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Did the Witch of Endor call up the dead?

Scripture: 1 Samuel 28:1-25, Isaiah 8:19, 2 Corinthians 11:14
Who is Saul talking to in 1 Samuel 28?
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Q. In 1 Samuel 28, Saul has a long conversation with Samuel, who is dead. But since the dead can't talk, who is it? This is very confusing!

I agree that this can be a confusing area of the Bible, but with a little detective work, things make sense fairly quickly.

First of all, does the devil or the witch who was working for him have the power to resurrect? No. Absolutely not. Only God can create, and only He can animate life. Second, this "Samuel" asks Saul, "Why did you bring me up?" If Samuel was in heaven, he wouldn't have come up, he would've come down.

Then you have emphatic statements in the Bible that teaches the dead are not conscious and know nothing. In Isaiah 8, it says, "Why would the living seek unto the dead? If they speak not according to this word, the law and the prophets, there is no light in them." And Jesus also says that the living and the dead do not communicate, even though many say the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus suggests He does say they do. But this is a grave mistake, and we have a book on this subject that clears this up.

In any event, the Bible strictly forbids on every level any attempt to communicate with the dead. The reason is that the Bible says Satan can be transformed into an angel of light. Revelation says, "They are the spirits of devils, working miracles." So devils can work miracles and masquerade as departed loved ones.

So I believe it was a demon, or the devil himself, masquerading as Samuel. Can Satan appear as something he is not? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 11, don't marvel because Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. So the devil could have looked like Samuel if he wanted. He is a master of deception and illusion. The devil created the appearance of serpents for Pharaoh in 2 Corinthians 11:14.

You will also notice that in verse 14, Saul is asking, "What form is he of?" He's asking the woman to say what does he look like. So really, he's not seeing things clearly anyway. So the devil is sort of using a medium, which was forbidden. And the message that he gives is an absolutely, utterly hopeless message. This message says, "You're going to die. You're sons are going to die." But God often has mercy mingled in with His communication with wayward humans. It really seems like the devil is kicking Saul for the last time while he was down.

This is a very important question, because on television and in movies today, people are supposedly communing with the dead, telling the audience what their dead ones are saying and doing. And they're teaching reincarnation. But this is an absolutely unadulterated, diabolical kind of programming. It's preparing the world to be deceived by the devil.

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