Yes, I admit it. I’m a fan of the SyFy Channel’s popular program Ghosthunters. And yes, I’ll admit it, I get criticized for it.
It seems a lot of people think it’s fake, and it may be, but so is American Idol and the NBA, and millions of people still watch those.
But what about ghosts, are they real? Do they exist?
I have some theories, and I’m sure you want to hear them.
First of all, let me preface this by stating one thing, I’m a firm believer that there is a Heaven and a Hell. Those are the places you go when you die. So how can ghosts exist? Well, maybe they do, let me explain.
Secondly, I believe in the Bible. I believe that all it says is true. I also believe the contributing writers to the Bible believed ghosts exist.
Have you ever heard of the Holy Ghost? Have you ever heard that there is a spiritual battle taken place in the heavenlies? Who are these spirits waging battle? Presumably, there is a good side and a bad side, right?
My Christian education has taught me that for all the good that God has created, the devil has a counterfeit. If there is a Holy Spirit, which I believe there is, then there is a counter to that.
Remember when Jesus walked on water? We all remember that story. He tells Peter to come to him, Peter does, then panics, and falls in. But what happened right before that? Do you remember what the disciples said when they saw Jesus walking towards them?
“25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.”
Was it a ghost? No, it was Jesus. But let me ask you this, why would they think it’s a ghost, if they weren’t familiar with what a ghost was? It’s not like they had seen too many movies, or read too many Stephen King novels. They were aware of the presence of ghosts.
But what is a ghost? Doesn’t the Bible also teach us that absent from the body is present with the Lord? I said earlier that when we die, we go one of two places, Heaven or Hell, not the dilapidated house down the street.
The Bible teaches us about something called, Familiar Spirits. Familiar Spirits are Satan’s counterfeit to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is sent to comfort and guide us, Familiar Spirits are sent to torment and confuse us. Here’s the thing, when we’re born, Familiar Spirits are assigned to us. Once we accept the Holy Spirit, Familiar Spirits are driven out. You can’t have both.
The Bible teaches us that Familiar Spirits were used in the Old Testament to “spread lies and deceit to thwart the Kingdom of God”. These Familiar Spirits talk to each other, they can even communicate to people. Come on now, don’t check out on me yet. As Christians, we see and hear people all the time communicating to and in the spiritual realm, in fact, the Bible encourages us to do so. We’re encouraged to speak with the Holy Spirit. God even provides some ministers with the Gift of Knowledge. Have you ever seen anyone operating in the Gift of Knowledge, or even somebody speak in tongues? If you didn’t know better, you’d find it pretty spooky. But as Christians, we’re ok with it, and we should be, because it’s Biblical. As Christians, we hear all the time how somebody was driving home from work and they felt in their spirit they needed to exit the highway, so they do, or they feel the Spirit tell them they should speak with the lady at the checkout counter, or help the person they bump into at church. As Christians, we’re encouraged to walk in the spirit and to listen to what God is telling us to do.
Here’s the thing, and maybe it’s just my personality, and how I absolutely despise double standards, but it goes both ways.
I hear Christians all the time, and you may be one of them, who absolutely stand against every possible notion that ghosts, psychics, etc are real. Conversely, how many times do you hear people completely disregard preachers when they start talking about the “Spirit moving” or being in “His presence”, but yet, these same people swear that grandma is with them wherever they go?
They’re all right.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in a church meeting, is just as real as the feeling of a dark presence in the home of someone who is dealing with depression.
But is grandma with you wherever you go? No, she’s in heaven or hell, one or the other.
That familiar spirit of hers though, it could still be here.
Here’s how familiar spirits work. I told you they communicate with each other, the Bible tells us they communicate with each other to “thwart the Kingdom of God.” How are they doing all this thwarting? By tormenting and confusing, that’s how. We’ve all heard the saying that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Well, by doing this, he’s also convincing the world God doesn’t exist. If there’s no devil, then there’s no God, and if there’s no God, then there’s no salvation, if there’s no salvation, then there’s no heaven, if there’s no heaven, then there’s no reason to serve God, if there’s no reason to serve God, then the devil has won.
If we’re led to believe that grandma’s spirit is still with us, then that must mean she’s not in heaven, which must mean there is no heaven. It distracts us from the real answer, that grandma is gone, and she’s in one of two places.
The familiar spirits who were once assigned to grandma, can now be used to be, the ghost of grandma. These familiar spirits who were assigned to grandma, were with her every second of every day, they are pretty much, grandma. Was that grandma’s voice you heard? Was it?
I know, I know, this is crazy talk. But again, I remind you what the Bible says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“God has not given us the SPIRIT of Fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
So, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil, and God didn’t give us the Spirit of fear.
The Bible lays it out for us. It tells us, yes, there are spirits, evil spirits, and they are in a battle. A battle for what? Well, a battle for you and me. Their job is to keep you from heaven. The spirits who are fighting on our behalf, are battling for me and you too.
Have you ever heard a story, told by a Christian, about seeing angels, or feeling a supernatural presence that helped them out of trouble? If you’ve been saved for any amount of time, you’ve heard that. So how could you not believe that there is not a counter to that? A spirit, a ghost, an evil presence, call it what you want, but it’s there. And it’s not grandma, in fact, the Bible says it’s Evil.
In other words, leave it alone.
Don’t pick up a Ouija board and go walking around cemeteries looking to make contact, because there is a decent chance you will.
That’s not me saying that, it’s the good Book again.
“For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the LORD,” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12a NLT).
So, in closing, it seems to be pretty clear. Not only do spirits of the dead exist, but we’re told in no uncertain terms, we’re to leave them alone.
And for good measure, it’s not a good idea to set your kids on fire in the name of the Lord either.