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Seeing the Unseen Paperback – April 1, 2002
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About the Author
Joe Beam is an internationally known inspirational speaker and author. He founded Beam Research Center and serves as its chairman. He has spoken to millions of people worldwide in personal appearances as well as appearances on TV and radio, including ABC’s Good Morning America, Focus on the Family, the Montel Williams Show, NBC's Today Show, The Dave Ramsey Show, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and magazines such as People and Better Homes and Gardens.
After earning his bachelor's degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Southern Christian University, Joe did graduate studies in clinical psychology at the University of Evansville. He is currently involved in research to complete his PhD in biomedical science at the University of Sydney, consistently rated one of the top fifty universities in the world. The emphasis of his research is in sexology.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
You would think that by now we would know enough about science to eradicate superstitious beliefs, especially beliefs in invisible entities flittering around us. There is no logical reason for believing in such nonsense, unless, of course, there really are unseen beings hovering around us, beyond the reach of current scientific measurement. Remember, it was eons before scientists detected germs, atoms, or molecules, but they existed just the same.
Several years ago, I made a rational study leading me to the decision that God exists, that Jesus is His Son, and that the Bible is a supernatural book that could only come from God. I believe what God says through His Bible, and my occasional human doubts don't erode that conviction.
The Bible clearly teaches the existence of things we cannot see. Several passages in the Scriptures teach that there are invisible beings. Here are two examples: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Speaking of Jesus, Paul said, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him" (Colossians 1:15-16).
I believe that beings roam the earth today who are altogether spiritual. I mean "spiritual" in the sense that they don't have corporal bodies -- the kind of beings Jesus referred to when He said, "A ghost does not have flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). The koine Greek word translated in the New International Version as "ghost" is the same word translated as "spirit" throughout the New Testament. It refers to beings who exist only as spirits, without physical bodies.
Do such creatures exist? In the passage from Colossians just mentioned, Paul said there are things visible and invisible. Then he immediately said, "whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities." The verse plainly states that invisible thrones, powers, rulers, and authorities exist. They are in the world today, and they are working powerfully in our daily lives.
What You'll Find in This Book
This book exposes invisible authorities and powers and illustrates how various spiritual forces work against us, within us, and for us. But this book is not a collection of scary stories of exorcisms and wild speculations about Satan and his angels. The unprovable, often unbiblical, misleading speculations on this subject don't help Christians win the spiritual war; they aid and abet Satan. Those believing the wildly sensational are so busy looking for a demon under every bush that they unwittingly expose themselves to the real attacks of satanic forces, which come unseen from seemingly innocent sources and hit them on the blind side. On the other hand, those who reject sensationalism often reject the reality of the spiritual war that sensationalism masks. Rejecting the foolish, they also reject the wise. The devil becomes a cartoon character not to be feared but to be ignored, having no more power or substance than the goblins of children's dreams.
This book gives the Bible a position preeminent to any speculation or opinion. In this book, we will study Scriptures about Satan, angels, demons, the dead, and much more. We will discuss openly the roles of angels, both good and bad, and of the demons working for the most evil angel of all.
In this revised version of Seeing the Unseen, you will find new chapters on the subject of demons, reflecting my recent findings, and many other rewritten portions throughout the book. This book will also share the stories of many people -- any one of whom may reflect you almost perfectly and give you insight into yourself and your circumstances that will change you forever. No, not stories of supernatural occurrences, but stories of real people facing real life with all its complications and frustrating puzzles. While I will always tell you the true core of each story, many names and other details will be altered. Sometimes I will blend two stories into one when they fit well without damaging either. My purpose in altering these stories is to protect identities and to ensure privacy. I have no right to bring more harm or pain to anyone, including myself, and especially my family. When both first and last names are used, you will know that the names and the stories are not disguised; they are told just as they happened. While it's true that anecdotal evidence proves nothing, the common threads of these lives weave a tapestry of revelation and conviction.
To make this study about spiritual warfare easier, this book is divided into four sections:
- Learning to See the Unseen
- The Forces at Work Against Us
- The Forces at Work Within Us
- The Forces at Work For Us
Each section is important and each relates to the other. I suggest you start at the beginning and read the chapters in order, making notes in the margins and writing questions that come to mind.
Spiritual Warfare Is Real
The real battle of evil is not against ghosts or demonic possession; it is within ourselves. The primary tool of Satan is not possession; it is deception. He deceives us into believing that he is not real.
While each one of us is very much responsible for our own actions, unseen beings do influence us, either for good or for bad. And because their influence is so powerful, it is imperative that we understand who they are and what they do. Only then will we be at a vantage point to accept or reject their subtle, or not-so-subtle, guidance.
Satan is real, and there are angels around us. If you believe the Bible is true, you must believe in spiritual warfare.
I pray for you an enlightening and profitable reading. May God bless you as you study.
What Is Spiritual Vision?
Slapping some sense into her wasn't an option, so I just sat there, drenched in frustration. No matter how hard I tried to help her see it, she couldn't believe she was sinning.
"How can you say I shouldn't see him again?" she asked incredulously. "God sent him to me."
"Then why are you here? If there isn't an awareness deep within you that you are doing wrong, why did you come to me about this?" I struggled to pierce her barricade.
"I don't know why I'm here, but I know God sent him to me, and I know that God wants me to be with him."
He was married, an alcoholic, and habitually unemployed. She was lonely and longing. Those filters distorted her clear-sightedness, and all she could see was his handsomeness, his charm, and that he wanted her more than anything or anyone. He appeared at just the right time, saying just the right words, and filling just the right needs. Since she had been praying for precisely those things, she was convinced, without doubt, that God had sent him. When he divorced his wife, they would live happily ever after, praising God for the introduction.
As I listened, I felt it again, that same desire I've felt so many other times. "God, if You ever offer me one gift like You did to Solomon, I know what I want. Give me the ability to lay hands on people to give them supernatural vision. God, I want to be able to make people see the unseen."
If I'd had that gift that day, I would have walked around my desk, placed my hands on Charlotte, and prayed, "God, for the next week open her eyes to the unseen spirit world. Make visible to her every angel, demon, or spirit who comes into her presence. Don't let them hide from her or disguise themselves. Make them plain." Then I would have sent her out to see the "shining knight" who had come to rescue her from her loneliness.
She would have come back.
She would have seen the spirits escorting this man, and she would have fled, screaming for deliverance. Because she was not yet completely corrupt, she would have been repulsed by the sight and nearness of the evil ones leading her into this trap.
But as it was, she did not see. They offered her a lie; she bought it altogether. The lie was leading to a disaster in her life and the lives of everyone who would be touched by their sin.
Spiritual Vision = Discernment + Bible Knowledge
I didn't have the gift of imparting spiritual vision that day, and God hasn't given it to me since. In fact, no one has it. But He has given His people the ability to discern good and evil and the ability to understand His Word. And well used, these two abilities can accomplish the same things as the gift I begged for. God has not left us defenseless against the attack of the evil ones, nor has He allowed them any advantage. He has made sure the vantage is ours. But, tragically, it is an advantage seldom used.
Charlotte didn't use it. She refused to discern good from evil, and she refused to listen to those who did. She refused to see the truth. Her knight kept his sheen until she married him. It lasted less than a year. Now Charlotte is lonely and longing again, but this time, she has an added bitterness that makes it likely she will be lonely forever. Spiritual men are repelled by her malignant aura. Deplorably, the hunters who stalk carnal pleasure aren't repulsed by it at all; they read it well and are drawn to her. Her angry isolation identifies her as an easy prey for seduction.
The evil ones do their job well.
Choose to See
Charlotte could have seen what was happening if she had chosen to. All of us c... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Beam uses God's Holy Word to tear away the veil and expose the spiritual realm with all its intrigue and mystery, (Ephesians 6-12). Whether we want to admit it or not, we have an enemy in the spiritual realm who is constantly on the prowl. He despises us with a hatred more distructive than any force imaginable, and he is constantly seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5-8). This enemy is unmasked before our eyes. The popular view of Satan being red-cloaked, hoofed, and horned couldn't be further from the truth. We see that our enemy is mesmerizingly beautiful, crafty and manipulative. Perhaps the most memorable quote from the book is, "Satan's primary tool is not possession but deception". Beam shows, through the use of events from people's lives, that actions from the spiritual realm directly affect our own. We all have a vital role to play in this spiritual war. Prayer truly makes a difference.
Perhaps the best chapter asked the question, "What was really accomplished by Jesus Christ on the cross"? In this chapter, Beam presents a melodrama in which Satan confronts his Creator while Christ is in the throes of spiritual agony upon the cross. Satan triumphantly proclaims that he has won the battle. Was Christ's physical pain really relevant? We as readers are forced to examine what is really important. Beam postulates that it is doubtful that Jesus even felt the physical pain of crucifixion because his spiritual pain was beyond anything we could ever comprehend. Christ's pure blood was shed, and He took upon Himself every sin ever to be committed, (2 Corinthians 5-21). What a tremendous burden to bear. His death and resurrection provides assurance of the ultimate victory if we put our faith in Him. This chapter brought me to tears.
The chapter dealing with the reason for pain and suffering within the world is equally moving. Beam's examination of 1 Peter Chapter 1 will truly move you. God is portrayed as a goldsmith who painstakingly burns away our impurities and helps us to persevere until He can see His face reflected in us. The examination of the life of Job and Beam's own candid discussion of his mentally handicapped daughter is beautiful. We never know what trial God will use to prepare us for a wonderful work in His kingdom. If you, like me, have dealt with pain in your life, this chapter is very relevant. You will be literally brought to your knees as you see how Satan's ignorance is used against him, and how God ultimately orchestrates events for His glory.
I implore you to read this unforgettable book, and be encouraged to take a stand against the malevolent forces of darkness. You will gain confidence and strength, and you will never look at the world the same way again. God bless you all.
Joe Beam writes of those that are trapped in their sin being under what he calls demonization - simply the overwhelming influence of demons on the believer to do live contrary to a Christ-centered life of purity. Howbeit, each person mus bear the responsibility for his or her own actions.
What gives one a new dimension to the Christian life is the view that one cannot judge others by the moral pit they may have fallen into as they have failed to understand the forces that are at work in the lives of Christians.
The importance of living a Spirit-filled life is essential to victory in the living a life that truly reflects the righteousness in Christ. It is really a matter of piority and focus.
Joe has done a wonderful job of digging through scripture on these issues and bringing to light areas where he and a significant number of Christians over the years have misunderstood Satan, his evil forces and how Satan has used that to his advantage. He doesn't quote scripture and tell you how you should believe. He brings the pertinent passages together so that you are able to see what Satan has been successful in hiding. Joe also brings to light the areas where Satan works (sometimes with great effectiveness) to tear down and corrupt what God has given us. What makes this book have great impact on its readers is how Joe has done a wonderful job of helping you put into practical use the things you learn from it into your daily life. There are many things in my spiritual life that I have a hard time with. After reading this book it was almost as if a switch had been thrown and the area of difficulty was turned off. I don't mean to say that it has gone away completely, but I have a better understanding as to why I was having a hard time and now have better tools to fight against it.
If there are certain areas of sin or temptation in your life that you struggle with regularly but just can't seem to ever conquer it, this book just might be what you need. It is an easy read. You won't want to put it down. This is one I will read more than once and will give as gifts to friends I know who feel like they are loosing the battle.