The Bible reveals that wicked spirits cannot possibly be the spirits of the dead. “The living are conscious that they will die,” states God’s Word, “but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) Wicked spirits are, in fact, rebellious angels who have joined Satan in trying to mislead humans.—Revelation 12:9.
The Scriptures plainly state that we need protection from wicked spirits. The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus: “We have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against . . . the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” The apostle Peter described the ruler of all wicked spirits, Satan the Devil, as being like “a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.”—Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8.
Satan causes harm primarily by misleading people, tricking or tempting them into acting in a way that offends God. The Bible says that Satan “keeps transforming himself into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14) He pretends to be a protective spirit, when in fact, his intent is wicked. Satan blinds people’s minds to the truth about him and to the truth about God. (2 Corinthians 4:4) What is his goal in misleading people?
Satan craves worship and wants people, either knowingly or unknowingly, to give him such worship. When God’s own Son, Jesus, was on earth, Satan wanted him to “fall down and do an act of worship” to him. Jesus said: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship.’” (Matthew 4:9, 10) Jesus refused to do anything that would imply worshipful submission to Satan.
Jehovah is the most powerful of all spirits and will not let any lasting harm come to those who obey him. (Psalm 83:18; Romans 16:20) But if we are going to please Jehovah God as Jesus did, we need to avoid any act of submission to Satan or his demons. To that end, we need to identify traditional practices that give worshipful honor to wicked spirit forces.