"Since the soul is not immortal and since the body remains in the grave until the resurrection — how do you explain the APPEARING OF SAMUEL TO SAUL — AFTER SAMUEL'S DEATH?" (I Sam. 28).
This scripture has puzzled many — and it was written to do exactly that! We read in Isaiah 28:11 that God would speak, "With stammering lips and another tongue... precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." Many portions of the Bible are purposely written to be OBSCURE! But we — in God's Church — can understand these apparently confusing scriptures. God has revealed to us the keys of knowledge. One scripture does not contradict another. Christ said in John 10:35, "The scripture cannot be broken." Many times one scripture seems to contradict another — seems to say the opposite to another, but in reality it does NOT! Turn then to I Samuel 28:6. Notice carefully, that Saul had inquired of the Lord — as to how the outcome of the battle would go. But in this particular verse God did not answer Saul. He gave him no answer, neither by any dream nor by any prophet. In the context, we see Saul went to the witch at Endor — who had contact with familiar spirits or DEMONS! This was the immediate conversation between Saul and the woman: "Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel" (I Sam. 28:11 ), We see that Saul wanted to speak to Samuel — to find out how the battle the next day would go for him. He was very desperate — and frightened. The woman — having contact with the demon — complied with Saul's request for the "raising of Samuel." We read in Verse 12: "And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice.... And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw a GOD-LIKE BEING coming up out of the earth" (Jewish translation). Notice carefully, what we have — Saul believing that the woman could raise Samuel from the grave. The woman also believing that she could raise Samuel from the earth. But when Saul asked the woman WHAT SHE SAW — she merely recorded that she saw a "god-like being" ascending out of the earth. The account continues in Verse 14. Saul then asked the woman, "What form is be of? And she said, AN OLD MAN cometh up; and he is COVERED WITH A MANTLE. And Saul perceived (or thought) that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself." Again, notice very carefully. When Saul asked the woman what she saw — these are the words she used to describe the vision : "a god-like being" (Jewish translation), "an old man," "he is covered with a mantle." NOT ONE WORD THAT IT WAS SAMUEL!! Of course, Saul wanted to see Samuel — the woman thought she could raise Samuel — Saul reasoned in his mind (perceived) that it was Samuel. But it wasn't really. What did Saul see? It was a demon! Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) — he is the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4) — he can TRANSFORM HIMSELF into an ANGEL OF LIGHT (II Cor. 11:14). Satan — and his demons — have the power to produce visions — seemingly to appear in other human forms, in other animal forms — in various shapes and sizes. 1 Samuel 28, describes a demon bringing forth an apparition in the form of an old man covered over with a huge blanket or mantle. The next question in this chapter is in Verse 15: "And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?" Why does the account read as though Samuel were speaking to Saul if it was a demon? It is merely a matter of what Saul thought it was. We read in Genesis 3:4 that Satan deceived Eve — "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." But we know this was NOT A SERPENT SPEAKING — but Satan the Devil himself! Yet the account says, "the serpent said." In like manner in I Samuel 28 where it records "Samuel" speaking — it was actually SATAN OR A DEMON speaking through the form that he had produced in vision to Saul and the woman. It is quite evident that this was merely a demon appearing to the witch of Endor and Saul. This scripture in no way contradicts the multitude of CLEAR SCRIPTURES proving that the soul is not immortal. This does not contradict the scriptures which prove we remain in the grave until the resurrection.