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Lesson 16

The Bible gives us an example of someone with a familiar spirit. She learned what will happen in the future through her demon, not by bringing the dead back to life. God repeatedly forbids the use of necromancers in the Bible and uses Saul’s attempts to contact Samuel to describe how far Saul had drifted from God.

Acts 16:16 New Life Version
16 One day as we were going to the place to pray, we met a servant-girl who could tell what was going to happen in the future by a demon she had. Her owner made much money from her power.

1 Chronicles 10:13 New English Translation
13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord and did not obey the Lord’s instructions; he even tried to conjure up underworld spirits.

Before and after Samuel died Saul’s life was plagued with mental instability and spiritual uncertainty. Being impatient and disobeying God led to a series of personal failures. Losing his only trusted spiritual guide Samuel, years before the Philistines came, left Saul desperate to try anything. When we read the story carefully we see that Saul never actually sees the apparition, but has to ask the median what she sees. After asking for Samuel, the median was still not sure who she saw. Without ever hearing a name, Saul perceived the old man with the mantle to be Samuel. It is at this point the spirit gives us a clue to its origins. Saul bows down before the median and the spirit she is envisioning. Had this been Samuel or a servant messenger from God, it would have told Saul to only bow down to God. Familiar is from the latin word familiaris, referring to a household servant. Just as with today, it implies medians have familiar spirits ready to do their bidding. How do you think medians work? Can they raise the dead? When did God bestow humans with an immortal soul?

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

Revelation 22:8-9 New King James Version
8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

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