Ghosts!

Apr 08, 18 Ghosts!

 

Are ghosts real? Well, that depends on how you define the word ‘Ghost’.

October is our country’s traditional month of scary things, such as ghosts, etc. Halloween predates Christianity and was originally started by a superstitious, pagan people know as the Celts, who predominately lived in the countries we now know as Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales. The word superstitious means a fear that makes no sense. An example is the superstitious belief that a black cat crossing your path means bad luck. And the word pagan means a person who worships many gods or nature, but not the one, true God. During Halloween, the Celtic people would disguise themselves so that the witches and demons they believed roamed the world that night, would not persecute them. The word persecute means to badly mistreat.

 

In the New Testament (NT) part of the Bible which is all about Jesus, in Mark 6:48-50 (also in Matthew 14:25-27), we read that the disciples (students of Jesus) were afraid of ghosts:

“And he (Jesus) saw that they (his disciples, who were in a boat) were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night,  he (Jesus) came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them,  but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,  for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

It would seem that the Bible states that there is such a thing as ghosts. In our culture, the word ‘ghost’ means a spirit of a dead person, so that’s what we assume or suppose the word ghost means in the Bible passage above. But, in Judaism (which was the religion of Jesus and his followers; they were Jewish), there was no such thing as ghosts as we think of them, so why does the Bible state ghosts?

 

The NT part of the Bible was written in the ancient Greek language, which is a richer and more complex language than English. The Greek word which was translated into English to ‘ghost’ is phantasma and that word means “an appearance, an apparition”. Reading the Bible, we know that Jews, including Jesus, believed in angelic spirits, good angels, who are the messengers of God, and also in bad, fallen angels, which are referred to as demons. So, in the Bible passage above, what the disciples probably thought they were seeing was in fact a demon, trying to deceive them into thinking it was Jesus. This makes more sense, because, after all, in the Bible passage just before this one, they had just seen Jesus alive, so why would they now think he was dead? The verse states too that they were terrified. So, it makes more sense that what his disciples thought they were seeing was a demon pretending to be Jesus. This interpretation would have been the meaning of the writers of these Bible passages.

 

As I mentioned, our culture now believes that ghosts are spirits of dead people. We have redefined the word from meaning evil spirits to spirits of dead people. I used to believe in ghosts before I was a Christian. I now realize that the activity of ghosts is instead the acts of demons. When I wasn’t a Christian, what I thought of as evidence of ghosts meant to me that there were no such places then as heaven and hell, because in Christianity, when a person dies, they only go to one of these two places. I used to think that if ghosts can haunt, roam or visit people, that meant that there could not be a heaven or a hell. I now realize that this is exactly what satan, the devil, wants people to believe: if there are ghosts (spirits of dead people) on this earth, there is no heaven or hell. Again, I now realize this is a trick of the devil.

 

Christians believe that God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell and that that is why He sent his son, Jesus, who willingly gave His life for us. The Bible uses the expression, “He ransomed us’. This means that He paid for our freedom from sin, death, and an eternal separation from God. I have more info about hell on my blog:

http://www.bloggingwithelaine.com/about-hell/

 

Don’t be afraid of demons. The Bible is full of assurances that we have nothing to fear, because if you believe in God / Jesus, God is FOR you. Here’s a great Bible verse to memorize, which is from James 4:7 KJV:

 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

 

So, if you are a Jesus-follower / Born-again Christian, you can be protected from demons because of the power of Jesus / God. We have NOTHING to fear!

 

God bless you and shine with His light!

 

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