Not a Trick Question

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by dumbox1, May 21, 2003.

  1. dumbox1

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    On another message board, a gentleman (who I believe may have an SDA perspective) posted what was, to me, a rather unusual viewpoint regarding the identity of the spirit "conjured up" by the witch of Endor in 1 Sam. 28.

    That made me wonder -- is his opinion as unique as I think it is, or is it actually more widely held than I'm aware of (among non-SDA's).

    So, with that in mind, I ask you all: who was the spirit?

    It would help if you could also tell me what "group perspective" (i.e., Baptist, Methodist, AOG, SDA, or whatever) you're coming from.

    Many thanks,

    Mark
     
  2. thessalonian

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    I'll give you Hank Hanagraph, the Bible Answer Man from CRI's opinion. It was Samuel as it says. A have run in to a couple of SDA's who think it was a demon so it is probably a general SDA view would be my guess, but I will let you guys speak for yourself.

    As for me, I agree with Hank. (on this issue)
     
  3. dumbox1

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    Thanks, Thess. Any more viewpoints?

    Maybe I should've set this up as a poll, if I knew how! But then I wouldn't be able to match up answers (if any) with "affiliation."

    Mark
     
  4. BobRyan

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    I am SDA - and yes the view that this was a Demon is the general SDA view of it.

    The story is reported twice in the OT. In 1Chronicles10 the point is made that "IT" was being consulted (the Medium). And because Saul "consulted IT" God "Turned to be his enemy" according to the text of 1Chronicles 10.

    Also in the book of 1Samuel the point is made that God forbade Samuel to minister to Saul - to speak to him - to even see him. But then we have Satan's servant the medium supposedly able to revoke God's command - having power over the dead - to be able to call up the dead and force the prophet to minister before Saul - God or no God.

    Such direct defiance of God - by the medium - is a "clue" that God did not hand over the keys to Satan to do with the dead saints as it pleased him to operate them.

    Another "clue" is that the text tells us that no physical being came up AND that Saul did not actually see anyting - ONLY the servant of Satan was able to SEE (or claimed to SEE). The power and "ability" (and preference) this shows for satan's servant in manipulating the dead prophet is another "clue" as to why God considered this as "Deception" and demanded the death penalty for those that practiced it.

    ON the other hand - what if this REALLY is a way to contact the dead saints and have them come to our aid. How horrible that God would want us killed for seeking the help of fellow saints whose lives were spent in ministry and care for others.

    It is precisely BECAUSE this is a "doctrine of demons" that the practice is condemned.

    Isaiah 8 makes the point that "we should NOT consult the DEAD on behalf of the living" and that is NOT because - "the dead get tired of coming up and helping us - so death to anyone asking".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Ben W

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    As I see it, God would not give him an answer so he enquired of another source. I cant see that Saints can speak to people so I dont think it could be Samuel.

    I suppose if the SDA said yes it was Samuel then that might say that there doctrine of Soul Sleep would need to be adjusted to show that souls can be awoken.

    My Backround is Salvation Army Doctrine, currently Pastoring in the Seventh Day Baptist.
     
  6. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
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    Does not the truthfulness of the message confirm that it was Samuel himself? Would a demon seek to convict Saul of his iniquity or would he comfort him in it?

    The Bible speaks very matter-of-factly in 1 Sam 28:12 "And when the woman saw Samuel" - it does not say when she claimed to see him. Also in verse 12, why would a demon reveal Saul's identity to the witch? Also, why would the Bible say in 1 Sam 28:15 "And Samuel said to Saul" if it were a demon and not Samuel? Furthermore, according to 1 Sam 28:20, Saul was sore afraid because of the word of who? That's right, SAMUEL.
     
  7. Eladar

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    I agree. The Bible is quite clear on the issue. There should not be any question on the matter. Why would SDA have a problem with what the Bible clearly states?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Here are the points listed from the Bible showing that the practice you suggest "is working" is in fact "deception".

    So here we see it is the Bible itself that condemns this - and does not argue (as do some here) that the agents of Satan control the saints after they die.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. BobRyan

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    The demon does not "save Saul" - rather the demon's message held no hope at all - and Saul dies in sin. In fact as 1Chron 10 points out - the VERY ACT of speaking to the demon "results in his death" 1Chron 10:13-14. The demon is sealing Saul's doom by communicating with him directly according to the text. (Although as 1Sam 28 states - Saul never actually sees Samuel - only Satan's servant claims to see him).
    That is the "proposed" alternative to seeing this as a deception - being practiced by Satan's servant and a demon.

    In Christ,

    Bob

    [ May 31, 2003, 11:46 PM: Message edited by: BobRyan ]
     
  10. Chrift

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    Lutheran. I believe that when someone dies their soul will either go to Heaven or hell. It doesn't wander the earth, visit people, or haunt buildings. Although debatable, I think it is unlikely that the spirit was really Samuel. I agree that the spirit quite possibly was a demon masquerading as Samuel.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    The scary part of this example in 1Sam 28 and the one in Matt 17 is that if Christians "don't know" that in 1Sam 28 a demon and a spiritist medium are teaming up. They may be fooled into following the same course of action to "get the dead saints to minister to them" as indeed - some on this board propose.

    If Christians do not understand that in Matt 17 Elijah (translated directly and still living) and Moses who is also living (Jude 7-8 assumed into Heaven after death according to the book "The assumption of Moses" quoted by Jude) - are alive already - and this is not another case of "conjuring up the dead" - then they could be fooled into following the practices of those who do attempt communication with the dead - conjuring up the dead to speak with them face to face - or in other ways.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
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    (1 Sam 28:19) "Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines."

    How would a demon know when Saul would die?

    Whoever it was that spoke with Saul didn't do anything other than condemn him to death, so I doubt anyone of any intelligence will follow his example, even if the COMMAND (Deu 18:10-13) against doing such doesn't stop them. The question of whether Samuel did or did not show up has no real bearing on anything except the statments in the context "when she saw Samuel," "And Samuel said to Saul," "Then said Samuel," and "Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel" and the question of how whoever it was knew what would happen to Saul the next day.

    (Deu 34:5-6) So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. {6} And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

    Samuel was just as much "still living" as Moses, so if anything is going to stop a Christian from trying to conjure up the dead their reason should be based on the fact that such is an abomination to God (Deu 18:10-13) and not be based on it's impossibility.

    [ June 01, 2003, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: SolaScriptura in 2003 ]
     
  13. dumbox1

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    Hi Chrift,

    Thanks for your post. For my "score-keeping" purposes, am I right in guessing that you're giving your personal opinion rather than any sort of "official" WELS opinion? (Or is that opinion widely held among WELS folks -- at least those who discuss this issue, that is.)

    Thanks,

    Mark H.
     
  14. Andrey

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    It's not any organizations opinions that count. After all, most organization's followers don't buy into everything the organization claims, anyway.

    It's what God says that matters.

    Saul violated what God had told him to do, and Saul suffered. What else do we need to know?

    If God is not answering your questions, it is possible because of sin in your life. It is an even worse sin to try to get the answer from somewhere else. Accept God's silence, and then pray for the reason for the silence.

    An unconfessed, unrepented sin may well pop up as the key to the problem.

    <><
     
  15. BobRyan

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    (1 Sam 28:19) "Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines."

    The battle on the following day was already planned. The demon knew that Saul was no longer being protected by God from demonic attacks.


    quote:Bob
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The scary part of this example in 1Sam 28 and the one in Matt 17 is that if Christians "don't know" that in 1Sam 28 a demon and a spiritist medium are teaming up. They may be fooled into following the same course of action to "get the dead saints to minister to them" as indeed - some on this board propose.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Actually the opposing argument against my particular view - is that this IS an example of a Godly saint ministering to "the living" whereas God said "the Living Should not go to the Dead for counsel" Isaiah 8:19 that includes "the Dead in Christ".

    Not unless you conclude that "talking to a demon is about the same as talking to Samuel" and of course you must also give the "power to See the Saints" to the "Servants of Satan" as in the case above.


    quote:Bob
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If Christians do not understand that in Matt 17 Elijah (translated directly and still living) and Moses who is also living (Jude 7-8 assumed into Heaven after death according to the book "The assumption of Moses" quoted by Jude) - are alive already - and this is not another case of "conjuring up the dead" - then they could be fooled into following the practices of those who do attempt communication with the dead - conjuring up the dead to speak with them face to face - or in other ways.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    (Deu 34:5-6) So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. {6} And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.


    True - but then Jude quotes from the book "The Assumption of Moses" in Jude 9 where Michael raises the body of Moses and Satan tries to oppose Him.

    But if they can argue that Samuel "was really authorized by God to come up for the servant of satan" and that "Christ conjured up the dead for the apostles" - it would be easy to conclude that "we can go and do likewise".

    In Matt 17 Elijah is "still alive" since he never died. And in Matt 22 Christ argues "God is NOT the God of the dead" when making his case FOR the resurrection being "needed" to solve the riddle.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. Chrift

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    Sure Mark, I will let you know as soon as I can.

    :D
     
  17. BobRyan

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    So now lets consider the implications. If the demon of 1Sam 28 working with Satan's agent - the spiritist medium - is really able to impersonate a dead saint and IF he can get his word to be taken as the word of a saint of God - well what better position could the demon ask for? Imagine the demons appearing in the form of Mary or of a disciple and giving "godly advice" that can not be distinguished from the true saint? What deceptive - ultimate power over the living saints of God could they then posses?

    On the other hand - if the servants of Satan are given dominion over the dead in Christ - and we can expect them to be able to manipulate the dead in Christ as it pleases them - how much easier is it to be tempted to go them for some Christian counselling?

    Clearly "it makes a difference" whether it was a demon OR if this is really a function that the dead in Christ are able to serve. It makes a huge difference.

    Consider for a moment - suppose the dead saints appearing to many in the past decades are not saints at all....

    Surely you can not argue that "this makes no difference at all".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. Chrift

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    Sorry Mark, there doesn't seem to be an official WELS opinion. A pastor I discussed this with brought up excellent arguements from both sides of the fence.
     

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