How can people know what people cannot, in fact, know?
It happens all the time, and the reason it happens, the way it happens … well, that’s the rub.
A close friend — let’s call her Lila, since I know no one by that name — was talking recently about having an animal communicator in to talk with their dying dog, and find out how it wanted the process to be managed. Did it want aggressive medication, etc, or just a few quality of life adjustments for its final days? The animal communicator was able to convey the dog’s wishes to Lila and her husband, and they were both surprised and pleased at what he had to “say”.
She also mentioned being in Africa some time back, and a “healer” there happened to say, quite unexpectedly and off topic, that Lila would never return to Africa until she resolved the issues with her mother. My friend, accepting this as somehow true, threw up her hands and said to her husband, “Well, we’re never coming back to Africa!” Today, those issues are being resolved, and they are expecting to be back in Africa soon.
How did the stranger have any idea about Lila’s issues with her mother?
She also mentioned a series of books including “The Journey of Souls,” in which a doctor apparently began working with hypnosis to find the reason for longstanding, undiagnosed pain in one of his patients. The experience led to many more such efforts, all revealing issues in “past lives” that explained current issues.
The common thread in all these is people knowing things that are not available to be known. What animals think, what issues are deep in other people’s histories, what happened in prior centuries of which the person today has no specific knowledge … how can these be known?
The assumed explanation, of course, is that some people CAN speak with animals, and that some people ARE “seers”, able of themselves to look into other people’s minds and histories, and that some or all of us have lived prior lives. Lila completely accepts that.
What if that’s not true? Is there another explanation, if reincarnation and telepathy do not actually exist?
There’s one man who has demonstrably been to death and back again, and demonstrated the ability to know other people’s thoughts quite clearly, and was known to communicate effectively with plants and the weather, not just animals, and predicted future “resolutions” with precision. What would his explanation be, of these matters?
We have two ways of knowing. What he said — which is preserved in the most validated historical records on the planet — and what he continues to say and do through the millions who have walked with him for two millenia. His name, of course, is Yeshua. In English we call him Jesus.
And there’s a third way, of course, and it’s really the most appropriate. Go ask him yourself. He said “my sheep will know my voice,” not “my sheep will know my handwriting.” And he wasn’t talking about sheep. Talking about future years and generations, he said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth. So go be led.
A friend in graduate school at Harvard was discussing the Freudian view of psychological treatment, versus Jesus’ dealing with indwelling, invading spiritual beings that needed to be expelled. My friend finally said he would choose Jesus’ approach over Freud’s because, after all, “it works.”
So, in Jesus’ view of the cosmos, how do we explain the things Lila was relating?
Is there reincarnation? Have we lived past lives? No. “… it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement,” just to pick one principle of many. And in the three days after his death, according to his close friend Peter, Jesus went into Hades and gathered all who wanted to go with him for a victory parade. To make the obvious point, if they had moved on to subsequent lives on earth, they would not have been there!
No, nothing in the massive revelations of God’s will and character, of the nature and history of man, etc, presented in the JudeoChristian scriptures supports the idea of reincarnation. Moreover, interaction with the deceased is consistently prohibited. Note that such interaction is possible, because life does not end with death, the end of the original human body; dead persons have not gone on to become a second person, and never will. We were made for eternal life, as who we are. We stay ourselves, forever.
Can people talk with animals? More specifically, can animals verbalize thoughts to us? It has certainly happened, but in each case we know of it was enabled by a specific spiritual being for a specific purpose. Inhabiting a serpent, Lucifer spoke with Adam and Eve. And Balaam’s ass corrected his asinine behavior, under the Holy Spirit’s action.
Other than that? I love the idea C.S. Lewis paints of talking Narnian animals, and I certainly chat with a variety of animals who populate my novels, but I think “not yet” is really the answer today. “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God,” and the trees will clap their hands in that day, and the rocks could have cried out when Jesus entered Jerusalem, so it appears full cross-species communication is on the way. But not yet.
And the seer? Telepathy? Mediums and seances? How is all that explained?
The obvious, single, and completely sufficient answer to all of the above issues is that spiritual beings communicate with us all the time. God’s spirit works in the world to heal, expose, direct, convict, and deliver from bondage,, and his angels are literally “messengers.” Other spirits also communicate continually, and their purpose is deception and destruction, even when they speak the truth.
We all experience this, until we come to grips with it, recognize who is speaking, and as Paul puts it, “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Who has not found thoughts of bitterness, temptation, anger, or rebellion suddenly appearing in their minds, leading to destructive behavior? Are those just arising “from our subconscious”? What if they are not?
Jesus conversed openly with such spiritual beings as he expelled them from people oppressed by them, and that is still the experience today of Christians willing to participate in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in these areas. Many times these spirits proclaimed (using the voice of the person they inhabited) who Jesus was, as they begged not to be expelled, and he told them to shut up and get out. The slave girl following Paul was declaring the truth about who he was, but it was to incite others to kill him. In each case a person was saying what they could not have known by themselves.
It is common experience for Christians in ministry to have a “word of knowledge” about someone, i.e., for the Holy Spirit to tell them something they could not have known, for the purpose of physical, mental, or emotional healing of the person being attended to. And the ministry typically called prophecy is simply listening to the Holy Spirit and saying to others verbatim what He is saying to you.
So, can people know things beyond their experience? Certainly. Happens all the time. How? From the Holy Spirit, working through any person or creature he wants to use, and from other spiritual beings with the motive to deceive and destroy (and in particular to ensure the people involved dismiss any thought of needing to get serious with God).
Can a spirit who has been alive for millenia enter a person who is under hypnosis and spin any yarn he likes? Easily; the essence of hypnosis is the absence of control of what’s happening to your mind and spirit. Can that lying spirit convey many details of true history, to make the “past life” appear the more real? Of course, why not? Will the hypnotist believe the person on the couch is the one actually speaking? Every time.
Can a spirit give an animal communicator all sorts of images, thoughts, ideas, and emotions that the communicator will believe came from the animal? Of course. Will the non-Christian practitioner have any way of knowing it’s not real? No. And the prestige, satisfaction, and sense of having done real ministry will prevent them from even wanting to know if they’re being fooled.
Can a spirit convey to a medium or seer any details at all about your personal life and history? Easily. Your life is an open tabloid to the spiritual hierarchy, and much of what you wish you had not done arose from their prompting anyway.
With two radically different explanations available for all this, you need to decide for yourself what’s really happening. But the first issue is how you will phrase the question. “If there is no God, how …” will lead you to one answer. “If what God says is true, how …” will lead you to an entirely different one.
Does it matter which explanation you choose?
If you walk onto a battlefield, does it matter whether you realize there’s a war going on?