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Speaking With the Dead, No. 2 - BD23-02

We continue with the second phase of speaking with the dead.  Someone gave me a card which is an advertisement of a medium here in Dallas.  I think you understand now that in a séance, a medium actually deals with a demonic spirit.  From the vast information, knowledge, insight, and understanding that exist in the demonic world, the demon is given information which is passed on to the individual.  This card is entitled, “Madam Gray.  She will warn you gravely, suggest wisely, and explain fully.  Satisfaction guaranteed.  Readings daily and Sunday from 9 AM to 10 PM.  $2 with this coupon.” 

Now please don’t rush up here trying to get this, because I want to keep this coupon here.  She is not advertising something that she can’t produce when you come in there with your $2 and the coupon.  Because there is information in the demonic world that she has access to, and that is passed on to you.  While it may be accurate information, it will also cause you intense emotional, psychological, and physical problems.  There is the law of compensation. 

The demonic world is a world which we can contact.  When people do speak from the dead, it is a demon who is imitating the voice of the one who is dead.  There are demons who have that ventriloquist gift, and they can imitate the voice so it sounds just exactly like the person you once knew.  So the demons are actually behind all of the contacts with the dead. 

We have told you that it is very dangerous to decide a thing on the basis of experience.  We have been speaking about the practice of necromancy.  The word “necromancy” means talking to the dead.  Divination is what necromancy is seeking to produce, and “divination” means predicting the future by various means.  Negative volition to divine viewpoint in the soul is what leads to the condition of being willing to consult a medium.  The bible forbids all efforts to communicate with the dead. 

We have been looking at King Saul who had come to the point where God had separated himself entirely from this king.  He was faced with the Philistine enemy.  In his desperation, now that Samuel the prophet was dead, there was nobody that he could turn to.  So he went to a medium at Endor in disguise, and asked that Samuel be contacted.  This story in the Bible is the classic authentic expose’ of the fraudulent Madam Grays and all the séances that you might be tempted to attend. 

Please turn to 1 Samuel chapter 28 and let’s pick up the story once more.  Saul is out of temporal fellowship.  He is in fear, facing the Philistines consequently.  But God is silent to his appeals for guidance.  No information, no contact with God whatsoever.  So in disguise, he consults the medium of Endor to try to contact dead Samuel.  However, as the séance moved into its high point, something went haywire.  To the horror of the medium, Samuel actually arose from the dead and came back and stood before her.  She described him to Saul, and Saul realized that it was indeed Samuel, and so he bowed himself respectfully to the ground. 

We pick it up at verse 15.  “And Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?’  And Saul answered, “I am very much distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and answereth me no more, neither by prophet nor by dreams.  Therefore I have called thee that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.” 

Samuel asks Saul, “Why have you disturbed me from the peace that I now enjoy?”  Where was Samuel?  Samuel was in a place called “Hades.”  That’s the Greek word.  The Old Testament word is “Sheol.”  It was the place of the departed dead.  It had two compartments.  One compartment for the believers was called “Paradise.”  That’s where the thief on the cross went to be with the Lord upon the day of crucifixion.  The other place was called “Torments,” the place of the unbelievers.  There was a third compartment called “Tartarus,” in which the angels who had cohabited with human women before the flood (the record of which we have in Genesis 6, and had produced the hybrid race of giants which were wiped out in the flood), these angelic beings who had crossed over and had cohabited with a different kind of being than their own, which is strictly forbidden in the word of God.  These angels were in that special captivity. 

Here’s where Samuel was, and under God’s direction, Samuel is called out of Paradise to go back to the earth to speak with Saul.  This portion of Hades has, upon the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been removed and now is in Heaven.  Now only the unbeliever goes to Hades.  We call it hell, but the word for “hell” is really what the bible calls “the lake of fire.”  So only unbelievers now go to Hades.  Believers go to heaven, and nobody is in hell at this moment.  That is a place that has been prepared for Satan and his angels, and into which a certain number of unbelieving human beings will also eventually be put.  That’s why the Bible says that Hades is going to be cast into the lake of fire. 

The first thing Samuel says is, “Why are you disturbing me from the peace that I now enjoy in Sheol?”  Saul tells of his threat from the Philistine army, and his inability to find guidance from God.  All three media of guidance from God are silent to him.  This is a terrible blow to a believer to realize that God has departed from him as far as guidance is concerned.  It begins with negative volition. 

So Saul says, “I have called thee.”  This remark indicates that he still thinks that the medium brought Samuel to earth.  He still hasn’t grasped the fact that the medium had nothing to do with this at all.  He thinks that the medium screamed and was in a panic because she discovered that her customer was King Saul, and so she feared for her life.  Her fear was, first of all, because she realized that something had gone wrong and that an actual person from the dead had arisen. 

Saul explains what he wants Samuel to do—to tell him what to do about the Philistines.  Notice the contradiction and the inanity of Saul’s thinking, which is characteristic (you will discover) about negative volition people.  God has slammed the door on Saul as far as guidance is concerned.  The irrationality of the negative volition believer is this.  When God slams the door, you would think that’s it, and that he would understand that “I had better change.  I had better get right with God and change my position and my attitude so that once more I have the blessing, the satisfaction, the peace, and the guidance of God upon me.”  But negative volition people often do not do this.  Instead, they shift the scene.  They go looking someplace else.  That’s what Saul did. 

Here he is asking Samuel, who could tell him nothing except as God told Samuel.  How on earth was Samuel going to tell him what to do about the Philistines?  If God had refused to speak directly to Saul, he wasn’t going to give it to him through Samuel.  In verse 16, Samuel points this contradiction out to Saul, “Why then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord has departed from thee and has become thy enemy?”  “God has become thy enemy.  And the Lord hath done to thee as he spoke by me, for the Lord hath torn the kingdom out of thine hand and given it to thy neighbor, even to David. 

If God won’t advise carnal Saul, how can Samuel (who must get his information from God if it’s to be true) advise the king?  Notice the relationship now to this negative believer, Saul.  And remember that he is a believer.  God is now his enemy.  This is the relationship that a carnal Christian puts himself in relative to God.  God becomes his enemy.  This is an example of the frightful consequences of negative volition. 

Woe to the Christian who is negative to a divinely approved teaching.  You better believe it.  When you are negative to a doctrinal truth that God says is right, you’re in trouble.  When you are negative to a teacher who is in touch with the mind of God and who is delivering that mind, and you are resistant to that teacher, you’re in trouble.  And when you buck a local church technique or operation that God says, “This I approve,” you’re in trouble. 

This does not mean that you will stop being religiously active.  This does not mean that you will stop going to church.  It does not mean that you will stop having relationships among believers and being active in one way or another in the Lord’s work.  As you will see, we are dealing with Saul (a believer) who was very active in religious activity.  We’re going to see why he is in this difficulty in just a moment.  We’re going to discover the reason God says, “I’m through with you,” is because Saul was serving the Lord.  Now that’s a bombshell. 

God says, “I’m through with you, Saul.”  In the midst of Saul’s great activity in serving the Lord.  Because it was in the process of serving the Lord his way, by his thinking, by his opinions, by how he felt about it, that he expressed the ultimate in negative volition, and God tore the kingdom not only from Saul but from his family.  Jonathan, his son, who was next in line for the king, was a beautiful person.  He was a tremendous, godly, spiritually-oriented, mature believer.  Jonathan is going to go down in death because of his father’s negative volition, in spite of what Jonathan himself was. 

I hope this morning that before we are through that you will be appalled and downright revolted by any implication of negative volition in yourself or in any of your fellow believers or in any of your friends.  And that you will not have a spirit of comradery and sympathy and toleration for it.  Let that be the background of your thinking as we go through this passage.  God is now his enemy. 

Herein lies the great danger of leaving one place of ministry for another.  Your own negative volition for the truth may be what’s motivating the change, and then you wipe out, and what you become is religious, as Saul became, and you’re producing human good.  Saul started down this road when he left doctrine, when he got sincere, feeling that what he was doing was so right, and then he came to the point of no return.  He just felt that this was the right thing to do.  “I just feel that this is what we should do.” 

So verse 17 declares the divine judgment upon Saul.  Samuel reminds Saul again what he had told him in life.  Way back in 1 Samuel 15:28, Samuel told Saul what was going to happen to him.  “Samuel said unto him, ‘The Lord hath torn the kingdom of Israel from thee this day and hast given it to a neighbor of thine who is better than thou.’”  And in 1 Samuel 28 he identifies that neighbor as being David.  God was exercising discipline upon Saul for his negative volition by taking the kingdom from him, from his sons, from his line, and giving it to David and to his family line.  The Hebrew here uses the perfect tense which means that it is a settled and an executed decision.  It’s a reality.  It is the point of no return. 

Now, what was the reason for this fantastic discipline upon King Saul?  1 Samuel 28:18 says, “Because thou obeyest not the voice of the Lord nor executeth his fierce wrath upon the Amalekites therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.  Now turn to 1 Samuel 15 and let’s take a look at the record of this historical event.  The Lord’s instruction concerning what Saul was to do with a certain people called the Amalekites, with their king, with their property, which was the occasion upon which Saul passed the point of no return in negative volition, and cost him and his family line the kingdom. 

1 Samuel 15:1-35

In 1 Samuel 15, we’ll begin reading at verse 1.  “Samuel also said unto Saul, ‘The Lord sent me to anoint thee as King over his people (over Israel).  Now therefore harken thou to the voice of the words of the Lord.  Thus saith the Lord of hosts, ‘I remember that which Amalek did to Israel; how he laid wait for him in the way when he came up from Egypt.’’” 

The Jews were leaving Egypt.  They were slaves.  They were not a military force.  Amalek came down and attacked them.  That’s the incident where Moses went up and held his hands up; and when he held his hands up, Joshua and the Jewish troops, such as they had, prevailed; and, when his hands got tired and dropped, the Amalekites began to prevail.  So Aaron and Hur stood all day holding up Moses’s hands until the Amalekites were defeated and sent into flight. 

Now God says, “I’m going to judge that people.”  If you read the story in Exodus, God says, “I will be opposed to Amalek from generation to generation.  I will be at war with Amalek from generation to generation.”  Now the sin of the Amalekites has been permitted to run its course.  They have become a totally degenerated people, of the nature that we have been looking at, of these who are idol worshippers, and now God is ready to bring judgment upon them.  It says, “Saul, you’re my king.  You’re the head of the Jewish theocracy.  I am now going through you and through my people.  Execute judgment upon the Amalekites.  Here’s what I want you to do.”  He told Samuel, and Samuel told Saul.  That’s the background. 

Verse 3 says, “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not.”  Then he spells it out.  “But slay both man and woman; infant and suckling; oxen and sheep; camel and ass.  And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.  And Saul came to a city of Amalek and laid wait in the valley (set up an ambush), and Saul said unto the Kenites, ‘Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites lest I destroy you with them, for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.’  So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.” 

He warned a sympathetic group to get out.  He cautioned them as to what they were going to do in the attack upon the Amalekites.  Thus far, well and good.  Saul is preparing to do exactly what God has told him to do.  When Samuel instructed him, he has accepted the direction from the Lord.  He is positive toward doctrine at this point. 

Verse 7 says, “And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comes to Shur that is over against Egypt.  And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.  But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings and the lambs and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them, but everything that was vile and refuse (that is worthless), that they utterly destroyed.  Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel saying, ‘It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king for he has turned back from following me and hath not performed my commandments (negative volition to the word of God).  And it grieved Samuel and he cried unto the Lord all night.” 

Now here’s a legitimate reason for shedding some tears.  If you are a sensitive Christian, anytime you see a believer who goes negative toward divinely oriented teaching, teacher, or technique, it’s a time for getting your eyes a little moist perhaps, and a lump in your throat as Samuel did.  Samuel shook his head and he wept all night when God said, “I’m through with Saul for his negative volition.”  Samuel was not disagreeing with God.  He was not berating God.  Samuel understood that God was absolutely right.  Saul had, by this act, gone beyond the point where he was a responsible, reliable, godly leader of this nation.  What had happened? 

Well, Saul had listened to his advisers and to his friends.  They had gone into the battle.  It had gone well.  His friends had argued effectively their human viewpoint from Satan, and the human viewpoint was to stop the killing.  God says the way you handle the old sin nature and the influences of that, when that sin nature seeks to destroy human freedom, is that you stop it with warfare and with military power to an external enemy, and you stop it by capital punishment to an internal enemy.  This is divine viewpoint. 

But you notice that they were quite willing to kill the men, the women, the children, and the infants of the Amalekites.  They saved the king, and I wonder if Saul perhaps wondered to himself, “I hate to go around getting this business started of killing kings of your enemies.  I think we ought to get the custom going to knock off the people but save the kings.”  Maybe that was in his mind.  Whatever it was, there was some reason that he said, “We’ll save Agag the king.”  But this crowd who wanted to stop the killing didn’t want to stop the killing of the people.  They wanted to stop the killing of the material benefits—the spoils of war, and that’s what they saved.  The worthless animals they killed, and the best they saved. 

So they took King Agag alive.  They saved the choicest animals.  And the fierce wrath of God, which was on the Amalekites because of their demon involvement, and thus the worst kind of morally contaminating influence, was preserved from the execution of total destruction which God had ordained—not only the people, but everything that they had ever touched.  Remember that we’ve already learned that animals that come in touch with demonically oriented influenced groups, the animals are condemned and they are destroyed too. 

The divine discipline upon the Amalekites was for the time in Exodus 17:8 – 16 that they attacked helpless Israelites as they were leaving Egypt.  Saul was given this understanding by Samuel.  He knew the mind of God.  He went negative toward his teacher.  You will notice that he went negative toward his teacher in the form of what the teacher told him.  He really wasn’t opposed to Samuel.  He was opposed to what Samuel was teaching him.  He was opposed to what Samuel told him.  The technique was total annihilation—people and possessions. 

Saul says, “I don’t think that’s the way to do it.  We’ll save the possessions.”  He was negative toward the technique.  He was negative toward the teaching.  Samuel had told him God said, “These people are under my judgment and under my discipline for having attacked my people out of Egypt.  Saul says, “Well, I don’t think that God should be that harsh with that people.”  And he rejected teaching.  That’s why he was opposed to Samuel. 

So Samuel sets the record straight.  Saul tried to dignify his rejection of the prophet’s guidance under the guise of serving the Lord.  Notice verse 12, “Then Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning.  It was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and god down to Gilgal.  And Samuel came to Saul:  and Saul said unto him, ‘Blessed be thou of the LORD:  I have performed the commandment of the LORD.’” 

The first thing Saul says is, “Samuel, it’s so nice to see you.  I’ve just gotten through doing everything you told me to do.”  Samuel says, “Is that right, Saul?”  Verse 14 says, “And Samuel said, ‘What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?’”  He says, “What are all of those animals I hear out there, Saul?  Have you done everything that God told you to do, that I gave you instructions?  How come I hear all these animals making these sounds here around the camp?” 

Verse 15 says, “And Saul said, ‘They have brought them from the Amalekites.’”  Notice:  “they,” meaning the congregation, the people.  “They have brought them from the Amalekites:  for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen…”  Why?  “…to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”  And you notice that he says, “…for your God, Samuel.  We’re doing this for your God, Samuel.  We saved all the best animals, but not for ourselves.  We’re going to sacrifice them.”  

Do you see what I mean when I say that Saul was a man active in God’s service?  This fellow was hot on religious service, on religious activity.  He was going to have a magnificent offering of all these beautiful perfect animals as sacrifices to the living God.  And he set to justify what he was doing on that basis.  And you notice that he blamed the people for his departure from teaching, teacher, and technique.  He said, “The people wanted to do it.”  When he should have been leader enough to say, “Just a minute, people.  You may want to do wrong, but I’m going to tell you what God says is right.  Then you may do wrong, but you will do it on the basis of having been warned and told what God expects of you.” 

So verse 16 says, “Then Samuel said unto Saul, ‘Stay…”  That means knock it off.  “…and I will tell thee what the LORD had said to me this night.’  And he said unto him, ‘Say on.”  That is, “Tell me, Samuel.”  It always sounds like the guy with the negative volition is very open to truth.  He always wants to hear the Word. 

Verse 17 says, “And Samuel said, ‘When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?  And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.  Why then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?”  What Samuel is doing is putting Saul downwind of himself so he can smell himself the way he really is spiritually. 

Samuel says, “Let me tell you, Saul.  There was a time when you were spiritually nothing.  You were roaming around out there in religion.  You were roaming out there in religious activity.  And along came God through some man (in this case it was Samuel), and he brought you to the light.  You were a spiritual do-do.  God says, ‘I’m going to bring you into something better than what you’re roaming around there out there in that religious desert that you were born in.’  You were nothing.  And when you were nothing, you were a humble, receptive, positive man.  Now that you’re king and you have power and you have authority, you have become a great source of conclusions and information.  You have become a great spiritual authority.  And you now have a position of telling your teacher, ‘You’re wrong.’  Of telling the techniques that God is directing, ‘Those aren’t very good.’  And you have consulted with your friends and your advisers, all of whom are also nice active religious people.  And they have encouraged you in your resistance to what has been your original source of blessing when you were a spiritual nobody.” 

And Samuel reminds Saul that it was when Samuel came and anointed Saul that it was the hands of Samuel through God that opened up spiritual of service.  Spiritual opportunities of service that Saul was now going negative toward.  How many Christians have gone negative toward opportunities of service opened by someone, and then they go negative toward that source?  This is horrendous.  This is loathsome.  This is about as cheap and low as you can get.  God says to Saul, “You have so revolted me.  I am cutting you off and there is no return.  You are through—out of my plan, and there will be no restoration for you.  You may confess.”  Discipline will become blessing, as it did to Jonathan.  Jonathan said to David, “My father is through.  Our line is through.  When you become king, David, I will be your right-hand man.”  Jonathan was a tremendous guy, but not Saul.  This was a blow. 

So what does Saul say in this moment?  Verse 20 says, “And Saul said unto Samuel, ‘Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD…”  Can you believe that?  This fellow is still arguing how the teacher is wrong.  “What are you talking about, Samuel?  I did what the LORD said.”  Have you ever heard any Christian who was drifting off into a negative volition situation saying, “Well, yeah, I’m doing what the Lord wants me to do.  Yeah, I feel this is right.  I did what the Lord asked me to do.” 

“…Saul said unto Samuel, ‘Yeah, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.”  Again he says, “Well the people were at fault in taking these animals—not me.”  One word from the king and that would have been the end of it, and there wouldn’t have been any animals left alive.  This is a cop-out.  But again he says, “You know we’re going to sacrifice these to the Lord.  We’re doing this as servants of the Lord.  We’re religiously active.” 

It’s fantastic.  This man is under demonic influence.  Here’s something that you will discover about negative volition people.  When we get into tongues, this becomes even more pointed.  I’ve heard people say, “I’ve got relatives who never went to church, never read the Bible, and never did anything active in the Lord’s work.  Then they got into the Pentecostal crowd.  The got into the tongues and healing movement.  Now they’re in church all the time.  They’re reading the Bible at home.  They’re serving in the church.  They’re giving their money.” 

And these people are a little confused because they equate those things with positive volition.  They equate those things with doing what God is blessing.  They equate those things as being inspired by God.  Please don’t play that foolish role.  When you see somebody who has departed from positive volition teaching, teacher, and technique, and now he starts reading the Bible, going to church, giving his money, and getting active.  Don’t you ever, for one moment, make the mistake of thinking that now this person has come where he is responsive to God.  If he was not responsive to God where he came from, where God’s approval rested, he is not responsible out there.  He is religious.  He is cranking out human good, and he is destroying his own future. 

And it influences everybody around you.  This is what is so bad about demonism.  This is why God says it is to be destroyed.  Anybody who is demon-influenced in the Old Testament, such as the Medium of Endor, is to be destroyed, because negative volition has a destructive effect, and if you hang around people who are negative, you will be destroyed.  You will be destroyed spiritually.  I can just tell you that—that this is a fact of spiritual life.  Sooner or later, you’ll go down the drain.  If you don’t get out of association with people like that, who are dignifying their own their own self (often) materialistic interests in way of life—if you don’t get away from them, you will pay in the loss of reward.  That’s what Saul did. 

So here he says, “The people still do it.”  Now he who has become the spiritual authority is ready to say it is alright for the people to do it.  Verse 22 says, “And Samuel said…”  And here’s that great verse in the Bible that most of you are so acquainted with.  “And Samuel said, ‘Hath 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 (positive volition), and to hearken than the fat of rams.’” 

Now here are some interesting Hebrew words.  “To obey” is the Hebrew word “shamach.”  This means “to listen,” and to learn.  It means to listen so that you are learning something.  The word “to hearken” is the Hebrew word “kashad,” and it means “to attend” or “to pay attention.”  That means to do what you have learned.  “Shamach” is learning doctrine, and “kashad” is positive response to what you have learned.  These are very illustrative and very informative words that God the Holy Spirit used here. 

He says, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”  There is nothing wrong with worshipping God through sacrifice, with all that the sacrifice meant in the person and work of Christ.  “And to listen (to obey) than the fat of rams of that sacrifice.”  There’s nothing wrong with that, but first God does not want your religious activity. 

Here’s this guy reading his Bible now, going to church, giving his money, and getting in the work.  Is he something?  Don’t kid yourself.  God says, “I don’t want your service.  I don’t want your money.  I don’t want your Bible reading.  And I don’t want your church attendance.  If you have not first ‘shamach’ me, and you have learned doctrine.  Then you have ‘kashad’ me, and you have obeyed and done what I have said.  That’s what I want.”  And that’s what he wants of you and me. 

This word “kashad” is interesting.  It is used in describing what a dog does when he pricks up his ears.  He hears something that startles him and he pays attention.  This is the Hebrew word that describes a dog pricking up his hears, and he pays attention, ready to obey.  This is what we call in the Hebrew the “hiphil” stem.  This is the active causative stem.  That means that the person himself is responsible for pricking up his ears and doing this.  He decides to get with it. 

Saul is directed by his emotions—not by doctrine, not by the voice of the Lord.  Not by doctrine in his mind.  He “feels” this is right to do.  Now, if this is not bad enough, in comes verse 23 which is the bombshell of all.  “For rebellion is as of the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because though hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 

Rebellion is equated to witchcraft…  Stubbornness is equated to idolatry.  This Hebrew word for stubbornness is “haphesar.”  It is from the Hebrew word “paser” which means “to beat.”  And it’s in a stem in the Hebrew which means to beat on the mind.  It is the volition creating a mental attitude which is negative to the word.  This word “stubbornness” means to be beating on your mind so that you resist the Word of god—an attitude of stubbornness toward the Word. 

And he says, “Your rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”  Witchcraft deserved capital punishment.  God says that’s the same as practicing necromancy—the same as practicing speaking to the dead.  When you say, “No” to God, which is what your rebellion is doing, that’s just the same as if you were looking to the demonic world for guidance.  And then “your stubbornness is as iniquity.”  The Hebrew word for “iniquity” is “awen.”  Sin is nothingness, and idolatry is “teraphim.”  This is the … consultation of idols, like the Oracle of Delphi, where the image was consulted in the ancient world, and gave guidance through the demon who spoke through the Oracle of Delphi.  The “teraphim” were little images that they carried in which they consulted for information.  It’s idolatry.  It’s worshipping and getting information from demons. 

Now God says your negative volition, dear friend, is as if you were practicing witchcraft and contact with the demon world.  Your stubbornness, your negative volition, is as if you were worshipping demons.  Now I don’t know how the almighty God could have put this any stronger to this king, to impress him with the horrendous quality of what he had done—what a terrible thing he had done.  Here’s the seriousness of negative volition from a divine viewpoint, indicating that it is equated with the practices upon which God has placed the death penalty. 

So today you and I run into believers who are negative.  We have a problem.  They are negative either to teaching, to teacher, or to technique.  Sometimes people leave one fellowship for another.  My experience has been that when they leave on the ground of fellowship, because God says, “I want you to now server here,” I’ve had people come and say, “We’re going to work out in the mission area now.  We have been prepared in the Berean ministry.  We’re ready to move out and make an investment.”  They go out under blessing, they ask for our prayers, and they are remembered. 

I had one young man say to me, “I move in a certain realm now.  I’m going to move into a work where I think these people are.  I think I can be an influence there and bring to bear my rich background from the Berean ministry.”  And he goes out with blessing and periodically he comes and reports how things are going. 

However, I’ve also learned that people who move under negative volition (you see now, by Saul’s experience) are people who do not move out on the ground of fellowship.  They just sort of evaporate.  All of a sudden they just disappear.  One of the sure signs that you have a demonically influenced negative volition Christian is that he just disappears.  I don’t care how you want to dignify it or how they want to dignify it, you are kidding yourselves if you think there is not negative reaction toward teaching, teacher, and technique—not really toward teacher, but it’s toward teaching or technique.  That’s what has brought the irritant into their lives and that’s what they’re bucking and that’s what they’re resisting. 

Now once they move out under that influence, they go religious, and they go human good, and they get very active, almost inevitably, because they certainly have something to prove.  They are diluted as Saul was.  “I’m serving God.  I’m doing this for the Lord.  I’m going to take these animals.  I don’t care what you say, Samuel.  I don’t care what direction you give.  I’m going to sacrifice these to the Lord.”  We’re not dealing with some bum on Deep Elum Street, friends.  We’re dealing with a believer who is religiously active and hot in the work of the Lord.  The negative rejectors have a church ministry which is in God’s plan are a very strange crew. 

Now the problem arises, as for Samuel, what’s your future dealing, what’s your future contacts with negative volition people?  This is a very real problem for believers.  The usual technique for a negative volition person is this:  He will say, “I object to the speaker, the teacher, but I love the people.”  This is something like the communists who say, “We hate the imperialistic United States government, but we love the American people.”  When somebody says that to me, I look them in the eye and say, “Listen, Mr., I am the government.  When you strike at the government of the United States, you are striking at we the people.  We are one in the same.”  And when you strike at a local church, they are the government.  It is the local assembly who is the ministry.  When you say, “I don’t like the ministry,” you are saying you don’t like me.  And when you strike at teacher, teaching, and technique, you are striking at me, the congregation. 

So it is very interesting to watch these people sometimes in public.  You may go ahead and smile at (some of) your friends, but you had better read Matthew 12:30, 1 John 2:19, and Romans 8:31 that we won’t have time to look into this morning.  But there is a certain disloyalty when you ignore the fact of being rejectors toward the position of your church which is destructive to your personal Christian manhood and your personal Christian womanhood and your personal honor. 

The consequences of Saul’s negative volition in verse 23 was that Saul was rejected from being king.  Now notice what Saul does.  In verse 24, “And Saul said unto Samuel, ‘I have sinned:  for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words:  because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.  Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.’” 

Saul confesses that what he did was wrong.  He is now in fellowship relative to this sin, though he probably had mental sins toward David that he was not in fellowship with.  He says, “Samuel, I want you to worship with me.”  Notice what Samuel does.  Saul says, “Samuel, we’re still spiritual comrades even though I’m negative toward what you say and toward what God has said to you.  Now let’s worship together.” 

Verse 26, “And Samuel said unto Saul, ‘I will not return with thee:  for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.’  And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.  And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hat rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given to a neighbor of thine, that is better than thou.  And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent:  for he is not a man, that he should repent.  Then he said, I have sinned…”  Again Saul confessed and said that he had sinned.  “… yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.  So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.” 

Samuel finally said, “Alright.  For the sake of the people and for the sake that you are still king until David takes over, I will worship with you.”  Then Samuel tells him to bring Agag.  Samuel takes out the sword, and Agag thinks that he’s going to be surviving here.  Verse 32 says, “And Agag came unto him cheerfully.  And Agag said, ‘Surely the bitterness of death has passed.’”  This heathen says, “Oh well, OK, God said to kill me but, you know, I mean after all we’re friends.  Let’s forget it.  OK, fellows?  We’re going to be comrades again.”  “… And Samuel said, ‘As thy sword has made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.  And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.’” 

“Hewed Agag in pieces.”  How’s that for a man of God.  Taking his sword and chopping this heathen in pieces.  How’s that for Bible doctrine?  Some of you don’t like to hear that, but that’s God’s judgment upon those who are negative to his will.  Verse 34, “Then Samuel went to Ramah.  Saul went to his house, to Gibeah of Saul and Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death.  Nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul, and the LORD repented that He had made Saul king over Israel.” 

Isn’t it interesting?  “Samuel, worship with me.”  “No, Saul, we don’t have a ground of spiritual comradery.  You have gone negative to what is the mind of God, in a ministry of God, and we are through spiritually.  And let’s not pretend that there is something.” 

Now, let’s summarize.  What was the result of all this?  1 Samuel 28:19, Samuel (still at the séance) says to Saul, “Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel unto the hand of the Philistine, and tomorrow shall thou and thy sons be with me.”  Samuel says, “Saul, you’re going to die in battle and your sons are going to die with you, including that splendid Jonathan, and you will be with me here in Paradise, because they’re believers.”  The Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel unto the hand of the Philistine (Israel will be defeated.”  Verse 20, “Then Saul fell immediately full-length on the earth and was very much afraid because of the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him for he had eaten no bread all the day and all the night.” 

It was a terrifying blow to Saul to receive this final confirmation of the doom that faced Saul and his sons the next day.  In 1 Chronicles chapter 10, you have the summary of why God dealt in this was with this man.  1 Chronicles 10, beginning at verse 13, “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD.”  Notice two things, dear friends.  Why did this man have this kind of climactic discipline brought against him and his sons? 

1) “His sin was even against the word of the LORD which he kept not.”  Number one was negative volition to Bible doctrine.  Negative volition to teaching, to teacher, and to technique.  That’s the first reason that this horrendous experience of discipline came upon Saul. 

2) Also for asking counsel of a medium to inquire of her.  Because he practiced necromancy, and that was a capital offense in Israel.  He sought advice from demons through a medium even though God had cut him off because he had short-circuited his own system of information from God through his negative volition.  Verse 14 says, “… and inquired not of the LORD, therefore he slew him and turned the kingdom unto David, the son of Jesse. 

So if you decide to go negative to teaching, teacher, and technique, just make sure you have the mind of God based on the word.  Make sure you’re not acting under demon influence of your negative volition friends.  Because negative volition likes company, and Satan will give you plenty of people who feel the way you do about it.  But it may cost you a discipline that is greater than you are ready to pay and to experience. 

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971 

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