Spiritual Warfare SeriesArticles by Heidi Linden of
Spiritual Warfare And Truth
I'd like to introduce a new member of the EARS family, Heidi Linden. What I like most about Heidi is that while she has a vast amount of theological background, she also brings personal experience. She doesn't just read about ghosts and study ghosts, she deals with them in real life.
When Heidi offered to share her experience on the EARS web site it immediately seemed to be the perfect addition. My personal experience focuses mainly on UFOs and aliens. To more fully cover the paranormal spectrum EARS really needed someone who was familiar with the ghost phenomenon. Coincidentally (if there is such a thing as concidence in God's world) Heidi appeared bringing not only her knowledge of ghosts but more importantly a strong personal relationship with the director of the EARS project, Mr. Jesus Christ.
Here is Heidi's first article for EARS which I hope will serve merely as an introduction to many more contributions in the future. - Jim
Many people are surprised to hear I am a Christian when they learn what I do. I am what some call a "paranormal investigator." I personally prefer to call my team and myself "spiritual investigators" because that is what we do. We investigate spiritual situations. The term paranormal has taken on too vast a definition nowadays with all the new interests and fads. As spirituality is on the rise and interest in the paranormal is increasing, everyone is hopping on the bandwagon wondering what the truth really is.
Truth is subjective, because my truth may not be someone else's truth. It has become a matter of opinion as of late, so, how do we ever know what truth is? But, if we are to say the Bible is the truth, and the debate is whether ghosts are referred to in it, then is it left to one's interpretation?
Here is how I come up with my answers:
I have a lot of time and experience with both human spirits - that is, ghosts - and inhuman (demonic) spirits. I have a lot of knowledge of the Bible as well. So, between my personal paranormal events, my knowledge of God's Word, my and my research and study in this area, I have come up with some answers, and some theories.
We need to define "ghost". To me it may be one thing, and to another it may be something else. A "ghost" to me is a spirit of a person who once lived here on earth and then passed on, but for whatever reason did not go to God. On the other hand, an inhuman entity/spirit is something that is demonic (a fallen angel) and never was a living human being. These two are very different and have different capabilities, a ghost being the weaker of the two.
First question is, if there are no such things as ghosts, then who are we dealing with? Are they just demons? Are they pretending to be the people we know and love, the image of a child who tragically dies or a lost person who cannot find their way to "the light?" It's a possibility. But here are some scripture references that support the existence of ghosts. Again, keep in mind I am defining a ghost as the spirit of a person who once lived here on earth:
|Mark 16:11-12 (NIV)|
|When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country.
Take note of the word "appeared" which clearly is saying it was an appearance and not Him as flesh. Also notice the term "different form." This must mean other than the physical form they were used to seeing Jesus in, so it must be spiritual.
In Luke 24:36, Jesus became visible to the eleven disciples and stood in the midst of them during their conversation after He had passed. He then goes on to say:
|Luke 24:39 (NIV) Jesus speaking|
|Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.|
I use the KJV, but quoted the NIV for better comprehension.
Although there are many references to a "ghost" in the Bible, I listed just a few verses to prove, using the written Word of God, that there is spirit beyond body that can manifest here on Earth. Some may argue that these examples refer directly to Christ, God in the flesh, so it was possible for Him to do anything. They might say that these are exceptions to the rule. But Jesus taught that we all should, and can, be like Him. And there are also examples of other people appearing in spirit beyond their body:
|Mark 9:4 (NIV)|
|And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.|
At the time, Moses and Elijah has been passed on for some time now. If they were able to appear and talk with Jesus, and seen by others as well, what are they considered? Ghosts, as I see it.
One verse would have been sufficient proof that ghosts are referred to in scripture, but there are numerous ones. Some believe Jesus was not God, but a great teacher in the flesh. Even if we consider their point of view, these passages still indicate that he appeared apart from his physical body.
Now, these were holy men, and they were capable of this. But does God ever say what happens to the souls of people that were not believers? Jesus is adamant in telling us:
|John 3:5 (NIV)|
|Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."|
Some have not done this, so are we maybe dealing with lost souls of people who did not make it to God? Those are what the abundant number of people who have encountered "ghosts" are referring to.
The Bible speaks of demons and of ghosts. There are also countless references to "the holy ghost." If that was not a word or a meaning, it would not be used. Some may argue that "holy ghost" is just another term for the "holy spirit" but there is a difference between "holy spirit" and "holy ghost".
"Holy Spirit" or even "Spirit" in the Bible, is referring to the breath, mind, spirit of heaven. It is NOT the sister word to "ghost" (as in Casper). And sometimes "spirit" is capitalized and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it does mean the "Holy Spirit" (when it is capitalized) but when it is not capitalized "spirit" can mean what we now consider a "ghost."
Many times, the word "ghost" is used in the Bible, and it refers every time to the soul, self, life, one's living being, etc...
So, we can say that we give up our "ghost," but where do we go?
I can only tell you what I have read in the Living Bible and know to be true. And I also know what I have experienced.
|Matthew 14:26 (KJV)|
|"And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear..."|
That is "spirit" with a small "s" which means it is not referring to the Holy Spirit of God (with a capitol S). Again, I use KJV, but in others, like in NIV, the word "ghost" is used. So, it depends on what Bible you read and what translation you use. Does it all mean the same thing? Yes.
So, there is a soul out of our bodies, and the question remains do some of those souls remain here on earth? There are thousands upon thousands that say yes.
I can say Scripture says upon death the non-believer and follower goes to a place of punishment while awaiting judgment by Christ:
|2 Peter 2:9 (NIV)|
|"...if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment."|
(or you can re-word it for clarity and say the unrighteous for punishment until the day of judgment)
Where is He holding them? Here on earth their physical body is dead. So where is their spirit? If it isn't in Heaven, and it is stated there is no hell yet, then where are these souls? Maybe "stuck" in a different realm like described in Job:
|Job 1:6-7 (NIV)|
|One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?"|
Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
So there has to be something else to go back and forth to, correct?
In closing, one must remember, again, that while the Bible doesn't tell us everything about everything, it does tell us what we need to know about God and His intentions for us. It states this in Job.
But, instead of always striving for all the answers like man tends to do, maybe we should sometimes stop seeking explanations and rationalizations we will not benefit from and simply accept the fact that some mysteries we will not know until we die. Some we may never know. Consider what the apostle Paul commanded the Corinthians:
|1 Cor. 4:6 (NIV)|
|"Do not go beyond what is written"|
Spiritual Warfare And Truth (SWAT)