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The Spirit World

The Spirit World - What can we know about the unseen world of spirits?
What is the spirit world? The Bible teaches that an unseen world of spirits surrounds us. It is both real and powerful. The magic of Pharaoh’s servants was genuine, but the power God gave Moses was greater (Exodus 7:1-8:19). While various people, some with and some without God’s consent, may actively engage this invisible world, no one’s authority can compare to that of Jesus.

    “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases’” (Matthew 8:14-17; see also Luke 11:14-26).
Jesus gave similar power to His twelve apostles (Matthew 10:1). After He was killed, came back to life, and had gone into heaven, His power was available not only to the twelve apostles (e.g., Acts 3:1-10), but also to other disciples (e.g., Acts 6:8; Acts 8:4-13; Acts 13:4-12; Acts 19:11-20; 1 Corinthians 12:27-31). More damaging than physical ills are the false teachings promoted by demons through people (1 Timothy 4:1). While there are bad spirits, there are also good spirits known as angels. They sometimes assist and even visit God’s people (Acts 12:1-19; Hebrews 1:13-14; Hebrews 13:2).

The Spirit World - What can we know about the unseen world of spirits?
This whole topic of the spirit world is a large one and deserves careful study. A few more key concepts will have to suffice here. Specifically, God gives His people clear warnings, assistance, instructions, and encouragement.

A warning:

    “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:8-10).
Divine assistance:
    “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Instructions and encouragement:
    “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood” (1 John 4:1-6).

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Compliments of Scott Munger, PhD, Biblica, All rights reserved in the original.

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