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Lesson 20

The Bereans were commended for open mindedly examining scripture pertinent to their subject. Here is some scripture often believed to demonstrate an immortal soul can return to visit the living.

1 Samuel 28:9-19 Modern English Version

9 The woman said to him, “Listen, you know what Saul has done, how he has eliminated the mediums and necromancers from the land. Now why are you laying a trap for my life to cause my death?” 10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment will happen to you for this thing.” 11 Then said the woman, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.” 13 The king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a divine being ascending out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a robe.” And Saul perceived that it was Samuel. And he kneeled with his face to the ground and bowed himself. 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you roused me to bring me up?” And Saul answered, “I am greatly distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me any longer by prophets or by dreams. Therefore I have called you that you might make known to me what I should do.” 16 Then said Samuel, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. The Lord has torn the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor, David. 18 As you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out His fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. 19 And moreover, the Lord will deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

Determining who is doing the seeing is key to understanding this section of scripture. The medium was the one who could see and speak to spirits. Saul relied on the woman to describe what she saw and heard. Saul imagines she is seeing Samuel, and talks to him through her, the necromancer. 

Do you think Satan has the power to raise the dead? Why would God communicate with Saul through a medium he had sentenced to die rather than a prophet of his own.

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