January 27, 2023

The Really Real World

By Skip Heitzig

The latest Spider-Man movie is breaking all kinds of records at the box office, and it features him in a battle against half a dozen of his most evil enemies. But he has some impressive allies to help him: two alternate versions of himself from other worlds in the so-called "multiverse." The multiverse is a popular concept in science fiction today, in which parallel universes exist, unseen and side-by-side with our own.

I don't know if I believe in a multiverse as presented in fiction, but I do believe there is another dimension out there we cannot see. This dimension is the spirit world, and there are things that go on around us that are very real though we are not aware of them, unless God reveals it to us.

Second Corinthians 4 is one of those passages that take us behind the veil. We live in a real world. But there is another world. Let's call it the really real world. As Paul said, "We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (v. 18). So there is a parallel universe, if you want to look at it that way, a real world of angelic beings both good and evil, demons and angels.

The word angel means a messenger. An angel is a noncorporeal spirit being, in other words, a being without a body. In Hebrews 1:14, angels were called "Ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation." That's the important point: they are God's messengers, His servants who minister to His people. On some occasions, to suit God's purposes, they are made visible or they can assume human form, and we see that in Scripture as well.

Do you know that you may have met an angel? Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." It's a beautiful thought: somebody that you run into could be an angel.

Satan began as an angel. In Ezekiel 28:14, it says he's called "The anointed cherub who covers," or who guards. He was a very powerful, beautiful, wise, and influential being who fell from that position. Some people say, "Why would God create such a wicked being?" He didn't. He created something very good with a will of its own, and Satan usurped God's authority, acted on his own will, and fell.

The book of Revelation indicates that as many as a third of the angelic hosts fell with Satan in that rebellion. And when they fell, they became a highly organized network with actual rankings and titles. In Ephesians 6:12, Paul said, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Those are all rankings of angelic beings.

There's a conflict in the invisible world. Ever since the fall of Lucifer there has been an ongoing, cosmic conflict between the angelic forces of good and evil. (See Daniel chapter 10 for a peek at that conflict.)

One of the first rules in warfare is you have to know who your enemy is. Not only that, but you need to know how your enemy works. The Bible says, "We are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11).

But here's my point: God is all-powerful and holds the boundaries of what is allowable and what is not.

I remember when I was dabbling in the occult before I was saved, this is one thing that really tipped me over the edge in a good way. I was dabbling in some very, very powerful experiences, and I really enjoyed the empowerment that I felt because of those demonic experiences. But one day the thought struck me: If there's this much power on the wrong side, on the dark side, on the bad side, if there really is a God, there's so much more power on the right side. And there is.

After His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven "and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him" (1 Peter 3:22).

So here's what I want you to know. One-third of the angels fell. One-third of the original heavenly hosts are demons, and they hate you and you're in their crosshairs. But if one-third fell, it means that two-thirds did not fall, which tells me Satan and all his demons are way outnumbered by the good guys.

So instead of saying, "There's devils, there's demons, I bind this, I bind that," why don't you just say, "Two-thirds are on my side and Jesus is living inside of me and greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. This could be a cakewalk." So be encouraged that you are on the winning team and you have stepped out of darkness into light. You have seen into the really real world, but as you and I walk in the real world, keep in mind whose side you're on.

Just as Satan needed permission to do anything at all to God's servant Job, Satan is under tight wraps and control. We can take refuge in that and in the living God who empowers us daily to have victory over Satan's temptations.

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