The Mediator, not a medium, is the way to spiritual communion

The supreme mystery of all human experience is not life but death. It has teased and tortured the mind of man in every age. He is depressed by its inevitableness, challenged by its unknowableness. From the beginning of the race man has sought to lift aside the veil that hides from our eyes that “undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns.”

Not surprisingly, necromancy, the cult of the dead, has existed in many lands, including Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In the ancient world the Hebrew people were unique in the outlawing of necromancy. The prophets forthrightly condemned such practices as a sin against Jehovah their God. This is how the law was expressed: “When you enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you must learn not to imitate the abominable practices of these nations. There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through fire [a reference to infant sacrifice], a diviner, a soothsayer, an augur, a sorcerer, a charmer, a medium, a magician or a necromancer. For anyone given to these practices is an abomination to the LORD” (Deut. 18:9–11). Those who disobeyed were severely punished, sometimes put to death.

The most flagrant violation of this law was by a man entrusted with enforcement of it—King Saul. He knew that an immense battle was shaping up and that his enemy, the Philistines, greatly outnumbered him. Because of his rebellion against God, Saul could not look for help to the One who had blessed and guided him in other days. So he resorted to a woman known to history as “The Witch of Endor.” Nowadays she would be called a “clairvoyant” ...

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