What the Bible says about: Ghosts, and Psychics

With so many alternative beliefs in our society, it is often difficult for some to decide what is true, and what is not. Christians need to have an answer for the question: "Do Ghosts exist?"

They also need to be aware of the deception behind so called "psychics".

This page will attempt to provide answers to these questions.

Why doesn't the church ever teach about this?

I do not know why these never seem to be discussed in church. Perhaps Pastors don’t realize the negative effects that these beliefs have on the Christian faith. Maybe they are unaware of just how widespread these beliefs are. Some theologians don't take them seriously, since they themselves don’t believe in ghosts and aliens they fail to realize just how many of the "lost" people of the world do - not to mention how many Christians are confused about them. Another possibility is that they are aware of these beliefs but feel unequipped to deal with them.

Whatever the reason these topics are not being addressed I hope this page helps them to see why they need to be.

Test the Spirits

Whether you are dealing with so called ghosts, aliens or psychics, the only way to know if you are being deceived is to know the word of God (scripture) and know it well. Test the spirits to see if they are of God, or if you are being deceived by a lying spirit.

1 John 4:1
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."


Many people have claimed to see Ghosts, and others even claim to have captured them on film. Do these spiritual beings actually exist?

Do we become ghosts when we die? Or do we become Angels?

Neither is true... according to the Bible.

Angels were created separate from man, and are a different order than man. Genesis chapter 2:1 (King James Version) speaks of the 'hosts" of heaven being created. Also read Revelation 7:9-14 to see that angels and men are 2 completely different beings.

What are ghosts?

The Bible says that one third of the angels rebelled against God (see my page on Satan for more info). Satan (Lucifer) was the angel in charge of this rebellion. These angels were punished by being banished from heaven.

Satan hates man. Man has a relationship with God that angels could never have. Man was made in the image and likeness of God. Satan is jealous of this and hates us for it. He wants to deceive human kind into rejecting God, so that man will share the same punishment that he is destined for.

Satan knows that one single lie wont be effective in deceiving everyone. So he came up with several. Some men would be deceived by Ghosts and reincarnation. Others would adopt an evolutionary philosophy, that the world created itself without God. Others would be deceived into believing in pagan gods, etc...

I believe (and the Bible says) that Satan sends fallen angels to earth to deceive us. Satan wants us to doubt the existence of God. He wants man to share in his punishment.

Part of this deception is the appearance of "ghosts". Satan wants man to believe that these are the spirits of people who have died. That they have overcome the chains of death and returned.

This is opposite of what the Bible says happens when we die. By being presented with these spirits one tends to question if the Biblical destination after death is the correct one. Because if ghosts exist, then clearly heaven does not.

Ghosts are "familiar spirits"

The truth is these "ghosts" are not the spirits of men and women, but rather fallen angels masquerading as our loved ones.

If man believes that he becomes a ghost or is reincarnated at death, he will exclude the possibility of heaven as his eternal home and God as his Father.

Some "ghosts" have appeared to humans claiming that they want to "help" them. They posses a knowledge that only that person could know. Which is convincing to the person involved.

But what that person fails to realize is that angels have existed since God created the world. Angels are "older" than us, and older than our loved ones. They can easily retain knowledge about that persons life that "only they could know".

Other "ghosts" are clearly out to cause harm. Such is the case in hauntings.

I will be adding examples of both. And examine the scriptural basis.

Haunted houses

"I just finished reading your article on ghosts and I completely agree with you. I do however have a question for you. My sister lives in an old house in Missouri that is haunted, I say this because I have been there to visit and have heard the noises and so on. She has related to me sightings of these dastardly things and incidents where they have manifested by locking doors, turning off lights, sitting on her bed, footsteps, etc. .

Why would they occupy this old house? The previous owner obviously knew about them because she only lived in part of the house and for only for a short time."
thanks for your time
Trey D. 8/25/01

Answer: I do not claim to have all the answers, especially in an area where the bible is relatively silent, but I do believe that demons do have the ability to manifest themselves, and manipulate the matter around them.

Some noises may be demonic (demons can at times be seen and heard), others may be natural, wind, settling house etc.

2 Corinthians 11:14

2 Corinthians 11:14 tells us that Satan and his angels are able to disguise themselves as helpful spirits.

2 Corinthians 11:14 (KJV)

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

Did Matthew believe in Ghosts?

"In Matthew 14:26 when Jesus is walking on the water the disciples are afraid because they think that he is a "ghost". If ghosts do not exist then how do they even know about them."
Thanks, Kim 11/2/01

Matthew 14:26
"And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear." This is the King James Version. The NIV and some others use the word "ghost" instead of "spirit".

The belief in ghosts probably dates back several thousand years. People living at the time of Christ believed in them just as some people living today believe in them. This does not make them any more real. There were lying spirits then, and there are lying spirits now.

Jesus never taught that ghosts were real, or that they were the spirits of our loved ones returning to visit us. To the contrary he taught that when we die we are either with God in heaven, or will be waiting final judgment (hell).

Jesus and Ghosts

"What are your thoughts on this statement by Jesus himself, who in Luke 24, verse 39, said "Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do!"

This is not Jesus telling us that ghosts are real. It is him telling them that he is real, and not like the ghosts of fables.

Also the King James Bible (the one I believe to be most accurate) says: "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Luke 24:39 KJV

Again you see the word "spirit" used instead of "ghost".

Giving up the ghost

All humans have spirits, and these spirits are sometimes called "ghosts" in scripture, specifically in the King James version of the Bible. In Gen. 25:8 (KJV) Abraham "gave up the ghost", in Hebrew the words in this verse translated "gave up the ghost", mean "to breathe out" to "be dead" and "perish" (The Complete Word Study Old Testament" Zodhiates AMG Publishers). It is interesting here that man would breathe out his spirit, as it is God that breathed it into man. Thus, when man dies his spirit returns to God - or is held in Hades, it does not roam the earth haunting houses.

There are dozens of other examples in scripture showing that man "gives up" his spirit at death.

Article on Ghosts and the bible

Click these links to read a great booklet on Ghosts in the bible

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Past Lives

Some people believe in Reincarnation. They believe that they are destined to repeat their lives over and over until they "get it right".

But the Bible clearly says that we are not reincarnated but that we live once and die once, and after this we face the judgment seat of Christ.

Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)says:

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

Question from a reader:
"I have read that Jesus spoke extensively about reincarnation in the original teachings, but this was later taken out of the bible, as well as many other things."
Igors B. 11/8/01

My response:
I do not believe Christ ever taught reincarnation, or that it was removed from the bible. Anyone can say that about anything. But these claims are without merit.

Christ said to one of the men on the cross that today he will be with him (God) in paradise. He didn't say "after you come back over and over and get it right, you will be with me in paradise."

Are the people who claim to have been reincarnated making it up?

What about those claiming to be reincarnated?
Many people making these claims do not do so to be deceitful, they may truly believe it. But what they don't realize is that they are just being used by Satan like giant puppets. Satan lies to each of us every day. He and his demons whisper lies into our ears. Sometimes our spirits reject these lies, and other times, especially if we are in a weakened state or have opened ourselves up to Satan somehow (Tarot, Wicca etc) we will let these lies simmer and we will think on them more and more, and as we do Satan knows this, he can read our reactions and will continue with more and bigger lies until sometimes people become convinced a lie is the truth.

Sometimes we feel unimportant and insignificant. Satan knows how tempting it is to think more of ourselves than we ought - after all he did it first! Have you ever noticed how many people claim to have been a president, or some other great hero of history? No one ever claims to have been a garbage man, or homeless person. At any given time there are about 100 George Washington’s walking around.

There is no second chance to get it right, I wish there were but this does not make it so. Reincarnation is just another lie of the Devil to keep you from receiving Christ as your Savior. After all, if there is no Judgment.. and we can correct our mistakes in our "next life" then there is no need for a Savior.

The main tenant in reincarnation is that there is no Divine Judgment. This ties in with the evolutionary philosophy that there is no Judge (God).

Talking to the dead

How do Mediums communicate with spirits during a Séance? Can you really talk to a person who has passed away?

There is no question that some of these people are frauds. See this secret a psychic recently revealed to Postsecret (11/07).

Part of this is wishful thinking. The person who wants to hear from a loved one is easily deceived. This is clearly what it is... deception. Not only on the part of the person conducting the séance but also in the spirits involved. And there are spirits involved.

Evil spirits have been moving in the lives of people for thousands of years. This is much longer than any one person has been on the earth. The same evil spirits that are present today, were here when your Grandma was a little girl. These spirits would easily know "all about her" or the "things that only she would know".

This is the same reason there are people living today that believe they lived another life centuries ago. The accounts they give of life in other generations are very realistic. Sometimes they are even given names of people they "knew" and places they've "been". Again, these are evil spirits impressing thoughts in the minds of people. The person has no idea of the deception, and believe the memories are their own.

God forbids conjuring up spirits

Deuteronomy 18:9 (KJV)
"When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. (11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. (12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee."

1 Samuel 28 and mediums

In 1 Samuel 28 Saul asks for a woman who is a medium so that he can talk to her. This woman had spoken to a "familiar spirit" on many occasions. She made her living by doing so. This spirit was not the deceased loved one her customer wished to contact, but an evil spirit directed by Satan to imitate the deceased. On this occasion with Saul however, God allowed the actual spirit of Samuel to be contacted. This had never happened before (she expected the same deceiving spirit she had always seen) and the medium "cried with a loud voice" (verse 12).

God used this instance to show both his power and presence to the medium revealing himself as the one true God. He also used it to send a message of condemnation to Saul.

The first book of Samuel refers to communication with the deceased, but it is forbidden by God (read Deuteronomy 18:9 above).

I have included the scriptures (1 Samuel) below, followed by the index notes from the "Defenders Study Bible". These notes are in red.

1 Samuel 28 (KJV)

"And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.

(2)And David said to Achish, "Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever"

(3)Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

(4)And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.

(5)And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

(6)And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

(7)Then said Saul unto his servants, "Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her". And his servants said to him, "Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor".

Notes for 28:7 "familiar spirit": Communication with spirits is as old as history, but has been strictly forbid- by God (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). The entities called by spirit mediums (a process called "channeling" in the New Age movement) are not the spirits of deceased human beings, as often claimed, but are evil spirits or demons, under the direction of Satan. When a spirit controls the body of a medium, essentially the body is demon possessed. Any "guidance" from such a source will inevitably be deceptive and dangerous, leading the one so deceived still further from the Lord.

(8) And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, "I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee."

(9) And the woman said unto him, "Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?"

(10) And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

(11) Then said the woman, "Whom shall I bring up unto thee?" And he said, "Bring me up Samuel"

(12) And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, "saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul".

Notes for 28:12 "the woman saw Samuel" The "witch of En-dor" (I Samuel 28:7) undoubtedly expected to call up her own "familiar spirit" who could feign a message from Samuel. God, however, actually allowed Samuel’s own spirit to return to deliver one final message of condemnation to rebellious Saul. This is why the woman screamed out in shock and fear; her channeling had never before commu­nicated with the departed spirits of real humans.

(13)And the king said unto her, "Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods* ascending out of the earth".

(personal footnote - "gods" as used here refers to angels. source: "The Complete Word Study Old Testament" Zodhiates AMG Publishers).

(14)And he said unto her, "What form is he of?" And she said, "An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle". And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

(15) And Samuel said to Saul, "Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do".

(16)Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

(17) And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

(18) Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.

(19)Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Notes for 28:19: "be with me." This incursion of Saul into the for­bidden arts was the reason why God let him be slain the next day (II Chronicles 10:13-14 / double check reference, might be 1 Samuel 31:3).

(20) Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

(21) And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.

(22) Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way.

(23) But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed.

(24) And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof:

(25)And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night."

Can you conjure up an evil spirit at will?

If you invite an evil spirit to show his presence, he will gladly do it. It may not always be in the physical realm where you can see it. But they are there. And once they've arrived they may never want to leave.

Does Satan have the power to take life?

"In Job, Satan is instructed not to take Job's life. Does this imply that he did have the power to do so? I have not found anything directing that Satan does, or does not, have the power to take life. Your thoughts?"
Chas 7/14/01

I will need to research this more, but it could be that rather than God saying that Satan can kill anyone except for Job, he may be reinforcing Satan’s already present lack of power to take life.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders"

It is in this way many have been deceived, such as Joseph Smith, those who talk with the dead, aliens etc.

The bible tells us we should always test spirits to see if they are of God.

Here is a good book I am reading on ghosts and the bible:
"The Truth Behind Ghosts, Mediums, And Psychic Phenomena : Ron Rhodes (Paperback, 2006) ISBN-10 : 0736919074 ; ISBN-13 : 9780736919074

I am just recommending this book. I did not write it - and I don't make any money if you buy it. I just think it is helpful in answering these questions.

Other questions to be answered soon:

Can psychics predict the future?

Were the Biblical prophets actually psychics?

If you have any questions on Creation, Evolution, or just want to say "Hi" please feel free to email me.

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Last updated 07/08