Special Article taken from the Book
Spiritual Teachings and Universal Truths
Copyright © 1998 by Raphael. All rights reserved.
The True Meaning of"Inquiring of the Dead"
proclaimed, "Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Consult the message and the counsel of God."
When you speak or write of the "dead" you are usually referring
to those who have departed from the Earth and whose bodies are at
"rest" in the churchyard. You
put no other meaning upon the word dead. Death
signifies to you the severance of the spirit from its Earthly body, or to the
most ignorant it refers to the end of all existence.
The original Holy Scriptures constantly refer to "death" and to
the "dead", but rarely to designate corporeal death.
The dead of whom the Bible speaks are not those whose days on Earth are
over. When the Bible mentions death
it does not mean the separation of the spirit from the body, but the separation of the spirit from God.
To be united with God and to belong to Him is life.
To be severed from God is death.
This teaching recurs throughout the Old
and the New Testament.
The dead are those who are severed from God, the spiritually dead,
whether they are spirits in the Beyond or passing through life on Earth as men
and women who have forsaken God.
The very first reference to death in the Bible signifies separation from
God, because when God forbade the first people, dwelling in
When Moses, as his life on Earth drew to an end, said farewell to the
people, he gave them this powerful advice, " . . . I have put life and
death before you, the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, that you and your children may live, by loving the Eternal,
your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to Him."
It was not terrestrial life, nor bodily death that he had set before the
people, but spiritual life, which should endure while they held fast to God, and
spiritual death, which would ensue at the instant of their forsaking God and
severing themselves from Him.
He that keeps the commandments keeps
his soul, but he that is disobedient and careless of his ways will die.
The sin of apostasy from God carries with it spiritual death.
The Apostle Paul said, "Do you not know that you are the servants of
him whom you obey, either the servants of the sin which brings to you the
spiritual death, or servants who obey the call of righteousness?
What fruit had you to show in those days?
Was it not of which you are now ashamed?
Is not the end of it all spiritual death?
But now, being rid of sin and having become God's children, you have
fruit which makes for your sanctity, and which in the end leads to the life
hereafter. For the wages of sin is
the spiritual death but God's gift of grace is a life to come."
Not all sin leads to separation from God, but as James said, " . . .
only the sin when it is full grown brings forth death."
(James 1:15) It is not
the stumbling and falling of those who believe in God and seek Him that bring
forth spiritual death, because the stumbling is through human weakness and the
falls are suffered on the road Godward. But
to abandon God, to turn your back upon Him, and to act as though there were no
God, that is the sin which brings forth spiritual death.
The spiritually dead are Gods enemies!
They have placed themselves under the rule of the spirits of Evil. They
have deserted their colors and serve the Prince of Darkness.
They have chosen him as their god. That
is the meaning of the word "whoredom" which occurs so often in the
Holy Writ. Hosea proclaimed,
"Their doings will not suffer them to turn unto their God, for the spirit
of whoredom is within them and they know not the Lord!
And because of this spirit they are not ripe for a return to their God.
Will I ransom them from the power of Sheol (Hell); will l redeem them
from death? 0 death, where are thy
plagues? O Sheol, where is thy
Plagues and destruction are the punishments that God visits upon
apostates through the spirit powers of evil.
It is natural that God, Who wants only what is good in spiritual life,
should have strictly forbidden all intercourse with the "dead" who are
His enemies. There is nothing good,
there is no truth and no virtue, that can be learned from them.
Appalling were the consequences of the dealings held by the nations of
old with the evil apostate spirits through the agency of low spiritualism, to
which the Bible refers to as harlotry or idolatry.
There were no abominations in which the "dead" did not lead the
misguided people through their human mediums.
Not only did the people eat the raw flesh of the animal offerings that
had been dedicated to the demons, in token of fellowship with the latter; but
they sacrificed their infant sons and daughters to the evil spirits and
committed the most shameful sexual perversions as well as excruciating torture
and murder of "chosen" adults at their sacrificial rites.
All of these practices were instigated by the Powers of Evil, once the
people had entered into communion with them.
David in the Psalms said, "They joined themselves also unto Baal-Peor
and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Yea,
they sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons."
The consequences of idolatry are pictured in the Wisdom of Solomon with
these words, "For while they slew their children in sacrifice, or used
secret ceremonies, or made reveling of strange rites; they kept neither lives
nor marriage any longer undefiled; but either one slew another traitorously, or
grieved him by adultery. So that
there reigned in all men without exception blood, manslaughter, theft, and
dissimulation, corruption, unfaithfulness, tumults, perjury, disquieting of good
men, forgetfulness of good turns, defiling of souls, changing of kind, disorder
in marriages, and shameless uncleanness. For
the worshipping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the
end of all evil. For either they are
mad when they are merry, or prophecy lies, or live unjustly, or else lightly
When you read of these things you may be led to conclude that those
people acted in that manner because they were no longer in their right minds.
They were, nevertheless, as normal as you are today.
But such is the power of evil, and so subtle are its ways of misleading
people, that those who have once fallen into its snares find it almost
impossible to extricate themselves from them. Of
all the weapons of the Powers of Darkness, the mightiest is a mixture of truth
The evil spirits convinced those who communicated with them by
"inquiring of the dead" that animals, the sun, the moon and the stars
were the embodiment of mighty spirits which had great power over men, and could
shape their fortunes for good or ill, and that, in consequence, these beasts and
heavenly bodies must be worshipped in order to ensure worldly well-being and to
avert calamity. They taught,
furthermore, that communication with them could be had by means of sacrifices,
particularly by the sacrifice of children.
This doctrine was true to the extent that it taught that spirits are
incorporated in all material things, and also, that communication can be had
with these spirits through sacrificial offerings.
The fatal underlying falsehood was that the spirits of the Lower World
were powerful benevolent spirits, having the good of their worshippers at heart.
Once the evil spirits had impressed their followers with this belief, the
step to human sacrifice was a short one. The
parents of a child marked for sacrifice were told that after its death, its
spirit would constantly hover about them and bring them good fortune, but that
both they and their child were doomed to the direst misfortune should they
refuse to allow it to be offered to the idols.
Obsessed, as they were, they always gave way in the end.
You need not wonder at this, because during the rites performed before
the idols and at idolatrous gatherings generally, the evil spirits announced
these doctrines through their trance-mediums and supported them by the
exhibition of miracles that accompanied their discourse.
Frequently, the idols themselves spoke.
Such speech was a "direct voice" produced by the low spirit
world with the aid of the spiritual energy of the offerings and that of the
mediums in attendance.
The cause of apostasy from God was
then, as it is now, the craving for worldly success and prosperity, but in
those days all of the prerequisites for communicating with the spirit world were
well known, while today they have fallen into oblivion.
Consequently, apostasy manifested itself in those times not only in
inward defection from God, but in deliberately fostered obvious communication
with the evil spirit world, held through spiritistic idol-worship.
Seeking unto the "dead" was as much a part of the daily lives
of the worldly minded, as was seeking unto God an integral part of the worship
of the faithful. The messages sent
by the "dead" through their mediums were meant to encourage the human
vices of the recipients, who heard nothing but what was agreeable to them and
who had no desire to listen to God's instruments, the good mediums.
It was only what would please them that they wanted to hear, especially
such things as would further their worldly interests, as King Saul wanted when
consulting the witch of Endor who summoned the spirit of the prophet Samuel.
Good spirits will not allow themselves to be summoned at the whim and
pleasure of men. They come of their
own accord with God's sanction, or in certain cases, at His express command.
But they come only to those who seek unto God, in order that they may
point out the way to Him. Which
particular one of the good spirits is to manifest itself is not for man to
determine, but rests with the good spirit world.
It is also true that of the evil spirits, not always those whose visit
people desire are allowed to appear, because they too may communicate only by
permission. They will, however,
invariably claim to be the ones that were summoned, whether or not this is true,
because they are spirits of falsehood whose only concern is to tell their
listeners what these would like to hear.
It is therefore an act of great folly for people to agree among
themselves that whoever dies first will let the survivors know whether or not
there is a future life.
Whoever enters into such an agreement and makes his or her belief in a
future existence contingent upon the fulfillment thereof, will invariably fail
to receive the evidence they desire, for agreements of that kind are proof in
themselves of an absence of belief in God, and the fate in store in the Beyond
for those who die unbelieving is such that they are in no position to
communicate with the living. The
spirits of the lowest spheres remember nothing of life on Earth nor of any
agreements which they may have made there; even if they did remember, they could
not leave the place to which they are confined because of their transgressions.
But whosoever believes in God will be able, without any such agreement
and without any conscious effort on their part, to communicate during life with
the spirits of their dear departed, if these too have been believers.
In this case also the words of Immanuel hold true, "Yet seek you His
kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you."
But there was no seeking of the
The words of God they regarded as an oppressive burden, even going so far
as to describe the reprimands, warnings and threats pronounced by the prophets
at God's command by the blasphemous phrase of "the burden of the
Lord." "What is the burden
of the Lord?" was the usual question, whenever people desired to know what
the Lord had caused to be proclaimed. It
was for this that God sent them this message through the prophet Jeremiah,
"When a layman or a prophet or a priest asks you, "What is the burden
of the Eternal's oracle?" "Tell
them this from the Eternal, "Burden", you are the burden, and I mean
to throw you off! Any prophet or
priest or layman who talks of the "Eternal oracle" or of "what
the Eternal says", I will punish that man and his household.
No, this is what every man of you must say to his fellow, to his brother,
"What is the Eternal's answer?" "What
is the Eternal's message?" You
must never again mention the Eternal's "burden".
Whoever aspired to belong to God's people could not have relations with
that spirit world which had forsaken Him. Nor
might they "inquire of the dead", because to do so was to commit high
treason to God and to desert the truth. Truth
was not to be found among the "dead".
"The dead know nothing." What
they speak is falsehood and imposture, calculated only to lead the faithful
For that reason, God rebuked His people through the prophet Isaiah,
"Ask me of the things that are to come; concerning my sons, and concerning
the work of my hands, command me you. I
am the Eternal, your God, training you for your good, leading you by the right
way. When they tell you to consult
mediums and ghosts that cheep and gibber in low murmurs, ask them, if people
should not rather consult their God. Say,
"Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Consult the message and the counsel of God!"
And through the prophet Ezekiel God said, "You befoul yourselves
like your fathers, you break your troth with me for the detestable impieties,
and you befoul yourselves with all your sacrifices to idols, burning your sons
alive, down to this very day! And I
am to be consulted by you, O Israel? By
my life! Says the Lord, the Eternal.
No, I will not be consulted by you."
The Israelites had acquired the practice of seeking unto the spiritually
dead while dwelling in
These passages show that the men
and women who had familiar spirits or who were wizards, were mediums through
whom the evil spirits spoke. These
mediums were themselves responsible for their evil associations from which they
could have kept aloof had they turned confidingly to God and sought communion
with the good spirit world. Their
punishment was amply deserved. Besides
the mediums, there were persons engaged in communicating with the evil spirit
world through clairvoyance.
References to the "blood-guilt" of the wizards do not mean that
these had committed actual bloodshed or physical murder, but relate to the
slaying of souls, or the estrangement of spirits from God.
They had indeed incurred blood-guilt in the sense that they had brought
those who went to them into communication with the spirits of evil, in that way
leading them away from God and becoming the cause of their spiritual death.
The contamination to which those who associate with wizards expose
themselves is not of a physical nature, but proceeds from the vicious spiritual
energy which they absorb from the contact and which defiles their own spiritual
energy, making it a hotbed for the activities of evil spirit beings.
There occurs in the Bible at least one detailed account of a case of
necromancy, namely that of King Saul's visit to the witch of Endor.
When the prophet Samuel had died, all
There is much in this account which you will find hard to understand and
which should be explained to you.
Does it not strike you that Saul should have trembled at the sight of the
Philistine army? That was not at all
like Saul, who was a brave man and had been in countless battles, always facing
death fearlessly. Why then this
sudden attack of faintheartedness? Here
you find one of those strange occurrences with which you so often meet in life.
It is what you call a "premonition of death".
The expression is not well chosen; it would be more correct to speak of
an "assurance of death". At
the very first sight of the army of the Philistines, something within him told
Saul that the hour of his death was at hand.
That hour is indeed appointed for all, by fate.
But what was the nature of the inner voice that caused Saul to feel sure
that he would meet death in the coming battle?
It was the same kind of a voice as that which called to so many of the
soldiers in the Great Wars, "You will not live through the next
attack", or "You will not live through the day", or "This is
your last leave of absence; you will never again see your family and
friends." Why did so many
soldiers who had often been home on leave before, find it so hard to return to
the front on the occasion which proved to be their last?
In the case of Saul as in that of all others who know to a certainty that
their death is at hand, it was the guardian spirits that announced this hour,
the most momentous one in a man's life.
During your lifetime their voice has often warned you of impending
danger. Again and again they have
intervened to save you from peril, but when the inevitable moment approaches,
these friendly spirits shake your inmost being so violently that the striking of
the hour of your death sounds in your ears too loudly to pass unheard.
Then you know that your time has come.
Not in every case are the spirits allowed to sound this warning.
When they are, it is a special mark of divine favor, granted to give the
person to whom this warning is issued, time to make his peace with God and
implore His help at the moment when the fateful step must be taken.
With Saul also it was the last appeal by the Lord's spirit messengers
urging him to return to God to Whom he had become faithless.
But Saul, although he knew he was about to die, was so far from turning
inwardly to God and renewing his oath of loyalty to Him, that he contented
himself with the outward formality of calling upon God through evil mediums and
of asking for help in his worldly troubles.
He sought no inner communion with the Lord in repentance of his past
behavior. Because of this, God did
not answer the questions inspired by worldly interest, and Saul, fearing for his
Earthly existence, sought out the necromancers.
When he used the words, "I am sore distressed" he was speaking
of the foreboding of death that weighed upon him.
At this point I wish to speak briefly of the many other ways in which the
approach of someone's death is foretold. As
you might know, it is a belief that the howling of dogs, the appearance of
certain birds, the turning white of plants, and other occurrences are signs of
an impending death. This is not
superstition, as the "scientifically" enlightened age pronounces it to
be. This is all true, and even if
such signs fail to point out the person for whom they are meant, everyone
familiar with them should take them to heart and pause to reflect upon his own
state. These signs are the calling
of your spirit friends, to remind you of the reckoning that you will have to
render after you leave this life upon Earth.
They are the manifestations of the spirit world given through those
animals, causing them to do things that you regard as omens.
As I have told you, animals
also may be used as mediums by either the good or the evil spirit world.
The same is true of plants and flowers, but the spirit world employs such
signs only for the benefit of persons able to read them, because it does nothing
without a purpose. That is all I
need tell you regarding this point.
Coming back to the necromancer of Endor, it may appear strange that
Samuel should have answered her summons at all.
He was not one of the "dead", not one of those who had departed
from God. He was not one of the
spirits of the Abyss with which that woman was in the habit of communicating.
He was one of God's good spirits. This
fact the woman herself recognized from the godlike appearance of Samuel's ghost.
It came as a judgment of God, to punish Saul for his offense of
consulting the Powers of Evil. If in
Samuel's place an evil spirit had come, it would not have predicted truthfully
the terrible fate awaiting Saul, but would have beguiled him with some
acceptable falsehood. Therefore, it
was God's will that the good spirit of Samuel should appear before the
clairvoyant, who was likewise clairaudient, and through her announce to Saul
what the coming day held in store for him. To
learn this so long in advance was the hardest part of what Saul had to bear.
"Tomorrow shall you and your sons be with me, the Lord will deliver
the host of
In Saul was fulfilled the prophecy pronounced by the Lord through
Ezekiel, "For every one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that
sojourn in Israel, that separate himself from me, and takes his idols into his
heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes
to a prophet to inquire for himself of me; I the Lord will answer him by myself,
and I will set my face against that man, and will make him an astonishment, for
a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people, and
you shall know that I am the Lord."
The necromancer's recognition of Saul when Samuel appeared was due to her
power of clairaudience, which enabled her to hear Saul's name when it was spoken
by the spirit of Samuel.
When Samuel further told Saul, "Tomorrow you and your sons shall be
with me", this is not to be construed as meaning that Saul and his sons
were to share Samuel's place in the Beyond.
All that Samuel intended to convey to Saul was, that he and his sons were
doomed to die on the following day, and that Samuel would be present to await
them as they passed over into the other life.
Because the spirits of the dying are received and greeted at the deathbed
by those of their beloved ones who have gone before, and are instructed and
advised by them until they reach the place to which their life has assigned
them. That, for the spirit world, is
an invariable a rule as it is for you to meet your friends on their arrival at
some foreign port to which you have preceded them, regardless of any difference,
however great, between their ultimate destination and yours.
The necromancer of Endor held communication with the "dead"
both by clairvoyance and by clairaudience. She
could tell those who consulted her only what she herself saw and heard.
Other necromancers were true mediums who passed into a trance while the
strange spirit was speaking through them.
Finally, when you read that the spirit of Samuel "came up out of the
Earth", you must make allowances for an optical delusion.
To render itself visible, a spirit requires a cloud of spiritual energy,
and it procures this energy from the energy radiation of the persons in its
immediate proximity. The cloud of
spiritual energy does not evolve suddenly, but develops little by little,
generally increasing in size from below upward and giving the impression of a
body that is rising. Samuel's
appearance in the form of an old man, wrapped in the robe that he used to wear
while on Earth, was so designed for the purpose of making him recognizable.
Spirits habitually show themselves in a form bearing all of those
distinguishing marks by which they were known during their terrestrial
Precisely as you are able to choose your material manner of dressing at
will, so spirits can give to their garments of spiritual energy the character
that they consider the best adapted to their purposes.
Inasmuch as the laws governing communication with the evil spirit world
are the same as those which apply to communication with good spirits, you find,
according to the Scriptures, that the same means were employed in consulting the
dead that were used when inquiring of God. In
both cases you read of mediums acting as holders of the spiritual energy force,
whether they were prophets of Baal or prophets of God.
In both cases beasts are sacrificed and incense is burned to increase the
spiritual energy power. In both
cases spots are selected, immune from any disturbing element, at which the
unfavorable influences of light and heat upon the condensation of the spiritual
energy have been eliminated as far as possible.
Because of this the Bible pronounces an intense dislike upon idolatry and
upon the places at which communication with evil spirits was held.
The prophet Hosea wrote, "My people ask a piece of wood to guide
them, a pole gives them their oracles.
For a harlot spirit has led them astray, they have left their God for a
faithless way; they sacrifice on mountain heights and offer incense on the
hills, below the oak, the terebinth, the poplar so pleasant is their
Everything that you learn of the "dead" from the Bible points
to the fact that the "dead" are the Powers of Evil.
Whoever joins these powers, departs from God and suffers spiritual death.
It must not be supposed, however, that the worship of Baal consists only
of the making of tangible idols by man and deliberately sought association with
the evil spirit world, as was the general custom in ancient times and as occurs
today among pagan peoples. Rather,
idolatry is any state of mind that excludes God from your daily lives, that
turns wholly to temporal affairs, and that, under the influence of Evil, ignores
God for worldly considerations.
Mankind of today is not less idolatrous than were the people of whom the
Bible speaks, even though in what you call enlightened communities, idols of
wood or of stone are no longer erected.
But there are other idols, set up within the hearts of people: money,
fame and "success". And
to these idols as many victims are sacrificed today as were offered to the
tangible idols of millenniums ago. It
is to these modern idols that billions of adults, billions of children, are
sacrificed each year.
The evil spirit forces of the "kingdom of the dead" hold sway
even today over by far the greater part of mankind, and what the prophet Micah
said of the generation of his time is equally true at present, "The devout
have vanished from the land, not an honest soul remains, everyone lurks for
bloodshed, each man preys upon his fellow. They
have quick fingers for foul play, the judge must handle a bribe, the high
official acts as he pleases, and between them they baffle justice.
The best of them are no better than briars, the straightest are like
thorns twisted in a hedge. Their
hour of punishment is coming; it will be wrack and ruin.
Never trust your fellow, never confide in a friend, and keep your secret
close from the wife of your own bosom. For
sons insult their fathers, girls defy their mothers, daughters-in-law defy their
mothers-in-law, and a man's household are his enemies.
As for me, I will look out for the Eternal.
I will await my savior God, my God will aid me."
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