Saul and the Medium of Endor
Before we move on out of I Samuel we need to address one more subject; Saul and the medium of Endor. The Philistines have amassed an army against Israel and King Saul is afraid. Samuel has since died and Saul knew that he was no longer tapped into God. Saul had disobeyed God so many times that he had proved that he would no longer obey God's Word. God knows a man's heart and whether he or she will stand for Him or not.
Saul had previously put out of Israel all mediums (those that have familiar spirits) and wizards; those who work for Satan and that allow themselves to be possessed by devil spirits. Yet he himself is influenced by them, the people that are the closest to him are not Believers and influence him to be disobedient. In I Samuel 15 God rejects Saul for not doing exactly what he was told to do because he listened to the people. The following records occurs after Saul went up against the Amalakites.
I Samuel 15
:21 But the people took of the spoil,
sheep and oxen,
the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed,
to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
This is not what God instructed them to do, God said utterly destroy it all. Saul let his advisors talk him out of it.
:22 And Samuel said,
Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken than the fat of rams.
:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD,
he hath also rejected thee from being king.
:24 And Saul said unto Samuel,
I have sinned:
for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD,
and thy words:
because I feared the people ,
and obeyed their voice .
Saul had stopped truly believing God a while ago and trusted more in his five senses and listened to his advisors. Satan knew this and begins the systematic destruction of him. Satan influenced Saul's aids and advisors and Saul let his mind be influenced by the methods of Satan, he didn't keep God's Word in his mind.
Now Saul has a problem here.
I Samuel 28
:4 And the Philistines gathered themselves together,
and came and pitched in Shunem:
and Saul gathered all Israel together,
and they pitched in Gilboa.
:5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines,
he was afraid,
and his heart greatly trembled. [he is very distressed]
:6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD,
the LORD answered him not,
neither by dreams,
nor by Urim, ['yes and no' stones]
nor by prophets.
Saul had rejected God and God knew that Saul was not going to obey anymore. Saul is desperate now. So Saul, having been influenced by advisors (who Satan is using to destroy Saul, his sons and Israel), asks them if there was a woman with a familiar spirit around. Now Saul had supposedly gotten rid of them all. Yet they knew where one was (there must have been some connection here, his advisors are much too knowledgeable of such a person).
A familiar spirit is one that is familiar with people and how they have lived their lives. What has transpired in the senses world Satan and his host are aware of. People who allow familiar spirits to control them have given themselves over to Satan's power. A familiar spirit will imitate people, often people who have died, leading people to believe that that person is a spirit just floating around somewhere. This is not what the Word of God says about being dead.
It is critical for us to know the truth in this area. It is critical to listen to God's Word to know what God has said regarding this matter. First of all we must recognize that what we have are translations and versions of the Word of God. We do not have originals. The originals are no longer available either, we have copies. Due to this fact error has crept into the Bible. God declares of His Word:
II Timothy 3
:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine,
for instruction in righteousness:
All scripture (without exception) is given by inspiration of God. God inspired it, God's Word is from Him. However we no longer have the original Word of God and error has been introduced into the copies, translations and version because men are fallible. So, we ask ourselves: "How do I know if what I am reading is the truth or not? And if it is an error, what did God originally mean?" There are four things we can do.
- Look at older, more nearly original texts which would be Estrangelo Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek (even interlinears can help here)
- Read the entire context surrounding the verse. No verse can be accurately removed from it's context. God said what He meant and meant what He said where He said it, when He said it, how He said it and to whom He said it.
- Look for other scriptures on the topic. The clear passages that concur with one another will shed light on the contradictory verse(s). It will give us an indication whether error has crept into the translation or not.
- And the most critical principle of all: Make sure we are reading what is written without any preconceived ideas about what it should say.
Let us look at several clear verses on death. But first it is also necessary to know what God means when He says death. Thanatos is the Greek word that is defined as 'the natural end of earthly human existence." Thanatos is a state rather than a single event. God also tells us that we will be released from death when Christ returns and gathers his church, and for the rest, during the first and second resurrections. Also, when we are dead God says we are in hades (Greek) or sheol (Hebrew) for grave. These words are also translated "hell," "grave" and "pit." these words mean the continuing state of the dead, not the place of destruction (gehenna).
:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee:
in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
:4 His breath goeth forth,
he returneth to his earth;
in that very day his thoughts perish
:5 For the living know that they shall die:
but the dead know not any thing,
neither have they any more a reward;
for the memory of them is forgotten.
:6 Also their love,
and their hatred,
and their envy,
is now perished;
neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy,
and drink thy wine with a merry heart;
for God now accepteth thy works.
:8 Let thy garments be always white;
and let thy head lack no ointment.
:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest
all the days of the life of thy vanity,
which he hath given thee under the sun,
all the days of thy vanity:
for that is thy portion in this life,
and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do,
do it with thy might;
for there is no work,
nor device, [intelligence]
nor wisdom, in the grave, [sheol] whither thou goest.
God's Word tells us that when we die there are no thoughts, no knowing, no more rewards, no memory, no love, hatred or envy, nor any part in anything that happens under the sun, no work, no intelligence, no knowledge or wisdom in the grave. This is depressing. If I am not going to be alive after I die I don't want to die. Where is my hope?
:48 What man is he that liveth,
and shall not see death?
shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave [sheol]? Selah.
Everyone will experience death, whether our own or someone else's. Are we going to lift our souls from the grave? I think not.
:10a For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [sheol] . . . [who? - God]
:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: [sheol]
for he shall receive me. Selah.
Hallelujah, death is not final, we will be rescued from the grave, from the continuing state of death. OK, I understand that when I die I am dead, but what about Jesus Christ, what happened to him when he died? Surely if anyone should escape death it would be him.
:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly;
so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
:29 Men and brethren,
let me [Peter] freely speak unto you of the patriarch David,
that he is both dead and buried,
and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
:30 Therefore being a prophet,
and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him,
that of the fruit of his loins,
according to the flesh,
he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
:31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ,
that his soul was not left in hell,
neither his flesh did see corruption.
:32 This Jesus hath God raised up. . .
Jesus Christ died and went to hades - gravedom. He was dead, he was waiting for God to raise him up. He had to be in the grave 72 hours to fulfill the Word of God. He would have corrupted in the grave had God not raised him up.
The verse that Peter is talking about that David wrote is:
:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Corruption-when we die our bodies corrupt.
:19 . . .For of dust thou art
and unto dust shalt thou return.
:36 For David,
after he had served his own generation by the will of God,
fell on sleep,
and was laid unto his fathers,
and saw corruption:
The great King David died and corrupted and he is still dead. The only one that has not remained in the grave is Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead,
now no more to return to corruption,
he said on this wise,
I will give you the sure mercies of David.
:35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm,
Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
This is great that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and didn't see corruption. Why?
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die,
but after this the judgment:
:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;
and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time
without sin unto salvation.
He is coming back!! Jesus Christ is coming back!! Oh, I can hardly wait . . .