Talking to familiar spirits is a form of witchcraft or divination where one speaks to the spirit of a dead person. This spirit or medium acts as a guide to the individual involved. It will tell or show the person things that has happened or will happen.
The spirit that speaks to the individual is a demonic spirit. It is done to encourage or establish a constant communication with this spirit. Practitioners or participants often report getting messages from the dead telling them about the afterlife, words from dead relatives to encourage a loved one, receiving protection, warnings, etc.
An examination of the Word of God tells us whether the Lord allowed this practise. And whether He uses the spirit of the dead to speak to His believers or the unchurched.
Are the dead aware of what is happening on earth?
Humans are composed of body, soul and spirit. The body is the flesh, the outward part (Gen 2:7; Job 4:19). The soul is the mind, his will and emotions; our consciousness that connects us to the physical world. It gives us a personality. Making each of us unique. The spirit of man is the innermost part. It knows everything about the man (1 Cor 2:11; Prov 20:27). The spirit of man connects him to the spirit realm.
When we die our spirit is freed from its shell (the body) and starts interacting with the spirit world. The soul allows the spirit to remain unique. However, the body goes back to the ground. (Ecc. 12:7; Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59; Psalms 146:4; Ecc 3:20-21). Where it rests until the resurrection of the dead on the day of Judgement (Matt 25:31-46; 2 Cor 5:1-2; 1 Thess 4:13-16; Daniel 12:2).
But what happens to our spirit? The righteous will ascend to heaven. While the unrighteous will go down into hell (2 Cor 5:6-8,10-11; Rom 10:6-7; Luke 16:19-27; Luke 23:43). There is no longer a connection with the physical world. Those that have ascended to heaven are unaware of what is happening on earth, as it pertains to our physical lives. However, they are aware of our christian walk. Hebrews 12:1 tells us that they are cheering us on in our race. Note that there is no indication that they are communicating with us. It only makes it clear that they are rejoicing at our progress.
Has God ever used the dead to speak to the living?
- Nope. God uses the Holy Spirit, angels, church leaders and members, dreams, visions, etc to speak to the living. (Eph 5:10-13; Luke 16:27-31; 1 Cor 14:3-4).
- Only Samuel rose from the dead to speak to Saul.
God had stopped speaking to Saul. His enemies came to war against him and he wanted to know his fate. He went to a witch and had her call the spirit of Samuel from hell. God allowed the spirit of the real Samuel to rise from the dead and speak to Saul. The witch was shocked and terrified that it was the real person. She identified Samuel by the mantle that he wore as he rose up. He spoke with Saul and told him that for what he’s done he will die. (1 Samuel 28:3-25)
Is it scriptural to seek to hear from familiar spirits?
- God warns us to have no dealings with such things or people engaged in the practise (Lev 19:31; Isaiah 8:19; Deu. 18:9-14)
What is the penalty for engaging in the practise?
- Adversities and bondage to sin. (Isaiah 19:3; 2 Kings 17:17)
- It defiles your spirit. (Lev 19:31)
- It is an abomination to God and can cause Him to reject you. (Lev 20:6; Rev 18:23; Micah 5:2)
- On the day of Judgement, God will cast you into the lake of fire, with Satan and his angels. (Rev 21:8; Rev 22:15)
- We are now under grace and not the law, so the punishment is no longer death. However, if we fail to repent we undergo spiritual death (separation from God). (Lev 20:27; 1 Chr 10:13-14; Ex 22:18)
- It angers the Lord. (2 Chr 33:6; 2 Kings 21:6)
If we are involved in the practise, what does God say we must do?
- The believer must open the eyes of the individual to Satan’s tactics. (Hosea 4:6; Prov 10:21; Isaiah 5:13; Jer 5:4; Ezekiel 44:23)
- We must repent, renounce and disengage from the practise. (2 Kings 23:24)
- Destroy everything used to make contact with the dead. (Acts 19:19)
- If the person is possessed by the familiar spirit, cast out the spirit. (Acts 16:16-18)
Is it biblical to seek to hear from God through dreams and visions?
God chooses how he will communicate with us. We ought not to beg Him for dreams or visions. Ask Him to speak to us and allow Him to chose the method and medium to communicate with us. Whatever means He chooses can always be validated with the written Word of God. (Psalm 119:105; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21; Joel 2:28)
Job tells us that He uses dreams when He has spoken numerous times and we do not hear (Job 33:15-18).
It is biblical to seek the interpretation of dreams, visions and prophecies from God. How He answers is entirely dependent on Him. (Daniel 2:16-19; Gen 40:5-8; Gen 41:1, 16)