IN AN Asian land, a crowd revels during a festival honoring spirits. The festivities heighten when two women are selected for a spirit-possession ceremony. Their eyes roll back in their heads, and then the women begin to shake all over as if shocked by electricity.
In Puerto Rico, a medium (santero) holds a séance to contact a spirit called Changó, the god of thunder. The medium describes visions, and all in the room begin to shake as if possessed.
Involvement with the occult is commonplace in many lands. Belief in the supernatural is becoming more popular, and people are increasingly drawn to it. Books, games, television shows, and movies that feature demons, witchcraft, and paranormal phenomena are more widespread than ever.
The Bible, however, teaches that involvement with any manifestation of the occult is actually spiritism. Spiritism is not innocent or harmless fun. It is not simply exploring the unknown. It is contact with demons, wicked angels who rebelled against God.—Revelation 12:9, 12.
In reality, spiritism does for the demons what lures do for fishermen. A fisherman uses a variety of lures to catch different kinds of fish. Similarly, wicked spirits use different forms of spiritism to bring all sorts of people under their influence. The leader of the demons is referred to as “the god of this [wicked] system of things.” He is successful at blinding the minds of unbelievers to the truth of God’s Word and purpose.—2 Corinthians 4:4.
Where Spiritism Leads
The goal of wicked spirit creatures is simply this: They want to distract and mislead us from developing a personal relationship with our Creator. They influence people to disobey God’s righteous requirements, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, spiritism leads to divine disapproval, hopelessness, and eventual destruction.—Revelation 21:8.
Says Luis, who is from Puerto Rico: “From the time I was a child, my family was involved in spiritism. It was part of our family religion and way of life. I thought my ability to foresee the future and read tarot cards was natural. I could often pick lottery numbers and help others win money. These supposed gifts were nothing more than a distraction keeping me from gaining Bible knowledge and building a relationship with God.”—John 17:3.
Many may feel that involvement with the spirit world is harmless, even beneficial. They may speak of so-called friendly ghosts or claim that spiritistic practices can lead to enlightenment, riches, or happiness. This could not be further from the truth. “There is always a price to pay,” says Luis.
A young man named Chad started to experience fearful sights and the torment of being awakened every time he slept. “Demons began harassing and torturing me every night,” he says. How can we be protected against such harassment?
How We Gain Protection
To protect ourselves we need to keep free from everything connected with spiritism. (Galatians 5:19-21) Thus, Jehovah God directs his servants to avoid the following practices: “There should not be found in you anyone . . . who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
In harmony with those words, many have taken steps to protect themselves by discarding any books or other objects related to spiritism. Says Ken, who broke free from spiritism, “I went through all my belongings and destroyed everything I felt was bad.”—See Acts 19:19, 20.
The greatest protection is developing a personal relationship with the true God, Jehovah. Note the course of action outlined at James 4:7, 8: “Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you indecisive ones.”
Jehovah God educates and protects those who draw close to him. They are not ‘ignorant of Satan’s designs’ or deceived by false appearances. (2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:14) Also, Jehovah is Almighty. When called upon in faith, Jehovah will free individuals from harassment by wicked spirits. Chad, quoted earlier, says, “Knowing the source of my attacks and calling out to Jehovah God to protect me from their influence made it stop.”—Psalm 91:1, 2.
Clearly, righthearted ones can rejoice in God’s protection now and the realization that soon the demons and all who submit to their influence will be destroyed. Just imagine the joy and peace that will prevail on earth when mankind is free of the effects of spiritism!—Isaiah 11:9; Revelation 22:15.