1 Samuel 28:11-13 11Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.” 13The king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.”
Yesterday we began evaluating mediums, witchcraft and ghosts in light of Saul's encounter with the witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28. We noted the following observations:
Mediums and witchcraft flourishes in times of fear
Mediums and witchcraft feed off of error
Mediums and witchcraft fall prey to spiritual deception
Today we continue on with further points of evaluating this particular worldview in light of 1 Samuel 28.
1. Mediums and Witchcraft fail in accurately defining the supernatural realm
Other scripture aids us in understanding what is really going on regarding what is being observed in this text. To understand the Old Testament teaching on the supernatural realm, we look briefly at 1 Kings 22. In 1 Kings 22 we read of two kings - Ahab and Jehoshaphat, consulting various prophets concerning whether or not they should go to war. Jehoshaphat, the Godly King of Judah, requests that the true prophet of God, Miciaiah, be brought forward. Ahab, the wicked king of Israel, detests the prophet of God, since God's man does not condone nor advocate his spiritual treachery. Finally Micaiah is brought forward.
THERE IS AN INVISIBLE AND A VISIBLE REALM, WITH GOD SOVEREIGN OVER BOTH
Following inquiry by both kings, Micaiah relays to them a heavenly scene before God's throne. God is in heaven, the Righteous Judge. He is ready to judge Ahab who has rejected repeated ministry from another Godly prophet Elijah. God's throne has gathered before it "the host of heaven" or angelic spirits. Upon asking who would go an entice Ahab to go into battle to be slain, one of the angelic spirits says he will go and be a decieiving spirit in the mouths of the false prophets gathered before the two kings - Jehoshaphat and Ahab. (1 Kings 22:20-21). God grants permission to a lying spirit to go and put false words in the mouths of the false prophets.
From what we can gather:
1. God is Sovereign on His throne
2. Angels who are good pass before his throne.
3. Bad angels, or demons, are with Sovereign permission allowed to go and excercise judgment on Ahab in accords with Ahab's already warped decisions to follow deception rather than truth
4. The invisible realm is separate but interracting with the visible realm
By going back to 1 Samuel 28, we see this woman as a consulter of spirits. We know from other passages such as Job 4 and 2 Peter 2:4 that such a spirit can come and intimidate people, and that such a spirit is a fallen angel or a demon.
GOD PERMITS WHAT HE HATES IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOOD HE INTENDS, YET WITHOUT AUTHORING EVIL
In the Biblical understanding of the supernatural realm, God and God alone is Sovereign and all powerful. He exercises authority over the angelic realm. (Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-14) Even Satan and the demonic realm cannot act unless they have sought permission from God. (Job 1-2; Mark 5:12-13) Truly when the kingdom of darkness does act by permission, God has in mind an ultimate good purpose, even though the malevolent forces are the ones perpetrating the act. God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness. (1 John 1:5) We must remember that God permits what He hates in order to accomplish the good He intends. (Genesis 50:20; John 13:27; Romans 8:28)
God indicates that when a person has set up idols in their heart, and that they have given themselves over to deception, He will Sovereignly allow them to be deceived further by the kingdom of darkness in accordance to their own desires. (Ezekiel 14:4-5 and Romans 1:24-25).
ONLY IN JESUS CHRIST CAN A PERSON BE DELIVERED FROM FEAR AND THE FORCES OF WICKEDNESS
Contrary to Mediums and witchcraft, who deny the existence of One all-powerful God, there is One Sovereign God (1 Corinthians 8:6). Secondly, a real, albeit less powerful fallen angel called Satan truly exists. (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28; 1 Peter 5:8) Thirdly, the spirits that they think they can control are actually controlling and manipulating them.(Acts 16:16-21) Fourthly, only through Jesus Christ can truth be known. (John 1:17) Finally, only through Jesus Christ can one be set free of bondage to the fear and power of such forces. (Acts 16:16-21; Hebrews 2:14)
2. Mediums and witchcraft is flawed in its view of ghosts
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY IS A ONE WAY, TWO DESTINATION JOURNEY
Often on T.V shows or movies we see people claiming their to be such things as ghosts. The question is: are ghosts real? If we're talking about supposed departed human beings coming back in spirit form - the answer is no. Scripture tells us that departed non-Christian people go directly to hell to await final judgment. (Luke 16:19-31), whereas Christian people die an go immediately into the presence of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:1-6) Once human beings, believer or non-believer, die and leave this world, their soul/spirit cannot cross back into this visible realm.
THE TRUE IDENTITY OF "GHOSTS" - DEMONS, NOT DEPARTED HUMAN BEINGS
So if these alleged ghosts (ghost comes from the Old English word "gast" and German "geist" meaning "spirit") are not departed human spirits that hover around or return to "haunt", then what is it that we see here in 1 Samuel 28 as well as today? Scripture is plain - "ghosts" are demons in disguise. Even so-called "good ghosts" or "friendly ghosts" (spirits) that people commonly use as "spirit-guides" are demons. 2 Corinthians 12:14-15 explains - "14No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds."
It is important for a Christian to be aware of the culture and the influences circulating in today's world. 1 Timothy 4:1 tells us of how people in these last days will be more prone to falling away from the faith and follow after what appeals to their desires and doctrines of demons. With that said, Paul also tells Timothy, the pastor to whom he is writing, these words in 1 Timothy 4:6 - "In pointing out these things to the brethren, you
will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words
of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following."
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Friday, October 26, 2012
P2 - Biblically evaluating mediums, witchcraft and ghosts
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