Was Samuel Raised From The Dead?

And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?…  1 Samuel 28:15

saulAfter Saul had been rejected by God for his unfaithfulness and rebellion, God withdrew His Spirit from Saul.  The guidance he had been receiving from Samuel speaking to him by the word of Yehovah, was also gone because Samuel had died.  Saul was so distressed about the oncoming  battle with the Philistines the next day, that in desperation he sought a witch to bring up the spirit of Samuel to tell him what would happen and what he should do.

Many people believe that this is what happened and that God allowed the witch to bring up the sleeping spirit of Samuel to bring a word to Saul and prophecy to him what would happen.

Well, there are several problems with this theology.  Let’s start with the fact that Saul himself ordered his servants to find a woman that has a “familiar spirit”.  This was not only a forbidden practice but recognized as witchcraft and those who had a familiar spirit as being  evil.  As such he was not inquiring of God but of a demon.  As a righteous prophet, Samuel was in paradise and not subject to any witchcraft or incantations by an earthly witch to disturb him in his rest in paradise.  Samuel was far beyond her or the devil’s reach so it would be impossible to force him back to earth by witchcraft or by any other means not ordained or initiated by God Himself.

Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.  1 Samuel 28:7

Next when he met with the witch, he instructed her to “divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.”  This tells us that Saul knew that she would call Samuel up by a familiar spirit and not by his real spirit and certainly not by the will of God.  A familiar spirit is just that, a spirit who is familiar with all of the traits and characteristics of the deceased individual and thereby able to imitate them to the deception of anyone willing to believe that they are the real spirit of the deceased.

The only other possible explanation here could be that Saul was so deceived and turned over to an evil and debased mind, that he actually thought that he could call up the real spirit of Samuel by witchcraft.  However, when has God ever confirmed His word through familiar spirits and spoken by witches?

And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.  1 Samuel 28:8

Saul knew all too well that God was departed from him and answered him no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams.  If God had cut off all communication with Saul, then why would He now all of a sudden agree to communicate with him though Samuel’s familiar spirit by a witch?

And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.  1 Samuel 28:15

Since familiar spirits are intimately familiar with the spirit of the departed, they know their mannerisms, speech, actions and more, having studied them during all their lifetime for any signs of weakness they might exploit.  These are the same spirits that get called up at séances when people wish for the medium to bring up the spirit of their departed loved one, family, friend or acquaintance.  The purposes for this practice can range from genuinely missing their loved one and wanting to talk with them once more, to finding out how they are doing wherever they now are, to inquiring something of them like who murdered them, or even to finding out where they may have hidden their belongings or treasures while they were alive.

Saul was hoping that he would be able to inquire of Samuel by any means and in this case was willing to even inquire by a familiar spirit, knowing full well that it was forbidden.  He was utterly lost and he knew it and if so then what else did he have to lose.  In his desperate state, Saul wanted to hear something, anything, even if it was from a demon spirit, because he was not hearing anything from God anymore.  Anything was better to him than this total, deafening silence and spiritual darkness.  This is the same reason desperate parents who are not will to turn to God and trust Him for help, turn to psychic mediums to help them locate their missing child.  These are desperate acts by desperate people who are unwilling to trust God and refusing to seek Him, turn to witchcraft.

When the witch saw the vision she screeched and by the familiar spirit possessing her saw the familiar spirit and image of Samuel and immediately recognized Saul by the same spirit and confronted him.

And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  1 Samuel 28:12

Notice that Samuel never appeared to Saul.  Saul never saw Samuel.  Saul only saw the witch and only heard what she said that she saw.  He even asks her what it was that she saw.  Only the witch, who was tapped into the spirit realm unlawfully, could see Samuel’s familiar spirit together with several other demons as well whom she described as “gods ascending out of the earth”, which were not gods but manifesting demons, one of them being the familiar spirit of Samuel.

And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  1 Samuel 28:13

Only when the witch described the familiar spirit impersonating Samuel to Saul, did he “perceive” it to be Samuel.

And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.  1 Samuel 28:14

Then a conversation ensued, supposedly between Saul and Samuel.  However, mediums do the same thing.  They speak for the familiar spirit.   Sometimes even with the deceased’s familiar voice, when the medium allows the familiar spirit to possess them to accomplish this deception.  The familiar spirit would need the medium’s voice to be able to speak at all for it cannot speak out of thin air.  It needs to embody a host to be able to use its voice.

Many people claim that Samuel was “soul sleeping” and was upset that Saul had awakened him.  This is not what the text says at all.  It only says “why have you disquieted me” as in “why have you troubled me” or “bothered” me to bring me up, supposedly from the dead.  Problem here is that Samuel was not dead but alive in paradise and would not be allowed to be “disturbed” to appear to a witch by any means.

And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.  1 Samuel 28:15

Before the cross, departed spirits went under or into the earth.  They were held captive by Satan as the price for Adam’s sin.  This is why the rich man could lift up his eyes and see Abraham with Lazarus in his bosom and a vast gulf or chasm between them separating the compartment of the righeous, from the compartment of the unrighteous.  The one side of the chasm was hell (hades) or the bad side and the other side was paradise or the good side.

And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Luke 16:26


Spirits do not sleep.  Dead bodies sleep.  The soul and spirit are inseparable and thus souls do not sleep either.  “Soul sleep” as some people call it, does not exist.  Spirits of sinners then and now still go to the bad side and remain there until the great white throne judgement to then be resurrected and joined with their bodies, that do sleep until then, and after judgement, to be cast into the lake of fire forever.  The spirits of the righteous before the cross went to paradise beneath the earth.  When Jesus ascended, He led captivity captive, those who were held captive in paradise below the earth, and led them to heaven.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  Ephesians 4:8 fulfilling Psalm 68:18

Their spirits will be joined to their bodies and be glorified together with all the saints who will meet Jesus when He comes in the air before His secord coming.  This is not the second coming in which He will come to earth but this is the gathering of his church in the air before the tribulation.  Many call this the rapture even though no such word exists in the bible.  It is the gathering of the church so that when it is taken away, the lawless one or the antichrist will have free rein for a season of at least 7 years, the duration of the tribulation.

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  2 Thessalonians 2:6-7

The church is the “he” and who is the hinderer of lawlessness referred to here and who is preventing antichrist to have free rein.  Therefor the current church need not be concerned about having to refuse the mark of the beast since we will not be here.  It is the new church after the rapture who become believers out of those people who remained, that will have to refuse the mark of the beast and be beheaded for their testimony.

For believers, as soon as the spirit leaves the body together with the soul, it sees Jesus because to be absent from the body it to be present with the Lord.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:6-8

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.  Philippians 1:21-24

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,  Hebrews 12:23

Back to Saul;  the demon asks why Saul is inquiring of him, feigning to be Samuel, since Yehovah had departed from him and become his enemy, hereby confirming that it cannot be God through Samuel who is now communicating with Saul.

Even though demons are known to be lying spirits, they can speak as much truth as is necessary in order to deceive and accomplish their wicked ends.  Just look at all the mainline religions.  Many of them have truth in the scriptures but wrest and twist them and teach error and into doctrines of men to their own demise.  As a matter of fact, the demon spoke truth, and just about gave himself away, when he told Saul that tomorrow, Saul and his sons would be with him.  With him where?  In hell of course.  If this really was Samuel, he never would have told Saul that Saul would be with him in paradise.  Saul was doomed and the demon knew it.  So it was just stating facts which had already been determined in the spiriual realm.  Nothing mystical about that.

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.  1 Samuel 28:19

Actually, the demon was still lying because, Jonathan was David’s best friend and a righteous man.  Not one scripture shows him as an adversary to God.  David loved Jonathan and called him his brother.  As such Jonathan would not be with the demon and go where Saul went in his death.  It was Saul who would be with the demon in hell because he sinned against God and committed suicide by falling on his own sword.

Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.  1 Samuel 31:4

As such we can conclude that Samuel was not raised from the dead, neither he nor his spirit.


Franciscus M. Dartee

Grow in Faith | Walk in Power


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