Can You See The Invisible?


August, 2000

Dear Ministry Friends,

Have you ever felt like there were problems in your life or family that you couldn't figure out, or see a clear cause of — or an answer to? Have you felt like there was something "unseen" that you couldn't quite understand?

I recently came across a John Maxwell story about Jacques Cartier's second voyage to Newfoundland in 1553. Of Cartier's 103-man crew, 100 developed agonizing scurvy and were in great anguish when the Iroquois Indians of Quebec came to their rescue with what was described as a "miraculous cure." The Iroquois Indians gave the sick sailors a brew made from vegetation of the pine tree that saved their lives. (In the years following the discovery of America, when long sea voyages like this became common, scurvy was rampant among sailors.)

Also in 1553, Admiral Sir Richard Hawkins noted that during his career on the high seas, ten thousand seamen under his command had died of scurvy. He also recorded that in his experience oranges and lemons had been most effective in curing the disease. Yet these observations had no sweeping effect in bringing about an awareness of what could prevent scurvy, and the observations of this admiral went unheeded.

James Lind, a British naval surgeon, who later became the chief physician of the Naval Hospital at Portsmouth, England, published a book in 1753 (two hundred years later) in which he stated explicitly that scurvy could be eliminated simply by supplying sailors with lemon juice. He cited many case histories from his experience as a naval surgeon at sea. He proved that fruits like oranges and lemons would prevent scurvy. You might expect that Dr. Lind would have been highly honored for his great contribution, but the reverse is true. He was ridiculed.

One sea captain did take his advice — the now famous Captain James Cook, who stocked his ships with an ample supply of fresh fruits. The Royal Society honored Captain Cook in 1776 for his success, but the officials of the navy ignored his report. Not until 1794, 18 years later, was a British navy squadron supplied with lemon juice before a voyage. On that voyage, which lasted twenty-three weeks, there was not one case of scurvy, but yet another 10 years passed before regulations were enacted in 1804 requiring sailors to drink a daily ration of lemon juice to prevent scurvy. With this enactment, scurvy disappeared from the British Navy.

Another example of what we can't see that makes so much difference is germs. Before Louis Pasteur's experiments in the 1850's, the prevailing thought was that sickness was a result of genetics causing a body to become ill. Pasteur proved that sickness could be "caught" or "spread" because of germs like bacteria, viruses, etc. Similarly, a medical doctor of this same era recommended that physicians in hospitals wash their hands between delivering babies of different patients. Even though mortality rates had been high from infections, he was ridiculed and fired by the hospital he worked at! But today it is a well-known fact that there are hundreds of kinds of germs causing infectious diseases ranging from pneumonia, polio, and smallpox , to food poisoning, sinus infections, and even ulcers. And talk about the "unseen" — a single pound of garden soil may contain up to 50 million germs!

Another example of the "unseen" was when radiation was discovered. Pierre and Marie Curie were pioneers in studying radioactive materials, and the Curies were awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics for their work on radioactivity. Marie was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1911 for her discoveries of radium and polonium. But Marie Curie died from pernicious anemia caused by radiation exposure! Hans Geiger's invention in 1928 of the Geiger Counter to easily measure radiation came too late to prevent Marie Curie's cause of death. The "unseen" caused the death of the "seen."

Last week, I read about another example of the "unseen" in an article by the Associated Press. On the west coast, there was a forest where the trees had been dying mysteriously and the afflicted area had grown to be over 1,000 acres and more than 32 miles wide. As biologists studied the trees for the cause, they found the same fungus in the roots of all the trees. After digging down into the soil, they discovered the entire area of soil was nothing but one big fungus — 3 to 10 feet deep covering over 1,000 acres! DNA tests from over 100 different locations revealed that the whole mass of fungus had grown from the same original fungus spore. And based on how slow a fungus grows, the scientists estimated that it had been growing uninterrupted for over 2,000 years! They conclude this fungus is the largest living thing on earth.

It's what you can't see — a lack of Vitamin, germs afflicting people, radiation making people sick or die, a fungus killing trees, etc. — that makes so much difference in a person's life. We are so oriented around sight and sound in this American culture, that sometimes people "can't see the forest for the trees."

A couple hundred years ago, people thought if they couldn't see it — it didn't exist. Then, they discovered vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients our bodies need. Then, they invented the microscope and discovered hundreds of types of bacteria, amoeba, virus, mold, fungus, etc., that had been there all along — afflicting their bodies, poisoning their water, and fouling their food! Then, they invented the Geiger counter and discovered harmful doses of radiation. (And this doesn't even mention the "unseen" things that are harmless such as radio, TV, and cell phone waves flying through the air that create the heap of media communications that we take for granted every day.)

The Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 4:18, "We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen." As we discover more and more things that we can now see, we should realize that there have been — and are — things we cannot see in the spirit realm. Hebrews 11:1, 3 & 7 tells us, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household."

Is it possible that many problems people face in life are caused by things not seen — perhaps even spirit beings that we can only know the truth about from the Bible? Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "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." The truth is that there are enormous quantities of problems that people deal with in life that are caused by evil spirits — both directly working against them, and indirectly working against them through other people. The good news is that believers can exercise authority over these spirits through prayer. And God's Word contains the "instructions" that not only reveal this cause of many of our problems, but the steps to take to deliver ourselves of these same problems.

I cannot fully cover a topic like this in such a short space here, but I am offering you at no charge my teaching tape titled, Insights into Spiritual Warfare. This will answer many questions and reveal the history of why there is so much pain and suffering in this world that God made. The answers are available, and those who seek, shall find, and those that ask, it shall be given.

Discovering the Answers,

Dale Leander

P.S. — Every person should have my complete teaching tape set, Winning at Spiritual Warfare, which contains the tape offered. If you can't afford it, you can get up to two tapes at no charge each week from our ministry. We're committed to changing lives through the ministry of God's Word.


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