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Can the Dead Talk to Us? — 24 Comments

  1. Hi Deva, yes, it so sad that so many people don't know how much Jesus loves them, how powerful He is, that He is the only true living God and that He is willing to help them.
    Only when they come to love and accept Jesus as their LORD and Saviour will they realize that the dead can't help them.

  2. Hello Dazza,

    You are correct in that "will not perish" means will not die, or live eternally. But the question is WHEN is that immortality bestowed(actually given)?

    The Bible is very clear on when that gift of immortality is given. 1 Corinthians 15:52 says that it is at the "LAST TRUMPET" sound that the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we (living) SHALL BE changed. "For this corruptible must put on in corruption and this mortal must put on immortality," and this at the last trumpet sound.

    So, when is the last trumpet that will raise the dead to be incorruptible and change the living into a state of immortality? Bible says in Matthew 24:30-31 that the earth will "see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send His angels with a great sound of a TRUMPET, and they will gather together His elect." This trumpet sound is at the second coming of Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:15 says that this trumpet shall sound when "the Lord descends from heaven."

    The resurrection and gift of immortality are realized at His second coming at the end of earth's history (soon), in the last days. John 6:68 Peter says to Jesus, "to whom shall we go? You have the words of ETERNAL LIFE." This is because Jesus said in verse 54,"whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY." In this same chapter verses 39,40,44,and 54 say that this will happen "at the last day."

    So why did Jesus say that "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living?" In verse 18, Mark says that Jesus was being tested by Sadduccees who Mark says "say that there is no resurrection." Jesus was pointing out their doctrinal error in a loving way. They believed in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob right? They believed them to be the the Jewish patriarchs..then how could God be their God if they do not ever rise again? Jesus said "WHEN they rise again", in other words there will be a time in which they will rise and again I will be their God.

    Jesus said the at the hour IS coming in which ALL that are in the graves WILL hear his voice, and then the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation.John 5:28-29

    So, you are correct in saying that those who believe in Jesus will have immortality, and that gift given at His coming and not before. "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and THEN He will reward each according to his works." Matthew 16:27

    "But now is Christ risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep..for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all SHALL be made alive. But each in his order: Christ the firstfruits afterward those who are Christ's AT HIS COMING. .The LAST enemy that WILL be destroyed is death."

    And, Paul says to Timothy decades after the death of Jesus on the cross, about God, "who ALONE has immortality." We do not have immortality now, he says to Titus,"in hope OF eternal life."

    keep your faith in God through Jesus and you will be given immortality at His coming and we can have faith in that even NOW because Jesus rose from the dead, and even if we should die we will be raised incorruptible and immortal at His return.


  3. Hi Dazza,

    The way I understand John 3:16 - Jesus is saying those who believe in me will not perish but they will have eternal life, which means those who don't believe will perish.

    This eternal life that Jesus promises to those who believe will only be realized when Jesus comes to fetch us as He promised in John 14:1-3.
    In the meantime these believers are sleeping in the grave waiting for His return as in John 5:28,29

    Paul also confirms what Jesus said.
    In 1Cor 15:20,23 the believers are sleeping in the grave to be resurrected at his coming.
    1Co 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
    1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    Paul also says the believers will receive immortality at the second coming in
    1Co 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
    1Co 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

    Also in 1 Thess 4:15-17 Paul tells us that those believers who are alive and those believers who are sleeping in the grave will rise up together to meet Jesus in the air and this is how and when we will be with Jesus forever.

    1Th 4:15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
    1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    1Th 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

  4. Dazza, if the righteous dead are already with Christ in heaven, then then there is no need for Christ to come again (no second coming), and if the righteous departed ones are already in Heaven that should mean there will be no need for resurrection, so if there is no resurrection then our faith is in vain as Apostle Paul said.

  5. This passage I think is self explainatory, Jesus used both words death and sleep interchangeably. But the fact is that Lazarus died, started rotting by the 4th day; when resurrected Lazarus had no heavenly stories to tell because he was unconscious, completely dead.

    John 11 verse 1. Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

    4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

    9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

    11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

    12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

    14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

    16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

    17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

    21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

    23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

    24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

    33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

    37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

    “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

    40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

    41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

    43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

    Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

  6. Dazza said: “There is a big difference between asleep and dead, The dead know nothing but when we sleep we may not be conscious but our being whatever state that is lives on till the morning so it is with the resurrection to maybe wake us up to become conscious of our saviour.”

    Hi Dazza, I don’t believe there is a difference between what happens to believers or non-believers when they die.
    1) In Joh 5:24-29 Jesus said : ALL WHO ARE IN THE TOMBS will hear his voice (29) and come out, those who have done GOOD to the resurrection of life, and those who have done EVIL to the resurrection of judgment.
    2) In the case of Lazarus in Joh 11:11-14 Jesus first said he was sleeping but then he said plainly Lazarus is dead. So sleep = death.

    Let us look at the passage in question in Mark 12:18-27
    I have also struggled to understand it. I have discovered that it is helpful to get an overview of this interaction between Jesus and the Sadducees.
    In the first verse Sadducees don’t believe in the resurrection and in the last verse Jesus says “you are quite wrong”. What are they discussing – is there a resurrection of the dead or not? According to the Sadducees you lived and died and that was the end of you. Jesus said they were wrong, you might die but in the last days I will return and you will be resurrected to be with me forever.
    The Sadducees were trying to trick Jesus by asking about the woman & 7 husbands, but Jesus said they were wrong because they didn’t know the Scriptures, one because the woman didn’t really have 7 husbands because after her husband died the other brothers had to look after her and try to have a child with her to carry on her husband’s lineage and in the new earth it would not be necessary to keep up the linage and the property that went with it. Secondly going back to the original issue Jesus was saying in effect, see the Bible proves there is a resurrection because God said he was the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob because they will be raised from the dead. Because the issue is resurrection or not, to me it proves that Jesus was talking about that fact that the fathers of the Sadducees would be resurrected.

    You asked where the Bible says “when they rise”, please see texts below in capitals:
    Mar 12:18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked him a question, saying,
    Mar 12:23 In the resurrection, WHEN THEY RISE AGAIN, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife."
    Mar 12:24 Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
    Mar 12:25 For WHEN THEY RISE FROM THE DEAD, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
    Mar 12:26 And as for the DEAD BEING RAISED, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?
    Mar 12:27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong."

    Dazza, if I understand you correctly you seem to believe that we receive eternal life as soon as we accept Jesus. In one sense you are correct, we become heirs of the promise, however we only receive our inheritance at the Second Coming, please see how Jesus says over and over in John 6 that we will only receive this at the last day.
    Joh 6:39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
    Joh 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
    Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
    Joh 6:50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. Joh 6:54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

    Lastly Dazza, please help me understand what you mean by your statement:
    “our being whatever state that is lives on” because my understanding of the Bible is that we are a unified living being made up of the body and the spark of life from God and that when we die we no longer exist except in the memory of God.

  7. Hi Dazza,

    I'm answer to your question to me, Mark 12:25, he answers the Sadducees supposed trap, which was in the resurrection who would be the woman's husband of the seven that has died. They thought it was a good trap to show that there wasn't a resurrection, that was their belief, and by posing this question hoped to stump Jesus. See if she had seven husbands surely in the resurrection she couldn't be married to all seven! So, they hoped to prove the fallacy of a resurrection. But Jesus was too wise and pointed out that in the resurrection there is no marriage or giving in marriage, but are like the Angels. So, he outwitted them.
    But, he said, "WHEN they rise" (the people in the story) from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage..." Jesus never said that when a person dies they go directly to heaven or hell, they sleep in the grave until the resurrection.
    To sleep in the grave means to have no knowledge of what happens on the earth while you are dead. That's why of the people that were resurrected in the Bible by Elijah, Elisha, or Jesus, there is NEVER a testimony of how heaven or "hell" is like. And if they were in heaven how terrible that they were brought back! Or if in hell surely they would have said something!
    The truth is that death being a sleep is an easy concept to understand but people who don't want to accept it just as Jesus said it come up with some fanciful interpretations of what they think happens. It was the Greeks that promoted the idea of a spirit man that existed apart from the body, and they got this teaching through Babylonian doctrine which got it from the devil that said "you shall not surely die." Jesus said the devil is a liar and the father of lies.

  8. The bottom line is, we believe what we have confidence in. There is saying that is used, "Jesus said it and I believe it". I am not certain that those that read and believe the Bible, are in immediate danger of visiting a medium. However, As you point out, the entertainment industry makes things, lies, as attractive as possible.

  9. According to Scripture, Samuel’s conversation with Saul was not an illusion. The woman medium cried out, shocked with the appearance of Samuel. Samuel spoke the words of God to Saul even welcoming him to the grave, in twenty-four hrs.

    • Yes, it is true that the witch saw the spirit who probably looked exactly like Samuel, but her surprise was not that her satanic arts had worked, yet again. The Bible says "And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul." Her surprise was that the person who was in her home was actually Saul. (Apparently her familiar spirit told her)

      The Bible says Saul was inquiring of a familiar spirit, not God: "Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; And enquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse." 1 Chron 10:13-14.

      God was not answering Saul by His appointed means of communication -(1 Sam 28:6) -like dreams and prophets. Why would He bypass His chosen methods of communication to use a method he had specifically forbidden? (Leviticus 19:31) Is light to be found in seeking a demon that is not to be found in seeking God?

      In fact, this seems to be the very impression that the spirit wanted to convey. The spirit who looked like Samuel says, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" - implying that Saul's witch actually had power that could have brought a servant of God down out of heaven.

      As for why the prediction came true: the message itself was designed to work despair and not repentance, and it did its work. Saul believed it and was filled with despair, he could not fill his troops with courage, he had cut himself off from the favor of God, and he actually ended up killing himself. Also, Satan has an accurate knowledge of the Bible, which says that God will set His face against those who consult familiar spirits. He knew God would abandon Saul, and this is why the Bible says he died. But the spirit of "Samuel" doesn't even mention that as a reason why Saul will be killed - implying again, that the séance's real purpose was to get Israel to mix the messages of God with paganism - thinking "they both have power, and can work together"

    • Kenny, according to Scripture Saul "perceived that it was Samuel" (1 Samuel 28:14) but his perception was wrong. You are right it aws not an illusion, Saul was indeed speaking with a spirit, but it obviously was not Samuel. Jesus makes it clear in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 that He will not send anyone from the dead to warn anyone. "‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead." Luke 16:30-31

      Also 1 Samuel 28 makes it clear God has stopped talking to Saul. Saul opened the door to familiar spirits by visiting the witch. Saul was speaking with demons. This is also evidenced by the words of doom instead of a call to repentance that God gives.

      • Well Satan never speaks doom to his people. God did speak doom to Saul before this. He confirmed it to him in the presence of Satan's medium. She was about to tell Saul wonderful lies, deceptions. She never expected "Samuel to arise".

        • Sorry Kenny, but Satan is our accuser. Satan speaks doom all the time. Even gets his people to feel doomed and hopeless and commit suicide today just like Saul did. Happens all too often. Samuel did not arise. Job 7:10 and Job 14:10-12 tell us the dead do not return. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 tells us the dead no longer know anything or have anything to do with human events until Jesus comes. By the way, the witch never said it was Samuel. She described what she saw and Saul presumed wrong that it was Samuel.

        • Very true Kenny. OF course Jesus warns us against false prophets and a demon posing as a dead prophet would definitely be a false prophet. This is an excellent example of demons posing as dead loved ones.

        • Deuteronomy 13:1-5 ESV: “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst."

          Acts 16:16-18 ESV "As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour."

      • Hello William,

        "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31. I can see how your interpretation would work, but have always interpreted the verse this way: If one believes God's word, then one would believe in the risen Christ; if not, then one would not. The context for my interpretation is John 16:14-17.

        When I read "The Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin, his account in the section on spiritism of how a man became entrapped by Satan believing he was speaking to "good" spirits sent shivers down my spine. The extreme danger of believing that the soul is immortal (going to heaven or hell at death) is that it provides an open channel for the deception of the Serpent.

  10. How I wish Satan could have died too the way Adam and Eve died, however the beauty thing pleasant to my ears is the ‘injury’ he received at Calvary when Jesus defeated death after arising. Our close relationship with Jesus should be well cultivated daily for him (Satan) to keep distance from us as he awaits the final destruction.

  11. While there are some who are deceived by the notion that dead are alive and want to talk to us, the greater and more prevalent deception is that there is nothing beyond the grave at all; that when you die you finish forever, period. Consequently, it does not matter how you live your life now. This belief lies at the very core of much of what we see in people's behavior; "Eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow we die!"

    It is very difficult to preach a Gospel of salvation to people who have that view of life. It is no use quoting Bible texts because they do not believe the Bible. Can I suggest that if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we may be led to live our lives in such a meaningful way that others may see the importance of purpose. By living our lines meaningfully we may get the message though to others. Perhaps we should exlpore how we can do this.

    • Maurice, are you perhaps proposing that some people won't care what we believe until they believe that we actually and authentically care about them?

      What you've said in your second paragraph is what I would have answered to your question the other day about how we deal with the deception you are referring to. I would have said - like Jesus did and like I know you are passionate about doing.

      I wonder why Jesus said in Jn 13:35 that people will come to know that we are followers of the Beneficent One when we treat others with beneficence (ie love that leads me to relate to others in a way that is in their best interests)?

  12. People get very passionate with this topic. I was brought up in a family atmosphere that thought - perhaps folk could be guided by the 'afterlife'. I too have been fooled by the story of Saul seeking Samuel. But my Adventist pastor set me right in saying that 'the dead know nothing'. He said this as absolutely final, and biblical. And I could not argue against it because I do believe in the power of evil spirits and had to reason how Satan deceives. I have thus been deceived and that is not a nice feeling. I give thanks to God and to the words of Jesus our Christ for the assurance he gives in the entire Bible in Him and has brought me out of the error of the ‘afterlife’. My pastor did not shirk his duty in telling me I have been fooled by demonic spirits. And I am glad about the fact he has accepted the reality of Satan and his demons. A lot of other of other Christians, as has been said, think demons are not real. This quarter's lessons have been on the deception of Satan. He is real and is the father of lies. That is why this subject has been confusing to people like me in the past.

    The second part of my comment is that I am really thankful that you William have indicated two articles who speak on the brain's electrical surge in Near Death Experiences (NDE'S). I am a nurse and have pondered for many years as to why so many all over the world in different locations and languages, report much the same thing. Including a similar experience myself when I haemorrhaged after the birth of one of my babies. I saw the tunnel and the light. I have also watched patients in the throes of an epileptic fit. They later describe lots of flashes of bright light. So I quietly wondered about these stories over the years and concluded that it must be due to dying or anoxic brain cells, resulting in a surge of electricity causing the lights and perhaps a type of peace -. And your two articles have confirmed my private ponderings. We still do not know all how our human bodies function. We can't dismiss NDE as 'supposed' deaths. After all Jesus brought 3 people back to life. Could it be said that those 3 'supposedly' died before He revived them back to life because we think we know what the dying process is? Is this another deceit of Satan? When someone is buried, what is clear because the bible says so is that the DEAD who have gone beyond the dying process, know nothing; and I believe it. Godbless today Mrs A Stolz.

  13. Thanx again for bringing a Word of Truth in these times that are saturated and powered with untruths from the enemy in his mode of deception. These are indeed scriptural building blocks that will help against the powerful waves of deception that are to come.


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