What is Grave Sucking?

Jim Allen

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The author of Hebrew writes, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried (led) about with various and strange doctrines… (Hebrews 13:8-9)." The ongoing capers by hyper-charismatic leaders are many and strange to be sure. To teach and then encourage believers to chase after strange practices is to ignore Ephesians 4:14 that also warns against chasing every wind of doctrine. In other words, a believer who knows the true Gospel will not be led into a false practice that denigrates, shames, and dishonors the Lord of Glory.

To visit, lie down, or sit on a grave in expectation of receiving the anointing is unbiblical for the following reasons:

• First, the Holy Spirit does not abide in dead people nor in those who are dead and buried. Wherever the Holy Spirit abides there is life and resurrection. "The idea that dead people's spirits can be contacted for information (or to receive the anointing of his or her mantle) is false. Those who attempt such contact inevitably contact demonic spirits, not the spirits of dead loved ones. Those who die go immediately to heaven or hell…There is no contact between the dead and the living. Therefore, seeking the dead is unnecessary and very dangerous." [5]

• Second, the Bible is the inspired word of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and living holy before the Lord (2 Timothy 3:16). "God has no tolerance for sorcery (Galatians 5:19-20). In Deuteronomy 18:10-12, sorcery is listed among the sinful practices of the nations surrounding Israel. God calls it an abomination: 'There shall not be found among you . . . anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for 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.'" [6]

• Third, no believer is above another believer. A growing number of evangelicals believe some believers are given special anointings (or mantles) to carry on the work of famous, departed believers. This is error. We are to carry on the work of Christ. At the foot of the cross everyone stands on level ground, not one more esteemed than the other (Galatians 3:28). Of course, we recognize some believer's will have greater reward for faithfulness than others (1 Corinthians 3:12-14) but, if anyone is due honor and glory for exceptional faithfulness it is because the Savior made it possible. The apostle Paul says if we are to glory it must be in the work of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3).

The problem in the church today is the unwanted consequences of following after an unknown spirit that places experiential sensation over truth. Would the Holy Spirit promote false and embarrassing doctrines and practices not found in the Bible (Hebrews 10:29)? Did Jesus ever act out His anointing in such unorthodox ways?

There is absolutely no need to seek after the anointing when the Bible says, "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him (1 John 2:27)."

In closing, grave sucking is grave error. Those who practice it have been deceived by those who should know better. They wrongly believe this is how a believer receives the anointing to do a great work in the church. They have never discerned that a born-again believer already has the anointing (Galatians 5:16).

Seeking after a mantle from a living or deceased believer is without question unbiblical. A genuine believer walks in the same Spirit Jesus walked in during His ministry on earth (1 Corinthians 6:17). The only mantle we need abides in us who is the power of God at work in us for all ministry (John 14:12; 2 Corinthians 4:7).

5. Read more:; "What does the Bible Say about Necromancy?" Italics added.
6. Read more:; "What does the Bible Say about Sorcery?"

Image: Students from the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry "sucking" at the grave of Maria B. Woodworth-Etter's (a "healing evangelist" from the early 1900s) grave.

TagsBiblical-Truth  |  Controversial-Issues  |  False-Teaching  |  Ministry-Church

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Published 2-25-14