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What does the Bible say about channeling?

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Question: "What does the Bible say about channeling?"

Channeling is the practice of relaying messages from some type of spiritual guide; usually, channeling is done while in a trance-like state. The Bible is clear that channeling and attempting to contact the dead are wrong. Seeking advice from mediums, necromancers, and fortune-tellers is strictly forbidden. Leviticus 19:31 states, “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them.” Leviticus 20:6 says, “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.” Deuteronomy 18:12 says that consulting mediums or channeling the dead is “detestable.” Clearly, God sees these practices as sinful and completely without benefit.

Saul, a powerful king of Israel, finally reached the end of his tragic fall away from God when he involved himself in channeling. Saul chose to seek answers from a medium when God didn’t provide him the answers he wanted. In 1 Samuel 28:6–20, Saul asks a psychic to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel. His grave error is mentioned later in 1 Chronicles 10:13–14, which emphasizes that Saul’s involvement in witchcraft was wrong: “He [Saul] was unfaithful to the Lord, he did not keep the word of the Lord, and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord.”

As Christians, we ought to seek God’s answers to our questions. Praying to or “channeling” any other being is idolatry. Praying to any dead person, including the apostles, Mary, and so forth, is not so very different than holding a séance and asking a dead relative to help us. Most so-called mediums are actually frauds who use memory tricks, planted accomplices, and special effects to fool people. Those that are not frauds are cooperating with dangerous spiritual beings. Satan’s henchmen are adept at appearing as helpful spirits (2 Corinthians 11:14), making it easy for them to confuse and corrupt people who open themselves up through channeling.

Recommended Resource: Encountering World Religions by Irving Hexham

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