Q. First I would like to say I love your website and the truths of God’s word that are revealed through your teaching. I read your site weekly. Now for my questions. Was it really the prophet Samuel that supposedly came back to life in 1 Samuel 28? If not, who was it then? And did Saul go to heaven when he was killed? This subject is a tough one our Sunday School class is currently tackling and we would appreciate your scriptural insight and teaching from Gods word. Thank you.
A. I think the language of 1 Samuel 28 makes it clear that the witch of Endor really did summon Samuel up from Sheol, the abode of the dead.
Not that Samuel was resurrected mind you, but that he appeared as an apparition to the witch. Remember Saul couldn’t see him. He had to ask the witch to describe Samuel.
From that point on Saul and Samuel had a conversation through the witch, who was acting as a medium. I believe the Lord permitted this to happen to advise Saul of his fate, the result of his ongoing disobedience to the Lord.
His final act of disobedience, consulting a medium in violation of Deut. 18:10-11, resulted in the announcement of his death.
Before the cross, no one who died went to heaven. Instead they went to Sheol to await the Lord’s sacrifice, which would open Heaven to all who had died in faith.
But I don’t believe Saul was saved, if that’s what you mean. 1 Samuel 16:14 says that the Holy spirit had departed from Saul and that the Lord had sent an evil spirit to torment him.