Are ghosts real?
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(All quotations from the King James Authorised translation unless stated otherwise).
According to the Bible when people die they cease to exist so it is not possible for us to be visited by the dead. It is superstitious nonsense. When people die they return to the dust. The Bible is very clear on the subject.
Adam was sentenced to death – to return to the dust from which he was made. Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
In death there is no remembrance. Psalm 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
When a man ceases to breathe he returns to dust. Psalm 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
When a man ceases to breathe his thoughts perish. Psalm 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
Men who do not understand the purpose of God remain dead forever.
Proverbs 21:16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
Solomon with his God-given wisdom says all go to dust. Ecclesiastes 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
The dead know nothing, their love, hate and envy are perished. Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
Let's consider the 'mechanics' involved:
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Man = dust plus breath (or spirit) = living soul (hebrew 'nephesh').
It follows that: Man minus breath (or spirit) = dead soul
Souls die (the Bible knows nothing about 'immortal' souls)
Leviticus 21:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead (hebrew 'nephesh'-soul) among his people:
Joshua 20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person (hebrew 'nephesh' - soul) at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.
Souls die because they sin.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
The dead 'sleep' in the dust of the earth. The only way a man can 'survive' death is by resurrection.
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The TRUE HOPE of the gospel is resurrection from the dead. And this is the gospel preached in the New Testament.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Acts 17:18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection. 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
If you will accept a 'reverse' argument - When Jesus corrects the Sadducees (who did not believe in resurrection) he proves that there will be a resurrection of the dead as follows; -
Matthew 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Jesus' argument would not prove the resurrection if Abraham Isaac and Jacob somehow survived death and were alive in heaven.
So Paul can say:
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth... 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
The dead really are dead in every sense of the word. There is no part of them that lives on that is able to visit people. Without resurrection they stay dead forever.
Paul explains what is going to happen.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all (who have been baptised into Christ) be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
I hope this helps.