Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. I’m Gary Carmichael, thanks for joining us. In today’s program, we continue a 2-installment series of classics from our Search the Scriptures Daily archives with the late founder of The Berean Call, Dave Hunt and TBC executive director, Tom McMahon. This week, they address the question: Can Spirits Communicate with Us? And now, here’s Tom.
Tom: For those of you who may be first-time listeners to the program, for the past few weeks we’ve been discussing Dave Hunt’s book Occult Invasion: The Subtle Seduction of the World and the Church. Now, our objective is simple. One way to avoid being seduced is to be informed. And, Dave, while I may not be exactly unbiased, there is no book available, at least that I know of, that is more informative on this particular subject. If you have the book, and you just started following along, we’ll be discussing chapter 9 during today’s program. The topic is: “Spirit Communication: Why People Get Caught Up in It and Why the Scriptures Warn against Such Activity.” Let’s start with the Scriptures, Dave. First of all, what are the biblical warnings against dialoguing with spirit entities, and what is the reason behind it?
Dave: Well, you have a number of them. Deuteronomy 18, of course, would be a major one, and necromancy - or being in touch with familiar spirits, attempting to contact them - is absolutely forbidden.
Tom: Let me read Deuteronomy:18:10-11: “There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. Now, of course, necromancy – that’s just being…inquiring after spirit entities, gods, idols, whatever it might be.
Dave: Well, first of all, there aren’t any such beings. I mean, there are demons out there, but there are no spirits of the dead, and most people think that they are in touch with spirits of the dead – a séance, for example. Many of our leaders down through history, from Queen Victoria to Abraham Lincoln to MacKenzie [King] of Canada, and, I’m sure, some of the current ones, have been involved in séances and trying to get in touch with spirits. Carl Rogers, for example, and his wife, Helen, were involved in séances, and that is what led him into the occult. Even after his wife’s death, he thought he was in touch with her through a Ouija board.
So, this has been very common. The problem is: Number one, it’s a delusion, because the spirits of the dead aren’t there. They are either in heaven or hell. They’re not flitting about on the astral plane communicating with us. Secondly, the real entities that are speaking are demons, and they have a purpose in this. For example, Bishop James Pike, the Episcopalian Bishop of California, when he got in touch through Anna Twig, a spiritist in London - he happened to be in London; his son had been living in London, and he was visiting his son’s apartment and strange things were happening that caused him to believe his son was trying to communicate with him; physical things were being moved about, and so forth.
So, he contacted Anna Twig, and here comes his son’s voice. He recognizes it as his son’s voice. Anna Twig has never heard his son speak. He says things that only father and son knew - intimate things about the home and the life, you know, of his childhood. This convinced him that it was, indeed, the spirit of his son. But what does his son say? He says, “Well, Dad, I’m not here for just a pleasant afternoon’s conversation. I have a mission now, and part of it is to explain that there is no such thing as death. We don’t really die. We just move on to graduate school. I want you to know, Dad, that God is not personal. He’s a force. And I want you to know that Jesus is not the Savior. He’s just more highly evolved than the rest of us. I haven’t met him yet - he’s on a higher spiritual plane, but I’ve heard about him here, you know.” So, there is a purpose behind this communication on the part of Satan, and that is to spread his lies.
Tom: Dave, the Bible, in numerous places warns us against this. Now, if that’s the premise of the Bible that there are no spirits of the dead out and about, then what we’re saying here is that something is posing as the spirit of Bishop Pike’s son, and we’re able to put it together that these are adversaries against the God of the Bible, against what the Bible says, because of the message - the information, right?
Dave: Right, even the New Agers. Of course, in the New Age we now call it “channeling.” They don’t call it séances or spirit communication anymore; they call it channeling. There are various channelers who claim to be in touch with…they are actually familiar spirits, various ones speak for them. They, in fact, have their persona that speaks through them. Ramtha, speaking through J. Z. Knight, for example - Ramtha, who claimed to be a fifty-thousand-year-old warrior from Atlantis…
Tom: We’re going to address that in our “Religion in the News.” Go ahead, I’m sorry.
Dave: These are not just my ideas, although I verified this in interviewing people in various countries around the world. But even the New Agers themselves and the leaders, the experts, so called, in this area - John Klimo, for example, who wrote Channeling—they all acknowledge that there is a consistency in the messages that come through from these entities. Now these are people who have had no contact with one another previously, they are not in cahoots, they claim to be getting messages from the spirit realm, ascended masters, extraterrestrials - they will pose as most anything, and yet there is a consistency in them. And, amazingly, it conforms to the four lies that Satan presented to Eve through the serpent - that was channeling, of a sort, through the serpent in the Garden. So, that gives us a pretty good idea of who is behind this.
Tom: Can we categorically say that all spirits are bad? I mean, can’t there be good spirits out there? What does the Scripture have to say about fallen angels?
Dave: I don’t think God is forbidding this because He doesn’t want us to be in touch with some good spirits. Well, there are angels, and angels may communicate, but they initiate it. And I’m not saying it couldn’t happen today. It happened in Bible days, and possibly it could happen today. But here is something important, I guess, for our listeners to understand. You do not have a technique for getting in touch with the Spirit of God, for getting in touch with Jesus, for getting inspiration from God. The prophets didn’t adopt some technique, and that allowed them to get in touch with God, receive messages from God, nor do you have some technique for getting in touch with angels.
But all of the occultists have a technique. It could be a Ouija board, a divination device; it could be a crystal ball, or it could simply be a particular drug [that] puts you into an altered state of consciousness. It could be hypnosis, it could be yoga. These are ways of getting in touch with the spirit dimension. This is called divination, necromancy. It is absolutely forbidden, and yet we have it being taught in the church: Visualize Jesus; get a clear picture of Jesus, and he will come alongside. Imagine yourself back in some traumatic experience in your childhood, and this Jesus will come along, and he will deal with it and deliver you from it. Well, very clearly, they are making contact with the spirit world, because this Jesus that they began to visualize and imagine, suddenly takes on a personality of his own, begins to move and speak. But this is clearly not Jesus. You can’t call from the right hand of the Father on high the Son of God as your private guru to appear before you when you please. Never, ever, were such methods used by the prophets or the apostles.
Tom: And all of these different techniques, again, to go back to the Scriptures – they’re condemned. For example, Saul - the Scriptures talk about Saul - how he had banished all those who had familiar spirits from the land. But then when he disobeyed God and Samuel had died, he was in a spot. He wanted to hear from Samuel, who gave him counsel prior to Samuel’s death. The witch at Endor - she was…call her a channeler – I mean, this was basically what she was doing.
Dave: Spirit medium.
Tom: Right, and she did bring up Samuel.
Dave: She didn’t bring up Samuel.
Dave: God allowed him to come up. In fact, she was shocked at what she saw and was frightened, and then she recognized this really is Samuel. She knew she was in trouble because then she realized that was King Saul, and this had been forbidden. But that is the one exception in the Bible, and God allowed it for a purpose.
Tom: And what happened to Saul? I mean, Saul, the Scriptures say, I Chronicles 10:13: “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the Word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of the one that had a familiar spirit to inquire of it.” So, whereas God allowed this to take place, Saul still paid for that sin because….
Dave: In fact, Samuel was the one who came and told him that it would happen.
Tom: Right. This is our concern. If the Bible says clearly, over and over, it condemns sorcery, both in the New Testament… that is, I mean, we are going to talk about sorcery a little bit later, but it really has to do with contacting spirit entities, because these entities are deceivers, they are liars, they are destroyers. They are like their father, the devil, and they are out for the destruction of mankind.
Dave: That’s their whole purpose. We have a very interesting example that we cite in the book involving the famous well-known psychologist William James…
Tom: Yes, absolutely. He is highly influential still today.
Dave: Right…and Columbia University professor of logic, James Hyslop, who, by the way, came to the conclusion that these were evil spirits out there.
Nevertheless, they entered into a deal together, and they agreed that whoever died first would try to make contact with the survivor. William James died in 1910; Hyslop lived another ten years. And so, sometime after James’s death, Hyslop received a letter from a husband and wife, whom he had never heard of, in far away Ireland, a country he had never visited. They had been playing with a Ouija board-like device and were bombarded by messages from the discarnate spirit of someone named William James telling them to contact a Professor James Hyslop, of whom they had never heard. The message they delivered, finally, when they located him was: “Remember the red pajamas?”
It was an apparent reference to a trip that Hyslop and James had taken together, in which, upon arriving in Paris, their luggage was missing. They shopped for a few necessities. The pajamas Hyslop bought were bright red, and James had teased him about them at that time.
Now, you would think that only the surviving spirit of William James could have had that information and could have passed it on. I mean, this is an incredible example. These people had never heard of James Hyslop, this professor, and yet here comes this message.
Now, the whole purpose of the message is to deny that death is real—to deny, as the Bible says: “It’s appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.” No, he wasn’t under judgment—he’s out there floating about on the astral plane, perfectly content and able to communicate.
You have it in movies. For example, you remember the film, Poltergeist? They had these strange things happening and so forth, and in comes a psychic and explains why: because the house is built over the cemetery and the souls of the dead are restless and so forth. It happens frequently. You have a haunted house, and a psychic comes in and feels the vibes and gets a message that someone was murdered in this house, and their body was buried in the northeast corner of the basement and they just want a proper burial and then they will be at rest. And you dig down there and, what do you know? - there is a skeleton there; there are remains of someone. You give it a proper burial - you don’t even know who it is, but give it a proper burial - and then the poltergeist activity and the haunting cease. Well, doesn’t that prove that these people are around?
So, this is Satan. These are demons who are bringing these things to light in order to convince the world that what they say is true and that there really is no death and that these people are still able to haunt their house and now they will be at peace, and so forth.
Tom: If we are going to look for a rationale here, I mean, we know what the Scripture says. We know the Scripture says, “Be warned! Do not communicate with these beings because they are liars and deceivers.” But there are, as you say, lots of rationales out there. They come to us from parapsychologists, from mediums. I mean where do they get the information? They get the information from the entities that the Bible says are liars and deceivers.
Now, what would make us think that they are liars and deceivers? As you said earlier, if they are denying what God’s Word says, if they are giving us information, or if they are even putting together all different kinds of scenarios…you mentioned Bishop Pike. He was convinced certain things were going on, certain things that only he knew and that his son knew. But what about spirit entities? I mean, haven’t they been around for a long time? Don’t they have the power of observation? If they want to make a convincing case to convince us of a lie, they are more than able to do it, aren’t they?
Dave: They have plenty of information that they could pass out. I’m looking here - I have an article in front of me, Tom, about Alfred Alschuler. He’s a leading psychologist, very well known. I don’t know whether he still is, but at this time he was president of John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California.
Tom: Wasn’t it the university that first gave a PhD in parapsychology?
Dave: It could be. It’s possible, but I don’t recall…but I think you may be right. Anyway, he was giving a talk to a group of psychologists. This is what he says: “There’s a long and rich history of human beings whose lives have been changed significantly after an encounter with inner voices.” And he urged those attending this convention to “take those voices seriously.” He said, “They come under various guises, or people think their identity could be the collective unconscious, the Holy Spirit, extraterrestrial beings.” He stressed, “It’s not where the voices originate from that’s important, but rather the messages the voices seek to convey.” And he says, “The debate over what inner voices really are is similar to the quest for the nature of electricity.” Not quite. Because electricity is a neutral, impersonal force. But these voices have a personality and a purpose behind them.
But, here he is, a leading psychologist, president of a university, and he’s saying, “What we need to do”…in fact, the heading of the article is “Alschuler Entreats Counselors to Learn about Inner Voices.” So, now all psychological counselors - what he’s saying is a psychotherapist should learn about inner voices because people will be in touch with these beings, and don’t just brush it off, and don’t even think that it’s evil, but try to recognize some good messages coming through.
You know that Carl Jung, for example, who probably, and I’m sure, in fact, has influenced not just the world but the church far more than Sigmund Freud. He had his own spirit guide - in fact, not just a voice, but it manifested itself.
Tom: Is that Philemon?
Dave: Philemon, the demon, right. I think he called it “Philemon” [Fill-uh-mon]. Philemon the demon, he said, “was as real to me as a person. We walked up and down the garden, arm in arm, and he taught me most of my major theories.” And, of course, on another occasion - well, for three days and three nights, he called them a “screeching chorus of ghosts” came to his home near Zurich, and under their inspiration in three days and three nights he wrote his major work: Septem Sermones Ad Mortuos. He became convinced that he was a parson to the dead, that he traveled with the spirits of the dead (this is Carl Jung). His major theories came from inspiration from the spirit realm - demons, not spirits of the dead, and certainly not angels or the Spirit of God. So, this idea has played a very important role in human history.
Tom: Dave, let me interject this. When you listen to - whether they call themselves parapsychologists or psychotherapists like Jung and others, especially those who are into transpersonal psychology, you know, the study of the spirit (I mean, as if they could do that!), they lay out certain areas that those who recognize that there may be evil involved in some of these, but they lay out things (where do they get them?) to say that they are protected “if you do this.” Even mediums would say, “Well, if you only use it for the good, if you are altruistic about it, if you do…” Where do they get these ideas?
Dave: Or, “If you put a circle of white light around you...” Well, of course, they are telling you that so you drop your guard and then you think that whatever they say will be true. Edgar Cayce also got all of his information - in fact, he called it the information, from the spirit realm. The Course in Miracles was dictated to Helen Schucman, who was an atheistic psychologist at Columbia University. Here’s a woman who didn’t believe in anything at all - certainly not spirits, even spirits of the dead. And yet this voice kept telling her, “This is A Course in Miracles, take it down. This is A Course in Miracles, take it down.” She consulted with her psychologist friends at Columbia University and they said, “Take it down!”
So, she took it down. Eleven hundred pages! A Course in Miracles, it’s called. But listen what the voice that dictated it said to her. I’m quoting now, from her: “The name Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol of love that is not of this world. A symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray. This course has come from him.”
So, here we have Jesus, supposedly now, talking to Helen Schucman, an atheistic psychologist, only this Jesus is going to contradict everything that the Bible says about him. This Jesus is going to say there really is no sin; there’s no reason for forgiving someone. Forgiving is simply recognizing that there is nothing to forgive, that there’s no death and no judgment; God is impersonal and so forth. So, this is the whole idea behind this. This is Satan coming to convince mankind of the same lies that he brought to Eve through a talking serpent.
And, by the way, a talking serpent - that’s not fantasy, that’s not some old-fashioned idea. We have modern scientists today who are trying to communicate with dolphins; they are trying to teach the alphabet to chimpanzees. Your North American Indian witch doctors and so forth believe they can communicate with the animals and even with the trees and so forth. So, this is a persistent idea throughout human history.
Tom: And reinforced right at the Garden, right?
Dave: Well, the same purpose, right down through history that the serpent had in the Garden.
Tom: Dave, one last thing. We’re about to finish off here, but it’s my concern that if people may hear us saying the Bible condemns this and we give you chapter and verse and all of the Scriptures. But then, on the other hand, they say, “Such and such is a scientist, and he is giving us this information about it.” Remember, a while back, a number of years ago, we had an ongoing dialogue with Walter Martin, and Walter felt that hypnotism was all right as long as it was in the hands of medical personnel. But that doesn’t change the technique or the device. It doesn’t…
Dave: Occultism is occultism. If a witch doctor dresses in a business suit and has a PhD, that doesn’t change anything. I’m going to go by the Bible, and the Bible warns against this. There are good reasons for it logically. We can verify [that] the same lie comes through everywhere, consistently around the world, independently, people who have never been in touch with one another, and it is the same lie that the serpent presented in the Garden of Eden. I think that is conclusive evidence. I mean, there is no way you can explain this by chance. No way you can explain how thousands, literally thousands, of these channelers and mediums - and down through history it’s the same - how they all come up with the same four ideas that Satan presented Eve in the Garden of Eden, independently of one another. You cannot explain that by chance—that is absolutely solid evidence.
Tom: Dave, next week we are going to touch upon some of these particular techniques that people wittingly or unwittingly are getting involved in, and they’re contacting spirit entities…in some cases to their own destruction.
Gary: You’ve been listening to a special edition of Search the Scriptures 24/7 featuring Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708; call us at 800.937.6638; or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope you can join us again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.