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Messages from the Dead

Why is there such a recent surge in the popularity of movies and TV shows dealing with "messages from the dead?" Why is the practice of consulting with psychics, such as Sylvia Brown or John Edwards (who claim to talk to the dead and consult spirit guides) becoming spiritually acceptable to so many?

 I believe we see several factors in this increase of occultism. For one thing, as a people who knew the Lord move further and further away from Him, they move into certain darkness and open themselves up to all sorts of false teachings and perversions. Romans 1:21 states, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." Though they knew God, they glorified Him not as God. The results?

  • They became vain in their imaginations. That is, their empty imaginations ran away with them. Before the flood of Noah's day, God observed of man "that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). The faith of the believer, on the other hand, is to cast "down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God" (2 Corinthians 10:5). The popular media of today has exalted man's imagination as the most wonderful of his abilities. God warns of the dangers of what we "do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery" (Ezekiel 8:12).

  • Their foolish heart was darkened. They ceased to understand the evil of their ways and actually thought their evil ways to be righteous. Isaiah 5:20 declares woe to them that "call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Jesus warns, "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" (Luke 11:35).

God created man with a need for the spiritual. If he rejects the true God, he will quickly go after false gods. They "forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods" (Deuteronomy 8:19). If they turn from the God of the Bible, they will follow after "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Timothy 3:5). "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:3). Man has a need for answers that go beyond what he can see. If he rejects the truth of God, he easily looks to false spirits.

Finally, the false spiritualism, necromancy, and other manifestations of devil-inspired practices, will prepare the world for the time of the tribulation and the coming of the antichrist. The Book of Revelation refers to the "sorceries" of the tribulation period (Revelation 9:21; 18:23). Revelation 18:23 states that by these sorceries "were all nations deceived." During this time, the world will worship the dragon (Revelation 13:4). (The dragon is the devil - Revelation 12:9). At the same time, the beast (who is the antichrist) "opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven" (Revelation 13:6). The antichrist is the one who "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Therefore, as this world comes closer to the time when they will bow down to the beast, they will find themselves caught up more and more in subjection to "the rulers of the darkness of this world" and to "spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). However, lest we become discouraged, we must remember that we are commanded not to "give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:27).

Further, we are promised that "greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).