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[Steve] Do you think there’s a spirit world?
> Oh I know there’s a spirit world.
» No, I don’t believe in that.
> That’s sort of a weird question.
» Hmm…Evil influence on an individual?
[Steve] Do you think there’s a spirit world out here?
> Sure, yeah.
[Roy Fouch] Parapsychology is a branch of psychology that really delves into abnormal experiences.
[Steve] Do you think there is anything to the idea that there’s a spirit world out there?
[Steve] What’s the truth when it comes to the spirit world? Do spirits really exist? Are they active in the world today or is it all just fantasy?
Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we answer the question: “Is There a Spirit World?”
[Announcer] Join our host Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today !
[Steve] The spirit world—some whole-heartedly believe in it. Others think only the shallow-minded could be taken in by the idea. Your Bible says, it’s a fact. What do you think?
Let’s take a moment to consider if it’s real. Many I spoke to on the street seem to deny the possibility. Is there a spirit world?
> I’ve never really thought about that, but…I don’t think so; no, I don’t.
» Not really that I’ve seen. I really believe that people make their own decisions and, you know, if they go a bad way that’s sort of on them.
> As far as evils spirits, and the whole idea of Halloween, no.
[Steve] Do you think there is anything to evil spirits?
> No I don’t.
[Steve] Okay, we may feel that way, but can we really know if there’s truly a spirit realm?
Some think that research and science can find the answer. Well, is it possible for science to tell us whether there’s a real spirit world?
> If it can be done then I’m sure science at some point will do it.
[Steve] Do you think science could detect if there’s a spirit world?
>That would be cool if they could but, I don’t know right now.
» I consider myself pretty science-based myself, but there are some things that we haven’t quite explained yet. I’m not willing to say there’s any specific god or spirit or power but there is something out there that we haven’t quite put a name on and really nailed down just yet.
[Steve] When you get right down to it—science isn’t the answer. Most scientists theorize that we’re products of evolution. They’re biased against anything that’s intangible.
One man I spoke with is an anthropologist. Anthropology is the scientific study of human societies and cultures and their development. Here’s what he said:
> We in the sort of materialist scientific age denigrate that sort of thing. The real fact is, that science is the study of stuff that you can measure and metaphysical stuff, of course, you can’t measure.
[Steve] Science has little to say about things that can’t be seen under a microscope, through a telescope or things that can’t be examined in a laboratory. It deals best with the physical world, but science is highly skeptical at best of anything dealing with the spirit realm.
Do you think there is a dimension there that is real, even though science can’t detect it?
> Oh indeed. Yeah, I do believe that, indeed. Yeah. There’s lots of things that science can’t measure and the problem that some scientists have is that things that they can’t measure they don’t believe is real, but there’s lots and lots of evidence.
[Steve] What a valuable point! Even though science can’t identify it, there is a spirit dimension that’s real. Because they can’t quantify it, they don’t believe it to be true.
But, is there a source we can turn to—that gives us trustworthy information about the spirit world?
Yes. There is a reliable resource that describes the unseen spirit realm without contradictions—and in a logical, consistent manner.
It’s the Bible. Of all the books that deal with the spirit world, only the Bible has been shown throughout the centuries to be dependable. It’s a dependable source of information. So, if we’re to learn about the spirit world, we’ve got to turn to the truth of the Bible. Go to the source!
The Bible proclaims it was inspired by the One who is over the entire spirit world—God Himself! We’re told: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible (Colossians 1: 16, NKJ).
God’s Word is filled with references to spirit beings that possess intelligence and moral qualities. When it comes to the evil spiritual forces, the Bible itself helps us to stand strong against them.
There’s a great example of this that occurred close to 2,000 years ago. The apostle Paul visited the city of Ephesus and he preached from the Bible about the truth of God and the wicked spirit realm. The people who had been using evil materials reacted to his message by choosing to reject spiritual darkness.
The story is found in Acts 19: “Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19:19-20).
Today, many might think that we’re much too sophisticated now to be that superstitious about an evil spirit world.
> I think people want to believe there’s something higher than just this mortal plane that we have.
» It may be evil, but I don’t think it’s a spirit. I think it’s just mentality of man.
[Steve] But the Bible proclaims there is an evil spirit realm. In fact, it calls the world that we live in: “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4).
> I do think there is some greater force out there but I’m not sure what it is.
» It has a definite influence on you.
> If I believe in any kind of spiritual world at all, it’s something that we all share.
[Steve] Do you think it’s possible that unseen world can impact our thinking?
> Oh I believe so, very definitely. Yeah, very definitely.
[Steve] The Word of God reveals it is a dominant force that stands against the powers of evil. Yet, most are unable to see and fall under another power and its influence.
What is the source of spiritual blindness? Well up next, we’ll discover what the Bible says about this evil spirit world and what you can do to overcome its influence.
But first, let me tell you about our revealing, free study aid that can help you understand the spirit influences on our world: Is There Really a Devil?
Is there a being that wants you to believe a lie? Could the disorder and chaos in our world be connected to spiritual influence? Have you been swayed to think that demons are simply just myths?
Our free study guide, Is There Really a Devil? will give you insight into these and many other questions. The Bible speaks of the reality of a dark spirit world. It reveals how someone could be persuaded to follow hurtful, destructive ways.
You’ll also discover how you can stand up against deception through the very power of God.
To order your personal, free copy of Is There Really a Devil? call: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read it on our BeyondToday.tv website. Or, write to us at the address shown on your screen throughout the program [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].
Many question the idea of a spirit realm impacting our modern world. Is that primitive thinking or a valid certainty?
Do you think there could be an unseen world that could impact the way we think?
> I feel like there is some kind of something out there, but I can’t describe it.
» Then we don’t know why certain things happen. We can’t explain everything.
> I’m a retired anthropologist and virtually every culture acknowledges a spirit world.
[Steve] Do you think there could be anything to an evil influence that would affect even nations?
> That I don’t believe.
» I’ve always kinda felt that there were spirits of some kind, but whether or not that’s true or if it’s just in my head, I have no… I don’t think anybody knows, do they?
[Steve] Do you think it could go to the extent that spirit influence could affect even nations?
> Yeah, certainly I believe that. Yeah, it affects us all individually and of course nations are just a bunch of individuals.
» Whether we are influenced whether we have a thought, where does that thought come from? I don’t know.
[Steve] Well let’s think about that for a moment. Can it be explained? Is it just in our head? From where does it come? Could a spirit entity really influence you?
To answer the question, we have to start at the creation of the spirit world.
First, God tells us that He created angels before the existence of the earth as spirit beings who cannot die (Hebrews 1:7). They are described in the Bible as good and righteous angels who shouted for joy when they saw the earth being created (Job 38:4-7).
Well, God made these holy angels to protect and take care of people. Psalms 91:11 tells us that God “shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”
You see, God gives us powerful angelic help for our benefit. Now imagine that! They come to the aid of humans in fulfilling God’s plan of salvation (Hebrews 1:14).
Now, let’s consider whether an evil spirit entity can really influence you.
There could be other influences at certain times as well?
> Yeah I think there are probably some evil spirits as well as some very good spirits.
» So we can, we really don’t know what influences our decisions. It could be our thought process, what’s in our heart, the way we were raised. You notice a whole lot of factors that go in. I just think that’s a cop out when somebody say, “oh, the devil made me do it.”
[Steve] People do bad things and it’s because there’s a devil out there that’s impacting people. I mean, what would you say if somebody said that?
> That there could be. I don’t know for sure, but there could be.
» If there’s any kind of evil it’s just sort of turning away from that idea that we are all humans at the base of it.
[Steve] Is it simply people making bad choices? Evil people choosing wrong?
The Bible describes it differently. It reveals a dark realm.
Now we’ve already recognized that God created the spirit world to be good. So how did the dark side arise?
The Bible tells us that evil began with one of those created angels called Lucifer. He chose to rebel against God. This was the beginning of wickedness and sin.
God Himself described what happened: “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God…You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you…You became filled with violence within, and you sinned…Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…” (Ezekiel 28:14-17).
So God created angels with free will, given the choice to choose between good and evil. They were also capable of sin. But Lucifer defied God along with other angels and he was changed forever. He became Satan—the “Adversary.” This was the origin of the dark side of the spirit world. He is the great liar “who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9) and, along with his angels—now demons, he’s an expert of disguise.
We’re warned not to be fooled. “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
Unfortunately, many are skeptical and just don’t believe it. I’ve talked to so many people lately that have told me that Satan doesn’t exist. Demons—they’re pure fantasy and there is no spirit world.
But wait, Satan is no mere metaphor. Here’s just how serious it is: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12).
So, whether we’re aware of it or not, whether we believe it or not; there is a great spiritual battle going on.
What would you say to somebody that said, “Well that must be evil that’s influencing that”?
> It may be evil but I don’t think it’s a spirit.
» In every culture there are stories of evil, right? And so they influence… there’s a belief that something is influencing people.
[Steve] She’s right! God inspired the apostle Paul to explain how Satan operates. He influences people by transmitting invisible, powerful negative attitudes: “… you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…” (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Have you ever noticed a struggle going on in your own mind? You have positive and negative attitudes, good and bad thoughts. And have you ever felt them battle it out for dominance to impact how you act?
Well the Bible reveals that Satan has that power to impact our thinking. The devil has the ability to broadcast destructive attitudes as he tries to persuade us to do wrong. It’s real. It’s dangerous. And it’s deadly.
Up next, I’ll speak with a clinical counselor about this battle for our minds. Can Satan read your mind and take control of you? We’ll look at that in just a moment.
But first I’d like to remind you to order our free Bible study aid, Is There Really a Devil?
There’s just too much information on the spirit realm and the part Satan plays to cover on today’s program, so be sure to order yours now.
Also, when you order our free study aid, Is There Really a Devil? we’ll also send you a subscription to our magazine, Beyond Today —free of charge! Six times a year you’ll receive articles on subjects that will not only help change your life for the better, but help you more fully comprehend current events in relation to Bible prophecy. Our magazine will also help you learn more about the biblically sanctioned Holy Days; and about Satan’s powerful deception occurring in the world right now—and so much more!
So order your free copy of: Is There Really a Devil? and our magazine, Beyond Today . Do it by calling: 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. Or, write to us at the address shown on your screen. Of course, you can read Is There Really a Devil? and Beyond Today online at BeyondToday.tv .
Here on Beyond Today we provide all of our literature free of charge! This is made possible through the generous support of the United Church of God members and our many viewers around the world. We welcome you to partner with us so we can reach even more with the genuine truth of the Bible. So write us today, or go online to BeyondToday.tv . We look forward to hearing from you.
Is there really a spirit world? Yes. And whether or not you’re aware of it, a spiritual battle is going on—a battle for our minds. So even though we’re physical people, there’s a supernatural conflict that’s happening right now.
God’s Word tells us that: “…though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war” (2 Corinthians 10:3, RSV). It’s certainly not a physical conflict.
We’re reminded of the powerful forces that we combat in our thoughts: “Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, GW).
I spoke with Dr. Roy Fouch, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor about this spiritual warfare and the impact of the spirit world upon our thinking.
Now as a clinical counselor, do you believe in a spirit world?
[Dr. Fouch] Oh yes, absolutely. First of all, I believe in the Bible and what the Bible has to say. And the Bible clearly says there is a spirit world and that there are evil spirit beings and that they do interact with human beings. We see the effects of evil in our culture today. So there is evil and the Bible talks about it. And, we all are affected by it in one way or another, if not directly. But we also can open ourselves up to the influence if we’re not doing the kind of things that we need to do to counteract that part of the spirit world.
[Steve] That is the challenge—counteracting the dark influences that are all around us. It begins with subtle suggestion and enticement. An evil thought is introduced into our mind, and if we don’t change our thinking, the desire motivates us to pursue it. The apostle James said it this way: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). So we have to change the way we think.
Now unfortunately throughout the centuries, many have confused mental illness with demonic influence.
[Dr. Fouch] I’ve been working in the field with the severely, mentally ill for 35 years. These people suffer terrible lives in many cases. It’s important to not necessarily assume that they are being influenced by demons or that they are possessed. That we treat them as we would treat anybody who is suffering from any condition. Throughout history people have been confounded by what mental illness is. And so, they’ve reacted to these individuals as if they were demon possessed. They would do things like bloodletting and drilling holes in their heads to try to release the evil spirits.
Thomas Aquinas, back in the 12th century, a theologian, believed that it had to do with demon possession or demon influence. And, so what has happened through the course of time, some of these beliefs have continued down through the ages.
[Steve] We have to be careful about what we assume. God’s Word teaches that evil forces can potentially influence all of us. That’s because Satan has the ability to transmit attitudes and tempting thoughts from which no one is immune.
Have you ever found yourself thinking an evil thought and wondered, “Where did that come from?” We’ve all heard the excuse, “The devil made me do it!” But the truth is, the devil can’t make you do anything. But he can make something wrong—sound good—or seem so appealing, that you’re willing to choose to do it on your own. Maybe the saying should be: “The devil tempted me to do it, and I gave in.”
[Dr. Fouch] You don’t have to have a mental illness to be influenced by demons. And I do think that people who have mental illness are much more vulnerable to those influences because they don’t seem to have much control over the thoughts that come into their mind.
[Steve] Do you think it would be fair to say that it’s not always chemical imbalances. That there actually is something for some that is an effect of the spirit world?
[Dr. Fouch] Oh, absolutely. Not only people with mental illness, but other people. So we can actually open that door ourselves by some of the choices that we make.
[Steve] Have you thought about some of the ways that we open up ourselves to potential influences? Is there a door in your life that you’re leaving open? Remember, it’s about your mind.
[Dr. Fouch] I believe that when you talk about ghosts, and things of that nature, and witches, and things along those lines—things around the occult, witchcraft, things like that—you’re definitely delving into the darker, spiritual world. And, these things are presented in such an attractive way, that our children are drawn to them and we encourage our children to be drawn to them. And these are things that are part of the demonic world. It’s part of the darker side of spirituality and what Satan tries to do in my mind, is to sort of dress it up—make it looks like it’s fun, make it looks like it’s okay. And yet, there are off shoots of this. So when you start going in that direction, then you are definitely opening yourself up to demonic influences. The more you access and interact with the spirit world on the dark side, the more chance there is that something could get terribly out of control.
[Steve] But remember, it’s not just about ghosts and witches and the occult. The Bible leaves no doubt that Jesus believed that the devil and demons exist and that they have evil influence in and over human beings.
Christ knew that these powers of darkness are terrible forces of evil. No wonder He spoke of them with intensity and with authority. He didn’t hesitate to proclaim that evil can be in our hearts and minds and it can come from the very source of evil: Satan the devil.
And so He warns us so we won’t be fooled. It’s clear that: “The devil who rules this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe” (2 Corinthians 4, NCV).
Now as strange as it may seem, he’s convinced people that he doesn’t even exist and even deceived the majority of people into false religious worship. They’ve perverted the knowledge of the One true God—even within Christianity! Jesus taught us: Don’t underestimate Satan and his demons.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can protect yourself from the darkness around you as you draw close to God.
[Dr. Fouch] If we’re going to be influenced one way or the other, I believe, because I think the spirit world does interact with our physical realm. And so, if we’re focused on connecting with the positive side—as a Christian that would be connecting with Jesus Christ, connecting with God the Father, trying to follow Their instructions of how to become more like Them—that that will protect us. And making sure that you are constantly putting into your mind the things that God talks about and thinks about. I think if we have minds that are more in tune with God, there is less chance for our minds to be in tune with the dark side. If we are engaging in sin on a regular basis—pornography, addictions, drinking too much, doing things of that nature; sinning—I think anyone is more vulnerable to influence.
[Steve] You can be receptive and choose to let those wrong thoughts penetrate your thinking or you can choose to be different. All are told to resist the dark forces of the spirit realm and “let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NLT).
Changing our thinking starts with repentance and asking God to forgive us and to give us the strength to overcome.
So make the commitment today. Turn from the darkness and ask God to help you build a strong relationship with Him in the light.
Now you can discover much more about the spirit world and how you should respond to it in our free offers today:
Order the Bible study aid, Is There Really a Devil? and our free magazine, Beyond Today . Call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632 or go online at BeyondToday.tv for your free copies, or, write to us at the address on your screen.
[Steve] Hi, I’m Steve Myers. I’m the pastor here at the United Church of God Cincinnati East congregation. I’d like to welcome you to come and join us on this great spiritual journey. We have hundreds of congregations around the United States and across the world. Click on the “Congregations” tab to find a church near you. We’re committed to growing in our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ as well as fellowshipping with each other.
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[Steve] Even though we can’t see it, the spirit world is very real. We know that Jesus battled the powers of darkness and He won. We can, too. He sacrificed His life so that we may live a life free from the spiritual hosts of wickedness.
Now in this spiritual battle, let’s make the choice to fight against anything and everything that even hints of darkness.
With His help, we can turn away from evil influence to our loving God and the truth of His Word.
Thanks for joining me today, and don’t forget our free offers. Be sure and tell your family and friends about us. Tune in again next week for another edition of Beyond Today and join me in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.”
For Beyond Today I’m Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
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