Sunday, July 09, 2006


1 Samuel 28 Spiritism: Ghosts, Angels and the Demonic

There has been an increase in the number of folk professing to be spiritualists over the last 30 years.
there is a Spiritualist church just around the corner. Witches and shops for the occult are everywhere these days. Television shows and movies, such as Angel, The Others, The sixth Sense: “I see dead people!” have propogated myths about ghosts and the occult.
This passage before us tonight puts us right in the middle of this stuff.
The background?
1 At that time, the Philistines brought their military units together into one army to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men must march out in the army with me.” 2 David replied to Achish, “Good, you will find out what your servant can do.” So Achish said to David, “Very well, I will appoint you as my permanent bodyguard.” 3 By this time Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his city, and Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land. 4 The Philistines came together and camped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he was afraid and trembled violently.
The Philistines waged war and thought they were going to win because
A. Samuel was dead.
B. They thought David was on their side.
C. Saul’s popularity had declined, and
D. the morale of Israel was at an all time low.
6. “And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not.” It is awful to be left to ourselves.
Saul panics and seeks help: a. from Samuel? But he's Dead! From prophets? Saul killed them. The Lord? No he didn’t answer him. From demonised seers?
Now let me say to you that anytime you have a desire to traffic with the devil, the devil will always provide you an agent with which to deal. When you have turned your back on God and you choose to do business with the devil, I promise you, the devil is always ready to do business with you.
And understand now, Saul never sees anything or anyone but the witch of Endor. All he sees is the woman. He does not see any spirit or other person. All he sees is the woman. All he hears is the voice of the woman. The woman tells him everything she is supposedly seeing.
This was a divinely condemned experience,
Deut 18: 9 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not imitate the detestable customs of those nations. 10 No one among you is to make his son or daughter pass through the fire, practice • divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, 11 cast spells, consult a medium or a familiar spirit, or inquire of the dead. 12 Everyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and the Lord your God is driving out the nations before you because of these detestable things. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 Though these nations you are about to drive out listen to fortune-tellers and diviners, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do this. 15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
Leviticus 20:6 “Whoever turns to mediums or spiritists and prostitutes himself with them, I will turn against that person and cut him off from his people. 7 Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep My statutes and do them; I am the Lord who sets you apart.
This was a very discouraging experience, Saul was told he was going to die! That Day!
This was a deadly experience because over in the Book of I Chronicles 10:13, “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit.”
This was a demonic experience.
Who was this person that the witch of Endor supposedly saw and who supposedly spoke through her to Saul? Who was this person? Well basically there are three interpretations as to who it was.
a. That It Was Samuel’s Spirit
There are some who believe that this witch of Endor, this woman who trafficked in demons that she actually herself in her own power infiltrated the place of the righteous dead and called out of that resting place of the saints of God this man Samuel. And that Samuel responded to the demonic possessed woman and was aroused out of his spiritual rest and came at her beckoning command. I want to tell you I don’t believe that for one second. I don’t believe any demonic possessed person has any authority over the spirit of a child of God. And I want you to know, beloved, when I leave this world and go to be with Jesus, there’s not anybody, not some demon possessed heretic or not even a Spirit filled child of God, that’s gonna call me back from heaven. Samuel had already gone to be with the Lord, and the idea that a pagan, ungodly, wicked, demonic woman could call him back is absolutely absurd.
B. That It Was God who called up the Spirit Of Samuel
The second interpretation is that it was not the witch of Endor that called up the spirit of Samuel, but that it was God who called up the spirit of Samuel. That God over rode this situation and God sent Samuel back and it was really Samuel sent by God to speak to Saul through the witch of Endor. Well let me tell you I have some real problems with that. First of all because verse 6 makes it absolutely clear that God was through speaking to Saul. The Bible very clearly says that God would not answer him not by dreams, not by Urim, and not by prophets. Samuel was a prophet of God. And I do not believe that this is the real Samuel. It is not in my understanding Samuel. And I’ll tell you another reason why I believe it’s not really Samuel, because there was one underlying characteristic of all Old Testament prophets. Do you know what it was? For a man to be a real prophet of God, demanded 100 percent accuracy on every prophecy that he made. And if a man missed even one percent of a prophecy, he was not a real prophet of God. This personality says through the witch of Endor to Saul, “Tomorrow you are going to be with me.” That means dead. But if you study the Word of God very carefully, you’ll find that it was almost a week later when Saul really died. You say, “Well, that’s a minor point.” It disqualified whoever this was from being a prophet because God’s requirement for a prophet was 100 percent accuracy. If Psychic’s work? Why don’t they pick the winning horses at the races? If psychics work, why do they need your money?
3. That It Was A Demonic Spirit
There’s a third view and it’s the view I hold. The witch did not contact Samuel. God did not produce Samuel. I believe we find here a demonic experience. And this personality is impersonating Samuel. You’ll note very carefully that nowhere in the scripture does this person who speaks identify himself as Samuel. The Bible says that Saul perceived him to be Samuel, but Saul did not see him. He said to this witch, “What does he look like?” “An old man with a shawl.” Well that could have described any prophet that had ever lived. I do not believe it was Samuel. I believe it was a demon.
Thousands of young people are attending movies about ghosts. This ghost story is titled "The Others," and it stars Nicole Kidman, the former wife of Tom Cruise. maybe we should believe in ghosts?
Do I believe that this actually happened? Yes, I do. Do I believe that Saul experienced something supernatural and weird? Yes, I do. Do I believe that it was a ghost? No, I do not!
The Bible teaches that there are no such things as ghosts. Human spirits do not roam the earth after death according to the Bible.
The Bible has a great deal to say about the Devil and demons, and the Bible teaches that demons are very real. Dr. Merrill F. Unger, of Dallas Theological Seminary, said:
There is not a hint that Jesus or any of the New Testament writers had the slightest doubt as to the real existence of either Satan or demons. They believed in their reality quite as much as in the existence of God, or the good angels (Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology , Scripture Press, 1952, p. 36).
To the materialist, who denies the reality of demons and angels, Shakespeare said:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Yes, the Bible teaches that demons are very real.
The Nature of Angels
They are created beings
Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! …Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. Psalm 148:2,5
They are spiritual beings For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
They are incredibly numerous
They are very powerful
And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria… 2 Chronicles 32:21
They have great knowledge …but not omniscient
It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 1 Peter 1:12
There are multiple types: •Archangel Jude 9, 1 Thess 4:16 •Cherubim Ezekiel 1, 28
•Seraphim Isaiah 6
The Activity of Angels
1.Worship God Job 38:7; Rev 5
2.Serve God
•Deliver divine messages
•Interact with Nations - protect and judge
•Ministered to Jesus Christ
•Minister to believers
The Nature of Demons
•Were created "good" - Gen 1:31
•Simply good angels turned bad through sin
•Identical to angels in nature and powers
The Fall of Demons
•When? –After Genesis 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
–Before Genesis 3
How? Ezekiel 28:12-15 Thus says the Lord God, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering…. You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you."
Ezekiel 28:17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor."
Result? "….Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels" Matthew 25:41
The Activity of Demons
Satan's chief goal is to establish his own counterfeit kingdom in opposition to God's kingdom
•Enslave the human race
•Attack God's people –Through deception
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44
Yes, the Bible teaches that demons are very real.
And one of the things demons do is to try to trick people. Jesus told us that the Devil is a liar in John 8:44. The Devil and his demons lie to people, so they can tempt them to sin, and lead them to destruction. And the demons pretend to be ghosts to trick people into believing that "ghosts" are the spirits of the departed dead.
Dr. Kurt Koch, the German preacher, gave this account: When I was preaching in Edmonton, (Alberta) Canada, a twenty-one-year-old girl came to me for counselling. She said that at night the doors in her house would open. The radio turned on by itself. She could hear footsteps, scratching and knocking noises, see gleams of light and faces, hear voices and (see) transparent people walking back and forth, even though all the doors were locked. She was not suffering from a mental disorder. I told her that there were spiritists either in the house or among her ancestors. She admitted this. Her grandmother had been a charmer and a spiritist and had died in terrible circumstances (Kurt Koch, Th.D., Occult ABC , Literature Mission, Germany, 1983, pp. 230-231). And Dr. Koch pointed out that demons pretend to be the "ghosts" of dead people.
Now, why would demons do that? Why would they pretend to be ghosts?
I. First, demons pretend to be ghosts to make people think there is no Hell.
The Devil is a liar and the father of it (cf. John 8:44). The Devil and his demons know perfectly well that Hell is real. In fact, they know that Hell was originally prepared for them (cf. Matthew 25:41).
Yes, the Devil and his demons know there is a Hell. They are not in Hell now, but they know that God will send them to Hell in the future. But the demons do not want you to believe in Hell. That's one of the main reasons that demons pretend to be ghosts. You see, if human spirits roam the world, and haunt houses, then the Bible isn't true, and there is no Hell.
The Devil has accomplished his purpose. Many people believe in ghosts - but not in Hell.
But God tells us clearly that human spirits do not wander the earth as ghosts. The Bible says:
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
That verse plainly tells us that you die, and then you go to the judgment - you don't stay on earth as a ghost. When you're dead, you go to the judgment! And Jesus told us that the place of judgment is Hell. Jesus said: "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment…" (Matthew 25:46).
"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt 25:41).
Luke 16 Jesus said: "The rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…" (Luke 16:22-23). He died. His body was buried. And his soul went directly to Hell! And that is where you are going to go unless you experience conversion. You will die. Your body will be buried. And your soul will go directly to Hell!
The Bible says, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" (Hebrews 2:3). How are you going to escape from the judgment of God for your sins? How are you going to escape from Hell?
You will be everlastingly punished for your sins unless you are converted. Jesus said:
"Except ye be converted….ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).
The Devil and the demons want to keep you in the dark about Hell. They don't want you to believe in Hell. That's the first reason they pretend to be ghosts.
II. Secondly, demons pretend to be ghosts to make you think there is no Heaven to be gained.
You see, if human souls and human spirits wander around on earth, then there is no place called Heaven that you can go to - if you are prepared - if you are converted. Remember that Jesus said:
"Except ye be converted….ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).
The demons want to keep you from being converted - so they don't want you to think about Heaven. They don't want you to even think about how to get to Heaven. That's the second reason they pretend to be ghosts. They don't want you to think about Heaven. Now the Bible tells us that a converted person goes directly to Heaven when he dies. The Bible says: "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (II Corinthians 5:8).
That verse makes it real simple: "Absent from the body - present with the Lord." There is no period in between where you walk around on earth as a ghost. No! If you are a real Christian: "Absent from the body - present with the Lord" up in Heaven! Simple!
Can we be sure of that? You bet. In the sixteenth chapter of Luke Jesus told about a beggar, who was a real Christian. Jesus said: "And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom [which is another name for Heaven]" (Luke 16:22).
This man was a real Christian. He died and was immediately carried into Heaven by angels! "Absent from the body - present with the Lord" (cf. II Corinthians 5:8).
Now the demons don't want you to think about Heaven. And the Devil and his demons do not want you to think about Heaven. They want you to keep your mind only on this life. They want you to think only about this world. That's why they tell you that you're going to come back to this world - as a ghost!
But remember that the demons are liars - and they want to destroy you. That's why they want you to think about ghosts. That's why they want you to think that your soul will come back to haunt the earth - or to be reincarnated. Yes, the demons also teach reincarnation - for the same reasons - to keep you from thinking about Heaven or Hell!
III. Thirdly, demons pretending to be ghosts have nothing to say that will help you.
I have known people who went to seances. They had "mediums" tell them what the "ghosts" of dead relatives said. There is a séance like that near the end of the current ghost movie, "The Others," I am told. But the ghosts that speak in these seances are really demons. And they have nothing to say that will do you, or anyone else, any good.
The Bible says: "Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God" (Leviticus 19:31).
If you want to know the truth, you have to read the Bible!
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple…More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold…" (Psalm 19:7,10).
Isa 8:19-22 When they say to you, “Consult the spirits of the dead and the spiritists who chirp and mutter,” shouldn’t a people consult their God? [Should they consult]the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, there will be no dawn for them. 21 They will wander through the land, dejected and hungry. When they are famished, they will become enraged, and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 They will look toward the earth and see only distress, darkness, and the gloom of affliction, and they will be driven into thick darkness.
Only the Bible can lead you to a real Christian conversion. Only the Bible can give you the wisdom to know how to be a real Christian. That's why the Bible is more valuable than a heap of gold! Only the Bible can show you how to get saved! You can't find out any other way!
Now, the Bible teaches that Christ died to pay for your sins. The Bible teaches that He rose from the dead physically - and ascended up to Heaven - where He is now seated on the right hand of God. The Bible teaches that you must come to Christ - and trust completely in Him - so that your sins can be washed away by His Blood - and you can go to Heaven when you die. And that's our message to you! Come to Christ! Get saved! Be here in church every Sunday and learn the Bible!
You don't need to meddle with Ghosts or those who meddle with the Occult. God Himself has spoken to you in His Word. And you can hear Him every day of your life, if you'll read His Word.

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