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Necromancy: What It Is and Why You Shouldn't Practice It

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Necromancy is a practice of communicating with the dead. Some people try to summon the spirit of their dead loved ones for advice and help in times of trouble. Necromancy is an abomination to God, according to many scriptures in the Bible. Several scriptures are listed at the end of this article. Read and keep them in mind.

What the Bible Says about Necromancy

In Deuteronomy 18:9-12, God warns the Israelites, His own people against participating in the Canaanites' practice of talking to the dead to help them in their situations. God wants us to rely on Him and not on our dead friends and relatives.

God did not beat around the bush. He came right out and told the Israelites that they should not follow the sins of their surrounding neighbors. God said His people should not consult with familiar spirits. He called necromancy an abomination.

Because the Israelites continued to follow the practices of other nations, God used those same nations to punish His own people. According to Leviticus 20:27, the practice was punishable by death. Even so, the warning was not heeded.

Bible Example of Necromancy

A very good example of calling up the dead is found in 1 Samuel 28:3–25 when King Saul had the Witch of Endor call up the spirit of Samuel. When Saul needed help to govern the people, he called on Samuel for his help even though Samuel was dead. Instead of King Saul calling on God for help, He wanted the advice from Samuel who was a judge and prophet while he was alive.

Speaking from the dead, Samuel asked, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” (1 Samuel 28:15). In other words, Samuel wanted to know why he had been interrupted from his rest.

King Saul did not receive a death penalty from the people he was serving because he was the highest official in the land at the time. However, he did receive a punishment from God. Within one day after Saul spoke to dead Samuel, he died in battle along with his son Jonathan. God promised that no one from Saul's lineage would ever be on the throne again.

Even though necromancy is prohibited in the Bible, many disciples of Christ claim they can talk to their dead ancestors and get answers from them.

Apps to Contact the Dead

In modern times, some people still want to go against God's will and contact the dead. As with most things, there are apps for that. Instead of getting in touch with God through prayers and other spiritual disciplines, some people call on the spirits of the dead for advice and what to expect in the future.

Facebook Tributes

Some Facebook account holders post photos of their dead loved one either on the anniversary of their death or on what would have been their birthday. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. What is disturbing is when they say they pray to the dead and ask for advice. Talking about the dead is allowed by God, but talking to the dead is a different story.

No one should pray to their dead loved ones. According to Exodus 20:5, God is a jealous God, and all prayers should be addressed to Him; not even to Jesus and surely not to a dead relative.

Disturbing the Dead

When a person calls up a dead person, he is actually disturbing the spirit of the deceased. Remember, Samuel asked Saul, "Why are you disturbing me?" We see that RIP is written on some tombstones. That means we should let the dead "rest in peace."

Calling dead people back to this sin-sick world is not letting them rest in peace. Neither do we let them rest in peace when we make a habit of telling them our problems instead of taking them to the living God.

True Accounts

As an ordained minister, several people have come to me with questions about ghosts, familiar spirits and talking to the dead. They claim televisions, radios, and lights are turned on by deceased people. I do not practice necromancy. Therefore, I give scriptures from the Bible so no one will say I am judging them.

Scriptures Against Necromancy

Leviticus 19:31 - “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God."

Leviticus 20:6 - “If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people."

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 - "There shall not be found among you anyone a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord."

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 - Whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you upon you for this thing.”

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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