Is calling the spirit of a dead person Biblical?
Calling the spirit of a dead person is Biblical, in the sense that it is a practice that happened in Bible days. However, does God approve of this practice? Let us examine the Scriptures together:
Deut 18:9-13 “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 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. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.” NIV
This text is quite clear. Calling the spirit of a dead person is detestable to God.
Let us look at another example, this time from a king named Manasseh.
2 Kings 21:6 “He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.” NIV
Again, calling the spirit of a dead person provokes God’s anger.
Lev 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.” NIV
Here again you hear a warning from God Himself concerning such practices. These will defile you!
Lev 20:6 “I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.” NIV
Another strong warning from God concerning such practices. Is it worthwhile to try this, if God so clearly disapproves of it? You risk to be “cut off” from God’s people!
What about those who are mediums? What does the Bible say about them?
Lev 20:27 “A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.” NIV
I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes!
Please my friend, do not turn to these deceiving spirits. It is not worth your eternal salvation! The Bible clearly warns you against it. Even the apostle Paul warns us that:
1 Tim 4:1 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” NIV
Why let ourselves be misled by demons, when we can consult directly with our loving Heavenly Father? He wants a relationship with you and will help you in your decisions. Help is available from the highest source. In fact Jesus promised in John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” NIV
Do you want to experience real freedom? Do you want to consult with the highest power there is: your Creator? Come to Jesus and accept him into your life. Come to Jesus at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html and invite Him into your life. Don’t be deceived. God wants you to be His friend.
Spiritism, often referred to erroneously as spiritualism, the belief that living persons can receive messages from dead people, usually sent through a persons with special spiritual powers, called a medium: The Bible, the holy word of God, says, “Let no one be found among you who practices divination or spirits or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). Do not turn to medium or seek out spirits, for you will be defiled by them (Leviticus 19:31). I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritism to prostitute himself by following them (Leviticus 20:6).
It is clear testimony of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, that spiritism is the masquerading of demonic forces, who pretend to be departed spirits with the intent of deceiving, through the power of Satan, those who are foolish enough to believe the testimony of demons in preference to the authority of the Word of God himself.
Spiritism is altogether contrary to the Word of God and is detestable in His sight (Leviticus 20:6). But because of His great love and mercy, he forgives the sins of all those who truly repent of their sins and put their trust in Jesus for eternal life (Acts 2:38; 16:31; Romans 6:23.)
Calling the spirit of a dead person is a process through which a dead person is called upon and by so doing his/her spirit is expected to respond as if he/she is alive. In the Bible we saw a case where Saul the King hired a witch of Endor to call up Samuel by familiar spirit (I Sam. 28:7-14). It is certain that the body of Samuel was returned to the dust to fulfill the curse on man when the first man sinned (Gen. 3:19b).
Going deeper into the question. We need to realize what God wants a man to be while on earth and then thereafter. The bible says, “It is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27). God has never
given a room for man to die, buried and decayed and then to come back to life. This is not so.
The only incidence that has the hand of God Almighty in dead people coming to life is a special case after Jesus resurrected and the body of the dead saints was seen on the street and this was a special case for special reason – Matt. 27:50-53.
The other instance was the experience of Elijah and Moses at the transfiguration of Jesus in Matthew 17:1-9.
In these other two cases it was not any man calling out another man’s spirit but a special act of God for special reasons.
It could, therefore, be further enumerated that calling the spirit of a dead person is not biblical and it has nothing good to offer to our faith. In actual fact it is demonic. Those who practice such are unbelievers. The bible tells us of the portion of those who would not believe and continue to indulge in such act in Revelation 21:8
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death”.
One of the reasons why people practice speaking to the dead is probably to know the cause (reasons) of the death of persons. It is common in certain parts of Africa. Why should this be? It is absolutely unnecessary. Members of secret cults indulge in this art of calling out the spirit of the dead. They believe that they could speak to the dead and know the cause of death so that they can revenge. The reason why this is practiced is to take vengeance.
Romans 12:19-21 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but have room for God’s wrath; I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head”. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Speaking to the dead is not biblical as discussed above and should not be seen done among the Christians. If you are not born again, today is your day of salvation- John 3:7. Whatever God does is perfect; even if you have lost your loved ones to physical death. Believe this concept. No one can kill you if your live is hid in Christ Jesus!. The Scripture says “Woe unto those people who kill the body and are not able to kill the soul”.
SUGGESTED REASONS WHY PEOPLE WILL LIKE TO SPEAK WITH THE DEAD
One of the reasons why people speak to the dead is to clarify certain things in the course of dispute especially in land matters and matrimonial causes. This is common in Africa. What are you clarifying?. Some go there to curse themselves to be sure that facts are established during disputes either with friends or families. The Bible says that you brought nothing into this world and with nothing ye shall leave the world. What do you have that is not given to you says the Word of God. Jesus is the prince of peace. People should focus on the tangibility of God’s power rather than on mere power of the devil.
Crave for power. I know a brother before his conversion; because he wanted supernatural power from the devil. He used to sleep in cemeteries. He wanted the dead to speak to him and give him direction. If you want direction, go to Jesus – Psalm 37:4-6. When the Pentecostal power fell on him, after accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour he is being used tremendously of the Lord. What he wanted before was powerless power. Limited power. That brother and I had on several occasions ministered the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the people with signs and wonders following. If you need power come to Jesus today!
Source of Money and Security I have interacted with a lot of people in the course of ministering to people diversely. There was a woman who used to commune with the dead. She actually used the bones of the dead to prepare “juju soap” in order to get rich. She was flourishing in her business for sometime. After a while she lost the power to get wealth from the devil. Thank God that she was delivered in one of our meetings. She is alive today and contented with what God has given her!
Another man was looking for a job. He tried all he could to get one but all to no avail. He consulted with me in the office for counselling. Usually, I tell them to repent and believe the Gospel. The man told me how he had tried everything within his power to secure a tanker drivers’ job. He said he had communed with the dead many times but all to no avail. When he came to one of our meetings, especially on the anointing with oil service day, the power of God broke him down. He fell flat on the floor and was delivered from the demonic spirit he had contacted through the medium of speaking with the dead and associating with them. After his conversion, he was gainfully employed. The devil has nothing to offer you! If you go to the devil to receive cure for headache, the ache might go but he will give you something worse; perhaps hypertension to hasten your death.
THE GOOD NEWS “Deuteronomy 8:16-18 “He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me”. But remember the LORD your God, for it he who gives you the ability to produce (get) wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
A willing, obedient, believing and hardworking soul will get the best from the Lord. The problems many people have today is that they cannot put their trust in the Lord and follow Him. The scripture also says that godliness with contentment is a great gain. People are not contented with what they have. Impatience, laziness and lack of trust are other factors that are dragging people to “get rich quick” business.
Fellowship. Undue fellowship drag people to crave to speak with the dead. Look at the example of King Saul I quoted in the above passage. Saul was enjoying good fellowship with God. After loosing it due to the spirit of disobedience that entered his life he sought to speak through another medium – speaking to the dead. You need to watch out. If you have lost the power of the Holy Ghost as a result of sin in your life, you must confess and come back to God. Nothing can be compared with the power of God. When the day of Pentecost was fully come, the people were filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke in diverse tongues. Read Acts 1:6-8. Afterwards mighty miracles started happening in the lives of the Apostles. Look at it – Peter who used to be coward preached and 3000 people gave their lives to Christ -Acts chapter 3.
HOPE FOR THE DEAD IN CHRIST JESUS I Thessalonians 4:13-18 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord ‘s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
CONCLUSION Take a place in the Lord today. Depart from the way of the world. The way of the world is sin and has demonic tendencies. Let your life be insured in the Lord by accepting him as your Lord and personal Savior.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ”. – Colossians 2:8
You should, then, put your trust in Him and believe that whatever your Lord does is perfect! “Therefore, do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality however is found in Christ. Do not allow anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize.” Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grow as God causes it to grow:- Colossians 2:18-19.
With Jesus Christ on your side your are winner!
Rev Debo Adeyemo
This is what is known in the bible as ‘necromancing’. It is one of a whole range of spiritual ‘gifts’, if you like that come from the devil. They are lumped together as ‘witchcraft’. Here are some relevant bible quotations.
Deu 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Deu 18:11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Deu 18:12 For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
To cause a son or daughter to pass through the fire is a reference to the sacrifice of children as a burnt offering to the false god ‘Molech’; which was a figure of a large owl.
Divination refers to fortune telling or clairvoyance, not to finding water as some confuse it with. An observer of times refers to astrology; an enchanter casts spells, invoking the powers of darkness to bring about a desired result; a wizard is the masculine of witch; a consulter with familiar spirits would be a ‘Medium’ in today’s jargon; and a necromancer is a person who talks to the dead usually summoned up by a witch or wizard or medium.
All these dark arts were punishable by death.
Exd 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Leviticus 19:31AV Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I [am] the LORD your God.
Leviticus 20:6AV And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Leviticus 20:27AV A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood [shall be] upon them.
We know that God does not change. He has the same opinion of these evil practitioners now as He did then. Even though they may appear to work for good, and many do, it is a deception because the power comes from Satan, not God. If you would be a Christian, you must have nothing to do with astrology, spirits of the dead, familiar spirits, clairvoyance, ouija boards, or witchcraft in general. If you do then God will turn His face away from you. Prayers will be of no avail; you must repent, seek forgiveness of Christ, and seek His salvation.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 says: 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.
Isaiah 8:19 says: When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
1Chronicles 10:13-14 tells us that Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
It is NOT biblical to contact the dead. That is a pagan practice. Christians are ONLY to consult with the Lord for any kind of guidance. We are only to contact Jesus Christ our Savior.
What do we mean by Biblical here? If it is authorized by the bible, the answer is no! If it is recorded in the bible, the answer is yes. Saul is recorded to have gone to call the spirit of the dead Samuel.
But in all the settings as recorded in the Bible, we see that those who called the spirits of the dead did it in pagan settings. The bible cautions us from calling the spirits of the dead. Notice what God tells here, “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?” Isaiah 8:19
Contacting the spirits of the dead is satanic and biblically that is devil worship! The bible says the dead know nothing. Please carefully read the following verses without any preconceived ideas so that you can know the state of the dead. Psalms 146:3-4, Ecclesiastes 3:19-21, 9:5-6,10, 12:6-7. If the dead spirits know nothing, and they can never plan or take part in the events taking place in this earth again as the bible tells us, who then appears whenever one contacts the spirits of the dead? It is the demons masquerading as our dead relatives.
See 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. What about the spirit of Samuel who appeared to Saul? Here I am going to give you a lengthy explanation so that you can get this clearly.
When Saul inquired for Samuel, the Lord did not cause Samuel to appear to Saul. He saw nothing. Satan was not allowed to disturb the rest of Samuel in the grave, and bring him up in reality to the witch of Endor. God does not give Satan power to resurrect the dead. But Satan’s angels assume the form of dead friends, and speak and act like them, that through professed dead friends he can the better carry on his work of deception. Satan knew Samuel well, and he knew how to represent him before the witch of Endor, and to utter correctly the fate of Saul and his sons.
Satan will come in a very plausible manner to such as he can deceive, and will insinuate himself into their favor, and lead them almost imperceptibly from God. He wins them under his control, cautiously at first, until their perceptibilities become blunted. Then he will make bolder suggestions, until he can lead them to commit almost any degree of crime. When he has led them fully into his snare, he is then willing that they should see where they are, and he exults in their confusion, as in the case of Saul. He had suffered Satan to lead him a willing captive, and now Satan spreads before Saul a correct description of his fate. By giving Saul a correct statement of his end, through the woman of Endor, Satan opens a way for Israel to be instructed by his satanic cunning, that they may, in their rebellion against God, learn of him, and by thus doing, sever the last link which would hold them to God.
Saul knew that in this last act, of consulting the witch of Endor, he cut the last shred, which held him to God. He knew that if he had not before willfully separated himself from God, this act sealed that separation, and made it final. He had made an agreement with death, and a covenant with hell. The cup of his iniquity was full.
So brethrens, I beseech you then, do not entice yourself in devil worship by contacting the demons thinking they are the spirits of the dead.
Your fellow servant in the Lord’s vineyard.
Ezra k. Mingaine
In regard to your question about calling up the spirit(s) of the dead the Bible has much to say. When Saul went to the witch of Endor to call up Samuel the Bible says “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and for asking of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it”– 1 Chronicles 10:13. The Bible says that what appeared to Saul was “a familiar spirit”, those who speak to familiar spirits were to be stoned (Leviticus 20:27). The Bible forbids the practice of necromancy (communing with the dead) (Deut. 18:11, 12). It might be argued that these texts only forbid using a spiritualist to contact the dead, that it might be alright to contact the dead yourself. Notice though, that the Lord never gave permission for communion with the dead to any one under any circumstances. What makes a spiritist is the fact that they call up the dead. Not all spiritists are professed Devil worships. Many Christians are engaged in this practice, but that does not make it right. The Bible says: “As the cloud is consumed and vanished away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more. He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him anymore”-Job 7:9, 10.
I do not believe one can speak to dead people, related or not. When a person dies, he/she either goes to heaven or hell. When apparitions speak or appear, I believe it demonic activity.
The one exception is found in the incident of the witch of Endor, where she called up Samuel from Paradise. 1 Samuel 28:7-12. “Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul swear to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.” Obviously the woman didn’t call up Samuel because she shrieked out in terror. It had to be God Who allowed this phenomenon. God warns Christians to shun associations with withcraft in all of its forms. Their are things that happen in our world, such as “seeing:, orc “talking to”, the spirits of departed loved ones, but it is of Satan, who comes in many guises.
Yours in the bonds of Calvary,
Delmer G. Lawson
Jesus loves you, and I do too
1 Samuel 28 makes it Biblical, but says that it is prohibited by God & if it actually happened it would scare the heck out of the witch doing it. (They are used to talking with demons, not dead people!)