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Q. Does Luke 16 Teach That Christians Cannot Consult The Dead?


The problem with using Luke 16 is that the barrier that cannot be crossed in that parable is that which exists between the lost who are dead and suffering torment (i.e. the rich man) and the dead (i.e. Lazarus) who are enjoying the bliss of Abraham’s bosom. The barrier you seek to find in Scripture is that between the abode of the dead and those living on earth.

In Luke 16:27-31 Abraham is telling the rich man that sending someone to warn his living relatives is not more likely to be received than the message contained in Moses and the Prophets. He does not say in this place that it is impossible for someone from heaven to return to earth and warn the living (even if this is true), only that it would be unprofitable.

All this to say that Luke 16 may not be the most powerful text to use with your friend. In addition, we have that puzzling text about Saul consulting Samuel through the witch at Endor (1 Samuel 28:5-25), which raises some interesting questions of its own.

I think it best to simply focus on those passages which forbid consulting psychics and the like:

10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer (Deuteronomy 18:10; see also Deuteronomy 18:14; 2 Kings 21:1-6; Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6).

I find it difficult not to trust in a God who is all-knowing (omniscient), merciful and compassionate, and sovereign (in complete control of the past, present, and future). What is it that one needs to know beyond what He has revealed? Job never knew the reasons for his suffering, but in the process his faith in God grew, and we are privileged to grow by reading of his experience with God.  Often, our faith is tested by our obedience to God without knowing how it will end:

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going (Hebrews 11:8).

Perhaps this text in Deuteronomy also applies here:

29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law (Deuteronomy 29:29).

Bob Deffinbaugh

On 3/11/2018 3:04 PM, Christina Sawle wrote:

I have used this passage to explain how the dead (or spirits of the dead) cannot return to earth to interact with the living. Especially when people share that they are going to psychics to interact with deceased love ones. When reading this portion of passage, it explains that there is a chasm between heaven and hell. I then surmise that a chasm may also exist between heaven/hell and earth (or the living). I haven't discovered a passage that directly states this but my spirit senses that it is true.

I have a friend that is a Christian believer that is returning to visit a psychic because the psychic has given her true facts about deceased loved ones. I believe that since the psychic has been accurate, she hopes to learn her future outcomes.

I attempted to explain to her That spirits and servants of the devil have existed throughout man's history. They too can give account of private activities of deceased loved ones . I explained that in the spiritual realm these servants of evil surround us and witness our daily lives. Couldn't the same spirits give account of the activities of loved ones when they were living? The Bible warns us not to interact with such individuals and things that may be associated with the devil.

My question is , am I accurate in my belief concerning evil spirits interacting through a psychic? Also , am I accurate to use this Bible passage to explain the chasm between heaven , hell and the living? I appreciate your attention in regard to my questions and hope to learn your beliefs on this issue.

Thank you and may the Lord bless,

Christina Irland-Sawle

Related Topics: Cults/Magic, Demons

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