Summary: This messages addresses the culture fascination with psychics. It is based on the OT Story of Saul and the Medium of Endor.
Can You Talk to the Dead?
Dr. Marty Baker
Stevens Creek Community Church
Church of God
March 3, 2002
Introduction: Movie Trailer from "Dragonfly".
Do you believe that you can talk to someone who has crossed over to the other side? A Washington Post Weekly article stated that 40% of Americans say that they have made contact with the dead. Many people have said that they have felt the presence of someone who has crossed over. They have heard a voice; felt a light touch; and have seen visual images of their lost loved one.
Linda Georgian, in her book Communicating With the Dead, says that she has been talking with dead people since she was a child. I guess she has a sixth sense.
sound track from The Sixth Sense: "I see dead people").
This is similar to John Edward’s story. Many of you know him through the Sci-Fi Channel’s hit "Crossing Over with John Edward." (Play clip from introduction of the television show). As you know, John Edward claims that he has the ability to reunite people in the physical world with loved ones that have crossed over.
What do you think about this? John Edward is not the first one to claim that he had the power to connect with a person that has crossed over. We see it all the time. How about Miss Cleo, Sylvia Browne or the late Jeane Dixon? Can people really talk to the dead?
What do you think?
I will begin with a story in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. The central figure of chapter 28 is a man named Saul. He was chosen by God to be the first King in the country of Israel. During his reign, Saul enjoyed the blessings of God up until he failed to carry out God’s directives concerning the Amalekites. Instead of destroying all of the Amalekites and their possessions, Saul allowed Agag to live and looted the best sheep, cattle, fatted calves and lambs. When he was caught by the prophet Samuel, he lied about what he had done. This action displeased the Lord and eventually resulted in the kingdom being taken away from Saul.
The prophet Samuel pronounced this judgment on Saul and refused to see him the rest of his life.
Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel.
From this time forward, Saul’s life was marked by fear, jealousy, and rage. He wades through periods of depression and paranoia. Years later, Saul finds himself in conflict with his enemies, the Philistines. By this time the Prophet Samuel was dead and Saul was desperate for a word from God. Let’s pick up the story in 1 Samuel 28:3-7.
3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa.
5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.
Saul realized that he was preparing to face his greatest enemy without God’s blessing on his life. Saul had some regrets, but never truly turned from his wicked lifestyle. Saul was desperate. What do people do when they are desperate? They pray.
He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.
Saul prayed, but his sins became a barrier that kept God from answering. If you look closely at this verse, you will see a regression of faith on Saul’s behalf.
First of all, Saul tried to talk to God one-on-one through prayer. This is an acceptable practice, but God did not answer Saul because his heart was not right with the Lord.
Secondly, after he could not hear God, he lowered his standards a little and sought some form of dream revelation.
This dream revelation may have been similar to a drug-induced trance, in which the dreamer sought to see the future. This practice would not have been good. Drugs cloud our minds from hearing God’s voice.
Thirdly, Saul consulted the Urim.
The Urim was a stone that was sometimes used along with another stone called the Thummin. They were basically fortune telling stones. They may have been flat disks with ’yes’ and ’no’ sides. When both agreed the answer was clear. When they disagreed, further guidance was sought. The Urim and Thummin were to Saul like tarot cards or ouiga boards are to people today.