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Feedback archive Feedback 2011

What about ghost sightings?

Published: 19 April 2011(GMT+10)

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ghost sightings

Our article Are ghosts real? generated a lot of positive feedback, but some people still seemed doubtful about our conclusions because of their experiences. First, Amanda S., USA, shares her own experience.

Thank you Gary for such an eye-opening article.
I wanted to comment to you about a couple of things. First, when I was a young girl, big-chain retail stores sold the ‘Ouija’ game, and perhaps they still do. At slumber parties, we thought it was harmless but spooky. When I was a young adult, I was with a girl who drew out her own board, and we ‘played’ again. This time, the demonic spirit who answered made a prediction about my life that would happen in December of 1999, and it did. Can fallen angels have access to future knowledge?
I am a Christian now, and growing stronger in Christ every day, but for many years as a teenager and beyond I wasted a lot of time searching in all the wrong places for truth: crystals, horoscopes, New Age stuff, other religions, earthly escapes. I read a lot about the man Edgar Cayce. He himself grew up as and claimed to be a Christian, but when he would go under his ‘trances’, he would channel what he called the Source. Was he channeling fallen angels and demonic spirits, even though he thought he was doing good for people?
Also, I wanted to comment on the Sheol/Hades discussion. I have an in-law relative whose grandmother had a stroke and was in a coma for three days. When she woke up, she was terrified and kept saying she didn’t want to go back ‘there’, and by there SHE meant ‘purgatory’. I know that purgatory is a Catholic doctrine, but she told my in-law that it was dark and cave-like, and that her brother was there. Could she have been in Sheol/Hades?
Finally, and I’m sorry this is so long, there is a film supposedly based on true events called ‘The Fourth Kind’. I watched it to my regret because it seemed so convincing that it really made me afraid afterward. The ‘aliens’ in the film, and in the true events on which the film was based, were speaking Sanskrit, caused havoc and fear, and claimed to be God. I have your book Alien Intrusion, and that, combined with what you wrote in your article, made me realize that it was demonic spirits claiming to be God and not really aliens, and so I have nothing to fear. Praise God!

Gary Bates responds:

Thank you Gary for such an eye-opening article.

You are welcome. I hope it helped.

I wanted to comment to you about a couple of things. First, when I was a young girl, big-chain retail stores sold the ‘Ouija’ game, and perhaps they still do. At slumber parties, we thought it was harmless but spooky. When I was a young adult, I was with a girl who drew out her own board, and we ’played’ again. This time, the demonic spirit who answered made a prediction about my life that would happen in December of 1999, and it did. Can fallen angels have access to future knowledge?

I know many people who thought Ouija boards were harmless fun and got more than they bargained for. In my experience, dabbling in such phenomena seems to open a doorway to all sorts of experiences, even alleged alien abductions as I showed in my book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection (AI). Also read Aliens, Evolution and the Occult. I don’t accept that fallen angels can have future knowledge. In AI I showed how alleged aliens make tons of future predictions with many of them being biblically based. That way they have a good chance of getting some correct because obviously God is the only one who can know the future. I’ve found that, like Nostradamus, they can make a basket-load of predictions and human nature will tend to be impressed on the one or two that might come true and forget about the many that did not come true. Remember that these entities (fallen angels) obviously interact in our realm with us and others, and therefore can interfere and affect our world and the individuals in it—the Bible is full of examples of this. A simply analogy might be “I am going to predict that Fred trips over in the next 30 minutes.” So I wait for an opportunity to conspire and develop a mechanism to go and trip Fred up and my prediction comes true. It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy. I have a colleague whose extended family had some interaction with entities they thought were deceased ghostly spirits. They received a prediction that my colleague would die in a car accident in their teens as another relative had done. This did not happen because my colleague is alive and well and a grown adult. But as one can imagine, such a horrific prediction—speaking over one’s life in such a manner—would be awful and potentially affect the way one might live your life. Fortunately, my colleague became a Christian and dismissed this prophecy as their understanding of the demonic source grew.

I am a Christian now, and growing stronger in Christ every day, but for many years as a teenager and beyond I wasted a lot of time searching in all the wrong places for truth: crystals, horoscopes, New Age stuff, other religions, earthly escapes. I read a lot about the man Edgar Cayce. He himself grew up as and claimed to be a Christian, but when he would go under his ‘trances’, he would channel what he called the Source. Was he channeling fallen angels and demonic spirits, even though he thought he was doing good for people?

Yes, I would definitely say for sure that Cayce was tapping into an ungodly source. Please read some of the responses posted at the bottom of the [original Are ghosts real?] article, where I mention how the Bible is quite explicit about seeking after those who practice divination, profess to tell the future or just outright seek after the spirits of the dead (which are really fallen angels masquerading as same). He ignored the biblical injunctions about such things. Hence my previous comment—he opened up a doorway and became transfixed by the experiences. The experience can transcend one’s alleged biblical authority. That is, the experience can become the authority that is used as a filter for biblical interpretation, particularly when one is told things that actually reinterpret the Bible to accommodate the deception. See Christians shaped by experience rather than the Bible-first approach.

Also, I wanted to comment on the Sheol/Hades discussion. I have an in-law relative whose grandmother had a stroke and was in a coma for three days. When she woke up, she was terrified and kept saying she didn’t want to go back ‘there’, and by there SHE meant ‘purgatory’. I know that purgatory is a Catholic doctrine, but she told my in-law that it was dark and cave-like, and that her brother was there. Could she have been in Sheol/Hades?

The mind via our imagination can create a whole series of ‘experiences’ that we think are real, as in, we can experience even physical senses about them that seem to reinforce somehow that the events really happened—even though they never really happened.

Of course, one cannot say for sure as we cannot do scientific tests on such ‘spiritual’ experiences. I think it is very unlikely. For example, there are also those who have had near death experiences and claim to have seen their dead relatives and even aliens standing on the other side. Obviously, this can’t be really happening. The mind via our imagination can create a whole series of ‘experiences’ that we think are real, as in, we can experience even physical senses about them that seem to reinforce somehow that the events really happened—even though they never really happened. If you have the very latest edition of Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection (the 5th printing) I thoroughly recommend rereading the new added chapter called ‘Update: So What’s Really Happening?— A Hypothesis’. It shows, using mechanisms that we know can actually occur, how these things happen. Just as an example, take ‘falling dreams’. This is where one has a dream about falling to Earth and we experience the physical sensation of falling towards the earth during the dream etc. Yet it is not real, as in we are not actually falling. Depending on the type of coma/injury etc., brain activity might not/does not cease so it is possible that such things could occur.

Finally, and I’m sorry this is so long, there is a film supposedly based on true events called ‘The Fourth Kind’. I watched it to my regret because it seemed so convincing that it really made me afraid afterward.

It certainly was convincing but only if one accepts that the producers were telling the truth—they weren’t. Read on to see a link to our explanation of this movie that might provide some more comfort and some closure over the movie’s premise.

The ‘aliens’ in the film, and in the true events on which the film was based, were speaking Sanskrit, caused havoc and fear, and claimed to be God.

This was paying homage to the writings of a famous and influential UFOlogist called Zechariah Sitchin (he died last year). He is also covered in my book.

I have your book Alien Intrusion, and that, combined with what you wrote in your article, made me realize that it was demonic spirits claiming to be God and not really aliens, and so I have nothing to fear. Praise God!

It’s always worth doing a search of our site on such things as we try to keep up with popular culture. I reviewed this movie mainly due to its claims about being based on true events. It portrayed a very troubling premise and misled people greatly. I think you will get a lot out of reading the article as it will also specifically address the couple of aforementioned points.

Please let me know if you’ve read the book yet and have the new edition.

All the best.

Gary Bates


Next, Everett B, USA, wrote in with an experience:

Umm…. interesting article. When I was first married, while visiting my Grandfather my wife saw an apparition of my Grandmother in a rocking chair, whom she never met. She told me about it, I said, I wish you woke me up, I would have loved to see her. Not sure why she would be hanging around the house as a ghost (if possible) as she was Christian. My Uncle later swears that the pump organ played one night after he went to bed. My Grandmother’s favorite thing to do. Kind of makes you wonder.

Gary Bates responded:

Thanks Everett,

As I wrote to someone else, experiences are very powerful. My own close family, prior to their conversion to Christianity saw apparent apparitions of deceased relatives. These stopped when they became Christians though (as do many alien encounters BTW). At first they weren’t sure whether the apparitions were real or not. Once I worked through the issues with them and they understood from Scripture that such things could not happen. For those extended family members who rejected the biblical truth about Christ, their experiences continued. Here’s what I wrote in case it’s helpful.

As I mentioned in the article fallen angels and demons can manifest in a myriad of forms, even including benevolent aliens, which are a popular cultural belief. Some years ago the appearance of elves or sylphs was also popular, and many early church writers mentioned these appearances. Ghosts have been popular for many years as also were the manifestations of fairies, etc. They seem to morph into whatever will seem acceptable to the individual being deceived, even if laughable by today’s ‘enlightened’ standards. The appearance of a beloved ‘departed’ family member or friend is incredibly powerful, for example, and has the ability to control individuals. Many years ago, members of my own distant family were involved in spiritualism, so I am more than well acquainted with the appearance of alleged spirit beings who could interact with humans. Sadly, it convinced many of my extended family that their own departed family members were ‘looking after them’, and they rejected biblical truth. In fact, because of their experiences they reinterpreted who Jesus was, and revised the plain teachings of the Bible to suit their experiences and the things they were told by deceptive entities.

We cannot do empirical tests on, or in, the supernatural realm so we must rely upon a source from that realm that we know we can trust—that is, the Bible. And one thing comes across very clearly about the spirit realm, and that is there is a huge battle going on.

As with most occult manifestations (and indeed the UFO phenomenon) it seems that it does so with the intent of changing our perceptions of our own reality. As such, it also seeks to place our trust in other things, based upon our experiences, rather than Christ and His Word which should be used as a filter for such things. As such, the conclusions are based upon what we can glean from Scripture. We cannot do empirical tests on, or in, the supernatural realm so we must rely upon a source from that realm that we know we can trust—that is, the Bible. And one thing comes across very clearly about the spirit realm, and that is there is a huge battle going on. One third of the beings of that realm are centered upon deceiving humankind to spite their Creator. We simply cannot trust anything from that realm without viewing it through the lens of Scripture. The Apostle Paul reminded us:

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14).

So, clearly, those outside of Christ are impressed by the seeming reality of the deception. Clearly God is in control of our spirits once we are deceased, and the Bible does not allow for departed spirits to be roaming the earth. As I have seen in my studies into the UFO phenomenon, we have to be very careful not to invoke some kind of extra-biblical revelation based upon manifestations of any sort or the messages received from such entities. This may include telling us things about our past, or future. Telling us ‘how they died’ only seeks to add to the reality of what is taking place, particularly if historical records could confirm same. I caveat being very careful about suggesting that there may be more to this than Scripture provides. I hope this helps.

All the best.

Gary Bates

Everett wrote back:

Yes, it does. I never really thought about it much other than, why my Grandmother’s spirit would hang around. I figured either she was either trying to get someone’s attention (which did not make sense) or as you imply, not what you think, but something maybe evil trying to deceive.
For example, confused about Grandmother’s spirit manifesting itself when as far as I know had a strong relationship with the Lord.In the end, I simply disregard it by saying well, one day I will know such things as God told us not to worry about the mysteries of things we do not yet understand nor could we.
A pastor friend of mine basically told me any sort of apparition was not of God, but of the Devil. Basically, deception seems to be the best explanation of any of these things.
Have you ever heard the testimony of the Pastor who wrote the book, 90 minutes in Heaven? That was fascinating.
Everett

Gary responded:

Thanks Everett,

I’m glad it helps. It can be rather painful in some ways to think that it might not be our beloved family member or that the enemy would stoop so low. However, the Bible warns us that he masquerades as an angel of light.

I hadn’t heard of the book you mention, but I have read and seen presentations by folk who claimed similar experiences. My background in UFOlogy has tended to make me skeptical of any experience-based type of otherworldly testimony, I’m afraid. I’m not saying such things are not possible or that the persons experiencing are deceptive. My research shows that most people believe such things have actually happened to them. I’ve just found that taking a rigorous skeptical approach is useful, because if one does then one might be better able to discern supernatural experiences if they occur.

My book Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection has just gone into its 5th printing with a new chapter that specifically deals with the experiences that people undergo. It seeks to explain the mechanisms behind such experiences and in some cases without resorting to supernatural experiences. I think you’d find the book useful.

Have a great New Year.

Gary Bates

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Readers’ comments
Kevin B., Canada, 19 April 2011

Great article Gary.

You drove it home I think.

Its true that if we place authority in our experience, rather than in scripture, we’re losing our footing.

I think of the story of Jesus in Gadarenes. "My name is Legion, for we are many." A lot can be learned from that situation.

I too believed in "ghosts" and "aliens" for various reasons intellectually addressed on this site. It even puzzled me that if God is true, and perfect, how did some folks "fall through the cracks" and be stuck here roaming around? Sorta sloppy isn’t it? Although I questioned it, I didn’t question it hard enough.

As for aliens… it was the typical "how can we be the only ones who exist in this universe so big we can’t even wrap our minds around?"

It eventually dawned on me that if the Bible is true… then why isn’t it the authority of truth in my world? If satan is the father lies, why isn’t it possible that he could be deceiving us in order to lead us away from God?

I did eventually put 2 & 2 together and truth behold a light bulb went off.

It wasn’t long after I was starting to challenge evolution and what we’re being spoon fed by the general public.

I let the Bible lead me to truth… and it works.

Looking forward to more articles.

P. B., Korea, Republic of, 1 September 2012

I completely agree one should base ones belief, and filter experiences through the bible. I lived in a house that was apparently haunted once, in the entire time that me and my family lived there, we were not bothered, because we were protected by the blood of Jesus, and a saving knowledge of him, but we had a Buddhist student stay with us and he was disturbed in the night and was terrified by a “ghost”, while my family slept soundly. After we moved out a Muslim family moved in and we found they have been plagued by visitations of a “ghostly woman”. Do I simply, because I and my family did not see it, conclude it is not real? No I conclude there is power in the Blood of Jesus, that has protected us even when we did not know it. We filled our house (both our literal house and our body and mind) with the things of God and so Satan has no room, but those who do not are an empty house, ready to be invaded by evil spirits, demons or fallen angels. I highly recommend before moving into a new house to have it prayed over by a group of Godly (bible believing) people, and living a Godly life as the best protection against spiritual attacks.

P. B., Korea, Republic of, 1 September 2012

I think one of the things we in the west have failed to realize is how being a Christianized society has protected everyone from the spirit world. For example, my children although too young to make a choice about God, and Jesus, come under the protection of God (to a certain extent) simply because they are my children and part of my house hold. So our whole western society has enjoyed the protection of God just by the prevalence of his word, the presence of Christians in society as a whole and adhering to Christian principles. This protection has led many who enjoy it benefits, but don’t understand it source, to reject the spiritual realm as a reality, and this thinking has even invaded the church. For the west the lie Satan has used is that he does not exist. One of the things in traveling the world is observing countries that have not enjoyed this privilege, and how demonic attacks are much more common there. It therefore comes as no surprise that as the west it turning away from the truth of God’s word that demonic attacks are becoming more and more common. The lie that is now being sold to those who experience these things is Satan cannot be stopped. But the truth is Satan and his minions are real, they are powerful, but they can be stopped by the power of God.

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