Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit- 1 John 4:1
This is a true story taken from “I Talked With Spirits” by Victor Ernest who grew up in a home that conducted seances and believed in spiritualism. Later, Vic became a Baptist minister who understood the absolute truth of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
“I began to read Genesis. The story of creation was familiar to me, but before long I got bogged down in the genealogies of generations. Thinking that the Bible was like any other book, I decided to turn to the end to see how it all turned out.
I got mired down again, this time in the symbolism of the Revelation. A little discouraged, I almost set my bible to one side. However, I was reluctant to let my investment lie idle (he had bought his first Bible), so I decided to explore the middle, shorter books of the New Testament.
The First Epistle of John was the first book I read in its entirety. When I got to the fourth chapter I read with amazement: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits.”
This was just what I wanted. This must mean there were good spirits and bad spirits. I read on: “. . .to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”
I concluded from this that Jesus had come in the flesh to be a Savior, and that if I didn’t believe this, I was wrong. I decided at the next seance I attended, I would “test the spirits” although I didn’t know how to go about it.
I was amazed when the control spirit at the very next meeting announced it would be a question-and-answer seance and even specified that the questions were to be of a spiritual nature. This had never happened in any seance I had attended. At such meetings a megaphone (called a trumpet) would float around the table, pausing at each person.
I directed my first question to the control spirit. In fear and trembling, I asked if he believed that Jesus was the Son of God. I was so excited that it seemed as though someone else were asking the question.
The control spirit answered smoothly, “Of course, my child, Jesus is the Son of God. Only believe as the Bible says.”
I had never heard a spirit affirm this. In other seances I had often heard that Jesus was a great medium or a Judean reformer, and that now he was an advanced spirit in one of the higher planes.
Before long the trumpet was back to me, and I had to ask a second question. Since we were each allowed only three questions, I was anxious to make mine count. This time I falteringly asked, “O thou great and infinite spirit, do you believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world?”
Almost before my words were uttered, the answer came: “My child, why do you doubt? Why do you not believe? You have been this long with us; why do you continue to doubt?” Then the spirit began to quote Scripture about believing.
I don’t remember what the verses were, but they sounded authentic to me; the spirit quoted Scripture readily even if not accurately.
When the trumpet returned for my third and last question, I reviewed what the spirit had said. “O spirit, you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he is the Savior of the world–do you believe that Jesus died on the cross and shed his blood for the remission of sin?”
The medium, deep in a trance, was catapulted off his chair. He fell in the middle of the living room floor and lay groaning as if in deep pain. The turbulent sounds suggested spirits in a carnival of confusion.
We all rushed forward to help him. The control spirit had prepared us with instructions about how to revive a person in such an emergency, and we massaged the pulse areas until he revived like a person who had fainted.
I never went to another seance. I had tested the spirits and found they were not of God. What I had thought to be a great power of God, the Utopia of religious experience, had burst like a bubble. I realized that I had been in contact with the counterfeit of what God has to offer–and I wanted his reality. From that time I began to search God’s Word to find the truth.”
I know this story to be true because I knew Vic Ernest as a pastor and friend. The reason he wrote this little book was to help Christians understand that seances are real and Satan uses them to confuse and misguide people seeking a spiritual experience. Remember to “test the spirits!”
1 Tim. 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Ephesians 6:10-12 Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
When we take the step of faith to believe in Jesus as the Christ, He does not smile, pat us on the back like an amiable salesperson, open the door to life and say, “Good luck, I’ll see you on the other side!” Instead Jesus says, “I will not leave you alone (Jn 14:18)…I will send you the Advocate, the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify about me.” John 15:26
There are many demons but only one devil