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Follow-Up To Ghosts Post

In June of 2007 I wrote an article entitled, What Does The Bible Say About Ghosts? It has surprised me how much feedback has come in about this article over the past three years, not only comments but emails too.
One of the comments was a series of honest questions that I answered in the comment section. The questions were pertinent and want to use that response as a post here on the blog.

Here are Jennifer’s questions and my responses. I hope this post and the first post help you if you are wondering about ghosts or if you have been asked about ghosts and need some information to get you started in studying what the Bible says.


Because of the volume of your post, I am going to divide it into sections and answer each question in order, but you will see that some of my answers are interconnected with many of your comments because so many of your questions have to do with the second coming of Christ and the state of the dead in Christ.

There are so many interpretations of scripture regarding the second coming and what happens to people after they die. I will be sharing what I believe with you in this post. But as a baby Christian, you will grow and you may develop other beliefs and understandings of scripture. Be careful that those changes do not lead you to search for an “out” so that you can believe what your heart wants to believe about ghosts instead of continuing to search out God’s Word on the subject. Our hearts are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

What I want to stress to you is that there is something more important than our beliefs about the areas of the second coming and where the dead go involved in this conversation. The main focus has to be God and His glory.

I am including a lot of Bible verses for you to read and compare with what I am telling you. I encourage you to read these verses prayerfully to get a better understanding of what the Bible says about ghosts.

In His Grace and Joy,

I still have a hard time not believing in ghosts, and I am christian.
This is an area of struggle and concern for you, I understand and I will try to shed some light or at least give you more to think about.

Why do they call the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit if there is only demonic or bad/evil ghosts or spirits? When we talk about ghosts we are talking about humans, not God.We’re talking about dead people’s spirits coming back to earth. God is a Spirit and that is our essence because we are created in His image. Our spirits are precious things. In God’s Word, spirits of dead people coming back to earth is not a good thing so that’s why we know that ghosts are not really the essences of people but evil spirits or demons trying to fool people for some reason.

Also, if people who are saved go straight to heaven when they die, then why does it say in the bible that Jesus will come to judge the living AND the dead?
Why, if the saved who are dead are already in heaven, do they get judged again, or why are they not judged before being allowed to enter into heaven?

God tells us in His Word that we will see Him in our flesh ( Job 19:26). He will restore our bodies and give us a perfect body like that of Jesus..who will always be completely God and completely human with a body (Acts 1:11).

What the Word indicates is that when someone dies who is in Christ, that person’s soul/spirit goes to be with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:8). I would say that anywhere Jesus is will be heaven, so I loosely use that term to indicate where we will be: heaven. What we do know is that we will be present with the Lord and in a desirable place.

At a later time known only to the Father (Mark 13:32) Jesus will return and at that time our bodies will rise from where they are, perfected by God, and be reunited with our spirits/souls.
The righteous will be judged at that time, not to see if they will enter heaven, that has already been settled at their death when they were found to be “in Christ”, but they will be judged according to what they have done in life (1 Corinthians 3:12-15,Mt. 12:36, Romans 2:16) and if their deeds are worthless, they will lose some of their rewards.

Those who are not in Christ at the time of their death will not be with God in death. Their spirits live on out of the presence of God. The Word tells us that the dead who are not in Christ are not here on earth but that they suffer without God’s presence from the time they die until the time of the judgment (Job 27:19-20; 2 Peter 2:4-10) when they will be cast into the lake of fire, which was actually prepared for the punishment of satan and his demons (Matthew 25:41).

Even though it is only recorded once in the bible that God allowed a spirit of a dead human return to earth, does it meant that He would not or could not have allowed it more than just that one time?
Doesn’t it say somewhere in the bible that the dead or the sleeping will awake?
What does that mean if they are already in heaven?

In one perspective, He could allow it. However, nowhere else in His Word does He indicate that He did allow it and we have to live by what we have in His Word. In doing so today He would violate the very Word that He has given us to live by. So I would have to say that He would not do that.

What is the difference if any of a soul or a spirit?

We do have souls, which are supposed to go to heaven if we are saved, but what if we don’t go to heaven, and we are here waiting for Jesus to come again to judge us before allowing us to enter into heaven?
There is a lot of different thought on the difference between the soul and the spirit of man. In scripture the two are commonly used interchangeably though there are several verses that make a distinction between the two (1 Thessalonians 5:23). I would say that the soul is the personality, intellect and will of man and that the spirit is the part that can grasp and understand the spiritual things of life.

All that you said does make sense to me, and I am no scholar when it comes to the bible, I am just a baby christian, I don’t think I have actually even read the whole bible yet, but I am hungry for as much Jesus as I can get, and this subject has confused me for a long, long time. I believe that I have had some experiences with ghosts myself, and I do like the idea that my father who passed away looks out for me, still loves me, and tries to help me, but that doesn’t make me less hungry for God’s presence in my life, it doesn’t distract me from wanting to seek more of God and from wanting to know God more and more everyday, in fact I think that knowing my dad is with God, or waiting here for Jesus to return and judge him, makes me want God and His presence in my life even more.

I don’t try to contact my dad through seances or mediums or anything like that, I don’t pray to my dad or anything, I don’t worship my dad in any kind of way, but I do like to think that we can believe that our loved ones who passed away can visit us, and we may be able to feel there presence, and they can come to comfort us, even in our dreams, but I do believe that just like there can be good spirits or souls, there are also bad/evil spirits and souls too. So why am I wrong in thinking these things?

You’re not necessarily wrong about what you are believing here. God tells us in Hebrews 1:1 that there is a great number of witnesses to our faith. Those witnesses could be some of our own loved ones whom God allows to witness certain accomplishments and struggles in our lives.
God does wipe away tears, but those tears are not wiped away until after the final judgment, so I believe that our friends and family who are with the Lord could see good times and bad when He allows it (Rev 21:4). And that can be an encouragement to us.
I do not however believe that God allows our loved ones to visit us. There is simply no scriptural support for that. In fact scripture argues against that. So as badly as I might want it, I want the truth of God’s Word and His way even more. I can see that you loved your Dad deeply. If you believe your Dad is with Jesus, then I believe that you can claim that promise that when we see Him we will be changed to be like Him. Your Dad in Jesus’ presence, is like Jesus in his character. So if you are pleasing Jesus you are pleasing your Dad. Your Dad wants nothing more than for you to love and worship Jesus with your life and actions.

I hope you can help me finally put this topic to rest in my heart and mind, I don’t want to be disobedient, but some things just are not as clear as I would like them to be in the bible. I know, there is nothing I can do about that, and I have prayed that God tell me Himself whether the way I think is wrong or not, but I still haven’t gotten a clear answer that I have recognized as an answer anyway. Right now I am doing a research paper in my college class about the existence of ghosts, so I am looking forward to your response very much. Thank you for your help. God bless you and your loved ones.

Keep searching, but always search out God’s Word, not what someone else may say about ghosts. There are a lot of things that are not clear to me, either. But God holds us responsible for whatever truth we may have. So when you search and learn, be true to it and live out out. God bless you on your way.


  1. Sally

    I just had a very strange experience. I am a strong christian and have been for 20 years. I was raised in a Christian home and attended a Bible believing church. I was saved at the age of 25 and Baptized.
    Recently, while attending the High Point MArket in in NC, I stayed at a haunted Inn in Winston Salem, NC. I didn’t know anything about this when I made the reservation. Upon arrival I felt the place was a little odd, but no big deal, I was there to work and was very tired 99% of the time. On my second night while dining next door to the Inn a man told me the place was haunted. I kindly asked me not to tell me stores because I knew if would frighten me. I went on my way but needless to say I was scared that night. I asked God to surround me with His Holy Spirit and protect me with my guardian angels. After 3 nights I checked out and went across the street to a bakery for a cup of coffee. Now that I was checked out I wasn’t to afraid to know what was really going on in the Inn. The lady at the backery confirmed that there were ghosts but didn’t tell me any specific stories. The following day once I arrived home for some reason I was still very curious. I began to do some research and even called the Inn and talked with the girl working that day at the front desk. What I discovered was very frightening. In fact, I apparently had just spent 3 nights in the most haunted room in the Inn. Without going into more detail, I am writing to you to help put my mind at ease. For some reason that has really bothered me. I truly feel God was protecting me from something, I don’t know what. Why in the world is this bothering me so much. It has really peeked my curiosity about the subject as well.

    • Sylvia

      Hello Sally,
      You asked, “Why in the world is this bothering me so much.”

      I don’t know. I guess I’d thank the Lord for protecting me from whatever may have been there, if anything. And I’d leave it at that because if you prayed for the Lord to protect you, and He did, then why would you want to know what He was protecting you from? Why would you want to dig into things that He has said are off-limits for His people? Not trying to sound, “smart” just bringing up some thoughts.

  2. Theresa

    Also Sylvia,

    Thank you for your original post on ghosts. With three young children under the age of 7, I’m sure I’m going to presented with the question about whether or not ghosts are real. I homeschool my kids, but I don’t shelter them, and I’m sure they will come across other kids or television shows that will bring up this subject as some point in their lives.

    So, I thank you for your guidance and references to scripture. It helped me understand more about the subject, and more about what my friend was experiencing last year. It also made me realize how much more in need to be in the word so I can learn from it. Thank you for convicting/encouraging me in that area!

    It is scary to think about what is really going on when people experience these things, and I hope my family and I never experience it first hand, but praise the Lord I have Him on my side to call on for help if I should ever need that kind of help!

    P.S. Sorry for the typos in my first response, I’m not using a traditional key board so letters get missed sometimes – oops!

    • Sylvia

      You’re so welcome, Theresa. I’m glad to be of help.

  3. misty

    I appreciate your time, I can never tell what the dreams mean. I know i have had a lot of traumatic things happen in my past. I am not sure it is the devil trying to keep me away from GOD. But it is scary. I want to find a good church. My husband is not that religious. Thank you for your prayers. My parents are now christians. So i do speak to my mother about it. It is hard to find too many christians around. not like it used to be. So maybe i will find a church that i feel comfortable in. I know i am a real christian. and when i said i am spiritual i dont mean in the sense of “ghosts” i meant in the christian sense. I know that being a christian is not just about going to church either, I pray, I read the word,I watch church programs and preachers on television. So I am trying. Thanks God Bless.

    • Theresa

      Hi Sylvia and Misty,

      In case this would be useful advice for you or ores who read I wanted to suggest/question something. Last year my good friend, who is Christian, was going through a scary time. She was home Aline with her three young children while her husband was serving in the war in Afghanistan. During the time he was away she started feeling scared in her home, and started feeling like she couldn’t breathe. She also mentioned feeling an evil presence in her home. She was SCARED! But like Sylvia suggested to Misty, she came to her church family for prayer and help. We were all attending a home church on Sunday nights at that time, so we all prayed for h together as a group, and made arrangements so that we could gather in h home for a time of prayer, inviting the Lord to make his presence known in the house and casting outnany demons or spirits that might be in the house, and the Pastor asked the men to go around to all the doors and windows to anoint them with oil.

      So, my suggestion for someone who might experiencing something like what my friend felt, or having dreams like Misty had, would be like Sylvia said, seek out church family to pray for you, but also invite them into your home to pray in your home, in your room, whev you are having those experiences.

      My question, because I don’t understand it, is why did the men anoint the doors and windows with oil? They said something about it was to keep the evil spirits away or something. I felt silly asking them at the time, because I didn’t want to trivialize what was going on, and I never go around to asking about that practice afterward. Is this practice something that is recommended somewhere in scripture? What is it’s purpose, or the thinking behind it? The group of people we were with were all friends that met at a Calvary Chapel, and the home church has since gone back to attending our large Calvary Chapel, including thenPastor of the home church. I say this so you know what background we come from, we’re not some “weird” off track group or anything! :0)

      • Sylvia

        Anointing with oil is mentioned in the New Testament as something done for a person who is ill and sometimes for a dead body. It is never mentioned as something done for buildings. I imagine that anointing a building, widows and doors, is done is hopes of repelling evil but that is not a New Testament practice so I don’t recommend it.

  4. Sylvia

    Dear Misty,
    There really is no way I can tell you definitively what is going on with you and your dreams from here on the internet. However, I suggest that if you are a Christian, you need to be in a Bible believing Church, and you need to be an active part of that Church so those other brothers and sisters in Christ can pray for you.

    Things like disturbing dreams and the feeling that demons are oppressing you aren’t something to play around with, you need the support and love of a Church family and you need to be a part of working for the Kingdom that can only be done within the context of a Church family. Christianity isn’t a solo thing, its lived out with others who are Christians so we can help each other.

    Being sensitive and spiritual really has little to do with your life as a Christian. Christians walk by faith. There is that spiritual element to Christianity, but its a godly spirituality, not having to do with demons.
    There is also a gift of the Spirit called discernment that God gives to His children whereby we can know if something is from God or from the Enemy. But I don’t know if that is what is going on here, I think you need to pray and ask the Lord to protect you and to give you wisdom while being obedient to His commands.

    I am praying for you today, Misty and I hope you will get serious about serving Jesus in Church so that you can get some godly prayer warriors around you.

  5. misty

    I am a christian,I wanted to add that. I always have been my parents didnt really teach us about the bible,we didnt go to church but I did used to be able to hear and feel jesus. So I have always been sensitive and spiritual.

  6. misty

    I am glad I found this website maybe you can answer my question. I have recurrant nightmares about demons, evil spirits, possesions, i have had dreams where i had to fight to wake up and felt as if i was being possesed. Is this real? I am very sensitive to good and bad. And these dreams are so real and scary. I feel so drained and frightened afterwards, when i wake up i feel like there is this evil darkness in the room. I pray in my dreams to rid the demons, or to send them aways. I am just sick of having evil or demonic dreams. Could you please tell me what you think. I hope it doesnt mean that satan is trying to posses me.

  7. Nicole Whitacre

    Thank you, Sylvia! I have wondered about these things myself.

  8. Carmela Webb

    Jennifer, God Bless you as you continue to seek the truth only found in the Word revealed by the Holy Spirit of God.

    Sylvia, thank you!