State of the Dead

A Thief And A Witch

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SOD

Program Code: SOD000002

00:01 If a man dies, shall he live again?
00:06 What does it mean to be absent from the body
00:09 and present with the Lord?
00:13 Did Jesus go with a thief to Paradise on Good Friday?
00:19 Did the souls of dead people really cry out
00:22 from below the altar?
00:25 Pastor Bohr answers these questions, and more,
00:28 in the amazing series,
00:35 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:37 Our Father and our God, what a joy it is
00:42 to be in Your presence.
00:43 And Father, as we study tonight about the thief on the cross,
00:50 and the witch of En Dor, we ask that You will help us to learn
00:55 the lessons that will be useful for us, especially as we near
01:00 the end of time. And we thank You, Father, for the assurance
01:04 of Your presence, because we ask it in the precious name
01:08 of Jesus. Amen. In this seminar we are studying some puzzling
01:16 texts on the subject of the state of the dead.
01:19 And in the subject that we're going to study today,
01:23 we are going to take a look at two stories that we find
01:27 in the Bible. One story is found in the New Testament,
01:31 and the other one is found in the Old Testament.
01:33 The first one we're going to deal with is the story of
01:37 the thief on the cross.
01:38 And the second one is dealing with the story
01:43 of the witch of En Dor.
01:44 So let's get right into our study, and turn in our Bibles
01:48 to Luke 23:32, 33. Probably most of you know that when Jesus
01:55 was crucified, two men were crucified as well on either side
02:01 of Jesus. They were actually criminals.
02:04 They were malefactors.
02:05 And so let's read about these two thieves that were crucified;
02:09 one on the right, and one on the left-hand side of Jesus.
02:12 It says there:
02:33 Now it just so happens that the criminal that was on the left
02:37 side was impenitent.
02:39 He was unrepentant, whereas the one who was on the right
02:43 side actually repented, according to scripture.
02:46 Let's read about this in Luke 23:39-43.
02:53 Luke 23:39-43.
03:48 Now that last verse, verse 43, has been the source of much
03:53 controversy, because Jesus seems to be indicating here that the
03:57 thief was going to be in Paradise with Him that very day.
04:02 Once again, verse 43, and I'm reading from the New King James
04:06 Version which says, And Jesus said to him, Assuredly I say
04:10 to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.
04:14 The question is, is this really what Jesus was teaching?
04:18 Well, there are several factors that we need to take into
04:22 account as we look at the meaning of this specific verse,
04:27 verse 43. First of all, it's very important for us to realize
04:33 that the Greek writings of the times of Christ did not have
04:38 any punctuation marks.
04:41 In other words, they did not have question marks,
04:43 exclamation marks. They didn't have periods, and commas, etc.
04:48 All of these punctuation marks have been added
04:51 by the translators. So, basically, the translators from
04:55 the Greek to the English, or whatever other language,
04:58 have placed the punctuation marks where they feel that they
05:01 should belong. Now there are two ways in which you can understand
05:06 this verse. It all depends on where you place a comma.
05:11 We've already noticed, first of all, that the translation
05:16 that we just read says:
05:26 So, in other words, the comma is placed after the word thee,
05:32 or you. But there's another way of looking at this.
05:35 There's another place where you can put the comma,
05:38 and then it would say: Verily, verily I say unto thee today,
05:42 you will be with me in Paradise.
05:46 In other words, the comma would go after the word today.
05:50 So Jesus is saying, today I am telling you that you will be
05:54 with Me in Paradise.
05:55 Or the comma could be, Verily I say unto you, today you will be
06:01 with Me in Paradise.
06:03 Now somebody might say, Well, then, it's a matter of
06:05 subjective opinion.
06:07 You know, you say it's supposed to go after the word today,
06:13 and other people say that it's supposed to be after the word
06:17 you. So how do we know who is right?
06:21 Well, the fact is we need to look at several factors that
06:24 clearly indicate that Jesus and the thief did not go to Paradise
06:28 that very day. The first thing that we want to notice is
06:32 the location of Paradise.
06:34 Where is Paradise located?
06:36 Where Jesus said, You will be with Me in Paradise.
06:40 Let's go in our Bibles to 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.
06:44 Here the Apostle Paul is speaking about a man
06:48 that he knew many years before.
06:50 He's probably referring to himself.
06:52 And he speaks about this person being taken to the third heaven.
06:57 It says there in 2 Corinthians 12:2:
07:10 By the way, this means, I don't know whether he went there
07:13 in person, or he was there in vision, like John in the book of
07:17 Revelation. You know, he was taken to the presence of God.
07:20 His body was on Patmos, but his mind was taken up to
07:24 see the New Jerusalem.
07:25 And he continues saying, in verse 3.
07:29 Actually, let's go back to the beginning. It says:
08:03 So you'll notice here that the third heaven is the place where
08:07 Paradise is located, because the Apostle Paul says that this man
08:11 was taken to the third heaven.
08:12 Then he says that he was caught up to Paradise.
08:15 Paradise is in the third heaven.
08:17 So the question is, what is the third heaven?
08:20 Well, obviously, if there's a third heaven, there must be a
08:23 second, and a first.
08:24 So the question is, what is the first heaven?
08:27 Go with me to Genesis 1:8.
08:30 Genesis 1:8. Speaking about the first heaven, that refers to the
08:36 atmosphere where the birds fly. It says:
08:46 So notice, the firmament is called heaven;
08:49 That's the first heaven where the birds fly.
08:52 The second heaven is where the stars are.
08:55 Notice Genesis 15:5, as an example of this second heaven.
09:00 It's the heaven where the stars and the planets are found.
09:04 It says there, God is speaking here to Abraham,
09:20 So God told Abraham to look towards the heaven.
09:23 Obviously, He's talking about the starry heaven;
09:26 that is the second heaven of scripture.
09:29 Now where is the third heaven?
09:31 The third heaven is actually the place where God dwells.
09:35 It's where the New Jerusalem is.
09:38 It's beyond the sun, the moon, and the stars;
09:42 in deep space somewhere.
09:44 Now you say, How do we know that?
09:47 Well, let's examine some verses.
09:49 Go with me to Revelation 2:7.
09:52 Revelation 2:7. I want you to notice where the tree of life
09:58 is located. It says there in Revelation 2:7:
10:19 Question, where is the tree of life located?
10:22 It is located in the midst of the Paradise of God.
10:25 Is that the same place that the Apostle Paul was referring to
10:28 in 2 Corinthians 12? Absolutely!
10:31 Now, the question is, where is the tree of life located
10:35 in the Paradise of God?
10:37 Where is that Paradise of God?
10:38 Go with me to Revelation 22:1-2.
10:43 Revelation 22:1, 2. Here John, in vision, says:
11:00 What is there? The throne of God and of the Lamb.
11:04 That's the presence of God, in other words. Verse 2:
11:09 Which street, which city?
11:11 The New Jerusalem, Right?
11:32 Now let's put it all together.
11:34 The third heaven is where Paradise is.
11:37 The tree of life is in Paradise.
11:39 And Paradise is where the throne of God is found
11:43 in the New Jerusalem.
11:44 So the question is, where is the Paradise that Jesus was
11:49 referring to when He said to this thief that He would be
11:53 with him in Paradise.
11:54 It was not some intermediary place.
11:58 It was in the New Jerusalem, where the throne of God is,
12:02 where the tree of life is.
12:03 In other words, it was in the very presence of God,
12:06 so if Jesus was promising this thief that he was going
12:09 to be in Paradise, He was saying, You're going to be
12:12 in the New Jerusalem.
12:13 You're going to be before the throne of God,
12:15 where the tree of life is found.
12:18 By the way, we also want to read Revelation 22:14,
12:23 where it speaks once again about the location
12:26 of the tree of life.
12:27 The tree of life is inside the gates of the Holy City
12:30 of the New Jerusalem, in the very presence of God.
12:33 Here it says:
12:46 Now, unfortunately, during the intertestamental period,
12:49 that's the period between the Old and the New Testament.
12:52 Actually, between when the Old Testament ended
12:54 and John the Baptist began his preaching.
12:57 The Jews developed a very strange tradition
13:00 about Paradise. Basically they came up with the idea that
13:04 Paradise was kind of like a holding place, where people went
13:09 for awhile before they actually entered the presence of God.
13:13 You know, Protestants have picked up that idea,
13:16 and basically, they've taught that all of the saints of the
13:20 Old Testament, before Jesus died, their souls went off
13:24 to Paradise, and they were held there in Paradise until Jesus'
13:28 resurrected, and then they were introduced into the very
13:32 presence of God. Now the question is, does that square
13:36 with the teaching of scripture?
13:37 Absolutely not, because we already noticed that the third
13:41 heaven is where Paradise is.
13:43 And where Paradise is, is in the New Jerusalem,
13:46 where the tree of life is, and where the throne of God and the
13:51 Lamb is found. And so, very clearly, Jesus was not saying
13:55 to the thief, You're going to go to some intermediary place;
13:59 your soul is going to go to this place, and then you're going
14:03 be introduced in the presence of God.
14:05 He was saying, if Jesus was saying that it was going to
14:08 happen that very day, He was saying, This very day you are
14:12 going to be with Me in the presence of God.
14:14 If you translate the verse the way that the New King James,
14:18 and the King James have it translated, which I believe
14:21 is the wrong translation.
14:22 Now, the question that we need to ask now is, where did Jesus
14:29 go when He died, according to the Bible?
14:33 Did He go to this place called Paradise?
14:38 Yes, He might have gone to Paradise, do you think?
14:42 I don't think so. You say, How do you know?
14:46 Because the Bible tells us.
14:49 Go with me to Acts 2:25-27.
14:52 Acts 2:25-27. Peter is speaking here on the Day of Pentecost,
15:00 and he's speaking about Jesus using a Messianic prophecy
15:04 that's found in Psalms 16:10.
15:10 That is concerning Jesus.
15:28 Here Jesus is speaking Messianically is Psalms 16:10
15:31 about a thousand years before this event takes place.
15:35 Then notice verse 27:
15:47 Now I want you to notice the synonymous parallelism in this
15:52 verse. Actually, verse 27: For you will not leave My soul
15:56 in Hades, nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.
16:01 Do you see the parallel?
16:02 My soul is parallel to Your Holy One.
16:05 And the word Hades is in parallel construct with
16:09 corruption. Now I'd like to read this verse as it's found in the
16:13 New International Version, because it's more accurate
16:17 in its meaning. The NIV, Acts 2:27 says this:
16:34 Now notice: Me, in other words the soul is Jesus.
16:53 So the question is, where did Jesus go when He died?
16:58 Did He go to Paradise?
17:00 Did He go to the presence of God in the New Jerusalem
17:03 before the throne where the tree of life is?
17:05 Absolutely not! Acts 2:27 tells us very clearly that He went
17:11 to the grave, and that God was not going to abandon Him
17:16 in the grave. Now we need to ask another question.
17:19 Did the thief even die that very day?
17:24 Notice John 19:31-34.
17:29 John 19:31-34. It says there:
17:45 The Jews asked Pilate, notice this, that their legs might be
17:50 broken, and that they might be taken away.
17:55 So were the thieves dead on that day when Jesus died?
17:58 Absolutely not! Let's continue, verse 32:
18:01 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first,
18:04 and of the other who was crucified with him.
18:21 So the question is, were the thieves dead that day on their
18:27 crosses? Absolutely not!
18:29 When they came to where Jesus was Jesus was dead,
18:34 but the thieves were still alive.
18:37 By the way, at what hour of the day did Jesus die?
18:41 Notice Matthew 27:46, and we'll read through verse 50.
18:47 Matthew 27:46-50. It says here:
18:54 By the way, the ninth hour is about three o'clock
18:56 in the afternoon. The first hour would be six o'clock
18:59 in the morning. So they calculated time just a little
19:03 different than we do.
19:04 So it says, about the ninth hour, which is three o'clock
19:07 in the afternoon.
19:44 At what time did Jesus die?
19:46 He died at the ninth hour, which would be about three o'clock
19:49 in the afternoon. Were the thieves dead at three o'clock
19:53 in the afternoon? Absolutely not!
19:54 In fact there are cases that are known to have taken place
19:59 in Rome where thieves and malefactors were crucified
20:05 and they actually lived for days after their crucifixion.
20:09 And so the thieves were not dead that day, and therefore
20:13 the penitent thief could not have gone with Jesus that very
20:16 day to paradise. Furthermore, I want us to notice Luke 23:42.
20:23 Luke 23:42. When is it that the thief wanted Jesus to remember
20:31 him so that he could be with Jesus?
20:34 Was it at the moment of death, or was it at some future moment?
20:39 Notice Luke 23:42.
20:51 Now the question is, when did Jesus come into His kingdom?
20:54 Did Jesus come into His kingdom that very day?
20:58 Absolutely not! We know from scripture that Jesus did not
21:02 ascend to Heaven to take over the kingdom, along with His
21:06 Father, to sit at the right hand of His Father, until forty days
21:11 after the resurrection according to Acts 1.
21:14 So, in other words, Jesus did not enter His kingdom that day.
21:18 And so the thief could not have entered that kingdom with Jesus
21:23 on that very day. Another thing that we want to notice is
21:27 according to John 20:1 Jesus resurrected
21:33 the first day of the week.
21:35 Notice John 20:1. It says:
21:50 So very clearly, Jesus resurrects on the
21:54 first day of the week.
21:55 And yet we're going to find something very interesting
21:58 in that same chapter.
22:00 In verse 17 Jesus had something very interesting to say.
22:04 Notice John 20:17.
22:09 That is to Mary.
22:26 Interesting that on resurrection morning Jesus is saying to Mary,
22:30 the first day of the week, He's saying, I have not yet ascended
22:35 to My Father. So how could Jesus on Friday have gone to Paradise
22:40 to the very presence of the throne of His Father,
22:43 if the day of the resurrection He says, I have not yet ascended
22:47 to My Father? By the way, Jesus must have ascended that very day
22:52 at least for a moment, and then come back, because we're told
22:56 in Luke 24:39 that that evening Jesus encouraged His followers
23:04 to touch Him. It says there in Luke 24:39,
23:25 So there are all sorts of reasons why Jesus did not
23:29 go with the thief to Paradise that very day.
23:33 First of all, we notice that the thief probably did not die
23:38 that very day. Secondly, Jesus did not enter His Kingdom
23:43 on that very day. Furthermore, Jesus the third day said,
23:47 I have not yet ascended to My Father.
23:50 And we notice that Paradise is the place where God the Father's
23:54 throne is found in the New Jerusalem
23:57 where the tree of life is.
23:59 So on that day Jesus didn't go to Paradise, and the thief
24:05 did not go to Paradise either.
24:06 So how should we translate this verse in Luke 23?
24:13 On the basis of all of the evidence that we've looked at,
24:17 there's no doubt that it should be translated: Verily, verily,
24:22 I say unto you today, you will be with Me in Paradise.
24:26 In other words, today I'm telling you that someday
24:30 you will be with me in Paradise when I enter my Kingdom.
24:34 By the way, this was an idiomatic way of speaking
24:39 among the Jews. Notice, for example, Deuteronomy 30:18,
24:45 Deuteronomy 30:18. It says there, and it's not talking
24:51 about the same topic, but I want you to see that it was
24:54 common for the Jews to say, today something was going
24:58 to happen in the future.
24:59 It says there in Deuteronomy 30:18,
25:17 So notice once again the same idea, I announce to you today
25:22 that you shall surely perish.
25:24 They weren't going to perish that very day,
25:26 but God was saying that day that they would in the future
25:29 perish. And so, this text has no foundation for teaching that the
25:36 soul of that man, and the soul of Jesus,
25:40 went together to Paradise that very day.
25:44 The fact is the thief wasn't dead,
25:46 and Jesus went to the grave.
25:48 Jesus did not go to Paradise.
25:51 Jesus did not actually go to the presence of His Father
25:55 until the third day when He finally said that evening,
25:58 now you can touch me.
26:01 Now we need to go to the second episode that we're going to
26:05 study this evening, and that's the story
26:07 of the witch of En Dor.
26:10 It's found in 1 Samuel 28.
26:12 1 Samuel 28. Let me give you just a little bit of background.
26:18 It seems like King Saul had been more concerned about persecuting
26:24 David than he had been about administering the kingdom
26:29 wisely. And as a result he had ignored the Philistines,
26:33 and the Philistines had become very powerful,
26:36 and had taken over much of the kingdom that had belonged
26:40 to Israel. You see, Saul was so obsessed with getting rid of
26:45 David that he simply ignored the kingdom, and he did not spend
26:49 any time administrating it, and defending it from the hands
26:55 of the Philistines. And so we find in 1 Samuel 20:5 that Saul
27:00 was very much concerned and worried about the progress
27:05 and the growth of the Philistines. It says there:
27:18 And so Saul wanted to have the assurance that somehow he was
27:21 going to be delivered from the hands of the Philistines.
27:25 Now there were normal ways in which he could have consulted
27:30 the Lord to find out if when the Philistines came against him,
27:34 he was going to be delivered.
27:36 Notice 1 Samuel 28:6.
27:39 1 Samuel 28:6. It says:
27:49 Notice, the Lord did not answer him.
28:00 In other words, God did not use any of the conventional
28:04 ways of communicating His will to King Saul,
28:08 which was prophets, and visions, and the Urim and the Thummim.
28:12 God simply chose not to answer Saul.
28:17 Now it's interesting to notice that at this point the prophet
28:21 Samuel had died and he had been buried.
28:24 Notice 1 Samuel 28:3.
28:27 1 Samuel 28:3 It says:
28:52 So notice that Samuel had died and he had been buried.
28:58 And God did not answer Saul by any of the conventional means.
29:03 And then we find in this story that suddenly a being appears
29:09 to Saul, who purportedly is the spirit of Samuel,
29:15 who had died and been buried.
29:17 Now I want to share with you several reasons why this was
29:21 not really Samuel. First reason: The Bible tells us very clearly
29:28 that the living know that they are going to die,
29:31 but the dead know absolutely nothing.
29:34 Notice Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6.
29:38 Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6. It says there:
29:54 So in other words, the dead don't know anything.
29:57 So if the dead don't know anything, how could it be
30:00 Samuel who was appearing from among the dead to King Saul?
30:04 It would have been absolutely impossible.
30:07 Besides, would God violate the very means that He had used to
30:11 communicate with His people, and use a method that He Himself
30:15 had forbidden? Would God use forbidden methods when He
30:19 could have used the methods that He approved of?
30:21 Absolutely not. In fact, let's notice that God had strictly
30:25 forbidden Israel from trying to communicate with the dead.
30:29 Notice Leviticus 20:27; Leviticus 20:27.
30:41 Today they call them channelers.
30:57 Notice the punishment for people who tried to communicate with
31:00 the dead. In other words, they were to be put to death.
31:03 They were to be stoned.
31:05 Not only the medium, who claimed to communicate with the dead,
31:09 but also those who communicated with the dead.
31:12 Notice Leviticus 19:31.
31:15 This is another text that speaks about God's forbidding this
31:20 method. Give no regard to mediums, and familiar spirits.
31:26 Do not seek after them to be defiled by them.
31:31 I am the Lord your God.
31:34 In other words, God had forbidden strictly this idea of
31:39 trying to communicate with the dead.
31:41 And here Saul wants to have Samuel, who had died
31:45 and been buried come to speak to him.
31:47 Would God have allowed Samuel to go and speak to Saul, when God
31:53 had forbidden these methods, and He could have used one of
31:56 the conventional methods?
31:58 Absolutely not. In fact Saul knew that what he was doing
32:02 was wrong. Notice 1 Samuel 28:9.
32:06 1 Samuel 28:9. Saul had actually done what the Lord had told him
32:12 to do, and that is cast out all of these witches,
32:16 and all of these wizards from the land.
32:19 It says there in verse 9 of 1 Samuel 28:
32:38 You see, Saul knew that the method that he was using
32:42 was wrong. In fact in 1 Samuel 28:7, 8 we find that
32:46 Saul even disguised himself to try and fool this woman.
32:50 It says there:
32:59 Notice, he's not inquiring of the Lord.
33:01 He's inquiring of her.
33:15 Did he know that what he was doing was wrong,
33:17 and against God's will?
33:19 Sure! Would God answer him by a method that was contrary to His
33:23 will? Absolutely not! So it says in verse 8:
33:34 How? See he wants to hide what he's doing.
33:38 He came to the woman...
33:49 Now it's interesting to notice in verse 11, if you'll go with
33:53 me to verse 11, what the woman asks King Saul.
34:10 What do you mean bring me up Samuel?
34:12 Was Samuel a good man?
34:14 Of course he was. In fact he's on the honor roll,
34:17 we're going to notice in Hebrews 11, of those who are going to
34:20 resurrect in the better resurrection.
34:22 So the question is, where was Samuel at that point?
34:27 We already read it. Samuel had died and he was what?
34:31 He was buried. Now if he was good and the soul is really
34:36 immortal, like many people believe, then his soul should
34:39 have not gone down, his soul should have gone where?
34:42 His soul should have gone up.
34:44 But obviously there's something strange going on here,
34:48 because Saul is saying, bring me up Samuel.
34:52 In other words, Samuel did not go to be in the presence
34:56 of the Lord. By the way, I want you to notice what the woman
35:01 actually sees when this entity comes up from the earth.
35:06 Notice 1 Samuel 28:13.
35:09 1 Samuel 28:13.
35:23 You know, this is not a proper translation.
35:26 This is the New King James.
35:27 In the King James Version it says, I saw god's ascending
35:33 out of the earth. Notice, ascending out of the earth.
35:36 So what was Samuel doing down there in the earth?
35:40 If he was a good man his soul should have been at least
35:44 in Paradise up there somewhere, but she's making him come up.
35:48 And you'll notice that she says, I see a spirit,
35:53 actually it's the Hebrew word Eloheim, which is translated
35:58 God, in Genesis 1. In the beginning God created the
36:03 heavens and the earth.
36:04 In other words, this witch is actually telling Saul,
36:10 I see a god coming up out of the earth.
36:15 In other words, she was saying that Samuel was a what?
36:18 Samuel was a god when he died.
36:24 Now where does that lie come from?
36:26 Notice Genesis 3:4, 5.
36:30 The devil said the same thing to Adam and Eve; actually to Eve.
36:34 It says in verse 4:
36:53 In other words, you're not going to die;
36:55 you're going to be like God.
36:57 Is this the same thing that the witch and the devil are trying
37:02 to pan off to King Saul? Absolutely.
37:06 Now, another thing which is very interesting is found in verse 14
37:11 of chapter 28. 1 Samuel 28:14.
37:14 I want you to notice this.
37:16 It's very interesting. It says:
37:21 What does this entity look like?
37:27 Oh, so if this is the soul of Samuel, then the soul of Samuel
37:33 is pretty old, huh? Huh!
37:41 Those of you who have read about Spiritualism know that this is
37:44 the way that spirits, supposedly, use to appear
37:47 to the living at séances.
37:49 And now notice, and this is very important,
37:53 because this witch has said that she saw gods ascending
37:57 from the earth. Notice Saul's reaction. It says:
38:02 We'll come back to that a little bit later.
38:12 What is he doing? He's worshipping this entity.
38:17 That's correct, because the witch has said, I saw Eloheim.
38:23 I saw god's coming up from the earth.
38:26 So he bows down and he worships.
38:29 By the way, even angels do not receive worship.
38:32 In Revelation 19:10 the angel Gabriel appears to John,
38:38 and John falls at his feet to worship him, and the angel says,
38:42 Get up! I am a servant of God just like you are.
38:46 You remember when Peter went and met Cornelius?
38:50 You know, Cornelius bowed before him, and Peter said,
38:54 Get up! I'm a man such as you are.
38:57 So how is it that Saul is bowing and putting his face to the
39:02 ground before this entity?
39:04 Another interesting detail is what we find in 1 Samuel 28:19.
39:08 See all of these discrepancies show that there's something
39:12 strange going on here; that really this was not Samuel who
39:16 appeared to Saul. 1 Samuel 28:19.
39:20 Notice what this supposed spirit of Samuel has to say.
39:38 Huh! What is it that this supposed Samuel is saying?
39:46 He's saying, you know, tomorrow Saul, you're gong to be in the
39:52 very same place that I'm at.
39:54 So what does that mean?
39:56 The righteous and the wicked all go to the same place?
39:58 That's what modern spiritualism teaches:
40:00 universalism, the idea that everyone is going to be saved.
40:05 Everybody is going to the same place.
40:07 That's what's happening here.
40:08 And so he says, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.
40:13 The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of
40:18 the Philistines. By the way, that could not have been Samuel,
40:23 because the Bible tells us that Samuel is on the honor roll
40:27 of Hebrews 11, and his hope was found in being with God
40:31 at that better resurrection.
40:32 In fact, let's read that in Hebrews 11:32.
40:36 The name of Samuel is mentioned.
40:38 It says, And what more shall I say? for the time would fail me
40:43 to tell of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah;
40:48 also of David, and Samuel, and the prophets.
40:52 And then I want you to notice verse 35.
40:54 After mentioning all of these names, it says: Women received
40:58 their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured,
41:02 not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better
41:06 resurrection. So let me ask you, when is it that Samuel
41:11 is actually going to be raised up and be present with the Lord?
41:15 It was not at the moment of his death that he comes up and he
41:19 speaks to Saul. The Bible makes it very clear that it will be at
41:23 the moment of the better resurrection when Jesus comes
41:26 on the clouds of heaven, and you hear the sound of the trumpet,
41:29 and the voice of the archangel that will call Samuel
41:32 from the grave. Meanwhile the Bible tells us that Samuel is
41:38 like everybody else who has died.
41:40 He knows absolutely nothing!
41:44 By the way, we know that the entity that came up and spoke
41:50 to Saul was not Samuel, because in 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14,
41:56 if you'll go with me there; 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14.
42:00 We're told that the Lord did not answer Saul, because Saul did
42:05 not enquire of the Lord.
42:06 It says there in 1 Chronicles 10:13, 14:
42:39 Let me ask you, when Saul used the medium to try and
42:45 communicate with the Lord, was it the Lord who answered him?
42:48 Absolutely not! We're told here that:
42:54 And if he did not inquire of the Lord, the Lord did not answer
42:58 him, especially using unorthodox, forbidden methods
43:03 of determining the will of God.
43:06 By the way, Isaiah 8:19,20 tells us that we are not supposed to
43:14 seek the will of God through these forbidden methods,
43:18 but rather by going to the very Word of God.
43:21 It says there in Isaiah 8:19, 20:
43:47 In other words, we are to seek the will of God in the law.
43:51 In this time when Isaiah wrote, that is the writings of Moses.
43:55 And the testimony refers to the prophets who had been raised up
43:59 by God, and who had written up till that point,
44:01 because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
44:05 So basically this is saying, don't seek God's will among
44:08 the mediums and the wizards, but to the law and to the testimony.
44:12 And if they don't speak according to this, it's because
44:16 they have no light in them.
44:19 Now I want you to notice a very important word that is used
44:24 in 1 Samuel 28:14. 1 Samuel 28:14.
44:29 You know, you read the passage and the passage gives the
44:33 impression that it's Samuel that is actually speaking
44:37 all throughout the passage.
44:38 But there's a very important word that indicates that this
44:41 was Saul's perception.
44:44 Notice 1 Samuel 28:14.
44:46 And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his.
44:58 Now, let me ask you, what were Saul's perceptions like
45:06 at this point? Were his perceptions trustworthy?
45:10 Absolutely not! Notice 1 Samuel 16:14; 16:14. It says here:
45:30 So what was the problem with Saul before this witch of En Dor
45:34 episode? The Bible tells us that there was a spirit,
45:38 an evil spirit is says, from the Lord, that tormented him.
45:41 Does this mean that God goes around sending evil spirits
45:45 to torment people? Of course not!
45:47 You know how this worked.
45:49 You have, for example, Job.
45:51 You know, the devil comes and he takes everything away from Job.
45:55 Job thinks it's the Lord.
45:58 He says, The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
46:00 Blessed be the name of the Lord.
46:02 But as we read the story we know that the Lord is simply
46:05 permitting the devil to work.
46:07 Another example of this is in 1 Chronicles 18:18-20.
46:12 I'll just have you look up that passage where a spirit appears
46:16 before the presence of the Lord, and he says, You know,
46:19 I'll go convince Ahab to go to battle so that he gets killed
46:22 in battle. And the Lord says to this spirit, He says,
46:25 And how are you going to convince him to go to battle?
46:27 And the spirit says, Oh, I'll be a lying spirit in the mouths
46:31 of all of his prophets.
46:32 In other words, I'll tell a lie to his prophets that's he's
46:34 going to gain the victory in the battle, but he's really going to
46:38 be killed. Now let me ask you, who was that spirit who was in
46:42 the presence of the Lord that said, I will be a lying spirit
46:45 in the mouths of all of the prophets of Ahab?
46:47 It can't be a loyal angel.
46:49 It can't be a good spirit, a ministering spirit
46:52 from the Lord, for the simple reason that angels do not use
46:57 what? they do not use lies to accomplish God's purposes.
47:03 So in other words, Saul perceived that it was Samuel.
47:09 But the Bible tells us that Saul's powers of perception
47:14 were eschewed, because an evil spirit was coming and was
47:18 tormenting Saul. And, in fact, the Bible tells us that David
47:23 would be called by Saul to play his harp so his tortured spirit
47:27 would experience some peace.
47:30 And even when David was playing his harp, you know what would
47:33 happen; the evil spirit would take possession of Saul,
47:36 and at least a couple of times he took his spirit and he hurled
47:39 it at David to try and nail David to the wall,
47:42 according to the scripture.
47:43 Let me ask you, Who had possessed Saul at this point?
47:47 It was the devil.
47:48 So could Saul trust his perceptions?
47:51 Absolutely not! He perceived that it was Samuel,
47:55 but that doesn't mean that it was Samuel.
47:58 In fact, I want to read a statement from the devotional
48:02 book, Conflict and Courage, page 172, where Ellen White
48:05 is discussing this experience of the witch of En Dor.
48:09 And she says this: When Saul inquired for Samuel,
48:13 the Lord did not cause Samuel to appear to Saul.
48:18 He saw nothing. Satan was not allowed to disturb the rest of
48:24 Samuel in the grave and bring him up in reality to the witch
48:30 of En Dor. God does not give Satan power to resurrect
48:35 the dead. But Satan's angels, listen to this, assume the
48:41 form of dead friends, and speak and act like them,
48:46 that through professed dead friends he can better carry on
48:52 his work of deception.
48:54 Satan knew Samuel well...
48:56 Now notice, Satan knew Samuel well.
48:59 ...and he knew how to represent him before the witch of En Dor
49:03 and to utter correctly the fate of Saul and his sons.
49:10 I'd like to read another statement that we find in
49:12 The Great Controversy, page 552.
49:15 Here Ellen White is talking about what's going to happen
49:17 in the future. The devil's going to do the same thing that he did
49:20 to Saul at the end of time, to try and deceive people into
49:24 believing what he's trying to teach through these supposed
49:29 spirits of the dead.
49:30 It says there, speaking about the devil:
50:18 That is a powerful statement.
50:19 So something is appearing, but it's not the loved ones.
50:25 It's really the devil disguised as those who died.
50:30 Let me ask you, does the devil know a lot about the lives
50:33 of those people who have died?
50:34 Absolutely! Now I want to read an amazing statement as we near
50:40 our close in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 687.
50:43 Say, how did the devil know that Saul was going to be killed
50:48 the next day? Well, the fact is that it wasn't the Lord who
50:52 killed him. The Lord allowed the devil to kill him, right?
50:56 So when it says that He killed him, it simply means that God
51:00 withdrew His protection from Saul, because Saul was in the
51:04 hands of the devil at that point.
51:05 Saul was demon possessed, so the devil could do anything
51:09 he wanted to him. His door of probation, so to speak,
51:13 had closed. Now how can the devil sometimes apparently
51:17 predict the future; things that are going to happen in the
51:19 future? How does he say certain things about people that no one
51:23 else knows? You know how you have these psychic's
51:25 on television who supposedly communicate with the dead.
51:28 And, you know, people call.
51:29 They say, you know, I want you to communicate with such
51:32 and such a relative, and they say some amazing things
51:35 about the relatives that are really true.
51:38 And you say, how do they know these things?
51:41 Well, the fact is the devil knows all about those relatives,
51:44 and he can come and he can whisper in the ear of the
51:47 psychic to tell the psychic exactly what transpired
51:51 in the life of that person.
51:52 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
51:53 Now look at this statement: Patriarchs and Prophets,
51:56 page 687: Satan leads men...
52:09 Does Satan know the past of everyone on Planet Earth and his
52:13 angels? Sure, because he can go even into the secret places.
52:30 Because he says things in the past that nobody knew,
52:33 except that person, people say, well, if he knows the past,
52:37 then he must also know the future.
52:39 Now how does he do this?
52:58 Just by looking at the law of cause and effect.
53:14 You know, there was one prophet that probably all of you have
53:20 heard about. Her name is Jeane Dixon.
53:22 She actually passed away.
53:25 Do you know that she prophesied with precision where
53:31 Robert Kennedy was going to be assassinated, and the month
53:35 in which Robert Kennedy was going to be assassinated?
53:38 She said it several months before.
53:40 So you say, she had to be a psychic.
53:43 She had to have the gift of reading the future,
53:45 because she predicted that Robert F. Kennedy was going
53:48 to be killed in the Ambassador Hotel in the month of June.
53:51 Only God can foretell the future, right?
53:55 How did the devil do it?
53:56 Do you think the devil knew that Robert F. Kennedy was going
54:01 to be in the Ambassador Hotel at that date?
54:03 Do you think he knew, Robert F. Kennedy's calendar?
54:07 Of course he did. Could the devil influence somebody to
54:10 take a gun and to come and to meet Robert Kennedy at the
54:14 Ambassador Hotel? Of course he could.
54:16 And so he has Jeane Dixon predict this is going to happen,
54:21 and then he molds the different events so that it will happen.
54:25 The only trouble is it doesn't happen 100% of the time,
54:28 because sometimes God intervenes and interferes with the devil's
54:32 plans, and He does not allow the devil to implement his plans.
54:35 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
54:37 And so people say, Wow, she predicted the death of Robert F.
54:41 Kennedy. That's amazing!
54:43 But what they don't realize is that she's not really predicting
54:46 anything. It's the fact of the devil revealing what he is
54:50 planning to do. He can't always do what he plans to do,
54:54 because sometimes God interrupts his plans.
54:58 Now there's a lot of spiritualism going on in the
55:02 world today: Harry Potter, supposed apparitions of the
55:08 Virgin Mary, psychics, astrologers, palm readers,
55:15 channelers, supposedly angels.
55:21 Do you know that most people believe that angels are spirits
55:24 of the departed that went to Heaven, and then they come back
55:29 to this earth disguised as human beings, to help those who
55:34 are here on earth?
55:35 You know, like the program Highway to Heaven with Michael
55:37 Landon? Probably you watched that show.
55:40 It was a long time ago where, you know, he died.
55:43 He went to Heaven, then God sent him back.
55:44 Then God sent him back.
55:45 He became an angel.
55:47 God sent him back to earth to help people as a human being.
55:53 The devil is working overtime to deceive the whole world
55:59 with the lie that he uttered at the very
56:02 beginning of human history.
56:03 The living know that they will die, the Bible says,
56:08 but the dead know not anything.
56:10 But the devil says, You will not surely die, but you shall be as
56:15 God, knowing good and evil.
56:18 The question is, who do we believe?
56:20 Do we believe God, or do we believe the devil?
56:23 That's the question that each of us have to answer.
56:27 And so the two passages that we've studied make it very clear
56:31 that neither one of them teach the immortality of the soul.
56:35 The thief on the cross did not go that very day to Paradise
56:39 with Jesus, because Jesus did not go to Paradise that day,
56:43 and the thief wasn't dead that day.
56:45 So the better translation is, Verily, verily I say unto you
56:49 today, you will be with me in Paradise.
56:52 And as far as the story of the witch of En Dor, God did not
56:56 communicate with Saul through Samuel.
56:59 Samuel is in the grave, dead, awaiting the call of Jesus
57:04 Christ, his Savior and Lord, whom he believed in as the One
57:09 who would come in the future to shed His blood to save Samuel
57:12 and all the rest of humanity through His blood from their
57:16 sins. And so folks, the book of Revelation tells us that in the
57:21 last days the devil is going to deceive the whole world.
57:25 I pray to God that none of us will be deceived.


Revised 2014-12-17