenant. Deuteronomy 18:9-13 says:
When you enter into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you must not learn to practice the abominations of those nations. There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or uses witchcraft, or an interpreter of omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or a spiritualist, or an occultist, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God will drive them out from before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God (MEV).
That is crystal clear.
The “Christian psychic’s” publicist claims he kept his psychic gifts “in the closet,” for fear of being ostracized by his Christian community. He counts pastors, Christian authors, and other strict religious devotees as part of his beloved family and insists he’s a devout believer. “God gave me this gift. I didn’t create it on my own,” he says, speaking of his “psychic calling.”
Of course, he says, he’s accustomed to Christian leaders disagreeing with him—but he is quick to answer that a Christian’s job is to love, accept, and preach to all people and not just those who suit the conventional paradigm.
“I take the basic information and then I can pick up on the person and begin to see pictures, places, and things visually in my mind,” he says, explaining how he helps investigators. “Going online to Google maps and Google earth helps me put a visual framework to what I am getting in my mind’s eye. I can look at an area, pick up clues, and assist in that way.”
He apparently does not hesitate to let Christian themes spill over into his “readings.” He sees it as a way to comfort and restore faith in clients who are deeply grieving the loss of a loved one.
“Many of the readings I do for private clients are people who have lost children to suicide or to other tragic events, and this has caused them to lose or doubt their faith,” he says. “They’re looking to repair their faith and my religious background plays a role in helping them on that journey.”
This is a tragic deception. The Bible tells us to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (see 2 Cor. 1:4). That comfort comes from the Holy Spirit.
Christians are not supposed to turn to psychics or prophets to get in touch with dead loved ones. Prophets are not supposed to get prophetic words from any other source but God, yet in this hour we are clearly seeing these and other troubling trends emerge among those who call themselves prophetic. This should not surprise as Paul warned Timothy, “But evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13 MEV).
He says he is working to change common perception by opening up a public dialogue in the media regarding his “work as a medium and his Christian faith not being in direct conflict, but actually (complementing) one another.” With psychic mediums, clairvoyants, and intuitive people coming forward more and more, and their abilities becoming more widely accepted in society, this man feels it is time to address Christianity and psychic phenomena.
“It’s a conversation that needs to be had,” he says.
Perhaps it is. But it’s a conversation that needs to be had with an open Bible.
The Bible says “You shall not eat anything with the blood in it, nor shall you practice divination or fortune-telling” (Lev. 19:26 MEV). The Bible says, “Do not turn to spirits through mediums or necromancers. Do not seek after them to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:31 MEV). The Bible says, “When they say to you, ‘Seek after the mediums and the wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek after their God? Should they consult the dead for the living?” (Isa. 8:19 MEV). The Bible says, “The person who turns to spirits through mediums and necromancers in order to whore after them, I will even set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people” (Lev. 20:6 MEV).
I could go on and on, but we’ll stop there. Prophets, can we please do what the Bible says? Christians, please beware of psychics, mediums, familiar spirits, tarot card readers, crystal ball readers, palm readers, and the like. They may claim to serve God, but they are tapping into the spirit realm illegally and offering false comfort and fearful predictions that probably won’t even come to pass.
Prophets and psychics can both make accurate predictions. Accuracy is not the only test of a true prophet. Test the spirit behind the word because there are many false prophets making true predictions (see 1 John 4:1).
I posted that on my Facebook page once, and it stirred up a hornet’s nest I never would have expected. I thought I’d get a few thousand hearty “amens,” open the eyes of some people who had not thought to judge prophecy in this crucial hour, and stir up a few devils. As it turned out, it stirred up more than a few devils who seem to enjoy swimming in impure prophetic pools.
Several people asked me to give Scripture to back up the comment. Of course, the Scripture was listed in the comment. In 1 John 4:1, John the apostle clearly states by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Many False Prophets Are Rising
The backlash against the post caused me to realize just how much confusion there is over prophetic ministry, the source of true prophecy, the function of prophet, and how some will defend soulish prophecy to the death.
As I always say, we wouldn’t have to test the spirits if it wasn’t for all the false prophets who have gone out into the world. Jesus warned that false christs and false prophets would rise in the end times (see Matt. 24:11). We’re seeing that now.
Indeed, I’m seeing blatant misuse of the gift of prophecy. Some who carry the title of prophet have been caught looking over the shoulders of closed-eyed congregants to get an up-close look at their offering envelopes. Later, these prophets give a word to the ones whose envelopes they peeped. Some faithful believers are falling for it hook, line, and sinker.
We’re seeing some who call themselves prophets encouraging people to sow $54.17 so they can tap into God’s protection promised in Isaiah 54:17, which reads: “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me, says the Lord.” Some faithful believers are falling for it hook, line, and sinker. We don’t need to pay God for protection like He’s a mafia boss—we just need to obey the Lord and believe His Word.