The Truth about Devils, Ghosts, and Spirits

Justin Johnson

Far too few Christians take devils, ghosts, and spirits serious enough.

Either they are taken too lightly and made the subject of cartoons, fictions, and festive holidays, or they are surrounded in superstition and fear.

There are many false ideas, superstitions, and pagan ideas about the spirit world, but the Bible is the only source that can be trusted on the matter. (It is inspired by God who is the sole trustworthy authority on spiritual things.)

Ghosts are Real

First, every Christian ought to believe in ghosts. A ghost is a spirit or soul without a body, an immaterial person.

Once you die, you will give up yours (Gen 25:8).

God is a Spirit (John 4:24). The Holy Ghost is God (Matt 28:19; Acts 5:3). Jesus gave up the ghost when he died on the cross (Luke 23:46).

“Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you…” – 1 Cor 6:19

If anyone thinks this is all unscientific or the stuff of myths, then consider the conversation among scientists about if there can be ghosts in machines, or how we can create and transfer what is immaterial about us into robots and computers. (The Bible is not anachronistic, it is far ahead of its time.)

The Devil Exists

Second, the Devil is real, and so are the many devils and evil spirits that have followed him in his rebellion to God. (The Bible does not call them demons, which could be good or bad; devils are always bad.)

What’s more is that all the devils and evil spirits know God, Jesus, and even the apostle Paul (Acts 19:15; James 2:19). This is more Bible than most people know.

Jesus was tempted by the Devil (Matt 4:1). The Devil has set snares for men (1 Tim 3:7; 2 Tim 2:26; 2 Cor 11:14). Christians are instructed to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:11), and should not be ignorant of his devices (2 Cor 2:11).

Consider the rise today in witchcraft, spiritism, and the pursuit of spiritual energy and power through spirits that are not the God of the Bible.

All of this is forbidden by God as it leads to people being deceived, controlled, and ultimately the possessions of beings that do not bear truth, righteousness, peace, or joy.

Only God can fulfill this spiritual need. Only truth can reveal devils, evil spirits, and their lies for what they are – ungodly. Only faith in God’s word can enlighten your eyes.

Are You Possessed

Third, upon belief in the gospel you are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, and have been delivered from the power of darkness (Eph 1:13; Col 1:13).

In the Bible, evil spirits and devils possess people and cause them to do strange and sometimes powerful things. This can be a fearful thing for those who are not saved or do not have knowledge of the true power of Christ.

For those saved by the gospel of Christ, God has not given the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). Why?

Christians are made members of the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit once we trust the gospel (1 Cor 12:13). We become God’s possession, and the Devil has no claim or power to take that possession away from the more powerful One in whom we trust (Eph 1:14; Eph 1:22; Col 2:10). That is God’s great power through Christ.

This is not to say Christians cannot be influenced by the Devil or evil spirits. Satan hindered Paul, and Satan has ministers (1 Thess 2:18; 2 Cor 11:15). But this is why Christians ought to learn the truth about evil spirits from God’s word alone, not from stories, cartoons, pagan myths, or Catholic tradition.

Responding to Evil Spirits

The way our culture deals with evil spiritual phenomena is to ignore it, deny it, or play with it thinking it to be harmless. The widespread presence of evil and lies in our culture is a result in part of leaving that door wide open.

Christians are instructed not to give place to the devil (Eph 4:27). The only beneficial source of spiritual power is from God.

The way religions deal with evil spiritual phenomena is with ignorance, superstition, objects, rituals, and incantations. It is no coincidence that bizarre spiritual activity is seen most among religious groups who claim to have access to spiritual power, but who have the gospel wrong.

Unsaved people who do not know God accessing spiritual power is a recipe for devilish disaster. Perhaps the reason there is such a need for exorcists in the Catholic Church is that their parishioners are not protected by the gospel of salvation. That is a scary thing.

The way the Bible responds is with the power of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:16). Every time a soul gets saved he is delivered from the power of darkness (Col 1:13). Every time a soul comes to a knowledge of the truth he is delivered from the snare of the devil (2 Tim 2:26).

When Christians do not take the Bible seriously is when they do not take devils, ghosts, and spirits serious enough.

How are you supposed to respond to devils, ghosts, and spirits if you don’t understand them? This leads to an increasing ignorance and fear when confronted with their reality.

Christians are instructed to withstand them with the word of God (Eph 6:13-18). Christians are in a battle without the armour. That’s a sure way to lose.

Devils, ghosts, and spirits are real, but we need not fear them if we trust in the power of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Put off the spirit of ignorance and fear about unseen things. Put on power, love, and sound doctrine from Jesus Christ.

“My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” – Ephesians 6:10

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

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Published: October 28, 2017
Last Modified: October 9, 2019
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