Can Our Dead Speak to Us?
Updated: Jun 21, 2020
"If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." Job 14:14
Who do Mediums and Spiritualists communicate with? Could they actually be communicating with devils? We need answers to these questions because if the messages are coming from devils then people are in great danger of being deceived. What does God’s Word teach regarding the dead?
We should not be ignorant concerning death “I would not have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep...” 1 Thess 13-16, 18
What is Death?
Death is the opposite of life. Let’s look at what life is, so we can better understand death. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7 “Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” Psalm 104:29
Note: God did not put a soul into Adam’s body - Adam became a living soul.
Body plus Breath of life = Living soul.
Body minus breath of life = Dead soul.
The Bible speaks of dead souls in Leviticus 21:11 and Numbers 6:6.
Both literally mean “dead soul.”
What happens when a living soul dies? 1. “...for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen 3:19. 2. The spirit, given to all men, returns to God who gave it. (Eccl 12:7; Ps 146:4; Ps 104:29).
What is the spirit which returns to God at death? The spirit which returns to God is the breath of life, which came from God to make us live. (See James 2:26 margin; Job 27:3).
Do souls die?
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4, 20
“Every living soul in the sea died.” Revelation 16:3 (Even sea creatures are souls) “Shall mortal man be more just than his Maker.” Job 4:17 (Mortal means subject to death).
Joshua "utterly destroyed souls". Joshua 10:28, 30, 32
“David...is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day... For David is not ascended into the heavens.” Acts 2:29-34
“Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.” Job 21:32
“If I wait, the grave is mine house.” Job 17:13
Jesus told His disciples “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself...” John 14:3. Therefore the dead disciples are in the grave not in Heaven. If all went to their rewards as death Jesus wouldn’t need to come back to resurrect anyone, and the coming judgment would be pointless.
Does the Bible teach that man has an immortal soul? Though the word soul and spirit occur 1600 times, they are never once called immortal. Satanʼs first lie was that man was immortal (See Gen 3:4). Man must seek immortality, showing he does not yet have it. Only God is naturally immortal. Other beings receive life from Him. “The king of kings...WHO ONLY hath immortality.” 1 Tim 6:15, 16; 1Tim 1:17. “Shall mortal man be more just than God? ...” Job 4:17. We are those, “...who by patient continu- ance in well doing SEEK FOR glory and honour and IMMORTALITY, eternal life.” Rom 2:7.
When do believers receive eternal life? 1Cor 15:52-53 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Do saints go to heaven as soon as they die? Godly king David hasnʼt yet gone to heaven. Acts 2:29, 34 “David...is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day...For David is not ascended into the heavens.”
Where are the dead? John 5:28, 29 “All that are IN THE GRAVES will hear his voice, And shall come forth.” Job 17:13 “If I wait, the grave is mine house.” Job awaits the resurrection. John 6:39-40 “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Can the dead communicate with the living, and arenʼt they aware of what the living are doing? “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake or be raised out of their sleep.” Job 14:12. “His [the dead manʼs] sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.” Job 14:21; Ecc 9:6; Ps 146:4.
In John 11:11 Jesus called the unconscious state of the dead, “sleep.” How long will they sleep? They sleep until the glorious resurrection. Job 14:12 “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” The heavens will pass away at the second coming. (2 Pet 3:10).
God said if mankind sinned they would die. What was the devilʼs first lie to mankind? “And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” Gen 3:4 The serpent represents Satan (Rev 12:9). This false doctrine is the basis of spiritualism. Those who claim to have communications with the dead are communicating with “spirits of devils.” (See 1Cor 10:20; Rev 16:14; Lev 19:31; 20:27; Mark 5:9). Those who believe that the dead are conscious are open to demons pretending to be dead loved ones with false messages. e.g. Witch of Endor (1Sam 28:3-25).
Do devils really perform miracles? Yes. Rev 16:4; Matt 24:24. Devils can perform miracles and impersonate people. Why will Godʼs people not be deceived? Because they test everything by Godʼs word and they know that the dead are unconscious. Isa 8:20; Acts 17:11.
Back in Mosesʼ day, what was to be done with anyone who taught people that the dead were alive? They were to be killed (Lev 20:27). This shows Godʼs regard of the false teaching that the dead are alive.
Belief in New Age reincarnation is increasing rapidly. Is it Biblical? Almost half the world believe in reincarnation but it is not Biblical. The dead return to dust (Ps 104:29), know nothing (Ecc 9:5), possess no mental powers (Ps 146:4), have nothing to do with any on earth (Ecc 9:6), do not live (2 Kings 20:1), and wait in the grave (Job 17:13).
Is it right to comfort the grieving with the news that the dead are in heaven? No. If they were, Paul would certainly have comforted the grieving with this news, but he did not. The Christianʼs comfort is the resurrection. (See 1Thess 4:13-18).
Who first taught that man has an immortal soul?
Satan was the first to teach that man is naturally immortal when he said,
“Ye shall not surely die.” (Genesis 3:4). God told Adam and Eve that if they sinned they would “surely die.”
Why did God stop Adam eating from the tree of life after he sinned?
“Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” Genesis 3:22-24.
Without access to the fruit of the tree of life fallen man cannot live forever.
Who is naturally immortal?
God alone is immortal.
“The King of kings...who only hath immortality.” 1Timothy 6:15
“Shall mortal man be more just than God?” Job 4:17.
Mortal means subject to death. We must seek for immortality because we do not naturally have it.
“...by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.” Romans 2:7
The Bible uses the words soul and spirit over 1600 times but never speaks of an “immortal soul.”
What is it like to be dead?
“The living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they anymore a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:5-6
“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” Psalm 146:4
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
“For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” Psalm 6:5
The dead know nothing. They have no emotions, praise or consciousness. The dead are unconscious, they don’t think, love, hate, envy, work, hope, praise God, or remember Him. The time they spend in death passes for them in an instant at the resurrection.
What does the Bible compare death to?
“He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth;…Howbeit Jesus spake of his death…Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” John 11:11-13
The Bible likens the unconscious state of death to sleep many times.
See Dan. 12:2; Mt. 9:24; 27:52; Mk. 5:39; Lk. 8:49-52; Acts 7:59-60; 1Cor. 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1Thess. 4:13-15.
Can the dead communicate with the living?
“His [the dead man’s] sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.” Job 14:21
“So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.” Job 14:12.
The dead don’t suffer seeing their loved ones in trials. The heavens will pass away at the Second Coming (2Pet 3:10) so the dead sleep till then.
The idea that the dead are conscious is the basis of Spiritualism. The Bible shows that the dead are unconscious so who are Spiritualists and Mediums communicating with?
They are communicating with the “spirits of devils.” (Revelation 16:14).
Before the coming of the Lord there will be “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” 2Thess 2:9-10. (See 1Cor. 10:20; Lev. 19:31; 20:27; Mk. 5:9).
The idea that the dead are aliveis so dangerous that in Old Testament times God had those who claimed to communicate with the dead, killed. (See Exo. 22:18; Lev. 20:27).
Why will God’s people not be deceived by communications supposedly from the dead?
Because they test everything by God’s word. “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 testimonyIf they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19-20 NKJV Mediums, who claim to communicate with the dead, are speaking contrary to the Word of God.
When will God’s people receive immortality?
“I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:39-40
“We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the rumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible…and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1Corinthians 15:52, 53 See also Job 14:13-15
How are we to comfort believers who have lost a loved one?
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1Thessalonians 4:16-17
“The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29.
THE STATE OF THE DEAD
The dead are presently asleep & unconscious in the grave awaiting the glorious resurrection as the following verses prove: Christ returns to receive His people, resurrecting the dead and translating the living. The dead saints must clearly be in the earth 'asleep' in their graves (John 14:2-3).
The dead saints are not presently in heaven. “David... is both dead and buried...David is not ascended into the heavens.” Acts 2:29-34.
Perfect Job awaits the resurrection, “If I wait, the grave is mine house.” Job 17:13. The dead “sleep in the dust of the earth [the grave]” (Dan 12:2. John 5:28-29).
At death the “thoughts perish.” (Psalms 146:4) as do the emotions: “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing...Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished...” Ecc 9:5- 6.
“The dead praise not the Lord.” Ps 115:17. The dead 'sleep' in the grave awaiting the resurrection: “All that are in the graves will hear his voice, And shall come forth.” John 5:28, 29.
When? “till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake or be raised out of their sleep.” (Job 14:12; cf. 2 Pet 3:10).
Christ will reward His people at His coming (Rev 22:12). “at the last trump...this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor 15:51-53).
We must “seek for...immortality” Rom 2:7 as we do not have it yet. “The King of kings...who ONLY hath immortality.” 1 Tim 6:15-16.
“Shall mortal man be more just than his Maker?” Job 4:17. A soul was not put in man, man is a soul Genesis 2:7. The soul is not immortal. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Eze 18:20.
Men & animals are souls and all die ( Josh 10:28, 30, 32; Rev 16:3). “ For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts...as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath...All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” (Ecc 3:19-20).
But “ whosoever believeth in him [Christ] should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
The dead have ceased to exist, they have nothing more to do in this life. They have no consciousness. They are not spirits or ghosts. Evil angels can impersonate loved ones and make them appear to be alive, but it is an evil angel speaking to you, so don't be fooled.