The Spirit Realm Explained
Through either fear or ignorance, some Bible believers are reluctant to discuss the spirit Realm. The Bible, however, has much to say about the spirit realm because our Heavenly Father Yahweh dwells there.
The saints will also one day with spirit bodies join Him in this spirit realm. His only Son “which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen, which our hands have handled, the Word of Life” (lJohn 1:1) has come down to the physical, material world and manifested Himself to mankind.
Fear of the spirit world exists because we have been conditioned to think primarily of demonic or satanic activities of evil associated with spirits. In fact, the Adversary is an evil spirit and captain of the fallen angels who also rebelled, Jude 6.
Peter warns us to be alert and aware of the Adversary’s intentions: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pet. 5:8).
Being ignorant of Satan’s devices can work great harm to the believer who is striving to withstand his temptations. We can be more vulnerable to his schemes if we are unaware of how he operates. We should have a healthy regard for the power and influence Satan and his demons wield.
Paul warns that our real battle here on earth is spiritual, in our mind, our demeanor, our beliefs, and our worship.
Spirit Realm Is Real
Some, like the Sadducees of old, do not believe in the existence of the spirit realm. But we can have an inkling of its existence by a simple experiment that was shown by a college physics professor. He prompted the class to select at a distance someone in a large audience and focus their attention on this person. They were told to concentrate on him, saying his name to themselves. Within a short time the targeted person wriggled in his seat and begin to look around as if someone were calling him.
Just staring at someone and concentrating on him can bring similar results.
Somehow our thoughts can transmit distances and be picked up by another individual. (If not, how can Yahweh read our minds or hear our unspoken prayers?)
We have learned of incidents where a loved one was in a desperate situation halfway across the world, and the one at home was awakened out of a sound sleep, becoming aware that something was amiss. Later, the incident was confirmed.
The danger here is that Satan will use the power of spiritual things to deceive and convince people to dabble in spiritism for his own unholy purposes.
The spirit realm, which the Bible refers to as the “third heaven,” is where Yahweh dwells. The first heaven is where the birds fly and the clouds form. The second heaven is where the sun, moon, and planets are. The third heaven is the realm of energy that permeates the universe. It is where Yahweh exists (Rev. 9:1, 2Cor. 12:2).
The third heaven could exist right here on this earth but in a different dimension invisible to humans. The spirit realm is unaffected by matter or substance.
Spirit Is Like Energy
There are a number of energy forms we cannot see, yet we are aware that they exist. Anciently, the invisible wind was thought to be related to the spirit realm.
There are other forms of invisible power. We cannot see electricity, but we know it exists. Even though we cannot see what scientists refer to as “the flow of electrons,” still man has harnessed electricity and made it work for him.
We cannot see magnetism, but as youngsters, our experience with magnets and iron filings taught us the drawing power of magnetism. We cannot see gravity, but know that it is a force that pulls matter to the center of the earth. While we cannot see these forms of energy, we see results of what they can do.
It is only since Einstein’s day that scientists have come to understand the power that is packed in each atom. This awesome power is unleashed in the splitting of the atom, creating the atomic bomb.
Einstein showed that time exists only where there is matter, and that time and space are interrelated.
Matter can be converted to energy, and energy to matter. The existence of matter is not static and had to have a beginning. Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the Beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth …” Our Bible tells us that the One who created everything was Yahshua the Messiah, Ephesians 3:9. He created the micro world of neutrons, protons, and electrons, and put them in their place. By His power, these all stay in their fixed places.
He also created the solar systems and constellations. He fashioned the moon to revolve around the earth; the earth to go around the sun along with the other planets. “And He is before all things and by Him, all things consist” (Greek = all things hold together), Colossians 1: 17.
The reason that our cosmos does not fly apart and disintegrate or that the planets and suns don’t go flying off in different directions is because Yahshua is holding them all in their places by His power, according to this verse in Colossians.
Not only is the third heaven where Yahweh dwells, but it is also the abode of spirit beings, both good and evil. Spirit beings can be all about us, but we would never be aware of it. Angelic beings have at times manifested themselves to mankind as did the three celestial beings who appeared unto Abraham on the plains of Mamre, Genesis 18. Two of them continued on to Sodom to destroy that city, chapter 19.
Upon His resurrection our Savior was restored to His former glory, again becoming spirit. He could appear and disappear at will. He appeared before the disciples as they sat in locked rooms, John 20:19, and He would vanish out of their sight (Luke 24:31). Just because we cannot see the spirit realm does not mean that it does not exist (also verses 36-37).
Yahweh Is Our Protection
Paul warned the assembly at Corinth to be aware of the tactics of the Tempter: “Lest satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2Cor. 2: 11). Peter wrote that the obedient are under the watchful care of our Heavenly Father: “For the eyes of Yahweh are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers, but the face of Yahweh is against them that do evil” (lPet. 3:12).
If we fear Yahweh, we need not fear the spirit world. Even though we are not able to see the invisible realm about us, Yahweh and His angelic host also dwell in that world, and His power is many times greater than the adversary’s. Furthermore, Yahweh has put limits on the sphere of Satan’s activities and has put a hedge or barrier about His people.
Yahweh upheld the integrity and character of Job and challenged Satan to consider his reputation. The devil’s sneering retort was, “… does Job fear Elohim for naught? Have not you made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land” (Job 1:9-10).
Chapters 1 and 2 show that the devil did much harm, but was limited in how far he could go. He could not take Job’s life, but he did make his life almost unbearable. After proving that he would not be shaken in his principles, patient Job was rewarded with double that which Satan had taken from him, Job 42:10.
When counseling those sincerely interested in the Bible, we have at times been called upon to unravel problems people had before conversion. These include obsessions with astrology, horoscopes, illegal drugs, sexual sin, habitual rebellion and negativism. All of these are driven by demonic influences around us today.
Even Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out (Mark 16:9) before she was converted to the Savior and became one of Yahshua’s most trusted and dedicated followers to the very end.
Our interests and activities determine whether we are dabbling in the realm of the demonic spirits abounding around us, or whether we are seeking those things above to pursue the Spirit of Yahweh and overcome the forces of evil.
Satan continually strives to convince us that his ways are easier and more enjoyable; that we should do ourselves a favor and accept his ways. However, he cannot tempt us beyond the limits Yahweh has set:
“There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Elohim is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that you may be able to bear it” (l Cor. 10:13).
The Bible says humans have body, soul, and spirit (1Thess. 5:23). We are familiar with our fleshly, material bodies of bone, flesh, and blood. The soul can be thought of as being life, the essence of being alive or living.
Our spirit is our mind, our attitude, our thinking.
Nowhere in the Bible does the word spirit (Ruach, Hebrew, or pneuma, Greek) refer to the departed dead. Spirit beings are either the angelic beings of Yahweh or the minions of Satan.
We are offered the opportunity to become spirit beings in contrast to human, fleshly beings. It is only then that we will no longer be corruptible, but incorruptible; we will no longer be mortal, but immortal, spirit beings:
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1Cor. 15:51-54).
Possessed or Deceived
We are surrounded by attitudes of evil on the one hand and the spirit of good on the other. The spirit of man is our mind, our thinking, our disposition and attitude. We do not act by instinct as do animals and birds.
Man exercises free will and generally acts according to his decisions and habits. Man’s spirit can be influenced by either the good or the evil of the present visible world or the invisible spirit world.
An important difference exists between demon possession or demon influence and being manipulated or deceived by Satan. Demon possession means Satan has complete control over an individual, even in determining his behavior. The possessed individual is not acting according to his own spirit, his own mind. He is driven by the satanic spirit. He is controlled by Satan.
Deception is built upon untruth. To deceive is to influence one to believe error or do something contrary to fact, to act in a certain way because one’s thinking is muddled.
One can be misled to believe error and consequently act contrary to the facts. This comes from the adversary and his demonic cohorts: “Satan is a liar and the father of it,” said our Savior (John 8:44).
The adversary is able to instill thoughts and desires into our minds by his powerful influence and tireless efforts. If we are not alert and watchful he can overpower common sense and implant his deceptive schemes into our minds by playing upon carnal desires and passions.
We are not always aware that Satan is influencing us through his subtlety. Drawing closer to Yahweh alerts us to Satan’s schemes:
“Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).
Paul warned that Satan was dominating some of mankind to the point they were bent upon seeking and fulfilling the carnal desires of the flesh and mind. They were filled with vanity, lust, and pride. Through their egotism, they concentrated on things that called attention to themselves, either exalting themselves in their minds or having worldly or sensual pleasures of the flesh.
Peter was once influenced by the Adversary and said to Yahshua that He would not have to undergo any problems with the religionists of His day. Yahshua recognized that Satan was putting arrogant thoughts into Peter’s mind. He therefore, rebuked him severely:
“But He turned and said unto Peter, Get behind me Satan, you are an offense unto me, for you savor not the things that be of Elohim, but those that be of men” (Matt. 16:23).
Apparently, Satan took advantage of Peter’s vanity, prompting him to speak in a boastful manner, contradicting Yahshua’s deeper knowledge and understanding. Satan seeks opportunities to bolster human ego. As he did with Peter so had he influenced David to take a census of Israel, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel” (1Chron. 21:1).
We also have the example of Ananias and Sapphira who hoped to deceive others into believing that they were really sacrificing to help the assembly get off the ground, but had secretly retained a portion of the sale of their property, Acts 5: 1-11. Peter could discern that Satan had filled their hearts with greed, verse 3.
Demons can act religiously and appear to be righteous but have ulterior motives. Paul became weary of the damsel who annoyed the True Believers by following them. Empowered by Satan, she was a prophetess and therefore was financially valuable to her masters. Paul soon demanded that she leave, however, even though she apparently spoke the truth:
“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high Elohim which show unto us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:16-17).
Mark 5:1-15 tells of a classic case of a man having an unclean spirit who abode among the tombs. He continued to cry and cut himself with stones. When he saw Yahshua, he ran and worshiped Him. He begged Yahshua not to torture him, feigning to be victimized by Yahshua. When the unclean spirits were driven out of the man, he was found clothed and in his right mind.
Demonic spirits possess a human by influencing the mind and desires of the individual. By instilling irrational thoughts and concepts into the thoughts of their victims, the evil spirits deceive those who cannot discern truth from error.
Theirs is a world unrelated to reality. They hear voices and acquire an entirely different personality. With their minds and will weakened, they are often unstable and difficult to convince of truth. They seem to be increasingly negative in their thinking.
There are also those who are not totally under the full influence of demonic spirits, but in their weakened physical or spiritual condition are susceptible to the whims of unclean spirits. Often it is through selfishness, worldly desire, coveting, lust, resentment, envy, and growing hatred that the demons entice the weakened ones.
Guard Your Mind
Be aware that just because someone is knowledgeable in the Bible does not guarantee that he or she is honest or truthful with Yahweh’s Word. Satan can quote the Scripture with the very best. His ploy is to use Scripture to twist the truth by misapplying its true intent. Some of his tricks are to omit from or add to the Word.
Toying with the tools of the devil is a sure way to be trapped by his superior knowledge and cunning. Dabbling in hypnotism, psychic or horror movies, horoscopes, ouija boards, television psychics, and New Age phenomena takes us farther from Yahweh.
So-called deeper or new truths are often nothing more than an attempt by Satan to undermine our thinking and assassinate our spiritual integrity. Being separated from the truth of Yahweh’s Word gets us off track and awash in a spiritual quagmire.
Avoid putting yourself in a situation that invites demonic involvement. Channeling, rap music, pornography, violence in movies and violent video games and reading material are tempting opportunities for the evil spirit world to move in on an unsuspecting person.
If you have doubts about whether you should participate in a questionable activity or even be in a certain place, ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable in that situation if Yahshua were at your side.
Opening the Door to Satan
One of the most obvious and enticing opportunities for demonic activity is in the use of cocaine, marijuana, heroin and mind-altering drugs. The drug lords are out to sell their wares to whomever they can entice.
The misuse of alcohol opens our minds to unholy influences. Drug abuse allows Satan to gain access to our thinking and actions and can lead to serious crimes like robbery, muggings, and even murder.
“A sound mind in a sound body” is a slogan credited to physicians of long ago; it is still sage advice. If we are tired and run down, we become susceptible to whatever illness is making the rounds such as colds, influenza, and other infections. In addition, our thinking can be foggy. This is the time to be on guard.
When we feel defeated, or succumb to thoughts of regret and hopelessness, we are more open to the forces of darkness.
We should always keep our emotions under control. Seek Yahweh and not give way to the forces of spiritual darkness. Being positive in outlook is good for our spirit and health. Continued anger, bitterness, frustration, and rage can lead to physical problems.
If this is a problem with you, you can overcome it. First, take it to Yahweh in prayer. At such times, read your Bible, especially the Psalms. Physical exercise can help as well. Take a walk. Get out of your rut. Do something different. Talk to a friend.
One of the most cherished of our memories is attending the Feasts and helping brethren with their personal problems. Oftentimes others have faced the same dilemma. Solutions they have found shed new light on our own trials.
A good attitude of His people is beneficial to His will. Notice one time that the Savior Himself felt that the Holy Spirit was stifled:
“And He [Yahshua] could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching” (Mark 6:5-6).
Yahweh’s Spirit can accomplish more among people whose minds and hearts are right. A prayer offered among faithful brethren on the Sabbath is of inestimable value. Paul speaks of this and joins them in spirit with the same petition:
“In the name of our Sovereign Yahshua Messiah, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Sovereign Yahshua Messiah” (1Cor. 5:4).
The power of the prayer is multiplied by the faith of the dedicated brethren who are joined “in spirit.” Yahweh’s Spirit can work more effectively when an air of righteousness prevails. The Bible teaches us not to be self-serving, seeking what we can gain for ourselves, but to be unselfish and helpful to all, especially those in need:
“Pure religion and undefiled before Yahweh the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
Protection Comes from Yahweh
Paul warns that our real battle here on earth is spiritual, in our minds, our beliefs, and worship. We not only should live a clean life, eating proper and clean foods for physical health, keeping the Sabbaths and Holy Days, but also be alert to other influences that affect our emotions, attitudes, and thinking.
Make no mistake, Satan uses all available resources to take advantage of us. Through avenues like advertising, a form of mind control, he creates a desire for the pleasures of this world.
The demonic forces are also trying to sell their wares of pleasure, excitement, thrills, ego-building or whatever it takes to “sign you up” as one of their initiates. Twisting your mind to accept what they have to offer is the name of their game.
“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” (Eph. 6: 12).
We are promised that if Yahweh’s Spirit abides in us, we have nothing to fear from the spirit realm, for: “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” 1John 4:4.
Draw near to Yahweh in prayer. “Submit yourselves therefore to Yahweh. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
We are in a spiritual battle. The Evil One is ramping up his efforts against this world and Yahweh’s people. We need all the defenses Yahweh provides to the faithful who seek to serve Him, including regular prayer.
By: Donald Mansager