Friends or Demons?
Are the dead really dead?
possesses a skeptical, educated Western society to hanker after
ghosts and spirits?
same kids who grew up on "Casper the Friendly Ghost" identify
with "Sam" (Patrick Swayze), the hero yuppie ghost.
A celebrity like Shirley MacLaine has elevated the pursuit of
connecting with the spirits of the dead from side-door parlors
to a very sophisticated level. The going rate for any respectable
"channeler" runs in the thousands of dollars.
are people so anxious to communicate with the spirit world of
the dead? First of all, one would naturally long to communicate
with a deceased loved one for many reasons... In the ad lines
of the recent movie, "Always," now available in video
cassette, "They couldn't hear him. They couldn't see him.
But he was there when they needed him. Even after he was gone."
But is a human longing a basis for a legitimate hope for reaching
the dead? Another reason for expecting to communicate would
be because most people have only a vague understanding of what
death really means.
truth really satisfies-and comforts. The origin of death traces
back to the Garden of Eden... the first man... and sin. God
linked Adam's continuance of life on earth on simple obedience.
However, "In the day that thou eatest of the tree, thou
shalt surely die." Satan, using the serpent, contradicted
this stipulation, saying, "Thou shalt not surely die."
When Adam did sin and did die, Satan-being the "father
of lies" that he is-perpetuated his lie in every generation
and to every people: "You don't really die. You only seem
to die. You are more alive than ever when you die!" The
Egyptians believed it. Socrates and Plato taught it. And, unfortunately,
many Christians adopted it.
how dead are the dead? And is there any precious hope for any
life after death? When God created Adam, "Man became a
living soul." Genesis 2:7 After God had infused the "breath
of life" in the body He prepared, Adam himself was "made
a living soul." But sinning plunged the soul itself into
death. Ezekiel 18:4 The breath of life is not the soul. The
breath of life is the life energy from God which causes a body
to live. Take away this life spirit and the soul dies. True,
Adam "died spiritually" in that his fellowship was
cut off immediately in that first 24-hour day. But Adam also
immediately began physically to die ("Dying thou shalt
die"). And he did die literally within God's 1,000-year
day. I Peter 3:8
even as God pronounced the grim death sentence on Adam, a ray
of hope pierced this judgment. "The seed of the woman shall
bruise the serpent's head..." A fatal blow would fall on
the great tempter, Satan. Later this "seed" was identified
as the "seed of Abraham." Genesis 22:17 Christians
are heirs to this promise as part of the seed which will bless
all families of the earth. Galatians 3:29 They are with Christ,
the "firstfruits of them that have slept." I Corinthians
15:20 Then, during Christ's presence ("parousia,"
Greek), his 1,000-year reign with the church, all the families
of the earth will be the "afterfruits" in the resurrection
of the dead.
the legitimate hope for reaching the dead will be in the resurrection
in the "last day." John 11:24 If man possessed an
immortal soul, he would not need a resurrection. To say mortal
man is inherently immortal in some way is to disregard our need
for Jesus Christ who is our life and resurrection!
with the Dead?
then, it is impossible for the dead to communicate, what accounts
for the apparent communication with the dead? Aside from frauds,
too many convincing experiences suggesting extra-human contact
Bible verifies the existence of positive spirit beings called
angels. But they have their counterpart. The Mosaic Law soundly
rejects any meddling with spiritism. Deuteronomy 18:10,11 The
four Gospel accounts of Jesus' life have no less than forty-two
references to negative spirit beings, fallen angels, called
"demons." Where did these demons come from?
account of Genesis 6 reveals that certain angels violated God's
law of keeping their own spirit nature separate from man's human
nature. These angels who "left their own habitation,"
(Jude 6, I Peter 3:20) took wives of the women of earth. Although
not destroyed in the flood, they were constrained in a condition
where they could not return to heaven, nor could they materialize
any more on earth. This state, called "tartaroo" (Greek,
see Footnote), was to be endured until the Judgment Day.
the meantime, these fallen angels or demons have been limited
to working through willing human channels. They have operated
through the bodies of these, instead of bodies of their own.
Such "mediums," or human channels were in the past
known as "fetishes," "shaman," "wizards,"
"witches," "necromancers," "medicine
men." In dark seances they endeavored to gain control of
people's minds and bodies. Not able to materialize in bodies
of their own making, they tried to possess the bodies and minds
of others. When this happens a fate as terrible as drug addiction
occurs. The individual enters a slavery to demons. They have
misrepresented God. They have misrepresented God's plan. They
have misrepresented the dead. By claiming to be the dead speaking,
they have promulgated Satan's lie in Eden.
shalt not surely die."
record shows that the restraints that have been placed upon
the fallen angels have a time limit-"unto the judgment
of the great day." As we now see about us the evidences
of the climactic events of the "Day of the Lord,"
it should not surprise any that the chains of restraint on those
evil spirits are gradually being loosened. The upsurge of activity
of the fallen angels in the form of newly acceptable channeling
sessions, devil worship, and spiritist inspired movies and music
is part of the result of the relaxing of the "chains"
of restraint. There is no question that Satan and his legions
are more energetic than ever to do all the mischief they can.
the clear warnings of Scripture regarding the occult, many Christians
subject themselves and their families to be entertained by demon
inspired themes. Much seems so harmless. Kindergarten children
are taught, as part of a rigorous school curriculum, the friendly
side of ghosts and witches. A proper understanding of the seriousness
of the negative spirit world demands a healthy distance. While
speaking of the Lord's return, the Apostle Paul (II Thessalonians
2:8-12) says that although the Lord will consume Satan with
the "brightness of his presence" (epiphania of his
parousia), Satan will very energetically work deceptions "with
all power and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness
of unrighteousness." So strong a delusion will it be that
if it were possible it would deceive even the true saints of
God-those who would "believe a lie," because they
receive not the "love of the truth."
are by no means our friends. But yes, we will see our friends
and loved ones again-in the resurrection. Then too, know ye
not that the saints "shall judge the angels?" Perhaps
some of the fallen angels will have learned their lesson and
conformed to God's will. But those who used their greater liberty
to wreck havoc on man will be destroyed in the second death.
Tartaroo-The Word tartaroo, used by Peter, very closely resembles
tartarus, a word used in Grecian mythology as the name for a
dark abyss or prison. But tartaroo seems to refer more to an
act than to a place. The fall of the angles who sinned was from
honor and dignity, into dishonor and condemnation, and the thought
seems to be-"God spared not the angels who sinned, but
degraded them, and delivered them into chains of darkness."
Christian is admonished to especially put on the "whole
armour of God" in the "evil day" that we live
in today. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers
of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness
in high places." Ephesians 6:ll-13