Scripture tells us that it is appointed unto man to die ONCE, and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Therefore, no one who passes out of this life into the next may return to us—in any form. (We are not talking here of normal dreams about someone, although if you have a sexual dream about someone you may very well want to examine the root of it and deal with it as Jehovah leads.) I have said before that there is only one example in Scripture of a dead person returning, but I was wrong. There are two: The first, is when God allowed the witch of En Dor, a medium (necromancer), to call up the dead prophet Samuel who was resting in Abraham’s Bosom, where all the Saints went before Paradise (Heaven) was opened to us through Jesus’ power and resurrection.
When the prophet John Paul Jackson was alive, he explained the reasoning behind this as being that since Jesus had not yet come and not yet taken back the keys of Death, Hell, and the Grave, the dead were under Satan’s Lordship and he could do as he pleased. I personally do not agree with this explanation since that, to me, says Satan could easily have allowed other people, godly or otherwise, to be called up without restriction. Again, I disagree with this. I believe the key indicator of the purpose was in the medium’s reaction to Samuel. Any medium who was in earnest about his or her practice would have believed they were actually communicating with the dead. They would not have been surprised at all if a spirit they’d called up came to them, unless, perhaps, it was their first time. But mediums call up spirits left and right. Many times, they don’t even actually have to call to them, they’re just there; they just come of their own volition. But on this particular occasion in En Dor, the night before Saul’s final battle against the Philistines, the Witch of En Dor got the surprise of her life! Here is the story.
So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him; and they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Please conduct a séance for me, and bring up for me the one I shall name to you.”
Then the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the spiritists from the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?”
And Saul swore to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.”
Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”
And he said, “Bring up Samuel for me.”
When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!”
And the king said to her, “Do not be afraid. What did you see?”
And the woman said to Saul, “I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth.”
So he said to her, “What is his form?”
And she said, “An old man is coming 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 down.
Now Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”
And Saul answered, “I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me and does not answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do.”
Then Samuel said: “So why do you ask me, seeing the Lord has departed from you and has become your enemy? And the Lord has done for Himself as He spoke by me. For the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord nor execute His fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you this day. Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”
Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, and was dreadfully afraid because of the words of Samuel. And there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all day or all night. (I Samuel 28:8-20)
“Endora” recognized something very different about this occasion than all the others. This was not a spirit like all the others. I believe in this situation, she understood, perhaps, that this was the real Samuel and not a familiar spirit impersonating him. After all, that is the domain of familiar spirits. They familiarize themselves with people and may even take on the appearances of those they are assigned to for the sake of deceiving those who are yet alive. Yet I believe God allowed this as a final ministration from Samuel to Saul. And a wake-up call, hopefully, to the witch.
The other story of the dead returning is found in the New Testament, in the Gospels.
Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. (Matt. 17:1-8)
There is SO much in this short story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. It’s funny, even as I write this I believe the Spirit of God is impressing upon me that the image of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah was utterly significant: Moses was (in the past), Jesus was/is (at present), and Elijah had not yet come. God is He Who was, and is, and is to come. The Law was under Moses, and the Spirit of Elijah (who had not yet died, but is most likely one of the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 11) would come in the Last Days (Mal. 4:5-6, Matt. 11:14), and Jesus ties them both together; He bridges the gap between the two with the Cross. And yet Moses is the “problematic” figure here since he, in fact, died.
Some believe Moses is one of the Two Revelation Witnesses, but I disagree (in favour of Enoch who walked with God and was no more, Gen. 5:24) because, again, it is appointed unto man to die once, and then the judgment. Some think because of Moses’ illusive departure that he, perhaps, bypassed death and went directly to Heaven like Enoch. But Scripture disproves this theory because how can you argue over the ownership of the corpse of a man who isn’t dead?
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)
Moses was definitely dead. And yet, Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s Gospels all testify of seeing him with Jesus. Well, I don’t think we can argue with anything Jesus did, for starters. But recognizing that there are false Jesuses out there (Matt. 24:24, Mark 13:22), we must yet guard against deception. Yes, even with those who appear to be Jesus. So how do we know that this was not simply a demonic spirit impersonating Moses? How do we “try the spirit to see if it be of God?” Easy: besides the fact that Jesus didn’t cast him out like He did all other demonic spirits He encountered, the (human) spirit, along with Elijah, testified of Jesus and the voice of God backed them up. The fear of the Lord (conviction) came on them for Peter’s insane ejaculation: “Hey, let’s build a tabernacle for all three of y’all!” And God, once done “facepalming” over Peter yet again putting his unfiltered foot in his mouth (admittedly the reason I love him so much! I can relate!), God said look: This Man right here is My Son!” The moment Peter uttered his accidentally idolatrous suggestion, Moses (and Elijah) didn’t stick around; they bounced and were translated back to Heaven, and the creme de la creme: “When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” They saw Jesus only.
I don’t believe God would allow a Believer to have an experience like this today because, well, we see how Peter responded out of fear and cluelessness. And it’s easy to pick on Peter, but you and I very well could have done just the same thing, just as easily. It’s human nature to worship that which seems beautifully (or fearfully) beyond us. But they saw no one but Jesus only. Jesus was there to correct them and point them back to Him, while He pointed them back to God.
The stories of Samuel and Moses are exceptions, they are not the rule. God is by no means restrained from doing whatever He likes within the realm of the standards He Himself created, but don’t count on being the exception in cases like these. It could very well lead to false Jesuses, false Moseses, and a host of evil spirits deceiving you.
What These “Ghosts” Really Are
Now as we have already begun to uncover, these “ghosts”... are not ghosts at all. They are demonic spirits, perhaps even fallen angels themselves, who prey on countless individuals.
There is no such thing as ghosts. Well, not in the sense that pop culture or history mean them. The King James Version of Scripture is chocked full of references to ghosts. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the Holy Ghost (I always like to joke and say that you call Him that when you mean business!) (Matt. 1:18, 1:20; John 14:26). When both Abraham and Jesus died their respective deaths, the term “gave up the ghost” was used in reference to their spirits passing out of their bodies (Gen. 25:8, Mark 15:37). So you see, this ghost is not a ghost at all in the haunting sense. And while we’re at it, human spirits do not haunt anything or anyone. Neither do they possess anything or anyone. There are no wraiths, no wandering, troubled human spirits stuck betwixt the worlds. There is, besides earth, heaven and there is Hell. There are human spirits and there are otherworldly spirits. These are demons. Devils. Unclean spirits.
[I do want to take a quick moment to say that through the dark powers of the Occult, just as a human spirit can travel through astral projection, it can also terrorize other human beings and cause mischief that way. This is what often happens in witchcraft attacks: demonic spirits and human spirits alike attack people for their own wicked purposes. Just ask Earthquake Kelley or John Ramirez. But again, these are living spirits, not dead.]
No matter the name,no matter the form, their nature is the same: fallen.
The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming eBook, The Days of Noah and Lot: Uncovering the Perversions of the First and Last Days. Stay tuned for details of release!