MILLIONS of people feel that they are free when, in fact, they are not. Many, for example, are enslaved to superstitions. Others fear the dead, whom they may try to appease with expensive offerings. Still others, unsure of what happens when a person dies, have an inordinate fear of death itself. Can such ones be set free from these mental, emotional, and even financial burdens? Yes! As the words of Jesus Christ quoted above show, the key to freedom is the truth. But what truth? Truth in general or truth of a specific kind?
Jesus did not leave us in doubt. “If you remain in my word,” he said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) Jesus’ “word,” his teachings, are found in the Bible.
When Jesus said “the truth will set you free,” he was primarily referring to being set free from sin and death. Nevertheless, knowing the truth about God’s Word also sets us free from such things as superstition, fear of the dead, and the inordinate fear of dying. How?
1. Freedom from superstition. Many believe that certain objects or certain numbers will bring bad luck. Others refrain from making important decisions unless they first look for a good omen or consult a horoscope or spirit medium.
How Bible truth sets free: In Bible times, some of God’s own people became superstitious, even to the point of worshipping “the god of Good Luck” and “the god of Destiny”! How did Jehovah God view this? “You kept doing what was bad in my eyes,” he said. (Isaiah 65:11, 12) God felt the same way about people consulting spirit mediums for guidance in life: “Anyone who consults a spirit medium . . . is something detestable to Jehovah.”—Deuteronomy 18:11, 12.
Superstitions and spirit mediums are harmful because they are “machinations of the Devil,” the one whom Jesus called “the father of the lie.” (Ephesians 6:11; John 8:44) If you wanted guidance on an important matter, would you consult a liar? Of course not! You are wise, therefore, to avoid anything connected with “the father of the lie.”
The key to making sound decisions in life is wisdom based on an accurate knowledge of Bible principles and God’s purpose for mankind. “Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment,” says Proverbs 2:6.
2. Freedom from fear of the dead. Many people believe that the “spirits” of dead ancestors can influence the living. These “spirits,” they feel, must be appeased with various sacrifices, lest they become angry. As a result, some people go deeply into debt to pay for sacrifices and lavish ceremonies.
How Bible truth sets free: The Bible tells us the truth about the state of the dead. Jesus, for instance, said that the dead are ‘asleep.’ (John 11:11, 14) What did he mean? The answer is found at Ecclesiastes 9:5: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” Yes, the dead are as if in a deep sleep, fully unconscious. In fact, they have ceased to exist and therefore can neither do us good nor cause us harm.
Some people, though, claim to have had contact with the dead. How could this be? Again, the Bible answers. It tells us that early in human history, a number of angels rebelled against God. (2 Peter 2:4) Called demons, these wicked spirits try to deceive mankind. (1 Timothy 4:1) One way they do that is by masquerading as the dead, thus fostering the lie that the dead are alive in another form or realm.
3. Freedom from inordinate fear of death. Death truly is an enemy, just as the Bible says. (1 Corinthians 15:26) Hence, we rightly fear death and try to put it off. Still, we need not have undue fear of death.
How Bible truth sets free: Besides revealing the truth about the state of the dead, the Bible also shows that God has purposed to restore the dead to life by means of a resurrection. “The hour is coming,” said Jesus, “in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his [Christ’s] voice and come out.”—John 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15.
In what form will they “come out”? Jesus gave us a preview when he resurrected a number of people from the dead. In each case, the person returned in human form—as his or her previous self. (Mark 5:35-42; Luke 7:11-17; John 11:43, 44) This fact harmonizes with the word “resurrection,” which means “standing up.” When speaking to his aged servant Daniel, God said: “You will rest [or sleep in death], but you will stand up for your lot at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:13) How those words must have comforted Daniel, enabling him to face death with courage and dignity!
Jesus’ commission, in part, was “to preach a release to the captives”—those in bondage to false beliefs. (Luke 4:18) Because his teachings are found in the Bible, they continue to liberate people every day. We sincerely hope that Bible truth will bring you lasting freedom.
HAVE YOU WONDERED?
How does Bible truth set us free from
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Bible truth sets people free from superstition, fear of the dead, and the inordinate fear of dying