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Saul Died For Consulting A Medium Therefore All Spirit Communication Is Forbidden?

The reference in Chronicles: "So Saul died for his unfaithfulness... and also because he consulted a medium for guidance" (1 Chronicles 10:13), refers to Saul's visit to a persecuted woman at Endor who could communicate with the departed (see and hear spirits) (1Samuel 28:5-25). This reference is often used by Fundamentalists to deny God-ordained Spirit Communion. Therefore, in order to make an honest and comprehensive analysis, this reference will be taken:

I) Firstly, by considering the statement as correct, and then:
II) Secondly, by considering the statement as erroneous at the time.

I) Saul And Medium: Considering The Statement As CORRECT At The Time

Let us consider that the sentence in 1 Chronicles 10:13 was not invented or a mistake and is in fact truth. This would certainly not contradict Greater World Christian Spiritualism as laid down in the spiritual philosophy, not least because Christ abrogated the Law of Moses. There should be no doubt that, with the coming of Christ, those who still followed the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament had "...made Christ of no effect". The New Testament reiterates this fact with many such references (Rom.13:8,9 & 3:21 & 7:6 & 13:8 & 13:10 - 2Cor.3:5,6 & 3:13,16 - Gal.2:12 & 3:2,3 & 3:5 & 3:10 & 3:11 & 3:19 & 3:23 & 3:24,25 & 4:31 & 5:2 & 5:3,4 & 5:18 - Eph.2:15 & 3:4,5 - Phil.3:8,9 - Col.2:14 & 2:16 & 2:20 - Heb.8:7,8 & 10:20).

A brief summary of the three eras will bring a greater understanding of this matter. In our context there is God the Ruler, God the Saviour, and thirdly the Holy Spirit.

God needed to save His children from themselves and the spiritual consequences they would surely bring upon themselves by their spiritually ignorant manner of living. He took a debased and morally corrupt people and gave them a few basic rules that they immediately violated in a demonstrable manner. Even after repeated showing of Divine Power, there was a refusal to change from immoral ways which were certain to draw to themselves consequences that would take an age of suffering to expiate when the body was no more.

Because we, today, have Divine Love revealed to us through Christ, it is a little difficult for us to understand the collective consciousness of those we call the children of Israel of the Old Testament. Without a question of doubt, their physical and spiritual minds were immature in comparison to today, with strange gods and no educational system which could begin to instil even the most basic set of ethics and moral code. They were "children" in every sense of the word - they had no real concept of Love nor did they have any understanding of it even if the word was to be used - they could not be won over by Love at that stage. The only positive response in a spiritual sense from such as these would be through the commands of a Ruler.

Today, someone who has been following the narrow path of the Christ Way, attempting with sincerity to do right, would not even consider committing the blunt sins, for instance, of stealing or of murder. Today, temptations - while able to have as devastating an effect on the soul - are far more subtle and intangible, temptations that would not arise in the days of the spiritually ignorant children of Israel. But in those days before the laws were handed down via the medium of spiritual beings (Acts 7: 53, Gal. 3:19), there was utter chaos, and the children of God not only made physical life unbearable for themselves, but they were making their next stage in the Afterlife an utter misery due to the violation of the law of consequences set into being by God for the raising up of His children - and this would bring suffering to themselves and also their loving Divine Parent who, because He is Love, suffers with each and every one of His children while they suffer.

Therefore, stringent laws (law of Moses) were laid down to protect them from themselves. Fear of punishment was used with the children of Israel, who were in no respect receptive to understanding the effects of violating a spiritual law of consequences, and were only able to understand the situation if those consequences were attributed to a Ruler with almost human-like feelings of anger.

One of these laws was to prevent them from consciously drawing to themselves dark forces through their worship of dark spirits in order to bring to themselves material wealth and power. Anyone who has made the basic lessons of life their own will know that like attracts like, and it does not stretch the imagination to see what a disobedient and debased people - who, for instance, thought little of sacrificing their own children to evil gods in exchange for worldly favour (Lev. 18:21, Jer. 32:35) - would draw to themselves in regard to disembodied spirits. The most basic understanding of the difference between communing with those "alive to God" and those "dead to God" would reveal that association with any spirit not of God would ensure that their harvest would be an evil harvest indeed. Therefore, the Old Testament law prohibiting spirit contact was a wise and redeeming law for people with such a degraded state of consciousness.

"Test The Spirits" (1 John 4:1)
"The Discerning Of Spirits" (1 Cor. 12:10)

However, the level of attainable spirituality within society changed dramatically with Christ the Redeemer, and then the overwhelming bestowal of the Holy Spirit was possible because of the hearts and minds willing to accept a higher Truth.

The disciples of Jesus the Christ were very aware of the benefits and necessity of Spirit Communion as it was meant to be used, and they received a wide variety of the gifts of the Spirit including "discerning of spirits" (1 Cor. 12:10) which Christ had made possible by His earthly sojourn and Great Sacrifice.

"The discerning of spirits" is certainly not about Christians judging other people who are still in the flesh (a direct contradiction of Christ's command to "Judge not lest ye be judged (Matt. 7:1)") - as some people perhaps claim when they judge people to see whether they accept their notion of salvation or not; neither is it solely about assessing spiritually whether a person in the flesh is attempting to live the Christ-life that they preach, neither is it about judging people concerning strange-sounding vocalisations wholly incomprehensible to themselves and others when they brush with the Supernatural in their churches.

The "discerning of spirits" is very much about seeing and hearing spirits from the Spiritual World and testing them in the Name of Christ to discern "whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1) because many fallen (disincarnate) spirits are in the world seeking to trip up those in the flesh to drag them down into their own sad predicament. Sadly, this spiritual gift is lost on the Fundamentalist who has, perhaps sincerely, misunderstood the sacredness of Spirit Communion and therefore attempts to turn it into something else that is less helpful and more hindering to God's children.

The Fundamentalist does not realise why such statements concerning the discerning of spirits and the testing of spirits were made: After Jesus had left the disciples, they were very conversant with Christ's messengers in Spirit which was a spiritual function provided by the Holy Spirit, and the disciples received instruction, comfort and encouragement by various methods, including one or the other giving deep trance addresses for the benefit of their group. Is it any wonder that the writer of Hebrews asks the early Christians (who had a culture that had misunderstood Spirit Communication) a question about spiritually developed souls (angels): 'Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation' (Heb.1:14)?

If only the Fundamentalist could look at matters spiritually instead of with the physical mind, the Holy Spirit could transfigure this world. One has to be truly spiritually discerning. One should certainly never believe everything that comes from spirits. But the Fundamentalists' literalistic approach is just not good enough to discern whether a spirit is of God or not. They would say that a person must admit that Jesus lived on the Earth in the flesh and was the Christ of God. But so many, both people and spirits, can claim this and yet be under the power of one who is an enemy of Christ. This is where proper spiritual discernment is needed.

How does one "test the spirits" when we know so little about spiritual reality or the "Unseen" while we are still bound in the flesh? It is a vast unseen universe and in reality there are no divisions. The attitude built up by years of life on Earth does not pass with the change called death; what was believed is still there in the next state of being - the character of the spirit is unchanged when the physical body is finally dropped.

Christ said: "I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture (John 10:9)". So, to begin with, consider the humility of the Christ: If a person - or a spirit coming back through a person - claims to speak on behalf of the Christ and yet they come with words of flattery, saying that you have the right to have the material or earthly things that the selfish have instead of taking the Pilgrim's Way; tempting you to lay aside your desire to serve God with prayer, effort and sacrifice; telling you that you have done so well that you can now rest instead of redoubling your efforts; giving out teachings that are not worthy of highly evolved spiritual beings from the Christ Spheres - then you can know that the words come from one who has not entered into the Truth according to the Christ and who is an unevolved soul. They may or may not have bad intentions toward the medium but after a little persuasion they can control the medium who chooses another easier way instead of that laid down by the Christ. Everything passed on through religious people or spirits must be sifted for the Truth according to that laid down by Jesus the Christ.

Concerning the gift of "discerning of spirits" (diakrisis pneuma, 1Cor. 12:10), let us think spiritually about the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36). Here, we see plainly how Jesus demonstrated the proper use of Spirit Communion, and He made sure that it was witnessed for the record by handpicking disciples to accompany Him. Jesus withdrew into peace and quiet away from the idle crowds who seek entertainment and not spiritual advancement, and He entered into a prayerful state before communicating with those who were once in a body of flesh (Moses and Elias).

Note: One wonders how the Literalist can honestly say that Samuel's appearance to Saul is "evil" or that it was "not really Samuel but a demon" (even though their Bible tells them it was Samuel himself and the Literalist is the first to tell us we cannot reinterpret the text of the Bible).

Jesus Himself clearly showed us that it is possible, no, desirable, to gain spiritual assurance through Spirit Communion (He discussed that "which He would accomplish with His decease") with so called "dead" prophets. And Jesus asked us to follow Him.

Naturally, the Literalist and believer in a "physical body resurrection", must explain this fact away by inventing his or her own reason for the brightly transfigured appearance of living beings who had quit their physical bodies centuries beforehand.

Let us make no mistake. Peter, a disciple of Jesus, a member of a nation whose culture was a way of life based on Mosaic law, saw 'Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus' (Mark 9:4) and Peter said 'Master, it is good (kalos) for us to be here' (Mark 9:5). Jesus, the Divine Pattern for humanity for obedience to God, communed (sullaleo) with departed beings who had once been humans in bodies of flesh, now appearing as beings along with Jesus whose garments became: 'shining (glittering), exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them' (Mark 9:3). Let us overcome mankind's traditional thought and fears and be obedient in faith to the reality that the revelations - in three of the four gospels of the New Testament - openly declare by the recorded Divine Example of Our Lord, Christ Jesus.

We now understand how absurd it is to hear people - who have not understood the significance of the New Testament teachings in relation to the Old Testament - telling us that: "Talking to the dead is hated by God". God, as Jesus Christ, talked to the dead Himself and made sure that the disciples witnessed it. And did He not command us to follow Him?

Society had changed; before Christ there was basic preparation for the rightful use of Spirit Communion (not just Spirit Communication); after Christ, due solely to His Incarnation and all it entailed, it was possible for the vastly greater introduction of Spirit Communion in the Name of Christ.

If consulting a "spiritist" is given as the reason for Saul’s death, then such a reason would fit intelligently and most comfortably into the pattern of spiritual history as depicted in the Bible. The Fundamentalist claim that Christian Spiritualism is against God's Will because of the mention of Saul's visit to the woman at Endor bears no weight in the light of Christ's titanic achievements with regard to the opening up of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which includes the discerning of spirits as far as Spirit Communication is concerned.

May discerning people have the courage and humility to truly put their faith and trust in God's loving kindness and open up Divine revelation through the sacred gift of Spirit Communion, instead of stifling not only the spirit within but also the Holy Spirit by living in fear behind a deceptively comfortable veil of a literalistic teaching which appears to be designed to not only limit but in some cases hinder and delay spiritual growth, understanding and revelation as to what is really going on in God's Greater World.

II) Saul And Medium: Considering The Statement As INCORRECT

Please note: Claiming that the Holy Bible can contain errors is not done lightly. However, there should be no doubt as to the possibility of errors. A simple example should serve to show this:

2 Kings 8:26

"TWO [shanayim וּשְׁתַּ֤יִם] and TWENTY [‘esriym עֶשְׂרִ֨ים] years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem..."

2 Chronicles 22:2.

""TWO [shanayim וּשְׁתַּ֤יִם] and FORTY [’arba`iym אַרְבָּעִ֨ים] years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem..."

The context in which these statements are written, means that they can only refer to the same apparent fact.

In order to reconcile these two blatant differences, the Literalist may now depart from the usual mindset of: "If the Bible says it, it must be true", and: "What the Bible plainly states should not be twisted", and instead offer some highly unlikely "obvious reason".

Failing the offering of some unlikely reason, the Literalist may now have to claim a "copyist error" to reconcile the contradiction. If this is a "scribal error", then we have a precedent set by the Literalist to also claim a "scribal error" in the following article:

The author in Chronicles (1 Chronicles 10:13), writing on behalf of the priesthood tribe of the Israelites, the Levites, seems to have assumed that Saul's visit to the woman at Endor was the reason for his death: "Saul died for asking counsel of a medium", and the Fundamentalists make much of this writing. However, if the Fundamentalists were free from their literalism, then they would see that it is stated in 1 Samuel 28:18 & 19 that the very reason, and only reason, for Saul's present predicament and impending death (the next day) was because he "obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek...and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me*" (1 Samuel 28:18 & 19).

*i.e. With Samuel in the World of Spirit, who had already passed over.

The clear reason for Saul's death is given: Saul died because he did not do what God had told him to do, he did not execute God's command against the Amalekites, i.e. because he spared the life of the Amelekite king, Agag, when he should have executed him, and also Saul and his people kept the best spoils when they should have destroyed them: "...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" (1 Samuel 15:9); no other reason is given for Saul's death, apart from the actual physical means by which he died (by a sword). The apparent addition to this reason for Saul's demise by the author of 1 Chronicles 10:13 is not simply an addition - it is a contradiction.

There is a further consideration. Saul had already been enquiring diligently of the Lord for guidance and truth but so far had been without an answer. Therefore Saul takes a further course of action and asks his servants to find someone who can help discover the Lord's Will. Using the Hebrew word "darash" indicates that he was seeking the Lord's Will on the matter, as the Pentateuch uses this word for searching out and discerning Divine Will. So this appears to have been a most sincere attempt to discover the Lord's Will after exhausting other means i.e. by dreams, Urim, prophets (1 Sam 28:6), and indeed he seems to have found his answer.

The Literalist needs to honestly ask himself or herself this question: Why, if visiting the seer at Endor was so wrong in God's sight, did Saul get a correct answer to his question concerning his present predicament and future fate - which was according to God's plan for him? However, the Levite author seems to have erroneously decided (perhaps by general agreement with other priests), that as their own tribe could not provide the answer to Saul's enquiry (which they should have been able to provide), then going to the woman at Endor was against God's Will and so that can be given as a reason why he died. Again, even assuming the Levite(s) had the best intentions, it is opinion only, and moreover an opinion from a somewhat biased viewpoint. Furthermore, as stories were handed on from generation to generation before being written down, we can easily see a possible case of "Chinese whispers".

"But", the Fundamentalist might say, "the Bible is without error and is infallible, if it is written then it is true and you just have to accept it". However, just because the Bible relates an incident or that someone said something, it does not mean that it is true.

It is not unknown for scribes to write contradictory statements in the Bible. Extremely relevant to this matter, let us take a classic example from this very context which lends itself to prove conclusively that not every account or opinion in the Bible can be accepted as a literal fact, nor indeed, should be regarded as literal fact:

Two different and contrary versions are given of Saul's death, one in 1 Samuel 31:4-6 and another in 2 Samuel 1:8-10. The first version of Saul's death has Saul taking his own sword by himself and willingly falling on it because his armour bearer would not run him through (suicide): "Saul took his own sword and fell on it" (1 Samuel 31:4). The second Biblical version has Saul run through and killed by a sword held in the hand of an Amalekite: "... 'So I killed him,' the Amalekite told David..." (2 Samuel 1:10). Which version is true is a matter for discussion. There is no further mention of the Amalekite's claim in the Bible, no denial of its authenticity or otherwise, and it has equal credence as that written in the first version in 1 Samuel 31:4-6.

Perhaps the Literalist, attempting to justify this obvious discrepancy, will claim that the Amalekite's story was made up; but that would just be wishful thinking on the part of the Literalist because there is simply no Biblical hint of this - another reason why the Literalist must take this statement literally - he or she must not be guilty of twisting the truth in the Bible to suit a preferred theological opinion! There is just as strong a case that the first version is incorrect - both versions are reported in identical fashion with no reference to point to which is correct or incorrect.

Furthermore, why should it be assumed by the Literalist that the second version of Saul's death, the Amalekite's version (2 Samuel 1:10) is the one that is erroneous? Surely the original narrator or scribe of the first version (1 Samuel 31:4) could just as easily have been inventing his version of Saul's death for his own reasons, perhaps to save the morale of the Israelite nation as a whole. However, if we are going to be even moderately honest with ourselves, we have to admit that if an Amalekite could lie, so could an Israelite!

If the Literalist is going to remain consistent in his or her proclamation: "If it says it in the Bible then it is true", then he or she cannot justifiably claim that the Amalekite was lying out of vanity or for whatever reason - this would be contrary to the way the Literalist reads the Bible. If the Literalist now wishes to decide that statements spoken by people in the Bible are lies - without any reference at all to the fact that they are lies - then surely every statement made by someone in the Bible must have the same criteria applied?

The Literalist cannot have it both ways: he or she cannot twist something to suit the Dogma, he or she cannot justifiably apply an unquestioning literalism to some things and then dismiss other things as error to suit a whim, and perhaps claim it as Divinely inspired enlightenment! Furthermore, this type of arbitrary "interpretation" must also be expanded to all statements in the Bible.

In this context, there are only certain possibilities that could exist. Either:

a) The first version of Saul's death (1 Samuel 31:4) was true and:
(i) The Amalekite had fabricated his version of Saul's death (2 Samuel 1:10) for his own reasons;
(ii) Or the scribe who wrote about the Amalekite's version (2 Samuel 1:10) was writing about something that was invented either by himself or by his colleagues for their own reasons;
(iii) Or it was an account which had become changed from the original event through word-of-mouth corruption;

b) The first version of Saul's death (1 Samuel 31:4) was fabricated and:
(i) It was invented either by someone in the Israelite army or by the Levite priesthood because they did not like the fact that Saul was killed by an Amalekite, or it was fabricated for some other reason(s);
(ii) Or it was an account which had become changed from the original event through word-of-mouth corruption;

c) Both stories were held as fact by different factions within the Israelite nation and:
(i) There was never agreement on which version was true and so both were recorded;
(ii) One scribe did not know what the other had written;

d) Neither account was true.

However, among this uncertainty one thing is definitely irrefutable and rigidly incontrovertible: both accounts cannot be true because Saul of the Old Testament could only die once and by only one method!

Note: Opens in a new page leaving this page open...

See a further analysis of the two versions of Saul's death given in the Bible
Objections to the claim that the Amalekite in 2 Samuel 1 was lying about killing Saul

(So as not to detract from the main purpose of the article on this page, further analysis of this Bible discrepancy is linked above)

One version must be false. Yet the Bible does not even remotely declare that either passage contains an untruth; we are expected by the Fundamentalist to somehow accept both contradictory versions as fact, perhaps saying: "It is God's inspired word, the people who wrote it were inspired by God, don't you think that God could make the Bible perfect?" But the literalistic religionist has not accounted for man's mind and his freewill which God never interferes with. Realising this, certainly adds credence to the fact that the writer of 1 Chronicles 10:13: "Saul died for asking counsel of a medium" was in error when he wrote what he did, whether he wrote it because it was an assumption, or because it strengthened the role of the Levites in the Israelites' minds because they, as God's chosen priests, should have been able to provide Saul's answers and not a medium!

It is also worth remembering the method of recording anything which happened in those days of old. While some things could be written down, more often than not events were passed on by word of mouth, through generation to generation, and while the tribes of Israel may have been most excellent at preserving their history through memory, it is not unreasonable to assume that some things might either be lost, changed or exaggerated, especially if there happened to be a difference of opinion among those people as to what actually did happen. If one takes into account the passing of time between the event of Saul's passing and the writing of Chronicles, one simply cannot rule out the possibility of human interference or error.

The overriding conclusion is that everything written in the Bible should be tested with the mind of the spirit and not simply taken in a literalistic way by the mind of the body as so many Fundamentalists do.

The irony of all this is apparent: The Literalist states that everything written in the Bible is without error and that everything is there because the authors were Divinely inspired, thus nothing should be questioned and must be accepted as fact; and yet when challenged concerning such blatant scriptural errancy (fallibility), the Literalist, in the same breath, may say that such things are mere details and those who question them are just doing so to avoid accepting God's truth. In reality, it is the Literalist who is not questioning anything and therefore avoiding God's truth in order to maintain the belief with which he or she is comfortable.

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