The claim is often made by non-believers that there is no evidence of any kind of spiritual reality. The Bible describes the spiritual realm as consisting of both good and evil, with non-corporeal spiritual beings influencing the spiritual component of our nature. Other pages on this site examine evidence for the reality of answered prayer and religious activity improving health and extending longevity (evidence for the existence of a benevolent Spiritual Being). This page examines the evidence for the existence of the evil spiritual realm.
The biblical explanation for the presence of evil
The Bible says that the presence of evil is due to the spiritual component of our nature - something the animals do not possess. God endowed His spiritual creatures (humans and angels) with free will to love God or oppose Him. The most powerful created being (the angel Satan) rebelled and led one third of the angels into opposition against God. Those humans who oppose or ignore God follow Satan into rebellion - either consciously or unconsciously.
Human evil - to the max!
Some people blame the presence of evil on "society." However, society is composed of individuals who make individual choices. Most the evil is committed by people who oppose the will of society. In contrast, there are many examples of societies in the animal kingdom, especially among the An order of mammals including man, apes, monkeys, etc., often characterized by large brains and flexible hands and feet.primates. None of these societies have the capacity for evil that we do. We are different from all other animals on our planet - a fact that has no scientific or evolutionary explanation.1.Look at all the evil perpetuated within the last century alone - 6 million Jews killed by Hitler, 40 million Russians killed by Stalin, 2 million Cambodians killed by their own government in the 1970's, ethnic cleansing committed by the Serbs - in addition to the hundreds of massacres committed in virtually every nation of the world. Evil acts committed by humans are so pervasive and extreme that their presence is not explained by childhood abuse, biochemical abnormalities of the brain, or any other naturalistic explanation. People laugh at the explanation "the devil made me do it." However, the reality is that those who commit these evil acts have demonstrated a continuous, long-term rebellion to God, and extreme hatred. All of these people, through their rebellious activities, have opened doors to the occult for so long that they no longer have a conscience, but are ruled by hatred and demonic influences.
A recent example - Wedgwood Baptist Church massacre
On September 17, 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook, 47, fired several bullets from the parking lot at the Wedgwood Baptist Church's windows. At the time, the church was filled with participants in the 10th annual "See You at the Pole" event, sponsored by the National Network of Youth Ministries. Youth from all over the nation gather at their school's flag pole to make a public statement of faith, and pray for others. Following the initial shooting, the gunman burst into the sanctuary cursing and mocking God, and began shooting people with a 9-mm handgun. Like many people who hate God, Ashbrook chose to take out his hatred on God's people - in this case, most of the victims were teenagers and young adults, with three of the seven being 14 years old. At one point Ashbrook detonated a pipe bomb inside the church. Then, a young man, Jeremiah Neitz, 19, armed only with his faith in Christ, stepped into the church sanctuary because he heard gun shots, and said to Ashbrook from about 5 feet away, "Sir, you don't have to be doing this." Ashbrook cursed at Neitz and told him to shut up, but Neitz said he kept pleading as Ashbrook fired more rounds, then gazed at him in rage and shot himself in the head. Jeremiah Neitz's bold stand for Christ probably saved many more lives.
Another recent example - Littleton shooting
On April 20, 1999, two high school students, in a carefully planned attack, killed 12 students and one teacher and wounded 23 others before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The targets of the attack were athletes and Christians. After shooting and throwing bombs on the campus and hallways, they headed for the cafeteria, where they continued their rampage. Then they went into the library, where they continued shooting and throwing bombs at the students, who were attempting to hide under desks and behind the stacks of books. Students were picked out and threatened, with many pleading for their lives as they were gunned down.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death. (Revelation 12:11)
Cassie Bernall - a modern Christians martyr
At one point, one of the gunmen asked if anyone believed in God. Cassie Bernall hesitated, then answered the call, knowing what had happened to other students the killers had talked to. She answered, "Yes, I believe in God." The gunman asked, "Why," but shot her execution style before she could answer.2 The gunman who shot Cassie approached another girl, Valeen Schnurr, who, when she had been wounded had said, "Oh my God, oh my God!" The gunman said, "God!" and asked her, "Do you really believe in God?" Having witnessed Cassie's death, she answered, "Yes, I believe in God." The gunman asked "Why?" as he stopped to reload. "I do believe in God and my Mom and Dad have taught me about God." While the gunman continued to reload, she crawled under a table, where he left her alone.3 Despite receiving nine bullet wounds, she miraculously survived and returned home from the hospital just six days after being shot. Rachel Joy Scott, 17, another Christian who was killed in the library, had led a weekly prayer and Bible study group of fellow teens the past year and a half at Orchard Road Christian Center. John Tomlin, 16, another victim, attended a Baptist church twice a week to participate in a youth ministry. Other Christians became victims as they served Jesus by helping others to safety. Student, Danny Rohrbough, held a door open for students to escape, before being shot and killed by the gunmen. He could have fled to safety with the others, but chose to demonstrate the ultimate love described by Jesus.4 Teacher, William "Dave" Sanders, stayed to help students escape from the gunfire and was mortally wounded in doing so. With his dying breaths, he asked one of the students to take a picture of his family out of his wallet and asked him to, "Tell my girls I love them."
The spiritual (evil) component in the gunmen's lives
Following the shooting, investigators found information on one of the gunmen's web site. The gunmen were into a game called "Doom," which can be customized to suit any taste (or lack thereof). Their version was designed to resemble Columbine High School's floor plan and was described by Rabbi Abraham Cooper as "a game of massacre." A young man who had played the gunman's version of Doom reported, "That game was basically kill everything that moves." According to Cooper, as the characters in Doom lay bleeding from gunshots they shouted out, "My Lord, why did you do this to me?"6 This game manifests the extreme hatred the gunmen held for God and those who love Him. Such a condition can be explained by the presence of the author of hate, Satan, in the lives of these killers.
Cassie's prophetic insights - evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit
Cassie Bernall was not always a Christian. In fact, before coming to faith in Christ, she was into witchcraft, drugs, and alcohol. However, Cassie accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior on a church retreat for teens in 1997, and was delivered from her addictions.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the martyr Cassie Bernall is evidenced in her writings and conversations immediately prior to her death. Cassie's younger brother, Chris, found a prophetic poem the night of her death that she had written the previous Sunday. Cassie wrote:
"Now I have given up on everything else -- I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him. So, whatever it takes I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead." [emphasis added]
Shortly before the shooting, Cassie talked about death to her mother. "I don't know how we got on the topic, but Cassie said to me, 'Mom, it would be OK if I died.' She said, 'I'd be in a better place, and you know where I'd be.'" God has in the past talked to humans7 and he still does to those who have committed to following His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- See Humans Really Are Different!
- "Cassie Bernall's faith at gunpoint reverberates nationally, globally" from the BaptistPress Archive.
- "Girl did not forsake God" from Denver Rocky Mountain News.
- "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
- For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
- "Did Harris preview massacre on 'Doom?" from the Denver Post.
- For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:21)
Last updated March 27, 2006