Can people like "John Edward" who claim they can talk to the dead and are very convincing, be believed? Does the Bible address this issue? Would it be a sin even to consider something like this?


The Bible strictly forbids consulting mediums, spiritists, and others who attempt to chanel or communicate with the dead or with spirits (Lev. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18:10-12; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; 1 Chr. 10:13; 2 Chr. 33:6). It does not say that these things are not real (e.g. Saul consulted a medium who appears to have successfully conjured Samuel's spirit [1 Sam. 28:7-20]), but rather that they are evil (e.g. Saul was condemned for consulting the medium [1 Chr. 10:13]).

Many, perhaps most, mediums and spiritists are charlatans. Others may actually contact spirits, but these spirits may well be deceiving evil spirits. Others may actually contact the dead, as they claim. However, in no event is there any such thing as a good medium or spiritist, and never does God permit consulting them -- even if they actually contact the dead. God does not oppose mediums and spiritists on the grounds that they may be wrong, but on the grounds that their practice itself is evil, whether or not it is successful.

Moreover, it is never safe to trust the information gained by these evil means because one never knows if the medium was telling the truth, or if the medium really contacted the dead or a spirit, or if the dead person or spirit was telling the truth. In any case, even if the dead attempt to tell us the truth, they may not really know the truth. The dead are neither omniscient nor infallible, nor are the spirits. As God says in Isaiah 8:19, why should we contact the dead on behalf of the living? And why should we ask the mediums and spiritists instead of inquiring of God?

Good intentions do not justify evil means.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.