Ghosts and Things That Go Bump In The Night

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Martin, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Well since we are nearing halloween I thought it would be interesting to discuss the existence of ghosts. Are ghosts real?

    I think the best way to approach this topic is to start with what the Bible says about life after death. After that issue has been resolved we will be in a better position to discuss the existence of ghosts.

    Life After Death

    The Bible is clear that there is life after death. While the New Testament speaks most directly to this issue the Old Testament does not leave us totally in the dark. The one Old Testament passage that I will focus on is the popular Psalm 23. This Psalm is rightly read at funerals because it contains promises for life after death. The passage reads:

    "Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" Ps 23:6

    David's point is that while he lives, and goes through various storms (vs4), God will be with him and provide for him (vs5). However God's protection and provision does not end with the death of the body. David states that he "will dwell in the house of the Lord forever".

    Our lives can be "the valley of the shadow of death" (vs4) at times. Even though this is true we have God's provision (vs1-3), God's presence (vs4b), God's protection (vs4-5), and God's love (vs6a). However there will come a day when we will leave this valley called life and we will enter directly into God's presence and dwell with Him forever. This is a wonderful promise to those who follow Christ. Paul also taught this same truth in 2Corinthians and Philippians. Paul taught that at death the Christian is "absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord (2Cor 5:8). In Philippians Paul says that the believer departs to be with Christ (Phil 2:21-23). At death the believer dwells with the Lord forever. Where the Lord is there we will always be (Jn 14:3).

    What about life after death for the unbeliever? The Bible teaches that the unbeliever enters a place I will call "torment" (Lk 16:22-31). At the last judgment the unbeliever will be cast into the eternal lake of fire (Rev 20:14-15, 21:8, etc). These places offer no hope for escape.

    Ghosts?? NOT!

    This brings me back to the topic at hand, ghosts. The above Biblical description of life after death leaves no room for the realistic possibility of ghosts. So the next time you are home alone at night and you hear something, or thing you see something, strange you can rest assured it was not a ghost. I can assure you of that 100% based on God's eternal Word.

    But What About?

    But what about those strange noises, visions, or feelings? Personally I would offer several explanations.

    1. The most common cause of such things is the human emotion of fear. When a person gets scared their imagination can run wild and that will cause them to imagine that every bump is a ghost (etc).

    2. Another common cause for belief in ghosts is natural causes. What do I mean by that? By natural causes I mean water pipes thumping, houses settling, drafts, animals, other people, tree branches, wind, electrical appliances (etc). If a person is scared such things may cause them fear. The result is their imagination takes over and they believe they are hearing ghosts (etc).

    3. Another cause is dreams. Many people who report being abducted by a UFO, or report having seen a ghost, are usually in bed (at night) when this occurs. I have a perfect story about my grandmother and her late husband that shows how this works. One night she was asleep on the sofa in her living room. Her husband had been dead since the early eighties (it was the early ninties when this happened). Anyway she woke up only to see her dead husband standing in the hallway looking at her. When she sat up he was gone. What happened? Did she see the ghost of my grandfather? No. What happened was she was dreaming about him and when she saw him in the hall she was only half awake. When she fully woke up, and sat up, the dream ended. I had a simular experience about two years ago. I awoke (half way) one night to see a man standing in front of my tv. When I got startled and sat up in bed quickly he was gone. Why? Because it was a dream. The human mind can play all sorts of tricks on us.

    4. Other times people make up stories in order to have something interesting to talk about at work or with their friends. Many times these stories are based on events that actually happened but the person adds the spooks for effect. After some time they have told the story so much that they start to believe it themselves. In effect they end up fooling, and often scaring, themselves.

    5. Finally I must mention demons. While I don't believe demons sit around thinking up ways to spook you, they can and sometimes do. If a person is being oppressed by demonic forces, or out right possessed by them, all sorts of frightening things can happen to them (mental illness, physical sickness, unexplained activity, etc). The New Testament holds several examples of these type of events. Dr Erwin Lutzer also says that demons may pretend to be ghosts in order to drag folks away from the truth of Christ.

    Lutzer writes:
    "So you can be quite sure that no one has ever talked to your dead uncle, cousin, or grandmother. There are, however, spirits that impersonate the dead. Their trickery is compounded because they may actually talk about love, the value of religion, or make favorable references to Christ. And of course they know enough about the one who has died to deceive the unwary" -"One Minute After You Die" pg19

    A very interesting book on this subject is Neil Anderson's "The Bondage Breaker". Anderson's understanding of spiritual warfare (etc) is very good. He gives examples of people who have been trapped by demonic forces (etc) and how they found freedom in Christ.

    Folks let's not play around with "the dark side". There are demons who are alive and well and all the more willing to decieve you. This is why Christians should stay away from all forms of witchcraft, ghost hunting, and other new age practices. This stuff is really dangerous because there are dark forces just waiting to walk through any open door.

    In short halloween and ghosts are not simple children's games. No, far from it. These things are connected to a dark side of reality. A side of reality that is anything but fun. Stay away!

    In Christ,
    Martin
     
  2. Brother Ian

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    No ghosts, but there are demons all over the place.

    Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

    Luke 16:26, "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."

    Once you die, that's it. No more chances, no getting out.

    I recommend staying away from all aspects of halloween.
     
  3. Artimaeus

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    Brother Ian, [​IMG]
     
  4. Brett Valentine

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    Yeah, demons. While they might not necessarily be targeting you, if you are gaining ground in your spiritual life, etc. one might try to intimidate you. They are also lying spirits, and so their adgenda is anything to get you to doubt the Bible and God and I'm sure that includes imitating the spirit of someone who lived and died.

    Brett
     
  5. TexasSky

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    This may sound strange, but occasionally I get notes from various missionaries in the fields that say things like, "Please start praying hard and ask God to watch your back. The Lord is really moving here, and that means that soon Satan will really be attacking here and at home. Probably targeting our prayer warriors."
     
  6. jw

    jw
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    READ THE STORY FIRST BEFORE YOU CLICK THE LINK AT THE BOTTOM:
    This is a car advertisement from Great Britain. When they finished
    filming
    the ad, the film editor noticed something moving along the side of the
    car,
    like a ghostly white mist. They found out that a person had been killed a
    year earlier in that exact same spot.
    The ad was never put on TV because of the unexplained ghostly phenomenon.
    Watch the front end of the car as it clears the trees in the middle of the
    screen and you'll see the white mist crossing in front of the car then
    following it along the road....Spooky!
    Is it a ghost, or is it simply mist? You decide. If you listen to the ad
    you'll even hear the cameraman whispering in the background about it near
    the end of the commercial.
    A little creepy but pretty cool!

    http://www.frogheadedmonkey.com/GhostlyCarAd.wmv
     
  7. PASTOR MHG

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    Very spooky jw, and the ghost was so subtle...

    Thanks for a good laugh.

    Max
     
  8. Craigbythesea

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    What happens to the soul between physical death and the physical resurrection? The Bible does not say. Are ghosts real? I grew up in haunted houses, so I can confidently say that ghosts are real.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

    "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."

    1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    If they are not in Heaven, how can he bring them "with him."
     
  10. Craigbythesea

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    Interesting! In the Rosa Parks thread you argued against the obvious meaning of the text and here you are citing verses that only appears to some individuals to teach that the soul of Christians goes to heaven and does who knows what until his body is resurrected. Your second quote, however, is not from the Bible at all. The closest thing to it is found in 2 Corinthians:

    2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
    2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
    2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

    These verses say absolutely nothing about the location of the soul or spirit between the time of death and the physical resurrection.

    The passage in Luke 23:43 (your first quote) does not tell us where “Paradise” is or where the man was five minutes after he met Jesus in Paradise. For all we know, he spent the rest of the day at Disneyland!

    1 Th. 4:14 says absolutely nothing about the location of the soul or spirit between the time of death and the moment immediately prior to the physical resurrection. In other words, what will these people be doing and where will they be prior to Jesus bringing them with Him? Many people interpret this verse to teach the doctrine of soul sleep. Is that what you believe? Whatever, the passage is very ambiguous.

    Tim, I believe that the Bible deserves to be treated with very much more care and respect than you have treated it in this post.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Ok, I paraphrased, but you knew what I meant.

    Let's look at 2 Cor. 5:8 first.
    How is one absent from the body? Death.
    If you are then present with the Lord, where would you be? Heaven.
    This verse does deal with the period between death and resurrection. It is only during this period that one could be absent from the body.
    We are present with the body now before death, and at the resurrection we will also be present with the body.

    Now on to Luke 23:43. If you think a crucified man could spend a day in Disneyland then no wonder you had trouble interpreting 2 Cor. 5:6.
    (I'm just jokin!!) ( I really am.) I saw the sarcasm.
    Seriously, let's look at the verse. Jesus promised him he would be with him. I am fully aware of the doctrine of paradise and how Christ took paradise to heaven. We can debate that if you want. It has been a long time for me since I studied it, but I am willing to look at it again.
    but It is obvious that Jesus and the man on the cross had an appointment after death. I believe this verse ties in with 2 Cor 5:6. The man was absent from his body, and present with Christ.

    On to 1 Th 4:14.
    If Jesus brings them with them when He returns, that means that they are where Jesus is. Please understand, If you were to tell me that you were bringing a friend over to meet me, that means that that friend would have to be with you. So when Jesus brings us with Him, that means we have to be with Him prior to His departure from where He is now.
    I have never heard this verse as a proof-text for soul sleep. No, I don't beleieve that. That should be obvious. I'm interested how they can get soul sleep out of this verse. If they are with Christ then would Christ also have to be asleep?

    All three passages point to one obvious conclusion: When we don't have a body, we are with Christ.

    The question then becomes, "Where is Christ now?"
    The Bible teaches He is on the right hand of the Father.

    Where is the Father? Heaven. Or as Paul would say, the third Heaven. (Atmosphere, universe, Heaven) If you don't understand, ask and I'll explain it later.

    Now if the Father is in Heaven, and Christ is at His right hand, and if we are present with the Lord when we are Absent from this body.
    Then the logical conclusion is that when we die, we go to Heaven.

    It makes sense to me, but that doesn't mean much.
    :D
     
  12. LaymansTermsPlease

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    1 Samuel 28, Saul got the witch at Endor to bring Samuel's ghost back up. It was no demon, but really Samuel.

    In verse 15, Samuel actually asks Saul why he disquieted him to "bring him up".
     
  13. tinytim

    tinytim
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    "bring him up" would go well with the theory that Paradise was in the center of the Earth, before Christ's ascension.

    In this theory, the OT saints awaited the coming messiah in paradise.

    Excellent point though.
    Maybe it was a one time thing. You know like donkeys talking. It happened, but i doubt it happens much everyday.
     

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