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The Dark Side of the Supernatural
By Bill Myers Dave Wimbish
ZondervanCopyright © 2012 Bill Myers and Dave Wimbish
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSupernatural Hunger
We all have it—this hunger, this yearning for something more. After all we're human, and humans are made of three parts ...
Physical, mental ... and spiritual.
And between eating and school and eating and work and eating and sports and eating and parents and friends—and did I mention eating?—we've pretty well got the first two parts of who we are covered.
But what about the third? The spiritual?
As a screenwriter, it seems every time I turn around, someone is asking me to come up with a story about the supernatural. And it's not just movies. Just check out TV, the Internet, local bookstores, or even music.
Everybody's hungry for answers. Especially ...
Every day I get emails from students with questions: Are there ghosts? Are séances wrong? What about the glowing figure in my room? Are Ouija boards bad? What about UFOs? And on and on ...
Some of these questions come from teens who read my Forbidden Doors book series. In these twelve books, a teenage brother and sister become reluctant ghost busters and learn many of the truths about the supernatural that we'll be discussing here. Other emails come from students who have been frightened by actual encounters. Still others come from teenagers who have friends caught up in the stuff and want to help.
Instead of spending many hours a week answering the same questions over and over, I figured, why not put the info into one, easy-to-use reference book—something you can pull down from the shelf and get a quick overview and answers to the questions that come up in your life?
So in the coming chapters we'll explore the major supernatural beliefs and practices of today ... finding out which ones are real, which ones are bogus, and how to deal with them.
Real or Fake
As an author and filmmaker, I've spent years researching the paranormal—interviewing witches, Wiccans, psychics, and the head of the CIA's psychic research department. I have observed and participated in an exorcism, and hung out with a serial killer, those involved in ghost hunting, and UFO abductees. I have visited a top psychic lab, filmed miracles in third-world countries, and, of course, read thousands of accounts of supernatural events.
For the most part the stories of the supernatural are like mist. They vanish into nothing when you try to verify them.
But occasionally, there are situations that defy rational explanation and hold up under investigation.
There are haunted locations where chains rattle and disembodied voices can be heard whispering in the night.
There are people who receive messages from "beyond" through trances, automatic writing, and other means.
There are unexplainable things seen in the sky at night.
Good or Evil
Evidence proves there is a supernatural world out there. In fact, the Bible says as much. It also says that there's a good side to the supernatural and an evil side—a side that wants to help us and legitimately fill our hunger ... and a side that wants to destroy us.
Jesus Christ put it best when he said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
Pretty intense words. Jesus was either lying or telling the truth. And if he's telling the truth, then there really is a thief out there—an enemy who wants to steal from us, who wants to kill us, and who wants to destroy us.
The good news is we don't have to be afraid of the thief, because we really do have Somebody who's on our side, Somebody who wants to protect us ... Somebody who will give us life.
The bad news is someone is also out to deceive us. So we can't go running after everything that's supernatural without considering the consequences. As I tell the high school and college students I work with, "Just because it glows in the dark doesn't make it good."
In fact, it's often just the opposite.
Our enemy Satan is alive and well, and he'll use everything in his power to draw people away from God ... including super-natural "special effects." Jesus again put it best when he said, "For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).
And while I'm in a Bible-quoting mood, check this out: "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and in all the ways wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:9–10).
Same Old, Same Old
Lots of times young people are attracted to the supernatural because they have hard lives, or they don't fit in, or people treat them badly. As a result, it's only natural for them to be hungry for more power, to feel like they're special, to have their eyes opened with more insight. And their enemy, the thief who wants to kill and destroy, is only too happy to swoop in with his own brand of poisoned food, promising to make them more God-like.
It's the same old promise he's offered since the beginning of time: "When you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God ..." (Genesis 3:5).
A tricky Balance
C. S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, put the supernatural in perspective when he wrote, "There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them."
Lewis spoke of "devils," but we can easily replace the word with "the occult" or "the dark side of the supernatural." Yes, it's important to know what's going on, to be aware of Satan's tricks in today's world.
Aware of it ... yes.
Fascinated by it ... no.
The purpose of this book is not to draw attention to Satan or bring him glory. It's to expose him as the deceiving fraud he is and to unveil his schemes so none of us are fooled.
One Final Point
Finally, before we start, remember this:
Even though there's danger in the world of the supernatural, there's no power anywhere that comes close to the power of God or his Word. If you're a child of God, there's nothing Satan and all the powers of darkness can do to hurt you.
Again, quoting Jesus: "No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28–29).
Jesus promised that if we belong to him, we actually have the power to beat the bad guys. In fact, if you were to meet Satan in a dark alley and you had a right relationship with God, the devil would be the one scared spitless. Mark 16:17 says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons."
Or as one of Jesus' disciples put it, "The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
That's what I hope to do with this book: expose today's supernatural counterfeits and equip you to beat them.
Excerpted from The Dark Side of the Supernatural by Bill Myers Dave Wimbish Copyright © 2012 by Bill Myers and Dave Wimbish. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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