• TeMah LoraLee

Can the Dead Communicate with the Living? (Y1.T2.D23)

Updated: Mar 5


Unsplash; "Daniela Turcanu"

 

The unpopular and biblical answer is: No


I realize this may put off many of you who've had experiences that lead to the opposite answer. I'm not here to minimize what you've felt. The point of my blog isn't to spark debate—my goal is to help you read through the Bible.


So, you might ask, why bring it up?


Because in today's passage Jesus tells a story about a dead man in hell begging father Abraham to send a beggar from heaven to relieve his suffering. Abraham responds:


Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us. (Luke 16:25–26)


Therefore, the Bible is clear: no soul passes between heaven and hell.


But can a soul from hell or heaven come to earth?


No. The man was so tormented that he asks Abraham to send someone from heaven to earth to warn his brothers because he himself couldn't leave from hell. And the same is true when it comes to souls in heaven.


Abraham said to him, "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them."


He said, "No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent."


He said to him, "If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead." (Luke 16:29–31)


The only person who ever did that was Jesus, and people still didn't believe him. This doesn't mean the spiritual world doesn't exist. God allows negative spirits to torment those who seek advice from the dead as he did with Saul (1 Samuel 16:29–31).


Deuteronomy 8:10–11 warns us: "There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who tells fortunes, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or someone who consults with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer."


In case you missed it, Merriam Webster defines necromancy as: "conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events."


Of course, the supernatural world isn't only negative. God said he will send angels to guard us (Psalm 91:11). So we should be aware of the ministering spirits, and open to hearing from these blessed messengers. But we should never pursue information from any human who has died.


And if you want to feel connected to someone who has passed from this life to the next, allow the Luke passage to remind you that if your loved one does catch sight of you from the other side—either from heaven or hell—their greatest desire is for you to spend this life focused on eternal salvation.


Seek God and His Righteousness


19 “Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, living in luxury every day. 20 A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was taken to his gate, full of sores, 21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Yes, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The beggar died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. 23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom. 24 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 in anguish in this flame.’


25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in the same way, bad things. But here he is now comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that no one may cross over from there to us.’


27 “He said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house; 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’


29 “But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’


30 “He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’


31 “He said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rises from the dead.’” (Luke 16:19–31)


9 When you have come into the land which Yahweh your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found with you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who tells fortunes, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, 11 or a charmer, or someone who consults with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh. Because of these abominations, Yahweh your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless with Yahweh your God. 14 For these nations that you shall dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery and to diviners; but as for you, Yahweh your God has not allowed you so to do. (Deuteronomy 18:9–14)


1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth,

before the evil days come, and the years draw near,

when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them;”

2 Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened,

and the clouds return after the rain;

3 in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble,

and the strong men shall bow themselves,

and the grinders cease because they are few,

and those who look out of the windows are darkened,

4 and the doors shall be shut in the street;

when the sound of the grinding is low,

and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird,

and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

5 yes, they shall be afraid of heights,

and terrors will be on the way;

and the almond tree shall blossom,

and the grasshopper shall be a burden,

and desire shall fail;

because man goes to his everlasting home,

and the mourners go about the streets:

6 before the silver cord is severed,

or the golden bowl is broken,

or the pitcher is broken at the spring,

or the wheel broken at the cistern,

7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was,

and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher.

“All is vanity!”


9 Further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he pondered, sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written blamelessly, words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. 12 Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.


13 This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:1–14)


1 He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no occasions of stumbling should come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”


5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” (Luke 17:1–5)

Meditation Moment


Dear God,


I choose to trust in You with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Please remove any and all curiosity I might have related to death and the grave. I accept that You died, and are alive forevermore, and You alone hold the keys of Death and Hades (Revelation 1:18). Ease the pain of grief I feel for those who've gone on before me. You promised many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake—some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).


Amen.


Meditation Music Link

 

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