Wielding the Spiritual Sword Against Wicked Spirit Forces
WITH but few exceptions survival after death is believed in by Protestant and Catholic and Jew, as well as by the countless Oriental and primitive religions. That is why many bereaved persons turn to spiritualism for comfort, hoping to get in touch with their dead loved ones. At times they seem to succeed. Materialists, denying both the possibility of any survival after death and the existence of spirit entities, have no satisfactory explanation of spiritualistic phenomena.a
The Bible alone has a satisfactory explanation, it showing that there is a case of mistaken identity. In brief, it tells that God created invisible creatures long before he made the earth and man and that one of these rebelled at the time Adam and Eve were in Eden, making himself into Satan the Devil. In Noah’s day other spirit creatures joined Satan in his rebellion, thus making themselves demons. Since the Deluge all these have been confined in a state of darkness known as Tartarus. These, by impersonating the dead, would give the lie to the Bible’s plain statement that “the dead know not anything.”—Ezek. 28:14, 15; 2 Pet. 2:4, 5; Eccl. 9:5, AS.
The Israelites were forbidden to have anything to do with demonism; Jesus when on earth repeatedly cast out evil spirits from possessed persons; and Paul warned that the “practice of spiritism” will debar one from God’s kingdom.—Lev. 19:31; Gal. 5:20, NW.
As dedicated Christians who desire God’s approval and life in God’s new world not only must we avoid spiritism ourselves, but we must wield “the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word,” “against the governments, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” That means to use Bible truth to expose the lies behind which spiritism as well as all other false teachings operates.—Eph. 6:17, 12, NW.
With strong confidence in the Bible’s authenticity we can therefore urge the people to consult it rather than the dead for enlightenment. (Isa. 8:19, 20) And God’s Word plainly shows that at creation “man came to be a living soul,” that “the soul that sins shall die,” and that in death “man has no advantage over the beasts.” It also shows that only Jehovah God originally had immortality and that this gift he is bestowing upon a select few, including his only begotten Son, and that in his due time “all those in the memorial tombs will hear [Jesus’] voice and come out,” either to a resurrection of life or to one of judgment.—Gen. 2:7, NW; Ezek. 18:4; Eccl. 3:19, RS; John 5:28, 29, NW.
By diligently and skillfully wielding the spiritual sword against wicked spirit forces we shall “let God be found true, though every man be found a liar,” and we shall be fulfilling our commission to “comfort all that mourn.” (Rom. 3:4, NW; Isa. 61:2) The sword of the spirit is not all that we need. No, we must “put on the complete suit of armor from God,” and that includes having our “loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” Also we must have our feet shod with the equipment of the good news of peace and must take up the large shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. And last, but not least, we must keep on praying, looking to God for guidance, help and protection. Thus we shall triumph in our warfare against wicked spirit forces.—Eph. 6:11-20, NW.
a For details please see The Watchtower, Sept. 1 and 15, Oct. 1, 1955.