The belief that people can pray for dead souls so they can be saves was taken from the context of Macabees:
(41] Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden.  And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, for as much as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.  And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection,  (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,)  And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.
Macabees was in the old testament and it was a history of how the Macabees was victorious over their opponent with the help of God. Macabees was not included in the old testament since, it was not inspired by the Holy Spirit. God has no word about offerings of silver for dead sinners. The offerings for sin is always animal’s blood because according to God in blood there is life, so how can a silver be a sin offering. It was a belief of the Macabees brothers that became a tradition and which was followed by some religion like the catholic church.
This was actually used by the catholic leaders for earning. Hindi ba nagbabayad tayo sa mga prayer requests para sa mga patay because of the belief that they will be saved through prayers.
Another lie and deception of the evil one-Satan.
In our present day (since,we are covered by new testament) , we are save by believing and making Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It is a grace from God and no longer offerings of blood animals that they used to do to cleanse them from their sins. That people who died without Christ in them will be separated and put to fire of hell.
In the old testament, people who were saved, were those who walked with faith in God and with the belief of looking forward, a far off coming of the Redeemer which is Jesus Christ. Thus we can say that Jesus is the fulfillment of the old and the new testament.
Job 19:25 says, 25″As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. 26″Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Therefore, even Job, one of the oldest story in the Old Testament was looking forward to a Redeemer, who we know is Jesus Christ.
Abraham and other saved people in the old testament was justified in faith. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrews 11:13 says 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
Going back to the the dead saints(those who believe in Jesus Christ). It says in the scripture that the dead people are dead till the coming of the Lord. See the following verses in the Bible:
Psalms 146: 4 we see that in death, “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”
Ecclesiastes 9:5 5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
So which means when people died in the Lord, he or she is in the sleep mode. Death is like a very deep sleep. There are no thoughts or emotions, and without thoughts or emotions there can be no consciousness. In death you are asleep in the grave, without knowledge, without emotions, and without consciousness. However dead in Christ will rise again in His promised Second Coming as the verse below:
1 Thessalonian 4:15-16,”15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first
THEREFORE, those dead people who are in Christ (which means who accepted Christ)shall rise first.
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
THEREFORE, those who were not in Christ when they died has no hope to rise in Christ.Thus will be separated.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
THEREFORE, those who believe in Christ, He will bring with Him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
THEREFORE, for us who are still alive and have know the Words of God, spread the news to others, so they too can be with Him in His second coming.
God is just and I’m sure everybody was given the chance for them to know about Him. However many stood on their own belief which set them apart from God. Siyempre sasabihin ng marami na napakaunfair ni God kasi mabubuting tao yung mga saints na yun. Pinagtanggol ang simbahan ang religion, pero bakit hindi Niya kasama sa muling pagkabuhay.
Before, my understanding of our God is MAPAGMAHAL, MAUNAWAIN, MAPAGBIGAY of which are very true characteristics of God. However if you seek God, you’ll come to know the word JUST which is really JUST itself. He is just in punishment, but very humble to receive you , if you turned back to Him for forgiveness. God wants one thing from us , the word OBEDIENCE. We can never be obedient, if we don’t trust our God. All of us has the instinct that there is one powerful being and we called it our Almighty powerful God. Ask yourself.,”Have you been obedient to His Words? His very first commandment to not create any images like of creation in heaven or in the earth or water and do not bow to them because He is a jealous God? Ito ba mismo na unang unos ng ating Dios Ama, sinunod ba natin? Most of the people did not know this or perhaps, did not understood this commandment of God.
Going back to the dead catholic saints, was God being unfair to them? Do you think God did not gave them one way or another a chance to come to know the real God , who is in the name of Jesus Christ.
In 2Peter 3:9 says, God goes to these extremes because He doesn’t want that any should perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
In Jeremiah 33:3 says,, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Brothers and sisters, we will only come to know this by reading the WORDS OF GOD, which is the Bible.