After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
Top ? #24 What Does the Bible Say about Communicating with the Dead?
Answer: The Bible forbids any attempts to interact with the souls of the dead.
Oftentimes after a person has died people desire to communicate with that individual again. There are a variety or reasons why people want to do this, they may miss him and want another chance to talk to him, they may want to say things to him that they never said while they were alive, they might be curious about the afterlife and want to find out about it from the dead person. Regardless of the reasons, the Bible makes it clear that we are not to attempt to summon or communicate with the dead in any way.
The Old Testament very clearly forbids trying to communicate with the dead.
Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices, the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. Deuteronomy 10:10-12
The Bible calls to any attempt to gain direct access to the spirit world “sorcery” or “witchcraft”, a sin that is severely condemned in many passages of scripture.
While there are some scriptural examples of prominent people returning from the dead (Luke 9:30-31), generally the Bible teaches that the souls of the dead cannot return to the world.
Take a few moments to read Luke 16:19-31. This is the story of two men, one a righteous, poor man and the other an unrighteous, wealthy man. This passage gives more insight into what happens after death than any other part of the Bible. We are told that the rich man went to a place of torment and suffering. He was able to see Lazarus, the poor man, in a place of contentment next to Abraham. The rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to the world to warn his brothers about the torture that awaits them. Abraham refuses to allow Lazarus to return, reminding the rich man that the people on earth have the word of God available to warn them about the need to be right with God while they are living.
It is likely that most, if not all, encounters which people claim to have with the dead are probably not with the soul of the actual person but rather with demonic spirits impersonating the dead individual.
It must be emphasized that all forms of occultic activities should not be practiced by Christians. This includes séances, Ouija boards, seeking advice from fortunetellers and psychics, tarot cards, palm reading, etc. The unseen spiritual realm is one which God has declared off-limits to mortal humans and if we desire to be obedient to the Lord we must respect those boundaries He has established.
Please read the following verses: Exodus 22:18; Isaiah 47:9; Jeremiah 27:9; Revelation 21:8; Leviticus 19:26; Galatians 5:20