The Apple Of God's Eye

March 15, 2011

Samuel: Israel’s Great Prophet

Filed under: Biblical Characters — melchia @ 6:58 am
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Samuel Anointing David - superstock.com

About 1140 B.C., when God still ruled Israel through judges, there was a Levite named Elkanah who had two wives. One, Hannah, was favored of her husband, but had no children. The other was Peninnah.

Each year the family journeyed to Shiloh to worship the Eternal. This is where Joshua, about 300 years before, had placed the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant containing the Law of God. And each year Peninnah would chide Hannah for having no children.

Praying for a son

When the time came once again for the trip, Hannah was provoked to tears.

While at Shiloh, she prayed earnestly to God for a son, vowing that if God would grant her petition, she would make the child a Nazarite, dedicated to serving the Eternal all the days of his life (see Num. 6:2-8). And as she silently prayed, Eli the priest thought she was drunk, for she was moving her lips but making no sound (I Sam. 1:13).

He rebuked her, but she explained her grief. And Eli said, “May the God of Israel grant you your prayer.” That day Hannah went out from the tabernacle with complete faith that God would give her a son. And God did.

She named the child Samuel (meaning asked of God), and when he was weaned, about 3 years old, she took him to Eli. There he grew up ministering to the Eternal God (priestly duties). He wore the linen garment of a priest, and each year his mother made him a new coat.

Eli’s wicked sons

Now Eli was not a young man. He had already judged Israel nearly 30 years and had given most of the administrative duties over to his sons, Hophni and Phinehas. But they were corrupt.

Whenever the people came to make an offering, Hophni and Phinehas took the best portion of the meat for themselves. The leftovers were presented to God. They also committed fornication with the women who served at the door of the tabernacle. (more…)

February 21, 2011

Did Samuel The Prophet Come Back As A Spirit?

walk-by-faith.com

King Saul asked God about an impending battle with the Philistines, but God gave him no answer (I Sam. 28:1-6). In great fear (verse 5), Saul disguised himself and went to the witch at Endor, a woman who had contact with familiar spirits or demons. She asked, “Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, bring me up Samuel” (verse 11).

The woman complied with Saul’s request — or at least she performed some ritual which made it appear that she did. And “when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice” (verse 12) because she then realized she was dealing with King Saul and could well be in jeopardy of her life for practicing witchcraft (verses 3 and 9). But Saul told her not to be afraid and asked what she had seen. She replied “I saw a god-like being coming up out of the earth” (verse 13, Jewish translation).

Saul then asked the woman, “What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived [thought] that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself” (verse 14).

In describing what she saw, the woman used these expressions: “a god-like being,” “an old man,” and “he is covered with a mantle.” There is not one word that it was actually Samuel himself! What did she see? She saw an evil spirit which presented itself in a way in which it could be mistaken for Samuel.

The Bible reveals that Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). He is the god of this world and can transform himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 4:4; 11:14). Satan and his demons have the power to produce apparitions and to appear in human or animal forms.

The next question in I Samuel 28 arises over verse 15: “And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?” Why does the account read as though Samuel were speaking to Saul? It is merely a matter of what Saul wanted to see and hear. Demons enjoy fooling people. This one took the opportunity to play into Saul’s hand by impersonating Samuel. It apparently knew the outcome of the battle and told Saul that he would die the following day and that his army would be defeated by the Philistines.

Deception is one of Satan’s devices (Rev. 12:9). I Samuel 28 records that “Samuel” spoke, although it was actually a demon speaking through what looked like a human (John Gill’s Exposition Of The Bible). Samuel was not there, either in body or spirit. He was, and still is, dead and in his grave, awaiting the resurrection. This account is written, at least in part, from the human point of view, that is, the way it appeared to the witch and to Saul.

This scripture in no way contradicts the multitude of clear scriptures proving that the soul is mortal.

January 11, 2010

Why Did God Kill In The Old Testament?

God Allowed Sinful Nations To Be Destroyed In Old Testament Times!It’s probably happened to you.  You were debating God, and someone pulled out the question, “If God is a God of love, how come he killed off so many tribes of non-Israelites in the Old Testament?”  Could you answer this question?

Many have unjustly accused God of being a murderer in the Old Testament because He either killed people or He allowed Israel to kill. However, this is a basic misunderstanding of the character of God, who does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So why was this practice allowed then, and not now, in the New Testament? Let’s explain!

In I Samuel 15:3, God commanded Saul to “go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Why did God have to deal so harshly with these people, even down to little children and animals? Was this unjust, cruel, barbaric?

God said: “All who behave unrighteously are an abomination to the Lord your God. Remember what Amalek did to you [Israel] on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God” (Deuteronomy 25:16-18).

Notice how harsh and unfair the Amalekites were. They waited until their enemy was extremely weak, and even then, they attacked from behind, killing the laggers one by one. (more…)

May 20, 2009

Is The Miracle Of Fatima A Hoax?

Roman Catholics claim that a supernatural event occurred in 1917 in which the “Virgin Mary” appeared repeatedly to 3 little children in Fatima, Portugal.  Supposedly, the Virgin Mary gave a message to the 3 little children.  The Message of Fatima consists of an alleged number of precise predictions, requests, warnings and promises concerning the Faith and the world which were conveyed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherd children–Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco–in a series of apparitions at Fatima, Portugal from May to October 1917.

While I have no reason to doubt that the children experienced a vision, it is the source of this apparition I question. The Bible warns that people will witness miracles and supernatural phenomena which will mislead them (Matt. 24:24; Rev. 13:13). We also find a biblical example of this kind of false miracle in I Samuel 28:7-20. King Saul believed the dead prophet Samuel appeared, giving him a message; but it was really an evil spirit impersonating Samuel!

The Message of the Virgin of Fatima is nothing more than the invention of the Roman Catholic Church, counter to what the Bible really says. It does nothing but further their own pagan traditions. No cosmic miracle happened, despite  the testimonies of people who THOUGHT they saw one. Catholics adherents tend to see things others do not. What they actually saw in 1917 was an astronomical event which occurs repeatedly every 11 years. The Vatican used the event to dupe the ignorant masses who thought they had seen a “miracle” of nature.

The Catholic Church thrives on biblical ignorance. Most people do not question the “traditions” and “claims” of the Vatican, they just blindly believe it’s structured, non-spirit based doctrines. But religion without the Bible is participation without faith, a sort of make-believe spiritual game where deceivement is easy to panhandle. How else do we explain the unbiblical error of Mary appearing from heaven? The Bible reveals that the righteous dead remain in their graves until the resurrection at Christ’s return (see I Corinthians 15:22-23, 50-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; Hebrews 11:39-40). Mary is still awaiting the resurrection and cannot appear to anyone. Not only are Catholics praying to mere human being while ignoring their only intercessor – Jesus Christ – but they are praying in foolish idolatry to nothing more than a pile of dust.

So despite the incessant baying of critics, I can say without hesitation that the message and miracle of Fatima is a lie and a hoax contrary to the Word of God! Roman Catholicism has it’s origins in a heathen Babylonian religion which worshipped the “Queen of Heaven” (Jeremiah 44:19,25). Participate at your own risk.

May 14, 2009

Do Liars Always Lie?

Epimenidis said, “The Cretians are always liars” (Titus 1:12). But Epimenides was a Cretan! Was he lying or telling the truth about Cretans?

If he were telling the truth, he was a liar. If he were a liar, he was telling the truth. What is the answer?

The resolution of this ancient paradox clarifies several misunderstandings about the Bible. It explains why Satan (and his ministers) quote true scriptures (Matt. 4:1-10; II Cor. 11:13-15), why the false prophet Balaam uttered true prophecies (Num. 22), and why the demon who impersonated Samuel seemed to be so “honest” (I Sam. 28:3, 12-20).

The answer hinges on a principle — someone who is always a liar does not always lie! Once this is understood the paradox vanishes. (Fenton violates this principle in giving a logically absurd translation of Titus 1:12. Also, many of the commentaries seem to be unaware of the paradox connected with this verse.)

If a liar could be “depended upon” to lie consistently, one could always extract the truth from him. Consider the story about a logician who is captured by a tribe of savages (Kemeny, Snell, and Thompson, Introduction to Finite Mathematics, 1957). The tribal chief decides to give the logician a “sporting chance” to escape. He places the logician in a jail having two exits and two guards. One exit leads to freedom, the other to death. One guard is always truthful, the other always lies. He is allowed to ask only one question of only one guard. The logician asks, “If I ask the other guard whether this exit leads to freedom, will he say yes?” No matter which guard he asks, he can determine from the answer which door leads to freedom. So, he escapes!

A little thought will show that if the guard says “yes,” the logician has picked the wrong door; if the guard says “no,” the logician has selected the correct door. In any case, no matter which guard he asks, the truth can be determined and thus he escapes. However, if the lying guard — like Satan — sometimes told the truth, the logician would be hopelessly confused. “Effective” liars do not always lie!

In order to be “effective,” liars often mix truth with error. The statements of Satan in Genesis 3:4-5 are an excellent example. Many people use these verses as an argument that human beings cannot be born into the Family of God. They reason that since Satan is a liar (John 8:44) and since Satan said, “Ye shall be as gods …” (Gen. 3:5), then men shall NOT be as gods. WRONG! Satan told the truth about the ultimate destiny of mankind. Jesus Christ said so! (John 10:34-35.) But Satan lied about HOW to become as God (Gen. 3:4-5).

Keep in mind that a quotation from the Bible may be false, if the one quoted is a liar, but it should not be assumed to be false just because the one quoted is a liar. Just as Epimenides spoke the truth when he said (by implication) that he was a liar, someone quoted in the Bible also spoke the truth when he said, “I will be a lying spirit” (I Kings 22:22).

Source: Tomorrow’s World, October 1971

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