Interacting with the “dead” is demonic
The Bible makes it clear that the living is separated from dead. Those who have died are waiting for God’s final judgement and no longer play a part in anything on earth. When we talk to, consult or pray for the “dead”, we are in reality, interacting with demons.
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 NLT … the dead know nothing… They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
Associating with the dead brings spiritual death
Jesus came to set us free from spiritual death – and to also destroy Satan, “the god of this world”, who has the power of death. The Bible explicitly tells us not to choose death and evil. Many do not realise that when we interact with the dead “who no longer play a part in anything on earth”, we have unwittingly subjected ourselves to satanic enslavement.
Deuteronomy 30:15 ESV “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil…
Hebrews 2:141-5 ESV … he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Ways we interact with the “dead”
Here are a few examples of how we unknowingly follow Satan and choose ways of death.
1. Talking or praying to the dead
In times of need, we must be careful who we consult or turn to. When we talk to deceased relatives or go to mediums, psychics or anyone who consults the dead for answers, we are actually turning our backs on God. We become spiritually defiled by such “detestable practices” and open ourselves to demonic influence.
Psalm 121:1-2 ESV I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Leviticus 19:31 NLT “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God.
2 Kings 23:24 NLT Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols, and every other kind of detestable practice…
2. Ancestor worship or dead hero worship
We are to worship God alone. Whenever anyone honours a dead person, he or she is effectively bowing their hearts down to the deceased. Many become “participants with demons” as they set up altars, burn incense, offer gifts and sacrifices or take part in ritualistic ceremonies for the dead. Some people display large portraits or statues of deceased relatives, royalty or war heroes in reverence of the dead. This is paramount to idolatry.
Ezekiel 6:4 ESV Your altars will be demolished and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will slay your people in front of your idols.
1 Corinthians 10:20 ESV … what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.
3. Touching the dead
Dead bodies are considered spiritually unclean and we are to be careful not to touch corpses, even those of our parents. There are proper ways to handle dead bodies and we should pray to cleanse ourselves if we have unknowingly gone against God’s warnings.
Numbers 19:11 ESV “Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days.
Leviticus 21:11 ESV He shall not go in to any dead bodies nor make himself unclean, even for his father or for his mother.
4. Praying for the dead
As much as we like to hope for a second chance, physical death ends all hope for those who did not repent and turn to Christ before they died. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our salvation. Anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit will die for eternity. Praying for the dead as if they were still alive or as if they had a second chance shows a lack of acceptance or knowledge of this truth.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 ESV … the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.
Hebrews 9:27 NIV … people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
Ephesians 1:13 ESV In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
5. Festivals or temples of spirits of the dead
Many cultures believe that “ghosts” or spirits of the dead can bring them power or special messages. Hence, they seek to be on good terms with them. Such “good terms” clearly invites evil spirits to operate in our lives. Pagan religions and festivals that celebrate their relationships with the dead include:
- All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day (Catholic | November)
- Chuseok (Korean mysticism | September/October)
- Day of the Dead (Mexican mysticism | November)
- Gai Jatra (Nepalese mysticism | August/September)
- Halloween (Pagan mysticism | October) *
- Hungry Ghost Festival (Buddhism | July/August)
- Obon (Japanese Buddhism | August)
- Pchum Ben (Cambodian mysticism | September/October)
- Pitri Paksha (Hinduism | September)
* Halloween is said to have been influenced by the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where the “ghosts of the dead” returned to earth. An article in the Telegraph UK says that during Samhain, “Places were set at the dinner table to appease and welcome the spirits. Gaels would also offer food and drink, and light bonfires to ward off the evil spirits. Many dressed up as souls of the dead, or Aos Si, and were understood to be protecting themselves from the spirits by impersonating them.”
Consulting the dead channels demons into our lives
1. Biblical evidence: Evil spirits work through mediums
The dictionary defines the word, familiar, in the spiritual context as “a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch.” It also describes “one who is well acquainted with something or one who frequents a place.” The Bible forbids us from consulting familiar spirits. Familiar spirits are well acquainted with people and places and will deceive many people into thinking that the dead have returned by impersonating them. We know that this, of course, is not true.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 ASV There shall not be found with thee any … consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Familiar spirits are “channelled” through ouija boards, trances, seances, psychics, seers, mediums, witches, witch doctors, and fortune tellers with baby ghosts. When we consult a spiritist, we are in essence, submitting ourselves to their counterfeit power, signs and wonders, and only bring curses to ourselves. We see one incidence in the Bible where King Saul consulted a medium and was condemned to die after he chose demonic powers over God.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 NLT This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.
1 Chronicles 10:13-14 ESV So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he … consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death…
2. Scientific evidence: Evil spirits work through mediums
Research has shown that mediums lose conscious control of themselves as they “channel” spirits and are under the control of demonic forces. Neuroscientist Andrew Newberg examined mediums that went into a trance and invited the “dead” to write messages using their hands, through what is called psychography.
His research, which was reported in LiveScience, showed that “When the scientists analyzed the writing psychographers created, they found that psychographic writing was more complex compared with normal writing… Intriguingly, experienced psychographers showed lower levels of activity in the brain’s frontal lobe regions of the left anterior cingulate and right precentral gyrus during psychography. These areas are linked with reasoning, planning, generating language, movement and problem solving, perhaps reflecting an absence of focus, self-awareness and consciousness during psychography. These psychographers also experienced less activity in the left hippocampus, which is linked with emotion, and the right superior temporal gyrus, which is linked with hearing.
Newberg told LiveScience, “It’s very interesting — we typically think of the brain being very active when a person is doing a particular task, but here we find the opposite.”
3. Practical evidence: Evil spirits work through mediums
Believers who have consulted spiritists in the past will testify of the curses that continued into their Christian lives before they repented.
A lady who consulted a medium recounts her experiences; “Years ago, I became a loyal follower of a famous medium in Hong Kong. I followed everything he told me and even introduced my friends to him, which I now regret. Later, I found out that he worshipped a “baby ghost” where a child had been sacrificed for his power. I quit seeing him right away. However, all the things he told me became “locked” in my mind and I found no peace. At that time, I thought I was helping myself and didn’t know I was coming under demon oppression. For example, I had terrible nightmares for several nights after each consultation. One day, I repented to God and prayed to renounce all the evil spirits I had ever worshipped and consulted in the past. I felt as if a huge weight was lifted off me. I realise now that I struggled with the lingering demonic presence for a few years, even after becoming a Christian, because of my lack of personal faith in Jesus. Through this experience, I have learned how to trust fully in God.“
Repenting for interactions with the “dead”
1. Repent for turning to the dead in the past
Jesus Christ came to give us life through the Spirit of Life. We should repent for worshipping, talking to or consulting the dead in the past, so that we can break free from the curses. As believers, we can depend fully on God Almighty Himself. Let us not turn to false solutions from Satan.
Romans 8:2 ESV For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
2. Break ties with the dead, mediums and familiar spirits
When we formed relationships with mediums or other spiritists in the past, we became slaves to Satan by listening to their counterfeit prophecies over us. Such words often have some lingering power in our lives because people tend to remember what was said deep in their hearts. We must declare in Jesus’ name that we break ties with the spiritists, the places they operated in, and the words they spoke to us. If we were ever given any charms or tokens, these must be destroyed and thrown away. There is no harmony between Christ and the devil, and we must choose only one side.
2 Corinthians 6:14 NLT Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? …
3. Ask to be cleansed and for our relationship with God to be restored
Finally, let’s return back to God wholeheartedly. We can ask Him to cleanse us of our defilement and restore our relationship with Him to sound spiritual health.
Leviticus 19:31 ISV “You are to consult neither mediums nor familiar spirits. You are never to seek them—you’ll just be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.
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