Fear God, Not Ghosts

The craze to dress up like ghosts, goblins, or some other ghoulish costume continues to haunt Americans, including God-fearing Christians and Jews alike. The lucrative 9 Million Dollar American industry tempts even the religious to celebrate the most evil time of the year. What’s more frightening is many, if not most Americans, are unaware the origins of this spooky holiday, much less what the Hebrew and Christian Bibles say about ghosts or more specifically talking to ghosts.

According to numerous credible internet sources, Halloween essentially originated and still is considered a pagan holiday known as the most ideal day to speak to the dead and as a bonus, the dead may even predict the future for you. Even more fascinating is the Torah, the first five books of both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, specifically warn against speaking to the dead either on one’s own or through a medium, particularly to learn of the future (Exodus 22:17, Leviticus 19:30-31, 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:11). The prophet Isaiah also warns not to do so in Isaiah 8:19-20 and 29:4. Just the fact that God states not to converse with the dead indicates it IS possible to do; otherwise, a command stating not to do so would not be needed. It also infers pagans have been communicating with the dead for thousands of years.

In this painting, King Saul falls prostrate upon seeing the ghost of the Prophet Samuel.

In fact, did you know there is a fascinating story found in 1 Samuel 28:7-25 where King Saul seeks out a witch or medium to contact the deceased Prophet Samuel to get advice about what to do about a pending battle? In this story, not only does King Saul break both God’s and his own law banishing mediums or any other form of witchcraft and sorcery, but the medium is successful in summoning the peacefully rested Samuel. The medium is shocked to see the ghost of Samuel for it is then she realizes King Saul is in costume and deceived her in who he is (since he banished such practices) so the medium is worried he will have her killed (see 1 Sam. 28:8 -12). Meanwhile, the ghost of the Prophet Samuel is irate he was disturbed from his soul-sleep, if you will (vs 15).

As if all that wasn’t remarkable enough, the Prophet Samuel can STILL prophesize to King Saul WHILE DEAD (vs 19)! Prophet Samuel predicts King Saul will be joining him in death the next day along with King Saul’s descendants.

What we can learn from this Biblical account are a few things:

  1. Whether you a righteous person or a wicked person, it appears, when you are dead, you are dead (Ecclesiastes 9:5) as if asleep blissfully unaware of your surroundings as you await the resurrection (Job 14:10-14; Daniel 12:1-3; Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 29-31) and not instantly ushered to “heaven” or “hell” – even the New Testament makes such claims (see John 3:13; Acts 2:29), rather God’s breath in you goes back to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) but I realize, Christianity is an easy sell when you make people believe they are going to hell – Moreover, what is the point of a resurrection or God reigning on earth one day if you are instantly with God upon death?;
  2. The dead’s spirit or ghost can be disturbed and communicated with (though not advised!);
  3. Some mediums do indeed have a gift or craft for summoning the dead, though it is against God’s instructions to do so;
  4. The dead’s spirit or ghost can inform you of things you’d shouldn’t know about or ask about (i.e. like when you are going to die or what tomorrow holds);
  5. And evidently, prophets can still prophesize even when dead (funny, not funny)!

Being I have seen a ghost and even have regrettably communicated with a ghost once (before knowing it was against Torah many, many years ago now), as well as been on ghost tours through historic cities, and so forth, I have come to believe ghosts indeed exists, but have pondered the mystery as to why one may not speak to ghosts – what’s the harm? And what’s the harm in dressing up like ghosts as is the custom in Halloween? I have come to the conclusion that though it is certainly possible to contact the dead for whatever reason, perhaps for advice or longing for relationship or just to know you are indeed sensing something paranormal in your home and not crazy (such as was my case years ago), The One True Living God wants us to seek Him instead for said matters, not the dead. Furthermore, it would seem once you open that door, it is difficult to tightly close. It’s like the stray alley cat you feed, they are likely to tell the other cats, there is a crazy cat lady who will feed and entertain you. Likewise, it’s been my observation, if you are willing to communicate with one ghost, others also attempt to communicate perhaps longing to resolve issues left undone. Moreover, if there is a Holy Ghost or Spirit of Holiness, however, you want to label God’s Spirit, then that would indicate there also are unholy ghosts or evil spirits. Otherwise, the adjective of “holy” would not be needed to distinguish that Spirit from other spirits. Perhaps just like there are righteous and evil people, there too are good ghosts and bad ghosts, angels, and demons. The problem is both angels and demons are allegedly all around as are possibly the dead, so who do we know for certain we are talking to when consulting the dead or when a medium is communicating with them on our behalf? How do you know you are talking to Aunt Betty or some struggling ghost needing closure and not a demon in disguise? How do you know you or your kid’s costume doesn’t attract some deceptive or confused spirit and your kid isn’t bringing home more than just candy? Again, The Living God implores us not to take such harmful risks, but rather instructs the living to seek the Living God for guidance. He has kindly ensured everything we need to know has been documented for us. Also, know that He still speaks to our minds and still answers prayers. All we need to do is seek Him and verify it is Him through His documented Voice found in the Bible.

Most importantly, fear God, keep His instructions for life, and do not fear, talk to, or emulate ghosts. Halloween glorifies and invites death, breaking God’s commands such as murder or casting spells, while propagating unholy fear, and communicating with the dead. What do you want to teach your kids and grandkids: Fearing God or fearing ghosts? We don’t need to fear ghosts, just God.