Can people really talk to the dead?

Caller: I have a question about these people that claim they can talk to the dead. These other people who can, like, find out how somebody was murdered. What’s the truth behind that?

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible is clear that—Isaiah 8 tells us—that we should not consult those who claim to be able to talk to the dead. The law of Moses said that all that do that would be executed because it’s dabbling in diabolical, cultish demon-communication.

Caller: Oh, they can? Is that why you’re saying ‘stay away’?

Pastor Doug: No. What the person is doing is they’re communicating with demons.

Caller: Not with someone who’s dead?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Mortals do not have the power of resurrection. Even people inspired by the devil cannot communicate with the dead. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus tells us there is a great gulf fixed between those two dimensions. When humans try to consult with the dead, what they’re going to end up talking to is demons, fallen angels that are impersonating departed dead ones.

That’s why it says in, I believe, it’s 2 Corinthians 11, even Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. So we are told it is absolutely forbidden for Christians even to venture to talk to people who claim to talk to the dead. The Bible says ‘The living know that they will die, it’s very clear but the dead know not anything’, that’s Ecclesiastes 9. So anyone who says they’re talking to the dead—let me give you one more: Job 34:14,15—are you writing this down, Dave?

Caller: I will.

Pastor Doug: Job 34:14,15 says ‘If he sets his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh shall perish together, and man shall again return to the dust’. Actually that’s not the one I was looking for. It tells us ‘His sons come to honor and he knows it not’, speaking of a dead person.

He doesn’t know what’s happening unto his house. He shall not return again’. You can read Job 34:14,15 and Job 27:3—there’s a number of verses that deal with the subject of death that make it very clear that the dead don’t know anything that we’re not supposed to be talking to them—not until they’re resurrected. Okay?

Caller: Okay. Thank you.