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Are All "Ghost Sightings" Inherently Evil?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 11, 2024 5:00 pm

Are All "Ghost Sightings" Inherently Evil?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 11, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1508 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. How can I explain the Trinity to my doubting friend? 2. What does "raca" mean in Matthew 5:22? 3. Are "ghosts sightings" always evil? 4. Should I continue as a leader in my church if my daughter is rebelling?     Today’s Offer: How To Keep Your Faith After High School   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Are all ghost sightings inherently evil? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at COREChristianity.com.

First up today, let's go to Billy from Oklahoma. Billy, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, so I have a friend who believes a lot in, like, Christianity and believes in, you know, tithing. He believes he sees the benefits of it. But the one thing that he finds difficult to believe is in the Trinity. And so he always just come back to it with saying that Jesus doesn't always refer to his father and, like, my father, you know, and like no one comes to the father except for me. So it's like he doesn't understand how Jesus is God, per se.

And how can I explain that to him to what he will understand? That is my question. Sweet, man.

Hey, Billy, I love that you're talking to this guy and that you guys have a friendship. And, I mean, this is an important doctrine. We're talking about CORE Christianity here when we're dealing with the deity of Jesus Christ or the doctrine of the Trinity. This isn't one of those things where, oh, you know, you believe Jesus is God.

I don't. I still tithe and go to church. And we can just, you know, be Christian brothers. No, if you reject the right understanding of who Jesus is, if you don't embrace the fact that he's not just, you know, like some prophet or some, you know, if you don't embrace the fact that he's God, then you are not a Christian. You can't have a proper understanding of the gospel of how salvation works. You're rejecting the true God of the Bible.

And it's a tragedy, Billy, because there are groups. I mean, this was one of the most ancient heresies. Early on, you know, one of the big heresies that the church had to respond to.

It was called Arianism, and it was this idea that Jesus was a created being. And people would say, oh, well, he was elevated, he was divine in one sense, but he was not equal with the Father. And so, first, I think, one, having a proper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity is key, because sometimes people will think, well, look, he's praying to his Father, so he's not the same person. And what we're saying when we're talking about the doctrine of the Trinity is not that they are the same person.

He's praying to the Father, he's praying to himself. No, the Trinity, we're talking about three distinct persons, but one God. And the reason we believe in one God is this is what the Bible says, Deuteronomy 6.4, hero of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. But we also recognize that throughout Scripture, the Son is God, he refers to himself as God, the Holy Spirit is God.

And so, you know, wrestling through the revelation that God has given to us, the church said, here's what the Bible teaches, and what we wanna believe about God is what he's revealed about himself and his word, we don't wanna make it up. And what the Bible teaches very clearly is that there is one God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory, they're not the same person, but they're one in essence and undivided, the Godhead. And so what I would do, one, Billy, is just make sure that there isn't confusion on that question of person versus essence, as we're thinking about just being one, one God. Jesus is not the Father, and the Father is not the Son or the Spirit, we're talking about distinct persons, but Jesus is God equal with the Father. And so what I would do is maybe point to some of the passages in Scripture that make this absolutely clear. In John's Gospel, in John 5, he says, all should honor me just as they honor the Father. Now, that statement, that just as there, indicates that Jesus is equal in power and in glory with the Father. I like to ask my, you know, people that I'm talking to, Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, do you honor the Son? Just as you honor the Father.

And they can't say yes to that, because they don't. And the reason we do is because he is God. Just a few chapters later, in John chapter 8, Jesus is in this dispute, this argument with the religious leaders, and they ask him, you know, who do you think you are?

Who do you make yourself out to be? And do you remember what Jesus said to them in John chapter 8, verse 58? Before Abraham was, I am. Now, what is, why did Jesus say that, I am?

What is he referring to there? Well, even that theme in the burning bush where God, the Lord, revealed himself to Moses, and Moses, okay, you know, what's your name? How do, you know, who are you? And what does the Lord say? I am that I am.

Tell them I am has sent you. Well, Jesus says, before Abraham was, I am. You want to know who I am? Before Abraham was, I am. And if there's any question about what Jesus is getting at here, what do the religious leaders do in verse 59?

They picked up stones to throw at him. It wasn't like, they would have loved for him to say, oh, I am not, you know, that's not what I'm saying. I am not. No, Jesus says, I am. And they want to kill him for it, because they think it's blasphemy. Maybe he gives to the Father. And that's where his view, his position, is no longer biblical. And we can have questions about, okay, well, this is hard to wrap our minds around. We're talking about the infinite God and how he's revealed himself to us. And, you know, I'm wrestling through the mystery of the doctrine of the Trinity.

That's okay. We're not going to have God totally figured out. But we should speak about him in the way that he's revealed himself to us in his word. And so I think continuing to go to those passages, Billy, as you talk to your friend, to appeal to him and to say, hey, this is what we believe as Christians.

And this is what the Christian churches believe for 2,000 years because of what the Bible so clearly teaches. And I'm sure, you know, depending on how committed he is to this view, he might raise objections. But feel free to call in with those, or have him call in with those objections.

And we'd be happy to address them. By the way, a great resource in talking about this is Mike Horton's book, Core Christianity. That's who he is.

And if I recommend getting a hold of that as well, maybe he'd be willing to read that book. And, you know, for our other listeners who may be talking to friends or co-workers who say, well, Jesus never claimed he was God. You pointed out very clearly that he did right there and other places as well. But then the other evidence, over and over again, you see the religious leaders wanting to accuse him of blasphemy and kill him, even putting him on a cross because of the trial at the end. It wasn't because he was a good guy, or he was a prophet, or he was saying stuff they didn't like. He was saying he was equal with God, and that's the reason for his death. Yeah, I mean, well, again, that statement in John chapter 8, verse 58, I think is crystal clear. He's saying, I'm the one who's going to deliver you out of, or who did deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. And by the way, if there's any more question about that, you could go to Jude. It's an amazing, amazing verse. Jude, the only one chapter in Jude, verse 5 of Jude says, I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. So it's like, you see, scripture interprets scripture. And here's Jude saying what I just said, what Jesus said in John chapter 8. I am. I'm the one who led the children of Israel out of Egypt, who redeemed them from the house of slavery. I'm God.

And so, man, we can't miss this again. It's core Christianity. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

Love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, you can leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. And of course, you can always email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Let's go to Regina, who's calling in from Missouri. Regina, what's your question for Adriel? Yes.

Hi, thank you so much for taking my call. I was wondering if you could explain a little bit, Matthew 5-22. I see there is a gradation of somebody who is just angry with his brother to somebody who calls his brother Rocka, which is worse. And then the worst is when you call your brother you fool. And I'm just wondering, are those just metaphors that when you call somebody you fool, it's name calling, and name calling is so offensive?

If you could please explain this, I would appreciate that. Thank you. Regina, thank you so much for that question. Excellent question. And it's interesting because there are places in the New Testament where the apostles or even Jesus call people out, calling them foolish even. There's a whole category in the wisdom literature talking about the fool and folly and how we don't want to be that guy. And so God calls people fools in Scripture. And so what exactly is Jesus getting at here?

Beginning in verse 21, he says, You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, whoever insults his brother will be liable to the counsel, and whoever says, You fool will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.

Truly I say to you, you will never get out until you've paid the last penny. A couple of things. One, we were just talking about the deity of Christ, his authority. We're seeing that here again in the Sermon on the Mount. He says, You've heard. And then he gives this quotation from the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue. You've heard, you shall not murder. Here's what I'm saying to you, Jesus says. And it's not that he's contradicting the Ten Commandments.

He's saying, Let me illuminate them for you. Let me help you to understand what these commandments are getting at, that you guys are missing. You guys think, Oh, I've sort of externally kept the law, but internally my heart is full of vile hatred for my brother. But I'm good.

I didn't actually strangle him. And Jesus says, No, are you kidding me? No, God is looking at your heart. He doesn't do the same thing with lust in verses 27 and following.

And so it's not just, I think, it's not just like, not just an insult. We're talking about the attitude of the heart here. And Jesus says, you know, you can't claim to have followed the Lord, to have obeyed his law, his word, and yet be full of bitter hatred for your brother or sister in Christ. That's murder. That's murder in your heart. And John, in 1 John, he says, No murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

And so there's a real warning here. There's one, Jesus authoritatively giving us the right understanding of his law for the people of God, for the covenant people. It's not just external obedience to these commandments. It's ultimately summarized in what?

In true love for God and love for our neighbor. And that's what's not happening there. And it's exhibited in this mockery, in this hatred, this anger, this baseless anger towards a brother or sister. And that's what Jesus is addressing. And so, again, understanding that in its context, because there are times where I think, you know, we're not, it's not out of hatred, but we're identifying foolish behavior. We're saying, okay, that's foolish.

Don't do that. And the Bible does that and Jesus does that. But here we're talking about something far deeper, Regina. We're talking about murder in the heart towards the children of God. And Jesus says, you might not have committed the act, the external act. But if that's there, there is a real problem that you need to repent of.

You need to bring before God and confess that and receive his grace and mercy, because you can't have eternal life and have that murder abiding in you at the same time. And Jesus is exposing that. So, thank you for that question. The Sermon on the Mount is so amazing, Bill. I love the Sermon on the Mount. Preached through it not long ago.

And it was so encouraging to me. But that's one of the things you see again and again is Jesus' authority as he's illuminating for us the pathway of the Christian life, the code of Christian conduct, we might say. This is what it looks like to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus. And I encourage everybody, if you've not read the Sermon on the Mount, read it.

Read it and apply it. Unfortunately, I think today, and we've talked about this whole idea of biblical illiteracy and even some large churches that are not necessarily preaching the whole gospel. And we need to understand if we're going to follow Christ, that those things he tells us in the Sermon on the Mount, as hard as they are, are things that we are called to do.

Yeah, we're called to do them in light of the fact that God has forgiven us and loved us as his enemies. And you're 100% right, Bill. It's not just reading it and saying, hmm, what a nice saying.

Boy, that was great. No, Jesus is giving us these words so that we would obey them, so that we would follow them. And, I mean, that's exactly what you get at the very end of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says in verse 24, okay, everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the wind blew and beat against that house.

But it did not fall because it was founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man. A fool. There it is again. A foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain fell and the floods came and the wind blew and beat against it. And that house blew against that house and it fell and great was the fall of it.

You're totally right. It's the difference between being wise and being foolish. The wise person hears God's word and receives it and seeks to do it. The fool just hears it and he goes in one ear and out the other and he rejects it. God help us not to be fools when handling his word. It's like Isaiah says, you know, or God says through the prophet Isaiah, to this one I will look to the one who is humble and contrite in spirit and who trembles at my word. Brothers and sisters, we need to take the word of God seriously. So well said and so critical in our time.

Thanks for that. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Here we are at graduation season. So many young people graduating from high school or maybe heading off to either college or the military or full time work.

We have a wonderful resource that we want to recommend to parents and grandparents on helping those in your family who are graduating or recently have graduated from high school. Yeah, the resource is called How to Keep Your Faith After High School. And this is obviously a huge problem in the church today, just retention. Many people are going off to college and they leave college and simultaneously, or they leave, you know, their parents' home and simultaneously leave the church.

It's a huge issue. And there are a number of reasons why I think this is happening, but part of it is just a lack of real understanding when it comes to the gospel and the importance of the local church. And that's one of the reasons I love this resource in particular, is it hammers both of those things home. A right understanding of the gospel and the priority of the Christian church. Get a hold of this resource for yourself or for someone you love who maybe is going through that transition right now off into college or that next stage of life.

How to Keep Your Faith After High School. It's a free resource. You can find it by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash offers.

Look for How to Keep Your Faith After High School. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the CORE. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question for Adriel.

Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Katie. So my friend said that anything that tries to contact you spiritually, like if you see a ghost, that it's evil, that nothing that you experience like that will be from God. But is there like some passages that you could lead me to affirm that?

Thank you. Well, you know, the Bible does talk about trying to speak with the dead, necromancy. And the Bible is very clear that that's forbidden, that's wrong, that's witchcraft, that's sin.

And you do see examples of that in the Old Testament. Saul is, I think, probably the best example where he, you know, wants to raise up Samuel. He's looking for a word from the Lord. The Lord has stopped speaking to him. He goes to this witch. There's this great irony there because he had banished all the witches, all the warlocks from the land. But now he's going back to them and he's seeking their help to speak to this person who has died. And I mean, there at the end of his life, it's like his last act of disobedience before he perishes, separated from God, it seems.

It's a great tragedy. And so the Bible is very clear that we shouldn't be doing this or seeking this out, whether that's through, you know, tarot cards or going to see a psychic or a medium or whatever that is. All of that is under the ban, is evil, is opening yourself up to demonic activity, frankly. And another passage I think to consider is what the Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11 with regard to false teachers. He says, this is verse 13, 2 Corinthians 11, 13, For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.

Their end will correspond to their deeds. And what he's telling us there is, one, there are false teachers whose, you know, you'll know them by their fruits, their end will correspond to their deeds, but he also tells us something about the way in which Satan works in the world, his strategy. He doesn't just show up with a pitchfork and horns, and it's like, oh, that's the devil, I better avoid him. No, he comes as an angel of light, as a good spirit, as white magic, as whatever you want to call it. And he says, Paul says, be vigilant, be watchful.

And so, sister, what I would say to you is, look, if you're looking for spiritual guidance, don't try to contact the dead or get in touch with ghosts or even, you know, I want to have an angelic visitation. And God is so much kinder to us. It's not like he has us chasing after him with all of these things. It's like, how do I have this experience? He's given us his word, which is concrete. He's given us his church, where we can hear that gospel preached, the ordinances, baptism in the Lord's Supper, where we can see it exhibited to us so clearly. I think a lot of times people think like they're playing Marco Polo with God, where it's like, you know, I can't really find him and he's just, the spirit is moving mysteriously and we're trying to chase it down here and there and in this movement or in this ecstatic experience. And God says, I'm right here. Wherever my word is faithfully preached, wherever that bread and that wine, that water of baptism, are being administered according to my word, that's where I am, the power of my Holy Spirit. And what a comfort that is to us to know I don't have to, I don't have to like go chase God down or figure out, you know, where he is. He says, I'm right here. Come, come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest, Jesus said, take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.

Where? In my word, in the promise of my gospel, in the bread and in the wine. That's what you need, that's what we need, and that's what we need to be committed to. And it's there that we have a true encounter with God.

So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, had an email come in from one of our listeners named Ruelle. He says, I'm a pastor and I have a 16 year old daughter who has a growing ideology influenced by various movements such as LGBTQ, atheism, and anti-semitism.

She is not considering my fatherly advice to her. Because of this problem, I have started to question if I should continue my leadership in my local church. This is a serious burden to me.

Can you please let me know your advice? Brother, family comes first. This is a really difficult situation and I only have a few more seconds on the broadcast, but what I want to say is, this is, one, a part of the qualifications for elders within the church. It doesn't mean that every one of your children has to be able to... You're not in control, we can't regenerate our own kids, but we're called to be faithful. And maybe, right now, faithfulness looks like, okay, I need to focus on my daughter who seems to be straying. And can I do that well while I'm still pastoring? That's a bigger question that you need to ask together with the leadership in your church, your elders. But may God give you wisdom and be with you and bless you in the work that you're doing. And may God soften her heart and bring her back on the right path.

We'll be praying for you, Ruel, and God bless you. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio. Or you can call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, let us know how we can be praying for you. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-11 21:16:04 / 2024-06-11 21:25:53 / 10

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