Seeking the Dead on Behalf of the Living

1 Samuel 28:1-19

This passage is a very interesting one. It used to be quite confusing to me because it seemed to me to be contradictory. God had banned His people from using mediums and spiritists in His law yet, in this instance it seemed He used one to deliver a message. The Bible teaches us that we are to judge the message we receive to see if it is from God. But, we are also to be careful about the messenger as well, because satan loves to come to us in disguise and use just enough scripture to get us deceived and off track in our walk with God.

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

“No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”      2 Corinthians 11:14

In the passage in 1 Samuel, we see Saul, because of his disobedience getting no answers from God. Even though Saul had banned those using the magic arts from the kingdom, he sought a medium out to get answers regarding his upcoming battle with the Philistines. It is easy to ascertain from the reading that this woman used methods to inquire that were forbidden to use under the law of God. What was this woman using and why was it so dangerous to the people?

Let’s try and answer this.

“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.” Leviticus 20:6

As God was giving His people laws to live by, He made it very clear that they were not to use certain methods to get answers from the spirit world. God commanded them not to make use of mediums or necromancers in their pursuit of answers.

Leviticus 20:27 says, “A man also or woman that hath A FAMILIAR SPIRIT, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”

Mediums –  A person thought to have the power to communicate with the spirits of the dead or with agents of another world or dimension. Also called a psychic. 

Necromancy -The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.

A “familiar spirit” is defined as: a spirit or demon used by a witch or wizard as their personal guide often appearing in the form of a human or humanoid or sometimes said to appear in the form of an animal.

Now, you understand why this type of communication is prohibited by God’s people. These so called “guides” may appear as many forms to fool the medium or necromancer but they are actually demons that are seeking to lead people. Most of the time, the mediums and necromancers or spiritists believe these “guides” are sent to help them or in some cases, they believe they may even control these spirits, but the reality is that demons have their own agenda and are under one authority, satan and above that, only recognize one other Name as an authority: the Name of Jesus Christ!

Many people and even some who call themselves “Christians” use horoscopes, fortune-telling, ouija boards and other type of mediums to get answers for their daily lives or to use in spiritual warfare. Behind all of these methods, demons await to mislead the individual and to get them to depend upon something other than the Holy Spirit of the Living God!

Isaiah 8:19-20: “And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

In the story of Saul and the witch of Endor, the medium was prepared to pull up her familiar spirit disguised as Samuel to speak to Saul. But, something strange happened.

Suddenly, instead of the appearance of her demon guide, somehow, the spirit of Samuel appeared, freaking the medium out of her mind! God interrupted the séance and sent his prophet to deliver one final message to Saul. The message confirmed the word that had been spoken to the children of Israel years before:

“If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.” Leviticus 20:6

As believers, we are to depend upon the word of God and the Holy Spirit for all of our direction! We must consider the message and the source of the message! In Acts 16, a girl using a familiar spirit followed Paul saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

Paul turned around and commanded the spirit to leave the girl. Since the spirit was corrupt, so was the message!

 Don’t corrupt yourself by using a corrupted method to get answers about your future! Trust God! He will answer you in the right time and the right way!


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