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 05/18/08
The Doctrine of Negative Volition. Part 2.
The Doctrine of Negative Volition. Part 2.
Let’s get the context once again; 1SA 28:5-10, 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 or by prophets. 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.” 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.” 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 using the Lord. He usedhis staff to find the witch, chase David, he usesthe Lord’s name to get to the woman, and uses the woman to get what he wants. Reversionists always use others. Many individuals use the name of the Lord for their own secret goals and ambitions. Just because someone says to you it’s the Lord’s will, it doesn’t mean that what they are saying is true or part of the plan of God.
In verse 10, Saul reveals the impossibility of reversionists to be stable. Saul says, “As the Lord lives.” This is a violation of the third commandment, EXO 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” Saul is using the Lord’s name in vain by using God to get his way. It could mean to use the Lord to sponsor your own projects or to gain a false goal. Many use the Lord and His name to cover for a lie, by using the phrase “I swear to God” or “before God.” Pastors use the Lord’s name to bully their congregation, thereby destroying the function of their privacy.
Let’s note some principles: 1) This woman is demon possessed, and for a person to be demon possessed they must surrender their body to demons. 2) You cannot effectively witness to a demon possessed person until the demon is removed. 3) The witch of Endor believes the solemn promise of Saul. 4) The promise of Saul is no greater than the character of Saul. Saul is unstable, jealous, and unreliable. When you are dealing with a carnal believer you can’t trust them. They live a lie so they speak a lie.
1SA 28:11 Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” Now we see the woman living in her lie. She cannot bring someone up for the dead and no one knows that better than her. We have two liars and they both deserve each other. So we have two people deceiving each other. Where demon possession is involved, fakery is the order of the day. Demons have one purpose, and that is to distract the unbeliever from the Gospel, and the believer from Bible doctrine.
Either Saul was asleep in the congregation when Samuel taught about Gideon or absent altogether. In either case, it’s a sign of negative volition towards doctrine. As a result, when he needed doctrine the most he didn’t have it. The very teachings about Gideon were the very teachings Saul needed for guidance and victory. Saul is standing on the very spot where the story took place. Saul could have thought about how Gideon and 300 men went up against 135,000 Arabs. Remember 2CO 10:3says, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. We use our powerful tools from God for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God. If Saul had simply remembered the history or the doctrine pertaining to Gideon he would have been victorious.
The witch of Endor knows that she cannot bring anyone back from the dead. Only God’s sovereignty can do that. So here is Saul living in a lie, looking for the supernatural experience. Being in reversionisim he is about to miss one of the funniest things that ever happened at a séance. The only one that is going to appear calm is Saul because he doesn’t realize what is happening.
1SA 28:12 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.” The demon is immobilized, the woman is in shock, and God in His grace, and His sense of humor is answering the last request of King Saul. The demon is now forced out of the woman, she is terrified. She will come out of the shock and be a free unbeliever, something she is not at this point. The king of Israel, Saul, has been frightened all day is not frightened at all. Saul has forgotten his fear, he is totally fascinated by what’s going on, it all seems routine to him. Once the demon loses the control of the woman’s vocal cords he has lost the control of the séance. The dead has appeared, and remember that only God can bring people back from the dead. God has done so on several occasions, sometimes back in a physical body, sometimes back to give a message. In fact, now that the canon of scripture is completed and we are living in the age of the Royal Family of God, there will be no contact from the dead. However, this does not keep the eggastromuthos demons from finding new homes and therefore, necromancy is still practiced today.
The woman is now angry, and wants an explanation. She specialized in deceiving others, now she is upset that she is being deceived. When a person becomes upset and hysterical their first reaction is to blame others. It is obvious she is no longer in a trance, and it is implied that she is no longer possessed by the demon. Once the demon is gone the woman recognizes that it is Saul. The witch has now penetrated through the disguise of Saul, and he was hard to disguise because he was about 7 feet tall. With the demon gone, the woman recovers her perceptive abilities.
1SA 28:13 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.” Saul is not aware of the fact that this séance has been interrupted by God. The woman has never seen anything like this before, she logically comes up with the conclusion that it must be God because it is greater than the powers of evil, so at least her logic is going in the right direction. Doctrines of demons, and demon influence in a believer’s life will cause the believer to become irrational and illogical. The woman is now thinking. Saul is now thinking. The demon is gone and Satan and all the forces of evil are held back. When God interrupts anything in life it gives those involved the chance to think. Catastrophe is a means to awaken believers out of their spiritual sleep. It gives them the ability and freedom to think, and the ability to learn from Divine viewpoint. (AMO 3:6-7; PRO 16:4; ISA 45:5-7). It is imperative that God interrupts our lives from time to time to wake us up. God the Son does it in REV 3:20 by knocking at the door of our souls. This means that if our life is going to be free from dramatic Divine interruptions, we must stick with Bible doctrine. Nothing is more important for the believer than the inhale of doctrine daily. Otherwise your life will be a series of dramatic interruptions. One thing that the believer minus doctrine is not prepared for, it is sudden disaster.
The woman sees Samuel and she will describe what she sees, and Saul will be able to identify Samuel from her description. Remember that communication with the dead is impossible. The souls and spirits of those who are dead cannot communicate with the living or return from the dead (2SA 12:22-23, LUK 16:27-31). The only exception is the one we are studying. 1SA 28:14 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. Notice she doesn’t say it is God anymore, she says it is an old man. Saul finally recognizes the authority of Samuel, if he had recognized it in the past and listened to his teaching, he wouldn’t be on the road to death. He would have had a wonderful life free from jealousy, vindictiveness and free from implacability. Remember that authority is a creation of God (ROM 13:1-2). Many people can take responsibility for their own decisions and their personal life, but can never handle having responsibility for others. Authority involves a person who is willing to take responsibility for the lives of others. Most people think of authority in terms of arrogance, the idea of telling others what to do. This is not authority, it is only a form of arrogance. Authority demands moral courage as well as honesty, integrity, and fairness. The honor code demands that we have spiritual authority just as we have authority in the government, business and in all area’s of life. However, weak people resent authority. Your attitude toward authority is an index of your character. All of us live under a system of authority, this is especially true in the spiritual realm. The only issue between you and your pastor is whether you are learning doctrine from him or not. His personality is not the issue. You can’t read the Bible on your own and become an expert. This is why God gave gifts unto men called the pastor-teacher, so that you could be equipped for the Royal Family. ACT 20:28 teaches that the Holy Spirit assigns a certain pastor to a certain congregation. 1PE 5:3 teaches that there are certain believers who are allotted or assigned to a certain pastor. The communication of doctrine always includes the authority principle. Therefore, as a part of your positive volition toward doctrine, as opposed to negative volition, you need to recognize the principle of spiritual authority in the pastor-teacher. As well as the pastor-teacher needing to recognize his authority over the flock. The pastor is called “your messenger” just as Epaphroditus was called as the right pastor teacher to the Philippians in PHI 2:25. The pastor is given to you from God on “your behalf” just as Epaphras, was as the right pastor teacher of Colosse in COL 1:17. There are many passages that teach that certain believers are called to a certain pastor. The fact that most believers reject this principle is just another stamp of negative volition upon their soul. Christian freedom is like any other kind of freedom, it is always a part of a structure which includes not only the freedom, but privacy, property and authority. Without police and law, you would have chaos. Divine authority is clearly represented in the scripture. The authority of the pastor-teacher is related to his spiritual gift, his Bible teaching, and his policy based on the scriptures. The purpose of his gift is the proper communication and teaching of doctrine, and the protection of the privacy of the congregation. He is responsible to see that the policy of the church is being followed. Having absolute authority does not mean having absolute control. Authority is to be delegated. Absolute authority often means taking responsibility for things which are not your fault. It is not the function of the pastor to act as a referee in squabbles, and that includes marital problems. His job is to insure the privacy, the freedom and the function of the Royal Family honor code in the congregation. The freedom that you have from establishment, plus the freedom you have from being a Royal Priest means that you have equal privilege and equal opportunity to grow in the presence of all the saints. Paul said in EPH 3:18 That you may be able to comprehend in the presence of all the saints what is the breath and length and height and depth, it is authority that protects your freedom to grow.
Freedom plus equal privilege and equal opportunity equals inequality. With freedom, you can say no to doctrine, and you can go down into apostasy, or you can say yes to doctrine and you advance toward maturity. Whatever you choose to do, when freedom is present, freedom creates inequality. We are to love each other with impersonal love so that each one of us can use his freedom of the priesthood and his opportunity to create the inequalities in time which are transferred to inequalities in heaven. In heaven some will have great rewards and blessing in their resurrection body, and some will have a resurrection body without rewards. Some will have those decorations which glorify God forever and some will not. However, remember that no one will have any regrets in heaven. A pastors job is to communicate Bible doctrine to those who are positive. Therefore the Royal Family honor code demands authority orientation in your own spiritual life.
1SA 28:11-19, 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!”
Samuel was too happy about Saul disturbing him especially since the message that he is going to give has previously been given on many other occasions. However, like so many in the congregation, he simply do not listen, and he just didn’t believe it until it happens. Saul is a typical reversionist who has negative volition toward doctrine. He demands the attention of others without consideration. When discipline becomes intensified for the believer who has negative volition toward doctrine, he becomes very selfish and very unpleasant to be around. Life demands struggle, and those who have everything given to them usually become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today. The believer who has negative volition toward doctrine also lacks compassion and love for others. He does not share your enthusiasms, he has no capacity for love or friendship. The cure for the believer who has negative volition toward doctrine is three-fold: First, 1JO 1:9 (homologeo). Second, Repent (metanoia), third,EPH 4:23 (soul-breathing). For the believer who has negative volition toward doctrine, repentance and change of mind requires a consistent intake of Bible doctrine, setting aside of the details of life, and a crash diet of Bible doctrine. If Saul had only listened to his Bible teacher, Samuel, he wouldn’t be in the jam that he was in. That’s why it is important to listen to doctrinal teaching now, not in the future.
In 1SA 28:15 Saul reveals why he is 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.” This is pressure that Saul manufactured from his poor attitude toward doctrine. Saul is also blasphemous, the Lord hasn’t departed from Saul, rather Saul has departed from the Lord. Saul is subtly saying, it’s all God’s fault. The Lord had stood at the door and knocked for a long time. However, Saul did not open the door to let doctrine, the mind of Christ in. Notice, the inconsistently and instability of Saul as he contradicts himself. If God had deserted Saul and would not answer him by prophets, why is he expecting answers from Samuel who was a prophet? All of a sudden, Saul wants teaching. A believer who has negative volition toward doctrine can cope with pressure. Saul has had 18 years of negative volition and it has all caught up to him.
1SA 28:16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has departed from you and has become your adversary? Saul’s main problem is negative volition toward doctrine, and therefore he has become an enemy of God. Reversionism is not the same as carnality. Carnality is the believer who gets out of fellowship, and rebounds, but is positive toward doctrine. Whereas the believer who has negative volition toward doctrine, lives a lifestyle of reversionism.
There are different stages of negative volition toward doctrine. Lack of interest toward doctrine, then reaction toward doctrine or the communicator. Then there is mental attitude sins which includes arrogance. There is a lifestyle of discouragement, boredom, self-pity, loneliness, frustration, and insecurity. The killer is arrogance and rejection of spiritual authority. The believer who has negative volition toward doctrine lives in the frantic search for happiness. They try to have some fun in life, or some pleasure, searching for happiness anywhere and everywhere. But, when they lie in bed at night, if they are honest with themselves, they know that they are on a dead end street, and everything is simply “vanity of vanities.” Then there is the emotional revolt of the soul. This is when the emotions become the ruler of the soul. The next stage of reversionism is bondage to the details of life, which means you are too busy for Bible teaching. In this stage, the believer allows the details of life to destroy his positive volition. The next stage is when the vacuum opens up and draws in doctrines of demons. The soul becomes filled with darkness and you develop hardness of the heart.
There comes a time in the life of every believer when he will face a crisis, a disaster, a set of adverse circumstances which demand something greater than what he has from human resources. Saul was not prepared for this disaster because he was minus Bible doctrine. He had every opportunity to listen to the teaching of the word of God and he rejected his communicator who was Samuel. God gave Saul 15 years to repent and change his mind but he refused to do so. Samuel repeated the same message he had given 15 years ago to King Saul. 1SA 28:18-19, “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!” This is the sin unto death being administered to Saul and his army. Others are going to suffer because of their relationship to him. In 1SA 28:20 we have come to the reaction of King Saul, 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. When he heard how he was going to die all 7 feet of him fell straight down to the ground. Perhaps that is why David said in 2SA 1:19 “Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How have the mighty fallen!”