Part 1: Journey into the supernatural

THE CHARIOTS OF ISRAEL

8 ¶ Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
13 ¶ And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.” (2 Kings 6:8-23)

In this account – and at many other points in the Bible – the Scriptures tell us of forces and events in the physical realm and the supernatural realm. There was something visible and something invisible going on at the same place , at the same time, and both was important. Here, for a brief moment, the unseen veil that seperates the two realms was drawn back so that the young man could see not only the Syrian army, but also the angelic army of the Lord.

What this young man saw was not a vision, but reality. He saw real horses and real chariots on that mountain, but they existed on a different plane of reality than the physical. They could come into the natural order and effect it, but they were not part of the ntural order. They existed in an order beyond or above that of the natural, called the supernatural. They are no less real because they are invisible to man. Personally, I call it a different dimension, “the fourth dimension”, but that is if you you don’t call time the fourth dimension. We live in a three dimensional world, but there is another dimension that we can not see. Just like our ears are not equiped to hear all sounds (i.e. a dig whistle), there are also colours and other things that we are unable to see. In the passage above, the Lord took away the dimensional blockage, if you like, so that the young man could see spiritual beings. Many people believe that this can also be seen in out-of-body experiences and during consumption of certain hallusinating drugs. Here, we will stick to a biblical interpretation of this phenomena.

Because these spiritual beings are on a different plane than that of the natural and the physical, they are in their comings and goings mostly unseen and unheard by man. While this is true of the supernatural forces of God,it is also true of the supernatural forces of evil. Both are invisible, and both effect events on earth, to a degree unsuspected by most men.

Once,  king David was tempted in a certain matter and disobeyed the will of God. The Bible says: 15 And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
16 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.    

20 And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.” (1 Chronicles 21:15-16, 20)

It was given to David and Ornan to see beyond the natural into the supernatural and to see a supernatural event that had a most immediate and momentous bearing on the safety of Jerusalem.

There are events that occur even in our time here on earth that are effected not only by what people say and do in the ntural realm, but also by what spiritual or supernatural beings say and do in the realm of the supernatural. The Bible reveals that the primary initiative in certain events of history does not proceed from the will of men, but from the will of powers beyond man in the supernatural. Since some of these powers are evil, and since their desire is to increase the sum of strife and suffering and death among mankind, it is urgent for Christians to know something about them.

THGE DOOR THAT CAN NEVER BE OPENED AGAIN

Supernaturalism in many forms has come flooding in upon Western culture in our time, creating a widespread interest in clearvoyance, psychicism, occultism, witchcraft, out-of-body travel, extra sensory perception, precognition, and various forms of mysticism or spiritism. New as they may seem, they are ancient supernatural practices that have found expressions in many cultures at various times in history.

Many people feel a sort of magnetism or fascination for the supernatural, but these things should not be entered into without some knowledge of the possible consequences even if the exposure to these phenomenons are a bare minimum. If you would not thrust your hand into a snake pit, I wouls strongly urge you not to permit yourself to be drawn into an involvement with one or other form of occultism, even in a tentive or experimental way, without knowing that it is possible for you to step over a threshold and past a door that may slam shut behind you as soon as you stand on the other side of it – slam shut so tight that nothing you can do can pry open the door so that you can get back out.

The Bible is certainly not an anti-supernatural book. It is just the opposite. It is a book filled from beginning to end with accounts of that which is supernatural. The Bible is not a book about the supernatural. The Bible is a supernatural book. It is alive, and it has a message that God uses to impart spiritual life. Synagogues and countless churches have created a tremendous void that is being filled in the most destructive ways by books that anyone can pick from a shop shelf or by movies. This they have done by denying and cutting out genuine supernatural experiences that the Bible says human beings ought to have. In Joel 2:28 we read: And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

Some people have a kind of thirst for the supernatural. It makes a difference whether they seek to quench that thirst at a well whose waters are poisoned, or at a well whose waters are pure. Supernaturalism has come to us in a rush and it’s here to stay, whether we like it or not. Wearing blinders will not help. Christians need desperately to know what the Bible says about it, before tragedy strikes homes and families who don’t know what’s happening to their young members, or why. Many lives and families have been ruined by the occult, some people have suffered for decades or been admitted to psychiatric hospitals because of it.

THE INPENETRABLE ORDER

In the creation there is a physical order and a spiritual order, both of which are real. The physical universe is natural. The spiritual order is supernatural. There are facts that may be known about both, but not by the same means. The human body and the five senses that go with it is part of the physical creation. Those senses are able to observe and take in information and facts about the natural universe – and that’s all. They cannot observe the supernatural universe. Your senses give you your relationship to the whole physical universe. They are the mediators and sentinels (guards) between you and the rest of physical creation. You know it and learn of it by using them. But there it ends. They provide you with no information about the supernatural  order. Your ears are deaf to it, your eyes are blind to it. The Bible says:While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

We know that the first part of that statement is true. The earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, the whole physical creation, will wear out. Psalm 102:25-27 says: Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changedBut thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” The earth and everything in the physical realm “shall wax old like a garment” and “They shall perish“.

The second part of the statement says that “the things which are not seen are eternal“. Notice that the verse does not only refer to ideas, values and concepts; it refers to things.  It speaks of temporal things, and it speaks of eternal things. The contrast is not just between narural stuff and spiritual values, as though a man could say “Sure, money and clothes wear out, but love goes on forever.” It will, of course, because God is love, yet He is also Creator of a vast array of living beings and things. Every saved person will have a new body in which to live forever, one that will never wera out or know illness or fain – different from the mortal body, but a body nontheless.

“35 ¶ But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)

Jesus promised that His apostles would “eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Luke 22:30). This real people sitting on real thrones eating real food. It ia all to easy to spiritualize the promises concerning the unseen and the eternal.

The natural man can not perceive spiritual things just like a standard band radio can not receive short-wave radio signals. At the time of salvation, when the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer, the Christian gets “tuned in” to God through man’s spiritual part (we are body, soul and spirit). This part does not get activated before we receive Christ as Saviour. Before that happens, the Bible does not make sense to us. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 we read: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Still, even if modern man cannot comprehend the supernatural, the Lord has revealed enough of the supernatural i.e. in His creation, so that there can be no excuse not to believe in Him. Romans 1:18-20 reads: “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

HE COMES AS WIND

Since nothing beyond the vast physical creation can be scientifically proven, we must seek another method. The natural man is bound to the naturalrealm where he has his existence. But that which which has its existence in the spiritual. Ecclesiastes 11:5 says “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit (wind), nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

If that were the last word on the matter, we would be blind and unknowing forever. But that is not the last word. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12 says: “9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

There it is! If man is to know anything at all about the realm of the spiritual and supernatural, it must be given him by revelation. Revelation is a one-way avenue. It comes from the spiritual plane to the natural plane. It never runs the other way.

The Holy Spirit – He is a living person – dwells in the supernatural order and He the natural order unseen. There are absolutely no limits to where He can go. In the Bible He is likened, in His comings and goings, to the wind. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) Unseen the Holy Spirit comes, unseen He goes, yet there are the effects of His wonderful presence among men.

There are no limits to what the Holy Spirit may know. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” The Holy Spirit takes the thruth of God, and of the spiritual realm, and conveys them according to the will of God, to men. In this He uses words primarilly, but occationally also visions (pictures) and dreams as a means of communication, so that what is revealed is made plainly intelligible to man. The only way we can interpret or understand the Bible is through the work of the Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21 says: “20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

TESTING PROPHETS AND DREAMERS OF DREAMS

Though they are the means God uses to convey His revelations to men, prophecy, dreams, or visions do not in themselves have any claim whatsoever to expressing the truth. More false prophecy is uttered in the world than true prophecy, and by no close margin. Dreams flicker through our sleep like surrealist films in montage. Visions may, and often do, come from mental derangement or from evil spirits. It is only when the Holy Spirit uses these means that the content of the prophecy, the dream, or the vision is truth.

“3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.  7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3, 7) It is especially important to understand that factual accuracy does not constitute evidence that a prophecy or a dream or a vision is from God. Factual accuarcy is not an adequate test of the divine inspiration of any prophecy.

The Law of Moses speaks this word regarding prophecy: “1 ¶ If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)

A false prophet must be distinguished from a phony prophet. A false prophet has certain supernatural powers that he uses. A phony prophet is outright fake. A false prophet may be utterly sincere and unaware of his falsity. A phony prophet knoews he is a fake. A false prophet mat practice gross spiritual deception without knowing it, because he himself is thoroughly deceived. A phony prophet knows exactly the deceptions he practices and how he practices them. He does not believe in what he is doing.

In the scripture of 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 we see that God’s Word is given to men by the Holy Spirit so that we might understand what is true and know what spiritual and supernatural gifts belong to men and women who trully believe in God and in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

KNOWING WHAT IS

There are in the creation orders of living beings who are intelligently active but unseen by man. They are capable of thought, of speech, of volition (conscious choice), of worship, of love, or of hate. Angels constitute one of these invisible orders of beings. They are servants of God, active on behalf of His will in the universe.

The structure of reality as it is revealed in the Bible is not the same as that commonly conceived by man. God has not limited Himself to flesh and blood in creating orders of intelligent beings.

Hebrews 2:6-7 says: “6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

The Bible also reveals an order of intelligent beings who are in active rebellion against God, called evil spirits or demons. The Bible declares that they are led by an intelligent personality called Satan, the devil, earlier called Lucifer – the light bringer. Whhat is set forth here is what the Bible affirms to be the case, from Genesis to Revelation, the first and the last books of the Bible. If a person fails to grasp this, he cannot understand much of the Bible, because that it is the structure of reality in which all the earthly events of the Bible – past and future – are set.

This can be ignored, but it cannot be escaped. Saying that demons do not exist in no way prevents them from intruding into the lives and the affairs of your family. The tragic fact today is that families whose members ignore large segments of this reality are becoming the victims of intelligent forces of evil whose activity they do not even vaguely suspect. This is especially true of young people, and parents are too often unprepared to cope with that which has come to harm or destroy their young.

Coming soon:

Part 2: The biblical structure of reality

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: