20. The Spirit World
Today there are millions of people playing games with the unseen world, who are unaware of the dangers involved simply because they do not know the source of power behind occult practices. The Bible, however, clearly reveals the source of power behind the psychic arts, but in spite of the fact that the Bible is the world’s best selling book, very few read it diligently and understand its message. God’s attitude toward black magic, witchcraft, spiritualism and the other facets of the occult is made very plain.
The variety of spirit world manifestations seems to be endless. There are witches black, white and grey, and warlocks too. Messages are mysteriously written on a blackboard, or typed on a typewriter automatically. There are ghosts, haunted castles and haunted houses. There are crystal ball gazers whose predictions and fulfillment's are uncanny. However they are often wrong, which makes us doubt their genuineness, for if God were the source of their inspiration there would be no mistakes. Sometimes it all looks so good, but if the occult looked bad it would never deceive. Those who make counterfeit money try to make it look real, but it is still counterfeit. This is the devil’s strategy too, with good and evil.
01. Does the Bible tell us who is behind the supernatural occult events in this world?
7 Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.
8 And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven.
9 This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world--was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
The devil was created a perfect angel, but in time he rebelled against God and was finally cast out of heaven. The angels who joined him in the rebellion were cast out with him. Satan gained access to this world by causing Adam and Eve to sin. This world has been the headquarters of the devil and his demons ever since. Being in the spirit world they cannot be seen by us, but they are real nevertheless. They observe humanity and are constantly carrying on their work of deception. Their ultimate plan is to prevent you from having everlasting life, while in the meantime they continue to make war against the powers of righteousness.
02. What did Satan do that he should be cast out of heaven to the earth?
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world.
13 For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.
14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’
03. Did Jesus recognise the existence of Satan? What did Jesus say would be his eventual destiny?
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
04. What else does the New Testament say is to become of Satan and his angels?
And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgement.
05. What mighty deception is Satan going to perpetrate in the last days?
2 Corinthians 11:13-14
13 These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
The devil and his angels do not always appear as something terrible or frightening, but can materialise into something that appears very good; even an angel of light. The wicked angels even have the power to appear before us as someone who is dear to us and may have recently been separated from us by death. Their appearance may seem good but their purpose is only to deceive.
06. What does the Bible clearly explain about what happens to us when we die?
Ecclesiastes 9:10, 5, 6
10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
5 The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
6 Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying--is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
It is a common phenomenon these days for some individuals to report they have seen the ghost of some lost, dead relative. Modern man says confidently “There are no such things as ghosts” but any person who has had this experience, and there are many thousands who have, will soon change his mind. Ghosts are not really departed dead, but the unseen world would want people to believe so. Ghosts are only demons putting on an act. This helps perpetuate the false doctrine of the immortality of soul.
07. What is Satan's ultimate goal in producing these deceptions?
1 Peter 5:8
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
08. (Part 1) How successful will Satan be with his false miracles?
They are demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God the Almighty.
Is God the only one who works signs or miracles? NO. This text clearly states that devils, (demons or fallen angels), can work miracles too. Our faith is on shaky ground if it is based on miracles. Our faith is secure when based on the sure Word of God – the Bible.
There are many phenomenon occurring regularly in the world today that are not in harmony with what the Bible teaches, and can only have a miraculous supernatural explanation. These are all tools of the Devil designed to shake our faith in the Bible and to lead us away from God. These phenomenon include:
1. OUIJA BOARDS – E.S.P. – MENTAL TELEPATHY
Ouija boards have proved to be one of the best selling games in America. It seems a harmless game until it is realised that the messages come through from a supernatural force, which means they are dangerous; because this is not God’s way of revealing Himself to man, rather, it is the method of the occult.
Extra sensory perception or mental telepathy, finds its source in the supernatural too. Some say it is the power of the mind, but here once again we see the unseen powers at work with the intention to deceive. One becomes so involved in practising this “gift” that God and His truth are forgotten.
Hypnotism is looked upon as something good, to be used by doctors and dentists to advance medicine. But as we look closely we must ask if hypnosis is morally right. Should the mind of one be brought under the control of another? Is it safe to tamper with the mind, and let someone else do the driving? A person who submits to hypnosis surrenders his mind to another, which means he surrenders the conscience and therefore the moral compass as well. The conscience is the guardian of the soul, and if you kill the watchdog, anything can happen. Hypnosis is in fact, and invasion of our God-given individuality. It is an act of depersonalisation. Interestingly, in God's protection of our free will, it is impossible to hypnotise someone AGAINST THEIR FREE WILL.
One French hypnotist demonstrated the power of post hypnotic suggestion by suggesting to a young woman under hypnosis that she poison a young man she worked with. After she was snapped into normal consciousness, she took the glass of water which she believed was poison, and offered it to the young man to drink. She even pretended to drink from the glass herself to entice him, then watched him drink it. A rather dangerous game, wouldn’t you say? Hypnosis is one way of weakening the minds of men, for every time a person is hypnotised, the free will is weakened. This means it is easier for unseen forces to gain control.
3. PALMISTRY – FORTUNE TELLING
Some have the ability to read a person’s hand and predict their life. Others look into the crystal ball and see the future. Some uncanny predictions made have even come true. Alandino Felix of Brazil warned of disaster in Rio de Janero in 1965, and one month later floods and landslides killed six hundred people. He said a Russian cosmonaut would die, and one did in 1967. He foretold the assasination of Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy. No human being can make such predictions with accuracy, but the powers of the unseen world can; because to a large degree they control the affairs of men. They have no control whatsoever over the genuine Christian, but in the world they have a big say. This means they have something to do with carrying out those predictions. Most often the predictions turn out to be wrong, but they are right often enough to get people wondering.
13 All the advice you receive has made you tired. Where are all your astrologers, those stargazers who make predictions each month? Let them stand up and save you from what the future holds.
14 But they are like straw burning in a fire; they cannot save themselves from the flame. You will get no help from them at all; their hearth is no place to sit for warmth.
The people of God living in the days of Isaiah were doomed because they were trusting in the stars rather than God. The same power demonstrated in spiritualism can be seen in astrology, another form of the occult. Reading the horoscope may seem harmless, but one soon becomes dependent upon the chart. In turn, this means dependence upon the unseen powers, and make no mistake, it is no game to them. When you think of it, doesn’t it appear illogical that stars, unable to think, can choose our destiny? The Bible does not say a lot on astrology, except to condemn it.
5. SEANCE - TALKING TO THE DEAD
The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
Contact with the spirit world is also known as spiritualism and is often conducted by a spirit medium in a séance. In the séance it is claimed one can talk with the dead departed loved ones and friends, and it is true that something appears which can be seen, heard and even felt, resembling exactly those who have died. It is not really the departed dead, but the masquerading of a demon. The main teaching of spiritualism is that man is immortal – he does not die. At death he is said to go to the spirit world and ultimately be a god. This is perpetuating the lie told to Eve in the Garden of Eden. God said that if they ate the forbidden fruit they would die, but the devil speaking through the serpent said, “You will not surely die, but be as gods.” Genesis 3:4,5 (KJV). If Satan can convince man that he does not die, then it is easy to accept communication with the dead. Then Satan finds easy access to the mind and takes steps to control it. In the séance he can impersonate a loved one perfectly, and thus pass on false guidance. He has one main motive – to deceive in order to destroy. He wants all mankind to share his fate of eternal destruction.
09. Who does the Bible say is the only one that knows the "end from the beginning" ?
9 Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
10. (Part 2) How successful will Satan be with his various deceptions?
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.
We are certainly living in the latter times, and this text reveals the deceptive work of evil spirits, also demonic doctrines, or as we would say, false teachings. This evil work of the spirit world is certainly being carried on in our day.
11. What is God's attitude regarding witchcraft and sorcery?
Deuteronomy 18:9-13, Leviticus 19:31
18:9 “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there.
18:10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft,
18:11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.
18:12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you.
18:13 But you must be blameless before the LORD your God.
19:31 “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God.
12. Does the Bible expose how subtle Satan will be with His deceptions?
Read 1 Samuel 8:3-25
QN. Why did the demon who was impersonating Samuel tell Saul the truth about his soon demise?
ANS. "When Saul inquired for Samuel, the Lord did not cause Samuel to appear to Saul. He saw nothing. Satan was not allowed to disturb the rest of Samuel in the grave, and bring him up in reality to the witch of Endor. God does not give Satan power to resurrect the dead. But Satan’s angels assume the form of dead friends, and speak and act like them, that through professed dead friends he can the better carry on his work of deception. Satan knew Samuel well, and he knew how to represent him before the witch of Endor, and to utter correctly the fate of Saul and his sons.
Satan will come in a very plausible manner to such as he can deceive, and will insinuate himself into their favour, and lead them almost imperceptibly [away] from God. He wins them under his control, cautiously at first, until their perceptibilities become blunted. Then he will make bolder suggestions, until he can lead them to commit almost any degree of crime. When he has led them fully into his snare, he is then willing that they should see where they are, and he exults in their confusion, as in the case of Saul. He had suffered Satan to lead him a willing captive, and now Satan spreads before Saul a correct description of his fate. By giving Saul a correct statement of his end, through the woman of Endor, Satan opens a way for Israel to be instructed by his satanic cunning, that they may, in their rebellion against God, learn of him, and by thus doing, sever the last link which would hold them to God.
Saul knew that in this last act, of consulting the witch of Endor, he cut the last shred which held him to God. He knew that if he had not before wilfully separated himself from God, this act sealed that separation, and made it final. He had made an agreement with death, and a covenant with hell. The cup of his iniquity was full."
Ellen Gould White, Conflict and Courage (Review and Herald, 1970), 172.
13. Who does the Bible ultimately reveal at the true enemy of God's people?
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
14. Does God leave us to our own devices to do battle with these evil forces?
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armour so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness.
15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.*
16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.*
17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Satan is very powerful and we have no defence against him without the help of God. Would you like to commit your life to God today and call on Him to wrap you in His protection against Satan's masterful deceptions?