As printed in the ACTS June 2002

Many books are being written today that tell stories of people who supposedly have died for a few moments and have come back to life and have seen apparitions (ghostly figures) of deceased relatives and friends. Some have seen religious and mythological figures, or non-earthly environments characterized by light, beauty, and intense color. A television program, "Crossing over with John Edwards" has become very popular, even with conservative Christians, and is being aired worldwide on several cable networks. Supposedly, Edwards is able to communicate with dead relations and friends of the participating studio audience. A number of years ago, 1,467 Americans were asked the question, "Have you ever felt that you were in touch with someone who died?" Twenty-seven percent of the American population said that they had. Today, that percent is alarmingly much higher.

Conservatively, well over fifty million people have such experiences. In Britain, another survey was taken that showed that 47% of widows and widowers had, at some time, experienced contact with their dead spouses. The survey revealed the following statistics: 39% of the widows and widowers said that they felt the presence of their dead spouses, 12% of the widows and widowers said that they talked to their dead spouses, 3% said that they had been touched by their deceased marital partners.

Afterlife experiences are derived from five basic categories:

1. Medium-ship messages from the dead.

2. Apparitions (ghost-like appearances of people who have died). 

3. Deathbed visions

4. Out-of-body experiences.

5. Reincarnation memories.

Since humankind down through the centuries have continually had to face the reality of death, naturally most people would like to know the real truth about these afterlife experiences. Because of the emotions and feelings associated with death and dying, it is easy to be DECEIVED!

The dead know not any thing," wrote the writer of Ecclesiastes. The rest of the Bible agrees with him. (Ecclesiastes 9:5}.


Spiritualism is a form of necromancy, the ancient attempt to make contact with the dead. Why do people want to get into contact with the dead? Because they imagine the dead to be conscious, living in a world beyond space and time. They suppose that from their vantage point "on the other side," these conscious souls of the dead can impart superior wisdom to petitioners on earth.

Spiritualism is based on the assumption that human personality after death goes to some accessible place and remains conscious there, available to the living who ask for advice. There is not a shred of scientifically respectable evidence that this is so. What's more, the Bible specifically insists that it is not so. Nevertheless, people continue with their wishful thinking.

Again, the doctrine that there is a world where the dead are conscious is without scientific support and is directly contradicted by our principal source of spiritual wisdom on earth—the Bible. In fact, God sternly condemns spiritualism of all kinds. God said not to learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations around His people. He specifies, "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, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 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." (Deuteronomy 18 :10-12) See also Leviticus 19:32; 20:6. When Saul sought a prophetic word from God in the midst of his trouble, he received none. In despair he then turned to a medium, the Witch of Endor. The Witch of Endor, and all mediums cannot contact the dead, but are communicating with deceiving spirits. 

There is no justification for attempting to make contact with the dead and it is an abomination to God! See 1 Samuel 28:7-25. People who have hallucinatory experiences that cause them to believe that they are communicating dead loved ones or friends, fall into the trap that the devil led Saul into, where he makes it at all. Many people who have been taught the devil's doctrine of an immortal soul, become very vulnerable to the devil's deceptions.

While the Bible promises immortality and eternal life to those who live as Jesus Christ prescribed, it condemns all attempts to get in contact with the dead. The Bible is plain, "...sorcerers...shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8 ). It flatly states that the dead are in no condition to communicate with anyone. "The dead know not any thing," wrote the writer of Ecclesiastes. The rest of the Bible agrees with him. (Ecclesiastes 9:5 ).

Isaiah expressed sympathy for people whose sorrow drives them to desperation and who, in that mood, consult witches and wizards in hope of getting in contact with spirits that "peep" and "mutter." Nevertheless, Isaiah considered it wrong when he asked the pointed question: "Should not a people seek unto their God?" (Isaiah 8:19). When people try to get in touch with loved ones who have died, they become vulnerable to an evil system of deceit. According to the Bible, the devil is alive. Evil spirits who serve him are ready, willing, and able to impersonate the loved ones for whom the bereaved cry out. When such fraud is exposed, the victim gains only disillusionment and deeper despair. The devil is the great deceiver and is out to deceive the whole world. There is comfort for those who miss the company of those who have died. It is the hope of the resurrection when Jesus returns. Jesus left these comforting words for those who love Him. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to .prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14 :l-3).

September/October 2018 ACTS - Aa magazine published by the GENERAl Council Churches of God (Seventh Day) Meridian, ID. USA.