Spiritualism Exposed

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(1 Samuel 28, Matthew 10:28, 2 Thessalonians 2)
Lesson Number: 

Lesson 10

Spiritualism Exposed

(1 Samuel 28, Matthew 10:28, 2 Thessalonians 2)

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Have you thought a person was a friend, only to find that person an enemy? Being able to identify friend and foe is important in a battle. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we are in a wrestling match with “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” When I hear friends or family speak of departed family members that are visiting them or sending them messages through “birds,” my meter for measuring danger immediately rises. These departed relatives are certainly friends, and trustworthy, right? What if they are not departed friends or family, but rather demons? Let’s dive into the Bible and see what we can learn about discerning friend from foe!

  1. Your Soul?
    1. Read Matthew 10:28. What does our Lord teach with regard to whether humans have an independent soul? (Jesus tells us that our body and our soul are two different things.)
      1. What, exactly, do you think is the soul?
    2. Read Genesis 3:3-5. What does Satan say about death? (He told Eve that she would not die - contrary to what God had told her.)
      1. Add Matthew 10:28 to Satan’s lie in Eden. What is Jesus saying? (That both our body and our soul are mortal. They can both be destroyed.)
    3. Read Romans 8:16. What does this teach us about whether humans have a spirit? (It reveals that our spirit communicates with the Holy Spirit. If you have not read Romans 8:1-15 for a while, do so now. The general theme of those verses is that our flesh, our body, is hopeless. But the Holy Spirit works through our mind, our spirit, to live as sons and daughters of God.)
      1. I’ve read many popular books about the human mind. One of the great problems for evolutionists is the idea that developing a higher sense of right and wrong is unnecessary for natural selection. Why would we need a spirit? How would you evolve a spirit?
      2. In one book I read it claimed that people intrinsically know that they have an identity separate from their body. Is that true for you? (As we just learned, the Bible calls consciousness that is identified separately from our body our spirit or our soul.)
      3. If you only knew from the Bible the small bit that we have just reviewed, what would you conclude about the wisdom of getting advice and direction from dead friends and relatives? (Supernatural advice for Christians comes from our spirit communicating with the Holy Spirit. There is great danger in doing anything else, as we turn to next.)
  2. Evil Spirits
    1. Read Isaiah 8:18-20. What does this teach us about seeking advice from the dead? (Why do that when you can, as Isaiah does, get advice from God?)
    2. Read Deuteronomy 18:9-12. What does this teach us about God’s attitude about consulting with people who are dead, but appear to be alive? (God not only calls this an abomination, but the text says that you are an abomination in God’s eyes if you do this.)
    3. Let’s look at a story in the Bible that illustrates the problem. Read 1 Samuel 28:3. What do we learn about King Saul’s principal advisor? (Samuel has died. The text also notes that the king has banned those who claim to be able to communicate with the dead.)
    4. Read 1 Samuel 28:5-7. What does the context suggest motivates Saul to violate his own rules? (Saul is afraid and desperate.)
    5. Read 1 Samuel 28:8-9. How did Saul remove the mediums and necromancers from the land? (The death penalty.)
    6. Read 1 Samuel 28:11-13. Would it be consistent with what you know of Samuel’s life for him to appear to be a god? (He was God’s messenger, he did not claim to be God.)
    7. Read 1 Samuel 28:14. Did Saul see Samuel? (No. This is the medium’s report.)
      1. What do you think about the detail of the description of Samuel? (An old man wearing a robe? Surely, Saul wanted this to be Samuel because this is not a sufficient description.)
    8. Read 1 Samuel 28:15-16. Many commentators believe that this is Samuel. What about this discussion reinforces the conclusion this is an evil spirit and not Samuel? (In 1 Samuel 28:6 God refuses to respond to Saul using approved means of communication - and that included prophets. Why would God change His mind and use a means that was an abomination to Him? Note that “Samuel” responds that Saul is now the enemy. Why would God respond to His enemy?)
    9. Read 1 Chronicles 10:13-14. Of all the sins of King Saul, this mentions only two - one being consulting a medium. If this was really Samuel speaking, why would this be considered a great sin?
    10. Look again at 1 Chronicles 10:14. How can it say that Saul did not seek guidance from God, when he is going to such great lengths to hear from God? (What verse 14 must mean is that Saul was not getting guidance from God. It was a sin to consult the medium, and the message of the medium was not from God, it was from an evil spirit.)
      1. Can evil spirits speak? Can demons speak? (Read Matthew 8:28-31. They can speak to us.)
    11. Read 1 Samuel 28:19-20. Why is it in Satan’s best interest to tell King Saul that he and his sons will die in the battle the next day? (Satan hates us. He hated God’s people. The best way to be sure Saul would lose the next day is to completely destroy his ability to fight. Saul now believes that God told him he would lose. He was finished.)
      1. What lesson does this teach us about consulting the dead? (You may get vicious advice intended to harm you.)
  1. Evil Spirits and the Future
    1. Read Revelation 16:13-15. What role do evil spirits play in end-time events? (They perform great signs. They convince world leaders to oppose God.)
      1. Why is verse 15 here? (It is a warning to “stay awake” when it comes to the work of evil spirits.)
    2. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2. What is the topic being discussed here? (The Second Coming of Jesus and misinformation from spirits and other humans.)
    3. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. Who must appear before Jesus’ Second Coming? (A rebel who claims that he is God.)
    4. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. How much power does this rebel have? (“All power and false signs and wonders.”)
      1. Let’s read this prophecy about delusion into the story of King Saul. Could he be deceived? Did he want to be deceived? (The prophecy describes exactly Saul’s situation. He wanted to be deceived in that he desperately wanted to speak with God.)
    5. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:12. What motivates those who are deceived? (They did not believe the truth.)
    6. Read 1 Samuel 15:23-26. Why was King Saul rejected? (He had not obeyed God. He had rebelled against God. Notice that rebellion is placed in the same category as divination (witchcraft).)
    7. Read 1 Samuel 15:35. What does this say about Samuel seeing Saul? (He never saw him again. This is further proof that God refused to communicate with Saul and He did not do so through the medium.)
    8. Let’s return to 2 Thessalonians. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8. Should we be concerned about spiritualism now? (Yes. The “mystery of lawlessness” was working during the time of the Thessalonians and it is at work now.)
    9. Friend, if you are communicating with the dead, you are communicating with an evil spirit. It is a foe and not a friend. Consider what this did to King Saul. If you want help, then ask the Holy Spirit to guide your mind! God has promised the Holy Spirit. Why not claim that promise right now?
  2. Next week: The Impending Conflict.