Summary: What’s wrong with a visit to a psychic? A "harmless" game of Ouija? A look at my horoscope to see how my day is going to turn out?
OPEN: A woman went to the local psychic in hopes of contacting her dearly departed grandmother. The psychic’s eyelids began to fluttering and she began to moan and eventually, a voice came, saying, "Granddaughter? Are you there?"
The granddaughter, wide-eyed responded, "Grandma? Is that you?"
"Yes granddaughter, it’s me."
"It’s really you, Grandma?" the woman repeats.
"Yes, it’s really me, granddaughter."
The woman pauses a moment, "Grandma, I have just one question for you."
"Anything, my child."
"When did you learn to speak English?"
APPLY: Here in I Samuel 28 we have the unusual story of King Saul consulting a psychic. And what’s so unusual about it is that - not too long before consulting her – he had decreed that all those who practiced divination should be put to death. In making that decree, King Saul had merely followed the command of God which declared:
"A man or woman who is a medium or Spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads." Leviticus 20:27
You see - God has always hated the occult.
Over and over again, God condemns the practices of…
• fortune-telling (trying to tell the future by palm reading, horoscopes, etc)
• divination (appealing to the spirit world by Ouija boards, tea leaves and the like)
• and consulting the dead (séances and visiting mediums or “channelers”)
In Deuteronomy 18:10-12 God declares:
“Let no one be found among you who… practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.”
And in Leviticus 20:6 God declared
“I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.”
Even in the New Testament God tell us He hasn’t changed His mind,
"…those who practice magic arts …their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur… the second death" Revelation 21:8 (NIV).
ILLUS: Ben Alexander was one of the best known ex-spiritualists of our brotherhood. He had engaged in many of the black arts when he was younger, but when he became a Christian he would go about giving lectures on the dangers of Christians dabbling in these things.
One of his most famous sayings was “The spirit world IS real!” He’d seen it, he’d experienced it, and he knew that it wasn’t ALL smoke and mirrors, but the Spirit world had nothing to do with talking with the dead. It had everything to do with demonic activity.
One of the things he’d do is engage in debates with Spiritists. One time – in Portland Oregon – he rec’d a call from Lee Tabor, the host of a Sunday program on KOIN television. Alexander agreed to the on the condition that the Bible was to be the final authority in the discussion. Because many spiritists say they use the Scriptures in their activities, the spirit medium agreed to this. As the time neared for the TV interview, Alexander enlisted hundreds of Christians to pray for the program and for him to deal properly with this medium.
Throughout the debate, Alexander would quote from the Spiritualist manual and show where the Bible refuted their doctrines. But toward the end of the debate, he laid a trap for the Medium.
He said he came into the final round with an admission, saying that he realized that séances were held in the Old Testament times. King Saul (for example) went to a spirit medium at Endor and asked the witch to call up Samuel from the dead.
He said "My opponent took the bait & said, ‘That proves that the Bible condones spiritualism.’
But his joy and exuberance were short-lived.
Alexander smiled and then said "But King Saul died because he went to a spirit medium."
"Not in my Bible," the medium said.
Then the moderator asked the medium for his Bible, but he did not have one with him.
So Alexander declared: "It’s in my Bible," and as he was about to quote I Chronicles 10:13, the moderator snatched the Bible out of his hands and said, "Let me read it,"
And this is what he read,
"So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it
The moderator then turned to the spirit medium and said, "Look, it is true. God says those who go to mediums will die." (from the book “Out Of Darkness” by Ben Alexander)