Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The Crossing Over Craze examined in light of the Word of God.



"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?"


A. Television psychic hotlines and shows featuring psychics have become more popular. Psychics (sometimes called clairvoyants) will tell you that everyone has psychic ability, which can be developed.

B. A 1994 USA Today-CNN-Gallup poll found that 70 million Americans believe, as Haley Joel Osment’s character did in ’’The Sixth Sense,’’ that it is possible to talk to the dead.

C. Twenty-eight percent of Americans believe that people can hear from or communicate mentally with the dead, a new Gallup poll reports. Another 26% aren’t sure, but won’t rule it out. Half of all Americans believe in extrasensory perception. And notable individuals, from Hillary Clinton to Nancy Reagan to Adolf Hitler are known to have consulted with psychics.

D. According to longtime skeptic and magician James Randi, 72, whose standing offer of $1 million [Off-site Link] to psychics who can independently verify their "magic" has gone unclaimed for four years, "People not only want it to be true, they need it to be true. It’s the feel-good syndrome,"

E. "Everyone wants to be reassured about loved ones who have passed."

F. Claim to be congruent with the Bible

1. Some psychics will claim that their powers are consistent with the Bible and come from God, even offering convincing demonstrations as proof of their supernatural abilities.

2. State that Jesus was the greatest medium of all

3. Claim Jesus was clairvoyant, telepathic, and a materializing medium - Matthew 21:2

4. Claim that Abraham, Moses, Saul, Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel, and Paul were all psychics.


A. Deuteronomy 18:9-12 "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God gives thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. [10] There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, [11] Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. [12] For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations, the LORD thy God does drive them out from before thee."

B. Leviticus 19:31 "Regard not them that have familiar spirits (’ôb - spirit of the dead), neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."

C. I Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

D. Mark 13:22 "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."

E. I John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

III. How does one Cross-Over

A. Fraud

1. Cold Reading

2. The currently-popular "psychics" like Sylvia Browne, James Van Praagh, and John Edward, who are getting so much TV space on Montel Williams, Larry King, and other shows, employ a technique known as "cold reading." They tell the subjects nothing, but make guesses, put out suggestions, and ask questions. This is a very deceptive art, and the unwary observer may come away believing that unknown data was developed by some wondrous means. Not so.

Examples: "I get an older man here" is a question, a suggestion, and a guess by the "reader," who expects some reaction from the subject, and usually gets it. That reaction may just be a nod, the actual name of a person, or an identification (brother, husband, grandfather), but it is supplied BY THE SUBJECT, not by the reader. "They’re saying, ’Bob,’ or ’Robert.’ Do you recognize this person?" is another question, suggestion, and guess. If there’s a Bob or Robert, the subject will amplify the identification. But if there’s no Bob or Robert immediately recognized, the reader passes right on, after commenting that Bob is there all right, but not recognized right now. If any Bob is remembered later, that is incorporated into the spiel. In one such by the mediumVan Praagh, prepared by the "48 Hours" TV program, a reading that lasted 60 minutes, there were only TWO actual statements made, and 260 questions asked. Both actual statements--guesses--were wrong. Van Praagh was looking for the name of the woman’s deceased husband, and he came up with it by asking, "Do you know anyone named, Jack?" The woman answered, "Yes! Jack, my husband!" But Van Praagh didn’t identify "Jack" at all. He asked her if SHE would identify him. By that time, Van Praagh had already tried on her 26 other men’s names--all wrong. But, the woman--the subject--forgot about those failures, because they were not important to her. "Jack" was important.

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