Someone phoned me and was quite irate because I defended Marian appearances. He didn't believe people could legitimately appear from the other side. I listened to him for about an hour, and I only asked him one question during this time; "Where in the Bible does it say that people are prohibited from appearing from the other side?" He quoted many verses, but could come up with none that was an actual prohibition.
One of the verses he quoted that looked as if it might have some merit is in Luke (The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus), because it says, "Between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours" (Lk 16:26). He was suggesting that this great chasm is what prevented people from appearing from the other side to this side. I maintained that this chasm was not between this world and the next, so I suggested that we check it out in the Bible. He declined, saying that this one Scripture wouldn't convince me anyway. He finally hung up, but not before accusing me of being a heretic.
Later, when I checked it out further, I understood why he didn't want to look at Luke 16. If you look at this chapter in context, you will discover that the chasm "between us and you" is not between this world and the next, but between the bosom of Abraham, and the netherworld. The poor man was carried "to the bosom of Abraham" (Lk 16:22), and the rich man was experiencing torment in "the netherworld" (Lk 16:24). The chasm was not between this world and the next. It was on the other side and it prevented people from crossing over from the place of consolation to the place of torment and vice versa. “Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours” (Lk 16:26).
I had another person present this same argument to me and I gave him the same explanation. However, he took the argument one step further and quoted: "He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them'" (Lk 16:27-29). He reasoned that, because this is clearly a request for someone to actually go from the bosom of Abraham to this world, and the request is seemingly not granted, this is proof that the chasm is between this world and the next.
The first part of his reasoning is correct. This was a request for Lazarus to come from the bosom of Abraham to this world (Lk 16:27-31). His error was in concluding that the rich man's request was not granted because of the chasm. Again he fails to acknowledge that the chasm is not between this world and the next. The chasm existed only on the other side. Abraham gives us the real reason why the request was seemingly not granted, and it had nothing to do with a chasm. "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead" (Lk 16:26).
Even if we conclude wrongly, that the chasm is between this world and the next, it still didn't keep God from sending Moses and Elijah (Lk 9:30) from the other side. And even if the Lazarus of the Gospel of Luke was seemingly not allowed to rise from the dead, the Lazarus of the Gospel of John was allowed to: "Lazarus has already been in the tomb for four days. He (Jesus) cried out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out" (Jn 11:17-42).
Why didn't the chasm stop Lazarus from rising from the dead? If your response is, that Jesus is God and "nothing will be impossible for God" (Lk 1:37), then I agree. Chasm or no chasm, if God wills it, then Moses, Elijah, Lazarus, Mary, or anyone else can appear from the other side and the false cries of necromancy by some will not prevent this from happening.
Jesus appeared transfigured with Moses and Elijah, and in another scene, Jesus commanded Lazarus to come back from the dead. There are those who admit that these things did happen in Scripture yesterday, but will not allow that Jesus can make these same types of things happen today. They disregard the words of Jesus when He said; “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:12). They will in effect be saying that Jesus is not the same yesterday and today. However, Scripture says: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:8).
People who suggest that all apparitions from the other side are evil spirits are not only in violation of Luke 9:30, but are in violation of 1 John. "Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist" (1 Jn 4:1-3). The reason that we need to test the spirits is because some belong to God while others do not. In believing that all spirits are evil, we are in opposition to the Bible, which indicates that some spirits do belong to God.
False tradition says, there is a chasm between this world and the next. However, the Bible says that the chasm is on the other side, between the bosom of Abraham and the netherworld (Lk 16:22-26).
False tradition says, the chasm of Luke 16:26 prevented Lazarus from rising from the dead. However, the Bible says, Lazarus rose from the dead at the command of Jesus (Jn 11:43-44).
False tradition says, people cannot appear from the other side. However, the Bible says, people can and do appear, example Moses and Elijah (Lk 9:30).
False tradition says, all spirits from the other side are evil spirits. However, the Bible says, some spirits belong to God (1 Jn 4:1-3).