Q: #279. Are ghosts real?
A: The KJV Bible mentions the word “ghost” 109 times (11 OT – 98 NT). There are only two ways this word is used: the Holy “Ghost” and “gave up the ghost.” The Holy “Ghost” is only used in the New Testament and is the same as the Holy “Spirit” (same Greek word pneuma)(See Q: #281 for more on this). To “give up the ghost” meant to die (See Q: #280 for more on this).
It is only when you look at other versions of the Bible that you see the word “ghost” as it is used today, and even then there are only three examples I can find. The two primary ones both involve the disciples believing Jesus was a ghost. The first was when Jesus was walking on the water and the disciples thought He was a ghost when they first saw Him (Mt 14:26)(Mk 6:49)(the KJV uses “spirit” instead of “ghost” for these verses). The second is when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection (Lk 24:36-37)(only the NIV uses the word “ghost” here). The only other mention I can find is (Isa 19:3).
*** Some people use the story of Saul and Samuel as an example of a ghost, but I disagree here.
However, even though the Bible mentions “ghosts,” it gives no credence to the belief that ghosts are the disembodied spirits of people who have died. In fact, just the opposite is taught. The Bible makes it clear that when ALL people die, they go IMMEDIATELY to either Heaven (2 Cor 5:8)(Phil 1:23) or Hell (Mt 25:46)(Lk 16:22-31)(Jude 1:7). They cannot be anywhere else, and they cannot be walking around on Earth.
So, if it is impossible for dead people to be ghosts, how do you explain the various “supernatural” things that have been seen, heard, and captured on film by these ghosthunter shows? Honestly, I am not at all convinced that ANY of that is real. But, if we assume it is, there can only be one explanation, and that is it is demonic in origin.
First, I must state emphatically that neither Satan, nor his demons, can create ANYTHING. Only God is capable of creation. Since I address this in another question, I will not go into this in depth. But, in short, Satan and his demons can ONLY manipulate what God has created. They can possess people (Lk 22:3)(Mk 7:25-30)(Lk 9:38-42), they can possess animals (Mk 5:8-13)(Lk 8:32-33)(Mt 8:30-32), they can make people sick (Lk 13:16)(2 Cor 12:7)(Acts 10:38). At times, I believe they might even be able to manipulate the weather to cause disaster (Q: #203). However, Satan and his demons are “fallen” angels. The Bible says that ALL angels are spirit by nature (Heb 1:14) and invisible (2 Kin 6:16-17)(Num 22:22-31). Jesus said that a spirit is not made up of flesh and bone (Lk 24:39)(Mt 16:17). Therefore, they do not have a body, nor can they create or recreate a body. This limits what they can do. They cannot do anything that requires physicality.
Therefore, IF things are seen or heard in the “supernatural realm,” we can be pretty certain that it is demonic forces manipulating God’s creation in some way. And I should warn you, the Bible gives us STERN warnings about dabbling in this kind of activity (Deut 18:10-12)(2 Chr 33:6)(Lev 20:6,27)(Lev 19:31). When people think ghosts are dead people and try to talk to them, the Bible calls this “necromancy,” and God says it is an abomination (Deut 18:11). Opening the door to any kind of demonic activity is extremely dangerous. I believe ghost hunting can fall into this category. It should be avoided whether you think ghosts are real or not.
*** This kind of activity will increase in the end times (1 Tim 4:1).