Ghosts: Are They for Real?
Under the bed covers that hid her from head to toe, nine year old Harmony shook like a leaf. Outside her window were eerie sounds. Was that scratching noise a spirit raking its jagged nails across the window, or was it a bare branch swaying in the autumn wind? Was that squeak the fence swinging on its hinges or was it a ghost wailing out its sorrows or some weird chant to summon other evil spirits?
That night before going to bed, Harmony had seen a horror movie. The images it left in her mind swirled like rustling leaves in a dark valley. She wished now that she hadn’t seen the movie. Her pastor had mentioned that such shows gave Satan an open channel to the human mind for teaching his lies.
Are ghosts real, or are they a complete fiction? Harmony wondered. She wished that she knew her Bible better, and understood what God’s word has to say about this subject.
Would you like to see what God’s word says about ghosts and beings from the spirit world – and how to keep safe no matter what the devil does? Keep reading.
God has good spirits. They are called angels. They don’t haunt or trick anyone or do weird things to frighten people. Instead, they protect and guide us. It’s in the Bible, “And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.’ . . . Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” Hebrews 1:7,14. “Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High God . . . your habitation, no evil shall befall you. . . For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:9-11, NKJV.
God’s angels are heavenly beings, not spirits of dead humans, but have existed before humans were created. It’s in the Bible, “What is man that You [Lord] are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:4,5. See also Luke 22:27-36, where Jesus makes it clear that humans and angels are two separate categories of being. In other words, people don’t become angels and angels don’t become people.
After our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned, God placed cherubim [angels] as guards at the gate to the Garden of Eden. It’s in the Bible, “So He drove out man; and He placed cherubim [angels] at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24, NKJV.
Satan is a fallen angel. In order to deceive people, he and his other angels who rebelled against God long ago, impersonate the dead. In other words Satan can appear as the ghost of a person who once lived. He has done this for many centuries. “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:14,15, NASB.
Long ago God warned against talking to spiritualists, mediums, or psychics - those who say they can talk with the spirits. “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:31, NKJV. “And the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” Leviticus 20:6, NKJV. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 18:10-13, NKJV.
“Familiar spirits” pretend to be spirits of dead people. “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.” 1 Chronicles 10:13,14 see also 1 Samuel 28:8,11.
We do not have to be afraid of Satan and his impersonations of the living and the dead, if we give our hearts to Jesus and stay away from all satanic activities, like séances, ouija boards, and other games that presumably are a means of inviting spirits to come into our presence. It’s in the Bible:, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God. . . Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:1,4. “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:7,8.
Do not look to people who talk to spirits for advice, turn to and rely on God’s Word, His law and testimony. It’s in the Bible, “And when they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter.’ Should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?” “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19(NASB),20 (KJV).
There is no point in trying to talk to the dead because they don’t know anything. It’s in the Bible, “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing. . . . for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes. 9:5,10, NKJV. “For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks.” Psalm 6:5, NKJV
When people die, they remain asleep in their graves until Jesus wakes them up in the resurrection. Only Jesus, the giver of life, alone has control of when the dead awaken to life. Satan cannot do this, nor can spirit mediums. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. . . for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 5:25,28,29; 11:25; “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those that are Christ’s at His coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:22,23.
It is important to understand this subject because Satan is increasing his spiritualistic activity in these last days just before Jesus comes back. “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1, NASB; “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit.’” Revelation 18:1,2, NASB
Unclean spirits will speak through great powers of the earth in the last days shortly before Jesus comes. It’s in the Bible, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of demons performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God almighty.” Revelation 16:13,14
If we are true to Jesus, and obey Him by faith, then we do not need to be afraid of Satan’s power. Jesus said, “Behold, I have given you authority . . . over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:19,20, NKJV. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31, NKJV