4. What Are Ghosts?

 

By Jim Wilhelmsen

 

Ghosts like UFO’s are a topic that stirs the imagination and sparks intrigue into the minds of most people. With so many sightings worldwide there must be something real to all of this. Much of our intrigue comes from the fact that most of us want to know what happens after death. Ghosts in this sense are representing a hope of an after life. This hope creates a drive to search for answers. I find that most people attracted to the supernatural are people who are sensitive to and more aware of life that goes beyond the five senses. They are “seekers” looking for more in life than what they have. Most also desire to be better people as a result of their quest.

Real experiences

Many people have experienced seeing the appearance of departed loved ones or those of well-known people from the past. It is assumed that ghosts are the spiritual remains of the deceased existing on another plane of existence in an energy form. Very convincing cases have been produced to suggest that some ghosts seem to linger on with unresolved and unfinished business to accomplish. Other cases would indicate that in a traumatic death the person seems “stuck” in a place or area where the event took place. Sightings have become so popular that it is harder to find someone who has not had a supernatural encounter.

Seek to find

To the curious minded seeker who wants to find out what is really going on, making contact would seem like the only logical action to pursue. This can be very dangerous in a spiritual way and at times even a physical one. Without having all of the information many seekers have plunged into many different forms of contact.

Within the “New Age” movement, a Medium, Psychic or Channeler is sought after to contact spirit guides, angels, ghosts of the departed and even aliens. One popular “New Age” group offers a book and course (“A course in Miracles”) to assist in making contact. These practices have become increasingly popular.

Discernment is needed

In all of these practices what guidelines are used? What standard is applied to help an individual to discern “crafty manipulation” from a real spiritual experience? And even the real experiences, How do you know where the supernatural sources you contact are coming from? What is the standard used for discernment and guidance? Is “A course in Miracles” able to guide you? There is a refusal within most “New Age” thought to even believe in any negative or evil entities. It is believed that Satan does not even exist, that he is the personification of man’s own ignorance. Ignorance, not Satan becomes the enemy,, therefore the more we become educated in spiritual truths the less evil should exist? Our own History and that of other cultures certainly do not testify to that!

It is difficult to approach this subject as a Christian without being attacked as being “Non inclusive”, “narrow minded” or “judgmental”. I will let the scriptures speak for themselves, It is because of my heartfelt respect for those seeking, that I make this attempt to provide you with all the information. In this you can either accept or reject and take whatever future actions you want. At least you have been informed to what the Bible has to say. With an open mind you might want to consider some very important points that you were probably not aware of.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT LIFE AFTER DEATH:

Ghost are not departed loved ones!
The Bible has much to say about this topic that most people today are not aware of.. This lack of understanding in many cases is because they have never been taught from the Bible about ghosts at their place of worship. Another reason is simply today many people do not believe the relevancy of the Bible at all. It will become clear with just a few scriptures what happens to us when we die.

Job 7:9-10 “As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, so he who goes down to the grave does not come up. He shall never return to his house, nor shall his place (body) know him anymore.”

This makes it very clear that the departed do not “roam” the earth or return. They stay dead and separated from this level of existence. There are more scriptures that concur with this thought.

Heb 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”:

There is a judgment placed upon the dead that determines what happens to them next. This determination has nothing to do with good works, or spiritual knowledge it has to do with your reliance upon God to direct your life. (Eph 2:8)

So where do we go Old Testament style: 

Before Christ finished his first mission to earth on the cross; departed souls went into a hollow earth. There exists two chambers within, separated by a gulf. The Apostle Luke recorded Jesus as describing this very idea to the people as he spoke about the realties of the afterlife.

Luke 16:22-31 “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ “And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ “But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.”

The rich man went to a real literal Hell, while Lazarus went to Abraham’s bosom. What sounds weird makes sense when you understand some cultural customs and expressions. A bosom in ancient times was called the space (like a pocket) formed above the belted waist by a robe-like tunic. It was often used to carry things while in the marketplace. A common practice a couple of thousand of years ago. We no longer wear such apparel and some cultural meaning has been lost. “Abraham’s bosom” then, was this “pocket” in the earth. Because the beggar was named, this was to be taken as a literal event and not just a “story”. The dialog here says it all. Even if one were to return they would not be believed. The implication is that God is not going to use this method to get people to believe in any form of afterlife. To believe “Moses and the prophets” was to believe the written word; the Old Testament. If you won’t believe the Bible you just won’t believe. For the dead to return was not allowed in the Old testament times and even more so in the New. (cf/ w Isa 28:29)

WARNING: The Bible has determined that speaking to invisible spirits may be hazardous to you health!

The Bible does not say that it is impossible for the dead to speak to the living. In 1Samual 28:7- 12 the story is told of King Saul’s attempt to speak to the departed Samuel through a woman with a “familiar spirit”. She makes the connection and brings the two together. She is also shocked because Saul had hidden his appearance from her but supernaturally knows that he is the King! (You could get the death penalty doing this back then) Samuel reveals the future to Saul but so is a sentence for disobedience to God.

“So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse. Chr 10:13-14

Just because this practice was real and produced real results does not mean that this is an approved method by God. Quite the contrary, this is a practice prohibited by God clearly in no uncertain terms.

Deut 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (KJV)

Some things changed in New Testament times:

In the New Testament it is recorded that after the death of Christ he went into this area of Abraham’s Bosom to set the captives free. Eph 4:8-10. There was a removal of those in Paradise. Now those who die in faith go directly to be with the Lord in another dimension called Heaven.

.2 Cor 5:8 “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

 Contact with the deceased is not even suggested in the New Testament. What changed in the New Testament was the upper part of the inner earth or Paradise, its empty now. This was only a holding tank for those who died in faith. When Christ would become the bridge across dimensions, by his finished work at the cross, those that died with faith in God could now be released to into Heaven. The only thing mentioned speaking through people in the New Testament times were demons. Here is one of several examples:

Acts 16:16-18 Once when we were going to the place of prayer we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. (NIV)

I wish those that think this is foolish or that I am being unfair to Casper, could sit just a few minutes in on a “deliverance”. Suddenly all the intellectual theories are gone, as you might see the vile hatred and contortions they are provoked into by simply using the name Jesus. God sees this contact as insulting. He would rather people contact him directly as this verse clearly indicates

Isa 8:19 “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”

SO WHAT ARE GHOSTS AND INVISIBLE SPIRITS

In view of such conflicting statements from the Bible with the experiences many are having today, The question remains, What are ghosts and every other kind of invisible spirit? Ghosts are disembodied spirits, but not of normal humans.. They are an unusual result of a special judgment by God imposed upon a very unusual group of creatures. I say creatures because they are not human or angelic they were a combination of both! In Genesis 6th chapter we are given the background of the world just before the Great Flood which was a judgment from God.

Gen 6:1-4 “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose… There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown”.

Much controversy hinges on the interpretation of the “Sons of God” and the “Giants”. For the sake of space, the quick version is this: The “sons of god’ are fallen angels that took human form, married and interbreed with the female population of Earth. Their offspring were called the mighty men of renown. These were half human and angelic beings mortal yet eternal beings. As Judgment was passed upon the earth, these hybrids and their fallen angel parents were sentenced to everlasting chains of darkness as described in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude1:6.

“ And angels who did not keep their own domain,(angelic order) but abandoned their proper abode,(a body) He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,” Jude1:6. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” 2 Pet 2:4

In this text, most of us get the visualization of Angels shackled to a dungeon like pit. In the Greek we get quite a different picture. This special sentence is actually described as a wrap around shroud of darkness of obscurity, or as Strong’s put it – a ghost. The chains have more of a meaning of a cycle of going up and trailed down. This cycle is understood by the event at Gadareneas. As Jesus commanded Legion a group of unclean spirits out of a man, they begged him not to send them back to the pit. They were cast into a heard of pigs and drowned. These were disembodied spirits that possessed a man and then placed into animals. They roamed upon the earth but belonged in hell. These are the angels that sinned before the flood and their offspring. This is the cycle of going up and down.

Through various practices of communication (Ouija board) and conjuring up spirits, (Psychic’s Mediums, Seances) they are called up from the pit to roam once again until being cast back down.

A Plan to give false Hope of life after death.

These ghosts of the Giants have been around for thousands of years. They have roamed the earth as invisible agents for their leader Satan. They can have knowledge of crimes because they inspired many of them. They can know your most personal experiences as they might have been there or someone else’s from hundreds of years ago. They are conspiring against mankind to give a false hope and idea of life after death. They are getting mankind ready to receive them once again in the living flesh as prophesied in the scriptures along with their leader. These “New Age” forms of contact with spirits are the most dangerous events to happen to mankind since the time before the flood. If you will not believe the truths in the Bible about a personal God who loves you, I guarantee you will believe THE BIG LIE!

Paranormal experiences would increase at the end times

1 Tim 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

 II Th 2:9-11 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness (a wrong way) in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”

I believe we are in these “last days” with a New Age that is to be brought in by the return of Christ. We are told here that just prior to this, many people shall depart from the God of the Bible by seducing spirits. Now these are real entities that do not have mankind’s best interest at hand. You cannot hedge around this scripture. There is no other way to interpret this text, there are evil entities that exist and you must have some standard to discern the difference. Without discernment, you could be seduced to a wrong belief system.

Even in the wording from the original Greek, the implications are that these are morally decent people who want to be more. In their search they are seduced and deceived from reality. They do this because they do not believe in the God of the Bible as truth. Rather they accept some self made image or alternate source. This seduction is accomplished by appealing to emotions and needs that in themselves are not wrong. What is wrong is the offer of a counterfeit means of fulfilling these needs in ways contrary to and warned by God not to pursue. 

A plan to make Evil Good, and Good Evil

A good example of this is the new popular show on the Sci-Fi channel where the announcer explains about this John Edward’s special “gift” of speaking to the dead and re-uniting them with their living loved ones.

Every one would love to have a “second chance” to resolve or have closure on lost relationships or to have the assurance that their loved ones have passed on to a better place. In this very emotional experience, people are amazed by the personal information made known to the “medium or channeler”. With tears of joy they are comforted by the closure and assurance that, indeed they’re loved ones have passed on to a better place.

Now if I or anyone else were to try to explain that there might be some serious dangers with this type of processes, the usual response is, “How dare anyone try to take that experience away from them by saying it is wrong.”

This is where the seduction comes into play. This is also where good is made to look bad and bad looks good. The end warm and fuzzy happy results would appear to speak for themselves. Why would anyone oppose something that created such positive results and take those persons hope and joy away from them How cruel? If you believed the warnings in the Bible, you would feel compelled to warn of the dangers. The motivation is one out of care, not some competitive jealousy! But this is where the Bible believer is caught in a catch 22 situation. A pretty slick trick by the enemy. So how do we warn you? How can we present facts you should consider? A seduction happens by creating illusions based upon what a person wants to hear. Illusions will not last or fulfill, they will eventually lead to disappointment and destruction either in this life or eternity. It’s not real.

War for the Souls of Mankind

There is a war going on between heavenly creatures. Some of them are evil. They do not have mankind’s best intentions. They can come sounding like angels of God but they are here to deceive and destroy.

2 Cor 11:14-15 “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works”.

This is the seduction! Acting and Doing good things in deceitful wrong ways. So how do we discern?

I Jn 4:1-3 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”

We are to use some common sense and realize that not every entity is good. There really are evil ones as well. The Bible is very clear about that fact. The discernment centers around the person of Christ. He is our only mediator and advocate. ( I Tim 2:5, 1John2:1) A spirit will either speak in harmony to God’s Word and claim HIM as Lord or it will tell you something of a different Jesus not one who is God in the flesh.

They will also become irritated by your questions about Jesus being Lord. That is what “testing the spirits” means. If you do not believe me put it to the test. The next time you astral project, or invite a walk- in or have any contact with any kind of Angel or spirit ask if Jesus is Lord or declare that as a statement. You may be surprised at the response you get.

Gal 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

God desires to guide you personally not through the dead or lying spirits, ascended masters or even angels.(It is God that sends his angels to assist and most of the time we are unaware. Heb 13:12. No where in the Bible did anyone “seek out to contact their angel”) He wants to hear from you alone!

Ps 9:10 “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Matt 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”.

The Real Promise

Matt 21:22 “ And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”.

In context God is saying he will meet your earthly needs through prayer. We are also promised that if we need wisdom concerning any decision in our life, or knowledge about God’s ways concerning matters in our life he wants us to ask!

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

In having a personal relationship with our creator…Jesus, we are guaranteed that he will direct your life. Wisdom knowledge and the assurance of our eternal salvation will be known!

Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

“Called according to his purpose” means to agree with God. To agree with him is to do things his way not “alternative ways.”

John 14:13-20 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you, I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”.

You have to take the first step toward God by his ways. You need to acknowledge your wrong ways as sin. Rom 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

You must receive him into your heart by inviting him in. He is the only walk-in you need. John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”

Born of God is to be “Born Again” by his Spirit. The only Spirit you need in your life. In this manner you “receive him” and become one of his children. Then you will begin to hear a voice or sense a direction in your life like you never have experienced before.

It is all a prayer away: Accept this invitation: Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Just Pray: Jesus forgive me of my wrong ways and come into my heart and help me live for you. I thank you for saving me. Amen.

In conclusion:

Ghosts are real but just because something is real does not make them real good!