Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:1-3 ESV)
This is instruction for us to stay alert and not believe every spirit we encounter. You may hear stories of friends who visit psychics and be amazed by their experience because nobody could possibly know all the details of their lives, let alone disclose them on the spot after a first meeting. Rituals and seances are performed with some people becoming teary because they supernaturally reconnected with an old relative from their past. Other customers are seeking good fortune and follow spiritual advice after paying a service fee hoping that what was predicted may become their new life.
I confess that I had my own spiritual experience many years ago using a Ouija board that I purchased from a toy store. It was meant to be just good fun because I had a curiosity about the unseen world and the possibility of connecting with spirits.
To give you some background, my father had passed away when I was 17. My sister was 14 and my brother 11. At that time, we were still grieving and adjusting to a new life in a new neighborhood. We were raised Catholic, but our religious upbringing consisted of Sunday service and occasionally attending Sunday school.
I really did not understand the gospel or even bothered to read a Bible while growing up. So out of ignorance, I brought the Ouija board home because I did not think there would be any harm from it. It just looked like an ordinary board game, and so we decided to play it. Our hands joined together on the planchette and we asked, “Is anyone there?” We waited about a minute and the planchette started to randomly swirl around the board. We looked at each other and asked if anyone was moving it, but everyone denied it. The object dashed from letter to letter, spelling out words, forming sentences stating familiar things that only our dad would say. Could it actually be him talking from heaven? We kept “playing” and our cousin walked through our front door without us knowing. The spirit spelled out a nickname that only our dad would call him, and that was what hooked us into wanting more interaction. It was creepy and exciting because this something was connecting with us and tugging on our emotions.
One day, I invited my friends to experience the Ouija board. We starting probing and the planchette starting spelling out cuss words and saying dark things. I put an end to it by slapping the object away from us because I felt an intense evil hovering around us. It was only years later that I shared this story with my wife who explained that it could have been a demon who just knew what to say because it has been observing us, and that we need to ask God for forgiveness.
My heart sank at first, but as I continued to read more of the Bible, I began to understand that there are indeed good and bad spirits at work all around us. God warns us about this in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 where he says, “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”
These are dark practices that can lead us astray and bring more trouble because they lure us to sin and disobey God. Now all this talk about spirits and demons sounds spooky, but we don’t have to be afraid. We just need to know they are out there, but not give them the credit or attention that they crave. Opposing spirits will deny Jesus as the Son of God and cast doubt on his word. If that is the case whenever you hear a new teaching or philosophy, then know that it really isn’t a message from God. Steer clear away from these false teachers. Our eyes are to be fixed on Jesus because he is our Lord and King. What he says, goes, and nothing can be done to overturn his truth, authority, or his love for his disciples.