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Beyond Today: Are Demons Real?

Are they genuine or fictional? Is there is a spirit power behind evil in our world? Are we in a fight with spiritual wickedness?


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[Steve] Do you think that there is a spirit power behind evil in our world today?

> That, I dont know. I havent thought about that. So, its hard to say. It could be.

>> I think, yes.

>> I dont think so. I think it goes back to personal belief.

[Steve] So you would say, theres a spiritual power behind evil?

> Yes. Yes.

>> I dont tend to see evil.

> I think it actually scares me a lot.

[Steve] Should you believe in demons? Can they influence your life? The answer could surprise you. Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we answer the question: "Are Demons Real?"

[Announcer] Join our host, Steve Myers and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today!

[Steve] Video games have them. TV and movies have them. Even holidays have them. What are they? Demons!

Are demons real? Did ancient peoples dream them up? Are they genuine or just imaginary?

Much of the world today has a celebration that seems to be dedicated to the demonic world. Its Halloween. Is that a problem for Christians? What could be wrong with Halloween?

> Theres a lot of joyfulness in costuming - and then, as a little kid, separating candy by size and color, paper-wrapped and not, you know. Yeah, adults love it.

>> Its cool because we never celebrate this kind of festival in China. And yeah, during the Halloween, I actually have sent candies to little children, and I think they are like pretty cool because they like dress up, and get makeup, and yeah.

>Well, being as I'm a butcher, I'd decorate the house with animal carcasses. Well, a couple times. Usually instead of a jack-o-lantern, I have a pigs head on the front porch, and we get mixed reviews on that.

[Steve] You probably scare the pants off the little kids, huh?

> Yeah, yeah. First they dont think its real. And then I stick my finger in it and show that it is real, and yeah. So, like I said, we've had mixed reviews on that.

>> Halloweens great. I mean, its fun. I don't see anything evil or wrong about it.

[Steve] Lets think about that for a moment. Is there anything wrong about it? And what does that have to do with whether or not demons are real?

Well you may know that Halloween came to us through the Roman Catholic Church. They assigned each day of the year to honor one of their saints. When it reached the point that they had more saints than days, they combined them all together on November 1st and called it "All Saints Day" or "All Hallows Day."

The night before became "All Hallows Eve" or "Hallow Even" - holy evening - which contracted to the name Halloween. Now theres not too much scary about that, right? But lets look at a few of the details.

Why did they choose November 1st? Because it was the same date as the Celtic and Druid festival of the dead called "Samhain." The church tried to redirect those new converts to their Christian holiday by having it on the same day - but, the problem was they brought all their heathen practices right into the church. Check out your history books. I think its fair to say, they Christianized evil.

Heres why: Do you know what the ancient pagan Celtics did on that day? They actually had their own version of trick or treating. They visited supposed haunted houses. They built huge bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Thats because they believed the physical and the spirit world intermingled that night like no other time of the year. They actually thought the dead came back to visit the living, so witches, and goblins, and ghosts would appear. So a pagan celebration was repackaged and relabeled as Christian - ultimately becoming Halloween.

Now you may be thinking, okay, so what? What difference does it make if Halloween is based on a godless heathen celebration? After all, demons and devils, aren't they just a figment of imagination? You may celebrate just the fun, the family aspects. But really, can that be done?

[Steve] So it seems like our world is kind of obsessed with, not just Halloween, but the whole spirit thing. Youve got these programs with the Ghost Hunters, and the Paranormal Witness and…

> And walking with the zombies…

[Steve] Oh, the zombies! Thats right, all the zombie programs. Do you think there's anything to some of those programs, when it comes to dealing with spirits, out there?

> You know, I don't know, but when I get scared, I don't watch them. I turn it off.

[Steve] Should you be scared? Or is Halloweens connections to an unchristian past a problem?

Well we still have to deal with the question: Are demons real? And in a moment, well do just that and discuss what God thinks about it. But what do you think?

A recent survey found that 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, or that the spirits of the dead people can come back.

And Americans arent alone. 50%  of Australians believe in ghosts and spirits.

About 20%  of Australians not only believe in them, but say they've had a brush with a ghost or a spiritual entity. About the same number of American adults, almost 1 in 5, say they've seen a ghost or been in the presence of a ghost. Almost 30% say they have felt in touch with someone who's already died.

Have you ever had an experience like that, where you felt there was something strange or different or some type of interaction with a…

> I've heard stories. I don't know if any of them were true.

>> When my grandma died, I was walking through the door and I felt like she was coming in at the same time.

> I will tell you, 20 years ago I had an experience of being in a house, and I woke up in the middle of the night to my mother's voice calling me. And over coffee, the owner of the bed and breakfast said that they have this house that is supposedly haunted.

[Steve] What do you believe? Are houses haunted by ghosts? Are they the spirits of the dead?

The plain truth is: No! If you believe the Bible, it says that the dead know nothing (Ecclesiastes:9:5). They do not live on as ghosts or phantoms. In fact, well discuss more about this in just a moment. But it points to a major problem: Its an undeniable fact that most Christians take their values and their beliefs from other people - from someplace else and not the Bible. How about you?

Now theres so much to talk about and understand on this topic. Where do you start? Well let me tell you about our revealing, free study aid that can help you understand the truth of the Bible in regard to spirits, demons and their influence on our world. Order your free copy of Is There Really a Devil?

There are powers that want you to believe that false, annual celebrations, misidentified as Christian, are perfectly fine to observe. Moreover, they want to convince you that theres nothing harmful about Halloween. In fact, that demons are simply myths. But what about their influence? If you look around, you can certainly see that sinful influence is everywhere in our chaotic world.

Now this free study guide, Is There Really a Devil? will help you grasp, not only the reality of the demonic world, but also how people are swayed to follow those fraudulent, destructive ways. Discover how you can stand up against demonic deception through the very power of God.

Order your personal, free copy of Is There Really a Devil? Call us toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Thats 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].

Now our topic for the day: Are demons real? And of course related to that is the subject of ghosts. Are they spirits of dead relatives? Well people are fascinated with the subject and even fearful of it. I found many different ideas as I talked to people on the street:

Do you think that you can communicate with spirits or demons?

> Well, I think anything is possible. I really do think that - for spirits and stuff, I do believe that.

>> Actually, I do believe. I think we should like, respect all these like spirits.

[Steve] So you would probably say that there is definitely a spirit realm out there?

> I think so. I think so. I don't know if I believe in anything like ghosts. I don't want to believe in ghosts.

[Steve] The fact is, you shouldnt believe in ghosts! They are not spirits of dead people. If you're a Christian, you should know - it just isn't true.

Your Bible says if you think ghosts are spirits of dead, youre mistaken. Why? All ghosts, without exception, are actually demons. Theyre spirit all right, but not what many think. Theyre not earthbound human spirits, they're not haunting spirits of the dead. Your Bible says they are demonic spirits.

So are demons real? Yes! Now, something strange or some odd circumstance or peculiar feelings, not all those things are demonic or can be treated and blamed on demons. But, God's inspired Word tells us not to let our guard down because demons are in fact real.

So would you say that there is a real spirit, kind of demonic realm out there?

> I believe it is. I believe it is.

>> Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely.

> I dont think so. I think it goes back to personal belief. I don't know what.  Each persons different in what they believe in, so I mean, some people may or may not believe in that.

>> I'm a Christian, so yeah, I believe in evil spirits.

[Steve] So what are evil spirits? What exactly are demons? Well Scripture says they're wicked angels whose only task is to deceive and to harm. Demons are evil spirits that are opposed to God. They're opposed to God's people. In fact, theyre opposed to you. They're sinful. They're rebellious. They're fallen angels.

In fact, we learn a lot about angels in bits and pieces from various Bible passages. And those passages tell us that God created angels with free will - they had the freedom to choose between righteousness or evil. Lucifer, who became Satan - chose rebellion. Yes, the devil does really exist and he also convinced a whole host of other angels, to turn against God.

In the book of Revelation a dragon symbolizes Satan. And it tells us the story of Satan's initial rebellion. Revelation:12:4 says, "His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven."

Were told that those stars are symbolic of angels (Revelation:1:20). So imagine it! Satans evil influence caused one-third of the entire angelic creation to follow him in wickedness.

Now those defiant angels - those spirits who rebelled are called sinful angels. "For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned…" Thats what 2 Peter:2:4 says (NABRE).

The Bible also refers to them as demons or evil spirits. And they've combined their forces to continuously and relentlessly oppose God and try to undermine Gods purpose for humanity. And so, now they're bound to this earth and they devote themselves to their goal of deceit, disorder and destruction in the lives of all people.

So you see, ghosts are not disembodied human spirits. As Christians, we know that no man has ever returned from the dead, except for Jesus Christ and those He raised back to physical life as a special miracle.

In fact Gods Word makes it clear: there are spirit beings, both good and evil. But the spirits of deceased human beings cannot remain on earth and haunt the living.

Ecclesiastes:9:10 tells us, "Whatever work you do, do your best, because you are going to the grave…" Now, whats the grave like? It says "…where there is no working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom." At death, there is no in-between. God's Word says that there is no possibility of deceased human beings remaining on earth in spirit as a ghost. Thats just not biblical.

Now God does tell us that there are spirit beings that connect with us and appear in our physical world. And examples are angels, and of course demons.

Angels on one hand are faithful spirit beings. They serve God. They help mankind. They are righteous, and they're good, and they're holy. But on the other hand, demons are corrupt angels, angels who defied God. Were told that they're "good," but they're good at pretending. The'yre good at impersonating. They're good at tricking people. "Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light! So its no great thing if his servants disguise themselves to look like the servants of righteousness. In the end, they will get exactly what their actions deserve" (2 Corinthians:11:14-15, GNT).

So demons masquerade as angels of light and as servants of righteousness. At times, they pretend to be ghosts and at times they may impersonate a deceased human - even seeming at times to be friendly. But they are never friendly. They're always wicked, even if they "appear" to be kind. Because remember, their purpose is to undermine your faith - to deceive, to confuse you, to mislead you so that you might even question your faith in God and believe a lie.

So do you think theres any kind of evil that could be behind some of that stuff?

> It's always some kind of …somethings lurking around the corners, something in the shadows, somethings evil every day. You know - even politics is evil.

>> I don't believe in the devil. I think humankind is bad enough.

> Like I said, it is, you know, spiritual - with God and devil, and you know, good and bad.

> Yes. Yes, especially in these days, a lot of symbolic and evil stuff a lot of people believe in these days.

[Steve] Demons are not just symbolic and they're not just bad "forces" - they are real. And perhaps you're like me - I am surprised by some Christians who don't think demons are real at all. You know, that just flies in the face of our Savior Jesus Christ and God's Word. We know, Jesus spoke to them in the New Testament. He knows they exist. He cast them out. In fact the Bible tells us, He overcame the attacks of Satan and his demons.

Were told that as God's people - as Christians, we are in a war. It is a battle and in fact, its not just any old war. "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" (Ephesians:6:12, NLT).

Would you say that, when you look at the world, and you look at the evil and the difficulties that we have in our world today, do you think there's any connection to that with evil spirits and demonic forces?

> Yes. Because I believe that is a lack of connection with God. And like I said, I believe there are a lot of evil forces out there and I think that without a daily spiritual connection with positive, then the evil can come in.

[Steve] We absolutely need a strong connection with God. Let's never forget that we are in a spiritual battle. And both sides have weapons. Don't be taken in by the deception. "The night is nearly over, [the] day [is] almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light" (Romans:13:12, GNT).

It's time to recognize the influence that invades our world. It's time that we say as Christians, we wont stand for any of it in our lives. It's time that we dedicate ourselves to live by Ephesians:5:11 and "Have nothing to do with the useless works that darkness produces. Instead, expose them for what they are" (GW).

Let's come away from the evil influence around us. Let's not be taken in by Halloween or other man-made holidays. Instead, lets dedicate ourselves to be serious about following God and putting our lives fully into His hands.

Now there is so much more to talk about. In a moment, the BT panel will discuss more on the deception of demons and what you should do about it.

Now one thing you can begin to do is order our free Bible study aid, Is There Really a Devil? It will help you see the reality of the spirit realm and help you fight against the adversary. When you order, Is There Really a Devil? well also send you a subscription to The Good News - absolutely free of charge! Six times a year you'll receive articles on subjects that can help change your life for the better. Not only articles about Satan's powerful deception in the world right now, but also information that will help you more-fully grasp that world that we live in. It will help you to have a better marriage and family - and of course, we talk about current events in relation to Bible prophecy.

Now's the time to stop giving Satan a foothold! God's way is the way!

So to order your free copy of Is There Really a Devil? and The Good News call: 1-888-886-8632. Its a free phone call: 1-888-886-8632. Or, write to us at the address shown on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254]. You can also read, Is There Really a Devil? and The Good News online at BeyondToday.tv .

Here at Beyond Today we provide all our literature free of charge! This is made possible through the generous support of the United Church of God members - and television viewers like you. We welcome you to partner with us to help reach more people with the truth of the Bible. So write to us today, or go online to BeyondToday.tv . We look forward to hearing from you.

Now I'm joined now by our fellow BT hosts, Darris McNeely and Gary Petty. We're talking about demons. Were talking about ghosts, and Halloween and how its all connected. And I think a lot of people would wonder, what difference does it make? Is it really that big a deal if I celebrate Halloween?

[Gary] You know, you've already shown that biblically we know that there are no ghosts, what we are talking about are demons. And demons are fallen angels that have turned against God, have become the exact opposite of what God is. God is good, they're evil. God is love, they're hate. So now we have a holiday that celebrates evil, witchcraft, demonic images. So why would a Christian even want to be involved in that? Thats the real question. Why would a Christian want to be involved in something that is against God?

[Darris] It matters, Steve because God says in His Word not to have any connection with the works of darkness. But rather to…

[Steve] Not even a little.

[Darris] Not even a little, don't even give them a foothold but to expose them. Which is what you've done with this program today. You have exposed the works of darkness which is what Paul says in Ephesians:5:11 we should do.

And, why would we want then to give them a foothold in our life? Even on one night a year, in any part of our property, our person, to expose ourselves to works of darkness? I think is one of the biggest travesties is when a Christian group reports to calling themselves that, but then entertains this as part of any outreach or entertainment within their fellowship.

[Steve] So in other words, to take that and try to use that or …

[Darris] Its a travesty. Its a travesty to do something like that.

[Steve] Now, it is a challenge to kind of put these pieces together, in the sense that alright, we know they're powerful - the Bible talks about how it is a battle - and yet why would a demon waste its time appearing as a ghost, or maybe seeming friendly, or a dead relative? Why would it bother doing something like that?

[Gary] Well, we look at Satan, we look at demons as they are revealed in the Scripture. We see that they play on an aspect of our humanity. We were made in the image of God and we have capabilities of interacting with God on a spiritual level as our Creator. And what Satan and the demons do is they actually try to deceive us. They try to pull us away from that and get us involved in all these other things to try to damage our relationship with God. So it may be silly on one level, but on another level its a natural deception to try to create a bridge between us and God.

[Darris] He makes a good point. We are created in God's image. There is a spiritual component to mankind that does give us this desire to connect with God, and also to understand and want to understand what this life is about, what perhaps is beyond this life. And there's this continual searching for it. Demons know that. And they will attempt to capture our imagination by dabbling with us - if we give them that opportunity.

You know, we recently taped part of a Beyond Today program on a location, that is a place where people go to, in a sense, kind of connect spiritually with whatever. And the morning we were beginning to tape, and I was telling people what we were doing for a Beyond Today program and this person says, well let me know if you see any ghosts. Because they were supposed to be quite active or a part of this location. I didn't see any ghosts, but they do attempt to influence and to capture peoples attention all in a guise to again, deceive.

[Steve] Of course in a war, its not always obvious, blatant attacks. Sometimes you come around the back door and seem nice, and seem good, and seem friendly. You know, you think about what was the story that Satan told those angels that became demons? It probably wasn't a frontal attack. Probably deceit and subtlety probably had a part to play in some of those same types of things.

[Gary] Well the apostle Paul says that Satan can appear as an angel of light. So, Satan is going to try to deceive us in all different kinds of levels, including in our own Christianity and how we respond to God. So we have to be very, very careful here. He knows sometimes he cant hit us head on, but the demons are going to try to get to us or Satan is going to try to influence us. He is called the prince of the power of the air. He is the present god of this world, and so his fingerprints are on everything.

[Darris] The best relationship is one with the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. And that far outweighs any interest that we might have and anything we might gain from dabbling with this.

[Steve] And that certainly removes any of the fear you might have as we might be under attack. We dont have to worry with that kind of protection on our side. 

Well you'll certainly want to order your copy of our study aid, Is There Really a Devil? And, your free subscription to The Good News magazine. Call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Thats 1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read and order both, The Good News and Is There Really a Devil? online at BeyondToday.tv . Or, send us your request by mail to the address on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254].

Now if you'd like to discover even more about the genuine truths of the Bible, we'd like to invite you to tune into our live, bi-weekly, Wednesday night Beyond Today Bible Studies. Join us as we dig deeper into important biblical topics that you won't want to miss. Our Wednesday night studies are live from the home office of the United Church of God every other week. To find them, simply go to the Beyond Today website and click on the "Bible Study " graphic on the top right of the page.

The United Church of God has hundreds of Sabbath-keeping congregations meeting each Saturday across the United States, Canada, Australia, and all around the world. So go to BeyondToday.tv - click on the "Contact" tab to find a congregation nearest to you .

Demons are real, so don't be taken in by the deception. Halloween is not a godly holiday. Its rooted in falsehoods. It promotes evil. It minimizes wickedness and its plain unchristian. Its dedicated to the spirits who oppose God.

The truth is that we are in a spiritual battle. Your Bible says, "What partnership can righteousness have with wickedness?" "Can light associate with darkness?" (2 Corinthians:6:14) Well the answer is, it cant! So make the choice not to associate with anything that even hints of darkness, evil or demonism.

Jesus battled the powers of the rulers of darkness and he won! And we can, too! He died that we may live a life free from the spiritual hosts of wickedness. Lets never take that for granted.

Well thanks for joining us. Be sure to tell your family and friends about Beyond Today . Tune in again next week and join us in praying, "Thy Kingdom come." For Beyond Today , Im Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.

[Announcer] For the free literature offered on todays program, go online to BeyondToday.tv . Please, join us again next week on Beyond Today !

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