Have you ever had a dream in which you were floating around outside, looking down on the world? Where you really there? or was it your imagination? Was that your brain recharging? or did your spirit actually leave your body and flutter through the air? What if someone interrupted your dream by waking you? What would happen to your spirit? What about the things someone sees while under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs? Or someone in a state of deep meditation? Is there such a thing as another realm, or is what we touch and feel the only reality? What does the Bible say about a spiritual realm? Why should we look in the Bible in the first place?
Unlike most other ideas about origins, The Bible does not start out with matter, what we touch and feel. Neither does it begin with energy, or the laws of science. The Bible starts with God. The Bible describes God as a personal, relational God who needs nothing; He is perfect in Himself. The Bible says God created all things, including matter, the laws of science, and us. But the physical realm is not all that God created. He also created angels. These angels live in a realm that we cannot normally see. The greatest of these angels was named Lucifer, which means "shining one." After his creation, he has since rebelled against God, taken many of the angels with him, and is now called Satan, which means "adversary." Satan is leading a rebellion against God in the spiritual realm, but is also able to enter the physical realm. He did this when he tricked the first man and woman into listening to and believing him instead of God. Because of his influence in this world, he has also been called the god of this world.
Satan has used his influence over this world to keep people living in fear of the spiritual realm. Dreams, sorcery, and witchcraft are a few of the avenues he has used to keep people in bondage to him. But his hold on this world has been broken. The unthinkable happened when God himself came into the world He created through his Son, Jesus. Jesus demonstrated authority over Satan and his angels (demons) multiple times during his earthly ministry. Satan could not trick Jesus as he had tricked Adam and Eve, and his demons had no choice but to obey Jesus when he spoke to them. Jesus then destroyed the work of Satan through the cross, once again making a way for us to be made right with God, and demonstrated this victory when he rose from the grave. Jesus then ascended to his place in heaven, and sent the Spirit of God into the world to convict us of our sin against God and to show all people the way to be made right with God. The Spirit indwells all those who have trusted in Jesus to save them from their works.
Despite his defeat, Satan remains active in trying to keep as many people as possible under his domain. His methods are as varied as the number of religions in the world, but his goal is always the same: to keep people from the Truth (John 14.6). In the West, he has accomplished this through materialism, getting people to place greater importance on created things than on the Creator of the things; through secularism(click here to see what C.S. Lewis wrote about this); through works based religions, which lead to either frustration and guilt or pride and pharisee-ism; and through postmodernism, an attempt to drown out truth in a sea of endless options. In the East, he has already drowned out the truth. Everything is said to be true, which in effect, makes nothing true. If a lie is as true as the truth, what is the use of calling it a lie? In Eastern thought, evil and good come from the same source, everything is part of an impersonal energy they call God. (Correct me if I'm wrong, if there is there such a thing)
Satan and his angels are also busy trying to neutralize the lives of those who do believe in God. He does not want the news of his defeat to spread to all people, so he tries to distract us. Satan is also known as the Tempter and the Accuser. He tempts us by appealing to our desires for pleasure, for fame, and for power. When his temptations work, he accuses. He reminds us of our failures and places doubts in our minds that God could ever use us. He also loves to get believers to accuse each other. He tries to get us to place greater importance on earthly things than on eternal things. He uses any method he can to get our focus off of Jesus and on to us. However, the Spirit of God living in the believer is much stronger than Satan. God's grace is enough for us, even in times of weakness.
The Bible tells us that there is a spiritual realm that we cannot normally see. It warns us against delving into this realm. When we do, we open ourselves up to Satan and his angels and their deception. Jesus has defeated these spirits, and, when He returns to this earth, will judge them forever.
"Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it"
"Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." - Revelation12.10-11