So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.

1 Samuel 19:23 (NIV)

When Paul went to Ramah to kill David, the Spirit of God took control of him. Yet, in 1 Corinthians 14:32, Paul gives us this insight.

The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.

1 Corinthians 14:32 (NIV)

Since the Bible cannot contradict itself, how is 1 Samuel 19:23 different than 1 Corinthians 14:32 since Saul had no control?

In 1 Samuel 19, Saul tried to kill David. Indeed, after promising Jonathan that he wouldn’t harm David, he went back on his word. After David had escaped, Saul sent men after him to Ramah, where David was with Samuel. Saul sent three groups of men, and each group prophesied instead of capturing David. Then, when Saul went himself, the same thing happened to him.

In 1 Corinthians 14, the Apostle Paul teaches about proper order in worship. Specifically, Paul was talking about a practice the Corinthians had developed where more than one person would stand up and prophesy, speaking in tongues. In their defense, some might claim that the Holy Spirit had taken control of them, and thus, they had no control over their actions.

God is a God of order, not chaos. Thus, In 1 Samuel 19, the Spirit takes control of Saul and his men to prevent them from harming David and presumably Samuel since he was harboring David, establishing order in the situation while protecting the man of God and his anointed. However, in 1 Corinthians 14, those people who claimed a loss of control because of the Spirit would not have been driven by the Holy Spirit since their conduct was out of order. Furthermore, one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control, so claiming to have lost control because of the Holy Spirit in contradictory to the Spirt and just plain illogical.

Therefore, in 1 Samuel 19 and 1 Corinthians 14, we see the same Spirit at work, doing the same things under two conditions.