False Psychics, Clairvoyants, Healers, Channelers, Messengers and Mystics


"There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer  or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,  for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord"  (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Spiritualists and mediums were common among the pagan peoples during Biblical times. In the above quote God was warning the children of Israel against getting involved with the pagan practices once entering the Promised Land of Canaan. "When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there."  While we may read these verses warning of the dangers of contacting the dead or fortune-tellers, many either don't take heed or don't believe it is applicable for today, not realizing that the devil and Satan are as active in the world today as he was in Biblical times. Some might even say more active today than in the past.

Many people have had some personal experiences with a psychic, a spiritual healer, a channeler, messenger, seer or mystic during their lives, or at least heard of someone they know who has, or even is one themselves. Each category claim their ability either comes from Spirit, God, the Light, ascended masters, spirits, or saints in heaven. Basically, they believe their abilities are extraordinary and come from either out of this world or the power of some source through this world that is benevolent and good. Depending on one's spiritual belief, one or more of these types of individuals may be acceptable, but the others not acceptable because they may have links to evil spirits from out of this world.

The dangers are very real. In the references section is a link to the story about Pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt. It was Pastor Blumhardt's conclusion that after working to assist a woman be free of demons, many of them, that their possessions of her, and others in his congregation, was because of their practices and belief in witchcraft and magic. They would often turn to the local sorcerer to get magical remedies for healing or other problems lacking money or for their easily availability versus traveling to find aid. While these remedies often helped, thereby encouraging more people to come back and others to follow, their source was the devil, not God. Once inviting the magic and sorcery into their lives, they paid the price of having evil spirits on them sent by the devil. This fact Blumhardt later proved as his entire community literally changed overnight, healed and free of manipulation and torment, after he spent almost two years clearing out all the demons and disembodied spirits in the entire community coming through the one tormented woman.

In Biblical times God appointed his prophets, and speaking through Moses, God made it clear that only those prophets who spoke for Jehovah were to be accepted by the Israelites. Prophets were persons regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. They may have been uncomfortable in what they had to say and do, but they did share God's words in faith that they were obeying God's direction and doing His will.

Biblical prophets were ordinary people coming from all walks of life. David was first a shepherd, then warrior, king and poet. Ezekiel and Jeremiah were priests who became prophets. Elisha was a plowman and Daniel was a government administrator. Amos shared what happened to him: "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a farmer of sycamore figs; and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel' " (Amos 7:14-15).

The prophets of ancient Israel were the divine messengers sent by God to communicate to man information that would otherwise be unknown. They prophesied events long before they actually happened. In the Old Testament God would promise blessings if the people followed Jehovah's direction and curses if they forsook him. Many other prophecies were about the coming Messiah. After Jesus' resurrection he explained that everything written about the coming Messiah in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms was fulfilled through Him. 

False Prophets
In Acts 2:17-18 we read, "In the last days, God said, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.'" The question is, are we living in "the last days" in this day and age? Many believe we are.

Those who see into the future have been given the titles of fortune tellers, seers or prophets, and in modern times they have been called clairvoyants or psychics. It is a fact that a part of human nature is curiosity and many humans have the desire to know their future born out of that curiosity. Stories abound with people who have predicted the dates or method of their deaths and then those prophecies came true. How or why they received these insights is not generally known, but it is not always from God.

In Acts the story is told how Paul comes across a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. "She kept following Paul crying out, 'These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.' And this she kept doing for many days until Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers" (Acts 16:16-19).

There we see an example of how spirits can predict the future through those who tune into them. True prophets make specific declarations about future events concerning God’s unfolding plan, and they most certainly do not use prophecy to make predications that involve an exchange of money. In the Old Testament the prophets prophesied with unwavering accuracy. Accurate modern day God Prophets are rare. When “The People’s Almanac” (1981) researched the predictions of 25 top psychics, 92 percent of the predictions had proved wrong.

The word psychic is derived from Greek word psychikos which refers to human mind or psyche. A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perceptions such as feeling certain vibrations, hearing voices or seeing an image and then identifying what is the hidden meaning and message behind them. Psychic ability sometimes comes about through no will of the individual, but it can also be developed by learning to get into an altered state of consciousness through certain forms of meditation, chanting or breathing techniques, and then to use different tools known through the occult such as tarot cards, a crystal ball, or an astrology chart whereupon they can enter an altered mind state and see or hear things beyond the five senses. Most psychics would tell you that they channel benevolent spirit guides or their information comes through the Holy Spirit.

The considerable difference between the Biblical prophets and today's prophet/psychics is that psychics are more mercenary, primarily concerned with making money selling their wares: books, classes, and answers, while promoting themselves as special and above other people. Psychics may claim they get some of their abilities from being clairvoyant (seeing), having clairaudience (hearing) or vision, but not necessarily that they speak for God.

How do we recognize a false prophet? One way is if their prophecy does not come true. Deuteronomy says, "And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him" (Deut. 18:19-22).

For example, Catholic visionary Charlie Johnston proclaimed to be a prophet and visionary and that his prophecy came from angels. He told faithful Catholics that there would be no 2016 presidential election because we would be in the midst of a “storm” culminating in a global civil war and a total crash of the world economy. It did not happen. Yet many believed him and set aside their lives to prepare for the coming catastrophe.

David Wilkerson was an American Christian evangelist whose prophecies did not come true, starting with his prophecies in his book The Vision. Those failed prophecies did not stop more future prophecies. In 2009 he announced an urgent message and prophecy that America would feel the wrath of God with major cities across America experiencing riots and blazing fires. He became well known for his book The Cross and the Switchblade, and his work with impoverished youth and the building of the New York's Time Square Church. Although he appeared to have good fruits, he was not above placing himself as superior to others. Having read his book I felt his pride come through in his words. It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch, and the rotten fruit of pride is one of the deadly sins.

The Power of the Devil
In the Bible, a seer is another name for a prophet. Seers also see and can predict future events. Catholics use the term to describe individuals or saints who had extraordinary moral and spiritual insight, and many have encounters with Jesus or Mary. Beginning in 1916 one of the most famous modern stories of seers happened to three children in Fatima, Portugal, while attending sheep. They began either seeing or hearing an angel, and then the Blessed Mother. They were given many messages and warnings for the world, and that they were to do penance and pray for the conversion of sinners. Two of the children became mystics and were told they would die young, and both died within three years after doing much penance for others. The three children were given three secrets, two of which came true. The third secret was not publicly revealed and remains a controversy on what it contained. In the final apparition, Mary performed the Miracle of the Sun where tens of thousands of people witnessed the sun spinning and moving about in the sky, thereby giving witness to the children's testimony.

From 1961 until 1965 four teenage girls saw what appeared to be visions of the Virgin Mary, the infant Jesus, and holy angels in Garabandal, Spain. The visionaries received messages of a coming chastisement, a coming warning, and a future miracle. All eight bishops of Santander have, from 1961 up until now have publicly declared that there is no evidence that supernatural apparitions have taken place in Garabandal. 

The locutions stated that St. Padre Pio and Pope John Paul II would live to see the miracle, but both have died without the miracle occurring. Pope Benedict XVI was chosen as the fourth successor to Blessed John XXIII; one locution held that Pope John Paul II would be the last Pontiff. In another locution a blind man was given that his sight would return on the day of the miracle. He died before any miracle occurred and did not thereby "see" the miracle. A Father and two other brothers were told they would live to see the Miracle at Garabandal, but they too have passed on without seeing it. A priest was predicted to be found incorrupt the day after the miracle happened. His body was needed to be re-buried because of a construction project and upon opening the casket the body was found corrupted.

All these things have been explained away by Catholic apologists, or later the interpretation changed by the seers, for example, the last pope would be after four more, not three. The story of the blind man is reinterpreted that he has his sight in heaven now so as to see the miracle. With Padre Pio he supposedly told another priest who told one of the seers that he saw the miracle before his death (while the miracle is yet in the future.) Then the priest's body that was corrupted will become incorrupt after the miracle, even if today it is only bones. The mystics said that the "Great Warning" of Garabandal would take place on Holy Thursday, April 13, 1995. Twenty thousand people arrived in Garabandal where nothing happened.

The children performed many signs displaying extraordinary feats. They walked, and sometimes ran, backward with their heads tilted far back. They levitated, supposedly held the baby Jesus, gave Mary rosaries to kiss and bless, and would fall into ecstasy for hours at a time. They felt no pain or showed signs of injury from falling on their knees on the rocky ground. They were prodded and burned during one of their ecstasies and a light shined in their eyes, all with no reactions.

Catholics are confused about their miracles that appeared to happen, as well as that nothing said by Mary contradicted Scripture or the Catholic faith, while yet some promises have not been fulfilled and prophecies have appeared to have been wrong. If the official word of the Church is that no supernatural apparitions have taken place in Garabandal, then what did take place?

Sister Magdalena of the Cross 
Some light can be shed on how false prophecies and why some miracles appear to happen without God as the true cause of them through the story of Sister Magdalena.

For 40 years Sister Magdalena of the Cross (1487-1560) was honored as a mystic and one who received the stigmata. As a child, she did extraordinary things. While still a child she attends church one day where she sees an appearance of a beautiful young man, with thick, black hair wearing a mantle so brilliant that she had to close her eyes. Word spread of this extraordinary child, especially after her healing a lame man, and many believed she saw Jesus. She appeared pious and very dedicated to the Lord, so it was no surprise she later became a nun.

Her miracles and extraordinary feats continued so that the whole of Spain, and throughout Europe, knew of this nun and whom they believed was a "living saint." She had spectacular and convincing ecstasies, bore the stigmata, lived on nothing but the Eucharist, had the gift of bi-location, was seen elevating, revealed accurate prophecies, and healed the lame and mute. She does extraordinary penances and any wounds she inflicts upon herself are almost instantly healed. At ten years old she attempts to crucify herself to her bedroom wall. She almost dies from the wounds until suddenly she instantly heals and claimed it was Jesus who performed the miracle.

Her greatest miracle happened in 1518 when she became pregnant claiming it was through an immaculate conception and she would bring forth the second birth of Jesus Christ. This caused an uproar, of course, for the plausibility of this nun to become pregnant. She was examined and proved to still be a virgin, but with child. When the birth neared, Magdalena claimed that her Guardian Angel wanted her to deliver the baby alone. Thus on Christmas night, she claimed that she gave birth to the Savior but that he had disappeared by morning after she suckled him and he appeared radiant and full of light.

An exorcist is called in who attempts to find the diabolic cause, but after probing with needles during her ecstasies, she exhibits no pain. It had now been eleven years that Magdalena had abstained from food. To check that she was somehow not secretly supplied with food two monks guarded her room to ensure she was not getting any food. The windows are nailed shut and the two monks take shifts outside her door, yet after two days she is found out in the garden. She said she was transported there by St. Francis.

Abundant donations come into the convent because of Sr. Magdalena, sufficient that the Archbishop can build a new cathedral. The nuns vote her in as head Abbess in Cordova. Her reputation for sainthood is so high that she became the counselor of kings, emperors, and even great Church dignitaries. Slowly as Abbess, Magdalena begins to change the rules and habits for the nuns at the convent, encouraging all to severe penances, doing away with confession for herself while making the nuns confess without a privacy screen during confession and consequently instilling fear in her sisters in what will happen next. Doubts begin to mount about her direction.

Then in 1543 Sr. Magdalena fell gravely ill, and fearing death she eventually confessed she had made a pact with the devil when she was a child. A priest had been called in fearing she needed an exorcism after a demonic display and thereupon two demons were exposed “Balban” and "Patorrio". She confessed to the priest that most of the miracles and phenomenon were the work of these two demons. But the priest reveals nothing of what she confessed, although quite burdened with the knowledge. An Inquisition is called and Magdalena reveals again what she had done and that the beautiful dark-haired young man who appeared to her was the devil. He had promised her fame and the respect of everyone if she would consent to obey him always.

She confesses that it was also the devil who came to feed her in secret, and that she had indeed been pregnant by him. He had told her that she risked nothing if she followed his instructions. It was to play a joke by troubling the minds of the nuns and the Spanish clergy and laity that he had made her pregnant with a monstrous caterpillar, which escaped from her body with a loud wind that famous Christmas night, before changing into Balban, and re-possessing her with unprecedented vigor.

The Inquisition sentenced her to perpetual imprisonment in a convent of her order, and there she is believed to have ended her final years most piously amid acts of the sincerest repentance. Countless souls throughout Spain and abroad were very disillusioned and distraught after the truth about Sr. Magdalena came forth. The poignant spiritual lesson was that the devil can mimic mystical graces and deter even the most pious souls—like Magdalena once was as a child.

The Devil's Power
The story of Sr. Magdalena teaches by example that the origins of some alleged mystical graces can be the Devil in disguise. There is also an example in the Bible. When Moses went before the Pharaoh and worked miracles to impress him so that he would free the Israelites from captivity, many of his miracles were similarly imitated by the Pharaoh's pagan magicians and sorcerers. They worked these acts through the preternatural powers the Devil shared with them. Preternatural refers to that which is "suspended between the mundane and the miraculous.” It was once believed that preternatural powers were caused by deception and trickery via witchcraft or demons whose manipulations worked against the Divine and corrupted the laws of nature. Today, modern science has taken out the cause as from "witchcraft or demons". Yet, as explained above, Pastor Blumhardt witnessed countless times over his year and a half exorcism experience that witchcraft and sorcery was the open door to devil possessions, and that their power to cause the body to do feats beyond the laws of nature was true.

Spanish Dominican priest and moral theologian Fr. Royo Marin, (1913-2005) lists 10 types of physical phenomena the Devil can falsify. (Antonio Royo Marin, The Theology of Christian Perfection, pp. 565-566)

1. Produce visions that are actually seen, or imaginative visions.

2. Falsify ecstasy.

3. Produce rays of light in the body and sensible heat.

4. Cause feelings of consolation and tenderness.

5. Instantaneously cure strange sicknesses caused by diabolical influence. Tertullian wryly notes that these were not authentic sicknesses in the first place, and the Devil really doesn’t cure – he just ceases to torment the individual. This is why even miracles worked in the causes of Saints had to be so carefully examined.

6. Produce the stigmata, as well as other bodily extraordinary phenomena or objects such as crowns, rings, etc.

7. Simulate miracles and other phenomena such as levitation and bi-location.

8. Cause persons or objects to disappear from sight (by placing an obstacle in the line of vision or acting directly on the sense of sight).

9. Simulate locutions by sound waves or immediate action on the sense of hearing.

10. Produce body incombustibility by interposing some medium between the fire and the body of the individual. For example, there are documented cases of spontaneous human combustion, where a person bursts into flame for no apparent reason. The flames, very hot and localized, usually destroy most of the body but leave objects near to the person relatively unburned.

We see that many things nature or science can cause, the devils can as well, according to what God may permit. Very few people are aware of what the devil can do and imitate of God, and many don't even believe that a devil or demons exist. Sometimes a seer, mystic, clairvoyant or even a saint, may start out saintly and appear dedicated entirely to serving God and humanity. Then little by little, very subtly, and almost imperceptibly, they may start to introduce false doctrines not in the Bible but on the surface seems logical and spiritual, but have the devious point of derailing a Christian or spiritual person from their relationship with God and Jesus. They may even insert subtle ideas as a means to instill spiritual pride and encourage the thinking that they have “new and higher” knowledge that other Christians do not have or know about. They might introduce new special prayers and practices that appear to give them an extraordinary special act of devotion or just by having an association with the alleged prophet or visionary, they are special people for recognizing the highest truth.

One can receive messages from within the world or out of this world. Discerning whether a message is from God, man, or the devil takes diligence. We are warned in Scripture about these unseen forces. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12). "Heavenly places" could mean that these forces reside in some place in the lower levels of heaven or that the battle is with heaven and the spheres unseen, basically, not physical. We know that the devil can appear as an angel of light, can manifest healings, miracles, and defy the known laws of the universe. Is it any wonder so many can be deceived thinking every mystic, prophet, psychic and visionary who hears spiritual guidance, heals the sick and prophecises the future does so through the power of God?

Whether we believe it or not, the truth appears to be that the Devil and lying spirits are in great number and actively work to derail the most sincere spiritual or religious people. Charlie Johnston is sincere in his faith and he sees and hears angels. Are they angels of God, devils in disguise, or Satan impostoring as an angel of light? The Devil does not appear with horns and cloven hooves openly revealing himself. If he did who of God would follow or be inspired by him? He is known as the deceiver, and his deceptions are so very subtle with suggestions that we follow this or that new idea that will "surely" lead us to Christ and the Kingdom. The life of the false mystic Sr. Magdalena of the Cross should be a very stark warning to all about the grave dangers of being misled by a false visionary or mystic who ended up misleading many within the Church, along with numerous high dignitaries throughout Spain and abroad.

Discerning True Gifts of the Holy Spirit

 "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:17-20).

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. We must look for these signs in those we trust as our spiritual mentors. In Matthew we learn that "by their fruits you will know them.” The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. While none of us are perfect human beings, a true prophet will bear much good fruit, assisting one to discern if they are a prophet of God. For the Devil to deceive the faithful, he must be cunning.

The accuracy of prophecy is essential in discerning a false prophet, but by itself, we learn through Sr. Magdalena's life that it is not indicative that the prophecy is of the Holy Spirit. The Word teaches that a true prophet glorifies Christ and brings edification, exhortation, and comfort to believers of Christ. Yet even glorifying Christ can be mimicked to appear that is so when it is not. Thus knowing the Scriptures and abiding by the truth in them is the most important step to undertake. When a prophet, mystic, messenger or visionary tells you that they have a truth about Jesus or the Christ outside of Scripture, beware! Compliance with the teachings within Scripture where we glorify Christ as King of kings and Lord of Lords, along with discerning the character of the fruit of the Spirit, will give us a more reliable indication of whether the Holy Spirit is leading the prophecy or maybe the Devil in disguise.