..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, September 07, 2009

Ghosts

Look at this photo I took. Look real closely. Do you see what I see?

It looks like Granny Barnes standing beside her tombstone! GHOSTS!

Hee hee! Did I get you? Did you believe it for a minute? Well, to be clear...this is NOT a ghost. It's a little photo editing on my part. I'm a intermediate, home user of Adobe Photoshop and was able to do this. So don't believe everything you see!

I love the Ghost Hunters show. I'm sorry, but I really do. I haven't liked any of the other shows, they seem so silly and like they are deliberately playing to the gullible. But I like Jason and Grant and their staff, so I watch the show. I used to enjoy reading simple "real" ghost stories as I grew up (not the Stephen King type fiction).

But I am a Christian so what are my beliefs about ghosts? I decided to study this a bit.



For a foundation, read these pertinent scriptures:
Lev 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. (King James Version)

Lev 19:31 You shall not turn to mediums, and you shall not seek to spirit-knowers to be defiled by them. I am Jehovah your God. (Modern King James Version)

Lev 19:31 Don't make yourselves disgusting to me by going to people who claim they can talk to the dead. (Contemporary English Version)
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Lev 20:27 A man also or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. (Revised Version)

Lev 20:27 A man also or woman that has a medium or that is a necromancer, shall surely be put to death. They shall stone them with stones. Their blood is on them. (Modern King James Version) (necromancy - is a form of magic in which the practitioner seeks to summon "operative spirits" or "spirits of divination", for multiple reasons, from spiritual protection to wisdom.)

Lev 20:27 "Every man or woman who is a medium or a psychic must be put to death. They must be stoned to death because they deserve to die."

Lev 20:27 If you claim to receive messages from the dead, you will be put to death by stoning, just as you deserve. (Contemporary English Version)
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Exo 22:18 You shall not allow a sorceress to live. (Modern King James Version)
Exo 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (King James Version)
Exo 22:18 Death is the punishment for witchcraft. (Contemporary English Version)
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Deu 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (King James Version)

Deu 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, an observer of clouds, or a fortune-teller, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah. And because of these abominations Jehovah your God drives them out from before you. (Modern King James Version)

Deu 18:10-14 Don't sacrifice your son or daughter. And don't try to use any kind of magic or witchcraft to tell fortunes or to cast spells or to talk with spirits of the dead. The LORD is disgusted with anyone who does these things, and that's why he will help you destroy the nations that are in the land. Never be guilty of doing any of these disgusting things! You will go in and take the land from nations that practice magic and witchcraft. But the LORD your God won't allow you to do those things. (Contemporary Version)
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2 Kings 21:1,6 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem... And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (King James Version)

2 Kings 21:1,6 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled fifty-five years from Jerusalem... and even set up the pole for Asherah there. Manasseh practiced magic and witchcraft; he asked fortunetellers for advice and sacrificed his own son. He did many sinful things and made the LORD very angry. Years ago the LORD had told David and his son Solomon: Jerusalem is the place I prefer above all others in Israel. It belongs to me, and there I will be worshiped forever. (Contemporary English Version)
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Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their god? for the living to the dead? (King James Version)

Isa 8:19-20 Someone may say to you, "Go to the fortunetellers who make soft chirping sounds or ask the spirits of the dead. After all, a nation ought to be able to ask its own gods what it should do." None of those who talk like that will live to see the light of day! (Contemporary English Version)
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Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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Origin of the Devil and his demons:
The following scripture from Ezekiel is commonly understood to be about the prince who then reigned over Tyre, but many Biblical scholars have suggested that, besides the literal sense of this lamentation, there is an allegory in it, and that it is an allusion to the fall of the angels that sinned, who undid themselves by their pride. When satan fell from heaven, he had successfully decieved 1/3 of the angels who followed him and became evil demons.

Ezekiel 28 The LORD God said: Ezekiel, son of man, tell the king of Tyre that I am saying: You are so arrogant that you think you're a god and that the city of Tyre is your throne. You may claim to be a god, though you're nothing but a mere human. You think you're wiser than Daniel and know everything. Your wisdom has certainly made you rich, because you have storehouses filled with gold and silver. You're a clever businessman and are extremely wealthy, but your wealth has led to arrogance! You compared yourself to a god, so now I, the LORD God, will make you the victim of cruel enemies. They will destroy all the possessions you've worked so hard to get. Your enemies will brutally kill you, and the sea will be your only grave. When you face your enemies, will you still claim to be a god? They will attack, and you will suffer like any other human. Foreigners will kill you, and you will die the death of those who don't worship me. I, the LORD, have spoken. The LORD said: Ezekiel, son of man, sing a funeral song for the king of Tyre and tell him I am saying: At one time, you were perfect, intelligent, and good-looking. You lived in the garden of Eden and wore jewelry made of brightly colored gems and precious stones. They were all set in gold and were ready for you on the day you were born. I appointed a winged creature to guard your home on my holy mountain, where you walked among gems that dazzled like fire. You were truly good from the time of your birth, but later you started doing wicked things. You traded with other nations and became more and more cruel and evil. So I forced you to leave my mountain, and the creature that had been your protector now chased you away from the gems. It was your good looks that made you arrogant, and you were so famous that you started acting like a fool. That's why I threw you to the ground and let other kings sneer at you. You have cheated so many other merchants that your places of worship are corrupt. So I set your city on fire and burned it down. Now everyone sees only ashes where your city once stood, and the people of other nations are shocked. Your punishment was horrible, and you are gone forever. The LORD said: Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the city of Sidon and tell its people: I, the LORD God, am your enemy! People will praise me when I punish you, and they will see that I am holy. I will send deadly diseases to wipe you out, and I will send enemies to invade and surround you. Your people will be killed, and you will know that I am the LORD. When that happens, the people of Israel will no longer have cruel neighbors that abuse them and make them feel as though they are in a field of thorns and briers. And the Israelites will know that I, the LORD God, have done these things. The LORD God said: Someday I will gather the people of Israel from the nations where they are now scattered, and every nation will see that I am holy. The Israelites will once again live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob. They will be safe and will build houses and plant vineyards. They will no longer be in danger, because I will punish their hateful neighbors. Israel will know that I am the LORD their God.

Babylon is not only a middle eastern city but is symbolic of Hell.
Isaiah 14: 4-22 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. (King James Version)

Revelations 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great has fallen, has fallen! And it has become the dwelling-place of demons, and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a cage of every unclean bird which has been hated,

The devil is a liar, the father of lies:
John 8:44-45 [Jesus speaking], "Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies. Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me."

Demons "believe" the power of God, "and tremble" (James 2:19); they recognized the Lord as the Son of God (Matthew 8:29); and, they acknowledged the power of Jesus' Name by his appointed messengers (Acts 19:15); and they are terrified of their judgment to come (Matthew 8:29). God strictly forbids the worship of demons. Here are some scriptures about demons.

Deuteronomy 32:16-17 "They provoked [God] to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. They sacrificed to devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new ones newly come up, whom your fathers did not fear."

Psalms 106:37-38 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was defiled with blood.

1 Corinthians 10:19-21 Am I saying that either the idols or the food sacrificed to them is anything at all? No, I am not! That food is really sacrificed to demons and not to God. I don't want you to have anything to do with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of demons and still drink from the Lord's cup. You cannot eat at the table of demons and still eat at the Lord's table.

1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons,

The devil, himself, seeks to be worshiped. Here in the Temptations of Christ:
Matthew 4:8-11 Again, the Devil took [Jesus] up into a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve." Then the Devil left him. And behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

Here are references to the stories in the Bible that concern demons:
Possession by, instances of:
Saul
1 Samuel 16:14-23; 1 Samuel 18:10-11; 1 Samuel 19:9-10
Two men of the Gergesenes
Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:2-20
The dumb man
Matthew 9:32-33
The blind and dumb man
Matthew 12:22; Luke 11:14
The daughter of the Syrophenician
Matthew 15:22-29; Mar_7:25-30
The lunatic child
Matthew 17:14-18; Mark 9:17-27; Luke 9:37-42
The man in the synagogue
Mark 1:23-26; Luke 4:33-35
Mary Magdalene
Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2-3
The herd of swine
Matthew 8:30-32
Cast out by Jesus
Matthew 4:24; Matthew 8:16; Mark 3:22; Luke 4:41
Power over, given the disciples
Matthew 10:1; Mark 6:7; Mark 16:17
Cast out:
By the disciples

Mark 9:38; Luke 10:17
By Peter
Acts 5:16
By Paul
Acts 16:16-18; Acts 19:12
By Philip
Acts 8:7
Disciples could not expel
Mark 9:18; Mark 9:28-29
Sceva's sons exorcise
Acts 19:13-16
Parable of the man repossessed
Matthew 12:43-45

Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks. We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.

And now for a Biblical ghost story:

1 Samuel 28:1-21 Samuel had died some time earlier, and people from all over Israel had attended his funeral in his hometown of Ramah. Meanwhile, Saul had been trying to get rid of everyone who spoke with the spirits of the dead. But one day the Philistines brought their soldiers together to attack Israel. Achish told David, "Of course, you know that you and your men must fight as part of our Philistine army."
David answered, "That will give you a chance to see for yourself just how well we can fight!"
"In that case," Achish said, "you and your men will always be my bodyguards."
The Philistines went to Shunem and set up camp. Saul called the army of Israel together, and they set up their camp in Gilboa. Saul took one look at the Philistine army and started shaking with fear. So he asked the LORD what to do. But the LORD would not answer, either in a dream or by a priest or a prophet.
Then Saul told his officers, "Find me a woman who can talk to the spirits of the dead. I'll go to her and find out what's going to happen."
His servants told him, "There's a woman at Endor who can talk to spirits of the dead."
That night, Saul put on different clothing so nobody would recognize him. Then he and two of his men went to the woman, and asked, "Will you bring up the ghost of someone for us?"
The woman said, "Why are you trying to trick me and get me killed? You know King Saul has gotten rid of everyone who talks to the spirits of the dead!"
Saul replied, "I swear by the living LORD that nothing will happen to you because of this."
"Who do you want me to bring up?" she asked.
"Bring up the ghost of Samuel," he answered.
When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed. Then she turned to Saul and said, "You've tricked me! You're the king!"
"Don't be afraid," Saul replied. "Just tell me what you see."
She answered, "I see a spirit rising up out of the ground."
"What does it look like?"
"It looks like an old man wearing a robe."
Saul knew it was Samuel, so he bowed down low.
"Why are you bothering me by bringing me up like this?" Samuel asked.
"I'm terribly worried," Saul answered. "The Philistines are about to attack me. God has turned his back on me and won't answer any more by prophets or by dreams. What should I do?"
Samuel said: If the LORD has turned away from you and is now your enemy, don't ask me what to do. I've already told you: The LORD has sworn to take the kingdom from you and give it to David. And that's just what he's doing! When the LORD was angry with the Amalekites, he told you to destroy them, but you didn't do it. That's why the LORD is doing this to you. Tomorrow the LORD will let the Philistines defeat Israel's army, then you and your sons will join me down here in the world of the dead."
At once, Saul collapsed and lay stretched out on the floor, terrified at what Samuel had said. He was weak because he had not eaten anything since the day before. The woman came over to Saul, and when she saw that he was completely terrified, she said, "Your Majesty, I listened to you and risked my life to do what you asked..."

All real or pretended witchcraft or calling up of the dead, is a malicious or ignorant attempt to gain knowledge or help from some creature other than God. It's funny that while the Prophet Samuel was alive, Saul didn't follow his advice or warnings. But, now that Samuel is dead, Saul is suddenly dependent on Samuel. And despite his edicts to have all mediums put to death, here he is seeking one for his own benefit. He knew God's Word about how forbidden it was. But, Saul had always been a half-hearted follower of God's Laws. And, now, he was willing to disobey God and seek a medium. The Prophet Samuel had told him he was rejected as king by God and David would soon take his place as king. Saul had disobeyed God and did not have real repentance for it. Now, Saul again disobeys God and does not have repentance for it. True repentance is necessary for God's forgiveness. King Saul only did what was expedient for himself. He would only make pretence of repentance if it would benefit him. This is not sincere repentance.

Why did King Saul want to talk to the dead Prophet Samuel? Samuel had anointed him to the kingdom and had formerly been his faithful counsellor. But, when Saul disobeyed God and did not truly repent, Samuel prophesied that the kingdom would be taken from him and given to David and God would turn his back on Saul. In his fear and desperation, Saul does feel like God has turned his back on him so he wants to talk to Samuel again. Maybe Samuel can get a word from God where he couldn't. Maybe there was some way out of his predicament. Maybe there was some way out from the prophecies.

The witch of Endor was a woman who had dabbled in "channeling spirits," in "necromancy," in being a "medium". She was known for doing it because Saul's servants knew about her and gave the gossip that led King Saul to her. But, notice, that when she goes into her show, she gets a surprise! "When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed." Why did she scream if this was something she had done for many people in the past? Because this was different. Either it was because something really had happened (when she was used to conning people with her tricks and fraud) or, because the spirit of Samuel wasn't the familiar spirit she was used to dealing with. Also, she was afraid of the edicts of King Saul to put her to death. She was NOT afraid of God who had strictly forbidden these evil "arts" with the punishment of death.

Was this really the Prophet Samuel that she saw? Some say that God allowed the spirit of Samuel to come back to speak with King Saul. God is perfectly able and powerful enough to do what He wants in any situation. He is sovereign! If it suits God's purposes and designs, He can make the Prophet Samuel appear to King Saul but this was a very unusual circumstance. The yearning of this pathetic king to exchange words with the friend and counselor of his youth is sad.

Others say God permitted the devil to put on Samuel's shape to decieve him who did not receive the truth so that they might be given up to delusions and believe in lies. If people want to be decieved, then God let's them be decieved.

And others wonder if the spirit showed at all. It could have all been a fraud. It seems that King Saul did not actually see the spirit himself. He has to ask her to tell him what the spirit looks like and what the spirit says. He relies on what the witch tells him. Why does he rely on her? Why does he believe what she says? He doesn't know her and she has every reason to make the whole incident up. She could have heard of Samuel and Saul's relationship and Samuel's prophesies. She knew King Saul was nearby and maybe the attendants showed such deference to her visitor that she figured out it was King Saul. I think it proves the folly of his madness to imagine that the spirit of this great prophet was at the beck and call of a witch, and Samuel could be called out of death by her enchantments. He wanted Samuel and she gave him Samuel.

The Bible does not give the details of her ceremonies or incantations. God's Word is not in the business of teaching us how to sin but how to avoid sin.

So was it the Prophet Samuel's spirit or not? There are good reasons for each of the 3 theories. Neither of the 3 theories changes God's power, sovereignty, wisdom or ways. Personally, I tend towards the first or second explanation because of the witch's fear. I think the Bible was describing a genuine fear and surprise which wouldn't have been genuine if it was all a fraud and a plot.

Another Biblical ghost story!

Matthew 27:50-53 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

These risen "saints" could have been Patriarchs from of old who had believed in God's future Christ who would save the world. They had faith. Ones like Abraham who trusted in God's provision. Those who had believed the prophecies of God. Or these "saints" could have been more contemporary. For instance, John the Baptist, Simeon, Anna, Joseph...these had died during Jesus' lifetime but had known Him as the Savior sent from God. Some think that they arose only to bear witness of Christ's resurrection to those to whom they appeared, and, having finished their testimony, retired to their graves again. Others say they arose as Christ did, to die no more, and therefore ascended with him to glory. But those who lived and died before the death and resurrection of Christ, had saving grace, as well as those who have lived since; for He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. These saints that arose, were the first trophies of Christ's victory over the power of death. The bodies of all saints shall, in the fulness of time, rise again and shall live in the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, with their King Jesus. These saints rose and went into Jerusalem. What is prophesided and promised will happen. This was proof that Jesus was the Son of God and had won victory over death and that resurrection would happen!

Now, back to the original question. Do I believe in ghosts? I do not believe that our spirits hover on earth after death. I believe that our bodies molder on the earth until such time as Jesus comes back and raises our bodies as new and immortal to be rejoined with our spirits. Meanwhile, our spirit resides with Jesus in Paradise.
Luke 23:42-43 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

As for the ghostly appearances that some see, experience or have documented...I believe it is the work of demons who disguise themselves to decieve humans. I do not say "There are no such things as ghosts." I say that ghosts and paranormal events are the product of demons and deception.

I do not believe that those who have experienced paranormal phenomenon are necessarily involved in demonic activity. I think, as human beings, we can be fooled either by other humans who deliberately try to trick us; or by the expectations of our own mind; or by demonic spirits who wish to confuse us and grab our attention. Our thoughts become arrested on an ungodly activity. We begin to get excited and obsess on ghostly activities. The so-called "proof" of paranormal activities is actually proof that there are demons who are very real and active in this world.

We must always remain in balance. God is the only One worthy of our full attention, our full focus. He is our Magnificent Obsession. He is our King and, in Him, is our all in all. He is our Protector and Provider, we have no need to seek any other spirit (spiritual entities) or paranormal experiences. We can rely on Him and trust in His timing and power.

God is very specific in His Word. All the paranormal, psychic, woo-woo stuff is ungodly and God tells us to leave it alone. We are better spending our time in reading our Bible and praying and communing with God.

I don't mind watching Ghost Hunters because I know the truth and I do not spend my time obsessing on "ghosts". I feel like I am balanced and God is first in my affections. As long as God is not convicting me of being out of balance in this area then I feel comfortable watching this show.

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