A Case of Haunting in the Old Testament
By John W. Milor
††††††††††† The predominant Christian opinion about ghosts is that they are demonic manifestations that intend to lead people astray into various deceptions. These deceptions vary.
∑ If ghosts are real, the existence of heaven and hell are challenged. Ghosts donít appear to be either in heaven, or hell.
∑ The Bible warns us not to attempt to make contact with the deceased, (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). This may indicate that achieving communication with what we think is our dearly departed is actually communication with demonic entities.
∑ It is known throughout scripture that demonic entities are heavily involved in the work of deception. Ghosts may be part of that deception.
††††††††††† While suggesting that ghosts exist will usually set off the usual warning signals in a Christianís mind, I would like to suggest a few scriptures that may reveal a flip side to this issue. In Numbers 35:33-34, scripture states that blood shed (murder) defiles a land, when the injustice of murder takes place. The only way to cleanse defiled ground is by extracting justice from the guilty party.
33So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 34Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.
††††††††††† I was a researcher of the paranormal prior to becoming a Christian, so now when I read the Bible I see things that many Christians donít. It strikes me as more than a coincidence that haunting is frequently associated with brutal murders, and the passage of scripture above echoes in my mind as a possible explanation. In fact, the very first murder recorded in the Bible appears to generate the classic description of a haunting.
9And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brotherís keeper? 10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brotherís blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11And now art thou cursed from the Earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brotherís blood from thy hand; 12When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the Earth.
††††††††††† God actually heard Abelís blood crying up from the Earth. Whatís more is the fact that Hebrews 11:4 actually states that it really was Abelís voice that cried out beyond the grave, and that this feat was accomplished because of Abelís faith.
4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Letís delve deeper. What is the essence of blood?† In Leviticus 17:11, and Leviticus 17:14, it states that the life of the flesh is in the blood.
Leviticus 17:11, 14
11For the life of the flesh is in the bloodÖ
14For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereofÖ
Inserting this definition into Genesis 4:10-11, we have the following:††††††
††††††††††† Genesis 4:10-11 [replacing ďbloodĒ with ďlife of the fleshĒ]
10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of [the life of thy brotherís flesh] crieth unto me from the ground. 11And now art thou cursed from the Earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive the [life of thy brotherís flesh] from thy hand.
††††††††††† Does this not sound like a haunting?
††††††††††† While I may be concluding that ghosts really exist, at the same time, I also believe that heaven and hell also exist; they are real places. Those who close the door on this discussion simply never bother to continue to ask questions. For example, what are the exact locations of heaven and hell? And what are the rules regarding the inhabitants of these places?
Concerning hell, might there be many layers to it, and some are very close to our dimension? Might there be something the Bible calls cursed ground, (recall Numbers 35:33-34 from above), where the veil is thin between the upper dimensions of hell and this dimension?
Can spirits escape, at least temporarily, the higher dimensions of hell? The Bible documents many cases of spirit possession, and these spirits canít be in hell and possessing people at the same time. Before possessing people, these spirits were roaming the Earth as disincarnate entities, (i.e. ghosts), were they not? Concerning these spirits, the Bible calls some of them devils, but has a variety of other names for them, such as evil spirits (Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14, 15, 16, 23, 18:10, 19:9; Acts 19:12, 13, 15, 16; Luke 7:21, 8:2), unclean spirits (Matthew 10:1; Mark 1:27, 3:11, 5:13, 6:7; Luke 4:36, 6:18; Acts 5:16, 8:7; Revelation 16:13), foul spirits (Mark 9:25; Revelation 18:2), and familiar spirits (Leviticus 19:31, 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:3, 9; 2 Kings 21:6, 23:24; and Isaiah 8:19, 19:3). Is there no room for ghosts here?
As for heaven, are there any scriptures stating that the inhabitants there are forbidden to help us down here on Earth? No. There are scriptures forbidding necromancy, (remember Deuteronomy 18:10-12 from above), but the Bible documents angels on assignment in numerous scriptures. Many of these angels may very well be the saints of ages passed, such as the deceased prophet who spoke with the Apostle John during his vision of Revelation (Revelation 22:9).
9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
††††††††††† So far, all of the explanations for ghosts Iíve mentioned using the Bible are actual disembodied spirits, but there may also be other explanations for ghosts that have nothing to do with sentient beings, such as thought forms, energy patterns science has yet to discover, fluctuations in the space time continuum, or people perceiving into other dimensions. In short, the world is very mysterious, and the realm of the supernatural is far too complex to label all that which is unknown as ďdemonic.Ē Certainly the realm of the demonic has its place, but I personally think that Satan has been given too much credit for many things that donít have anything to do with him.