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What Does the Bible Say About … WHETHER THE DEAD CAN SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING ON EARTH?

HTML clipboard When we die, can we see what is happening back on Earth?  When the wicked die, can they see the dead that are good?  I get confused when reading The Rich man and Lazarus.

When we die we cannot see what is happening on earth because once one dies they no longer have any sight or dealings with what happens on earth, this is confirmed by the verses below

Isaiah 26:14 ‘The dead will not live, the departed spirits will not rise; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have eliminated all remembrance of them.’

Ecclesiastes 9:5 ‘For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, because the memory of them is forgotten.’

This is also confirmed by the Lazarus and Rich man story where Abraham  said it is not possible for the rich man to be sent back to earth to warn his brothers

Luke 16:27-29 ‘Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’

Now to answer the last part of your question it is possible for the wicked dead and to see the righteous dead and not vice versa as it will be part of the torment for the wicked dead to see what they missed when they refused to repent during their time on earth,this is evidenced by the Lazarus and richman story.

Luke 16:23-26 ‘And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.’

Rober Mugayi, Associate Director of Bible Studies, Answers2Prayer Ministries