Contact With the Spirit Realm
ALMIGHTY GOD has entrusted certain responsibilities to other spirit creatures. He has, for example, placed rulership of the earth in the hands of Jesus Christ, and he has appointed faithful angels to help direct the declaring of the good news. (Revelation 14:6) Prayers, though, are different. He has not delegated the hearing of prayers. Our prayers are rightly directed only to God himself.
Jehovah is the “Hearer of prayer.” (Psalm 65:2) He listens to our prayers, and he answers them. Regarding prayer, the apostle John wrote to fellow servants of Jehovah: “No matter what it is that we ask according to his will, [God] hears us. Further, if we know he hears us respecting whatever we are asking, we know we are to have the things asked since we have asked them of him.”—1 John 5:14, 15.
The faithful angels do not want us to call upon or pray to them. They understand and cooperate with God’s arrangement for prayer, which sometimes directly involves them. In what way? Well, when the prophet Daniel prayed to Jehovah about the desolation of Jerusalem, God answered Daniel’s prayer by sending the angel Gabriel with an encouraging message.—Daniel 9:3, 20-22.
Messages From the Dead?
Should we try to contact those who have died? Many stories tell of conversations people supposedly have had with spirits of the dead. For example, a woman in Ireland was contacted by a spirit medium who said that the night before, she had a conversation with Fred, the woman’s husband. Yet, Fred had died a few weeks earlier. The medium went on to relate what “Fred” had said, matters that his wife believed were known only to her. How easy it would have been for her to conclude that Fred was alive in the spirit world and was trying to make contact through the stranger. That conclusion, however, would contradict what the Bible clearly says about the condition of the dead.—See box below.
How, then, can stories like this be explained? One tool of deception that the demons employ is that of impersonating the dead, in this case, Fred. The motive? To turn people away from what the Bible teaches and to weaken faith and trust in Jehovah. Unquestionably, Satan and the demons mislead people “with every powerful work and lying signs and portents and with every unrighteous deception for those who are perishing.”—2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10.
To be sure, there are spirit mediums and those who are associated with them who truly believe that they are contacting people who have died. In reality, if they are contacting anyone, they are contacting spirits who are in opposition to Jehovah. Similarly, there are those who believe that they are worshipping God but who are mistaken. The apostle Paul was inspired to pen this sober warning: “The things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God.”—1 Corinthians 10:20, 21.
Knowing that we can pray to the Supreme One, who loves and cares for us, why would we want to pray to anyone else? After all, the Bible gives this assurance: “As regards Jehovah, his eyes are roving about through all the earth to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him.”—2 Chronicles 16:9.
[Blurb on page 9]
Knowing that we can pray to the Supreme One, who loves and cares for us, why would we want to pray to anyone else?
[Box/Picture on page 8, 9]
Fact and Fiction
FACT: SATAN IS A REAL PERSON
“Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light.”—2 Corinthians 11:14.
“Keep your senses, be watchful. Your adversary, the Devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.”—1 Peter 5:8.
“He who carries on sin originates with the Devil, because the Devil has been sinning from the beginning.”—1 John 3:8.
“Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7.
“The Devil . . . was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.”—John 8:44.
FICTION: AT DEATH ALL PASS ON TO THE SPIRIT REALM
“In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return.”—Genesis 3:19.
“The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.”—Ecclesiastes 9:5.
“All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol [the grave], the place to which you are going.”—Ecclesiastes 9:10.
“His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.”—Psalm 146:4.
FACT: FAITHFUL ANGELS CARE ABOUT US
“Are they [angels] not all spirits for public service, sent forth to minister for those who are going to inherit salvation?”—Hebrews 1:14.
“I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying in a loud voice: ‘Fear God and give him glory.’”—Revelation 14:6, 7.
FICTION: JESUS IS EQUAL TO GOD
“I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God.”—1 Corinthians 11:3.
“When all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”—1 Corinthians 15:28.
“Most truly I say to you, The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing.”—John 5:19.