Communicating with the Spirit Realm
“THE compulsion to communicate runs deep.” With that statement, the book Machines began a chapter on the radio. By radio we can communicate with persons around the globe or even hear from astronauts in outer space.
2 Radio communication is now an accepted part of life. But many persons ignore or misunderstand a more important type of communication—with the spirit realm.
SPEAKING TO THE CREATOR
3 Centuries before radio was invented, King David wrote:
“To my sayings do give ear, O Jehovah . . . Do pay attention to the sound of my cry for help, O my King and my God, because to you I pray.”—Psalm 5:1, 2.
Does it not seem reasonable that the highest intelligence in the universe can “give ear” to what we say in prayer if he desires to do so? And is it not sensible for us to seek help from God, who can give us the very best guidance?—Psalm 65:2.
4 A transmitter and a receiver are necessary in radio communication. But what do we need in order to contact Jehovah in prayer? The first requirement is faith. “He that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him” (Hebrews 11:6) Also, a person must be attuned to God’s moral standards and ways. Otherwise God will no more listen to him than an upright person would listen to a radio program that he viewed as morally repugnant.—1 John 3:22; Isaiah 1:15.
5 Jehovah does not have a rigid format for acceptable prayers. Whether you pray out loud or silently, he can “hear.” You can pray when standing, seated, kneeling or lying in bed. (1 Samuel 1:12, 13; 1 Kings 8:54) No special words or religious language are needed. More important are sincerity and a humble spirit. Note how Jesus illustrated this at Luke 18:10-14.
6 Individually, we can approach Jehovah in prayer at any time. However, he also welcomes united prayers, such as from a congregation of Christians. By their listening to the prayers at the congregation meetings some who never prayed before have learned how to employ this vital communication. Family groups, too, can and should pray together. One opportunity is at mealtimes, following Jesus’ example in thanking God for the food that he made available.—Mark 8:6.
7 You may know of persons who have prayed but who complain that they get no answer. Why? Christ told his followers: “If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name.” Jesus Christ, and no other person, is the way of approach to God. Might the problem be a failure to appreciate this? (John 16:23; 14:6) Also, what did Jesus mean by “anything”? The apostle John shows that it is “anything” that is ‘in accord with Jehovah’s will.’ We would hardly expect a righteous God to accept prayers for wrong, immoral or greedy ends. (1 John 5:14) Yet many pray for instant wealth or power over others. It is no wonder, then, that God does not respond to such prayers. Requests for our valid personal needs should come after matters such as God’s will being done on earth.—Matthew 6:9-11.
8 Prayer affords opportunities for us to talk to God as to a loving father, to express our joys, our troubles and needs. If you have not been doing that regularly, do not put it off. Your having a trusting relationship with God and being able to communicate with him at any time will give you much peace of mind and bring happiness. You can unburden yourself, being sure of his interest in you.—Psalm 86:1-6; Philippians 4:6, 7.
RESPONSE FROM THE SPIRIT REALM
9 One of the main subjects of prayer should be our need for wisdom and guidance from God. (Psalm 27:11; 119:34-36; James 1:5) In what manner will God respond? In ancient times, he occasionally gave verbal messages, speaking through angels or human prophets. But the apostle Paul says that God has now “spoken to us by means of a Son,” whose teachings and life pattern are set out in the Bible. (Hebrews 1:1, 2; 2:1-3; John 20:31) So, rather than expecting God to speak to us personally, we should seek help through the means he has chosen to use, the Bible. With this in mind, we should follow up prayers for guidance by diligently studying his Word. (Proverbs 2:1-5) Added help is available through devoted Christians who regularly meet to study and discuss the Bible.—2 Timothy 2:1, 2.
10 In answer to our prayers, God can also aid us personally through his spirit. With this, he helps Christians to understand his Word and apply it. (John 16:7-13) David prayed: “Teach me to do your will . . . Your spirit is good; may it lead me in the land of uprightness.”—Psalm 143:10.
ARE THERE EVIL PERSONS IN THE SPIRIT REALM?
11 Not only does the Bible assure us that Jehovah, his Son and angels exist in the spirit realm, and that we may communicate with God by prayer. Just as reliably the Scriptures show that there are intelligent spirit persons who are now very wicked, specifically Satan and his demons.
12 Some persons feel that “the Devil” is just a carry-over from an old superstition or myth. Others think that when the Bible mentions “Satan” it is referring simply to a principle of evil.
13 However, Matthew 4:1-11 tells us of a time when Satan offered three very specific temptations to Jesus. Certainly, the Satan here referred to was no evil principle within Jesus, for the Son of God is free of evil and sin. (Hebrews 7:26; 1:8, 9) No, Satan is a real person. This is also borne out by the account at Job 1:6-12, which tells of Satan’s appearing before Jehovah.
14 But what of Satan’s origin? We know that Jehovah is the Creator of all things and that “perfect is his activity.” (Deuteronomy 32:4; Revelation 4:11) Hence, is it not logical that Satan must at one time have been an upright spirit person created by Jehovah along with other angels? How, then, did he become corrupt? James 1:14, 15 gives us a clue:
“Each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin.”
15 From what has occurred among men, we know that even someone in a trusted position might see how he could misuse a situation in order to get more power. It appears that this is what occurred with one of God’s angels. Being a free moral agent, this spirit creature chose a bad course, perhaps believing that he could become like God, with humans following him. What happened is evidently comparable to the experience of a king of Tyre, as related at Ezekiel 28:1-19. This man had been in a favored position relative to ancient Israel, but he became puffed up with pride, leading to his downfall. Similarly, pride led to the ruin of the one who made himself Satan, a resister of God.
16 An understanding of Satan’s existence sheds light on the events in the garden of Eden that resulted in our being imperfect, sinners, subject to sickness and death. With his above-human intelligence, Satan used a serpent to communicate a lying, fatal proposition to Eve. (Genesis 3:1-5) Accordingly, Revelation 12:9 calls Satan “the original serpent.” And Jesus said this one did not “stand fast in the truth,” but became “the father of the lie” and a “manslayer.”—John 8:44.
17 Satan is not the only spirit creature who rebelled. The history in Genesis 6:1-3 explains that in Noah’s day some angels—perhaps stimulated by Satan’s rebellion—took on human bodies so as to have sexual pleasure with women. This was unnatural and corrupt. (Jude 6, 7) When God wiped out the wickedness on earth by a global flood, these disobedient angels returned to the spirit realm, but now on Satan’s side, as demons. (2 Peter 2:4, 5) The well-known Greek and Roman mythologies about gods that moved back and forth between heaven and earth may be distortions of the facts about the disobedient angels as reported in the Bible.
WICKED INFLUENCE FROM THE SPIRIT REALM
18 The wicked spirits are not interested in our welfare but are bent on deceiving and misleading humans, turning them away from God. The apostle Paul called Satan “the god of this system of things” who “has blinded the minds of the unbelievers” so that they might not learn the “good news” about Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4) He has been quite successful in this.
19 One tactic that he has used is by encouraging the view that there is no Devil or Satan. He is like a criminal who spreads the idea that a crime syndicate does not exist, thus lulling persons into a false security. Another tactic is reflected in the horrible deeds committed by religious zealots—crusades, inquisitions, the blessing of warfare. These have caused many sensitive persons to turn away from Jehovah God, mistakenly thinking that the churches represent him.
20 Recall, too, that the apostle Paul said that Satan is “the god of this system of things.” Some persons scoff at the idea that Satan is maneuvering the nations. But when Satan offered Christ authority over the nations, Jesus did not deny that the Devil has power over the political kingdoms. (Luke 4:5-8) And does it not seem that there is some evil force behind world affairs today? With this in mind, read what Revelation 12:9, 12 says about Satan’s efforts.
AVOIDING CONTACT WITH WICKED SPIRITS
21 Scientists have done research on what is known as ESP (extrasensory perception). This includes phenomena such as a person’s knowing others’ thoughts, describing events or objects that he could never have seen or learned of, and using ‘mind over matter’ to influence such things as the fall of dice. The psychic researchers have tried to exclude the possibility of trickery, yet they cannot explain these superhuman feats. Might what the Scriptures say be the explanation?
22 Satan and the demons can directly affect humans and their affairs. For example, a girl in ancient Philippi, in Greece, was able to make predictions. How? The historical record says that “a spirit, a demon of divination,” influenced the girl’s utterances. The apostle Paul helped her to get free from the demon.—Acts 16:16-18.
23 Because the demons are real and powerful, God’s Word repeatedly warns against involvement with them. It condemns the use of spells (as in black magic or voodoo), the consulting of mediums or a person’s trying to contact the dead. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 20:6, 27; Galatians 5:19-21) Those warnings are still timely. You may have observed the widespread interest in psychic phenomena and the occult. Many films and novels have featured ‘the spirits’ or man’s efforts to exorcise, or cast out, demons. The use of Ouija boards or astrology for guidance is common.
24 Communication with wicked spirits is dangerous. Reports indicate that once the demons gain influence over a person, they can do much harm—physically, mentally and emotionally. (Compare Matthew 8:28-33.) They have harassed persons, making noises at night, causing objects to move about, fondling sex organs and causing illness. Their “voices” have even driven persons to insanity, murder or suicide.
25 Of course, some “strange” occurrences may result from physical problems, such as disturbances of body chemistry, which may affect the mind and the senses. But it would be foolish simply to dismiss the existence of Satan and the demons. Do not underestimate the seriousness of the Bible’s warning about them.
26 If a person is being harassed by the demons, is there any way to get relief? God is not now using humans to heal the sick, cast out demons or raise the dead, as he used the apostles. But he will help someone break free from “the authority of Satan.” (Acts 26:18; Ephesians 6:12) It is necessary to turn to Jehovah in prayer, using his name and earnestly seeking his help. (Proverbs 18:10) Also, one must resist demonic suggestions, as did Jesus, ceasing spiritistic practices and needless fellowship with those pursuing demonism.—Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.
27 Additionally, reports show that the demons often keep in contact with a human through an object, so it is important to get rid of items formerly used in spiritism (charms, crystal balls, and so forth). The Bible tells us that some who had practiced magical arts in ancient Ephesus did that.—Acts 19:18-20.
28 Yet there is no need to be in constant dread of wicked spirits. Rather, the Bible urges us to clothe ourselves with spiritual armor:
“Stand firm, therefore, with your loins girded about with TRUTH, and having on the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and with your feet shod with the equipment of the GOOD NEWS OF PEACE. Above all things, take up the large shield of FAITH, with which you will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles. Also, accept the helmet of SALVATION, and the sword of the spirit, that is, GOD’S WORD, while . . . you carry on PRAYER on every occasion.”—Ephesians 6:14-18.
As God’s Word here shows, an excellent safeguard against unwanted communication with wicked spirits is regular communication with Jehovah through prayer. The Bible fittingly says: “Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7.
Why should we be interested in communicating with the Creator? (1-3)
What is needed for acceptable prayers? (1 Peter 3:12) (4, 5)
What can we learn from the Bible about the nature of our prayers? (6-8)
How can we receive communication from God? (9, 10)
How can we know that Satan exists? And what is his origin? (11-15)
How does our knowing of Satan and the demons aid us? (16, 17)
In what way have wicked spirits affected humans? (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) (18-20)
What practices can involve a person with wicked spirits? (21-23)
How can you protect yourself from harmful communication with the spirit realm? (24-28)
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Daily we can communicate with God through prayer