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Entertaining Spirits Unaware:
The End-Time Occult Invasion

Chapter 10 - Necromancy - Voices from Hell

by Eric Barger and David Benoit

The ninth forbidden practice is "necromancy" - communicating with the dead.

We have discussed seances and channeling all through the book but for all of you "spot" readers we’ll define this again.

Channeling is the occult (now New Age) practice of lending one’s mind and body to the spirit world to be used in communicating with the dead. This same thing has transpired during seances for centuries. But in our time, the twist is that the channeler now speaks as if it is actually the deceased person or entity being contacted who is doing the speaking. It is as if the channeler’s mind, body, mouth and even hands (in the case off "automatic handwriting) are taken over for a time while the spirit from beyond uses it.

This practice has become wildly popular and has gained acceptance because of the high visibility many influential people, including Hollywood stars have given it.

Because of the tremendous yearning that Hollywood has displayed for New Age spirituality over the past three decades, there has been an exponential rise of those trying to accommodate the fervor. Most saw Vincent Price as quaint, eccentric or just plain odd, so when he produced a recordings of "readings" entitled "Witchcraft and Magic: An Adventure in Demonology" no one really took it too seriously. But we now know that Price was serious, having an affinity for not only his persona as Hollywood’s leading man of the macabre, but for the actual subject matter itself. Whether disregarded as just another performance of the role that gave him notoriety or not, the album included a track called "How to Communicate with the Spirits" which amounted to nothing more that an advocation of necromancy.

Hollywood’s Occult Craving

In the 1970’s and early 80’s few mediums claimed to be an actual physical voice or channeler for particular spirits from the dead. Mediumship had been a matter of contacting someone’s departed loved one or perhaps a famous figure from history and merely reporting what the "spirits were saying." Channeling, with the accompanying trance-state of altered consciousness, was going to take contacting the spirit realm to another plateau all together.

Though it was still a little discussed practice, one that few stars would admit delving into, it became obvious that fame, fortune and popularity did not satisfy the inner self of Hollywood’s elite. While mediums still had to weave their way to the star’s doorsteps through a sort of occult underground, the craving for spiritual enlightenment for those in the entertainment world became public knowledge in the 1980’s. When Shirley MacLaine released her book "Out on a Limb" in January of 1984, it cracked the dike in Hollywood’s secretive silence concerning New Age and occult practices. Soon star after star paraded forward to give homage to either their channeler or the spirit whom they had come to trust.

As if growing in the fields adjacent to Los Angeles, channelers and mediums began to pop up like bean plants in summer. When Sharon Gless of the popular 80’s TV series "Cagney and Lacey" won the first of her two Emmy awards for best actress in 1986, she thanked Lazaris, her spirit guide for the award. As it turned out Lazaris was also the first spirit we know of that employed an agent to promote "it"! Mafu, another popular "spirit guide" to the stars, was channeled through Penny Torres, a Southern California housewife. Mafu claimed to be a member of the "Brotherhood of Light." Joyce DeWitt, of "Three's Company" fame, brought this particular spirit to prominence. Others followed into the mystical realm such as Lily Tomlin, Philip Michael-Thomas, Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Stephanie Powers and Tina Turner only to name a few.

Perhaps the first prominent channeler of our time was Jane Roberts, a housewife from Elmira, New York whose use of the Ouija Board initiated her journey into the occult. Roberts and her husband began searching for spiritual answers and to their surprise the entity they came to know as "Seth" spoke back to them through the Ouija. Over the next two decades they recorded and chronicled over 1500 experiences with Seth. Having turned away from Christianity and to Eastern mysticism, due to bad experiences while in a Catholic school, Roberts began compiling the "Seth Materials" in 1963 and continued until 1984 when she died. During that time Seth channeled a total of twenty-three books (totaling over six million volumes sold) as well as several tape series and interviews through Roberts. The 1972 best seller Seth Speaks catapulted Roberts into the national spotlight. Springing from the relativist theme that all humans actually create their own reality based on their personal beliefs, the Seth Materials have been called the "Blueprint for the New Age" and rightly so. Roberts' work continues to this day through Seth Network International headquartered in Eugene, Oregon. As of the year 2000 Roberts' widower, Rob Butts, 81 (who still uses a Ouija Board!) is compiling and releasing between eight and ten new volumes of Seth materials comprised of the first 510 session which Roberts had with Seth.

Unquestionably, the most famous channeler of our day is J.Z. Knight. This housewife from Washington State has developed an empire from the financial proceeds of thousands of followers. Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment has touched thousands of "truth-seekers" with the deception of the enemy and attracted several lawsuits from disgruntled followers and their families in the process. Those who have journeyed from around the world include an assortment of dignitaries and jet setters. Actress Linda Evans, of TV’s Dynasty fame, even moved from her Southern California mansion to the small community of Lakewood, Washington to be near Knight’s headquarters in the lazy farming community of Yelm. Perhaps more notable though is the fact that for the first time a spirit guide, Ramtha, has gained even more name recognition than its channeler. Throwing Knight into altered states, jerking and contorting as it delivers it’s New Age messages through her in a mans voice with an English accent, Ramtha claims to be a 35,000 year-old Lamurian warrior. Now honestly, doesn’t it take a whole lot more faith to believe that than to trust in the eyewitness account that Jesus lived, died and rose from the grave to save mankind? At least we have actual proof of what the Savior did and said!

Several New Age cults have sprung forth from the channeling movement, most notably Elizabeth Claire Prophet and the Church Universal and Triumphant, headquartered in Western Montana. Prophet’s teaching centers on communicating with and for a hierarchy of spirits known as "ascended masters." (Please note the New Age connection with the West Coast of the United States. From Mount Shasta in Northern California to Vancouver, BC, Canada, we find what appears to be the highest per capita concentration of New Agers in the world.)

We also need to again mention the much publicized escapades of First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has for years depended on the guidance of a spirit claiming to be that of deceased former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt

Necromancy – Voices From Hell

One of the reasons we are warned against the practice of necromancy is because though a person might think they are communicating with the dead, this is actually not the case. Remember the story of the rich man who died and went to Hell in Luke 16:19-31? He wanted to communicate with his brothers to warn them, but was unable to because of a void fixed between departed souls and living humanity. Now either Jesus was telling the truth in this account or he was a liar. New Agers can’t have it both ways. They can deny the existence of Hell all they want which if the central reason why reincarnation is so appealing, but it doesn’t make it any less real. Instead of conversing with the departed, those who practice channeling and mediumship are actually contacting demonic familiar spirits who masquerading as the deceased. For Jesus – whom many New Agers say they revere – taught that no one – not even Abraham – was able to impart information from the grave.

What we said earlier concerning how psychics operate, making those seeking their counsel marvel at their knowledge of personal or public history applies here. Demons feed channelers information packaged as if it is actually coming directly from someone deceased, when in reality what is transpiring is a demonic version of the trade employed by such famed impressionists as Rich Little or Dana Carvey. Though channelers in trace states may actually sound like the departed and may have knowledge that someone now deceased possessed, it is merely a demonic ruse to trap those willing to seek help or information in Satan’s forbidden territory

Channeling’s Number One Doctrine – Reincarnation

Spirits speaking from beyond the grave continue to extol that they are products of reincarnation cycles. As we’ve mentioned in the chapter dealing with astrology, reincarnation is not taught in the Bible. However, spiritual seekers with no solid foundation to delineate truth from error will often grasp anything forwarded from the spirit realm. In a quest for purpose and meaning in life aside from the Bible, millions are believing the age old lie of the enemy "ye will be as gods." (Genesis 3:5) The logical conclusion of reincarnation is "spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment through a system of works." It teaches that eventually we end up at the pinnacle of a spiritual hierarchy with no need for physical bodies, entering what the New Age refers to as "ascended mastership".

Some people believe that Jesus verified reincarnation because in John 9:1-3 we read:

"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

The disciples’ question here displays two erroneous misconceptions. One is that all sickness or infirmity is due to the direct result of sin. The second is that the man’s sins may have somehow caused his blindness. If indeed it did, this would open the door for one to surmise that he could have had previous lives for the Scripture records that he was blind since birth. But to believe either of the misconceptions the disciples mention here, you must disregard the complete counsel of the rest of the word of God on the matters of afterlife and also sin. Still, New Agers have jumped on this verse contending that the disciples’ question and Jesus lack of direct response correcting them does indeed sanction reincarnation. The fact is, many in Jesus’ day believed in reincarnation. There was obviously a lack of sound, scriptural teaching available as the Jewish leadership had disintegrated to primarily figureheads. (Remember the amazement people constantly displayed at the teaching of Jesus?) The disciples had yet to come to grips with sound theology on this and many other issues. Jesus, being the master apologist of Heaven, chose to let their question go by just as He does concerning other matters throughout the four Gospels. Speaking only what was necessary as was His habit, Jesus saw only the need to deal with healing in this passage. Though the alleged reincarnation inference is an interesting question, it fails to pass the test of sound and complete biblical understanding. This should be viewed as a perfect example of why it is dangerous to graft a single Scripture from the Bible to attempt justifying a doctrine that the weight of biblical evidence denies.

If reincarnation is actually sanctioned by God, then why is it that we have yet to read of an account of a channeled entity speaking forth that Jesus Christ is God and the only way to be saved? One would think that if reincarnation were indeed true, at least one of the thousands of documented cases of channeling would have claimed to be of an orthodox Christian speaking from the grave. Instead, all we ever hear from the channelers is that Jesus was a great teacher but that the Bible is just another religious book and one need not expressly follow it, for there are many paths to God. But if the spirits speaking actually did endorse reincarnation as from God they would have to contradict this powerful passage in Hebrews 9:27-28.

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

Oh beloved, make no mistake; He IS coming back again, but not in a reincarnated form. As this passage states, His first time here paid the price for all our sins. The purpose of His Second Coming will be to translate His Church out of this world and on to glory!

Let us further address what we said concerning the story of necromancy with King Saul and the Witch at Endor (I Samuel 28) back in Chapter 20. This instance has always been one surrounded in controversy. Was it really Samuel speaking from the grave? Whether the entity that spoke to Saul was a demonic spirit masquerading as the deceased prophet Samuel or whether it was actually Samuel speaking from beyond is unclear. God may have allowed the latter in this unique situation just as He stopped the sun in the sky just once in Joshua 10, etc. He is God, and within the boundaries of His word, He can do whatever He desires to accomplish His purpose. Regardless of who was speaking, Samuel or a demon, the tragic outcome and God’s disdain for this occult activity is clear. It is also certain that one would have no grounds to build a doctrine on this one unique event either. Regardless who was speaking by the witch at Endor, the New Testament - which supercedes and fulfills the Old - powerfully teaches resurrection instead and never once teaches practices such as necromancy or praying for the dead. Instead, it encourages talking regularly with a risen Saviour!

We’re so grateful that God did not institute a system of karmic birth and rebirth for us to atone for our own failures and sins. Instead, He sent His beloved Son to once and forever pay the price for the sins of Eric Barger and David Benoit. Otherwise, we’d be living in this life to pay penitence for the failures of the last and would have to come back again to fix what we fouled up in this one. Oh how wonderful is the depth of His plan and love for us!

Copyright, 2000 by Eric Barger and David Benoit

This article was used by permission from Eric Barger and David Benoit's book, "Entertaining Spirits Unaware: The End-Time Occult Invasion, Hearthstone Publishing Ltd, 2000, chapter 10.

For information on how to obtain this excellent book, contact: Hearthstone Publishing 1-888-891-3300 or Glory Ministries 1-972-208-9709