Most have heard of the term channeling. It has become increasingly popular on TV and radio, especially with the arrival of the "New Age" movement. This is a modern version of mysticism with roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and occultism. Some famous actors and actresses have promoted this new take on some very old religious practices.
Those who do the channeling claim they are receiving information or commands from a divine or unknown source. In effect, they say, they are like a radio receiving a signal from a transmitter.
The channeler, or medium, has one or more spirits enter his mind, and then he becomes the "mouthpiece." Through the medium, the spirit then offers information, advice or predictions on almost any subject imaginable, from the present condition of a departed loved one, to medical counsel, financial advice or even how to improve one's love life.
Who is speaking through the channeler? The spirits claim to have varied identities. Some say they are the spirits of the dead, sometimes of famous persons, such as Napoleon, Winston Churchill, the so-called Virgin Mary and even Jesus Christ. Others claim to be aliens of extraterrestrial origin.
In reality, there is not much that is new about the "New Age" movement. Mediums were used to attempt to consult with the dead from the dawn of history. They were used in Babylon, Egypt, India, China, Asia Minor, Greece (which had the famous oracle at Delphi) and even by the native North and South American Indians. Yet as Scripture informs us, the dead are not conscious but, rather, await a resurrection (see Ecclesiastes 9:5-10; Daniel 12:2). (Be sure to send for or download our free booklet What Happens After Death?)
Although some of the so-called channelers clearly are frauds—and the famous magician Harry Houdini spent 30 years exposing such fakes—in other investigations researchers could not detect any fraud. The late Lord Dowding, who commanded the British Air Forces during the Battle of Britain in World War II, conducted many rigorously supervised laboratory experiments with psychics and found that some indeed passed the tests as being genuine. Yet genuine channeling means contact with demons.
This is why the Bible constantly warns us not to participate in any type of "channeling," which requires one to open his or her mind to these spirits. Instead, the Scriptures say, "Gird up the loins of your mind" (1 Peter 1:13)—this imagery implying that we should have a tight hold on our minds in preparation for how we use them. Instead of exposing our minds to foreign sources, we should keep the natural barriers of our minds well protected from any outside spirit influence except that of God.
The apostle Peter adds: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith" (1 Peter 5:8-9). That's good advice!