Summary: The topic of "ghosts" has been around as long as there have been human beings. “Ghost Stories” have been a mainstay on Halloween nights. Are they real?
ARE GHOSTS REAL?
My key text is a verse by King Solomon.
1. A Sunday School teacher asked her class of small boys how Solomon happened to be so wise. One little boy said, "That’s because he had so many wives to advise him."
2. A little girl said, "King Solomon is my favorite character in the Bible. He was kind to ladies and animals." The startled teacher asked, "Who told you that?" "Nobody told me. I read it myself in the Bible," asserted the little girl. "It says Solomon kept 700 wives and 300 porcupines."
B. THE TOPIC OF GHOSTS
1. The topic of "ghosts" has been around as long as there have been human beings. “Ghost Stories” have been a mainstay on Halloween nights.
2. Casper the Friendly Ghost introduced American children to the concept. Then came the movie “Ghost Busters” and in its wake came "Ghost Hunters."
3. To me, hardly anything is as ridiculous as the reality show, "Ghost Hunters," as they go through old houses and buildings and pretend they hear or see something.
4. This brings us to the whole genre of "haunted" houses or buildings. Is all of this hocus-pocus?
5. Probably most of it is imagination, but undoubtedly, some of it has a true spiritual basis. Hopefully we'll come back to this later.
C. DEFINITION: “Ghosts” -In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost or specter, phantom, or apparition is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. (Wikipedia)
D. MENTIONED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
2. After Christ’s resurrection, He had them touch Him to convince them that He was not a ghost; “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.” Luke 24:39
I. SENSITIVITY TO THE SPIRITUAL REALM
A. THE SPIRITUAL REALM IS REAL
1. There is a spiritual realm. Some can see it and others can't. This is very clear in the story of Elisha and his servant.
2. “Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” 2 Kgs. 6:14-17.
B. SOME PERCEIVE IT CLEARER
1. The spiritual realm was there, but until God opened the eyes of Elisha's servant, he could not see them.
2. Just because we haven’t seen it, doesn’t justify unbelief in it. If you live long enough and draw close to God, you’ll probably experience it in some degree.
3. Sensitivity has to be developed to it. But combine that with consumption of the Word, because there’s greater chance of deception with the pursuit of knowledge. (i.e. – like Eve)
II. DIFF. BTW ANGELS & HUMAN SPIRITS
Angels and spirits are real. “The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.” Acts 23:8. Paul confessed he was a Pharisee, vs. 6.
A. ANGELIC SPIRITS
1. There is a difference between angels and humans spirits. The Angels are a finite number and were created at the beginning of creation.
2. They observed the creation of the Earth and the universe and, I suppose, the creation of human beings.
3. According to the book of Hebrews, angels are "spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation" Hebrews 1:14.
B. HUMAN SPIRITS
1. Humans spirits, however, were not all created at one time, nor is there a limited number that is not increasing, like Angels.
2. Instead, the human spirit is formed within the physical body while it is in formation in the mothers womb, Zech. 12:1; "Who forms ("fashions", Mal. 2:10) the spirit of man within him."
3. So in the Garden of Eden there were only 2 humans spirits; now there are billions! One similarity with Angels is that our spirit lives forever, in heaven or hell.
III. DISCUSSION ON SPIRITUAL MIGRATION
There are at least three different spirits in existence which could be interpreted as ghosts: spirits of Angels, spirits of humans, and spirits of animals. Let's look at each type.