What the Bible Really Says About Mediumship
Posted on 27 January 2014, 10:54
When my #fundamentalist,evangelical,“born-again”friends – whatever name be attached to them – become aware of my interest in mediumship, they express concern that I am being influenced by Satan himself. They cite Deuteronomy 18:12-13, which they interpret to say that we should not consult the dead and Ecclesiastes 9:5, which says that the “dead know not anything.”
But how are we to reconcile those Old Testament injunctions with passages in the New Testament, such as 1 John 4:1, which says we should “test the spirits as to whether they are of God”? How are we to test them if we shouldn’t be talking with them and if they know nothing? And what about 1 Corinthians 12:10 that says some are given the gift of “discerning” what the spirits have to say? Why discern if they know nothing? Then, there’s 1 Thessalonians 5:21, which says to “test them all and hold on to what is good,” while 1 Peter 1:5, tells us that we should add “knowledge” to our faith.
How are we to interpret Joel 2:28-29, which says, “It shall come to pass afterwards that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days I will pour out my spirit.”?
If the Bible is to be interpreted literally, then why do Christian leaders ignore all of those Old Testament teachings, such as putting to death both persons in an adulterous relationship (Deut. 22:22), stoning to death stubborn and rebellious children (Deut. 21:18-21), accepting polygamy (Deut. 21:15), sanctioning slavery (Lev. 25:44), not eating shellfish (Lev. 11:10), or not having one’s hair trimmed (Lev. 19:27)?
Clearly, much of the Bible has been distorted over the centuries in the various translations. According to Dr. Robert A. Morey, a professor of Apologetics and Hermeneutics at Perry Bible Institute, the word nephesh is used 754 times in the Hebrew Bible, but it takes on 30 different meanings, ranging from “soul” and “the dead” to “fish” and “dogs,” while the Greek word aion is found in the New Testament 108 times and is given 10 different meanings, including “forever,” “ages,” “occasionally,” and “never.” What we read in the English Bible as “everlasting punishment” meant “age-long pruning” in the original Greek.
Although I have not been able to confirm this with a Bible scholar familiar with Hebrew, I recall reading somewhere that the Hebrew word from which “dead” is derived meant “spiritually dead” and referred to earthbound spirits. Thus, those passages cited above likely referred to earthbound (low-level) spirits. That is, earthbound spirits know nothing and we should not speak with earthbound spirits.
Much of orthodoxy clearly interprets Scripture in a self-serving, self-stultifying way and does not grasp the fact that the foundation of the Bible is similar spirit communication coming through mediums of one kind or another. “If we were to expunge all accounts of the apparently paranormal from the pages of the Bible, we would be left with an intolerably emasculated volume,” Canon (Dr.) Michael Perry of the Church of England wrote.
The more modern revelation has come to us in the same way that the ancient revelation did – through mediums of one kind or another, even though those ancient mediums, whether clairvoyants, trance types, direct voice types, automatic writers, or even near-death experiencers, might have been called prophets, seers, saints, or even saviors (or were translated as such). What the ancients called an “angel of the Lord” might now be referred to as a “spirit guide.” Where it is written that “his eyes were opened and he saw a vision,” might be translated today as saying the person was a clairvoyant. The method by which Moses received the Ten Commandments might today be called “direct writing” or “automatic writing.” In Isaiah 8:1, we read: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Take a large tablet and write…’...’ seemingly a reference to automatic writing.
If the evangelicals accept that argument, which most don’t, they point to Revelation 22:18, in which John supposedly says that God will punish anyone who adds or takes away anything from the Bible. And, yet, in John 16:12-14, we are told that there is much more to learn. “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” But the world, at least then, was not yet ready for it. Are we to assume that the world is still not ready for it and will never be ready for it?
If, as fundamentalists believe, Scripture is the inerrant word of God (vis-à-vis the inspired word of the spirit world manipulated by man), we must conclude that God lacked in communicative skills or in the ability to foresee the confusion concerning the conflicting interpretations given to the Bible after numerous translations. “They [the ancient words of Scripture] have frequently blinded us from seeing and entering the experience they seek to describe because these words are always limited by their time, their culture, and their apprehension of reality,” John Shelby Spong, a bishop of the Episcopal Church, recently wrote.
If Christian leaders were to closely examine the newer messages, they would realize that the basic teachings of Jesus – Love thy neighbor…, Do unto others…, and You reap what you sow – are also the teachings emerging from the modern revelation. Moreover, many of the current messages pay homage to Jesus and suggest that he pretty much functions in what might be called “Chairman of the Board” on the Other Side. With proper testing and discernment, numerous new teachings edify and clarify Scripture, offering us language that is not muddled and befuddled by human hands and brains.
Perhaps the best guide in this respect is Matthew 7:16: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Also, the 23rd chapter of Proverbs, seventh verse, which reads, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..” It is difficult to read the wisdom that has come through so many credible mediums in recent centuries and believe that the spirits communicating this information are attempting to mislead us, as they offer a much more sensible and more appealing afterlife environment – one that can be reconciled with a loving and just God rather than a cruel, capricious, vindictive, and wrathful one or one who would offer a humdrum heaven or horrific hell. From this new revelation we discover a Divine plan – one of attainment and attunement, of gradual spiritual growth, of evolution of spirit through progressively higher (in vibration) planes. In a nutshell, it puts “life” into the afterlife.
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
Next blog: February 9 .
THANX A LOT FOR YOUR ARTICLE. WOW. I’M AMAZED!
WE NEED MORE PEOPLE WHO IS LESS NARROW-MINDED IN RELIGION!
Deon Vermaak, Wed 7 Oct, 12:05
Great point Michael!
Christie, Fri 31 Jul, 16:18
Thank you for your comment. Jon Beecher, who owns White Crow Books, pointed out something to me that I had not previously considered; that is, in Revelation 22:18. where John said nothing should be added to “this book,” he could not have been referring to the Bible, because the Bible was not yet put together and wouldn’t be for some 400 years. He must have been saying that nothing should be added his book, only a very small part of what was to become the Bible.
Michael Tymn, Mon 13 Jul, 08:26
I want to thank you so much for posting this. I am in the process of embracing and understanding my mediumship abilities, and despite the beauty I see in it, that nagging inner voice (put there by southern baptist family), keeps me stuck. Your post was healing for me.
Christie, Fri 10 Jul, 15:45
I was baptized Catholic, introduced to seeing spirits and astral projection at the age of about 5 - 6 years old. Children are innocent, so was Satan ruling over me then? Also, was it the devil who allowed me to play in the crystal streams of living water? AND they truly are alive meaning, they’re musical. There sound has color and I remember taking a “ride” down a brook which not only was “alive” but the water and atmosphere of the whole plane I was in “energized” me and the Love of God was there. Not God…God’s Love.
I was fine having experiences since my mother never said it was evil. As I began to share as I grew older, I was told the whole Satan, demonic thing and I KNEW it wasn’t so, on the other hand, it brought doubt.
As I grew into my early teens, I would always go to our bathroom (water is conducive to spirit communication I later learned) and talked to “my invisible man” as I labeled him. As I began to develop more psychic/spiritual gifts, I got scared. One day, literally, I felt my shirt being nudged in a pulling way the way you’d tap someone on the shoulder. To be honest, it was kindly and gentle but there was also a “no questions asked” feeling to it. No biggee. I followed my impression, left the house and found myself at a book store and was led right up to a paperback rack which explained EVERYTHING I was going through up to that point in my life. Whew!
As I matured my excursions became more and more beautiful, museums, angels, just flying around, seeing evil spirits, having a few fights with them as they gathered round my body while I was out of it…by the way, when you have love and purity your body is guarded as well as your soul’s own power keeps them at bay. I could go on.
In my thirties I was introduced to Pentecostalism. To me this was a glorious experience. I decided to give up my darkness, which is what I believed, and follow Christ. I accepted him as Savior. Wouldn’t ya know? That same day after this “change” I had two visions. I also broke out in the gift of healing, prophesying, and others.
Jesus appeared to me 3 times and a bunch of others and NEVER scolded me for being psychic. All that to say, NOTHING changed, just my POV.
I’m not going into Scripture but Christians have to get a grip on things. The Bible cannot be EXACTLY the way it was, what Jesus taught, what the disciples taught after him and those who came after them.
Jesus also told them there were things he couldn’t tell them b/c they weren’t ready to either understand or believe. Hey! Remember the time I think it was Ezekiel and Moses appeared to Jesus & the disciples on the Mt. of Trnsf.? THEY WERE SPIRITS. Jesus contacted spirits…on purpose. That was NOT God’s voice who spoke b/c the Father is Soul & cannot speak…He has no vocal chords it was one of His highest angels speaking in His stead.
Yes, the problem is we’re getting AWAY from the spirit world where those who have crossed over are dying (pun intended) to explain to us and finally making headway) to explain what/where/how death is and that after we die, we sleep generally for a very short time. Once we wake up, we NEVER sleep again. The power, Love, energy of God’s planes are energized so that your new body, the human replica which is the spirit body, moves in the spirit world.
There are 6 spirit heavens. The highest is a glass ceiling for those who do not accept God’s Divine Love through the Holy Spirit. These planes are called the Natural Heavens and ARE GORGEOUS! There are no words, so I can’t try to describe them.
Those who have X amt. of Divine Love via the Holy Ghost…and this is not just Christians, it’s ANYBODY whose soul cries out to God’s Soul RECEIVES this GIft of Immortality. THIS is where Christians get confused and have misconstrued the teachings of the fallible translators of the Bible.
Who you are today is exactly who you are when you die. No, there is no sudden transformation of one’s soul. How would a man be able to understand that? God is Love. He’s Kind & Compassionate. He allows whatever you’ve accomplished on earth to follow you. His Laws “work” on you until you understand how you goofed and there is “work” you do to pay: This is called the Law of Compensation, however, Divine Love is greater than this law & as a soul (hopefully he starts on earth) has enough of this Love, this is the fulfillment of that Law…DIVINE LOVE. It transforms the soul from the NATURAL, no matter how perfect it is, into Immortal & Divine.
Understand, being transformed, Divine and Immortal is NOT being God. It means that the spirit which was the main vehicle in the spirit heavens, ends up being overruled by the soul. This soul with Divine Love ONLY knows Love…it cannot sin, nor desire anything of the sin nature once abiding in man. He truly knows He is a resident of the Kingdom of God.
Judgment means one thing: ONE DAY and that’s far away God will JUDGE SIN ITSELF and it will be no more. How could a God of Love, Divine, Eternal, Immortal Love, also judge by sending someone to Hell forever? He’s not bipolar. He doesn’t KNOW sin only He has compassion & a Plan for the sinner but ALWAYS HAS FORGIVENESS for His kids, that’ us.
Obviously, I could go one but if you’re Christian as I am, but you ALSO believe in mediumship, spirits and the likes of the spirit world then you’ll fall in love, perhaps, with The Padgett Messages. After reading them it raised my spiritual I.Q. up 300 point!
Realize it took me X months to begin to begin to believe Divine angels, including Jesus, would write automatically through a medium, James Padgett. If you’re on the fence give yourself 3 months and PRAY to God, Jesus, whomever you believe in for an inner witness. There are a bunch of other messages written by mediums explaining the Nature of God to spirits in hell, sorry, no fire there and it’s not eternal.
You decide. You will discover how and why things work in the spirit & Divine Kingdom as well as the hells, yep! This has helped answer q’s I’ve had for many a moon. There’s nothing like someone who knows what’s going behind the curtain, or should I say veil AND they trying to TEAR THE VEIL so through understanding, there’s much less suffering b/c without SOUL DEVELOPMENT & we’re all going to the next life, one begins life there as almost an invalid. God never wanted that but He gave us free will.
FIND OUT for the sake of suffering, if what I’m spouting is worth anything. There are also a list of sites that deal with this subject matter as well.
I hope if at least one of you finds this true, it’s worth all the time spent. I’ve had 2 ministries online, one was about the essence of what the Padgett Messages taught and after about
1 1/2 years, overnight, the site turned into something else. Why? I don’t know! I am keeping up my prayer ministry and beginning to learn about blogging and websites so I can continue what I started. There are also contemporary messages as well as certain folk you’ll recognize from history they “let through” to speak since this site is about DIVINE LOVE…not romance, the lottery, etc.
It’s about how to prepare for “there” while here without having to go through hell, literally, in some cases, by learning “how it all works”.
Truth, beauty, peace, brotherhood are elegant, simple & don’t require a degree. Divine Love? Exactly the same.
What it DOES require is your hunger, sincerity, honesty, thirst and yearning for Truth, not religion.
Truth & Love from a Creator Who created You BEFORE you entered the womb. Learn about it. You may become a happy soul without going through the kind of pain billions of souls went through b/c of their dogma, no matter how sincere, the wrong ideas just like the right ones, go “with you” when you leave this plane.
Find out for yourself.
Michael, Sun 8 Mar, 00:21
I have yet to meet any people, fundamentalist Christian or otherwise who when their eyes or hands offend them, pluck out their eyes or cut off their hands. Didn’t Jesus say to do this rather than the whole body be cast into Hell? Please help me to understand. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 5 Feb, 15:46
Leslie Harris, Wed 5 Feb, 12:16
Kardec was extremely specific about mischievous and malicious spirits being ever ready to communicate.
They were no doubt no different in biblical times!!
Addendum—I got a chance to look up the specific old testament mediumship story that my devout Jewish friend mentioned, and it’s, ah, well, a tad more negative than what I presented. The character who consulted the medium in the story was not portrayed as a righteous man. He was King Saul, who resorted to seeing a medium when God refused to talk to him because he had disobeyed God, in that he did not “carry out His fierce wrath against the Amalekites” (a questionable command in the first place, if it was really coming from a just and loving God, but that’s another topic…).
If I’m reading the passage right, the medium was supposed to be surprised when a real spirit appeared, that of the dead King Samuel. After rising up out of the ground (they believed that all the dead resided underground in Hades in that era, at least until Judgement day), Samuel told Saul in no uncertain terms that he was irritated at being disturbed, and proceeded to accurately predict Saul’s defeat in battle (Samuel 28: 6-20).
After my Jewish friend referred to this passage (without reading it to me, or saying anything about the goodness or evil of the characters), he smiled and said something to the effect that “there was a lot of mediumship going on then,” in a manner that communicated to me that I could relax about my new age inclinations with him.
In any case, I stand corrected on that story. On the other hand, the negative press on mediumship that I came across this morning online, in the form of endless fundamentalist Christian articles about Saul and the medium (“The Witch of Endor”, they call her), run in stark contrast to what Stevan Davies says about mediumship and Jewish culture in the 1st century. For example, says Davies, Philo, a well-to-do Jewish historian at the time of Jesus, “…insists emphatically and repeatedly that a prophet is a person whose primary persona is on occasion replaced wholly by another persona; in the language I am using, Philo believed that prophets are, by definition, spirit-possessed. His view of the matter is completely in keeping with anthropological theory of spirit-possession, psychological theory of spirit-possession, and with the conclusions of many scholars of Hebrew Bible prophecy.” (From ““Jesus the Healer: Possession, Trance, and the Origins of Christianity” by Stevan Davies, p.49).
So where do those biblical verses that reject mediumship come from?
To me, it makes sense that some cautionary words about mediumship would be in any sacred or mystical book. I have heard common-sense warnings about channeling even from “New Age” contemporaries of mine, who simply say that you never really know who you are talking to, they might be lower level spirits—it’s possible to be led astray if you take what a medium says too seriously. My Dad used to say that frequently, even about what his own spirit guides said when he invited them to take over his vocal chords in trance. According to Davies, almost every culture that has beliefs in channeling (and there are many!) has a classification for positive spirits (“Angels” in Biblical terms) and negative spirits (“Demons” in Biblical terms). Of course there will be warnings about mediumship! It would be irresponsible for there not to be!
I think there is another historical factor at play here, though. Consider the beginning phrase of Deuteronomy 18:10-12: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire…” and it then goes on to list a bunch of other “abominable” practices that are also in the Canaanite culture—including mediumship—justifying God’s wrath against the Canaanites by listing all the evil things they do.
What I see in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 is either an activist blurb against child sacrifice (and I say that as a positive thing, acknowledging that such calls to end child sacrifice could well have come from God, or some other positive spirit being channeled at the time!), or—this passage could be simply war propaganda, painting the face of the enemy into something evil. I mean, during World Wars I and II, how often was Saurkraut (one of the greatest gifts of Germany to humankind, IMHO) denigrated in Allied propaganda films, right along with real and imagined atrocities (little did we know at the time what horrible atrocities we would actually uncover at the end of World War II, but that’s another story).
This is all to say that if you are going to approach the Bible like the Pharisees, who Jesus criticizes for being too literal and rule-bound, you will end up creating all sorts of rules that can make sense in one context, and be downright harmful or oppressive in another, but you’ll end up invoking them blindly on both types of occasions. Given all the blessings that mediumship has brought to my life, I consider mediumship to be an occasion where the baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater.
That being said, I know many fundamentalist Christians who use the Bible well, and live good lives by approaching it literally. Still, it’s hard for me not to come to the conclusion that if I were to take it as literally as some do, I would have to request forgiveness from God for behaving like a Pharisee.
In the end, it’s all a matter of balance. In the words of Dan Fogelberg, “One day we’ll all understand…”
Thanks again, Michael, for this illuminating post, and for your blog in general!
Lloyd, Tue 4 Feb, 21:31
What timing, Michael! The very day you posted this article, I was getting ready to go fetch a particular book from the library— “Jesus the Healer: Possession, Trance, and the Origins of Christianity” by Stevan Davies—so that I could read it a second time. Davies makes a convincing historical/anthropological case that trance possession was commonplace among Jewish prophets in the first century, and that Jesus was very likely a trance channeler himself.
Although Davies favors materialistic explanations (for example, possession as multiple personality disorder), he communicates spiritually-oriented explanations with uncanny respect and accuracy. Both my parents were trance-possession channelers from the year 1960 until they passed over, and from my experience, Davies appears to know what he’s talking about in describing how a trance-possession session might have proceeded between Jesus and his followers.
As for the “Old Testament” (the Torah, if you are Jewish), a devout and conservative Jewish gentleman I know recently pointed out to me a passage where mediumship was practiced by a righteous man and apparently sanctioned by God.
Thanks for this post, Michael. Keep up the good work!
Lloyd, Tue 4 Feb, 09:09
Biblical history – the history of the Christian bible itself – is fraught with many embarrassing gaps. It is commonly presented as one glorious continuous history – and it isn’t! Far from being handed down by a deity as a fait accompli, it was hotly disputed for centuries until Constantine got sick of the squabbling and directed that a uniform doctrine be drawn up and it was – not by angels or mystic revelations but by the very human priests to whom the task fell. The great sticking point had been the definition of the members of the Trinity. After considerable very human argument, a doctrine was agreed on. “Revelations from God”? Nope!! Try Constantine several hundred years down the track!!
Les Harris, Mon 3 Feb, 16:07
In the early days of Christianity, there were numerous teachers who preached on the basis of claims of having received revelations directly from God, just like the prophets of old. Those who were attempting to consolidate the new religion and bring everyone together under one set of dogmas (and to be fair, keep Christianity from being wiped out in its infancy) didn’t appreciate diverging viewpoints. They made a decision that no revelations or prophecies spoken by anyone after the time of the apostles could be considered valid. God had spoken, and then He had shut up for all time. It was a bizarre doctrine, and it’s hard to imagine how people could believe it, but it seemed necessary to the Powers That Were at the time.
Elene Gusch, Mon 3 Feb, 07:19
(Please correct me if I am remembering my Pagels, Ehrman, etc. inaccurately.)
This is an excellent article. Here’s another great website: http://jamesepadgett.com/
Jan, Fri 31 Jan, 18:43
Thanks again, Mike!
Jane Katra, Thu 30 Jan, 03:17
A very good article, excellent rebuttals to the fundamentalists hurling accusations of Satanism.
I believe the gospel of Jesus because it says to do justice to the poor, the dispossessed, the ill and the imprisoned, to give to them at cost to yourself, to love your neighbor as yourself and to love your enemy and to pray for them. I can’t imagine any medium telling me something more important than that. It’s also why I believe the Jewish prophets, the Buddhist Suttas, etc. I don’t think it’s true because Jesus said it, I believe he said it because it’s true.
Anthony McCarthy, Wed 29 Jan, 18:47
Yes! Much food for thought here! I am tempted however to add a further detail. My contention is that as soul and soul aspects, we are something like 99% spirit and 1% material being. So it would make more sense for spirit to be testing the credibility of physical beings rather than the other way around! But since we material beings have the audacity to be putting spirit to the test, perhaps we might try explaining this following seance meeting experience:
My great grandmother (whom I never met) knew and declared that I had lifted down a heavy book earlier that day (a large illustrated John Brown Bible with brass clasps ... the heaviest book that I possess), declaring that she had given it to her granddaughter Dorothy (who died young so that we likewise never met), on her 5th or 6th birthday. All perfectly correct. I had indeed lifted down and referred to the Bible earlier; and, next day, on reading a faded inscription it is clear that it was indeed presented to Dorothy January 1914 by her grandmother on her 6th birthday.
I live 60 miles distant from the seance meeting house and no one present was conversant with my early family history. There are of course countless comparable episodes that equally cannot be logically denied. Those of us who regularly sit in seance will have ample direct proof of spiritual status quo, and will not be concerned with ‘testing’. The majority of scientists do not do this, and so, prefer to confine their thinking to intellectual mode that belongs to that 1% of being that is physical.
George E Moss, Wed 29 Jan, 15:49
Excellent and to the point. The subject matter very clear and of great use in any argument.
Derek Lynas, Wed 29 Jan, 14:25
fenriz, Tue 28 Jan, 12:21
one word - brilliant.
Exactly my opinion on the matter of Christianity and its “holy” book.
There are some fundamental flaws with the Christian bible that no-one can answer.
Start reading and start counting the verbatim quotations attributed to the many characters that appear, including the central figure – whose name could never have been Jesus, by the way!
All this was in a place and at a time when literacy simply didn’t exist beyond a few holy men and a few scribes. Nazareth was a small settlement of several hundred, perhaps a thousand. How many would have been able to read and write? Perhaps a Rabbi or two! Even merchants could not read and write.
Yet we find hundreds of thousands of direct quotations throughout the entire book, such that it would have needed an army of scribes accompanying everyone to whom the quotations were attributed.
OK, that’s a problem, so let’s examine the original documents from which this ocean of direct attributions are drawn – oh dear! Houston, we have a problem! There aren’t any.
Leslie Harris, Tue 28 Jan, 00:53
A bunch of fairly ordinary but quite crafty humans create a religion based on a deity that they have created in their own image and with notions that might be wishful thinking or a desire to control others – or both!
Reports of visions, mystic locations, a good imagination and loquacity were all that was needed.
Because most of the population is illiterate, they find that it is very easy to frighten people into following their dictates by referring to mystic matters that no-one can ever check. They structure their religion in accordance with their own views and present them as divine instructions, reinforced with dire threats for non-compliance.
In an age rampant with many vengeful gods, this was easily accomplished.
But there is a problem.
There are a few people who appear to be able to communicate with entities, at least some of which once lived and they find nothing to support the locally manufactured religion – often the opposite in fact.
What’s to be done? Easy! Just write in a few more rules and prohibitions. If possible, attribute them to some imaginary deity or other. Problem solved!! Concocted quotations attributed to imaginary deities prevail.
On top of the non-existent scribes needed to record everything attributed to the biblical characters, we now get translators whose knowledge of Hebrew is sketchy at best. When such translators are people who hold preconceived religious views, it isn’t hard to work out which way bias lies. The opportunity to slip in a bit more material here and there would have been hard for many to resist.
To this day, nothing has changed. Learned discourses are conducted on this meaning or that meaning of biblical statements for which there is absolutely no contemporaneous historic foundation.
A very important and most useful post. Well done.
wendy zammit, Mon 27 Jan, 21:03
Add your comment