King Saul and the Witch of Endor

Q. In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul converses with someone who claims to be the dead prophet Samuel. If the dead are sleeping, how can this be?

A. At initial glance, this can appear to be a confusing passage in the Bible, but with a little detective work, things begin to quickly make sense.

First of all, does the devil, or the witches who work for him, have the power to resurrect? Obviously not! Only God can create, and only He can truly 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 the many emphatic statements in the Bible that teach the dead are not conscious and know nothing. In Isaiah 8, it says, “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (vs. 19, 20).

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. But this is a grave mistake, and we have a book on this subject that clears this up.

In addition, 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 16:14 says, “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles.” So devils can work miracles and masquerade as departed loved ones.

So I firmly believe this apparition that claimed to be Samuel was in reality a demon, or the devil himself, masquerading as the deceased prophet. Can Satan appear as something he is not? The Bible warns in 2 Corinthians 11 that we shouldn’t be surprised, because Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. So the devil can look 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 asks, “What form is he of?” He’s asking the witch to say what “Samuel” looks like. So really, he’s not seeing things clearly. So the devil is using a medium, which was also strictly forbidden. And the message that he gives is an utterly hopeless message, saying, “You’re going to die. You’re sons are going to die.” But God usually has mercy mingled in with His warnings to 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 diabolical kind of pre-programming that’s preparing the world to be deceived by the devil.


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