Monday, April 23, 2012

Long Island Medium - Legit or a Hoax

Have you ever seen the show Long Island Medium? I watched a portion of it tonight and I am somewhat embarrassed to say so. The main character is a lady by the name of Theresa Caputo. She meets with various individuals and claims to communicate with their deceased relatives. I do not believe in mediums, I believe it is a scam or chicanery. Why am I so harsh on this lady and this "profession"? If you have ever read this blog you will know that I test everything like this against scripture to see if it has any legitimacy. I have tried to do the same with this show.

If we take a look at scripture we see only a few glimpses into the afterlife. One of the first is found in the Old Testament in I Samuel. Let me set up the scene for you. Samuel has died according to I Samuel 28: 4 and Saul has banned all mediums from the land. Saul was used to having Samuel speak to him about what God wanted Saul to do. Since Samuel was dead Saul had not heard from God and was getting desperate. He disguised himself and went before a medium to inquire of Samuel. Here is what transpires:
I Samuel 28:11-15

11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

   “Bring up Samuel,” he said.

 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

 13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

   The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.”

 14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

   “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

   Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
Let me make a couple of observations here. First the woman screamed when she saw Samuel. Why? Because she and the other mediums were simply deceiving people. I do not believe they really communicated with the dead. In this case God allowed Samuel to come forward and when he did it totally freaked this medium out. Second look at what Samuel said- “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” He did not say anything encouraging to Saul, he did not give any indication that he had been out roaming the earth trying to communicate with any of his family members or fellow prophets. As a matter of fact he did quite the opposite, he gave the impression that he may have been somewhere peaceful and did not want to be disturbed. Once he was brought forward he gave Saul very bad news, if you read a little further you will see where he told Saul that the Philistines were going to beat Israel in battle and Saul and his sons would be killed the very next day. Not the kind of news most of these mediums on TV deliver. Most want to tell people that Aunt Sally is ok and her surviving family members need to cheer up and let her go. Or they will say something about the dead relative that brings them a sense of peace. Again, this is not how I see things unfolding in scripture. Lets take another look, this time from the New Testament:
Luke 16: 19-31

   19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

   22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

   25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

   27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

   29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

   30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

   31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Again, the person who is able to speak is not sending good news, he is not in a better place, he is not saying things that anyone living would want to know about him. He is in hell and is being tormented day and night. He is trying to receive a brief moment of relief and he is wanting to try to warn those who are left behind. Still no one from heaven has come back to visit with any relatives in a fun, light-hearted manner.

How about Paul, he claimed to have gone to heaven and come back, how did he talk about this:
II Corinthians 12: 2-4- 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.
Paul was not permitted to talk about what he saw, he did not come back trying to name people he saw in heaven. He did not come back saying please tell Mary I saw her father and he said hello or make sure you tell Peter that his grandmother saw all the fish he caught last week.

Finally, the one glimpse we do get into heaven is from John in the book of Revelation. John is taken to heaven and sees things he cannot describe.
Revelation 1:12-16  - 12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
Look at what John does, he says "like" six times in five verses. He cannot describe exactly what he is seeing. Our language does not have adequate words to describe heaven or Christ. If you read the verse next verse we see what John does when he sees Christ.
Revelation 1: 17 - When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
Here is another glimpse of what is going on in heaven:
Revelation 4: 6-10 - 6 Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

   In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

   “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever.
As I wrap this up I cannot help but think that when I die and go to heaven and am in the presence of God and all of this incredible worship I will not give a moments thought about what is going on back on earth. I do not think I will be concerned about anyone I have left behind. It may sound cruel that I will not think about my wife, children or maybe even my grandchildren but take a look at these verses again and you tell me if you think we will be able or even want to come back to a broken, fallen and sin-filled world once we have been exposed to heaven.

Unfortunately many people look to just about anyone and anything without ever looking at scripture. My hope is that we will not be deceived by the false hopes of speaking with the dead, rather we will be diligent to test these types of things against what scripture teaches. Truth can be found in the Bible, we just have to look for it.

1 comment:

  1. The message that this “Samuel” gave said, ‘you’re going to be with me and your sons are going to be with me….’ But wait a second – Saul died lost – he committed suicide. Samuel died saved – a holy man, spirit-filled Prophet, High Priest. How are they going to be together? It made it sound like they’re sharing the same rewards. So there are so many suspicious things that we have a lot of reason to believe that because Saul ventured on the enchanted ground of that witch, he was exposed to a demon that was impersonating Samuel. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says Satan himself can be transformed into an angel of light.
    Again, as much I appreciate your ideas and your ministry, please, be careful with the Bible orthodoxy… I don’t want to sound “holier than thou”, I apologize for any offense. May Lord bless you.