The Symptoms of Seduction by Spirits
“Now it came about when Jerusalem was captured in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was breached.” Jeremiah 39:1-2, NASB . . . . . .
“It was toward the end of the reading that I first noticed the whirling sensation over my head. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn’t go away. It was a strange but not unpleasant feeling that seemed to flutter and vibrate and even tingle above me. I was startled when Bonnie [my psychic reader] picked up on it.
‘Are you aware that there is a ball of light over your head?’
I was dumfounded. A ball of light? Is that what I was feeling? This was getting a little wild. I told Bonnie that I had been feeling something over my head but didn’t know what it was. She said it again.
‘It’s a ball of light.’
For a moment I tried to understand what a ball of light was doing over my head. Then I asked the obvious.
‘Why is there a ball of light over my head?’
‘You are being shown that you have a lot of help on the other side,’ she said matter-of-factly.
‘What do you mean by “the other side”?’
‘The spirit world,’ was her quick reply. ‘Family and loved ones who have passed away, as well as angels and other spirits who for whatever reasons are sympathetic to your life. They are making themselves known to you. They are reaching out to you and letting you know that they are available if you want their help’.”—Warren Smith, The Light That Was Dark
One of life’s most difficult experiences is the death of a loved one, especially the death of one’s own child. Yet Scripture promises Christians that, “the God and Father the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ [has]… according to His abundant mercy… caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5, NASB)
Appropriated by faith, this “blessed hope” is the source of strength and comfort to Christians grieving over the death of a believing loved one who also trusted in the salvation offered by and in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This series of articles has been difficult for the Discernment Research Group to publish. As we read the account of Pastor Steve and Sarah Berger’s loss of their teenage son Josiah in a tragic car accident, our hearts stirred with sympathy for them and their family, for their church and their friends. Yet we rejoiced with them in their assurance that Josiah, a professing believer in Jesus Christ, was in Heaven and in the legacy he had left here on earth.
However, amidst our sympathy for them and thoughtful consideration, we decided it necessary to rebut the New Age view of Heaven that was publicly being spread amongst the evangelical community in the Bergers’ book, Have Heart: bridging the gulf between heaven and earth. Openly endorsed by such high-profile church figures as James Robison, Chuck Missler and Greg Laurie, and promoted by various media outlets and Koinonia House, this book required a public response.
In a point-by-point biblical and theological analysis and commentary, Have Heart was reviewed by Pastor Larry DeBruyn in his 5-part series “Do the Dead Communicate with the Living?” The Discernment Research Group thought this review of the Bergers’ book was necessary because the issues it introduces to America’s evangelical community; namely a New Age understanding of Heaven that allows for visitations from Christian loved ones who have entered the afterlife.
From our perspective, we are sorry that the grief and anguish of their son’s death has opened the minds of the family, their friends and their audience to “the other side” for the term “other side” derives its meaning from the occult world of Spiritualism, a religious phenomena that has been around for centuries. As a movement, Wikipediadescribes the rise of Spiritualism to prominence in the 1840s as follows:
Spiritualism is a belief system or religion, postulating the belief that spirits of the dead residing in the spirit world have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. Anyone may receive spirit messages, but formal communication sessions (séances) are held by “mediums”, who can then provide information about the afterlife.
Under the subheading “Syncretism,” the Wikipedia entry also notes that Spiritualism was a forerunner to the New Age movement, with which it shares many similarities and overlapping connections, and that in the past it gained a foothold in many liberal Christian churches whose membership contains so-called “Christian Spiritualists.”
So herein resides our concern: the door to the doctrines and practices of Spiritualism is now being opened amongst unsuspecting evangelicals because of the information and experiences communicated by the Bergers’ book. In other words, the spiritual security of the evangelical church has been breached. This breach not only includes descriptions of their son Josiah’s afterlife appearances here on earth, but also credits to occult sources in the book and new teachings about Heaven described by the authors.
Because several members of the Discernment Research Group have come out of the New Age movement and have personally experienced the psychic world, we recognize Spiritualism when we see it, no matter how its tenets might be labeled. So we became alarmed enough to write more on this topic in order to warn others of the dangers inherent with courting the beliefs and practices of Spiritualism. The following summary covers some spiritualist activities that concern us. . . . . . .
read the full article here.