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Author Topic: This is confusing...  (Read 1389 times)
Bronzesnake
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« on: August 31, 2004, 01:46:37 PM »

 I started a thread - "What are ghosts" a while back.
In my opinion, I thought that there was no way for a dead person to return in spirit form, and converse with the living. I thought that it was demons that were pretending to be "ghosts" in order to confuse, and trick. God specifically warns against conversing with the dead (familiar spirits) and even warns against associating with anyone who does - so that's not the issue.

 The following two verses ( and there are several more following these two which I did not include in order to save space) clearly describes a spirit (Samuel) being conjured up, and actually converses with Saul. Samuel goes on in later verses and actually offers up a prophetic message to Saul, which later came true.

 
1Sa 28:14 And he said unto her, What form [is] he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he [is] covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it [was] Samuel, and he stooped with [his] face to the ground, and bowed himself.  


 1Sa 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.  

 So, what do you make of this?

Bronzesnake
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2004, 02:37:10 AM »

A few things jump out at me in this passage.  One, why would Samuel answer the call of a sorcerer?   This strikes me as odd to say the least.  Two, if Samuel was a messenger of the Lord, would he not bring good news, as in how God was going to deliver Saul?  The message given is rather grim and un-Godlike.  Three, God had foresaken Saul.  Yet Saul goes seeking Samuel?   I think (and I'm not positive) that Samuel is really Satan or an evil Spirit disquised as Samuel.  Note that the prediction said that Saul would be with him tomorrow.  Why would Saul go to the same place as Samuel if God had forsaken him?  Wouldn't he be going somewhere else?   Wink   Also, Samuel said Saul would die tomorrow, yet it was something like 3 days later wasn't it?  As for Satan making predictions, maybe it obvious Saul was outnumbered and the outcome was easy to see.

Again numerous assumptions I am making, but IMO Samuel is really Diablo in this case, but thats just my dollar and 2 cents.   Very interesting passage.

Grace and Peace!
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Tim

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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2004, 10:41:28 AM »

2T.....nail on the head. That's why they are called "familiar" spirits. They know everything about everyone.

Note also in the first verse. The sorceress describes what she sees (Saul didn't see anything) as just being an old man with what appears to be a mantle (the power of suggestion), and Saul "perceives" that it is Samuel. Of course, Saul was primed, since he went there to find Samuels spirit to begin with.  I imagine that if the sorceress had said "it looks like a 3-legged dog with long floppy ears falling off a stool", Saul still would have thought it was Samuel.

"....and the serpent was more SUBTIL than....."
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2004, 11:32:46 AM »

I respectfully disagree.  I believe that it was Samuel.  Hence the witch was surprised.  She didn't expect that!  Now, was the power hers, demons, or God's?  Answer...God's!  He chose to relay His message in that format.  Now why would God give a bad message to Saul?  Hmmmm...let's see...Saul, disobeyed God's direct command not once, but twice...Saul now seeks the aid of a witch to tell him what God wants him to do...Yup.  Impending doom seems about right to me!   Grin  Seriously though, the power is God's, not the witch or Samuel.  Why would God allow His word to be presented in so foul a manner?  Dunno.  He did afterall, let His Own Son become a glorified pile of dirt... Wink
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2004, 01:57:08 PM »

I respectfully disagree.  I believe that it was Samuel.  Hence the witch was surprised.  She didn't expect that!  Now, was the power hers, demons, or God's?  Answer...God's!  He chose to relay His message in that format.  Now why would God give a bad message to Saul?  Hmmmm...let's see...Saul, disobeyed God's direct command not once, but twice...Saul now seeks the aid of a witch to tell him what God wants him to do...Yup.  Impending doom seems about right to me!   Grin  Seriously though, the power is God's, not the witch or Samuel.  Why would God allow His word to be presented in so foul a manner?  Dunno.  He did afterall, let His Own Son become a glorified pile of dirt... Wink

Good points Kevin.  As I said before, I honestly don't know, but I have a few questions to your points.

Why would the witch not expect to see Samuel if thats who was being requested?  It never even says she called him, whoever it was just appeared, and immediately she realizes that Saul is really Saul.   She seems more afraid of Saul than the spirit.

Next point....If it really was Samuel, and he was summoned for advice as for what to do, why didn't he tell Saul to repent and do Gods will?   Isn't that what messengers of the Lord do?

I would agree about the power of God.  But if Satan has the ability to appear as an angel of light, could he not also appear as Samuel?    It does seem as though this spirit did suddenly appear without any beckoning.

I don't know, maybe it was Samuel....its a bizzare passage to say the least.  Interesting but bizzare.

Grace and Peace!
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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2004, 03:04:13 PM »

Good points as well Tim!  And to answer...

Quote
Why would the witch not expect to see Samuel if thats who was being requested?

There's alot of speculation going on here, but if she were "requesting" anything, and the source was demonic in nature, it would be reasonable that the spirit she normally called upon would be the spirit she would see.  Hence, when she got Samuel, the fear.  And why the fear?  Because Who is really in control?  I have no doubt the witch knew after that day.  Smiley  But again, that is much speculation.  But to suspect that the one brought up wasn't actually Samuel requires greater speculation.  It's interesting as well, isn't it, that when she sees Samuel, she knows the truth.  Saul was the man in disguise, and Samuel was Samuel.  No lies.  No mystery.  Straight up truth for truth.

Quote
It never even says she called him, whoever it was just appeared, and immediately she realizes that Saul is really Saul.  She seems more afraid of Saul than the spirit.

Yup.  Whoever said the witch was smart? Grin  Saul had forbidden what he then was attempting.  He was going against his own edict.  She should have feared Saul.  But she cried out when she saw Samuel.  I think that's the key.  She didn't expect to get him...

Quote
Next point....If it really was Samuel, and he was summoned for advice as for what to do, why didn't he tell Saul to repent and do Gods will?

Because God had changed His mind about Saul being king.  He'd already had Samuel annoint David as king, and Saul had already tried to kill David several times.  Saul refused to obey God's voice, and the option for repentance was no longer on the table.  Remember?  Saul asked for forgiveness in attempts to retain his kingship.  What was it that Samuel said? "And Samuel said,   "Has 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 listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
   and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
   he has also rejected you from being king."
Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.  Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may worship the LORD." And Samuel said to Saul, "I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel."
 Saul wanted to repent.  God said, "No go."  David was king.  Saul should have abdicated the throne but didn't.  And then, on the eve of battle, Saul, no longer possessing the empowering Spirit of God (non salvific in nature mind you), and having no way of knowing what might happen, chose to go to the witch to ask Samuel what might happen.  So Samuel told him.  

I know this seems harsh, but Saul had failed to do what God had required of him.  "To whom much has been given, much is required."

Quote
Isn't that what messengers of the Lord do?

Nope!  Jeremiah spent his entire ministry preaching of impending judgment with not one single convert!  No one would listen to him.  Isaiah preached a message of impending judgment.  They sawed him in half!  The Lord's messengers preach a message of repentance so long as the repentance, which is of the Lord, is available.  Hence, "harden not your hearts as in the day of provocation..."

Quote
I would agree about the power of God.  But if Satan has the ability to appear as an angel of light, could he not also appear as Samuel?    It does seem as though this spirit did suddenly appear without any beckoning.

Contextual problem here bro...It says it was Samuel.  The witch knew it (who would have also known if it was not Samuel), and Saul knew it.  Saul spoke to him.  Which is out of the ordinary as well.  Consider this: witch calls up her favorite familiar spirit - and gets Samuel.  She freaks out, and sees the truth behind Saul's lie.  Then, Saul, who would have had to converse through the medium, now has a conversation with Samuel.  Again, beyond the norm.  Here's the contextual problem, if what Samuel prophesied to Saul would happen had not happened, then it may be said that it was a false spirit.  Problem.  It did happen.  Second problem: the text presents the "spirit" to be Samuel, and doesn't refute that in any way, nor lend credence to the thought that it may not actually be him.  Third problem: spirits can't predict the future.  Samuel told Saul what would, and what actually did happen.  Prophets do that.  Not demons.   Smiley  Doesn't God work in truly mysterious ways?

Quote
I don't know, maybe it was Samuel....its a bizzare passage to say the least.  Interesting but bizzare.


Absolutely!  But the thing that I get out of it is that there is nothing that my God cannot do.  He is above all, and able to control all.  I sit amazed when I read Job, and learn that even those who sinned and were cast from Heaven, who regularly work against God, must come before Him, and give an account.  Satan included.  I think we tend to give far to much power in our minds to those who work against God.  I think this passage, and others like it, teach us that regardless, God is in control.   Smiley
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"that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death"
Bronzesnake
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2004, 04:40:31 PM »

 Perplexing, ain't it?  Huh

Bronzesnake.
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