Seeking help from a Saint?
Wisdom from an Angel?
PART 2 in the series on The Supernatural in the Church
By Terry L. Craig
In Part 1 of this series, I asked people to consider whether or not God still speaks to people. If you’re reading this, there is probably at least some part of you that would like to think that God is still in the business of communicating with us and/or intervening in our lives. I happen to believe He does, but there is a lot of debate within the Body regarding this. Most of the turmoil, in my opinion, is caused by those who either want to deny or add to what is in the Bible (which is packed with accounts of supernatural interventions of God in the lives ordinary individuals).
What each of us needs to ask is, what or whom is at the center of our quest?
The same people whom God miraculously delivered out of Egypt decided that they'd rather hear from MOSES than directly from God. (Ex. 20:19) They placed Moses as a buffer between themselves and God and it had a threefold purpose: The first was that they felt freed from the (possibly terrifying) position of standing before a God from whom nothing was hidden. The second was that they weren't responsible to personally hear God's words for themselves. The third was that they could choose to selectively disobey what Moses said and it wouldn't (they rationalized) be the same thing as disobeying God. To attempt to put a "saint" or angel between you and God implies one or more of those same motives.
God longs to have you come and linger in His presence, seeking His face, listening for His voice. To whom will Father speak? Those with "ears to hear." But when people don't get a "yes" to something they want, some go in search of other opinions--and that's when they open the door to advice from darkness. It happens when we are seeking something WE have decided is right or good or that we must have, all the while trying to somehow put a seal of God’s approval on it. Such an attitude is a mask for witchcraft.
What is witchcraft?
In 1 Samuel 15. King Saul has creatively disobeyed the Lord—he has done what he wanted, then tried to say he did it in order to honor God. How many of us do this?
"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1 Samuel 15:23a, KJV
The essence of witchcraft is this: MY kingdom come, MY will be done. If this is your heart, it is unlikely you will hear from God . . . but if you do, remember you will stand in judgment for what you did with what you heard.
How many Christians today are ignoring the Bible and asking whether or not they should leave their spouse for another person? How many are asking God to give them direction when they’ve set course for something His word has already told them not to do? How many will “shop” for a teaching or an out-of-context verse of Scripture that will permit them to run to something they’ve already fixed in their hearts as the almighty THING they’ll lose everything to keep? When people do this, the devil is willing to parade around as an glowing angel or their dead Aunt Mable in order to entice them to step further into sin.
Jesus tells the story of a rich man who died and realized he was trapped in Sheol (the grave, the place of the dead) awaiting judgment for how he’d lived his life. He could see Abraham on the “other side” (Paradise) and asked that Lazarus, a righteous man who had died and gone to Paradise (a saint!) to be able go back and warn his sinful brothers.
27 “ . . . ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16: 27-31, NIV
Three points here: First, the unsaved who die aren't wandering around here on earth, trying to give people warnings, they are awaiting judgement. Second, the spirits of the saved (the "saints" if you will) aren't tasked with this job either because the Bible says they are at rest with the Lord. Third, if someone has already ignored the warnings in Scripture (for example, against things like adultery, greed, idolatry, seeking the dead) then they have already chosen darkness.
"Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?"—Isaiah 8:9b
What should the Lord's people do?
Call now, is there anyone who will answer you? And to which of the holy ones will you turn? . . . But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. —Job 5:1, 8, &9 NASB, underline and bold added by me
(The Lord says) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.—Psalm 50:15, King James Version, underline and bold added by me
(The Lord says) He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.—Psalm 91:15 King James Version, underline and bold added by me
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:27-28, NIV, underline and bold added by me
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [Jesus speaking] John 16:33, NIV, underline and bold added by me
Jesus said: "My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27
Who better to seek than the Almighty, THE healer, THE answer, THE creator of all that is seen and unseen? Is it that you think He is too busy to be bothered by your problems? Incapable of multitasking? Perhaps your god is too small. Is it that you feel too dirty or defiled to be heard by God? Maybe it’s a good time to simply recognize that, repent, and fall into His mercy. Stop making excuses and simply run to God. No one is beyond His help.
He COULD send a modern-day prophet or an angel to encourage you along the way, but this shouldn’t be what you are seeking.
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
“You must not have any other god but me.
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods . . .” — Deuteronomy 5:6-9, NLT
Here are the words of a man by the name of John who wrote the book of Revelation and saw both saints and angels in Heaven.
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.—Revelation 19:10, NIV
I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”—Revelation 22:8-9, NIV
If you are in trouble or need today and you’re open to WHATEVER God has for you, that’s a good place to start. Trusting our Heavenly Father is never a mistake. Jesus said to pray like this: "Your kingdom come, LORD, Your will be done, on earth (in my life) as it is in Heaven (which means: without fail)." When your heart is set upon Father and HIS will, nothing is impossible.
Copyright 2008, 2023 Terry L. Craig
This was PART 2 in the series on The Supernatural in the Church
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