2 ~ Beguiling Occult

(based on I Samuel 28 - 31:5 in the Old Testament)
(*actual name not given in Bible)

Part 1 ~ The Susceptible Ones

       There was a knock on her door.  She set her sewing aside and went to answer it.  


      "Well, hello Abbi.  Come in.  Come in."  

      "Endora, I need your advice.  I just don't know what to do."  

      The two sat down at a table near the window.  "I bought some beautiful fabric at the market the other day.  It was interwoven with
gold.  It was so beautiful.  So I went home and counted up the money I'd been saving for something special and had enough to buy it."  

      "That doesn't sound like a problem to me.  It sounds wonderful."  

      "But it doesn't end there.  I got it to wear to a feast coming up."  

      "Uh, oh.  I think I know what's coming."  

      "You guessed it.  I was visiting with my next door neighbor later that day and she showed me the same fabric she is going to make
her dress with.  What am I going to do?  I don't want to wear anything else and neither does she."  

     "Well now, let's see.  Do you know if she is going to wear an accent color with it?"  

      "Yes, she's going to wear blue with it."  

      "Okay.  What other colors are in the fabric?"  

      "Red, and of course the gold."  

      "Then use red as your accent color.  I would try to find out if she is going to use the accent color more on the back or front; I rather
suspect it will be on the back."  

      "You're probably right.  I could find out." Endora waited for her to finish the solution herself.  "You know, I could put my accent color
on the front."  

      "That's a delightful idea.  And if I were you, I would tell her about it so the two of you can plan to make your dresses as differently as
possible.  As a result, people will probably think you have similar fabrics but not the same."  

      "You are fantastic, Endora.  What would I ever do without you?"  

      Endora always enjoyed the compliments.  They gave her a real lift in spirits to think that others depended on her.  [1]

      "You know you are welcome any time.  Whatever problem you have, none is too small or too large for your friend Endora.  Remember

      "Oh thank you again.  I must be rushing off.  I have a dress to make!"  

      Endora had always been concerned for her friends.  Even as a child she had sought the welfare of others.  Often her parents
teasingly called her a little mother.  [2]

      She went back to her weaving, and as she sat there in the quiet, she tried to analyze the threads.  Let's see now.  She was working
with red threads when Abbi came to the door.  What could that mean?  And she was on the seventh row.  It seemed to her that Abbi
knocked seven times when she arrived.  

      Had she actually been calling to Abbi to come to her?  Was there something within herself that was calling to Abbi because Endora
could help her?  She often over-analyzed events and read things into situations that were not there.  It was a compulsion.  She really
couldn't figure out why more people didn't try to understand the events of their lives better as she always did.  

      Endora was an extremely intelligent woman.  She had often felt she was thinking on a level above others, even as a child.  She and
her playmates would start to play a game - just tag, for instance.  But she'd want to pretend they were wolves in search of a rabbit for their
dinner.  Or they'd want to play soldiers and robbers, and she'd want to pretend the robbers were really sent on a secret spy mission to
save the land from a bad king.  Her playmates just got confused.  They couldn't understand why she wanted to be so complicated, and
got so they didn't invite her to play with them as much.  That confused her too.  She didn't understand why they wouldn't want their play to
be more exciting.  

      The more they didn't play with her, the more she began to analyze why.  She carefully watched them.  She'd seen one of them drop a
toy donkey and break its leg off.  Then one of the kids tripped and skinned their leg.  She decided it had been destined.    

      She watched other things.  The other kids would stand over in a huddle away from her and whisper.  Then in a few weeks or months
one of them would come down with a sore throat; she knew it was their punishment.  She didn't feel bad toward them though.  She felt
they just needed guidance to help them understand their lives better and not have such problems.  After all, such things didn't happen to
her.  [3]

      How she craved knowledge.  She learned to read readily and often asked to borrow the scrolls of educated people to learn more and
more.  Of course most of the scrolls centered around the national government and religion, and covered basically the laws Moses gave
the people.  As a child, and even now, she poured over them.  They were interesting.  But she felt they didn't tell enough.  There were
more things she wanted to know.  Why did God order certain things?  Why couldn't he explain more?  

      Endora put her weaver's shuttle aside.  She had forgotten to draw water today.  How foolish.  But sometimes she felt her thoughts
were so deep they just made her absent minded about such menial things.  She picked up her water pot, placed it securely on her head,
and walked down the street to the town well.  [4]

      "Well, hello there, Endora.  And how are you today?"  

      Endora waited for Zera to finish filling her jar.  There was no big rush.  "Oh I'm just fine.  How are you?"  

      "Couldn't be better.  You know what happened last night at my house?"  

      Endora wasn't sure whether to answer.  This woman was not of the Hebrew faith, and sometimes did strange things.  "Uhhh, well, I
guess I don't.  How do you think the crops will do this season?"  

      Her efforts to change the subject didn't work.  "I had someone there.  Someone very special."  She seemed to be an expert at
building up people's curiosity.  

      "I had some company this morning for awhile myself.  I don't like company at night, though.  I like to go to bed early."  

      Still it didn't work.  "My company," explained the woman, "was my long dead husband."  

      Endora looked up at her suspiciously, but said nothing.  

      "He's been dead for two years.  I just didn't think I could stand it any longer.  I have a sick grand daughter and didn't know what was
to come of her.  So I learned how to call up my husband from the dead.  He'd know what to do.  He always knew what to do."  There.  
She'd said it.    

      Endora had no choice but to listen, because her turn to draw water hadn't yet come.  She was disturbed.  "But that is against
Jehovah's laws."  

      "Who's Jehovah?  What laws?  My gods are as good as yours.  How could it be wrong as long as it is for a good purpose?"  

      "Well, it just is."  [5]

      That night Endora got out her scrolls again where Moses talked about such things.  She remembered two places:  One where the
Levites were instructed to guide the people, and the other where the law was regiven to make sure there were no misunderstandings.  
She read each one carefully.  

      Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits, for you will be defiled by them. I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums
and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.  A man or a woman who is a medium or spiritist
among you must be put to death.  You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.  

      She shuddered.  Then she found the scroll with the last warnings before her people entered this land to establish itself as the
Israelite nation.  

    When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let none
be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in
witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the
Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless
before the Lord your God.  

      She wondered two things.  First she wondered how this woman could claim she called her husband back from the dead.  Second she
wondered if it were possible, why God would stop people from making contact with their loved ones.  Her own husband had died several
years before. You would think Jehovah would provide a means to be reunited with loved ones; after all, he said he loved his people.  She
became confused and fell asleep thinking about it.  [6]

      The next day she decided to draw her water at the same time she had the day before.  She had some questions for Zera.  As she
had planned, the same woman was at the well when she arrived.  

      "Hello again.  Change your water-drawing schedule?"  

       "You might say that."  

      "You know, I have felt really good since talking to my husband."  

      Endora had mixed feelings.  She cringed to hear such talk because it had always been condemned.  But she was still curious.  Was
there something God just didn't want his people to know?  Was he trying to control too much of their lives?  How torn she felt.  

      "Would you like to come to my home tonight?"  

      Endora had to admit she was kind of glad because, although people came to her for advice, she wasn't invited to people's homes
very often.  But being at night, this frightened her.  

      "I'm afraid I don't go out at night.  Too many bad things happen then and I want to stay as far away from trouble as possible."  

      "You are so right.  Why don't you come and spend the night with me and go home the next day?"  

      Endora was now unsure. She didn't know the lady that well, not being Jewish and all.  But then she must be respectable.  She'd never
heard anything bad about her.  She seemed safe enough.  


      "Do you know Abbi?"  

      "Well, yes I do.  She's a neighbor."  

      "She is coming tonight too.  She'll be going home later in the evening.  I'll bet she wouldn't mind the two of you walking home together
for safety.  She'd probably be glad for it."  


      "Come on.  You don't have anything else to do, do you?"  

       "Not really, but...."  

      "Then it's settled.  Come to my home just as the sun is touching the horizon.  I will have a wonderful meal prepared for us.  It will be
good for me to have company.  I don't very often, you know.  Not since my husband died." [7]

                                    Part 2 ~ Masquerade or Mystique  

      Endora agreed and her friend left.  She filled her own water jug and walked back to her house.  She felt funny inside, kind of like a
little girl sneaking off to the house of someone her parents told her not to associate with.  She'd never done such while she was growing
up, of course.  Well, after all, she was an adult now and able to tell right from wrong.  She would never allow herself to be influenced by
others to do wrong.  She just felt as though she would be expanding her understanding of human nature to get to know people besides
those who agreed with her own philosophies.  

      Later in the afternoon while tidying up, she picked up the scrolls from the night before to put them away.  When she did, she just
stood there with them for awhile.  "A witch shall not live?" she wondered.  "But why, if they are helping people?"  She put them away, but
her mind lingered on the thought through most of the remaining afternoon.  

      That evening was a very interesting one to Endora and her friend, Abbi.  They learned things she had only heard snatches about in
the past.  Quite interesting, really.  Zera had been learning about the god Resh-Eph.  He was the god of the netherworld.  By practicing
the incantations found in the scroll written about him, Zera had been able to bring back her dead husband herself for advice.  

      Endora tried to think of herself as open minded.  Was it truly possible to reach the world of the dead?  After all, the spirit never dies.  
Even Job said that.  So why not?  The dead know things we don't know.  They could help us.  Just like Zera's husband helped her.  She
did say that he had given her good advice.  

      But she was still torn.  Why would Jehovah say witchcraft was bad if it helped people?  He didn't give enough information about what
happened to the dead, and communicating with the dead, and going where they are.  Surely there was some other way to find this out.  [8]

      Abbi had been thinking along the same line.  "I don't know.  You say you saw your dead husband.  That's pretty heavy."  

      "Well, maybe we should at least give her a chance to explain herself," Endora added.  

      "I think I should go home now.  It's getting pretty late.  Are you ready, Endora?"  

      The two women left.  Abbi promised herself she'd never go around such talk again.  It made her skin crawl.  Endora was curious.  
Perhaps she could expand her horizons and at least be able to help people even better than ever.  It would all be for their benefit.  [9]

      Again at the well the next day the two women met.  This time Endora was glad.  She had hardly slept last night.  They talked again of
communicating with the dead.  If only it could be used to help people.  Perhaps that's all that had been wrong with witchcraft in the past.  It
hadn't helped people.  Endora could see its good possibilities.  She told Zera so.  The friendship expanded between the two widows.    

      At last Endora had an opportunity to see Zera call up her dead husband.  But it wasn't as she had expected.  It happened at night.  It
had to be at night actually, she was told.  Zerath put out all but one candle in the room, and placed it far back from her.  She began
repeating her incantations, and this went on for much longer than Endora had expected.  Then....  

      "There he is!"  


      "He's here.  Don't you see him?"  


      "You just don't have enough faith.  I see him as clearly as I can you.  Wait....  He's speaking....  What did you say, dear?"  

      Endora heard a whispering coming from Zera's direction.  It was low in tone but sounded a lot like Zera's voice.  Her head was down
and Endora could not tell for sure.  Finally Zera turned to her.  

    "He said that you had a visit from someone recently and somehow there was blood there too."  

      Blood?  People have blood in them.  No, that couldn't be it.  The sun is blood red when it goes down.  No, that doesn't make sense.  
The fabric with red in it....  Could that be what he was referring to?  She related it to Zera.  

      "Yes!  That's what he was referring to.  He just said so.  He said that you will lose this friend soon because she's a non-believer."  

      An unbeliever?  Abbi seemed to be as dedicated to Jehovah as any other person.  That was a strange thing to say.  "I don't

      "You will.  Just wait and see."  

      Whispering again.  "What's that?  You say that Endora needs more rest because she's staying up too late reading?  I will tell her, my
husband.  Is there anything else?  No, you don't need to leave yet do you?  Oh, don't leave...."  [10]

      Then the sound of a high monotone imitating wind blowing through pine trees.  The sound was obviously coming from Zera.  then it
was gone.  She turned around.  "We can light the other lamps again now."  

      Endora was confused.  Everything he had said was right.  But the voice was obviously Zera's.  She couldn't fool her.  She confronted
the woman with it.  

      "Oh yes, of course it was my voice.  I have discovered a spirit within myself that is familiar with the dead and makes contact with it.  
That 'familiar spirit' within me speaks the words of the dead.  I am the medium through which you hear the dead.  I am just finding out I
have that spirit in me.  Not many people do, you know.  I am just one of the lucky ones, I guess."  

      "I must go home now."  

      "Oh, it is much too late.  You need to spend the night here and go home at dawn."  

      Reluctantly Endora did.  She was unsure about spending the night with someone like this.  But she fell asleep quickly and by morning
knew there was nothing to be afraid of.  Zera was only trying to be her friend.  

      On her way home, she felt haunted by the events of the previous night, and it stayed with her the rest of the day.  Were those truly
the words of that woman's dead husband or not?  She found herself thinking of it both day and night now.  She could not shake it.  She
read the words of Moses' law again.  What was going on?  

      After a couple weeks talking with each other at the well, Zera finally offered to lend Endora a book about the god Resh-Eph.  It would
explain everything she ever wanted to know about the netherworld.  Endora read it hungrily.  In a manner of speaking, it was opening up a
whole new world to her.  But still she was haunted by the words of Moses.  Do not allow a witch to live.  But why, as long as she is just
doing good, just helping people?  

      She finally gave the scroll back and told Zera she didn't think she needed to investigate this anymore.  She was too torn, and decided
she'd gotten along without such things before, and could now.  Yet, it haunted her.  [11]

      Occasionally some friend would stop by to get advice from Endora.  She was always glad of that.  She loved feeling needed.  She
kept it a secret that she had gone back to Zera's house.  No one associated with her much anyway; they thought she was a little strange.  
Abbi confided that the one time was plenty for her.  Endora decided if she wanted to keep her friends, she wouldn't say anything about
the other visits, and the book.  

      One day while Endora was at the market buying some fish, she heard a scream.  Some children had been playing by the meat
market, and one of them had fallen on the knife sitting on one of the stalls.  She and the others rushed over and saw a child laying there
face down.  When he was turned over the knife was in the middle of his chest.  The child was dead.  The mother rushed over, grabbed up
her child, and cried out in agony.  

      "No!  No!  No!  Not my child!  Not my child!"  

      Endora knew the woman, but so many were crowding around, she just stayed back out of the way.  Finally she went back home.  She
was full of turmoil once again.  That poor dead child.  What had happened?  Where was that child now?  Oh that poor mother.  

      The funeral was the next day.  Endora went to the mother and told her that she had lost her husband in death, and she could come
over to her house any time she wanted.  She understood the pain.  [12]

      Several weeks later, when the event had merged with daily living, Endora heard a light tapping on her door.  Two taps.  What did that
mean?  Two people?  Or one person thinking of a second person?  

      It was the mother.  She was in tears.  

      "I keep trying to get him out of my mind.  But I can't.  I never will.  I can't stop crying.  Oh I miss my little boy so much.  I just can't bear
it any longer.  I can't bear to go on.  I can't bear to live another day.  I want to die.  I want to go to him.  I want to see and hear him again.  I
want to die."  [13]

    Such talk worried Endora.  It sounded like the woman really meant it.  Would she take her own life?  The thought was so terrible,
Endora shuddered.  What could she do?  

      She had come to her for comfort, but there was no comfort.  What could she do?  She couldn't allow her to die and go to her son.  
She couldn't bring her son back alive.    

      "Oh, if I could only see him and hear him say 'Mama' once again."  

      The woman continued to cry.  Endora went to her chair, gently raised her out of it, and held her, brushing the hair out of her eyes.  
She wanted to do more.  She felt obligated to do more.  She couldn't allow this woman to just kill herself.  But there was nothing she could

      "Mama.  That's all I want to hear.  Just Mama."  

       It was late in the afternoon.  The shadows were long.  Endora needed to light some lamps in the room.  It was getting quite dark
inside.  She led the woman to a couch and told her she'd be right back.  She walked over to the lamp on the other side of the room,
stared at it, and looked back over at the woman.  She could hardly see her in the shadows.  But she could hear her whimpering.  

       "Mama.  That's all.  Just Mama."  [14]

      A thought flickered.  She immediately put it out.  It returned and flickered a little longer.  A voice seemed to be silently telling her, "Do
it!  What will it hurt?  If it will save the woman's life, it is good!  Do it!"  

       Endora turned her back on the woman and took a deep breath.  She looked over toward a blank wall.  She raised her arms in the
fashion that Zera had.  She stood there shaking.  She kept her arms up long enough she knew her friend had seen her by now, though
the lamp was still not lit.  

      "What are you doing, Endora?"  

       "Shhh.  Just wait.  Wait...."  

      Silence.  Then Endora's voice changed slightly.  "Ohhh....  Ohhh...."  

      The woman wondered, but said nothing.  

      Then Endora's voice changed again.  This time it was childish.  "Mama."  



       " sounded just like my little boy," she responded cautiously.  

      "Mama.  Where are you?  Mama."  

      "Son?  Is that you?"  Her heart beat faster.  

      "Mama.  I'm here.  I'm here in the room.  I can't see you."  

      "I can't see you either, son.  But I can hear you.  You are my son, aren't you?"  

      "Mama.  It is I.  I can hear you."  

      "Are you all right?"  

      "Yes, Mama.  I am all right."  

      "I want to see you."  

      "You can't see me.  But you can hear me.  I love you Mama."  

      "I love you too, son.  Oh, son, I want to pick you up and hold you."  

       "You can't, Mama.  But I'm okay.  I really am okay."  

      "Is that what you came back to tell me?  That you're okay?"  

      "Yes, Mama.  I came back to tell you I am okay.  Good-bye Mama.":  

     "Good-bye?  You can't leave."  


      "No, don't leave yet."  


      "Son?  Where are you?"  



      Still silence.  

      "Is he gone, Endora?  Did you hear him?  Is he gone?"  

      Endora slowly put her arms down.  She breathed deeply, and slowly turned around.  She stood in place and just watched her.  What
would happen now?  

      "Endora?  That was my son, wasn't it?  Did you hear him?  Please say you heard him.  I'm not crazy.  I heard him."  

      Now for the final commitment.  "Yes, I heard him."  

       "It sounded like his voice was coming through yours."  

      "Yes, it was.  But it definitely was his voice.  I could see that."  

      "You saw him?"  

      Endora breathed deeply once again.  She was helping the mother so far.  She could help her more.  "Yes, I saw him."

      "How did he look?  Was the spot....the spot there?"  

      "No, he looked just like he did before the accident.  He looked fine."  

      "Oh Endora.  It was my son!  I know it was!"  

      Endora now walked over to her, and sat down next to her.  She held her hands in silence.  Finally, "Do you feel better now?"  

      "Oh yes, much better.  I do not have to wonder anymore.  I do not have to go to him.  I know he is okay.  I am so relieved."  

      Silence again.  

      "But how did you do it?  How...."  

      "I have just discovered that a spirit is within me that is familiar with the dead and communicates with them for me.  I never knew it was
there.  I always suspected something was there, for I always understood things differently than other people.  I never knew that was why
until recently."  

      As she watched the young mother's relief, she decided she had done the right thing.  They both smiled.  Yes, she had saved a life.  It
was good. [15]
                                              Part 3 ~ If It Were True  

      The young mother left the house, and talked of nothing else for weeks.  At first everyone shunned Endora.  They thought Endora
had done a terrible thing fooling this poor woman like she did.  But eventually there was another death in town.  A few days later, in the
midst of their pain and desperation, they came to see Endora.  Please, could she help them?  Was it really possible to bring back the
dead?  They didn't see how they could stand another day without their loved one.  

      Endora was filled with pity, and repeated the gestures and incantations of the previous time.  She knew she would continue to be
shunned, but perhaps eventually people would become her friends again when they saw she was just trying to help them.  

      Whenever she called someone up from the dead, Endora visualized it in her mind.  Then she would explain her vision.  In her mind
she always saw the person coming down out of heaven wearing clothes as white and bright as the sun.  They looked kind of like angels.  
She always had the dead person tell the ones left behind to be good, treat others right, help the helpless, and some day they would be
together again.  Endora knew that if she could actually see such a vision, that is how it would be.  And it was good.  

      This was the beginning of a new career for Endora.  Not only did she become a witch, but she learned of other witches like herself in
other towns and sometimes traveled to see them.  They all felt like they were helping people.  Surely God didn't mean that this type of
witchcraft was wrong.  Only evil witchcraft calling down curses was wrong.  All Endora and her friends did was help people.  [16]

      But she and the others were wrong.  Samuel, the nation's past supreme court judge, still had much power.  Even though Saul had
been made their new king, it was through the guidance of Samuel.  Samuel was not only a judge, but was also the priest and prophet of
Jehovah God.  One day the word spread.  

      "They're enforcing the law.  All the witches are being put to death!"  Her friend Zera came to the house to warn her.  Endora had to
work fast.    

       She feigned her own death in her own house as though she'd been stabbed and then dragged off.  It took killing a chicken to spread
the blood around, but she thought it would be effective.  Then she ran to a cave in the hills nearby.  She was never discovered by the

      After she ran out of food, she slipped back into town one night and quietly knocked on Zera's door.  Strangers opened it.  No, she
was not there.  She'd been killed in a witch hunt.  They were newly arrived from a town north of there.  Would she like to spend the night?  

       Luckily they did not recognize her.  She said she did not need to do that, but could use a little bread.  She dared not ask for much.  
She stayed out in the street with her mantle over her while they got some bread for her.  She thanked them and went back to her cave.  

      The next night she went in to town and slipped over to the house of the first woman she had ever helped, the woman whose young
son had died in the market accident.  The woman gave her some food and told her she would be safer in the hills awhile longer until the
memory of the hunt was replaced by other events.  

      Endora stayed in the cave for a year, fed and cared for by the friends she'd made helping them communicate with their dead loved
ones.  She felt as though the sacrifice was worth it.  After all, wasn't she helping people?  [17]

      Finally she was told it was safe to return to town if she took a different house and kept out of sight as much as possible.  Her friends
would continue to take care of her needs.  That was fine with her.  Although she felt she had many friends, that was only as long as they
came to her individually.  She never felt as though she had been able to mix with a crowd very well.  So she stayed in her little house, and
quietly helped those who sought her out after dark.  

      One night there was a loud pounding on the door.  "Let us in!  Let us in!"  

      It sounded like soldiers.  What was she going to do?  There was no other door.  She could not escape.  They'd pound the door in if
she didn't answer it.  Taking a deep breath and trembling, she approached and unbolted it.  At the sight of the soldiers she backed up
against the farthest wall.  They'd discovered her.  

      She stood before them.  Three soldiers.  One of them unbelievably tall.  He was the one who spoke.  She wasn't expecting what she

      "Consult a spirit for me."  


      "Consult a spirit for me, and bring up for me the one I name."  

      She did not know them.  But they were soldiers.  They had come to kill her.  They had no proof as long as she did not acknowledge

      "Surely you know what King Saul has done.  He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land," she responded.  

      She stood and waited.  They did not speak.  They did not move.  It was working.  She went on.  

      "Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?"  

      "I am not trying to trap you.  I am not here to kill you.  That was over with a long time ago.  I tell you, I need you.  I know you are a
witch.  You cannot disprove it, for I have witnesses.  If I were here to kill you, I would have done it by now.  I needed no confession, for I
have witnesses."  

      She put her hand to her forehead, but stood still where she was.  

      The door was still open.  The tall soldier closed it and went over to her.  She backed into the corner, shaking.  

      "I tell you, I have not come here to kill you.  See, I'll take off my sword.  I'll put it on the other side of the room.  You two, take your
swords off also.  Put them over there."  

      The other two soldiers obeyed him so promptly she wondered.  But her mind was still in such turmoil it did not quite register.  "Who
are you?"  He sidestepped her question with one of his own.  

      "Now will you believe me?  Look, I swear to you.  I swear to you, as surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this."  

      He talked as though he had some kind of authority.  Who was he really?  She decided not to dwell on the point.  If her life was safe,
that was all she cared about.  The three men walked to the other end of the room away from her, in a gesture of reassurance.  She stood
there in silence a little longer, but put her hands down to her side.  Finally she walked over to them and stood still for a moment.  No
violent moves.  Maybe she really was safe.  

      "Who...." she began hesitatingly.  "Whom shall I bring up for you?"  

      "Bring up Samuel, the prophet," the big mysterious one replied.  [18]

      She remembered Judge Samuel had died while she was still hiding in the caves.  She went back to the other side of the room and
faced the blank wall.  She stood there a moment with her back to the three soldiers and then turned around again to see what they were
doing.  Their swords were still on the floor, and the men were standing where she'd left them.  She turned back around, and raised her

      The incantations started.  She spoke in words they could not understand.  She mumbled under her breath.  She whispered.  Finally
she moaned in her usual way.  "Ohhhhhh...."  

      Suddenly her eyes grew wide, she dropped her hands and backed up in horror.  Her terror took hold and she screamed in panic.  It
couldn't be!  But it was!  Right there in front of her!  There was something coming up out of the floor, as though from the very belly of
hell.  The floor?  Spirits were supposed to come from above.  She could not move.  It kept coming up.  Slowly.  The head.  Then the
shoulders.  The chest.  Slowly.    [19]

      "Why?  Why have you called me?  Why has Saul disturbed my rest?"  

      Saul?  That tall soldier was King Saul?  She could not bring herself to turn her back on the figure.  But she called out to the man
behind her.  

      "Why have you deceived me?  You are Saul!"  

      Saul rushed over to her.  He looked at the wall, but it was blank.  

      "What?  What do you see?"  

      "I, I see a spirit coming up out of the ground!" She could not take her eyes off of it.  

      The figure kept rising, slowly, slowly.  Now its waist was showing.  Now its knees.  

      "What does he look like?"  

      Her words faltered.  "An old man....wearing a coming up."  

       "It's Samuel!"  

      Saul trembled and dropped to his knees, and then completely to the floor.  Then he heard a voice. It was not whispering like he'd
heard it would be.  It was a thunderously angry voice.  

      "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?"  [20]

      Saul was weeping and shaking, but he lifted his head and shoulders.  "I am in great distress.  The Philistines are fighting against me,
and God has turned away from me.  He no longer answers me.  So I have called on you to tell me what to do."  

      God no longer answers him?  This man.  This being.  If God has refused to speak to Saul, then there was only one power left - the
power of Satan.  Her head reeled as she tried to comprehend the moment.  Then the voice rumbled again.  

      "Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and become your enemy?  The Lord has done what he
predicted through me.  The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors ~ to David."  

      Saul raised himself to his knees.  Endora listened.  It still wasn't right.  She knew about King Saul chasing David down to kill him.  This
advice was all wrong.  God would be telling Saul to repent and befriend David again.  But he wasn't.  He was just condemning and not
telling Saul how to make things right.  He was talking all wrong.  

      This being they called Samuel continued frighteningly.  "Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the
Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.  The Lord will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and
your sons will be with me."  

      Immediately Saul fell full length back onto the floor, filled with fear because of Samuel's words.  He lay there shaking.  Endora
watched the image and listened.  It began to sink back down into the cold ground.  It was ugly.  It was evil.  It was full of condemnation.  No
hope.  Only death.  Only a promise of hell.  That wasn't from God.  That was the devil disguised as something that once was good.  She
had faced Satan.  

      Then it was gone.  The evil thing was gone.  And all was complete silence.  [21]

      Suddenly she remembered Saul.  What would he do to her now?  He would surely kill her.  She had brought him face to face with
Evil.  She was doomed.  But Saul remained sprawled on her floor and did not move.  She waited.  She looked at his friends.  They looked
at her.  She had to do something quickly before they killed her.  Saul couldn't be allowed to die in her home.  

      She rushed over to him and knelt down beside him.  She raised his head.  With effort she turned him over.  She put his head in her

      "Please.  Get up.  You need to get up now.  He's gone.  Nothing is going to happen to you.  You did not die.  Get up."  

      But he just lay there.  The soldiers came over and bent over him.  "He hasn't eaten in a day and a night."  

      Endora's fear began turning to pity.  "I'll fix him something to eat.  That will help him."  She turned again to Saul.  "Look, I obeyed
you.  I took my life in my hands and did what you told me to do.  Now please listen to me. I am your servant; let me give you some food so
you may eat and have the strength to go on your way."  

       Saul finally opened his eyes.  "No  No.  I cannot eat.  I will not eat."  

      "But sir," one of the soldiers added,  you need the food.  We cannot stay here.  You will be discovered.  Your disguise works at night.  
But it wouldn't during the day.  We must leave here.  Get up and eat something so we can get back before daylight."  [22]

     "No.  He said I was doomed to die. Just let me die here."  

      "Sir.  Please get up.  Your sons are at the camp.  Your people are at the camp.  They need your leadership.  Get up."  

      Finally they were able to help Saul to his feet and sit him on the couch nearby.  

      "I have a calf.  I will butcher it and bake you some bread so you can be nourished and go on your way."  

      "That will be fine, ma'am," one of the soldiers acknowledged.  The men sat quietly while she fixed the meal.  Saul just stared, waiting
for the moment of death, nearly wishing for the moment of death.  Oh to get it over with.  

      Finally the meal was prepared, and the three ate.  What was left she put in a basket for them to take along.  About an hour before
dawn she rushed them out her door, closed it, and bolted it.  She went over to her couch and sagged down.  Then she stared at the wall.  
She stayed there the rest of the day wondering, stunned, trying to sort it all out.  It was staggering.  

      That evening a little before the sun went down she heard a crier out in the street.  "Saul is dead!  Saul is dead!  David is king?  Long
live the king!  Saul is dead!  Saul is dead!  David is now...."  

      She couldn't contain herself.  She unbolted the door and rushed out just as the crier was passing her house.  She stopped him.  

      "How did he die?  How did Saul die?"  

      "He committed suicide.  He fell on his own sword."  

      She stared a moment as the man continued down the street.  She called to him again.  "But how do you know it was him?  He wasn't
wearing his crown."  

      The man half turned as he continued to walk.  "Yes, he was!  The crown was on his head!  David has it now!"  

       Then she went back into her house and sat down in the floor facing the terrible wall.  

      Perhaps he didn't have to die.  He didn't have to wear his crown into battle to draw attention to himself.  Perhaps he could have
escaped this fate.  His enemies didn't actually kill him.  The enemy within himself fulfilled that prophecy.  He listened to a lie and it killed
him.  [23]

      She looked down at the spot where the horrible image had appeared the night before.  There was no evidence of anything unusual.  
She wondered that if God is more powerful than Satan, how could he allow anyone to imitate him?  She thought into the night.  And in the
darkness she realized.  

      "I was playing with something God did not intend to be seen. It is too horrible to be seen.  He had been trying to protect us so we
wouldn't have to see it.  I didn't know.  I didn't realize.  God was just trying to help.  Oh God, can you forgive me?  Oh God...." [24]
                                            THOUGHT QUESTIONS                                  

                                         Part 1 ~ The Susceptible Ones

1.        When you help others, you can have one of two motives.  You do it to benefit others with personal joy a byproduct; or you do it for personal joy
with others' benefit a byproduct.  This is discussed in 1 Corinthians 13:3.  How can you test yourself to determine your motives?

2.        As a mother you have told your children to eat properly and wear warm clothes.  You comforted them when they cried and read stories to
them.  Mothers are bigger, stronger and wiser than children.  When you "mother" adults, what are you trying to make others think of you?  What are the
similarities between "mother-ers" and Luke 18:11,12?

3.        Do you often feel a need to control everything about their life, and thus scrutinize and analyze everything in a frantic attempt to maintain that
control?  Read 1 Corinthians 4:5 and Proverbs 3:5.  Where in your life do you catch yourself needlessly analyzing things.  What would cure you of this?

4.        Knowledge is usually considered power.  However, compare the general disposition of a mentally handicapped person and an intelligent person
(Ecclesiastes 1:16-18).  Why is this?  You probably have a fairly high IQ.  Have you spent any time delving into the mysteries of the world?  Did you
become frustrated?  You can choose either Genesis 3:5 or Deuteronomy 29:29.  How would you make your choice?

5.        Our social motto today is, "If it accomplishes good, how can it be wrong?"  Consider Proverbs 14:12 and 16:2.  How do you sometimes justify

6.        Just as children are with parents, so too adults become confused by God's commandments.  You probably have diligently studied the scriptures,
which is better than what non-believers do.  But the thing that can take you back to the level of a non-believer is believing you can understand why God
said everything he did.  Read Isaiah 45:9.  Where is your stopping point?  What must you substitute for knowledge eventually (Hebrews 11:1; Romans

7.        Everyone feels lonely and alienated sometimes.  Sometimes it was because we could not accept the fact that there are people or things we could
not have in our lives.  Sometimes it was  because we do not understand how to mix with certain people.  Read Ephesians 4:14 and 2 Peter 2, primarily
verses 1,3,14,17,19.  Have you felt lonely through the years?  Have you caught yourself grasping at almost anything sometimes to get people's attention?

SUGGESTED GOOD WORK:  Send a hand-written thinking-of-you note to someone who seems to be a "loner."  If you don't know any, obtain names
of nursing-home residents, juvenile home residents, or similar home.  

                                  Part 2 ~ Masquerade or Mystique

8.        Considering yourself open minded, you probably investi-gated witchcraft either as a substitute for Christianity or an addition to it.  Did this create
answers or more questions (1 Timothy 1:3,4)?  What did questioning such things lead to (1 Timothy 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:23)?

9.        When you read in the Bible about something that is wrong, there is a point in learning about the nitty gritty of the sin that you must stop and
forget it.  What is that point (Proverbs 6:27,28; 1 Corinthians 10:14)?

10.        The Bible says you are to try the spirits and prophets to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1).  Do you believe you might have overlooked
things ("justifying") in favor of one side or the other?

11.        Handling doubts in faith is difficult.  But you must make a decision (Revelation 3:16).  It takes faith to believe both witchcraft and Christianity.  
Hebrews 11:1,3 says faith has both substance and evidence.  To get evidence on both, you must go to the source.  The admitted source of witchcraft is
Satan; the source of Christianity is God.  Both claim to be incompatible with the other.  God tells us his side where?  Satan tells us his side where?

12.        The unknown characteristic of death may have led you to seek answers in witchcraft.  What are the questions you had about death?  Use a
topical Bible or concordance to find your answers.)

13.        Where are the dead?  It is only possible to know this for sure from someone who has been there and back.  Only a few
have written with this claim, among them Jesus Christ.  You can only believe the one whose writing can be proven as not coming from man.  Consider
recent scientific discoveries in light of these statements made in the Bible over 4,000 years ago:  Job 26:7,8; 28:5; 36:27-29; 38:22,24; Psalm 8:8.  Do
you know of any other book in existence that can make such claims of knowledge?

14.        Even in Endora's time there were some indications in the Bible of what happens to the dead:  Genesis 5:24; Exodus 24:10; 32:32; Job 14:14;
Psalm 16:10; 49:15; Hebrews 11:17-19.  She could have relied on these, but apparently they were not enough for her.  Did you feel as though you
needed to know more than the Bible revealed?  If so, what did you do?

15.        A commitment has to be made eventually.  It is easy to get a little involved with something out of curiosity, then before you know it, you are a
proponent.  That moment occurs when people around you get the impression you are a part of it and ask if it is so.  When can you know you have
reached the point of commitment before others make that conclusion for you (Matthew 6:24; James 4:4)?

SUGGESTED GOOD WORK:  Send a note to someone who has suffered a devastating loss of a loved one.

                                          Part 3 ~ If It Were True

16.        Some people become mediums strictly for the money (Titus 1:11), to get people to like them (Ezekiel 12:24), or to show off greater mind
power and make people think they can reach the unreachable (Colossians 2:18).  Right now be honest with yourself.  What was your motive?  One of
these or some other?

17.        The death sentence in the Law of Moses was reserved for people who sacrificed their children to idols (Leviticus 20:2), mediums (Leviticus
20:27), murderers (Leviticus 24:17), breakers of the sabbath (Numbers 15:32,35), idolaters (Deuteronomy 13:6-10), rebellious sons (Deuteronomy
21:18-21), and adulterers (Deuteronomy 22:22-24).  Categorized, this penalty was specifically for betrayal of what creates life, what ends life, and the
source of life - God.  How is any form of the occult, whether astrology, telling the future, or bringing back the dead a betrayal of God, or is it?  Does
Satan represent life or death (Hebrews 2:14,15)?

18.        If it were possible to bring up the dead, and since God condemns all forms of the occult, who else with superhuman powers would logically be
the one making it possible for the dead to come back into this world this way (Job 1:12; 2:17; Matthew 8:22,23; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Ephesians 2:2)?

19.        Whenever someone appeared temporarily from the other world directly by God's power (not through a medium), were they seen coming down
from above (around the ceiling or sky) or coming up from below (through the ground or floor)?  Here are all the instances where we are told from
which direction they came:  Genesis 28:12,13; 1 Chronicles 21:16; Daniel 7:13 (note what came up out of the sea in v. 3-7); Luke 2:9,15; Luke 22:43;
Matthew 28:2; Acts 1:10,11; Revelation 10:1.

20.        Whenever Jesus or a godly man raised someone from the dead, was it an inspirational occasion or one filled with terror and screaming?  Here
are these instances:  1 Kings 17:23,24; 2 Kings 4:32,37; Luke 7:14,15; Luke 8:54-56; John 11:44,45; Acts 9:41,42; Acts 20:12.  Is there any indication
that they returned to death a few minutes later?

21.        Whenever God sent a message to someone from the other world, it was a plea to repent lest they be destroyed (see question 19 for some
examples).  Samuel did not say anything like that.  What are Satan's messages like (John 8:44; Acts 13:10; 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 11:14,15; Revelation

22.        If Satan really did bring up this image who called himself Samuel, how can we know it was really Samuel, and how can we know what he said
was truth (John 8:44)?

23.        Satan wants only what for you (Revelation 12:9,10)?  Satan predicts failure for all, including Saul and Job (Job 1:11).  When you listen to
Satan's message of accusations and doom instead of God's message of forgiveness and hope, you become whose disciple?

24.        Is it possible to do the things the occult claims?  Yes; but only if accomplished God's way.  Do you want to communicate with the spirit
world?  Try John 4:23,24 and Luke 11:2.  Do you want to know how to direct our future?  Try Psalm 23.  Do you want to communicate with those
who have died?  Try Luke 16:22; 23:43 and Revelation 4:4.  Do you want to enter a spiritual body?  Try 1 Corinthians 15:35-37,44,49,52-54.  Do you
want to transcend worlds?  Try John 14:1-6 and 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

SUGGESTED GOOD WORK:  Send a petition to your local library objecting to books in favor of the occult (there are many and the numbers are
growing).  Explain why you think they are harmful to the readers (citizens of your town).