Mystery # 1 from the Book of Joshua...
The drying up of the River Jordan
Joshua 3:16, 17 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that come down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
As God did for Moses and the Israelites at the Red Sea Parting (a Mystery of the Bible we have already covered in the Book of Exodus), God let it be known he would do the same for Joshua, Moses's successor as the leader of the Israelites into the Promised Land. But what of this Mystery, the drying up of the River Jordan, just how miraculous was it and what was the spiritual significance of God performing this Supernatural event? Let’s find out together.
When the Lord dried up the Jordan River, so millions of Israelites and their livestock could cross it, word traveled all over the land. The kings of the Amorites living west of the Jordan River and the local Canaanites living by the Mediterranean Sea had heard about this miraculous occurrence and became very frightened of the God of the Israelites. They were so scared they became cowardly and refused to go into battle with the Israelites. But was this merely God’s Way of showing he was going to protect the Israelites against its enemies or was there more to it than that?
It was Joshua, the day before the drying of the Jordan River took place, who told the people of Israel, that they should sanctify themselves for tomorrow the Lord would do wonders among them. That next day, Joshua sent the priests to walk across an overflowing and nearly flooding Jordan River that was already spilling over the banks of the Jordan. Joshua told these priests to take up the Ark of the Covenant and to cross over the River Jordan before the people.
God gave encouragement to Joshua for trusting him and having faith in believing in his Commandments. God told Joshua, as he was with Moses, he will be with Joshua. Joshua tells the children of Israel that as soon as the priest’s feet rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, even the waters that come down from upstream. Regardless of whether a natural occurrence as some Scholars think, (such as an Earthquake taking place in the stopping of the flow of the Jordan River), it was the timing of this event that truly was masterminded by God Almighty. God took an overflowing Jordan River and completely drained it instantaneously, so that the people crossed over unto completely dry ground and there was not even a hint of moisture in the riverbed at this time.
We go on to read that God’s Plan was to verify his support of Joshua’s leadership as well as his faithfulness to protect the people of Israel. In the next Chapter of the Book of Joshua we read, Joshua 4: 22, 23 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over.
God builds on the message he is trying to get across to the Israelites and now the Gentiles as well as all those that would look to the Lord Jesus and take that very first step of faith and that is to know the Lord God, creator of all things, is real and he is here to help you become redeemed if you so choose to do so. However the other important concept to know here is that God is to be greatly feared as he controls every aspect of creation including the elements and certainly all raging rivers including the Jordan River.
Joshua 5:29 reads, Then all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God forever. For fear of the Lord is wisdom and the beginning of all understanding as we read in both the Books of Psalms and Proverbs. So is it merely fear that God wants both the Israelites and the enemies of the Israelites to know about? Deeper investigation into these verses in context of the entirety of scripture seems to point to a need for trust in God’s Faithfulness that he can get us through any crazy or volatile situation in life (from crossing a raging river with millions of people and livestock and household goods) or any raging storm brewing in our hearts and lives.
As Malachi 3:10 states, See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. God’s own challenge to anyone doubting that he doesn’t want to bless us all or anyone who sees God as a tyrant may not like God’s Conditions, but the bottom line is, God is God and he alone has the right to set the conditions. His love for us is unconditional but his blessings are not. If we offer God our second best and not our very best every day, why should God accept that of us? Did not Cain offer God what he thought was the best of the harvest only to find that God preferred Abel’s burnt sacrifice better?
What is your Jordan River beloved and will you do what the Priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant did, put your feet in the raging waters and be still and know that your Father in Heaven is your God. If we do as the Lord has commanded then we will hear from Heaven and God will turn our wrath away for simply adhering to his words and following his righteous ways. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua wants us to know each time we get ready to cross another river in our lives.
The Book of Joshua – Mystery # 2 is….
The Way of Faith : Jericho
The story of the destruction of the City of Jericho and it’s formidable walls can be found in Joshua 6:20 which reads So the People shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets, and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shout with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, everyman straight before him, and they took the city.
The Walls of Jericho is one of those bible stories that parents love to tell their children along with David and Goliath, Noah’s Ark and just about every story of Jesus. The reaction for the most part of every child is one of wonder and something along the lines of, “Wow did God really do that?” Yes God did. God took walls that were anywhere from 40 to 45 feet high in total length and made them come crashing down FLAT of all things and he did it in seconds. The Walls of Jericho came down at the climax of the Battle of Jericho sometime around 1400 BC (as best as Biblical Archaeologists can pin it down – mostly based on a lot of ancient pottery found in the area mostly).
As an interesting side note before we go much further, a series of excavations by Archaeologists dating back to the early 1900’s to the area believed to be the site of the collapse of the City of Jericho and where the walls were laid flat , revealed portions of a mud brick wall. One portion had the remnants of a house built against the wall. It is believed that this may have been the house of Rahab and her family, the sole survivors of the destruction of the City of Jericho.
Joshua, Moses replacement as chosen By God, to be the leader of the Israelites, led them across the Jordan River (as we read in our last mystery we just covered) and into Canaan where they planned to attack the City of Jericho as Mission #1 to secure the land of Milk and Honey, that Abraham was promised 500 years earlier. At God’s Command, Joshua was told to march around the city with his priests, one time for 6 days straight. There was to be 7 priests carrying ram’s horns that went before the Ark of the Covenant. On the Seventh day, God told Joshua to have the priests march around the city walls seven times and with a long loud blast of the ram’s horns this would signal the Israelites all shouting at once in unison as loud as they could. By the Israelites complying with and obeying his command, God made the walls to collapse flat within moments and the Israelites then charged straight into the city with the walls completely down. Nothing and no one was spared except of course, Rahab and her family as we mentioned earlier (who were protected for having hid 2 Israelite spies sent by Joshua).
Joshua then burned the remains of the city and as God ordered, Joshua then cursed anyone who would dare to attempt to rebuild the City of Jericho. If they did so, the penalty would be the death of their first born. So besides an interesting Bible story and of course another example of the Mysterious nature of God, something that can’t be explained by science or the natural order of things, what else can we gleam from this story of a deeper truth about God? Well once again we see the miraculous Power of God on display. He takes down walls that seem impenetrable to humans and makes them fall down like they were flimsy cardboard. We also have a portrait of the Grace of God and even how he uses faith to point the way to Salvation and ultimately Yeshua. Its Gods unconditional love for both Israel and the Gentiles that when we put faith in God, he can and will (if it’s his will) move Mountains.
Think back, beloved it wasn’t all that long ago, the Israelites were wondering through the desert of Sinai. God made it in known in the Book of Deuteronomy that he had a plan for the Israelites to gain control and ownership of the land of Canaan, the land of Milk and Honey. So they ventured into the land, the Promised Land. What lay in front of them was a considerable obstacle, the completely encircled 40 foot walls surrounding the City of Jericho. There seemed to be no way to take the Walls of Jericho down, no way except God’s Way. When the Israelite soldiers were told they were going to shout, there must have been a few or more then a few that wondered what was up with that and what was the point of even bothering to just simply shout? However they all did as commanded them. It was faith put into action that made the difference or as the Apostle James said in James 2:14-26 that faith without works is dead. It was simple faith that the Israelites placed in God no matter how much the odds seemed stacked against them, there were no odds for God. For it was God and God alone who could do something that no man or for that matter millions of men could do.
In Hebrews 11:30 we read By faith the Walls of Jericho fell after the people had marched around them for seven days. By believing and trusting God and his promises, the Israelites experienced this miracle of God. No greater miracle is there then the fact that we are saved by faith and faith alone. If we believe God and in particular that Jesus is our only hope of salvation then we want to live for him, to please him and that involves obedience to his commandments not for works unto salvation but out of gratitude and thanksgiving for God's Mercy and Grace in forgiving us of our sins and trespasses in his redeeming us. After all, it is this obedience to God that is the evidence of our faith in God. This faith in God is both evidence and a testimony to the rest of the unbelieving world that we truly believe in God. As Ephesians 2: 8-9 talks about that We can conquer and be victorious through life by faith, a faith that obeys the God who gives us that faith as a free gift. For by Grace are you saved through faith and not of works, lest any man should boast.
No man can boast that they took down the Walls of Jericho anyone that was there saw with their own eyes it was the Work of God and God alone. It was just another miraculous demonstration of God’s Unfathomable Power and Might and perhaps the greatest mystery of all, why he chose to love us in the first place.
The Book of Joshua Mystery # 3…
Sun Stand Still
Let’s get into the scripture right away on this one, Joshua 10: 12-14, Then Spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the Sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
Before we get too far into this, it is important to mention that the Book of Jasher that is mentioned in this passage was a collection of ancient Hebrew songs, poems and text that praised the heroes of Israel and their various victories in battle. It is believed by many bible scholars that the reason it is mentioned here, is to support Joshua, the author’s claim that all that he has stated and described in this book was true. If the audience is sceptical that this event of the Sun standing still really happened, they can turn to the Book of Jasher to verify the account. As we will see a bit later there is much more proof available to back up this account as well. So back to the text we are covering on this occasion, at Joshua’s request, God caused the Sun to stand still for 12 to 24 hours longer then it normally would and this was requested of Joshua, so that Israel could achieve a greater chance of victory. It is interesting to note that this is one of just two times in the Old Testament, when God interrupted time as a favour to man or to provide a type of sign to man (to get across a specific message he intended them to know). The other occasion was the turning back of the sun dial ten points for the benefit of Hezekiah in Isaiah 38:7-8. We will address that one once we get to the Book of Isaiah.
We know of course that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way around. The rotation of the Earth on it’s axis at just the correct speed (that could have never happened by chance and can only be attested to the work of the Unlimited Intelligence and design of a Supreme Being –God) transcends all known Science and explanations that Naturalism would try to offer up to explain this phenomenon. The axis that Earth rotates on so perfectly gives us day and night. So what happened to the Sun on that day that seemed to go on forever? Every day we awake, we see the Sun rising in the morning and as we ready ourselves for the evening and bed time inevitably, we see that very same Sun setting at night. When Joshua asked God for his help by making the Sun stand still he could have just as easily asked for the Earth to stop rotating on its axis, but he didn’t did he. It might be a mistake in presuming Joshua simply did not understand the laws and physics concerning the Earth and the Sun’s role they play in working together in unison. The bottom line is that Joshua had faith in God, that God could stop the Sun from functioning by being still. So instead of the idea of the Sun moving, a better or more sound theory would be that the Sun temporarily stopped functioning, thus the lengthening of the day.
If the Sun did not function properly then neither would its gravitational pull (that affects the Earth so greatly) function properly. If the Earth slows down on its rotational axis then the day in affect would be lengthened by default. Joshua was certainly no scientist by any means, rather he was someone with great faith in God that he could and would deliver Israel in its battle against the Amorites. Notice in the verse we covered above, that not just the Sun was affected but even the Moon which is a significant clue that the whole gravitational pull upon the Earth was altered by this Supernatural occurrence.
It is interesting to note that non Biblical accounts seem to back up the Joshua account of the day the Sun stood still quite consistently. Ancient Chinese writings as well as those provided by the Incas of Peru and even the Aztecs of Mexico, all seem to have some type of record of this event in their historical archives. Even Babylonia and Persian stories have this event chronicled as well as Ancient Egyptian details found in temple records all indicating that there was a day that was twice as long as the normal length of day since that type of information was recorded in the living history of the Planet Earth. As scripture from this passage in Joshua alludes to, there was no day before it or after it, in all the annals of Mankind’s history on the Planet.
One more interesting note here is that Joshua in Joshua 19:50, we find that the Lord has given Joshua as part of his portion, a city called Timnath-Serah in Mount Ephraim. We also learn that Timnath means portion of the Sun as found in the Greek Septuagint. Ancient tradition says that this name was given to commemorate Joshua’s calling on God to make the Sun stand still. There have been sceptics of God’s Miracles in the Bible suspending belief saying that if the Earth would indeed stop rotating for 24 hours, would not an incredible catastrophe occur to everything living on the Planet? We will address that point of view in just a moment of two. Remember Joshua’s army traveled 20 miles from Gilgal to Gibeon to do battle with the Amorites. Why was it so crucial for the battle to be prolonged for Joshua’s troops? Joshua needed the time for his troops to catch up to the Amorites. He did not want the Amorites to be able to get back to their cities which all were fortified by walls and other imposing structures that would have made the battle much more difficult to win for the Israelites.
By God granting Joshua more time and more daylight hours to work with, Joshua’s army was able to intercept the enemy, making victory imminent. The two Hebrew words most closely related “to stop / stopped” (as in the sun stopped working) is Daman Amad. This word Daman also translates to “stand still” as in literally to be silent and cease. The Hebrew word Amad translates "to stay" and also refers to “a ceasing”. So the more we look into this story we can see that the sun ceased to function and work as it normally does on that very unique and one of a kind day. Now back to the idea that some sceptics have posed that a stoppage in rotation of the Earth’s axis would cause cataclysmic and catastrophic consequences for Planet Earth and all of its living inhabitants. If we can accept that God was behind this event in the first place, then how difficult would it be to accept the fact that God has complete control of the other variables involved, including protecting the Earth in it’s entirety during such as event as this? Would God not be able to prevent such a catastrophe from taking place? Yes, it is a matter of faith. A science without faith in this case however can not properly explain this occurrence from a Natural science perspective, it does not add up.
In fact, there are so many theories here that one can easily lose sight of the importance of this passage as it relates to other themes in God’s Holy Word. Yes, a true miracle of the Bible took place that day as once again we have yet another story depicting God’s Sovereign and majestic power like no other. It however was Joshua’s faith in God that God and God alone could make the Sun to stand still that matters most. Just as in Christ and Christ’s Blood Sacrifice alone could atone for our sinful nature, so that same type of faith is on display here in this story from the Book of Joshua. God honoured the request because it was done out of faith, showcased God’s Glory and allowed him to fulfill the promises of his blessings upon obedience to his commandments. God does reward those who place their faith in him; scripture in both the Old Testament and the New Testament back this up. God in the Book of Judges continued to forgive Israel of its evil idolatrous ways even though Israel’s repentance was half hearted and Israel continued to turn its back on the one true God for the Gods of the Demonic Threshold. God honours faith requests when they are made with a pure and contrite heart.
The Lord will hear your petition and with his perfect timing according to his perfect will, will accommodate your requests made unto him that are done for the right purpose. We leave you with this verse today found in Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God. Who has not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. How about your Heart today beloved? Have you made a faith request to God all the while knowing your heart is not even right with him?Come clean today. The Sun may not stand still for you upon your prayer request but you will hear from Heaven if you humble yourself and have the right heart. As scripture puts it in 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. This land I am sure we can all agree needs healing with all the wickedness, killing and mayhem happening in the World as we speak.
God’s Blessings to you all.
The Book of Judges
Mystery # 4…
angel of the LORD: I AM
Judges 13: 17-18 And Manoah said unto the Angel of the LORD, what is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor? And the Angel of the LORD said unto him, “Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? So we have this passage of scripture in the Book of Judges about an encounter that Manoah is having with an angel of the Lord. We have run into this theme on a number of occasions now and we at the Mysteries of the Bible Team thought it well past due to look at this topic, angels and God and in particular, the Identity of the angel of the Lord. Can we know who the angel is and does the angel have a name as Manoah asked of the angel. The angel replies that it’s a secret.
The word secret in Hebrew is pali which when properly translated into English with its adjectival form of the noun peli does mean "wonderful." We can best appreciate the meaning and significance of the Hebrew word peli/ wonderful when we turn to one of the most well known Messianic Prophecies especially mentioned around the Christmas Holiday Season, Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful counsellor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
So is the angel of the Lord indeed the wonderful counsellor, the Great I AM, Alpha and Omega,Jesus the Messiah? Let's continue on and find out. Upon taking a closer look at the scripture in Judges 13, you’ll notice something that just might be a subtle clue or tip to whom this angel of the Lord’s true identity might be. This angel is willing to accept offerings. Something a mere angel of God wouldn’t be able to do, they are forbidden by God to be worshipped by others of God’s Creation or to draw any attention to themselves other then for the Glory of God. Angels were put here to worship God (even Lucifer before his fall and his legion of rebellious fallen angels) and were doing so well before the creation of mankind came into being according to scripture.
What we have here in the Book of Judges is evidence of what is known as Theophany or the appearance of God in physical form. Today we will look at both a few Theophanies as well as Christophanies which is the preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is full of them both, so many examples that it would take a long time to cover them all. In the Holy Scriptures as well as those specific to Messiah Jesus, we see passages of scripture that speak of the angel of the Lord in a unique way that often indicates that this particular angel is set apart from the other angels.
The angel of the Lord speaks as God and identifies himself as God and exercises the responsibility of God Almighty. Look at these passages with us as we come reason together. In Genesis 6, we see the angel of the Lord speaking to Hagar about her future. The angel of the Lord tells her that she will multiply her seed and bear a son by the name of Ishmael. The Lord lets her know he has heard her afflictions. Only the Lord could tell her that he will multiply her seed. Going a bit forward also in the Book of Genesis, we have the account of a very distraught Hagar being comforted by the angel of the Lord. The angel of the Lord tells Hagar that he will make a great nation out of Abraham’s son, Isaac. Again the angel of the Lord would not be using the first person and the I word if it was not God himself speaking. God says, I will make a great nation. If you look at the 2 verses in Genesis 6:17-18, God is mentioned, then the angel of God then it swings back to God once more in the matter of a verse or two. In this situation, the angel of the Lord and God are used interchangeably to indicate that we are talking about the one and same Supreme Entity with both the angel of the Lord and God himself.
It is also interesting to note that a pattern can be seen in a number of these verses and that is once the angel of the Lord appeared and those that bore witness to this appearance, these ‘spectators’ all feared for their lives because they were convinced that they had seen the Lord face to face and the consequence for them in doing that would be death. In some of these instances, we are dealing with the angel of the Lord as a Theophany, an appearance of God in physical form. In Genesis 22:11-12 , it is clear when the angel of the Lord appears to Abraham before the would be sacrifice of his son Isaac (in an ultimate act of obedience and faith in God) that the true identity of the angel is once again, made clear. In V.12, the angel tells Abraham to not go through with the sacrifice as he knows that Abraham obeys and fears God and he was willing to sacrifice his Son Isaac accordingly. The angel says in V.12,Seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Again the message is personal, as in the word me. I, me are words all in the first person, the identity of God has made it known. It is as if God prefers to deliver message as an angel of the Lord at certain times as he sees fit, rather then appearing in all his Shekinah or divine glory. In V.15, even further proof that the angel of the Lord is in fact the Lord God, maker of the Universe. In V.15, the angel of the Lord calls out to Abraham from out of Heaven for a second time. V.16 Listen to the personalization here, it’s not the angel of the Lord speaking anymore it’s unmistakingly God, By myself have I sworn says God. Again the personalization of the word myself is used as well as I again in I sworn. God goes on to say he will bless Abraham and multiply his seed in the well known Abrahamic Covenant of the Old Testament.An angel can't do any of this of course, only God.
We see more evidence of Theophany in Exodus, the Book of Judges, 2 Samuel and Zechariah as well. God also appears in a pre incarnate appearance of Christ in scripture in many places including one of the 3 angels who warned Lot to get out and away from the destruction that was about to befall the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (which we covered in an earlier Mystery of the bible). It is interesting to note that the appearances of the angel of the Lord cease after the incarnation of Christ on Earth. We read about angels in the New Testament but no more mention of the angel of the Lord can be found. For Bible Prophecy and more specifically Messianic Prophecy has already been fulfilled at the birth of Messiah Jesus.
We have evidence that these appearances of the angel of the Lord were in fact manifestations of Yeshua /Jesus before his incarnation. John 8:58 states as Jesus was speaking to a group of Jews who were completely dumbfounded to understand the spiritual implications of what Jesus was talking about mentions, Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad. These Jews could not grasp what Jesus meant that he was the fulfilment of Messianic Prophecy instead all they could do was try to reason it out. They mentioned to Jesus that it was impossible that Jesus met Abraham when Jesus was clearly in his 30’s and not even as old as 50.
Then Yeshua says Verily, Verily, I say unto you Before Abraham was, I am. To which of course the Jews wanted to stone Jesus right there and then for what they thought was out and out blasphemy to Hashem/ God. In fact in John 17:24 we read that God the Father loved his Son Jesus before the foundation of the World, before it was even created.
Scripture teaches that Jesus has been at the right hand of the Father all along. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. No one comes to the Father but through the Son, they are one, ties together along with the Holy Spirit for the Triune nature of God. So Jesus has made it pretty clear that he has co existed with God the Father from time eternal and he was active in the creation of the Earth as well (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God- John1:1).
There are many appearances of the Lord as an actual reincarnate appearance of Christ (Christophany) as in Exodus 23:22. We find out that the angel of the Lord has said some things that go well beyond what is customary of an angel of God to say and do and are in fact only applicable to Christ himself. God speaking to his servant Moses tells him that he will send an angel that Moses and his people will need to obey and not to provoke him (which is one of God’s commandments) for he will not pardon your transgressions for my name is in him. We know that this angel of the Lord has the power to forgive (and only God can do that) and that he has the name of God in Him. Since no man could see God the Father and live, the Son of God, Jesus, Yeshua, who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, has declared him the Lord. There are so many Supernatural encounters with God in the Bible.
Hagar recognized that the angel of the Lord was God in Genesis 16:13 and remember Jacob when he wrestled the angel of the Lord he was sure he thought he would die as well as he was convinced he had met up with the Lord God as well. Whether it’s a case of Theophany or Christophany, the bottom line is Jesus is Lord and he and the Father are one, along with the Holy Spirit, making the Godhead complete and in full distinction.
The 66 books of God’s Holy Bible are chock full of stories of man’s encounters with God, God always finding a way to send a message to man whether it be directly himself or through the use of his various angelic messengers. This is just another way; God is the one and true living God. He created us in his image and then he makes sure we are kept informed of God’s Plans for us and his will to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads ultimately to Heaven. In order to stay on that narrow path and not wonder off as a blind sheep would do, may the Word of God serve to be a lamp to your feet and a light to your way beloved.
The Book of Judges Mystery # 5…
Samson’s Prayer: His Final Redemptive feat of Strength
Judges 16:29-30 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and of which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein.So the dead which he slew at his death were more then they which he slew in his life.
The story of Samson is one of the better known stories in the Bible especially when it comes to stories that children are read by their parents. Children are captivated by Samson the Nazarene’s unbelievable strength and his long hair that was never cut until that fateful day when he told Delilah about the “only chink in his armour” and the source of his power. What Samson forgot himself was that God was his true source of power and it took Samson becoming blind before he could truly “see”, a type of amazing grace if you will. But is this all there is to the Samson story or is there more then meets the eye here, even a story that we may be able to relate to on some level as believers in the Lord?
On one level the story of Samson is a story about a man blessed by God with incredible and unbelievable strength. One moment he is fighting with and killing a Lion with his bare hands then he is fighting on his own, an entire army of aggressors with but a jawbone from an ass and coming up victorious by slaying them all. Unfortunate as it is, we also know the story of Samson is about great weakness amidst this strength being exposed by temptation and worldly pursuits of a sinful nature in the form of lust for a woman named Delilah. Samson’s life is as much a story about human frailty as it is of redemption and righteousness prevailing in the end. There are very real consequences for giving into sin even for a season as Samson does with Delilah. For us the siren calls of the temptations of the World as Satan tempted the Lord Jesus in the desert serves as a reminder the enemy wants and plans for you to stumble in the daily spiritual warfare that is going on of the eternal Light of God vs. the Darkness and damnation provided courtesy of the Devil.
Samson is kept upright and has God’s Blessings prior to his meeting with Delilah. It is at that time that Samson falls in love with the worldly Delilah. How much better she must have seemed to Samson then his own first wife who he also chose from the Philistines.God used that situation to help Israel be delivered from the hands of the Philistines.
But when Samson met Delilah, that’s when the true problems arose for Samson. It’s not simply that Samson fell in love; it’s that he was guided by an uncontrollable blind lustful sin that clouded his judgement to the point he betrayed his covenant with God. God told him to never tell anyone the source of his strength or expose what would become his downfall, his hair being cut and being overcome by strong drink.
So in his moment of lust, Samson forgot about God’s Warnings and his commandments. The consequences of not obeying God would cause his death eventually. When Samson told Delilah of the information held in the greatest confidence between him and God, Samson was in denial of the trust that God had originally placed in him. Samson broke the covenant that the Lord God had made with him. So here we are in Chapter 16, as we read that Samson, a one time Judge over the fickle Israelites, has been blinded in both eyes and is now chained up against the temple pillars for the amusement of the pagan crowd gathered to mock him.
What would happen as addressed in the scripture passage we covered is that Samson rips apart the Pillars of the Temple and brings down the entire Temple structure killing 3 thousand Pagans in the process. It is very important to note that it was not Samson’s hair having grown back (after it was completely shaved off), that gave him the strength to perform his final act of redemption by destroying the pillars and the temple in defiance.
Samson’s strength only returned to him through his statement of repentance and the admission that God and God alone was his one and only true source of strength.2 Corinthians 12:10 For when I am weak, then I am strong. In Judges 16:28, it states And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
The once Mighty Samson whose one time feats of strength were legendary now just asked the Lord for one last moment to demonstrate a redemptive feat of strength for he had been redeemed upon his repentance for his sin. Blind but not lacking faith Samson knew what he must do. His time and his life were now over but he also wanted to take down the Pagan temple filled with Idolatry and graven images along with him
After Samson’s death it is believed by both some Jews and Christians that Samson was buried in the region of Tel Tzora in Israel over looking the Sorek Valley. There are two large gravestones belonging to that of Samson and his Father Manoah (who we mentioned in the last mystery from the Book of Judges, having had an encounter with the angel of the Lord).It was that very angel of the Lord that told Manoah and his one time barren wife that God was going to raise up one who would deliver the Israelites from the Philistines and she would bare that child.That child was of course, Samson, the Judge of Israel.
What can we learn about Samson and apply to our own lives? We know that God gave Samson special and distinct abilities that were meant for the good and for the purposes of bringing Glory to God. When Samson lived righteously for the Lord he flourished as a physical Judge and his strength was unstoppable and when he faltered and fell down to sin and rebellion he became weak and ineffective to perform God’s Work. He became a slave to the sins of this World. So to, we also have God given talents and abilities that are unique and intended for God’s Glory but sometimes we misuse or take them for granted as we compromise and settle for the World’s lowly standards. When we become as Samson became, we also fail to keep God’s Covenant with us though Christ Jesus and that is to daily walk in the spirit upright and without blemish. God has no choice but to disconnect himself from us when we wilfully sin and refuse to repent, as he is holy and cannot sin nor tolerate sin nor endorse sin in any manner. God is given no choice but to cease "walking " with us when we are engaged in willful sin and do not seek repentance.
It is then up to us to ask for a clean and contrite and a true repentive heart, free from sinful desires and lustful wantings. Then and only then the Samson that is in all of us, with our own unique God given talents and abilities will shine and God will restore us and work through us once again. We may not slay lions with our bare hands or destroy temples either, but God’s Glory will be magnified through us nevertheless. Is your worldly Delilah (your sin that is holding you steadfast and trapped) keeping you from receiving God’s Best today? We all slip up and make mistakes, we all sin. However, do we turn to the Lord to seek help, guidance and strength to overcome that sin?
Repent and receive God’s Restoration, Healing and Blessing today, for tomorrow is too late my friend.
Mystery # 6: The Spirit Realm: David's harp helps cast out King Saul's Evil Spirit
1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand; So Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
This is really not so much a mystery as it is an occasion to look at a scripture verse from 1 Samuel 16 that has become quite well known as of late. This is evident of a controversial topic in the Church today and that is, is music in all it’s forms of expression neutral or not? Often this topic comes up in relation to the concern that Rock music in any form is not God honouring and should never have been introduced into the Church as a form of Worship. We will certainly get to all that, in a bit. For now, let’s turn to the verse itself for some needed background.
It is interesting to note that throughout 1 Samuel, it is mentioned that Saul is overtaken by an evil spirit from God on a number of occasions. Now this needs to be clarified to avoid any misinterpretation of scripture. The evil spirit though described as from God is not actually part of God as God cannot demonstrate any evilness whatsoever; God is fully 100% pure and good and cannot sin nor display any evil intent. A secular world view however misinterprets this as evidence that God is in fact both good and bad almost as if God is an occultic type of Yin and Yang as further evidence of all the violence and blood spilled in the history of Mankind. This however is erroneous and a lie from the pit of Hell, this is not the God of the Bible. You will always hear the line or read the line mostly from secularists that, more blood has been spilled in the name of “religion” (or what passed as religion to justify their bloody self serving needs at the time) or if God is so good why does he let innocent children starve and die?, why would God let so many poor people suffer and die in the World?, why the Ebola virus?, why is ISIS beheading innocent children and people being martyred for their faith? Why have so many people been allowed to be displaced from their homes by Earthquakes and Hurricanes and on and on it goes even to the point of pointing out that both the God of the Bible and its followers are hypocrites. In that I agree, hypocrites are indeed sinners and that describes us all, doesn’t it? God however is not a hypocrite as God cannot sin. The World does not want to accept that it is in a sinful and fallen condition (never mind in the very last days where scripture says evil men will wax worse and worse evil deeds). We do not want to regress from the topic so let’s get back to this passage of scripture.
One last comment however on this important topic of God and evil and how he uses it for the good, as far as scripture goes, there are times when God steps aside and allows evil to take its course and do its own thing for a short deliberate and predetermined time. For instance the serpent in the Garden, the hardening of the Pharaoh’s heart, the story of Job’s testing, Jesus’ Temptation by Satan, then Jesus being betrayed by Judas Iscariot who was filled with the Devil at the time and lastly King Saul. Saul in 1 Samuel is mentioned a number of times as having an evil spirit come over him and overtake him. The important note as a point of clarification when scripture mentions that the evil spirit is from God, is that God did not send the evil spirit as much as he allowed it to do his bidding with Saul. Saul had already given into some of the temptations of sin and the flesh and that is greed, ego, jealousy, hatred mostly for David. Saul had already disobeyed the Lord in many significant ways and the Lord was preparing the way for the eventual Kingship of David, from the Line of Jesse so that Messianic prophecy could be fulfilled about the genalogical lineage of Jesus through David. So God only took what was already there in the way of Saul’s sinful rebellion against God and illuminated it for the purposes of his Glory being fulfilled.
Now let’s get back to what this scripture passage can convey to us with a timely message for us to contemplate about. Prior to this verse we read in 1 Samuel 16:14 that But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. This was recognized by Saul’s servants that an evil spirit was giving Saul affliction and eventually would posses him wholly to the point where he was obsessed with killing David by any means possible. So we know that Saul through his sin forced God to vacate guiding him and the Holy Spirit was revoked and with a spiritual vacuum in place as we see time and time again Satan is quick to fill that empty spiritual vacuum with his demonic legion of lying and seducing spirits. David on the other hand was filled with the Spirit and conviction of God to the point that his God given ability to play the harp would in fact exorcise the demons from Saul (however temporarily as we find out) with the Godly music David played on the harp for him. If music was neutral and was neither good nor evil then how come David was able to use music to help deliver the evil spirit out of Saul? This was music that was played in obedience to God’s will. Neutral music would not have cast the Demon out alone, I think we can agree?
When will people wake up? People are making excuses in listening to demonic music, they are clearly in denial. There is news story after story for the past 15 -20 years time of kids, teenagers and even older individuals and groups listening to dark, gothic death metal that is deeply Satanic and explicit about murdering people and doing acts of evil in Satan’s name. Many would later confess after murdering others that they were mimicking the lyrics or doing the bidding of the voices in their heads that they heard when playing this music and doing these horrific things to others. Now it would be absurd to say everyone who listens to Rock music will become evil or demonically possessed and will start to kill others, but the numbers are staggeringly high to indicate that this type of music does nothing positive in the lives of younger people. In fact well documented scientific studies with plants revealed those plants subjected to hours and hours of heavy metal turned away from the music and wilted and died. The Plants exposed to Classical Music turned towards the music and grew and were healthy and flourished. No one is advocating classical music here, but we are advocating that you think for yourself and more importantly think of what music can do for your soul, both good and bad. To those who would be in denial concerning the potential dangers of music that does not glorify God (and that includes Rock, pop, hip hop, Top 40 and yes even innocent ballads and soft rock and even SOME so called Christian Rock and pop music) be careful for how the music seems to influence your views and perspectives in life. If it does not glorify God then why have of it, it is for your own edifcation not God's. Are we not to do everything in our life to the Glory of God? If it is not for God's Glory, when is it just vanity as King Solomon stated in scripture.
To those that listen to the hard rock and heavy metal, did you ever notice when you put a death metal record on, all of a sudden you have anger and feel hatred to the point you want to destroy something, anything? Did you all of a sudden get strange impulses or messages being sent to you while driving in your car and playing this type of music to hurt others, even people you don’t know? Those are not coincidences those are evil spirits trying to put a spell on you with their demonic music (that has already had a spell placed on it by those practicing the black arts when the music was produced). This is correct and verified by a number of well known artists in the music industry that satanists use occultic incantations to put spells on their music, to ensure their success. Does it sound too incredible to you? The same applies for the Movie Industry as well, even Sports celebrities, anywhere where insane amounts of money can be made, power and fame can be established beyond one's craziest dreams, we have many who have sold their souls to the devil for fame, money and success. Ephesians 6:12 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Don’t forget besides God punishing Saul for his sinful disobedience to him, God needed to get David into the life of King Saul in a significant way. So by allowing evil spirits (who are all too willing to torment any human that God allows to be tormented) God accomplishes his plans. Don’t forget we are created in the image of God much to Satan’s chagrin. It was Lucifer that was the literal example of Pride coming before the fall as he fell from God’s Grace with his misguided fallen angels.
Are you the one playing the harp, seeking God’s Righteousness and Holiness striking against the works of the enemy and reproving the works of darkness or are you the one casting aspersions against God’s Work, rebelling and ultimately leaving God with no choice but to leave you with no protection? It is only by God’s Grace and Mercy that we are protected against the harassment of the demons. That is not to say we won’t have any demonic affliction (not possession) as we are told we will have Tribulation until the Son of Man comes to take us home during the harpozo, that is the Greek word for the catching away of Yeshua's bride, the Church..
Don’t be fooled there is no “Satan Light” in God’s Kingdom – all the taste of sin but half the calories of sin. Sin is sin to God, I know it is hard to give up your secular music collection but is your collection and sin for a season really worth the risk of eternal damnation? Maybe that sounds too extreme for some to part ways with their secular "entertainment", but for a few it will amazingly cause enough spiritual strife for them in not parting with their wordly posessions and influences. God and God alone holds the key to where you will spend all eternity. Hebrews 10:31 states It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. The Lord Jesus pointed this out in his earthly ministry, Yeshua said in Matthew 10:28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Jesus said something similar in Luke 12:5 I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Make no mistake about it, God is Love, but he is also Holy and Righteous and he will not tolerate willing sinful rebellion against him.
Beloved, God is not a destroyer, but like Saul who chose to disobey God, those who willingly sin against God because they love their sin more then God and choose not to repent, leave God no choice but to leave them to their fate. The good news is God is always merciful and willing to forgive all through true repentance of sin. Why fear God? Because He holds your eternal soul in His hands and it is one thing to die physically, but to die in eternal punishment is exceedingly worse Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
No music or for that matter any worldly temptation from Satan is worth that price. He knows he is going there for all of eternity and there is nothing he can do about it and that is why he wants you there with him to suffer as well. Pray it not be so.
Coming up next...
Mystery # 7 : A stone from God slays a giant
1 Samuel 17:49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
In the Valley of Elah somewhere around 1019 BC at age 15 a boy stands up against a monster of a man from Gad, named Goliath who is six cubits and a span roughly 9 feet 6 inches tall, with brass armour much heavier then the actual weight of the boy who stood across from him staring him straight in the eye. The boy’s name is David, described as a ruddy boy (a boy with a fair complexion and perhaps red cheeks as well as a boy with a pretty common name back then and even more common today). This boy does not have an army behind him that wants to fight alongside of him; this boy does not even have a sword to fight this monster. He has five smooth stones and a sling shot. What he does have though he more then makes up for in any physical discrepancies between him and this huge giant of a man. This boy named David, has all the confidence in the World that God is for him and who can be against him in that instant, when he stands alongside God not even this colossal giant, Goliath, the greatest known Nephilim that ever walked the Earth..
Goliath must have been laughing when he saw the boy as the only one standing up to him. How he must have chuckled even more when he saw that this 15 year old boy had but a sling shot and a few stones as his arsenal. If ever one could have been lulled into the biggest false sense of security there could be, it was now.
So there is the setup for this dramatic showdown between the two most mismatched combatants in history a giant vs. a boy. Who was this Goliath anyways? He was the heavyweight champion of the Philistines and twice a day for 40 days straight he would come out between the boundaries of the Valley and challenge as well as mock any Israelite to come forward and accept his challenge to a battle. King Saul and his army would have none of it, they were very afraid of this monster of a man and were intimidated beyond belief of this man’s size, his growl and cursing and his beastly presence. Goliath or in Hebrew the word Golyat which just as one would imagine means "a person or thing of colossal power of achievement". Goliath lived in the city of Gath, one of the largest Philistine cities until it was destroyed in ninth century BC.
There seems to be no evidence of a clear connection between Goliath and the giants of his day and the pre flood giants of Noah’s Day that we spoke about earlier when we discussed the Sons of God / fallen Angels and the Nephilim (the Anakin, Avim, Emim, Gibborim, Horim, Zamzummim and the Zuzim). Goliath was just one giant of a man, plain and simple. But was that all he was? We find in writings going back to the Babylonian Talmud that Goliath was truly ungodly and out and out evil. According to the Talmud (that is not Holy irrefutable scripture please keep in mind) that Goliath boasted of capturing the Ark of the Covenant and that he brought it to the Temple of Dagon (the Pagan Babylonian god that he worshipped). Goliath’s armour was rumoured to weigh anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds and his sword was said to have occultic powers. Even stranger yet the Talmud reports that Goliath’s heart was found to carry the image of Dagon! Was there an ancient autopsy performed on Goliath at the time? Who knows? Again it is interesting stuff, but it’s from the Talmud again not the Bible.
David, had been gathering up food for his brothers at the time that he heard that Goliath had made his challenge. King Saul offered up a reward to anyone who could take on this brute and defeat him. David accepted the offer. Saul reluctantly let David volunteer to fight Goliath. Saul offered up his army to backup David, David declined it. Saul then offered up his sword and David turned that down as well. David instead simply arms himself with a sling shot and 5 stones that he collected near by a brook stream. When they finally meet in this amazingly lopsided battle of all time, Goliath curses David, the Israelites and the God of the Israelites that he stands for. David refuses to back down to Goliath and proclaims that this day Jehovah will deliver Goliath into his hand. Showing no fear only defiance, David promises he’ll strike Goliath down and all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth will pick at his dead corpse. David declares his confidence that God is so mighty that he doesn’t need to win the battle with a sword and spear, for the battle is Gods and he will give his enemies into the Israelites hands.
With all his might and praying to God with all that he had, David hurls forth a stone from his sling shot which hits Goliath square in the center of his forehead. Goliath, who must have been helmet less at the time, has been downed and is now dead. David cuts Goliath’s head off as evidence of the victory for Saul and from that moment on, the Philistines fled in terror. The Israelites chased them as far as Gath and the Gates of Ebron.
As further reminder of God’s Great Victory that day, David takes Goliath’s armour and the head of Goliath to his tent. King Saul calls for David and Saul could no longer ignore David although his hatred for him grew and grew. From that moment on, King Saul and David would be front and center with another, just as God’s Plans to establish the lineage of Jesse and ultimately Christ the Lord. This after all was to be the Lord’s earthly heritage from King David’s bloodline in fulfilment of Messianic Prophecy.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
This is what God is really doing here, he is protecting the plans for fulfillment of Messianic Prophecy which all said and told are well over 200 Messianic Prophecies that have been 100% fulfilled from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Those that argue this are also denying what historical records, artifacts and archaeological findings have proven about the Bible’s accuracy in depicting these Messianic prophecies. The Mysteries of the Bible Team will go into these prophecies in some of our future endeavors on this website. We look forward to doing so with great zeal. This would not be the last appearance of the giants in the Old Testament or even in the Books of Samuel for in 2 Samuel 21: 16-22, David will once again battle what appears to be gigantic family members related to Goliath, one with six fingers and six toes. David conquered them as well.
What can we learn about this bible passage in 1 Samuel that we can take to heart? Well we can know that King Saul was obviously unfit to serve as King, he was disobedient and rebellious to doing things God’s Way and as we saw in our last passage we covered that is why King Saul was tormented by evil spirits. We also can know that David being filled with the Spirit of God was brave and courageous and full of vigour and resolve to destroy all the enemies of Israel and God. We can see how much a better King David will be then Saul and we know maybe most importantly that God will supplant the greatest of odds when the battle is a just cause for victory for his holy, righteous and just plans.
For us as believers and those of faith and those still struggling in their convictions of why they need to follow God’s Plan for their lives (God’s Plan is simply better), what we can carry stock in is that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13 So who is your giant that you need to slay today? Do you wear the Holy armour of God that Paul tells you to wear to put off the works of the Devil? Do you have enough faith to believe to the point that mere stones (that nothing is to difficult for God to make a way where there seems to be no way) can take down the giant(s) in your life. The giant(s) you stand before no matter whether they be poverty, unemployment, cancer, drug addiction, all addictions of every sort, mental illness, depression, an affair, a bad marriage or something else, a death of a loved one, anything else…lay your burdens down before the Lord.
Yeshua said in Matthew 11:28, Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The Lord’s yoke is easy his burden light, after all he nailed all our sins to the cross with him. No matter how heavy the oppression is, beloved give it to the Lord, he will take the weight off the Goliath that is on your shoulders.
The Lord Jesus wants your heart not to be troubled, he wants you to know he has overcome the World, so be of good cheer there is no colossal giant that God can’t conqueror on your behalf, 5 stones and all, slingshot or no slingshot. Lastly, you see these stay calm shirts everywhere. We know that Jesus doesn’t need a shirt saying and nor should we lower God’s Holy Standards in such a way to have such a saying but if he did have one, it would read, “Stay Calm or Peace be Still so says the Prince of Peace, the Great I am, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Then again that would be way too long a title to get on a shirt. The World can have its shirts; we have the real deal, we have the Lord GOD Almighty who gave us the shirt off his back and more importantly his life so that we could escape the penalty of death and damnation forever.
Our next Mystery in 1 Samuel is...
Mystery # 8: Dealing with Familiar Spirits : The appearance of the deceased Samuel
1 Samuel 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, seek me a women that hath a familiar spirit that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
One night Saul and two other men take a walk into the City of Endor looking for a medium who communicates with familiar spirits. Here is the background behind this story. We just read in V.3 previously of this chapter that Samuel is now dead and was buried in Ramah and Saul ironically had done away with all manner of sorcerers and mediums who conversed with familiar spirits. When Saul could not get any answers from God (do to separation from God do to sin and disobedience) on what he needed to do to defeat the Philistines in battle, he became desperate and even went against his own decree of using and associating with those practicing the occult. In fact Saul was so fearful; he sought out a notorious medium with a reputation of communicating with familiar spirits quite regularly. How Saul knew about her in the first place is one thing but the fact that he sought her out was when he once again turned his heart against God and did what he saw as right in his own eyes. So Saul disguised himself so that this medium would not easily recognize him for he did not want her to know that he was Saul, the same person who recently had publicly threatened the lives of mediums like her.
The medium does not want to go with Saul for she fears for her life (and this is without knowing that he is really Saul in disguise) and Saul in turn, ensures her that nothing will happen to her. Saul assures her no punishment will come to her. The medium then wants to know who it is that Saul wants to conjure up. Saul tells her that he wants her to conjure up Samuel. The woman complies with him and conjures up some spirits as well at the same time she acknowledges that she knows that he is really Saul. Saul asks her what she has seen. She says to him, that she has seen “gods” (or what she thought were gods) ascending out of the earth. She tells him that one of the apparitions is someone that looks just like Samuel. Saul asks her to describe Samuel to him as he cannot see the spirit himself and he wants to know if it is really Samuel or not. She describes an older man with a robe, the type that Samuel wore on a regular basis.
Saul senses Samuel’s presence is with him and he bows down to him forgetting that it is not really Samuel at all, just a familiar spirit. The familiar spirit pretending to be Samuel said to Saul, “Why did you disrupt me and bring me up?” It is interersting to note how far the evil spirit goes in taking on the persona of Samuel, this is important to note as we will address the significance of this in a few minutes time.Saul tells him how distressed he has been about the Philistines making war with him and the fact that God won’t talk to him or communicate with him anymore. The spirit pretending to be Samuel then asks Saul as to the reason why he would ask him what to do when God himself has separated himself from Saul. The spirit then reminds Saul that the Lord did exactly what he told Samuel he was going to do with Saul. The Spirit disguised as Samuel then reminds Saul that he did not obey the Lord’s commandments nor did he follow the Lord’s Ways and he lets Saul know that Israel will fall into the hands of the Philistines and that both Saul and his sons would die and be with the Spirit pretending to be Samuel, by tomorrow. This was definetly not good news for Saul's ears to hear.
This story is the only biblical account of someone being visited by someone who was actually deceased. In this case, Saul is visited by a familiar spirit pretending to be Samuel. Saul, the bearer of his own fickleness is now dealing with the very thing he said that he wanted to drive out of the land, that being familiar spirits. Yet here he was trying to communicate with one. In the realm of spirits the distinctive clothes that Samuel wore were replicated as was the appearance of Samuel by this familiar spirit to the point that Saul was very convinced that he was standing in front of the real Samuel. This is why he bowed down to the familiar spirit, the deception was very convincing. It is very important to note that it is only after Saul turned his back on God and in his backslidden ways and decided to once again go against God’s Will. Saul turned to the occult for answers and so God decided to let Saul get a taste of his own medicine or better yet, as the saying goes, be careful in asking for what you really want as you just might get it. God did not so much as create the familiar spirit as much as he allowed a wilful and sinful Saul (who desired to commune with the familiar spirit), to have his request. This is why the familiar spirit is controlled by God, reminding him that he disobeyed God. No demonic entity is going to confess their lies before man; they are in the business of deception and deception only. It is only the Power of God on display here that this familiar spirit disguised as Samuel is completely controlled by God to once again serve as a testimony to God’s majesty and awesome power and might.
God wants Saul to think that the spirit is Samuel that he stands before only because he wants him to repent of his sins before man and God. The real Samuel is dead and his spirit resides elsewhere so this is the next best thing. God made an allowance in getting the medium witch to conjure up a familiar spirit pretending to be Samuel. The witch summons the spirit disguised as the prophet Samuel in order to deliver the news of Saul’s coming defeat and inevitable death as a type of righteous judgement as an indictment upon the sins of Saul. This is one of those very unique exceptions where God allowed a witch or practitioner of the black arts (the occult). God has certainly used people of sin in the past to expose that sin for what it is and let it ultimately destroy itself. Think of Lucifer and his fall from grace. Do you think the Almighty God couldn’t destroy all the Devil’s efforts completely and thoroughly in a second’s notice? What would happen to God’s Great Plan of Restoration of creating the New Heavens and the New Earth by driving out the impurity of sin and evil for once and all? Sceptics always ask that, why does there have to be this Great Tribulation to come and pain and death and suffering and Antichrist and all the prophetic things to yet take place in the Book of Revelation? Can’t God just show the Devil whose boss? It doesn’t work that way, that’s the easy way out and that is not an option for a God who wants our unconditional love. God doesn’t force his love on us, he wants us to love him freely much like the way he first loved us, which happens to be the greatest mystery of all time, why would God choose to love us in the first place nevermind pre-destin us. He just does.
We all know that this familiar spirit standing before Saul is just that, a fake and phony spirit and not the ghost of Samuel. There are no such things as ghosts, there never have been, and there never will be. We know this because according to Hebrews 9 : 27, we die once and then we go to judgement , there is no hanging around in limbo waiting for a decision to be made. Matthew 25:46 also lets us know that when a person dies, their soul does not hang around earth in limbo like some misinformed individuals may believe. The soul goes to only one of 2 places, Heaven or to Hell. There is no way for a deceased person to forsake both Heaven and Hell and come back to Earth (despite what some people may think and say –there is no biblical grounds for it to be true.) The idea of ghosts, karma, and reincarnation and on and on has its roots in paganism, the New Age and occultism. Not only is the whole idea that you can choose which path you go to after your dead or try to live your life all over again in another life form is a false believe it is in fact a demonic deception of Satan himself.
The word familiar is from the latin word familiaris meaning "a household servant" and is indicative of a sorcerer who would often conjure up a spirit to serve as their servant in order to obey their commands. Those attempting to contact the dead in séances and other occultic practices such as the use of the ouija board (a gateway door to demonic activity) some "seem" harmless like tarot cards, fortune telling, reading palms or horoscopes All occultic practices involve the use of familiar spirits and are always ventures into the demonic realm. These excursions into the occult pay dividends for the participants because actual demons posing as harmless spirit guides and benign entities are getting involved. Their plans of deception are deliberate and they involve seducing one’s soul into the ways of the demonic in order that they become demon possessed and no longer are able to serve God and obey him in that state.
We have said it several times in this expose on Familiar spirits but it is worth repeating. Familiar spirits and the willful communication with them is an absolute abomination to the Lord. The intended deception from a demon is to convince the medium or for that matter the participant or witness, that they are someone “familiar” to them and that they can be trusted and believed upon. This is all convincingly done because the demon spirit is usually telling the medium exclusive information that only the deceased would truly know about. This naturally leads to the conclusion that these must be the ghosts or spirits of their dear departed ones. Not so.
The Word of God is very explicit about the dangers of getting involved with the demonic realm as well as the consequences of doing so. The Word of God states very clearly in Deuteronomy 18:10 -12 that anyone practicing divination, sorcery, witchcraft, casting spells, necromancy or a medium spiritist (attempting to converse with the dead) are all involved in practices that God detests and the severest of penalties await such practitioners who refuse to repent and flee from their occultic ways. All it takes is a slight gateway for the demons posing as familiar spirits to get a foothold (just like the proverb of the camel that first stuck it’s nose in the tent and then before long it was completely inside the tent), it can even be things that don’t appear to be directly related to the occult like transcendental meditation, visualization techniques, the use of drugs, alcohol, etc. Anywhere where the mind’s conscious level has been altered or has been vacated, something is most likely to hop inside and take advantage. The demonic is that certain something.
Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our struggle is not flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in high places.
We think we are in a physical world dealing with physical matters as we are encased in these outer wrappings of flesh and blood and bone but the real battle that is going on is a spiritual battle for your soul beloved.
These are the end times, the last of the last days and never before has our world been so obsessed with the occult as it is today. We are seeing so much of familiar spirits taking over and influencing people’s lives. The amazing thing is the willingness of well known celebrities- movie and TV actors and actresses, singers, professional athletes, TV talk show hosts, New Age book authors and politicians and even some so called religious leaders to allow these demonic influences to deceive them as so called benign spirit guides and harmless advisors. Often demonic possession comes into play at some point after these individuals willingly converse with these familiar spirits or let’s call them what they really are demons and we see these individuals mentioning they become possessed literally when they go on stage or something else over takes them. Look at all the reality ghost shows on TV, how many of them are fooled into thinking there is communication with loved ones that have lost their way. They now fool those TV viewers who are easily swayed. It seems at first comforting to know that a deceased Grandma or an Uncle or Dad or Mom or a child that passed away is still around in a spirit form and wants to communicate with us but I am afraid it is a lie. It’s a terrible deceptive lie that plays on the vulnerable emotions of someone who is going through a very emtionally distressing time. It is dangerous to mess around with these demons, and they can fool someone by doing complete bodily manifestations, make vocalizations that sound like the real person. They even appear at times to wear clothes like the real person did when living, just like the familiar spirit Saul thought was Samuel. These demons mean business, they are here to deceive and destroy you, after all your the one created in God’s Image and you are the target.
These people that are being duped into occultism need to be prayed for; they need to willingly repent of conversing with these demonic spirits that are telling them how to get richer and get more powerful if they only follow their advice. They are leading them down a downward spiral of sin that will only end in death and damnation. They need to get right with the Lord before it is too late. For Saul, it was already too late and his time was up and he knew it. He had disregarded the Lord for too long and he was a mess now without God’s Guidance. Do you feel cut off from God like Saul did? It took a familiar spirit that God allowed to communicate a message to Saul about God’s Sovereignty and that Saul failed to honour God’s Commandments. Maybe some sceptics out there might be saying or even you might be saying, “Doesn’t God contradict himself here? Afterall he is using familiar spirits, the very thing that he abhors and finds to be an abomination?” This is true God cannot stand anything to do with the occult and why should he? God is pure and good and has no part of evil nor is evil any part of him. Every good and wonderful thing comes from God, the Father of Lights scripture tells us. The answer, we already covered here, but will be stated one more time, is that God shows his supreme rule and mastery over everything and everyone, both good and evil and even the world of the demonic. This is why the demons of Satan are so angry they know Judgement Day is fast approaching and they know where they are going and they also know there is nothing they can do about it, their fate is forever sealed. God has already won the victory over Satan, and everything just needs to be played out the way God has revealed it to be, and it is doing exactly that. God will use evil just like he will use the Antichrist and the False Prophet for the greater good of his eternal Kingdom.
Like pieces in a chess game when they are of no use to God anymore they will be tossed into the Lake of Fire forever. This may sound cold and callous but please do not forget beloved God never turns his back on anyone, it is those that have hardened their hearts to God and whom have turned away from God that have been given over to strong delusion.This is why God has given them over to a reprobate mind.
Leviticus 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. Leviticus goes on to say in Leviticus 20:27 any men or woman that is communing with a familiar spirit or a wizard practicing the occult for that matter, will be stoned. And the sternest of all warnings in the Bible saved for the very end of both this expose and the actual bible itself in the Book of Revelation 21:8 it mentions that sorcerers and practitioners of the occult and black magic will have their part in the Lake of Fire that burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death.
Be not one of them I pray and if you know someone involved in these practices pray for God to intervene, for God’s Mercy and their repentance and the role that you should play. In the end the battle is the Lord’s. He has already won - WARNING - SPOILER ALERT! (if you have read the end of the Book you would already know that)
Our next Mystery found in 2nd Samuel is...
Mystery # 9: God sends an angel to destroy Jerusalem
2 Samuel 24: 15-16 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite.
We read in the above scripture from 2 Samuel that God is very unhappy with the Israelites once again concerning their Idolatry and worship of pagan gods and consequently due to King David’s sins, all of Israel would have to pay the price for this disobedience. What we see shining through this passage is not so much the Wrath of a Just God, although that is certainly apparent but as well God’s Grace and Mercy in forgiving those who go astray in their idolatrous ways. God sends the angel of the Lord to vanquish the land of Jerusalem with pestilence so much so, that 70,000 men are wiped out. The angel of the Lord was not finished with God’s Justice however and would have destroyed all of Jerusalem in its entirety, if not for the Lord’s Mercy in staying the hand of the angel and by doing so sparing Jerusalem and its inhabitants from utter and complete annihilation and destruction. God intervenes in the angel’s vengeance and from doing further damage to Jerusalem and its people. How did this get to the point that God would send the angel of the Lord to do this act of desolation in the first place? We read about an almost exact occurence in 1 Chronicles 21:15 where once again the angel of the Lord was doing what God asked of it and that was to destroy Jerusalem completely, however God repented of it. That is not to say God repented of sin, for God cannot sin, he simply changed his mind and decided to not destroy Jerusalem completely.
Towards the end of the Book of 2 Samuel, we find out that the people of Israel have had it pretty good and have become complacent, lax and unappreciative of their blessings from God. Does that sound familiar to you (familiar as in the Western hemisphere’s consumerism-driven church of today?) Here in the West, there has not been mass persecution upon the Church for practicing Christianity, although that day seems likely fast approaching as we go deeper into these end times. Here in the West, for some going to church on Sunday is likened to just another event on the Sunday agenda for many church goers, as they go to Church, go home and watch the football game and go out and do other things. While there is nothing wrong with staying busy and doing other things, are you leaving enough time for God? Time as in prayer and in Worship and in doing the things Christ told us we should do if we are to be genuine followers of him. Is this really the Lord ’s Day, this once as week "activity"? Most of us, not all of us, have grown accustomed to a very comfortable existence as Christians in the West where in other places in the World, Christians have been crucified like Jesus or in some instances imprisoned, tortured and even beheaded for their faith. We drive past the homeless on the street holding up signs and begging for help, while we are saying callously that they are all scam artists and so we justify our lack of compassion that way. We say we love God then we let our children dress up as devils and witches for Halloween saying it’s just for fun when we ignore the true dark origins of the event and how it glorifies none other than Satan. When does loving God equal obeying his commandments? Grace is not a license for the commission of sin. The Israelites had become complacent and self-satisfied that they and they alone held the key to their wealth and prosperity and the peaceful times that they were receiving.
King David took a census about this time that was commanded by God and meant for his glory and good pleasure, but instead David took advantage of the knowledge he gained through the census to justify increasing his armies’ size for his own pride and not for God’s Ways and Plans. So God sends the angel of the Lord to bring about his stirring wrath not just concerning David’s sin but the sins of all the Israelites as well. David’s sin if anything just magnified God’s Wrath even further. The angel of the Lord brings pestilence to Jerusalem which spreads quickly wiping out many a person in a very short time. The pestilence started in the morning and continued throughout the day. The pestilence was running rampant throughout Israel and was headed straight towards its next target, Jerusalem. God had once again sent a messenger of death just as he had done with the last plague that the Pharaoh and the Egyptians were dealt in the time of Moses during the Exodus of Israel. When it was all said and done, the Lord knew that his judgment upon Israel was sufficient enough for David to repent as well as the people of Israel. It is important to note here that in V.16 of 2 Samuel in the King James Version it says, the LORD repented him of the evil. Note that the Hebrew word for repented is macham which in proper content means “to be sorry” to “console oneself”. If anything, the Lord was regretful of his own judgment because of the strength and degree of his mercy and grace this is possible to occur. God is without sin and blemish so he cannot repent of anything for he cannot sin nor is he with error in judgment. This however does not mean that God cannot find deeper expressions of his own mercy and grace.
Remember the story of Abraham, when the angel of the Lord (who turned out to be the preincarnate appearance of Yeshua, Jesus) was basically pleaded upon by Abraham to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for Lot and his families’ sake? Abraham pleaded with the angel of the Lord that if there was found to be just 50 righteous individuals there would God spare the destruction of the 2 cities? God says he won’t destroy it for 50 righteous and then it gets dropped to 45, 40, then 30 then 20 and finally 10. 6 times Abraham tested both God’s Patience and God’s Mercy and 6 times God changes his mind and grants Abraham his plea. How many times did Israel find favor with God only to turn against God and seek out idolatrous gods to worship and in essence turning a loving God to wrath and Israel to eventual repentence? In time God would forgive Israel of its sins and this would happen over and over and over again. God is indeed (and always has been) a God of infinite mercy. At Sodom there was one righteous person found, Lot and his family. They were allowed to escape the city’s destruction and God’s Wrath just as God stopped the angel of the Lord from destroying Jerusalem and most of Israel in 2 Samuel 24. God’s Mercy is tapered or balanced however with his demand and desire to not only be worshiped for he is a jealous God, he is also a God of justness and righteousness.
God will allow the window of grace to be extended long enough before the time of Jacob’s Trouble, that is the start of the Great Tribulation time period of 7 years. The Holy Spirit which has restrained all chaos from breaking out in the four corners of the World will be let up at the time of the rapture of the Church, causing mass riots and acts of wide spread murder and every other hideous act imaginable to dominate the entire planet in a time of great evil and insanity. Yet, even in the darkness of a time that the World has never seen nor will see again, God will extend his grace to those willing to come to him even during the time when those professing a faith in Yeshua will be persecuted and put to death by the Antichrist and his cohorts, and they will be saved out of the Great Tribulation. The price to be paid will be steep but the exchange for life eternal will become immeasurable and an act based solely on God’s Grace and Forgiveness for those that truly repent of their sin and come clean with God. Will you exchange the hold the World may have on you for the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven in order to spend eternity with the King of Kings? Get right with God right now, while there is still time, before the Great Tribulation begins and join the Lord and his bride as he captures them in the air at the rapture of the Church! It's going to happen soon beloved.
Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow might be just too late. Waiting is just not wise.
2 Corinthians 6:2 states, behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation