The Immortality of the Soul and Satan’s Seeing is Believing Trick

Tulsa By River

I am writing today from beautiful Tulsa, Oklahoma

A Bible student excitedly told me about a movie he saw where someone died and went to heaven where he saw his dead loved ones. When I reminded him about thestate of the dead, he told me, “Well maybe they did not actually die. Maybe it was a dream.” He was quite emotional about the movie and told me it had strengthened his faith in God.

What could be wrong with that?

Well, it raises the issue of whether we regard movies as authoritative, or not. Do we put our faith in movies or other visual media? Bible-believing Christians regard the Bible alone as authoritative in matters of faith. Sadly, all too often entertainment films promote popular misconceptions rather than presenting what the Bible says.

Satan has been using the “seeing is believing” strategy right from the beginning. When Satan dressed up as a serpent, he offered Eve a treat that turned out to be a trick. God’s Word said, “If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” (Genesis 2:17 NLT), but then Eve saw that this serpent not only appeared to have eaten the fruit and did not die, but could also talk. This was pretty convincing “seeing is believing” evidence for her. You could disobey God and not die and at the same time enjoy benefits. If the serpent could talk after disobeying God, then what were the possibilities for Eve? The serpent appeared to be more credible than God’s Word because the visible proof was right there.

Eve believed what she saw more than what God had told her. How wrong she was! Eve ate the fruit and ultimately died. The serpent that Satan used died too, and one day Satan himself will die. It may have initially appeared God’s Word was not true, but God’s Word proved to be very true indeed.

Satan uses the seeing is believing trick in many other ways besides just death. During World War 2 many Bible believing Christians were sure Hitler was going to take over all of Europe, even though Daniel 2 says Europe will never again have a one world empire. After all it sure looked like He was going to win!  While Jesus traveled with His two companions on the road to Emmaus, it sure looked to them like Jesus was not the Messiah after all. Instead of having them recognize Him, he showed them in Scripture the truth about the Messiah. Why go to Scripture instead of just opening their eyes and letting them see Him? Because Jesus doesn’t want us going by the seeing is believing mentality. Seeing is believing is Satan’s trick. God doesn’t use that. He uses Scripture. Scripture is our safeguard from the seeing is believing deception.

Jesus has warned us that in the last days that :

“… some shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”. Matthew 24:24.

He was warning us that we need to be aware of how easily we can be deceived by what we see.

The belief that the dead can communicate with us has been one of the greatest delusions playing on the emotions of the bereaved by insinuating that the dead are alive in a different dimension and can talk to us. In parallel with one of the great Awakening movements in the United States, the Fox Sisters appeared to be communicating with the dead in their bedrooms. However Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:26 that He would not be in secret places, such as bedrooms. Those who place their trust in the Bible need not be deceived even though it may appear that the dead can speak.

Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead? Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. Isaiah 8:19-20 NLT

The popular media are full of accounts of near-death experiences – in which people supposedly died briefly on the operating table or in other situations – and then “came back” through medical intervention or other means. They tell vivid accounts of what they experienced while dead. While there are scientific explanations for such experiences,1 most people seem to take these as genuine glimpses into the afterlife, particularly those who have had these experiences. After all, seeing is believing. This plays well into Satan’s overall plan of deceiving the people of this world.

A friend of mine was visiting some folk when their young son went missing. Tragically they found him face down in the pool with little sign of life. As they rushed him to the hospital, the mother was frantically praying to the Virgin Mary to save her son. But Mary could not save her son. She was dead. Sadly the boy died too.

In times of trouble shall we call upon the dead, or shall we call on Jesus who is alive and has conquered the grave? Shouldn’t we have a personal relationship with Jesus instead of dead people?

The story of King Saul clearly illustrates the danger of losing sight of our relationship with God. Saul, frustrated with not getting the message from God that he wanted, chose to consult a medium to call back Samuel from the dead. The medium in 1 Samuel 28:14 created the illusion that Saul was talking to Samuel, leading to a set of tragic results for him and his family.

The KJV says Saul “perceived” he was talking to Samuel. Samuel was not talking to Saul. It was an illusion created by Satan. Furthermore, it raised the question why Saul looked for comfort from a dead person to whom he had not listened while he was living, rather than listen to the living God.

Saul should have sought counsel from God instead of an illusion. Today we should seek counsel and courage from the Bible rather than movies and accounts of near-death experiences that depict popular misconceptions. Movies depicting people “crossing over” from the “other side” should not be our source of encouragement.

We can be confident in Scriptures like 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 where Paul describes the second coming and resurrection. He described for us how those who are dead and sleeping in Christ will be raised at the resurrection at the second coming and will meet the living in the air to be with Jesus to live forever.

Paul adds: “Encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18 We don’t need to be encouraged by Media Fiction or phrases like “They have gone home to be with the Lord” Which are found nowhere in the Bible. We can encourage each other with the hope found in the Scriptures which are tried and true.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here. 


Luke 24; Seeing is Not Believing

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Luke 24:13   And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs. 

 24:14            And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 

 24:15            And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 

 24:16            But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 

 24:17            And he said unto them, What manner of communications [are] these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 

 24:18            And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 

 24:19            And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 

 24:20            And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 

 24:21            But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 

 24:22            Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 

 24:23            And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 

 24:24            And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found [it] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 

 24:25            Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 

 24:26            Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 

 24:27            And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 

 24:28            And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 

 24:29            But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. 

 24:30            And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them. 

 24:31            And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 

 24:32            And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? 

Whenever I give a Bible study on the Scriptures, I always share this story, about how Jesus showed them in the Scriptures all the things that pointed to Him as the Messiah, instead of just letting their eyes be opened and see that it was Him to begin with. He did not want them going by sight. He wanted them going by the Word of God. Seeing is not always believing. Look at all the miracles the children of Israel saw and still did not believe. Jesus performed miracles all the time and the Pharisees did not believe. Belief takes place in the heart and not the eyes. Jesus opened the Scriptures and their hearts burned within them. Today we must put the Bible above anything that we see or feel. Like Jesus we must go by the Scriptures and not by sight.