What does the Bible say about praying to / speaking to the dead?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Praying to the dead is strictly forbidden in the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:11 tells us that anyone who "consults with the dead" is "detestable to the Lord." The story of Saul consulting a medium to bri...

July 01 2013 14 responses Vote Up Share Report

Eced7a1f c81d 42f4 95ea 9d5719dce241 Singapore Moses Messenger of God, CEO in IT industry, Astronaut, Scientist
✿ Jesus taught that it is impossible for the dead to communicate with living persons on earth, and all scriptures on the subject of the state of the dead, and on heaven and hell, completely confirm His teaching. There was an impassible gulf between the compartments so that they could not go from one place to the other, nor go back to the earth (Lk. 16:26-31). The only case of any person leaving his place of confinement between death and resurrection is the case of Moses whom God brought up for a purpose, on the mount of transfiguration (Mt. 17:1-8). We must bear in mind though, that this was an act of God and not a demonized witch or wizard. Hence, we conclude that 1Sam. 28:7-19 is the record of a demon impersonation.

✿ This fulfilled prophecy in 1Samuel 28:19, was by the familiar spirit, which reveals that demons know much in the spirit realm which man doesn't find out until later, except by revelation. Demons in this case knew of the defeat of Israel. No doubt it was an accomplished fact ahead of time between the spirit forces in the heavenlies (note, Dan. 10:13). It is taught in Dt. 13:1-3 that demons and false prophets can predict some things that are true. 

✿ Two predictions by this demon:
1. The Lord will deliver Israel with you into the hands of the Philistines
2. Tomorrow you and your sons will die

It was the words of the familiar spirit impersonating Samuel. This information came to Saul through the witch; he didn't see or hear anything himself. He merely took her word for what she saw and heard.

✿ Eight Proofs That Saul Did Not talk to Samuel

❶ God would not answer Saul either by dreams and visions, Urim and Thummim, or by prophets, for He had departed from him and had taken the Holy Spirit away from him because of sin (1Sam. 28:6,15-16; 15:26; 16:13-23; 1Chr. 10:13-14). If God had refused to answer him by legitimate means, He certainly would not answer contrary to Scripture (Lk. 16:26). If He would not answer by the Holy Spirit, He certainly would not answer by a demon seeking to imitate Samuel (1Sam. 28:7-19; 1Chr. 10:13-14).

❷ It is clearly stated that Saul sought information from demons, not from God who refused to answer him. He specifically wanted a witch that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of her (1Sam. 28:7). His request was for her to divine by the familiar spirit (1Sam. 28:8).

❸ The Bible plainly teaches that communication with the dead can be demons imitating departed loved ones (1Sam. 28:7-19; Dt. 18:11; 1Chr. 10:13-14; Isa. 8:19).

❹ It is commanded in many scriptures not to traffic with demons or seek communication with the dead (Lk. 12:29); therefore, God would not allow Samuel to communicate through a witch.

❺ The seeming appearance of Samuel to the witch was simply the familiar spirit imitating and impersonating him (1Chr. 10:13-14). When it appeared that Samuel was speaking to Saul, it was the demon speaking; (satan and demons are liars) it would know about both Samuel and Saul and their past relationship. Such a demon could also make predictions (Dt. 13:1-3). Isaiah warned later that those who sought the dead were deceived by familiar spirits (Isa. 8:19).

❻ The demon practically revealed his identity when he said that Saul and his sons would be with him tomorrow. Saul went to the torment compartment of sheol or hades, whereas Samuel went to the comfort side of the underworld of departed spirits.

❼ There is no record of God seeking to intercept the communication of demons and men. Saul inquired of a demon and was answered by one. When God gives answers His messages come only through the Holy Spirit in different ways, but never through unlawful or unscriptural ways, as here.

❽ It is stated in 1Chr. 10:13-14 that Saul died for his previous sins.

November 19 2017 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Jennifer Henkel Bible/History Middle School Teacher, Lover of the OT!
Attempting to talk to the dead is a very dangerous practice! God forbids this because 1) it is impossible to communicate with those who have died and 2) demons love to masquerade as a loved one who has passed on, to deceive the living.

Demons know the past, so they can pretend to be Grandma or Uncle Roy or whomever, giving convincing information about the dead person's likes and dislikes, to trick the inquirer into believing that he/she is actually talking with the deceased person.

Then they pass on erroneous information (like what Heaven is like, how you get there, what your future holds, etc.), thus leading people astray.

God wants us to trust Him and Him alone, so that we won't be deceived by the enemy.

August 02 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Aurel Gheorghe
The Bible is very clear on the subject: we should never pray or try to contact the dead. And there is a very simple reason for that: the dead are sleeping in the dust, awaiting the Lord’s resurrection, “some to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt." (Daniel 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:51).

The Bible says that death is like a dreamless sleep (Acts 7:60), the dead "know not anything" (Eccl. 9:5), they "do not praise the Lord" (Psalm 115:17), and that their thoughts have perished (Psalm 146:4). Knowing all this would make no sense to attempt to talk, pray or communicate in any way with the dead. Satan is a liar and will try to confuse and deceive many about this Bible truth. 

Jesus says the dead really are dead. They are not yet in heaven, nor are they yet in hell. They are "asleep," awaiting the resurrection "at the last day."
In John 11 we read the story of Lazarus resurrection (John 11:1-44). Several interesting things are worthy to notice. 

Jesus knew that Lazarus was asleep in his tomb, not in hell or heaven; Martha also knew that her brother wasn’t in hell or heaven (John 11:24; John 11:39). 

Jesus “cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43). If Lazarus was in heaven or hell, would have made more sense for Jesus to say Lazarus come down, or come up; however He said “come forth!” 

Lazarus makes no statement about the time he was dead. In the Bible are documented at least seven miraculous resurrections of the dead. Elijah resurrected the son of Zarephath's widow (1 Kings 17:17-24), Elisha resurrected the son of the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:35); a dead man comes back to life when he touches Elisha's bones (2 Kings 13:21); Jesus resurrects the widow's son at Nain (Luke 7:13-15); Jesus raises Jairus' daughter (Matthew 9:25), Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 11); Peter raises Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42); Paul raises Eutychus (Acts 20:9-12). 

It is very telling that none of these resurrected persons have any recollection of the time they were dead, they say nothing of where they were, what they did or saw, and that is because the dead knows nothing (Eccl. 9:5).

November 23 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Gidza Boy Gilbert Maushe
The bible is clear about this Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they will die, But the dead don't know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. And also Isaiah 26:14 The dead to not come back to life, the spirits of the dead do not rise. That's because you come in judgment and destroyed them you wiped out all memory of them. Isaiah 28:15 Because you have said, "We have made a contract /covenant with death, with (shoel) hell we have an agreement.

August 17 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
My Father has passed on. He lived for 79 years. I asked him for guidance and help in many other ways for the years the Lord gave us to function as father and son. He was a good dad. He taught me, among other things such as hunting and fishing, how to throw and catch a baseball, (he knew nothing about basketball) how to pitch a tent, and he taught me how to pray. He said I was to make my request specifically to God. (by the authority given to me by the Son of God, Jesus the Christ) I think he borrowed that idea from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philipian church (Phil 4:6). 

Why would I not pray to my dad while he was alive, but decide after he is no longer alive here in this realm, to pray to him, as if now that he is dead to this life, he can now affect this existence in a way that he couldn't when he was alive? (Where does that kind of illogical illusion get its beginning?) What would give him the power or authority that he never had before, the power and authority to heal, rescue, aid and abet, after he dies? 

I have a question: where do these notions come from? Is there a vault somewhere with writings or video that support this sort of speculation, that's available only to a certain group? I grew up in a very traditional African American assembly (church), and nothing quite like this was ever even mentioned. We thought it was a privilege to assume that God heard our prayers. 

I have family members who have drifted over to this kind of, in my opinion, NONSENSE. They say they pray to our ancestors... I don't remember the name of the cult (why would I?), but it's out there. (I hope it's a phase they're going through. Real trouble have a way of reminding people where their real help comes from).

I saw the movie "Amistad," and the main character, Cinque, played by Dimon Hounsou, led an uprising aboard a slave ship bound from Cuba to America. During their trial for killing the crew of the ship, Cinque tells his counselor that he will get help from his dead ancestors. He says that they were created just for such a moment in time. He will call on them to come to his rescue... (Some of my family members must have seen it and it sounded exotic enough to latch onto. Sometimes that's all it really takes.) 

Christianity is the teaching that God sent His Son, born of a (virgin) woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because [we] are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into [our] hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore [we] are no longer [slaves] but [sons], and if [sons] then [heirs] of God through Christ. (Gal 4:4-7)

In reality, that sounds just as exotic. The difference is, Christianity is politicized like many other religions, but in a different way. Christianity came to Europe from the East many many years before America was ever thought of. I've never heard a European nation called "a christian nation." 

Hate groups in America matter of factly call themselves "white christians." America, which has always had a ton of humanitarian issues, calls itself "a christian nation," and for some reason, doesn't recognize the harm that such claims do for the gospel message. Believers come in the form of individuals, not countries of over 300,000,000. 
The whole thing makes praying to dead parents, aunts and uncles sound as sensible as any other system. 

The problem is largely with the church. The church needs to stand up and say, 'this hate group is of Satan, not the Christ.' Straight like that! The church needs to say, 'The church is not American. America is a nation, the church is a person of no specific nationality.'

None of this is a good excuse for people whom God has brought out of the basement of a ship, to the Whitehouse of the nation who put them in the bottom of the ship, to now say that their dead ancestors are their hope and help in times of need. Our history is what makes it illogical. We, of all people, should know better

October 03 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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