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Do Ghosts Exist?

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October 26th, 2012 | Filed Under: Afterlife, Author, Mitch Kuhn, Q and A0 Comments | Author:

Hi S______,

You are right that there have been false doctrines around since the beginning of man. The concept of a Ghost is certainly not a biblical teaching.

Here is the world’s definition of a ghost from Wikipedia:

In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living.

Here is a brief history on the origin of ghosts:

The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to appease the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted.

The scriptures teach that the dead are asleep, knowing nothing until the resurrection of the dead.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Joh 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

Deu 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; .

The scriptures never talk about anyone coming back from the dead as an evil spirit to haunt anyone in this world. The word translated as “spirit” in the verses below is only used two times in all of scripture.

Mat 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

Mar 6:49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:
Mar 6:50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

The disciples were troubled and afraid when they saw Christ, so this very well could be them thinking according to the false doctrines of the pagan culture around them. Israel was under the control of the Romans as this time. Since there are no other references to this word “phantasma”, it would be going above scripture to speculate further.
Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead, which is a biblical concept.

Mat 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
Mat 14:2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
Mat 14:3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.

I have been able to find nine instances were people were raised from the dead, ten including Christ himself.. Notice that in every case, they are raised with physical bodies to live just as they had before death. They are not raised as spirits. Only Christ is raised with a spiritual body, as an example of what will happen to us in the resurrection to come.
1. Elijah raises a woman’s son

1Ki 17:21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said,O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.
1Ki 17:22 And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

2. Elisha raises the son of the Shunammite woman

2Ki 4:32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed
2Ki 4:35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

3. A man raised by touching Elisha’s bones

2Ki 13:21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

4. Christ resurrects the widow’s son at Nain.

Luk 7:12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
Luk 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
Luk 7:14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
Luk 7:15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.

5. Christ raises Jarius’s daughter

Mat 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
Mat 9:25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

6. Jesus raised Lazarus

Joh 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
Joh 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

7. Many saints were raised right after Christ died

Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Mat 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

8. Peter raises Tabitha

Act 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. Act 9:37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
Act 9:40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Act 9:41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
Act 9:42 And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.

9. Paul rases Eutychus

Act 20:9 And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
Act 20:10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.

Everyone that is resurrected prior to Christ has a physical body, because the time has not yet come for them to be given a spiritual body. Christ is the first to be perfected and redeemed, so he is the first to obtain a spiritual body. Those in the second resurrection will be given a spiritual body as well, but they will not yet be perfected. They still need to go through the lake of fire. (Rev 20)

1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Christ is the first, so no one can get a spiritual body before he does:

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. Christ is raised:

Mat 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
Mat 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Here are the verses that show he had a spiritual body:

Mar 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Mar 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
Mar 16:13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.

Luk 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Luk 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Luk 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Luk 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Luk 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
Luk 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

A spiritual body has the ability to appear as physical, and yet move about instantly.

Luk 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

We saw above how Christ appeared in the midst of them, and also vanished out of their sight. This is the same thing that angels do, they have spiritual bodies and can manifest in the physical as well.

Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

There is a spirit realm with angels, demons, and satan. However, these being were all created with spiritual bodies and are not dead men sent to us in spiritual bodies.

1Sa 19:9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

Luk 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Everyone that dies is dead until the resurrection. We all die like beasts.

Ecc 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

However, we did see some examples above where God raises men back to a physical life for his purposes. One day we will all have spiritual bodies, but until then all the dead will sleep.

I hope this helps you to see that there is no such thing as ghosts as them world defines them. Let me know if this answers your question.

Your Brother in Christ,
Mitch

 

If you are interested in reading more on this topic then I suggest you read the following article:

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