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The Paranormal Library

A collection of original articles by Haunted OC staff and contributors about all things haunted.

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Ghosts and the Bible

a group of people in a room

Because the Bible says very little about these phenomena, the subject of ghosts, apparitions, and hauntings is controversial among followers of Christ. Still, many reliable people have had experiences relating to these phenomena, and their accounts are so strikingly similar that a simple denial of their existence seems unwise.

During the Middle Ages, people often believed that ghosts were “earth-bound” spirits of the dead, who, for some reason or another, were trapped here on earth after death. There is no biblical support for this point of view, although it probably was associated with the Roman Catholic view of purgatory. The Protestant Reformation brought a rejection of Roman Catholic teaching on purgatory, along with the consensus that hauntings are produced by evil spirits who impersonate people and recreate events. However, this explanation leaves some questions unanswered.

Some observers speculate that there may be some presently unknown natural process by which especially horrible events involving intense emotions (such as murders) may be “recorded” and replayed again and again through the centuries. Some believe there is evidence that poltergeists are a natural phenomena involving telekinesis. Often young women — usually adolescent girls — are associated with such poltergeist phenomena. Witnesses claim that when a particular young woman is removed from the vicinity of the occurrences, the poltergeist phenomenon ceases.

But, again, there is no compelling evidence proving the existence of telekinesis as a natural phenomenon, nor is there any scientific evidence that intensely emotional events can produce “psychic recordings.” It is unlikely that we will have a definitive answer to this question soon. And since this whole area borders on the occult — an area stringently forbidden by Scripture ( Deuteronomy 18:9-13 ) — it is wise for Christians to be cautious and not delve too deeply into it.

Christians, and even thoughtful unbelievers, should bear in mind that whatever the ultimate cause of a particular ghostly manifestation, it may serve a subtle satanic purpose — stimulating a morbid curiosity in the preternatural that could draw susceptible people into occultism. People who pursue interest in the occult — even if their interest is “scientific” — can be drawn into occultism more deeply. Their “scientific interests” are prone to degenerate into personal obsession.

Luke 24:38-40 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

Luke 24:36-38 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.

Mark 6:48-50 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost.

Matthew 14:25-27 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

In the above scriptures, the disciples are referring to Christ walking on water. But, there must have been reports of sightings of ghost in that time era for them to refer to Christ as a Ghost. In the first scripture, Christ himself describes a ghost, “a ghost does not have flesh and bones”. So with these scriptures, would not this indicate that ghosts do exist? Jesus could of easily said that something on the lines that there are no such things as ghost, but instead Jesus describes a ghost.

1 Peter 3:19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison

In the above scripture, they are referring to Christ preaching to the spirits in prison. This again, would confirm that even the spirits are still open to Gods word.

1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

In order for us to test the spirits, this must mean that spirits do exists. So again the above scripture validates that spirits do exist and what we must do to see if they are from God.

Now lets look at some other questions that have been asked throughout the internet and out over the world.

1.) Ghost cannot cross over water? This question/myth is somewhat correct. It is not that they cannot cross the water, it is because what the water holds. There is one scripture that explains that.

Matthew 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

The above scripture is describing what the demon had done after being cast out of a man. The demon search for rest on the dry land and could not find any rest. So water is where the demons seek to rest. If not water, then they attempt to return to that man with even more demons trying to seek rest within that man. So if you were a ghost and you came to water, would you not see demons everywhere? Would you want to cross that water with the demons present? No, I wouldn’t, so the scripture is telling us that water is open for these demons to seek. In most haunting where there is supernatural (Demons) involved, you will find that they all have one thing in common. They entered where there was water or a lot of the activity is located at a water source.

2.) Why do ghost/spirits haunt abandoned properties?

The Bible has scripture to explain abandoned properties or isolate places.

Isaiah 13:21 But wild beasts of the Desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and Satyrs shall dance there.

In the above scripture I need to give you some definitions first. For the word Doleful the meaning is “Shrieking or Howling creatures”, and the Satyrs is “Half Man Half Goat, ie. a devil. Not Satan but a devil. The scripture is talking about abandoned properties and places giving Sodom & Gomorra as examples. It explains that when properties are abandoned that these creatures take up home there. So when these energies are there, we have to also look that those that once lived or resided at those properties that refused to cross over, that they decided to stay and therefore we have a spirit of the once living at that property and the Satyr and other howling creatures.