God’s Word Is Alive
Can You Talk with the Dead?
Since so many persons say they have talked with the dead, it is evident that at least some of them have spoken with someone from the spirit world. Over 3,000 years ago Saul, the king of Israel, had such an experience. Let us see what we can learn from it.
A mighty force of Philistines had come up against Saul’s Israelite army, and he was very much afraid. Saul knew God’s law: “Do not turn yourselves to the spirit mediums, and do not consult professional foretellers of events.” (Lev. 19:31) But Saul had turned away from Jehovah God. And now, in this time of trouble, he was so desperate for information that he went to a spirit medium in En-dor.
The spirit medium was able to bring forth the form of a person that she could see. According to her description of the form, Saul identified him as “Samuel.” Samuel was God’s prophet who had died.
“Why have you disturbed me by having me brought up?” asked the spirit person that had been contacted.
“I am in very sore straits, as the Philistines are fighting against me,” replied Saul.
“Why, then, do you inquire of me, when Jehovah himself has departed from you?” the spirit asked.
After this bad experience, Saul became very much afraid and fell dejected to the ground.—1 Sam. 28:3-20.
This person from the spirit world could not really have been Samuel. Samuel was dead, and the Bible says “as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Eccl. 9:5) Furthermore, while he was alive Samuel had refused to see unfaithful Saul. (1 Sam. 15:35) Surely now, even if he were alive after death, Samuel would not allow a spirit medium to arrange for him to meet Saul. So we can be sure that a spirit medium could not force Jehovah to give Saul a message through dead Samuel.
But suppose the living could actually talk with dead loved ones, as the people at this séance are trying to do. If they could, surely a God of love would not say in the Bible: “There should not be found in you . . . anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing [so] is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deut. 18:10-12.
Who, then, was pretending to be Samuel? A wicked spirit person was. Wicked spirits, or demons, are the angels who joined Satan in rebellion against God. To promote the lie that death is only a change to another life, they pretend to be persons who have died. But the truth is, the dead are completely unconscious, awaiting the time when God may remember them in the resurrection. (Acts 24:15) So neither you, nor anybody else, can talk with the dead.