Summary: To better understand the right perspective toward occultism, we can look at the most detailed instance of it in God’s Word.
An Occult Case Study
1. What do you call a psychic midget who has escaped from prison?
A small medium at large!
2. Why do people consult fortunetellers and spiritists? Occult’s lure: about me and my family (brain/emotion).
3. Dale Carnegie: sweetest words a person’s own name. When we see a group photo, we look for ourselves.
4. Self-interest is not wrong — Paul tells us in Philippians 2:4, “4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
6. But some people consult mediums and fortunetellers out of concern for others.
7. For all King Saul’s first, he was concerned about Israel’s well-being.
Main idea: To better understand the right perspective toward occultism, we can look at the most detailed instance of it in God’s Word.
I. Motivation: Why was Saul so DESPERATE to seek out a medium?
1. Philistines had fought in mountains… now attacking on an open plain where they had all the advantages — chariots, swords — and could divide Israel in half.
2. God’s patience had warn out with Saul, and God would not communicate or advise him. Saul put the well-being of his nation above obedience to God. He made the wrong choice, but part of me feels sorry for him.
3. We often make our worst mistakes because we are impatient with waiting on the Lord, or we do not allow for God to be silent. Sometimes that is best.
4. Although he knew it was wrong, since God refused to guide him, he went to the other side for direction. But he gained nothing in the process.
5. People who go to occult healers or advisors are sometimes immature people who are into themselves, but often they are people with serious issues. They think they are doing a reasonable and good thing.
6. Although a few psychics are connected to evil spirits that act as “spirit guides,” many are fakes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, was very much into the occult, even though he found that many were fakes. Some people want to believe these things, partly out of fascination.
From “I Was One of America's Top Psychics—And Like All of Them, a Complete Fraud”, An excerpt from Mark Edward's new book, "Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium."
“Twenty-five years of working the psychic streets has taught me many truths, for better or worse. Sure, I have a pile of testimonial letters. Yes, I can see the future, given the right perspective and information, and of course I can read the paw of your pet poodle. I may indeed have a great gift, but it's the gift of gab mixed with a healthy dose of imagination and nerve that has allowed me to be a psychic professionally and to now write about it.”
II. Scarcity: Why was it so hard to for Saul to FIND a medium?
1. The Torah commanded the Hebrew people to not allow a witch to live.
Exodus 22:18, ““You shall not permit a sorceress to live.”
2. The Salem witch trials — a panic. www.history.com:
The Salem witch trials occurred in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil's magic—and 20 were executed. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.
3. Replacement theology
4. Godliness and occultism are incompatible, but our job is not to make lost people act like Christians.
III. How did this medium survive Saul’s PURGE?
1. Occultism has always been a hidden woe among God’s people. Discreet.
2. A man who grew up here at HPC; his father was a founding elder.
3. Was he telling the truth about his grandmothers & the family approving of this? Was he making all this aura stuff up? Who knows. (aura = origin of halo)
4. When he moved back to Kokomo from another state, he stopped attending HPC and attended elsewhere. We didn’t get along for a host of reasons, but I never knew of his occult practice (I did not know him well).
5. But it is possible; we are not to be paranoid, but always aware that tares grow alongside the wheat, and wolves in sheep’s clothing are an unpleasant reality.
IV. Did Samuel REALLY appear?
1. Yes, for one thing, he even complained.
2. This was a different experience for this medium, unlike the faked apparitions that would develop from the evil spirits who imitate people.
3. This is very likely the only genuine time the spirit of a real deceased human surfaced in a séance.
V. Did the medium have GENUINE compassion?
1. Think about what Saul gained from this experience: nothing good.
2. He was devastated.