No, that apparition was not the prophet Samuel for the following reasons:
1-God had clearly commanded His people never to consult witches or mediums (Leviticus 19:31 20:27).
2-When psychics claim to be contacting spirits of the dead, they are really in touch with Satan’s fallen angels (Isaiah 8:19, 20).
3-God commanded that witches, wizards and those with familiar spirits to be executed (Leviticus 20:27).
4-The Bible says, after death a person: returns to dust (Psalms 104:29), knows nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), possesses no mental powers (Psalms 146:4), has nothing to do with anything on earth (Ecclesiastes 9:6), does not live (2 Kings 20:1), waits in the grave (Job 17:13), and continues not (Job 14:1, 2) until the Resurrection Day.
The Bible refers to death as sleep. Death is a state of total unconsciousness. The dead praise not the Lord (Psalms 115:17), have no memory (Psalms 6:5), don’t return to their house (Job 7:10), don’t celebrate God (Isaiah 38:18), and their thoughts perish (Psalms 146:4). The teaching that the spirits of the dead are heavenly angels, or some righteous ghost like entity that can be contacted, is without scriptural foundation.
5-Only God has the power to resurrect the dead (Revelation 1:18).
6-The apparition that appeared as Samuel told king Saul that “to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me” (1 Samuel 28:19). The Bible teaches that Samuel died saved. King Saul on the other hand, committed suicide and died unsaved. So, how can the two share the same fate? Not possible.
So, it is clear that King Saul was not talking to the prophet Samuel but rather he was talking to a demon impersonating the image of Samuel. The Bible in (2 Corinthians 11:14) says Satan himself can be transformed into an angel of light. And so the devil has the power to create illusions to deceive the world “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before” (Matthew 24:24, 25).
Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.
In His service,
A closing message from BibleAsk:
Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps 🙂