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Does the Bible Condone Saul's Conjuring of the Dead?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2020 1:00 am

Does the Bible Condone Saul's Conjuring of the Dead?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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October 29, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 564 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

1. In Deuteronomy 29, when it says that Israel served and worshiped “gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them,” does this suggest that there are other spiritual beings that are lower gods?

2. Should we repeatedly ask for the same things in prayer?

3. Does God ever say thank you in response to us when we are obedient to walk in good works, or is God too awesome and important to say ‘thank you’ to his servants?

4. In 1 Samuel 28, Saul has a strange encounter with the “Witch of Endor.” From my understanding, Saul consults this woman to summon the spirit of prophet Samuel in order to receive advice against the Philistines in battle. Does this sequence prove that there are ghosts or spirits of dead people that can actually be summoned?

 

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A story in the Old Testament seems to affirm the existence of spirits or ghosts what's your view on that. That is one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. At 833, the court, that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or twitter accounts or email us at questions at core, Christianity.com so a drill when you were a kid.

Did your family watch the Christmas TV classic Rudolph the red nose reindeer yes of course we talk about the claymation one stop now only animation will those topics that were used in that that show was done back in 1964 and the puppets that they use are going up for auction in November. They were designed by Japanese puppet maker Ishiguro Kimura who I guess was quite famous for his time. He crafted these puppets would wire cloth, leather and yak care.

Believe it or not the Santa puppet from that show is just about 11 inches long.

The Rudolph puppet is 6 inches long. Despite being over 55 years old. Rudolph's nose still shines bright because they've done over the years. Now my favorite character in that show was the abominable snowman remember his name, George, Adam, I called the humble the ball yeah that's right the bumble anniversary was scary and mean that he turned out to be nice.

By the end of the show so well.

There's nothing like a good yak care, puppet, and that we all know this side. I'm guessing I will.

How much are these things going for you hello you know they're going to be big bucks will be one of those auctions were 2,000,002, but someone's got to get the puppets in November and what what a great show to watch with your kids. I member every year in Burl Ives I think was the was the narrator was me that I didn't know that. Let's get to our first question of the day. This one is from Debbie who posted on our website and she says in Deuteronomy 29. The Bible says that Israel served and worshiped gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them.

Does this suggest there are other spiritual beings that are lower gods. I know there are some who use this verse to argue there are strongholds that certain spiritual beings have dominion over Lycan Frank readies this present darkness novels. What you think of certain cities or places being spiritual strongholds for demons or other spiritual beings. I think that there is some indication in the Scripture said that could be the casing on my mind immediately goes to that passage in Daniel. I think it's Daniel. Chapter 10 with the angel talks about doing doing battle with the Prince of Persia and of course there are some people who've taken that to be a reference to these demonic hosts the spiritual forces that are ruling over a particular region and we know that you know in first John chapter 5 he talks about the whole world lying under the sway of darkness under the sway of the evil one, and Paul in Ephesians chapter 6, I think it is in verse 13 he talks about the fact that you were at war with these spiritual forces fees, principalities and powers of skin to read the passage right there that I was afraid. Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12 for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, and of course on this program. We talked about that before how to even be what you think about world leaders today, there are the spiritual forces at work behind the scene evil forces, the times that have an influence on the world on the culture and so we have to be vigilant and we have to be prayerful so I think we could say Debbie that there is indication that there are demonic forces spiritual forces that govern the rule over particular areas and in that you do have some examples of that in Scripture. One thing I do want to say to me that that passage you were talking about in Deuteronomy chapter 29 of the focus. There is me think of, but the 10 Commandments God made it absolutely clear you're not to have any other gods before me.

You not to make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth, you're not the bow down to them or serve them yet. That's what the Israelites had been doing. They were engaging in idolatry they were worshiping going after God's false gods who the Lord never called them to worship. In fact, he did the absolute opposite of that non-idle really is nothing I think about what the apostle Paul says in first Corinthians chapter 8. There, in the context of talking about foods in that culture. And that day that had been sacrificed meats that had been sacrificed to idols and there were Christians that were really wrestling with Alec and I eat this food that's been this meat that's been sacrificed to an idol or or you know my getting it possessed or something like that.

If I if I eat this food will Paul says therefore as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence.

First Corinthians chapter 8 verse four and that there is no God but one. For, although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many quote unquote gods in many quote unquote Lords yet for us there is one God the father from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Really just amazing passage of Scripture. There actually one of the things that Paul is doing and that and that versus he's echoing the Shema hero, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Deuteronomy chapter 6 the great heartbeat of Hebrew piety and he's putting Jesus right at the middle of it for us.

There is one God and one Lord Jesus pretty phenomenal but something that Paul goes on to say a little bit later there in first Corinthians is that although an idol is nothing less than what he said in chapter 10 again related to foods sacrificed to idols and whatnot first previous chapter 10 verse 19 he says what do I imply then that food offered to idols is anything that an idol is anything no I imply that what pagan sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons and so it although there there are no idols. True idols in the world. The fact of the matters could getting back to the heart of your question, there are these evil forces. These demonic forces at work in the world that are influencing culture, even politics, we might say, and certainly influencing false religion, and that's why again we have to be rooted in the Scriptures we have to be prayed up. Has Paul says in Ephesians 6 and we have to be part of a good local church. Debbie, thanks for your question, no Israel a few years ago I was on a short-term mission trip to Indonesia and most of the country is Muslim but the island of Bali happens to be Hindu and everywhere I went on that island. There were idols, and each morning the people would come out of their home and they would have their little idle offerings to their different Hindu gods and they would put out these little offerings of meat or fruit or what not amend the dogs could come and eat them, but I was just stunned by the number effect they had entire industries of of these people it would carve idols out of wood of different Indian gods and deities just struck me how that's exactly what Paul is talking about people worshiping the created instead of the create tour and what we have this obligation to continue to spread the good news wherever we are. Because there are a lot of people who are so lost. You know built what you said is is right on and let me just say something I have currently been doing my devotions in the book of Jeremiah and I you and I read something just the other day that was so striking to me thinking about idolatry. Because I think a lot of people you know he released the stories I say oh yeah you know people out there worshiping these little figurines.

Thank God I don't do that. But you know God says something to Jeremiah that I thought was, wow, that is just so that is so convicting such a challenge to us as well.

He sees rebuking the people and he says because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the Lord, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them in a forsaken me, and have not kept my law, this is Jeremiah 16 that was verse 11. His first 12 and because you have done worse than your father's. For behold every one of you who follows his stubborn, evil will refusing to listen to me. Is he Jeremiah says you know it's even worse than bowing down before little figurine calling that a God it's making your own heart your own will.

God, following after your own stubborn evil will refusing to listen to the Lord, to the I think a lot of times will we can sort of escape the charge of idolatry.

So I don't do that.

I don't bow down before those little figurines.

But here's the question is what God said through the prophet Jeremiah. It's even worse than that just following your own stubborn will and not been willing to submit to God's Word and God's will that something I think that each of us can be challenged by for sure this is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez.

Here's a call that came in at 833. The core how well I'm calling from New York and Tom Cary about something I've been praying I end and that is the Bible regarding repetition and as I am praying and praying for the same thing over and over again, wondering if my prayers are heard in all regarding my children foundation in LA night. It will repeat the same thing over God because I want them to be saved and they were formally unit in the church.

I know God didn't leave them because that is planted so that is my question.

Thank you so much and still thank you for that question.

And I know that your heart center is the heart of many parents who long to see their children love the Lord and walk with the Lord and so first I want to do is I want to join you in praying for your children. Heavenly father, I want to pray first for Sandra and for her children. Lord, that that seed that has been planted in them.

Lord, as she's shared your love and your truth with them God that that would grow father that you would draw them to yourself back into the church, Lord, that you would open their eyes, their hearts on their minds, Lord, to receive your truth. Your goodness to walk in a manner to live in a manner that is pleasing to you, Lord, and to experience just a wonder the beauty of your gospel, the forgiveness of sins to live a life in accordance with that.

So would you be with Sandra, would you encourage her, would you give her wisdom Lord as she seeks to continue to encourage her children and to point them to you and I pray also Lord for all the parents listening right now who long to see their children love you and walk with you which you encourage them. Would you give them wisdom Lord to speak the truth in love, and what would you draw all of them. All of the children to you into the bosom of your church and under the grace of your son Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen. There are two passages that come to mind. I was the one that you referenced Sandra Ness from Matthew chapter 6 where Jesus gives two warnings related to prayer is is one don't be like the hypocrites don't pray so that other people can see you so you can make a name for yourself and people think all wow what a pious person. Don't be like them and he was really referring in that context of the religious leaders who for pretense would make extra long prayers.

They love to pray on the street corners that kind of thing. But he also gives another warning he says don't be like the Gentiles because they think that they're going to be heard for their many words just sort of repeating the same thing over and over and over again. What you do understand is repetition in and of itself is not a bad thing for actually I would say it's a really good thing, vain repetition, though that's a bad thing. The word vain repetition in the Gospels. It really just highlights the mindless praying not really praying from the heart, but just repeating the same thing over and over almost like an incantation or some magic words in and hoping that God is going to pay attention to you because you've got the right formula and Jesus is don't do that. Don't pray like the Gentiles, our God is a good father that we don't have to fight for his attention.

We can come before him sincerely and offer up our prayers and even when it's the same prayer over and over and over again Sandra, I think the Lord is pleased to hear it.

When we offer it up in faith. The other passage that I was thinking about was that parable of the persistent widow that Jesus gave in Luke chapter 18, listen to this verse one. He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said in a certain city. There was a judge who neither feared God and a respected man and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying give me justice against my adversary for a while. He refused.

But afterwards he said to himself, though I neither fear God nor respect man yet because this widow keeps bothering me. I will give her justice so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming and the Lord said here with the unrighteous judge says, and will not, God give justice to his elect who cry to him day and night will he delay long over them. I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. The right to you. Just think about that parable that Jesus gives Keith encouraging us there.

In that context, he set it up at the very beginning of the text not to lose heart and prayer, and Sandra, I don't want you to lose heart and prayer either keep praying for your children continue to be like that persistent widow who is crying out to the Lord, saying, Lord, save them and may God help each and every one of us to have that kind of heart of prayer for the people around us who don't know Jesus Lord help us last thing Sandra, not sure if you're familiar with St. Augustine's confessions.

It's the classic Christian work of the one of the one of the most wonderful stories of redemption. I think ever told and it's written by St. Augustine.

He was in Western church father lived many many years ago to sustain recounting the story of his conversion, he wasn't really converted and really begin walking with Jesus until he was in his 30s, and one of the things it's so beautiful in the confessions in the story that he tells us he talks about the frequent persistent prayers of his mother Monica. I really think he attributes his conversion to her praying day and night to the Lord and Monica you know throughout the book she just is praying for him in a longing for him to be in the church and there are times where he's totally against it where he sort of teases her and says is not ever going to happen but it was the work of God's spirit. God answered her prayers. And this is wonderful scene photo in the middle of the book he talks about his conversion week when he goes to his mother and he tells her about everything that had happened and she just is overjoyed with tears that this is beautiful thing.

And what a great example for all of us as parents to persistently pray you don't know what the Lord is going to do in you or in your children and obviously God is sovereign but so often he accomplishes his sovereign purposes through the prayers of his people and so keep praying sister and don't be discouraged and may the Lord bless you center thanks much for your call and in our prayer would be the God would bring your kids back may be walking with him once again in the future. This is core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez and today we are offering our 100 page softcover workbook on the Gospel of John. This is really an awesome study. You can do it on your own with your family or in a small group yeah the gospel of John.

What a wonderful book of the Bible in such a powerful book that has transformed the lives of so many people think one of the things it's unique about the gospel of John, Bill, is that it really focuses on why we should believe John even says that towards the end of his gospel of written these things so that you might believe in Jesus Christ as of the believing in him you might have life in his names of two things that right why you should believe and also the life eternal life that is found in knowing Jesus. That's a John wants you to have better. John wants you to know and so that's one of the reasons why I think we chose this book to do a study on it and it really is a great resource highlights key themes probes the heart with reflection questions in the study that you could go through on your owner or with a group of people and I think you're going to come away with a better understanding of not just the gospel of John, but of the whole drama of Scripture so head over to core Christianity.com/offers to get your copy of our unique Bible study on the gospel of John for your gift of $20 or more would love to send you this, a Bible study. Just go to core Christianity.com/Gospel of John, get your copy or call us at 833-843-2673 for that offer or any one of our offers at 833, the court go to another question that came in a drill.

This one was posted by Elias on her website. He says does God ever say thank you in response to us when we are obedient and do good works, or is God to awesome and important to say thank you to his servants, Elias. That's it. That's an interesting way of looking at it but I think that there are some problems with the sort of assumption saying or thinking nose got up there no grateful for me thankful that I'm following him that kind of them. Imagine I have four kids and imagine I asked my son to clean his room as I as I often do, and he goes in and that he cleans his room. He listens to his dad as he should, because I'm his dad, and he's my son. And it's one of his chores, and afterwards he looks at me and says GRG can say thank you. That would be a problem. Would I probably would say no.

Now you have to go clean the backyard to something like that really is. I think some confusion there and so the answer I would suggest to your question is no, and here's why our obedience to God isn't doing him a favor. Actually it's doing us a favor, God doesn't call us to obey his law because he needs our help making the world a better place or something like that. Actually, in obedience to his law, we find you will find Elias ultimate joy were not doing God any favors by obeying him actually disobedience in his death. It's destruction is of God doesn't give us these rules because were his laws because he needs us or he need something from us. It's for our good and I think we really have to understand this about the law of God that it's good. It should be a delight that the reason he gives us these laws is not to hurt us or to burden us but for our good.

Now the problem is all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God that despite God, despite the fact that God is given us these good laws. These good rules for our good and the good of our neighbor we twist them. The we sin, we break them on. That's why we need the gospel. That's why Jesus came and perfectly fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law Elias so that we might have life in him. And so there's ultimate joy full joy in Jesus and what he's accomplished for us and now having been forgiven of our sins of our lawbreaking having been cleansed and filled with the Holy Spirit we are called to delight in following God and it is the privilege that God is given to us to follow him and to know him and so we should instead say, God, thank you for saving me for sustaining me for filling me with your spirit with the love for you and a love for your people and so I think that's the approach we need to have Elias thank you so much for your question. Your listening to core Christianity with Pastor Israel Sanchez Halloween is this Saturday and here is a question that cut ties in with the Stephen posted this on her Facebook account. He says in first Samuel 28 Saul has a strange encounter with the witch of Endor for my understanding Saul consults this woman to some of the spirit of the prophet Samuel in order to receive advice against the Philistines in battle. Does this sequence prove there are ghosts or spirits of dead people that can actually be summoned the very controversial passage of Scripture limit is give you some of the different interpretations. Some people think well this was all sort of demonic activity that it wasn't really the spirit of the prophet that came up other people say no, it really was and then the question is well so is this the thing you know, can we summon ghosts. One thing is absolutely clear from the Old Testament know we can have mediums and people who talk to the dead.

That was strictly forbidden. And we do know that when when we die am in the author. The Hebrew says it's appointed for men to die once and then comes the judgment so I don't get the sense that people are just sort of in a floating around and watching over us, or that kind of a thing for the believer who dies, the one who is in Christ there in the presence of the Lord you think about that. The discussion that Jesus had with the thief on the cross.

Today you're going to be with me in paradise or fallen in the book of Philippians.

What he's talking about departing to be with Jesus speaking of his death and he says I know that that's so much better than anything else I've ever experienced.

It's what we refer to as the intermediate state. Our bodies go down into the ground and our spirits go to be with the Lord waiting for the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come. And I think for those who are not in Christ.

Will they go to a place of torment. A place of perdition, waiting for the resurrection unto judgment that's described in various places of Scripture, but I think that we can say about it for sure is that this is not something that's permitted for people and for believer. Certainly not to do God strictly forbids witchcraft and yet no necromancy in speaking to the dead. Those kinds of things. This is one of the reasons why Saul was condemned by the spirit of God left him were told and why he had this terrible and but for us who believe in Jesus Christ, we have hope that when we die when artist can float around where can it be with the Lord in heaven. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers and the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time.

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