Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 05/11/08
The Doctrine of Negative Volition.
We have noted that the Jews rejected their adoption from God as sons, they rejected the Shekinah glory, the unconditional covenants, the Mosaic law, the temple service, the promises of God, and most importantly they rejected their Messiah, the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of all of these rejections, we have begun our study of: The Doctrine of Negative Volition.Point 1. Introduction.
Negative volition is refusal of Bible doctrine and it is divided into two categories: First, primary negative volition which is refusal to assemble for Bible teaching. This is the rejection of your right pastor teacher and his authority. Secondly, secondary negative volition is refusal to transfer doctrine heard from the left lobe to the right lobe. This is rejection of the message and therefore Bible doctrine. This is the malfunction of perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine. This results in no Divine viewpoint and no doctrine resident in the soul. There is also the refusal of the faith rest technique as a part of negative volition. Inconsistent negative volition refers to a person who takes in doctrine only when he is under pressure. He is an occasional hearer of the word. This is the inconsistency that leads to backsliding or reversionism. King Saul wanted to use God when he was in a jam, but God wouldn’t answer him. So Saul went to the witch of Endor, and held a séance, and still there was silence, until Samuel came on the scene.
In 1SA 28:1, the Philistines gathered their army for war to fight against Israel. In 1SA 28:5-6, When Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim [lights on the Ephod or the breastplate of the high priest] or by prophets. The Urim was a breastplate on the shoulders of the high priest which had stones that would light up when you were seeking Divine guidance. The Thummin had a checkerboard with 12 squares, one for every tribe of Israel. Urim means lights, and one light would mean no and the other says yes, and the tribe that was to perform the assignment would light up. There are some interesting facts about this passage. One is that the real breastplate or the checkerboard (the Urim and Thummin) is with David. The high priest is the one who carried it. Saul had executed 85 priests (1SA 22:18), and the Ephod (breastplate) went with the one priest who escaped who was Abiathar (1SA 22:22). Saul had made a substitute ephod, but it didn’t work. You have to have the real thing, the high priest and the breastplate, and Saul had neither. Saul’s negative volition toward doctrine, and his wrong decisions are now catching up with him. Saul couldn’t get any answers from God. He had a fake ephod, and a fake high priest. When the backslider or the reversionist needs doctrine the most, he has it is the least. Divine answers and guidance in times of pressure come to those believers who have doctrine stored in their souls. The reversionist will seek miracles, signs and wonders in time of pressure, instead of applying doctrine. A pastor cannot help a reversionist, they must help themselves, and that is done by getting positive towards Bible doctrine. These people had the same chance for doctrine that you had, you took it in faithfully, they did not!
The first sign of a reversionist is their refusal to listen to the word of God. Only believers with doctrine can survive the heartaches, pressures, catastrophes of life. God has designed the believer to operate and function under Bible doctrine and nothing else. Saul lacked the spiritual information to solve the problem. Saul lost the spiritual battle long before he lost the physical or natural battle. In 1SA 28:7 notice Saul’s solution, Then Saul said to his servants [his staff – and this is a command], “Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” Saul’s real objective is to raise his teacher Samuel from paradise. Saul is now accepting necromancy which is the practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future. Saul has been taught that necromancy is wrong, he knows it well. He is in the last stages of reversionism, which is hardness of the heart, and blackout of the soul which ends in physical death. Saul knew the warning, LEV 19:31 “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” This is a warning for today as well, don’t dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums; you’ll pollute your souls. You are not to seek information about problems or anything from people who are involved in astrology. To do so is to have contact with demons, and getting your information from Satan which is false information. The believer who has negative volition toward doctrine will end up with the vacuum of the soul opening up and drawing in what 1TI 4:1 calls doctrine from demons. Then demon influence (not demon possession) results. The black-out of the soul plus the hardness of the heart causes the believer not to understand doctrine they have previously understood. As a reversionist they will revert to superstition and human viewpoint.
Saul is now relying on human viewpoint. If Saul had been learning Bible doctrine he would have known the book of Judges and how Gideon handled this same problem. The principle is that you never know when you are studying the word of God, what doctrine you are going to need. There comes a time when some of the seemingly insignificant principles suddenly become extremely important. David warned Solomon about this principle and Solomon passed it along to us (PRO 5:11-12). PRO 5:13 “And I have not listened to the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!” Saul is backsliding and seeking counsel. Saul had notbeen thinking about the Lord for a long time, and now he is in a jam and says “God help me,” and the Lord doesn’t answer.
1SA 28:7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at Endor.” Endor was a town filled with numerous caves, and apparently this is where many of the demon possessed crowd were hanging out. Saul had gotten rid of all the wizards and witches, but now he is trying to hook up with one. It’s interesting that Saul was the king who had prohibited the practice of divination and necromancy. What has happened to Saul in reversionism explains why many believers begin with doctrine, as Saul did, but then they give lip service to Bible doctrine and reversionism always changes these people. Remember, life is something that continually changes, no one stands still. No believer ever backslides, without destroying himself and everyone connected with him.
1SA 28:8 Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two men with him, remember Saul is afraid and fear is what motivates him. Never forget that some of the most dangerous people in the world are cowards. In dangerous situations, cowards are unpredictable. Before we get to the witch of Endor and get into that wild séance, let’s look at some principles: 1) Saul’s military is weak and limited because Saul has been so busy with personal vengeance, chasing David, that he has neglected the military training of his nation. 2) Saul is a believer, a reversionistic believer. How would you like to be under his command? Saul should be had been listening to doctrine, instead he is creeping from rock to rock, so as not to be seen, going to a séance. 3) It isn’t courage that is needed, it is good training and discipline. You don’t need hero’s, you need good soldiers. Brains, discipline, and recognition of authority equals victory. 4) The Jewish army no longer has discipline. It no longer has motivation or patriotism because of terrible leadership. The Lord will not answer and guide the reversionist. 5) Saul is now under the sin unto death and Divine discipline. When a leader is under Divine discipline or the sin unto death, all of those he leads die with him. 6) Saul is desperate, confused, and filled with human viewpoint. He is under demon influence, he has blackout of the soul, and he has hardness of the heart. Saul, like many of us, should have understood the faith rest life and the different rationales which we have noted. When you do you can say with Zephaniah, ZEP 3:15 “The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you will fear disaster no more.” 1SA 28:8 Then Saul disguised himself by putting on other clothes, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night; and he said, “Conjure up for me, please, and bring up for me whom I shall name to you.” In desperation Saul turns to good manners in using people. The Hebrew verb for conjure up isqacam meaning to contact the dead. Saul thought that the demon could go down to Hades and bring up Samuel.
Everyone will face at least one major crisis in their life. However, not until God has given you the time to learn the doctrine to face that crisis (1CO 10:13). God will never let you down; He’ll never let you be pushed past your limit. God brings every believer to the place where if he doesn’t have doctrine he has had it. All the counseling in the world isn’t going to change that. You are not here to lean on anyone, you are here to become spiritually self sustaining. You are to walk by means of the Spirit (GAL 4:16). Notice you are to walk not hobble.
Back in our passage we see that the witch of Endor is skeptical, she suspects a trap. This is how witches and mediums were often caught by the request of séances. Saul is going to have his request filled, much to the surprise of both the witch and the demon. They are going to get the shock of their lives. 1SA 28:9 But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?” In verse 7 we saw that this woman was demon possessed, but the demon doesn’t tell her that’s its king Saul. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a member of the Royal family of God. In 1JO 4:4, greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. I say that because there are many lies out there about demons. People give demons too much credit. Demons are simply fallen angels with a fallen nature, and they are not always that smart. Notice that the demon inside this woman cannot telegraph to the woman that it is Saul under the disguise. There are some demons that are related to violence and others are related to leadership and rulership. Demons have been in control of rulers of nations (EZE 21:21; DAN 10:13; 2KI 21:1-17). There are some that indwell animals (MAR 5:11-12). Demons (like humans) are not created equal and possess different authority (EPH 6:12). Some demons are related to violence (MAT 8:28). They cause abnormal behavior such as
Screaming and crying (MAR 5:5), suicide (MAR 5:5), foaming at the mouth (MAR 9:20). These are the not so smart demons. Then we have the intelligent demons who cause the rise of certain world leaders (2TH 2:9; REV 16:13-14). Demons who cause wars (REV 20:8). So notice while the woman is demon possessed she gives overt recognition to the laws of the land and government. Demon possessed people can obey the law, and operate under the laws of establishment. Satan can have his intelligent demons rule, or his dummy demons freak out. Satan also has something else: his trump cards are the reversionistic believers. As long as Satan has enough trumps, he keeps down demon possession. People ask “why aren’t there many people having demons cast out of them?” The answer is because Satan has enough believers on his side without needing to possess. Satan keeps his troops hidden for a surprise attack, hidden behind sweet, kind, moral individuals who operate under the laws of divine establishment (2CO 11:3-15). This is the reason why we don’t see a lot of people rolling in the aisles, foaming at the mouth, splitting out pea soup. We see demon possession manifested by respectability.
Negative volition also refers to the believer who takes in doctrine until he reaches maturity, but then reacts to disillusion, boredom, discouragement, self-pity, frustration, or some other reactor factors in his soul, which becomes an obsession. This is what happened to Saul. Saul’s reactor factor in his life was his jealousy of David. From that he moved into a frantic search for happiness by trying to destroy and discredit David in vengeance. He wound up under reverse process reversionism and finally the sin unto death. Negative emotionalism describes the believer who becomes negative to doctrine. In his emotional revolt, he uses his emotion as the criterion or the standard for everything. Feeling becomes the criteria. If he feels good, everything is all right. If he feels bad, there is something wrong. Therefore, he is a slave to his health, to his emotion, and to everything that has to do with stimuli or lack of stimuli. Whenever demonism or any related subject is discussed unusual things often happen. It’s usually more difficult for people to concentrate when we talk about the kingdom of darkness. We must recognize that Satan administers his authority by means of a great invisible host of fallen angels known as demons. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we are the direct enemies of Satan and his fallen angels. In REV 12:4, Satan convinced one-third of the angels in heaven with him and his rebellion. Don’t get shocked when the ministry loses some of its members, God lost more then one-third of His. In our passage we will see how demons have been in constant contact with the human race. Ever since the fall, the great unseen forces belonging to Satan rallied together to a very strong fighting force. From that time until the present, demonism is a reality on this earth. Many of the good-deed programs and movements are directly related to demonism. It’s interesting to note that in the cases where the demon controls the woman, abnormal behavior is very limited and minor. It is when a demon possesses a man that some obvious, evil comes into the picture. Ever since Gen 6, when demons had sexual intercourse with the women on the earth, certain fallen angels have been placed in a prison as we have studied (2PE 2:4; Jude 6). Today it is impossible for any angelic creature to have sexual relations with a woman. Instead the demons can only control the body or the soul of the members of the human race. Demon influence and or demon possession is now the order of the day. However, free will involvement is the only way demons can operate. Demon possession is definitely a part of our study of the witch of Endor. A demon possessed person is not always someone who has an abnormal behavior. Sometimes it could be someone very beautiful and charming or very strong and handsome. That is the kind of demon possession we face in this chapter.
The witch of Endor lived a long time ago when human sacrifices was offered up to idols. An idol is nothing but a false image backed by a demon. They would teach that the virgin’s soul would possess a body in the after-world to have sex with gods, even children were sacrificed because the gods were abnormal and wanted sex with children. Only a weirdo would follow such a weird god. Whether we are talking abut the witch of Endor, a very calm and law abiding beautiful woman, or abnormal behavior, there are various forms of demon activity. Demon possession does not always mean abnormal behavior. The witch of Endor is different than most of our demon-possessed concepts. God ordained capital punishment for anyone who was demon possessed in Israel (LEV 20:27). Demon’s are also the gods of many nations (PSA 96:5). Nations that follow Buddha, Mohammed, Krishna are really following demons. Demonism is also the source of murder. Many murders are accomplished under demon possession. Satan has the power of death which he has delegated to demons when permitted to do so, this is taught in 1JO 3:8;HEB 2:14-15. Satan was also given the opportunity of executing the sin unto death to a born-again believer in Corinth (1CO 5:5). Remember, his spirit was saved though his body was not. So, Satan is a killer and he has delegated this authority to demons. Satan and his demons are also a source of disease. We have the thorn in the flesh, 2CO 12:7, the skin cancer that came to Job in JOB 2:6-8. many other diseases like deafness, dumbness, and blindness. Those are just some of the concepts of demonism.
In our passage we are dealing with a woman who is called the witch of Endor. A witch simply means a medium and a medium means someone who has a demon. It is never possible for anyone to contact the dead, and there is not a glass sea where loved ones can see you. In this passage we are going to see Saul sitting around a table waiting for the witch of Endor to do her thing, but instead she stands up and screams. She was not a hysterical woman, she screams because something happened that never happened before at a séance. This time, the dead really came back from the dead. She freaks out and meanwhile Saul thinks the whole thing is routine. God in his great sense of humor actually brings Samuel back. In fact, at the end of this chapter the witch of Endor ends up being the woman of Endor. In the battle of Giboea, which was about to take place, Saul will be outsmarted and out-thought by King Achish. There is not a reason in the world why an unbeliever should ever out-smart a believer but Saul is like many believers today totally ignorant of God’s word and looking for the supernatural He once had the Spirit of God upon him mightily. 1SA 11:6 He was also very humble (1SA 9:21). The Lord anointed him king over Israel in 1SA 15:17, and Saul was the chosen one of the Lord. However, here Saul, a believer will be defeated by an unbeliever. Saul is a passive, slothful, backslider who has neglected the word of the Lord. In fact look at 1CH 10:13-14 and let’s look at why Saul died. So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the Lord, because of the word of the Lord which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of the Lord. Therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse. This is a picture of what happens when God’s people go to the world for help. When a believer goes negative towards Bible doctrine, he ends up with hardness of the heart and backslide. At this time two things can happen: He can stay a reversionist until he dies the sin unto death, or he can rebound and recover as David did.
This should be taken very seriously as far as you are concerned since this is a solemn warning. The next time you find yourself getting indifferent toward the word of God you remember this principle because you have a choice of going one of two ways: You can reap what you sow or you can reap what God sows. You cannot afford to neglect the word of God even for a moment. Saul was a very honest and noble man when he started his reign, but reversionisim turned him into a monster. Jealousy drove Saul crazy.
Samuel had been a leader of Israel all his life. He had been the communicator of Bible doctrine. The priests would communicate the written word and Samuel and the prophets would communicate the spoken word through revelation. Samuel was a prophet and a priest. Death meant to Samuel that his work was finished, he had succeeded and fulfilled his responsibilities that were unto the Lord. Death meant for him rest and relaxation. God never designed dying to be horrible or frightening for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. His plan calls for each member of the royal family to have a wonderful death. Something to be anticipated as the final crown of life. Death is designed to be the sweetest and tastiest part of living.
1SA 28:9-10, But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?” And Saul vowed to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, there shall no punishment come upon you for this thing.” Here is a man about to die the sin unto death and he is making vows to the Lord.
1SA 28:11-25, Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul.” And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid; but what do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the earth.” And he said to her, “What is his form?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage. Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” And Saul answered, “I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has departed from me and answers me no more, either through prophets or by dreams; therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do.” And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has departed from you and has become your adversary? And the Lord has done accordingly as He spoke through me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. As you did not obey the Lord and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover the Lord will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Indeed the Lord will give over the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines!” Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground and was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; also there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day and all night. And the woman came to Saul and saw that he was terrified, and said to him, “Behold, your maidservant has obeyed you, and I have taken my life in my hand, and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. So now also, please listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a piece of bread before you that you may eat and have strength when you go on your way.” But he refused and said, “I will not eat.” However, his servants together with the woman urged him, and he listened to them. So he arose from the ground and sat on the bed. And the woman had a fattened calf in the house, and she quickly slaughtered it; and she took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. And she brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.”