Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. (Mark 1:32-34)
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that she might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3)
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”….
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,3 and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13)
This is a bit repetitious of last week, but some issues are worthy of an extra look. Is there a common thread that runs through all paranormal activity? Or is this activity disjointed, for lack of a better word? I am convinced by Scripture, evident reason, and personal experience that there is a common thread.
The verses above trace the flow of redemptive history, especially as it relates to periods of heightened paranormal (demonic) activity. They reveal the amazing unity and consistency of divine revelation from Genesis to Revelation!
The first recorded paranormal activity is a beast of the field that talked to Adam and Eve. As the narrative progresses the identity and purpose of this entity and its actions become clear very quickly.
I’m not sure what this beast looked like prior to God cursing it, but I’m pretty confident that God had not made any talking critters. Everything is beautiful and perfect, until we come to 3:1 where an ominous or nefarious note is sounded…a crafty critter is speaking to Eve. Certainly this is the first paranormal activity recorded, and it changed the course of cosmic history. (see Romans 8) We know that this talking beast was Satan (identity) and his purpose was the destruction of mankind. Notice how Satan does this by throwing doubt on the veracity of God’s Word…he finally and flatly contradicts God. Suddenly, the fruit on this one tree took on an obsessive nature to Eve. By mimicking (or possessing) part of God’s creation-the beast of the field, the devil brought destruction of cosmic proportions.
From Genesis to Revelation a continuity of identity and purpose of paranormal activity is expressed.
From the first family up until Genesis 12 there is much of human history that is not recorded. However, we know in Genesis 6 there came a heightened paranormal activity—sexual encounters initiated by the demonic.
We know that magick has been on the scene since the dawn of time. Hence, much paranormal activity took place in various depraved cultures lost in the mists of pre-history. However, archaeology has unearthed much evidence of occult activity that goes back many thousands of years.
With Abraham (2,000 BC)….through Moses—who was educated in Egypt, and was aware of all its occultic beliefs/practices….. in all the cultures around, we have records of paranormal activity. Many of these ancient cultures were profoundly aware of the danger of the spirit realm.
When Jesus appeared, there was an unprecedented explosion of paranormal activity. Why? First, the devil wanted to try to destroy Jesus. Second, there is extra-biblical evidence that superstitious beliefs and practices were very widespread at this time. Why were so many people possessed during Jesus time? A careful reading of the gospels reveals that the disciples themselves were gripped by superstition, before Pentecost. Prior to both comings of Jesus there was/will be an explosion of doctrines of demons…beliefs which give legal rights of the demonic to attach, attack, oppress and possess.
I had known that the reason for the violent upsurge in paranormal activity/possession during Jesus earthly ministry was Satan’s frustrated anger in trying to kill Him who would eventually cast the devil into Hell. However, it occurred to me recently that some ‘legal rights’ must have been given demons to possess people in such unprecedented numbers. Read the gospels and you’ll see that a large percentage of the population was possessed. Jesus incarnation occurred at a time when even God’s people were gripped by widespread occultic superstition—the same sort of thing predicted will happen prior to Jesus Second Coming…widespread occultic superstition. That is why I have said on many occasions that we must be very careful how we interpret the words of the disciples prior to Pentecost (e.g. their comments re ghosts, Mark 6) They lived in a culture that was opening doors to the demonic left and right!
In the verse quoted above from Mark’s gospel, demonic possession became so common it was a daily and crucial part of Jesus ministry, exorcism. The gospels speak of this heightened demonic activity in a dignified, understated, and non-sensational fashion. One can assume rightly, I think, that if demonic possession had become commonplace, then other forms of paranormal activity must have been occurring as well. Where there is true possession, then other ‘weirdness’ is always also present.
At the coming of Christ, it makes sense that Satan would ramp up activity. In his frustrated anger, the devil was attacking his Creator and Judge.
If you look at this activity, the identity and purpose is front and center…no guess work at all. Satan/demons were pulling out all the stops to destroy people and Jesus…the second/final Adam.
Jesus close earthly friend, John, wrote The Revelation…yet he fell at His feet as if dead. In the texts quoted from John above, we note that paranormal activity is going to explode prior to the Second Coming. All kinds of incredible signs and wonders will abound and lead people astray, as people become mesmerized and undiscerning while exposed to paranormal activity….false signs and wonders.
To get to the point, we see from the Word, that there is a common thread that runs through all paranormal activity, from Genesis to Revelation: the identity behind the vast diversity of paranormal activity is Satan/demons, and the purpose is deception and destruction of humans.
Using a military analogy, most know that deception is part and parcel of human warfare. Sometimes there is the all-out frontal assault, but often even then, there is always the attempt to throw the enemy off balance via deception. George Washington was a master of deception and espionage!
The bible states that we are engaged in vicious spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6) Hence, the ‘father of lies’ has deception in his blood. Starting with the deception via the beast in the garden, up until the last days, the devil uses deception. In this war the identity of our enemy is clear, as is his purpose: a common thread.
I mention the warfare because this deepens and clarifies/explains the common thread that runs through all paranormal activity. We must see paranormal activity for what it is: in the context of spiritual war. Every paranormal entity…all paranormal activity, are not just disjointed events. As a brilliant general, Satan ensures that there is a common thread that runs through all paranormal activity…it is ALL part of his attack on God and His creation, especially humans. He is not perfect—he makes mistakes—but you can bet that every scrap of paranormal activity (otherwise known as overt demonic activity) is an attempt to dishonor God, and deceive and destroy us. It is war!
BUT, God will make that thread unravel. Indeed, at the cross it has already begun unraveling. Amen!
With the awareness of this common thread comes the ability to see all paranormal activity through God’s eyes. All paranormal activity is demonic activity! You don’t investigate demonic activity, you attack it in the name of Jesus of Nazareth!
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.