#046 Ghosts

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Introduction: For the majority of listeners when I say the word “ghosts”, you automatically think of a cloud of white smoke in the shape of a person being the actual spirit or soul of the person that died.  Now even though you may not truly believe that that is what it is, for most of us it is our first thought.  Just like if I were to say the word “dinosaurs”, what automatically pops into your head?  For most of us it’s: “Millions of years ago the dinosaurs roamed the earth”, even though I don’t believe that, it is still engrained into my head from years of public school, books, and movies.  That’s the same reason why most of us think of ghosts as people that have died, because for so many years we have been taught that in our society, in books, and in movies.

{1st Peter 3:15} says; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer…” Now if you were asked a question about what ghosts are, could you give an answer? I’m not talking about what you personally feel they are or what a ghost hunter believes, or what a supposed expert says they are, but can you give a Biblical answer to explain what they are?

A poll was taken recently that stated only 28% of Christian teens say they have been taught anything at church to help shape their views of the supernatural world.  And out of these 28% I doubt too many of them in these churches were taught actual scripture on the subject.  I then went to Google and searched “Ghosts” just to see what would pop up as a result.  One of the first things I found was an excerpt from the CBSNEWS dated October 2005.  This report was written right before Halloween on that year of 2005, and it says; “This Halloween may be filled with trick-or-treaters in scary costumes, but for more than one in five Americans, some costumes might be real; they told CBS news pollsters, they have seen real-life ghosts in some form.  And whether or not they’ve seen one, even more Americans believe that ghosts actually do exist.  Nearly half of Americans say they believe in ghosts, or that the dead can return in certain places and situations. The poll says that more than one in five Americans say they have seen a ghost themselves, or have felt themselves to be in the presence of one.”

There is no doubt that with the amount of sightings, some of them at least have to be true.  So lets take a look and see what God says:

1) First lets see what these “ghosts” cannot be:

Man is a trinity, we have 3 parts to us, a spirit, soul, and body {1st Thessalonians 5:23} “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”. Now since the general teaching of a ghost is that they are a spirit or a soul of someone that has died, lets look and see what happens to a persons spirit and soul when they die according to the Word of God.

The Spirit: {Eccl. 3:21} says; “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”  So the spirit of man goes up when we die, but where does it go? {Eccl. 12:7} says: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”  So when someone dies their spirit goes right back to God the Father, whether they are lost or saved.  Now your spirit is not the real you, the spirit that you have was given to you by God so that we could know the things of man: {1st Corinthians 2:11} “For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which is in him?”  So your spirit is not the real you.  When you die your spirit goes back to God, your body will go to the ground, and that only leaves your soul.  Where do “you” go when you die, where does your soul go?

-{Job 14:10} “But man dieth, and wasteth away (body): yeah, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?” So yes the word “ghost” is in the Bible, but God does not define it as the world defines it.  What does the word “ghost” mean in the Bible? Well lets examine these verses from the Bible and they will give us our answer: {John 1:32} “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.” Now look in the parallel passage {Luke 3:22} “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him…” Also in {Luke 23:46} “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”  So according to the Bible the word “ghost” is just another name for your spirit.  But as we have seen your spirit goes right back to God the Father when you die.

The Soul: So now all we have left is your soul, where does your soul go? {Job 14:10} “But man dieth, and wasteth away (body): yeah, man giveth up the ghost (spirit), and where is he? (soul)  So where are you when you die, where is your soul when your body drops dead, and your spirit goes back to God the Father?  Well, if you are saved, which means you have understood at one time that you’re a sinner and deserve eternal punishment in hell for your sins, and have called upon God in prayer repenting of your sins and asked Him to forgive you of your sins and to save your soul from hell, then your soul will go directly right up to Heaven when you die {2nd Corinthians 5:1, 6-8} “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved (our body), we (our souls) have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. {Philippians 1:23-24} “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

But if you are lost, if you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross and that alone to save your soul from hell, then you will die and your spirit will go back to God the Father and your soul the real you will lift up its eyes immediately in hell.  The real you, your soul will burn for all of eternity in a lake of fire to pay for your sins because you never called upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. {Luke 16:22-31} (vs 22-23) “…the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments And once you are there, there is no way you can leave even for a minute to be able to go and talk to your loved ones (vs’s 26-31).

2) So then if these “ghosts” are not the spirit or souls of a dead person, then what are they?

Turn with me to {1st Timothy 4:1} “Now the Spirit ;speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”   God tells us that as we near towards the end of the church age, more and more people will be seduced by these spirits, and doctrines or teachings of devils.  They will be seduced away from the Lord Jesus Christ, away from the Bible, and more towards the teachings of devils.  What does the devil, satan himself want more than anything?  To turn mankind away from God.  He knows his final abode will be an eternal punishment in a lake of fire, so he wants to take as many people with him as he can.  You may say, but what about all those sightings even of people’s nice grandmothers and relatives, you’re really telling me they are evil spirits?? That’s exactly what the Bible teaches {2nd Corinthians 11:14}”And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”  Just because these “ghosts” may look harmless, and may appear to be your lost loved ones, does not mean that they are good.  The purpose of these spirits posing as lost loved ones is to discredit the Bible and the gospel that can save their souls from hell: {2nd Corinthians 4:3-4}”But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” These spirits or devils will pretend to be a loved one and in turn cause many to search more into spiritism such as psychics and tarot cards and witchcraft rather than the Bible.

3) These “ghosts” are devils

These devils can possess you, which is what we all know is called devil possession, but have you ever wondered what they do when they are not possessing someone?  I look at a verse like {Matthew 8:16} that says; “When the even was come, they brought unto him (Jesus Christ) many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:”  Now when devils do not have a body to possess, where do they go?  Look in {Matthew 12:43-45} which says that a devil walks around seeking rest, the only thing a devil wants to do is deceive you and cause you to get involved with spiritism trying to open an opportunity to possess you.  So whether you see grandma or some other paranormal activity know that it is not a lost loved one, but a devil.  Devils have been around for 6,000 years and know exactly what to do to deceive people.  They can be around a family for generations and know many secrets about that family, that’s why in many places they are called “familiar spirits” because they can know everything about your family and even secret things that no one else could know of.  They will then use that secret when a loved one passes away, and appear as the deceased and tell the widowed one, of that secret to deceive them into thinking it is the lost loved one.  The Bible says that satan is the father of lies {John 8:44}”…When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  Don’t trust him or his devils, trust in the only Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect book the King James Bible.

3 Responses to “#046 Ghosts”

  1. As I was browsing one day on a Christian site I noticed this web site referenced by Eric so I had to check it out. I’m so glad the article about ghosts was featured. Thank you so much for providing all the correct Biblical references! I’ve always believed that ghosts were demons and told people this for years, but I had a hard time locating ALL of the Biblical references to back it up. Love the site, thanks again!

  2. Jonathan Says:

    Its interesting, if a believer goes right to heaven when they die, what’s the point of the resurrection? 1Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. And why wouldn’t David be in heaven? 44 Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,… What did Job mean by 18 Job 14:13 O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! Or the words in John 43 John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. Death is not a gateway into heaven for a believer but the resurrecting power of God. To say with confidence a believer dies and goes to heaven is dangerous. There were a couple guys preaching early resurrection and this is what the Word says 2Tim 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. It is all Christ. Faith in Him saves us and his resurrecting power will raise us. Death is no gateway. Death will be thrown into the lake of fire. Christ is the gateway, in His time on His day, through the resurrection.

  3. Dear Jonathan,

    Thanks for taking the time to write. I think that you are misconstruing something. None of us believe that “the resurrection is past already”. We are saying what the Bible says in II Cor. 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” When a Christian dies now, he is just that, “absent from the body, and… present with the Lord.” His soul departs (as it always has at death, see Gen. 35:18, for example), and is present with the Lord. The Lord is in heaven. at the right hand of God, and we go to be with Him.

    This is possible now since Jesus has shed his blood, led captivity captive, and ascended up on high (see Eph. 4:8). Thus the believer is no longer relegated to paradise (a.k.a Abraham’s bosom – Luke 16:22), but through the blood of Jesus our souls are allowed into heaven itself. We look forward to the day when our bodies are made new and united with our souls at the resurrection of the just at the rapture of the saints. See I Thess. 4:13-18, I Cor. 15:51-56, Phil. 3:20-21). I hope this helps you understand our Scriptural position on these issues.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    Pastor Strobel

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