I have spent hours viewing several different programs where teams are in hot pursuit of paranormal activities from the netherworld. I don't necessarialy doubt their experiences, those things that go bump in the dark. These teams are in earnest, yet have enormous nerve in that they taunt the entities of whom they are hoping to get physical evidence the entities exist.
They do exist. They are not ghosts as in human souls. They are spirits as in either angels or demons.
The commonalities are:
1. Heavy air, like swimming through water.
2. Swift temperature changes (both cold and hot)
3. Smells and Sounds – popping, foot steps, voices
4. Chills and goosebumps
5. Floating light orbs in photos and on video
Extremely rare is the photo with a transparent person, or even more rare is the video with an apparition in motion.
Every ghost hunter has this mistaken belief that humans who are distressed before they die, or they die untimely, or die violently are somehow locked here on earth to give trouble to others until their business is finished or until… Very few have Christian beliefs, and even fewer have a deep, intrinsic Biblical knowledge.
If they did, they would know absolutely that God is the King of the Universe and He has stated flatly that no spirit shall linger here on earth after death. If they did, they would know that just wearing a t-shirt with a cross on it doesn't protect a person from a demon. If they did, they wouldn't taunt or challenge the spirits they are chasing.
That fact hit home with Saul when he consulted the witch at Endor. In fact, the witch was a lot shocked when Samuel rose up to meet Saul. I imagine her screeching could be heard a mile away. (The story is in 1 Samuel 28).
God was adamant to Israel about not allowing that kind of wickedness in the land.
“A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.”'
This doesn’t leave room for witchcraft, séances, Ouija boards, channeling or sorcery, does it?”
The term translated “familiar spirits” is fascinating because the Hebrew is obe — (apparently through the idea of prattling a father’s name); properly a mumble, that is, a water skin (from its hollow sound); hence a necromancer (ventriloquist, as from a jar): – bottle, familiar spirit. We can understand that as being something that is faked, or that demons use the possessed oracle as a ventriloquist uses a dummy.
Interesting that God had Moses use such a word for general description with sorcery. He was illustrating the chicanery of it and the necromancy. The medium's shocked shriek at Samuel's actual appearance proves this wasn't her usual “show”. Therefore, she had not truly been raising dead souls, but only pretending to for a fee.
The idols worshiped were demon-based religions, and the gods were demons. (Deuteronomy 32:17 which Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 10:21 and Psalm 106:37) Therefore we know that God explained why idolatry was so abhorrent so the Children of Israel had no excuse. Other blatant examples are King Manasseh, and his son King Amon; their stories are found in 2 Kings 21:1ff.
What about psychics? What did Paul do about a girl with a divining spirit in Acts 16:16-18? She is described as having a Pythonic spirit which is Puthōn (poo'-thone) and comes from Πυθώ Puthō (the name of the region where Delphi, the seat of the famous oracle, was located); a Python, that is, (by analogy with the supposed diviner there) inspiration (soothsaying): – divination.
He was deeply distressed that the girl kept following him around shouting, “These men are from the most high God and show us a way of salvation.” The Greek translated “a way” is hodos which is by implication a road or a progress. The other implication is that there are other ways, these men just point one way.
So does this mean that demons can be prophetic and divine the future? Of course not. The only prophets that are 100% correct are the ones that come from God. Satan is a diviner in the way that he has piles of files about each person and he is crafty enough to use those files against us. He knows our weaknesses better than we do, and he knows our motivations therefore he can be ambiguous while the receiver reads into it whatever serves and gratifies vain desires; and Satan's servants profit from it. The men who owned the girl profited much by her soothsaying; and it was profit from gullible people who wanted to know what was coming next. Satan had divine permission to lead these ignorant idolaters captive, but unless he offered oracles such as at Delphi, he would not have garnered such adoration and awe.
The demons knew Paul. They knew his mission, thus the girl's following behind them and shouting the truth. Why would Paul be so distressed? There are lots of reasons such as giving credibility to other oracles uttered by the girl, and being followed by demons are two.
Another example are Jewish itinerant exorcists. These profanely used Jesus' name to command demons. Specifically, the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish priest wandered about the land using Jesus' name whom Paul preaches. Acts 19 describes what happened to them. The demons answered back saying, “Jesus we know. Paul we know of, but who are you?” Then the man who housed the demon jumped on these seven, tore off their clothes and mauled them. They scrabbled from the house defeated. This story became well known throughout Ephesus and caused great fear to come upon the people. It also caused many who practiced the occult to pile up their occultic books and burn them. The value was counted to be fifty thousand silver pieces.
The man that inhabited the grave yard which Jesus and His disciples passed was so violent, no one could contain him, nor could chains lock him down. His strength was of ten men. There were many demons in this man and they called themselves Legion. They begged Jesus to cast then into the swine rather than into the Pit. That story is told in Mark 5 and Luke 8.
What does this tell us about demons? Actually Mark 5 and Mark 9 tell us a lot about demons and demon possession. If we begin with verse 1 we find out:
They like being around grave yards which indicates an affiliation with dead bodies.
Demons give humans supernatural strength.
They invade the brain making a human insensible to reason.
They cause crying, and sadistic/masochistic behavior.
They have names. More than one can possess one person and they work in concert to torment.
They recognize Jesus as God's Son and His complete authority. (In Luke 10, Jesus transfers this authority to us.)
They are territorial, desiring to stay in the same region/country.
If they can't indwell a human, they will indwell animal bodies rather than none at all, or be cast into the Pit (Rev. 20:3).
Demons can cause animals to kill themselves, and they like being in a body when it dies therefore they cause suicidal behavior.
They can cause deafness, silence, and rabid animal type behavior.
Demons can indwell from childhood. Mark 9:21 — To me, this is the most scary aspect of them.
There are certain ways to exorcise specific demons (prayer and fasting etc.).
They use any means to usurp God's glory and worship.
They possess people who are not sealed by the Holy Spirit. Once exorcised, they will come back if the Holy Spirit does not fill up the freshly cleaned vessel.
They use them like dummies to capture others into the occult.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that Satan's demonic forces have a definite hierarchy. Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. We can conclude from this that some demons have more power and authority than others.
I can't help but think Peter was talking about ignorant, foolhardy people who go about challenging things of which they know nothing in 2 Peter 2:10-11 10 and specially those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise lordship. Bold are they , self-willed; they do not fear speaking injuriously of dignities: 11 when angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring against them, before the Lord, an injurious charge.