1 Samuel 28 Was it really Samuel?

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Podcast Show Notes on 1 Samuel 28 Was it really Samuel? In this episode, we will be studying very important biblical principles of life found in 1 Samuel 28!

In just one chapter in the Bible, there are SO many biblical principles. Some of them are

  • What happens when you die according to the bible? / What happens when a Christian dies?
  • Does the devil have the power to resurrect a prophet?
  • Can we lose our salvation? Biblical proof you can lose your salvation
  • What happens when you grieve the Holy Spirit?
  • Counterfeit vs God sent

1 Samuel 28 explained – Was it really Samuel?

That was not truly Samuel in those verses, but a demon, a lying spirit. Why? Bc a medium/witch conjured this spirit and Saul “perceived that it was Samuel” based on the description she gave of the spirit she saw. Perceived doesn’t mean it was Samuel. It was an apparition that claimed to be Samuel. And again, a medium bringing up the dead is not from God. In fact, Saul put out the spiritist/mediums from the land accordance to God’s laws (2 Sam. 28:3, Exodus 22:18, Lev. 19:31, Lev. 20:6, Deut. 18:10), which is why he had to disguise himself to go see this medium (1 Sam. 28:8).

1 Samuel 28 commentary

"We have here the conference between Saul and Satan. Saul came in disguise (v. 8), but Satan soon discovered him, v. 12. Satan comes in disguise, in the disguise of Samuel's mantle, and Saul cannot discover him. Such is the disadvantage we labour under, in wrestling with the rulers of the darkness of this world, that they know us, while we are ignorant of their wiles and devices."

Matthew Henry Commentary

Who called the spirit of Samuel? Saul consulted a medium

A medium called the spirit of “Samuel” or as I called it on the show “counterfeit Samuel” after Saul consulted a medium in an attempt to hear from God because God wouldn’t speak to Saul as it says in 1 Samuel 28:6, NKJV:

"And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets."

The medium is also known as the witch of En Dor in other bible translations.

What does the Bible say about spirits? | What does the Bible say about talking to Spirits?

“For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭16:14,‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Power of satan | Can the devil read your mind?

God limits satan’s power and we know that because of Job 1:6-12, NKJV where it says

6 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and [e]Satan also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to [f]Satan, “From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you [g]considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and [h]shuns evil?”

9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not [i]made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse[j] You to Your face!”

12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your [k]power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord."

And no, the devil cannot read your mind, but God can!

"O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off."


Psalm 139:1-2, NKJV

He also does not have the power to resurrect a prophet!

What happens when you die according to the bible? What happens when a Christian dies?

This is another bible study but to keep it short – let’s consider some of these bible verses about what happens when you die:

5 "For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,"
...
10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going."

Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10, NKJV
28 "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 
29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation."


John 5:28-29, NKJV
29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
34 For David did not ascend into the heavens..."


Acts 2:29, 34, NKJV
"If I wait for the grave as my house,
If I make my bed in the darkness,"


Job 17:13, NKJV

Why did Jesus say Lazarus was asleep?

In John 11:11 Jesus says the following:

"These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”

Jesus knew Lazarus had died but He called it sleeping because that is how it will seem – we will be in an unconscious state (without knowing anything) until Christ comes and wakes us up to be resurrected.

Who went to heaven without dying in the Bible?

The Bible is clear on who went to heaven and everyone else, including Samuel went to their graves.

  • Enoch (Genesis 5:24)
  • Elijah (2 Kings 2:15).
  • Moses (Jude 1:9)

Where did Samuel go when he died?

"Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented for him and buried him in Ramah, in his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the spiritists out of the land."

1 Samuel 28:3, NKJV

When Samuel died, he went to his grave.

What happens when a Christian dies?

Now, if you don’t believe that the dead are in a “sleep” waiting for Christ’s coming to be resurrected as it says in John 5:28-29, John 11:11-14, Acts 2:29-34, Psalm 115:17, Job 14:12-21, Psalm 146:4, then, you may believe that everyone who dies automatically goes to heaven?
But 2 issues there:

  1. Ignoring those verses!
  2. If you died and went to heaven, why would anyone want to stay living here where there is pain, suffering, etc? It would be better to die than to live! It just doesn’t make sense!

So, was it really Samuel?

No! It was a demon – a counterfeit Samuel!

What happened to King Saul in the bible? What happens when you grieve the Holy Spirit?

The life of King Saul started out great: he was who God chose to be king from the tribe of Benjamin which happened to be the same tribe as Esther and Mordecai.

He was given a new heart (1 Samuel 10:9, NKJV); yet, he departed from the Lord and an evil spirit tormented him. His heart was consumed with envy towards David and he derailed from there. He grieved away God and eventually committed suicide.

Let’s look at where he was disobedient to God:

  • making his own offering instead of waiting for Samuel (1 Sam. 13:9-10);
  • not destroying everything God told them to destroy during war (1 Sam. 15:9);
  • envious of David and persecuting David,
  • killing the priests (1 Sam. 22);
  • seeking a medium/demon bc God wouldn’t speak to him (1 Samuel 28).

Imagine if he had sought God and repented. His life would have ended much differently!

Tormenting spirit in the Bible | Tormenting spirit of fear

Remember there was an evil spirit tormenting Saul as it says in 1 Sam. 16:14 after he grieved away God’s Spirit. He lived in great fear bc he didn’t have the fear of the Lord in him and God wouldn’t answer him when he called on the Lord (1 Sam. 28:5-6).

Can we lose our salvation? Biblical proof you can lose your salvation

I believe that King Saul’s story is biblical proof that you can lose your salvation. This is just 1 example of many found in the bible.

“So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”

‭‭I Chronicles‬ ‭10:13-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I’m in agreement that salvation is a free gift which can’t be earned. And if we continue to abide in Him, He will never let us go.

But as a God of love, He gives us the choice.

If you can, read Revelation 3 which is a message to the church in Sardis to repent bc they were found to be spiritually dead.

And how about the parable about the wedding feast found in Matthew 22 who were invited to the wedding but were found to be not worthy (we are all invited into His Kingdom, but will He find us worthy when He comes?).

Read the verse in 1 Cor. 15:1-2 which says “IF you hold fast that word which is preached” — again, dependent on you to have faith.

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭4:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

2 Timothy‬ ‭4:3-4‬ ‭NKJV.

Counterfeit vs God sent

Be careful because satan has many counterfeits (rainbow, marriage, family, worship, the sabbath day, etc.). Are you following the devil’s counterfeits? I encourage you to reflect on what is counterfeit vs God sent.


If you’re interested in reading/hearing more – go to episodes/show notes.

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