Question:

I read your post in response to a question posted by someone on why Protestants don't say the rosary. But one thing I need more clarification on is this statement you made: "Besides, the Bible is very clear that those who have died are no longer aware of events on this earth." My question is what do you make of the transfiguration event when Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus if the death really have no knowledge concerning the earth? Pardon my ignorance. I need clarification.


Answer:

The Bible records two occasions when God sent those who passed on back to the world. One was when Samuel was sent to Saul to deliver a message from God (I Samuel 28:12-14) and the other is was when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mountain (Matthew 17:3). These were special, miraculous events when God temporarily altered the way the world works to make a point. They were miraculous because they were exceptions to the rule.

Samuel was aware of what happened because of the message he was given by God to deliver. We aren't told what Moses and Elijah discussed with Jesus. Neither event indicates the dead are generally aware of what is going on in the world.

Job asked the rhetorical question, "If a man dies, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14). The answer to Job's question is found in Job 14:12, "So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep." God can make an exception to this rule, but exceptions are not the rule.

"For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).