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Evaluation of Channeling
By Gary F. Zeolla
Part One of this article began an evaluation of the basic teachings of "spirit guides" (channeled entities). It also showed some parallels between these teachings and those of Satanism. This second half will continue this discussion.
Are We Divine?
In Part One, pantheism was presented as being one of the basic teachings of spirit guides. Pantheism is the belief that, "all things that are are God" as Ramtha, a spirit channeled by J.Z. Knight, put it (Mahr, p.27).
If this is true, then it would follow human beings are all God (or gods) and, thus, are creators and sovereigns of the universe. And, in fact, these notions pervade the teachings of channeled spirits.
Seth (channeled by Jane Roberts) teaches: "we form matter." "We are all creators, then, and this world is our joint creation." "you create your own reality." "We form our own day-to-day reality." "We form physical reality as a replica of our inner ideas" "Each self is a part of All That Is." (Roberts, pp.112,144,157,240).
John, an entity channeled by Kevin Ryerson, told Shirley MacLaine, "Man is co-creator with God of the cosmos." And further, "YOU are God. YOU know you are divine. But you must continually remember your divinity and, most important, ACT accordingly" (MacLaine, pp.187,209; emphases in original).
Numerous times, Ramtha (through J.Z. Knight) declares to his audiences, "You are God" (Mahr, pp.25,26, and elsewhere). He says further, "You be that which is termed Man, you be that which is termed Christus, you be that which is termed God. Fallacy? Reality!... You be the totality of all that The Father is: God supreme" (Mahr, pp.22,23).
He continues: "You, Entity, created you." "you are sovereign." "You are the creator of your destiny." "you are the Lord of Hosts, you are the Prince of Peace." "Love and bless yourself." "We're the Gods that created everything." "You become by worshipping you." "The Father and You are One" (Mahr, pp.162,125,137,140,275,276).
Ramtha also proclaims: "Whatever you want, you will have." "When you have determined what you want, Entity, then that shall be reckoned unto you and given to you." "And whatsoever you say, Entity, will come to pass." "And whatever you think will come to pass, whatever you speak will come to pass" (Mahr, pp.16,50,109,129).
Needless to say, Anton LaVey (author of The Satanic Bible) wholeheartedly agrees with this assessment of human nature and abilities.
LaVey writes, "The Satanist realizes that man, and the action and reaction of the universe is responsible for everything." "Man, the animal is the godhead to the Satanist." "Every man is a god if he chooses to recognize himself as one.... treat yourself like the king (god) that you are..." (pp.89,96).
Aleister Crowley, another Satanist, also agrees. He writes in Magick in Theory and Practice, "The true God is man. In man are all things hidden" (in North, p.285).
God is God, We Are Not
But what does the Bible teach on this subject? In a nutshell, it is utter blasphemy for people to proclaim they are gods. In fact, the attempt to be "like God" is the primordial sin. This blasphemy originated with Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44).
It was Satan's attempt to be, "like the Most High" which caused him to be expelled out of heaven (Isa 14:14,15). He then used this same lie to deceive Adam and Eve to sin against God. They were subsequently cast out of the Garden of Eden (Gen 3).
When Nebachadnezzar accepted the title, "king of kings" he was forced to eat grass like an animal for seven years. When his reason returned, he humbly declared, "Now I, Nebachadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven" (Dan 4:34-37).
King Herod did not stop his subjects from crying out to him, "The voice of a god and not of a man!" As a result, God struck him dead on the spot (Acts 12:20-23) So God does not take it lightly when people claim to be equal to Him!
God Himself declares, "And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after me" (Isa 43:10). Furthermore, only the God of the Bible is omniscient (1John 3:20), omnipotent (Luke 1:37), and omnipresent (Eph 4:6).
Moreover, God is the Creator; we are only part of His Creation (Gen 1:1-27). And God created both our bodies and our spirits (Gen 2:7; Zech 12:1). Thus, we cannot be "co-creators of the Cosmos" (Gen 1:1; Isa 44:24).
Since God is the sole Creator, He is also the sole Sovereign over the universe, human history, and individual destinies (Ps 33:6-19; 115:3; Dan 2:20-22; 4:17,34,35).
God is said to have "life in Himself" (John 5:26); and it is "God who gives life to all things" (1Tim 6:13). So we are dependent on Him, but He is not dependent on us! (Acts 17:24,25). Thus, only He is worthy of worship (Exod 20:1-6; Rev 4:11).
And finally, we can pray to God and request His assistance in our lives. But it is not true, "Whatever you want, you will have." James writes, "You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend [it] upon your lusts" (Jam 4:3; MKJV). For our prayers to be answered, they must be "according to His will" (1John 5:14,15).
Two Practical Results
Ideas have consequences. So, before ending this two-part article, two practical results of ascribing to the teachings of the spirits will be looked at.
First, the entities teach everyone is God (or a god), and that there is no distinction between right and wrong (as discussed in Part One). If these notions were true, then it would follow that everyone should consider themselves to be the most important thing in the universe and believe they can do or not do whatever they want.
And in fact, Ramtha tells people to: "do nothing unless you want to." "Look within yourself and love yourself." "Love yourself enough to speak highly of Self." "exalt all that you are." "Love and bless your Self" (Mahr, pp.93,99,149).
Ramtha continues, "Don't worry about your fellow man.... Do not ever come out to serve anyone else.... Serve yourself.... Honor yourself first." And finally, "And of what purpose is life? To discover the beauty of you." (Mahr, pp.232,269).
This narcissism is also promoted in Satanism. LaVey writes, "The Satanist believes in complete gratification of his ego." Further, "Self-sacrifice is not encouraged by the Satanic religion" (p.94). Aleister Crowley expresses this attitude in one sentence, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" (in North, p.286).
Can you imagine what a society would be like in which the majority of people held to this kind of attitude? The implications of this philosophy are frightening
In any case, anyone who is at all familiar with the Bible should know this narcissism is not Biblical. Jesus declared, "Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Paul commanded, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but the interests of others" (Phil 2:3,4).
Further, discovering our own beauty is not the ultimate purpose of our lives. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism teaches, "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever" (Schaff, p.676; Matt 5:16; 1Cor 10:31; Jude 24,25; Rev 21:1-7).
The second practical result is also due to the teaching of pantheism. Ramtha laments, "In recent times, for two thousand years, we have been called sinful creatures. That stigma automatically takes away our ability to remind ourselves that we are great, or that we are equal with God..." (Mahr, pp.180,181).
So if people believe they are sinners this will prevent them from admitting they are God. This is true. But the reverse would also be true. If people believe they are God this will prevent them from admitting they are sinners needing a Savior.
Problem is, the Bible teaches such an admission is essential for receiving forgiveness of sins and salvation in Christ (Matt 9:12,13; Luke 18:9-14; 24:46,47).
Summary and Conclusion
It is now time to return to the three questions put forth in Part 1:
1. Are the teachings of these spirit guides Biblical?
2. Who or what are these channeled entities?
3. Is channeling a practice people should be involved in?
The answer to the first question has been shown to be an emphatic, "NO!" (see Isa 8:19,20). Before answering the second question, several points from both parts of this article need to be reviewed and elaborated on:
1. There are several parallels between the spirits' teachings and those of Satanism. Since these teachings are in contradiction to the Bible, they are lies. And Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44).
2. The spirit guides rebel against the idea of a final judgment and the existence of hell. The Bible teaches the final judgment will lead to the casting of fallen angels (demons) into hell (Jude 6,7).
3. The spirits are unable to confess Jesus' Lordship and triumph over the powers and authorities of darkness. Paul taught, "no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit" (1Cor 12:3).
4. Jesus Christ is virtually ignored in the teachings of the spirit guides. But Jesus said, "the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." And, "He will glorify Me" (John 15:26; 16:14).
5. The entities repeatedly teach people are "like God." This blasphemous lie is the same one Satan used to deceive Adam and Eve into disobeying God.
6. Ascribing to the spirits' teachings on human nature would prevent people from admitting they are sinners who need a Savior. Also, Satan tries to "devour" people so he can drag them into hell with him (1Pet 5:8; Rev 20:10-15).
Given numbers 3 and 4 above, the entities are not being led by the Holy Spirit of God. The rest of the points all point to demonic involvement. With all this information, the second question can now be answered. These spirit guides are actually demons masquerading as spirits of the departed.
For anyone who saw the episode of SeaQuest mentioned in Part 1 of this article, this conclusion should not be surprising. When the singer began channeling "Minerva" her eyes glassed over, her face became contorted, and her previously sweet, soprano voice changed into a deep, foreboding baritone.
The scene was reminiscent of The Exorcist. In fact, after she came out of the "possession" a SeaQuest officer told her that people attending the rehearsal were afraid she was going to turn her head all the way around!
And even if the channeler's appearance is pleasing rather than menacing, demonic activity is still very plausible since the Bible warns, "Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light" (2Cor 11:14).
The answer to the last question is now self-evident. Dan Korem (investigative reporter and former professional magician) writes, "If you know of someone involved with channeling, encourage them to quit. It is one of the most convoluted and insidious kinds of activities I have ever run across" (p.225).
Bible warns similarly:
"GIVE NO REGARD TO MEDIUMS AND FAMILIAR SPIRITS;
DO NOT SEEK AFTER THEM, TO BE DEFILED BY THEM:
I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD" (Lev 19:31).
The links below are direct links to where the book can be purchased from Books-A-Million.
All Scripture references from: The New King James Version.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982, unless otherwise
Ankerberg, John & John Weldon. The Facts on the New Age Movement . Chattanooga, TN:John Ankerberg Evangelistic Association, 1988.
Glasson, Raphael. The Challenging Counterfeit . Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1966.
LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Satanic Bible. New York, NY: Avon Books, 1969.
Korem, Dan. Powers: Testing the Psychic and Supernatural. Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988.
MacLaine, Shirley, Out on a Limb. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1983.
Mahr, Douglas. Ramtha: Voyage to the New World. New York, NY: Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1985.
Miller, Elliot, "Channeling" in Christian Research Journal, Fall 1987, 8-15.
North, Gary. Unholy Spirits: Occultism and New Age Humanism. Fort Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1988.
Moyer, Elgin. Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church. Chicago: Moody Press. 1982.
Pike, James. The Other Side. New York: NY: Deli Publishing Company, 1968.
Roberts, Jane. The Seth Materials. Englewoods Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970.
Schaff, Philip. Creeds of Christendom . Vol. III. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, reprinted 1985.
An Evaluation of Channeling. Copyright © 1999 by Gary F. Zeolla of Darkness to Light ministry (www.dtl.org).
The above article originally appeared in Darkness to Light
newsletter in 1995.
It was posted on this Web site in July 1996.
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