Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 28:15
"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 answered me no more, neither by prophet, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do."
I do not believe for a minute that it is Samuel speaking to Saul in this chapter. After pondering on this, this is some of what I see.
The Philistines come up to battle against Israel and when Saul saw them "he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled". Fear is a tool of the adversary, so I can tell the condition of Saul's heart. Samuel was now dead so Saul couldn't turn to him. He inquired of the Lord and He answered him not, neither by dreams, Urim or prophets. This is my first clue that if the Lord was going to speak to Saul he would have done it through the tools given for such communication.
So what does Saul do now? He looks for a woman with a familiar spirit. That is what led him to the witch of Endor, seeking a revelation from Samuel. Which is wrong on so many levels. This witch then calls up Samuel. She saw gods ascending out of the earth. I pondered on the times Heavenly Father, the Lord, and angels have appeared to men. They come from above, the heavens, I cannot recall any time they came from below. The only thing that crawls from the pit below is Lucifer or his followers. This is what the witch of Endor saw.
This witch of Endor was a follower of Satan. She had no power to bring Samuel from the grave for all that is there is a rotting corpse. Samuel was a righteous prophet of God and his spirit is residing in paradise awaiting the resurrection. She was not calling him down from heaven. She has no power or authority to do so. What she called from the pit was some being cast out into hell.
Then as I go over the words this false Samuel speaks I think about Satan's ability to quote scriptures. To give 99% truth and the 1% percent lie that leads us down to hell. Of course he knows what Saul has been told in the past by the Lord and Samuel. All that Satan is doing is leading Saul to absolute defeat and despair. Saul is so afraid at this point his strength is gone, and he is sore afraid. I thought again on great spiritual experiences, like Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove and how afterwards he is left with no strength, but soon recovers. There was no despair but enlightenment. Saul had none of that.
So why did Satan appear to Saul as Samuel? I think it was a great desire to have Saul despair to the point he would take his own life. There was not one word of repentance and needing to turn his heart back to God. He wanted Saul to have no hope and just give up. If Samuel had been sent from God to speak to Saul there would have been chastisement, but also a call for repentance. Isn't that exactly what happened to Saul in the New Testament, that became a new man named Paul? Seeking revelation through darkness will only brings darkness. If it was from God there would be hope.