Brace yourself. This topic may seem off the radar.
Can Christ deliver us from a ghost?
We know Jesus delivers us from sin, demons, curses, family generational curses, sicknesses, lies, bad circumstances, etc, but what about a bodiless, lost, human spirit lingering around our realm?
I learned about this because I encountered some ghosts and had no grid for it, so you may find this interesting.
It turns out Christ delivers us from everything.
And the reason this is not just a wispy side topic, is that a ghost can be carrying curses (like diseases) that will not be treatable, even if after we do Inner Healing (Notes). So this may be a key tool if the other tools fail.
How do we get clear? Simple: We invite Christ to address and bring Home the spirit—and it's best to be direct about it. The result is some form of freedom, large or small, gradual or immediate, spiritual or physical.
Really? Yeah. So, please give me a lot of room on this topic because there are many misconceptions.
(And reserve judgment only until after consulting the Holy Ghost!)
Human ghosts often unknowingly clog up our lives (unconscious to us too); because they are are tricked into staying in the earthly realm by demons.
Demons need justice; ghosts need mercy.
Demons are expelled; ghosts brought Home.
Demons are not loved; "un-finished dead" are loved.
Ghost "healing" is not:
- Reincarnation, since no new spirit-body persons are created. Rather, ghosts avoid eternity and return back, at worst being puppeteered by demons to short circuit the currently alive (us). Our blurry experience of ghosts likely explains why many fall for reincarnation. (Reincarnation is believed mostly in the East, but ghosts are nearly universal in humanity. See above links.) A ghost is like someone jumping in the car you're driving and sometimes competing for the steering wheel. That's why it can easily be mistaken.
- Second-Chance Theology, because the ghost's earthly death is technically not yet "completed"; it's like a baby sent back from birth canal into the womb again. The ghost hasn't yet finished their first phase; the test isn't over. We think death is only the separation from spirit and body; but it's also separation from this life and the next; so they are not yet "done" dying. A friend tells me that Greek words for "death" are sometimes best translated "faded", implying there can be a process. We may be misread this because we might be....
- Equating Hades and Hell, which are often confused. Hades is the interim state of the dead. And the correct paradigm is not a.) Earth vs. Hades/Heaven; but b.) Earth/Hades vs. Heaven. In other words, we tend to think Hades as a part of the next life; rather than overlaying our realm. But Hades doesn't exist in Heaven; it's here. (Note the parallel that demons are here, and not yet in hell. And Christ is also here.) The Earth/Hades model explains odd scriptures like I Pet 3:19 -- where Christ did inner healing to those in Hades (earth spirits), not hell.
Research and Development by Arthur Burk
For more on this involved topic, I recommend Arthur Burk's CD sets Alien Human Spirits.
Please listen to the excellent free Intro Sample from Arthur.
It turns out that many healing ministries encounter ghost interference, but Arthur's R&D is the first I'm aware of to provide extensive treatment of the topic. He is not a church authority or pastor; and was thus hesitant to bring this material forward because of misinterpretations. However, the evidence mounted and eventually greatly enhanced his healing techniques. (He says only 1/3 of people who have a connection to a ghost, have only one ghost; the other 2/3 have more than one ghost.)
We can have a ghost associated to our property or even "in" us—whatever we steward that they may try to hijack.
For example, famous Anglican psychologist and deliverance minister Dr. Kenneth McAll (author of Healing the Family Tree) had a reputation for quickly curing mental illnesses and also clearing haunted houses, and he attributed this power to inviting Christ to do ghost healing. And we are still seeing this. For example, I know of one person who completely erased an ADD issue. And another friend had a distinct healing from depression.
Where is this in the Bible?
- 1 Pet 3:19 and I Pet 4:6 are the most blatant places.
- There are various other indirect references in Scripture such as when Jesus comments that ghosts don't have flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39). (And thinking that Christ could handle everything except ghosts would be pretty odd and inconsistent.)
- Though not provable or un-provable by context alone, in the Gospels Christ casts out both demons and "unclean" spirits. Arthur suggests this, and I had always wondered why that distinction was made; this topic could likely be why. "Unclean" spirits probably refers to either ghosts and/or demons. The Old Testament talks a lot about unclean mixes, and ghosts are just that: wrong relationships to persons, places, times. etc. They are actors in the wrong movie (like your real-life friend thinking he's in a Pixar film).
- Another very interesting note is that my prophet friends who experience ghosts report that they even "feel" dirty (compared to demons which feel like poison.)
- The Bible indicates that not everything is spelled out completely in the Bible—and church history has shown this (e.g., Trinitarian doctrines, Christ's nature doctrines, eschatology, Genesis literal/symbolic interpretations, some charisms, D.I.D. deliverance techniques, etc.) The church organically discerns by both principle and practice together; God speaks the Word (Bible) though the Body (Church).
- But modern Westerners tend to worship abstract principles (like somehow a word could be spoken w/o a body!) Yet, God is a full lover, not merely a law. The principles and experience reinforce each other; like the marriage vow and marriage bed.
Q: Isn't this really just forbidden divination?
The Bible clearly condemns divination— rightly so. But this is not that.
Why? Because nothing is substituted for Christ— rather, Christ is central.
- We are not calling the dead or demons as a means to further our ends. Rather, we are inviting Christ as the means to further one of His ends. ("Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven"—ghosts are not in Heaven.)
- Christ is in charge of the entire deliverance release, as leader, focus, goal, authority. The ghosts are encouraged Home to the Father. Angels are allowed to secure the area. The Holy Spirit has the microphone always consulted first for direction.
- We are not calling the dead to come into our realm, but to leave it. They are already here.
- Unlike the occult, there is no manipulation, control, hidden-ness, secrecy— no domination from your will; no exercising power outside of your God-given authority.
- If not addressed and dismissed, they will do something worse than if ignored: deprecate God's plans for us (knowingly or unknowingly): spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, physically, etc.
- Jesus chastised the Pharisees, saying you cannot drive out the devil by the devil (Matt 12:25); yet in these sessions demons are letting go of the ghosts, allowing them to choose Heaven. How can this be of the devil? What would be a demon's motivation for sending someone to Heaven?
- Those prayer ministers who are sensitive to evil spirits often report that before the session they get harassed by demons, not rewarded! (If it was divination, it would be the opposite.) The demons don't want you praying for ghost release!
Any definition that we use for divination does not fit what is going on in a Christ-led session.
Can We Be Tricked? Shouldn't We Have Caution?
Of course, as with anything important, discernment is needed. But that doesn't always equate to running in fear (the more common reaction). Some people get divorced, but that doesn't mean to marry is wrong. Big decisions, like any surgery, always use prudence and fortitude together. And similar to physical health issues, neglect is more common.
Just like when doing surgery, sanitize the area. It is true that demons may try to impersonate a ghost, so ensure you take command over them ahead of time; and always ask the Holy Spirit to confirm a secure space.
(And this is huge: if a person doesn't know the voice of the Spirit, they're in far worse situation than confronting a ghost or a demon! Often the argument is: "we can't do this because it might be the devil", which ironically, has far more demonic captial behind it. Further, if the solution is always to run than we could never consult God's voice on anything, because of the paranoia it might be a demon. Notice the double-standard.)
"I would rather have a Church that makes mistakes for doing something, than one that gets sick for being closed up."
"I would rather that we error on the side of excess, than lack."
- In my experience, so many of the victories that I have had regarding healing, charisms and deliverances, have been simply going forward and bringing God into it, not by having a "healthy mix of fear and trepidation"!
- In the Old T, we come out; in the New T we go out.
- Church history is built by baptizing new good, exporting the bad, and collecting spoils. See It's All Good.
- The church is "traditionally progressive". Christ puts these together when he says we "have always been advancing" (Matt 11:12).
- It's like discerning surgery: a.) do the risks outweigh the rewards? b.) is it time-sensitive? c.) can I trust the surgeons? d.) what is their record of success? etc. e.) what is my temperament? E.g., do I tend to run in fear or tend to face Goliaths?
- In short, I also notice that most tend to an overly-cautious side, but also see that this is often a greater risk—and in the Gospels those bold on God's love are always healed by Christ. Yes, discernment is always on—but know your tendencies. Ask God to confirm.
Q: Doesn't Christianity teach each person is an unbreakable "psychosomatic unity", not like ghosts in a machine? So how is this possible?
Yes, the popular notion today is to falsely separate spirit and body (e.g., atheists tend to deny the spirit; New Agers tend to deny the body); but in truth, each person is a "psychosomatic unity "—that is, one being, with spirit and body as dimensions.
- The fact that a ghost attempts to violate another person's life is exactly the point here. It's an unclean, wrong, mixed, broken, lost, confused, freak relationship. It's a flawed, repulsive anthropology. That's why Christ resolves it, we don't just run from it.
- Also, if it were impossible to challenge the psychosomatic unity, then there could be no such things as ghosts at all (as commonly reported), or Near-Death Experiences (well-attested scientifically), or teleportation of saints in the Bible (Rev. 17:3; 21:10; 2 Cor 12:2, etc.), out-of-body experiences that happen today, or various other charismatic testimonies.
- Ghost Candidates. Carl Jung called ghosts “psychic facts". Most cultures report ghosts are commonly those with perceived unfinished business, thinking they aren't done, not ready for eternity, can't face God, etc. Often they die young, alone, abruptly or violently, sometimes from abortions or miscarriages. (The word "perish" in the Bible, means traumatic deaths.) For example, Dr. Paul Pearsall documented how heart transplant patients "pick up" unexplained specific personality changes from the heart donor. (Arthur Burk estimates 20% is the metric, and it is due to ghost transfer. There's more on this in the CDs.)
- Ghost Targets. Any person can be desirable-- e.g., your body can be like a car with unlocked doors, or the next car, or the well-equipped car! (In one sense, demons can enter evil people that cooperate; ghosts can enter good people that cooperate). A ghost will take the best ride to help finish their mission. In my experience there is usually a common emotionally wound. We all have those open car doors! Could it be you? Well, don't worry, if you're with Christ, he has you covered. He's in your car too. ;)
How Do They Get Access to My Life?
It's best to understand this in contrast to demons, which arrive through vulnerable objective areas; whereas ghosts arrive via vulnerable subjective areas. For example, if we cooperate with an objective intellectual lie, a demon has an objective legal right to get in via that door; however, if we have unresolved subjective hurt, a ghost may try to hijack the unprotected subjective emotion. We notice that commonly a ghost also has a prominent hurt (often in common with the host's hurt) which needs empathy to better begin their case being heard. That's a common attractor for them. They are looking for a place. Both a.) bodiless ex-angels (i.e., demons) and b.) ex-bodied humans (i.e., ghosts), apparently seek bodies to carry out some of their agenda in our physical realm.
Can They Enter a Person's Life or Body Without the Person's Consent?
Unfortunately, it appears so; but note the consistency with all other areas: you can unconsciously pickup of a sinful inclination, demonic oppression, a specific curse, a family curse; physical toxins, etc.—all without full consent of your will. This is because of the deep connection we all have to one another (not popular in the West, which can worship hyper-individualism). We can just parade around in life and assume protection without God.
But in the end, it doesn't matter; they have to leave if Christ says so. That's why taking spiritual land is so key. We can't just ignore this.
What a Minute—Ghosts Loiter Around Land—But Can They Enter Bodies?!
It depends on what we mean by "enter". As was stated above, the spirit is not "in" the body, the body is "in" the spirit, so this technically this is a false question. As Peter Kreeft says "Souls and bodies are related not like ghosts and houses but like the meaning of a poem and the words of the poem."
On the other hand, the way we experience them is that they apparently have some "tie" or "connection" to a particular body area or part. This is how most of the prophets I've worked with describe it. It may be that there is simply a spiritual association; or it may be that somehow they are "present" within a body, at least by our perception.
But there's no need for paranoia here. I have noticed that they don't really have access to much information, even appearing to be in the body. Remember, they are spririt without souls or bodies so they can't sense physical things—they relate via the realm of meaning. And further, the predominant experienced attribute seems to be that they are duped and confused, somehow living in a realm of confused meaning, like a room of veils—and don't seem to have the "sixth sense" of un-resolution, merely a dissatisfaction of needing shalom.
That's one reason why the offer of Christ is so welcome. In addition, they don't seem to have any clear notion of time as we understand, because they are not in earth-time, but Hades-time, which envelops us—and this is how they can pass down from generation to generation.
In any case, they're not supposed to be here and there's no reason to freak out that you have these ties, whether inside the body or outside. Just invite Christ to take them Home.
Do I Have a Ghost?
Look for out-of-the-ordinary, abrupt, or conflicting personality changes, esp. around deaths, death anniversaries near people who match the above profiles. Also consider usual inner conflicts that don't fit the normal patterns ("desires that don't feel like mine."). This is treated more in-depth in Arthur Burk's Alien Human Spirit CDs.
However, the best advice is to leap frog the mere data approach, and get laying on hands prayer by those with healthy prophetic gifts who can hear God's Voice say what's going on.
- For years, sometimes prophets would report to me that they encountered spirits and yet their presence didn't feel demonic. They didn't know what they were. At the time I did not have a theological framework for it, yet I knew the prophets were otherwise highly reliable, so when this new material we came out, several light bulbs went off.
- Since then I have performed these releases over several dozen times with various people, and so far its always been positive and good, and sometimes powerful. God seems to be all over it, just like deliverance, because there is a heartfelt rescue. For me, there's a flow to it, peace, a sense of Christ's real authority, the presence of angels, the expulsion of demonic influence, sometimes physical healing, and often results in noticeable changes in behavior. And most importantly, more love for all involved.
How to Resolve and Heal
Get the CDs above to prep yourself and thoroughly cover the topic. (If the price is now too high on Amazon, get them from Arthur Burk's web site.)
This process normally requires people present with trusted, stable prophetic gifts. You don't have to, but it helps to confirm. But essentially anyone can do it. If you know how to love people and God, then it's actually not too hard.
Note: this all assumes you have cleared yourself of major blockages, repented of sins, released curses, etc. You don't have to be perfect (Christ is); you're simply inviting Him directly into the situation. But you need to be as clear as you can yourself. Doing this with competent, proven, prayer ministers is a strong recommendation, but not a requirement. You might be doing more damage by delaying! That's up to you and God to decide.
These may seem clinical steps at first, but after a few times it will happen easily.
So, in brief:
- Claim the entire process, time. and area for Christ. Invite Him in to take total control. Invite the angels to set a perimeter. Explicitly expel any demons present. (There is often at least one demonic guard assigned to the ghost to keep it disruptive. Clear it with a Word Command. If it doesn't go, ask the Spirit if there is a legal reason why it can stay and then do normal deliverance.)
- Address the spirit of the person being prayed with, and vocally call it to the "forefront". (The soul is the will, emotions and mind—these will often try to interfere with what God will be ministering to at the person's core—their spirit, where they best hear from God what is going on). Invite God to ask their soul to step back, take a chill break.
- Often a person's spirit may feel there's a physical area of the body that is a target. Invite God into the area. In general, we've found what Arthur says is true: if the body area is above the waist, then the ghost will be more compliant; if it's below the waist, then they will be more defiant. (In fact, that's always been true in my experience.)
- Then, verbally speak directly to the ghost and clearly introduce it to Christ.
- Prophets need to listen to report what is going on. Look for patterns. Ask the Spirit for confirmations. Often there will be harmony about the who is acting. The prophetic person is like one with night-vision goggles; to confirm/deny.
- Once the ghost comes forward usually easily express pain and frustration to you, like a needed release. Usually they only need brief, basic love. Inner Healing (Notes) techniques can't be done on a ghost, but they are very helpful to get insight to bring Christ into hurts. Remember, the ghost is not an enemy; it's veiled/confused. This is usually not complicated; you just explain they were lied to, and told to return. Remind them that Christ's himself had a life that was apparently "cut short", but used it as a self-gift for the ghost to take care of all their business. (Less quantity does not mean necessarily less quality; i.e., small roles in film can have huge impacts.) Tell them to repent and receive forgiveness if they haven't already, and fully accept God's love. Listen with compassion to their suffering, rather than be demanding. They are not demons. Relax. (It's actually someone you'll meet face-to-face in Heaven; so cut 'em some slack!)
- Be respectful if the person being prayed for needs time to digest what's going on. They may need a day or two to process; and then delicately return to you, before or after. Given that, often within 15 minutes a ghost will usually be ready to go! They are not in the same time-space we are. Christ will win their weary hearts over quickly with a great deal they can't beat. Listen to them, but don't let their pain run the show. Encourage them they will get the better, new glorified body if they entrust themslevs to God where many loved ones are waiting... Invite the angels to escort them Home and ask them and tell them to take any "luggage", explained in the CDs as mindsets, leftover plans, others' dreams, "devices" ( remote controls for the demonic); etc.—basically any personality attributes that God didn't give the person you're praying with).
- Repent for protecting yourself against God the same way the ghost is. They is key. Sometimes it's the only step you need.
- As a closure precaution invite the angels to clean up and secure the area by reinforcing a spiritual perimeter around the person, the room, situation, etc. Allow Christ to protect the person afterward, especially in sleep.
- If a defiant ghost refuses to go, you can command the angels to flex muscles and warn them there's gonna be a fight if they don't let up. We had to do this with someone who was in the Mafia and that's the only way he knew how to deal with things. After sufficient ministry, always invite the angels to escort them to Jesus and His mercy—never to anywhere else! Don't send the "away" or to the abyss, etc. (This is disagreement I have with Arthur.) Just ask Jesus to show them his face.
- Always query the ghost if there are more there. If a compliant ghost leaves and more than one is present, they may all end up going at once. Natural authority structures are not un-common. For example, suppose an elementary school bus went over a cliff, the kids will all follow the teacher to Heaven (analogy from Arthur).
- Sometimes, the person being prayed for, as well as the people praying, may experience something that indicates the ghost departure. Often there is a lighter feeling. (The first time I expereinced one leaving it felt like a "swish" sound a basketball makes going through a hoop.) Sometimes healings happen. Sometimes you feel better in the next days, like when a prisoner notices that prison door has been unlocked.
Go by the Holy Spirit on this. There is no substitute for His leading. Don't try to make up healings or bizarre theological explanations, or read too much into it. If you have questions, just continually ask the Holy Spirit "what's going on here? How do you see this?" God will often answer the prayers of the faithful quicker than we think. Christ wants release more than anyone.
This is not the main or only tool for deliverance. But it's a big one mostly because we've been too ignorant about it. As prophetic gifts have increased in the church, so has our toolset.
Sometimes physical will happen. For example, I had a friend who had a mouth/jaw problem; after we dismissed a ghost (a man who drowned) the jaw problem completely left as he went Home. In a different case, I had another friend who developed wrist problem like her coworker's who had just died, but then the pain went away after we prayed for him. We have many examples.
(If you can find a good spiritual director—with maturity in real supernatural experience —that would help too, but they are hard to find!)
Anytime there is a new tool given to the Body of Christ, there will be a lot of questions, discernment, rejection from a few, etc. However, I'm convinced of this and suspect that in 5-10 years it could even be commonplace because it has so much spiritual and explanatory power. Think of how the church has grown in the past 35 years in other forms of deliverance (e.g, canceling curses, D.I.D., etc.) And we can see why understanding of prophetic gifts, blessings/curses, inner healing, etc.; must first be established as foundational before this tool could be revealed!
It's one more way to extend the Kingdom of God's love. That's why I'm intrigued.
If you pray about this and God leads to you a scripture or vision, I'd love to hear about it -- but feel no obligation.