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by Bryan Matthew Dockens

Necromancy is the practice of communicating with the dead. Psychics, mediums, and fortune-tellers claim the ability to summon departed spirits. John Edward, star of the supposedly nonfiction television series "Crossing Over with John Edward" deceived his audience by claiming to conjure the dead. Scripture tells the truth.

God Most High told His people Israel, "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to Jehovah, and because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before Jehovah your God" (Deuteronomy 18:10-13). Necromancy is here described by God as an abomination, no different than human sacrifice. No one is blameless who so practices.

The singular instance of successful necromancy recorded in scripture reveals the fallacy of such a dark art. King Saul played the hypocrite when, having lost favor with God, he sought the services of the very mediums he once outlawed (1st Samuel 28:3-8). The witch at En Dor conducted a seance as requested by the incognito monarch, but was terrified that it worked! "The woman said, 'Whom shall I bring up for you?' And he said, 'Bring up Samuel for me.' When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, 'Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!" (1st Samuel 28:11-12). Were she not a fraud, successfully conjuring the spirit of the dead prophet would have brought her no surprise, but she was a deceiver, and no one knew it better than herself. It took the direct action of God to make it happen on this one occasion in order to teach Saul a lesson.

The notion that the dead communicate with the living is refuted in Jesus' account of the rich man and Lazarus when Abraham rejected the rich man's plea to send dead Lazarus to his five surviving brothers (Luke 16:19-31). The only real way to speak from beyond the grave is to leave a worthy legacy, as did Abel (Hebrews 11:4).

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