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Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
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This following e-mail message arrived at GodSaidManSaid:
Hello, Let me start by saying your site has really helped me understand the answers to some of the many questions that I am asked daily by coworkers and friends. Before, my answers to their questions were vague at best. Now I have Biblical answers backed with secular research that confirms the Biblical teachings. Thank you, and moreover, thank God! Now, onto the “meat” of my e-mail: I’ve grown up in a church, and my father is a pastor. But at times, my Christian walk hasn’t been what it should be. That being said, my wife has asked me many times about the subjects of ghosts. All her life, she has had experiences with ghosts—seeing them, hearing them, and “feeling” them. She has countless stories, and I believed her half-heartedly. But, one day I, too, shared in her (none-too-welcome) experience. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say I have no doubt in my mind anymore. I have done a poor job at best explaining this to her (and myself) Biblically. I feel that this is probably linked to the spirit realm and demons. But, can you help me with a Biblical answer to this age-old question: Are there hauntings, dead spirits, and “ghosts?” Thank you, and please know that your site is affecting countless lives and is helping to provide Christians everywhere with powerful and educated ammunition to combat the secular views.
This writer asked: “Are there hauntings, dead spirits, and ‘ghosts’?”
GOD SAID, There are spirits and ghosts, which He declares a multitude of times in our owner’s manual, the Holy Bible.
MAN SAID: There are no such things as spirits, ghosts, souls, devils, angels, or God, as far as that goes.
Now THE RECORD. We don’t pretend to know all there is to know about the spirit realm, but the Word of God gives us many very important insights. In this particular feature, we will not deal with science that supports the spirit-soul reality, but we will answer the questions from the authority of the inerrant Word of God. On this website, there are numerous proofs that fully support this principle.
Understanding spirits must begin with a definition. The first occurrence of the word spirit is God’s creating Spirit in Genesis 1:2(b):
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Jesus said of God in John 4:24:
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
In regard to the nomenclature of man, God said that He created us in His own likeness. Genesis 1:27:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Man therefore has a spirit, even as Job 32:8(a) declares:
But there is a spirit in man:
Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines spirit: “From the Latin word ‘spiritus,’ from ‘spiro,’ to breathe, to blow. 1. Primarily, wind; air in motion; hence, breath.’ All bodies have spirits and pneumatical parts within them.’ (Bacon) 6. An immaterial intelligent substance. ’Spirit is a substance in which thinking, knowing, doubting, and a power of moving do subsist.’ (Locke)” [End of quote]
Now note Genesis 2:7:
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Jesus spoke of the born-again experience in John, chapter 3, and in verse 8, He likens being born of the Spirit to wind:
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Brother Job said in the book bearing his name, chapter 27, verse 3:
All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
There is an enormous interplay of great depth between air, wind, and spirit. This is a subject GodSaidManSaid will begin to search out in the future, God willing.
Years ago while teaching a group of children, I mentioned that they all had a ghost in them. They were shocked, of course. When Jesus Christ died upon Golgotha’s hill, He commended His spirit unto God, cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 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.
The Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is also called the Holy Ghost. Spirits and ghosts are one in the same.
In II Corinthians 2:11, we are instructed not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Satan is a very real spirit and it’s important to have understanding of the spirit realm to understand his devices. There are laws of spirit-flesh interaction and it behooves us to understand the rules of engagement.
All spirits come from God. Evil spirits were once good but rebelled against the Spirit of God. These spirits are comprised of Satan, the other fallen angels, and the unregenerated spirits of men who yield themselves to the spirit of disobedience. By design, we function in a spiritual realm. Our great-grandfather Adam was an inert mound of mud—a clay sculpture so to speak—until God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. That is when Adam became a living soul. Without exception, all physical things are made and moved by the Spirit of God. Through Christ, the spirit in us links up to the Spirit of God in obedience—or Satan’s spirit in disobedience. We make this choice. But remember, we are likened to sheep for a specific reason. We have been designed to follow. We simply follow, but the choice of who we follow and whose image into which we develop, is ours.
Earlier, I mentioned the need to understand the laws of spirit-flesh engagement. Romans 6: 16-20 reads:
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Note the words whom and yield. A believer yields himself to God and becomes possessed of the Spirit of God. A Christian, when speaking of his or her salvation, will use terms such as, “I’ve surrendered my life to Jesus Christ,” or “I’ve asked Jesus Christ into my heart.” Conversely, a non-Christian who yields himself to Satan’s spirit of disobedience becomes possessed by that spirit. As this individual continues to yield to disobedience, the level of bondage increases. In the same way, the believer that continues to yield to the Spirit of God, which is the spirit of life, increases his freedom.
The difference of being possessed of the Spirit of God versus the spirit of the anti-Christ is the difference between life and death, and between light and darkness—180 degrees. The Spirit of God is sought willingly and a believer stays with God by his own volition. The benefits are life and life more abundantly here on this earth and eternal life through the saving blood of Jesus Christ. In the other camp, those who yield to the spirit of disobedience are taken by Satan at his will (II Timothy 2:26), and only leave his death grip by the delivering hand of Jesus Christ. The wages of sin are death and destruction while living on this earth, then eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire.
The teachings above are basic rules of spirit-flesh engagement. God created man as a spiritual entity to interface with His Spirit. But a second voice was heard in the Garden of Eden—the spirit of disobedience. Now we have choices. Romans 6:12-13:
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Spirits possess living things. Remember, your earthen vessel is possessed of a spirit; when you give up the spirit, or ghost, your body will return to the earth from whence it came. Satan possessed the serpent in the Garden of Eden. God spoke through an animal in Numbers 22:28-29:
28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
Jesus spends much time in the Bible casting out evil spirits who have taken up residence inside humans. Concerning the ministry of His followers, Jesus Christ said they would cast out devils. Mark 16:17:
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Conversations can be held with evil spirits. An example is found in Luke 8:27-33:
27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
Evil spirits will many times function inside a possessed person and speak in the third person or manifest themselves as multiple personalities. Some situations attributed to psychological disorders are actually devil possessions. Individuals possessed by the Spirit of God can cast these spirits out. It’s important to note that children of God have full authority over devil spirits and they are not to be feared—not to be trifled with for certain, but not to be feared.
The question concerning dead spirits was posed and I assume the questioner is referring to the spirits of those who have died. First a definition of death is necessary. Death is not oblivion. This website has oft referred to the rule of etymology (the study of language), known as the rule of first occurrence. This rule basically states that the primary definition of a word is found in its first use. The first use of the word die and the concept of death is found in the very first commandment given by God to man. Genesis 2:16-17:
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Eve and Adam disobeyed God in this first and only commandment and were cast out of Paradise and banned from reentry. They were separated from God who is life. They died that very day to God’s Spirit but lived on in the flesh for hundreds of years. This following Biblical principle speaks of all of us prior to salvation when Ephesians 2:1-2 declares:
1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
And again, Colossians 2:13:
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
The Bible speaks about two deaths. The first death is death to this world and a portal to eternity, of which there are only two destinies. When a man dies upon this earth, his concern about whether to get the car serviced or the house painted or how much money is in his bank account, comes to a screeching halt. As far as earthly things are concerned, he is totally disengaged. Psalms 146:3-4:
3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
But, this is not oblivion.
There are two deaths that can occur and will occur for the vast majority of men. The first death is separation from the presence of God’s goodness here on the earth. The second death is separation from the good presence of God when the disobedient are finally cast into the Lake of Fire. But the second death can be escaped through the saving blood of God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ. Revelation 2:11:
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Concerning the spirits of those who die upon this earth, it is very important to note that they are not roaming around here on the earth haunting people and places. When a born-again person dies, his spirit and soul go to be with the Lord that very day. Jesus speaks to the thief upon the cross who believed upon the Lord in the last minutes of his life in Luke 23:43:
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Concerning the wicked, Jesus defines their situation in Luke 16:19-31:
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And 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.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Note three things about the rich man:
1. He is dead and in hell.
2. He is fully cognizant of his state.
3. He is in torment and speaks of bodily members in pain.
The rich man’s earthly body was in the grave, yet in hell, he speaks of his tongue, and other body parts, and the torment from the heat. It must be noted here that spirits are invisible to earthlings but can be seen if God chooses to open one’s eyes. Angels have been seen many times and they have eyes and lips and hands and feet. God commands us in Hebrews 13: 2:
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
But angels are spirits. Angels are all ministering spirits. Hebrews 1:7:
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
In conclusion of the matter of the spirits of the dead, they are not roaming around on the earth haunting anything, but have gone on to another destination awaiting the end—the revelation of God’s righteous judgment.
The tremendous evils seen upon the earth are a product of the workings of evil spirits which, as we stated earlier, are comprised of Satan, the other fallen angels, and the spirits of individuals who are alive and yielded to Satan’s spirit of disobedience.
Spiritualists, witches, Satanists, and their ilk operate on this earth influencing the lives of men. God’s commandments concerning those who practice the occult are very severe. Leviticus 20:6:
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
And then verse 27:
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
Leviticus speaks of familiar spirits. Webster’s definition is, “A demon or evil spirit supposed to attend at a call.” The Hyper Dictionary defines familiar spirit as, “A spirit that acts as an assistant to a witch or wizard.” [End of quote]
A familiar spirit supposedly operates in the calling up of the dead. Séances are being conducted all over the world and spirits of the deceased are supposedly being conjured up to communicate with living loved ones. This is not the case, but the voices and apparitions they hear and see are simply Satan’s lying spirit. Note the word familiar in “familiar spirits.” They are familiar. The spirits of those who died in sin and those who died in Christ have gone on to their reward, and are not popping up at séances; however, the familiar spirits are in attendance.
In regard to haunting, can spirits (good or evil) haunt or frequent certain places? The answer is yes.
Concentrations of like spirits create a spiritual geographical stronghold. Jesus Christ said Satan dwells in Pergamos, Turkey, situated in a place known as the Golden Triangle, the opium center of the world. There were and still are other geographical evil strongholds such as Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, Paris, Brussels, San Francisco, and others. The almighty God is a spirit. Exodus 25:8 reports:
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.
Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.
God’s presence was and is obvious when believers of like spirit gather to worship, such as in the Old Testament tabernacle and the New Testament church as Jesus said in Matthew 18:20:
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Conversely, Satan’s presence is obvious when congregants of like rebellious spirits come together.
In all situations where spirits affect the personal life of a Holy Ghost believer, that believer has full and total dominion over that or those spirits through Jesus Christ. James 4:7 reads:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
In final conclusion, are there hauntings? Yes. Are there spirits of the dead? Yes, but in a place awaiting the conclusion of the whole matter. Are there ghosts? Yes, they are spirits.
GOD SAID, There are spirits and ghosts, which he declares a multitude of times in our owner’s manual, the Holy Bible.
MAN SAID: There are no such things as spirits, ghosts, souls, devils, angels, or God, as far as that goes.
Now you have THE RECORD.
King James Bible
Hyper-dictionary of English, http://www.hyperdic.net
Webster, N., American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828