Can We Contact The Dead?
If the Bible is the Word of God, and it is since there is an abundance of evidence that points that it is beyond human production, then we ought to consult it alone as our guide in regards to answers about witchcraft, voodoo, and other related activities. Are we able to communicate or make contact with the dead? What does the Bible state?
Isaiah was sent as a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah. The people rejected his message. In the context of Isaiah 8:11-18, the Lord instructs Isaiah not to walk in the way of the people and to trust and fear the Lord not the people. The people of Isaiah's day say to Isaiah in Isaiah 8:19,20, "And when they say to you, 'Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
The people of Isaiah's day were urging Isaiah to make contact with the dead. The law of Moses had already stated in Deuteronomy 18:9-14, "When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations, which you will dispossess, listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you."
The act of trying to call up on the dead is associated with sorcery and idolatry. Idolatry is the act of putting anything first before God. If a person chooses to be guided by claiming they can contact the dead instead of being guided by the One who has all wisdom and knowledge, have they not committed idolatry? Yes!
Solomon writes that the dead do not know what is happening now on the earth. Notice in Ecclesiastes 9:5-8, "For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. Also, their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun." Usually, people who say they have contacted the dead talk about how the dead knew what was happening on the earth. Who are we to believe . . . God's Word or man's word? (Romans 3:4; Titus 1:2)
In 1 Samuel 28:6-20, was the medium at Endor really able to bring up Samuel from the dead by her own power? No. How do we know?
- There is no indication that the text condones a séance. In 1 Samuel 28:11-12, Saul stated he wanted Samuel to come forth, then Samuel appeared immediately (no indication the séance had begun or that it was happening during a séance).
- 1 Samuel 28:12, 13 says, "when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice... And the king said to her, 'Do not be afraid.'" Why would the woman cry out or be afraid? Was it because she had not even started the séance when this happened? Since she had conducted numerous séances in the past, was she shocked that for the first time she actually saw a real spirit come from the dead?
- The fact that a real spirit (Samuel) appeared immediately/unexpectedly, thus frightening the witch, causing her to "cry out", would indicate that it was by the power of God . . . not the witch, that Samuel was brought forth (and would have been an exception - not a rule). Samuel 's message was from God for Saul.
In Luke 16:27-31, the rich man who was in torments wanted Lazarus to go back to evangelize to his five brothers. Abraham stated to the rich man in Luke 16:29-30, "'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'" There is a principle here that God is not going to use the dead to communicate to the living, but instead will be using the living Word of God to convince and convict people to change their lives (Hebrews 4:12).
Even if we assumed that dead spirits could be contacted (which they cannot), we must ask, "With what type of spirit, angel, etc. are we dealing - false or true?" (Matthew 25:41). "What type of message is the spirit, angel, etc. conveying - false or true?" According to Galatians 1:8-9, we are not to listen to an angel or anyone who brings a different message from what is written in the New Testament - the Gospel. This would include those who believe they supposedly have contacted the dead, since in these last days God speaks to us through the Words of His Son contained in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1-2, Colossians 3:17, Jude 1:3, John 12:48). We are to test all spirits - whether they are of God - by the Word of God (1 John 4:1, Acts 17:11). God has designed "ALL" His truth to come to us through His New Testament - not through communicating with the dead (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Peter 1:3).
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