What the Bible Says About Ghosts

I’ve not posted anything this week because I’ve been busy researching the topic of this post for a message that I delivered to my students last night. With Halloween here, I’ve been talking to the youth about the existence of the supernatural, and specifically the evil forces within the supernatural realm. I mean, the month sort of sets itself up for the topic, right?

What has been hard is the research. Despite the fact that Christianity does believe in the existence of a personal devil, the Bible itself doesn’t lay out who the Devil is in the way a novel might; instead you have to sift through different and difficult passages, many of which are not labeled “About The Devil”. You have to do some digging, and you have to rely on not only the traditions of the faith, but on the scholarship of those who’ve gone before you.

However, this isn’t to say that the Bible is all coded up when it comes to Satan. Not at all. In fact the clearest passages on the existence of the Devil are found when Satan was given permission to torment/tempt two of God’s favorite people: Job and Jesus Christ.

As I said to the kids, you may think that Satan is a metaphor, you may believe that it’s merely a tool the church has used to keep people in line for 2,000 years, but the historicity of Jesus Christ is not in doubt. He existed. And according to the Bible, He encountered the Devil in person.

In other words, if you believe Jesus is real, you have to believe that Satan is too.

What does this have to do with ghosts, haunts, spooks, specters and things that go bump in the night? Everything. Supernatural phenomena have to be caused by something supernatural, and what’s more supernatural than the Devil?

Anyway, the embedded video at the top is my presentation on one of the most fascinating and illuminating chapters in the Bible – at least, illuminating on the subject of the paranormal, that is. In 1 Samuel 28, the deposed king Saul seeks out a medium to channel the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel.

I’ll let the video speak for itself, but let me say this: the Bible does reveal that ghosts are real, and can be channeled. But it also says that humans should never consult those to have that ability. Instead, we should seek the counsel of God.

Here’s the PDF notes (The Bible and Ghosts) that go along with the video, so if you’d like to follow along, or maybe use this for your own small group discussion, feel free.

Also, if you’ve got a question after watching this – or if you just think I’m way off base – feel free to comment below. I’ll answer anything thrown my way.

9 thoughts on “What the Bible Says About Ghosts

  1. OMG Jason you are a totally AWESOME preacher! I wish your church was closer I would come listen to ALL of your sermons!!! Thanks for posting this I have always wondered about ghosts and the bible! YOU RULE!

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  2. This was very interesting! I really like your calm, engaging demeanor as you preach. In fact, your preaching doesn’t sound “preachy,” if that makes sense! It’s more conversational, and I’m sure your students really enjoy that. When I was about the age of your students, my family was attending a Pentacostal church after years of attending a Methodist one. The Methodist church bored the heck out of me, but the Pentacostal one literally scared the hell out of me and basically turned me off to organized religion. I’ve spent my adult life fluctuating in my beliefs, but I certainly have great respect for the beliefs of others.

    I really like your explanation of the supernatural and hadn’t thought of it that way before. I do believe that spirits exist, and have had one creepy experience with one, but I’ll save that story for Halloween! 🙂

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    1. savesprinkles –

      Thanks! I try to be engaging with the kids, and I’ve found that humor and a conversational delivery really helps. It’s also in keeping with my natural personality, so it’s a win-win!

      And I’m looking forward to a blog post on Halloween about the creepy experience you mentioned…

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  3. “In other words, if you believe Jesus is real, you have to believe that Satan is too.”

    I don’t quite follow your logic.

    While there is certainly historical evidence that Jesus lived, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we “have” to believe that Satan also existed/exists in physical form. Furthermore, similar historical evidence does not exist for the devil, at least in comparison to what is documented about the existance of the human Christ.

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    1. Adamotomy –

      I didn’t mean to imply that because we have historical verification of the Incarnate Christ that we must therefore believe in an Incarnate Devil. That wasn’t my point at all.

      But, if we are going to accept that Jesus is real – and by this I mean that He is the Son of God, made man, not just a mere human – then we must accept that the Devil is real also. It’s a question of accepting all of the evidence, not merely some. It makes no sense to believe in the existence of a benevolent being who willingly gave away his divinity in order to take on human flesh and suffer for our sins and yet say, “The Devil is just a myth.” If you’re going to accept the reality of the supernatural, you can’t pick and choose.

      That was my point – clumsily stated, as you pointed out. Thanks for calling me on it, and forcing me to clarify.

      Jason

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  4. I respect and applaud the fact that you even addressed this topic with the yourth of your church. Recently I published “Seeing Ghosts through God’s Eyes” in order to biblically analyze a topic that has been virtually dismissed by the church today–despite the fact that at least one-third of Americans believe in ghosts (TV shows on all the educational channels have trapped spirits as a regular theme,, not to mention the other ghosts-shows) As far as I know, my book is the only book that deals soley and comprehensively with this topic from a biblical worldview pwerspective. The church needs to confront this error head on because it has titanic ramifications, and it is embraced by so many people. I don’t know of another aberrant belief that has nearly half of our country under delusion. Again, I respect that you addressed this topic. I work with people in the paranormal community who have come under demonic attack due to their “innocent” interest in speaking with ghosts..

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  5. I am a Christain, my husband is a Christian, my grandmother was a Christian. However, we have had MANY situations where we see shadow and a flashing light. It is always weird and we feel like there is someone around. We are never scared. I have seen them and he has seen them in house. My grandmother died 20 years ago and lived on the same farm we live. She and I were extremely close. I have always joked that the things we see are Grandmama checking on me. My husband is beginning to believe it is true (we have only been married 4 years.) Is this possible? I had never discussed what I saw until my husband brought seeing something up several months ago.

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    1. Lisa – Sounds like things are interesting at your house. I would say it’s possible. If you accept the Bible, then you know we don’t live in a purely physical world. (In fact, right now, I can hear the sounds of my church’s “ghost” Virgil, opening cabinet doors upstairs. Dead serious.) That means there are aspects to this world that we can’t see and can’t really comprehend, so we have to approach them with a sense of mystery, and search for clarity as best we can.

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