Voices From The Unseen WorldSearch the Word | Volume 26 No. 4
Who spoke to King Saul at Endor—a resurrected prophet of God, or a demon in disguise.
Who spoke to Saul through the witch—the spirit of the prophet of God, or a devil in disguise?
King Saul was at his wit’s end and trembling with fear. The entire Philistine army had gathered to attack Israel’s smaller and weaker army. Saul moaned, “If only Samuel were here, he would tell me what to do.” But the great prophet of Israel had died a few years earlier.
The aged monarch tried desperately to find some guidance from other prophets or priests, but the Lord would not speak to him. As a young man, Saul had been close to God. But after ascending to the throne, he became cruel and rebelled against God’s Word. Once, he even had a whole village of priests murdered. King Saul had persistently refused to listen to the Lord, and now, in his distress, God would not answer him.
“Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her and enquire of her.” 1 Samuel 28:7. God had clearly commanded His people to never consult a witch or medium, but Saul now had little regard for God’s explicit instruction. See Leviticus 19:31; 20:6, 27.
Upon finding a woman in Endor who claimed to consult with the dead, the king disguised himself and went to see her. He said to the medium, “Bring me up Samuel.” The witch went through her spells and enchantments until an apparition claiming to be the prophet Samuel appeared and gave the king an utterly hopeless message. It predicted that Saul and his three sons would die in battle the next day.
The following day, Saul’s sons were slain by the Philistines, and afterward the wounded and discouraged king fell on his sword and took his own life. 1 Samuel 31:2–4. Who spoke to Saul through the witch—the spirit of a prophet of God, or a devil in disguise?
I. FAMILIAR SPIRITS
1. Can the dead come back to converse with or haunt the living? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6; Job 7:9, 10
The Bible is clear. A dead person does nothing and knows nothing about what is happening on earth. See also Psalm 6:5; 115:17; and Isaiah 38:18.
2. If wizards, witches, and psychics cannot contact the dead, whom are they contacting? Revelation 16:14
3. Was the form that Saul saw actually Samuel the prophet? 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14; 1 Timothy 4:1
Heaven’s angels are called “ministering spirits” who help people on earth. Hebrews 1:14. The angels who were cast out of heaven with Satan are also spirits—evil spirits who deceive people by working miracles. Revelation 12:7–9; 16:13, 14. They use “all power and signs and lying wonders” and can even make “fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13. When psychics claim to be contacting the spirits of the dead, they are really in touch with Satan’s fallen angels. See Isaiah 8:19, 20.
II. COMPOSITION OF THE SOUL
1. According to the book of Revelation, who has the keys of death? Revelation 1:13, 18
The Bible is clear. Jesus alone has the keys of death. We should go to His Word for answers to our questions about death.
2. What two things made man “a living soul”? Genesis 2:7
3. What happens when man goes to the grave? Ecclesiastes 12:7
What takes place at death is the opposite from what happened during creation. The body returns to dust and the spirit, or breath, returns to God who gave it. When those two things are separated the soul dies. The Bible clearly teaches that the “spirit” that returns to God is simply the breath of life, which God breathed into man at the beginning. Job 27:3. Psalm 104:29, 30 states, “Thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth Thy spirit [breath], they are created.”
III. STATE OF THE DEAD
1. Where do the dead go when they die? Job 21:32; Ecclesiastes 9:10
The dead, both righteous and unrighteous, are in their graves and will hear Jesus’ voice calling them forth from the grave to reward or punishment. See John 5:25, 28, 29.
2. The Bible makes it plain that King David is saved. Is he in heaven now? Acts 2:29, 34
No! The apostle Peter plainly taught that David is dead and buried—not alive in heaven.
3. Have the righteous people who have died received their reward yet? Hebrews 11:32–40
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
These verses make it clear that all the faithful of the ages have not yet been rewarded, but rather will all be rewarded together.
IV. MORTALITY OF THE SOUL
1. Is it true that the soul is immortal and only the body dies? Ezekiel 18:4; Job 4:17
2. Who alone has immortality? 1 Timothy 6:15, 16
We are souls, and souls die. Man is mortal. Only God is immortal. The widely believed teaching of an undying, immortal soul is not found in the Bible. The teaching is manmade.
3. When will the righteous be given immortality? 1 Corinthians 15:42, 51–53; 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 16
Yes, the righteous will be given immortality at the resurrection. The wicked never receive it.
4. How does the Bible repeatedly refer to death? John 11:11, 14; Matthew 27:52, 53; 2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Psalm 13:3; 2 Kings 2:10
The Bible often refers to death as sleep. Death is a state of total unconsciousness, during which 15 minutes or a thousand years seems the same. The dead simply “sleep” in their graves until the resurrection, when all will be raised by Jesus. The teaching that the spirits of the dead are heavenly angels, or some righteous ghostlike entity that can be contacted, is without biblical foundation.
V. SATAN’S DECEPTIONS
1. Why does Satan want us to believe that the spirits of the dead are really alive? Matthew 24:24, 25
Satan’s first lie to mankind was “Ye shall not surely die.” Genesis 3:4. He wants people to believe that the spirits of the dead are alive so his angels can pose as saints, prophets, and righteous leaders who have died and so he can pose as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:13–15. Thus, he can deceive people by the millions.
Utilizing these evil spirits is called “spiritism.” It is based on a two-part belief: 1) the dead are alive, and 2) they can contact you, or you can contact them. This is one of Satan’s most damaging teachings. Yet almost the whole world believes it today. The witch of Endor did not call up Samuel. Rather, she saw an evil angel who posed as Samuel.
2. How effective will Satan’s use of these evil spirits be in the last days? Revelation 18:2, 23; Revelation 12:9
By Satan’s miracles (sorceries) through his evil angels, he will deceive virtually the entire world!
3. How does God regard these miracles by evil angels? Leviticus 20:27; 1 Timothy 4:1; Ephesians 5:11; Galatians 5:19–21; Revelation 21:8
In Moses’ day, God commanded that all psychics be put to death. “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Exodus 22:18. Today, He insists that sorcery is a work of the flesh, for which people will be destroyed. He warns that when you dabble with psychics you leave the faith. He also tells us that all sorcerers will die the second death in the lake of fire.
The Bible makes it clear that the “soul” is a combination of God’s breath of life and the body, formed of the dust—much like how light is created by combining electricity with a light bulb. When the light bulb [body] burns out [dies], the light [soul] ceases to exist. The Bible makes it clear that the dead are not conscious, that they don’t know anything, and that the righteous dead are awaiting God’s resurrection into immortality. Therefore, we know that any apparitions that claim to be the spirits of the dead are nothing but a dangerous deception of Satan and his evil angels. God strictly warns against practicing the arts of channeling and sorcery.
I recognize that eternal life is conditional, and is reserved for those who choose to walk in the light that God has given. Satan uses a false idea of life after death to confuse and deceive. To avoid this deception, I choose to seek the truth as it is found in God’s Word.
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