Satan’s first lie to mankind was of presenting the concept of immortality of the soul: “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). The Bible teaches that the soul of man is NOT immortal. When someone dies, they: return to dust (Psalms 104:29), know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possess no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), have nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), do not live (2 Kings 20:1), wait in the grave (Job 17:13), and continue not (Job 14:1, 2) until the resurrection (John 5:28, 29).
The dead sleep in their graves till the day of judgement at end of the world (Revelation 22:12) when the righteous will be raised first to meet the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) and the wicked will be raised after the 1000 years (Revelation 20:5) to receive their punishment.
Before Jesus comes back again, Satan will use sorcery (contacting the dead) to deceive the world (Revelation 18:23) with “all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:13). When psychics or mediums claim to be contacting spirits of the dead, they are really in touch with Satan’s fallen angels (Isaiah 8:19 , 20). The devil and his angels pose as godly loved ones who have died, or even the apostles or disciples of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13), with messages that contradict the Bible in order to deceive people.
The story of king Saul is an illustration of the dangers of believing in the immortality of the soul. King Saul was terrified as the Philistine army was ready to attack Israel. Saul wanting advice wished, “If only Samuel were here, he would tell me what to do.” But Samuel was dead. And the Lord would not speak to Saul because of his continued disobedience and rebellion. In desperation, Saul told his servants to, “Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her” (1 Samuel 28:7). God had clearly commanded His people never to consult a witch or medium (Leviticus 19:31; 20:27), but Saul at this point had little regard for God’s clear instructions: “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones” (Leviticus 20:27).
Upon finding a witch in Endor who claimed to consult with the dead, Saul asked the medium, “Bring me up Samuel.” And the witch brought an apparition claiming to be Samuel the prophet who gave Saul an utterly hopeless message. The message predicted that Saul and his three sons would die in battle the next day. The following day Saul’s sons were slain by the Philistines, and afterward the wounded and much discouraged king thinking he would die as the apparition predicted, killed himself (1 Samuel 31:2-4).
What really appeared to king Saul was a demon with a deadly message of hopelessness that drove the king to commit suicide. The odds were in favor of the Philistines so the prediction of death and defeat was an easy call, unless God interfered. But God could not interfere because Saul had disobeyed and not repented.
In His service,
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