Thomas Hobbes, seventeenth-century philosopher, could hardly have had church leaders in mind when he said: “So that in the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire for Power after Power, that ceaseth only in death.” Whether or not Hobbes would be shocked by the thirst for power on the part of Wimbers and Wagners, his statement surely applies today to the top universities in the secular world now involved in psychic research. The CIA, KGB (now the FSB), and other intelligence and military agencies are likewise experimenting with spiritual power, which they prefer to call psychic power, and which they imagine to be an innate capacity of the human psyche, or mind—i.e. human potential.
Is this different from what the church believes to be the power of the Holy Spirit? Or are these equally amazing secular and religious manifestations, as some believe, the same thing but with different labels and packaging? After all, Norman Vincent Peale claimed that his “Power of Positive Thinking” was the same thing as faith. And, anyway, what difference does it make? We will seek to answer such important questions.
Certainly, if biblical prophecies of a coming world government and world religion are to be realized under Antichrist, then the world and the church must come together once again, as happened in the days of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Could the common pursuit of spiritual power bring this about? Is that what we are seeing at this critical moment in history?
There was a time when people were easily accused of being witches and were burned at the stake. It was a cruel injustice. Is it possible, however, that we have now gone too far in the other direction? It is no longer credible to believe in a personal Satan or in a personal God. Both have been replaced by a Force with “dark” and “light” sides. Is it not naïve, however, to imagine that an impersonal “Force” could bring into existence personal beings with the power of choice and the capability to love or hate, to appreciate beauty and goodness, or to be given over to ugliness and evil?
Just as the physical universe is inhabited by personal beings, some of whom are incredibly evil, could not the immaterial universe next door be inhabited by personal beings, some of whom are every bit as evil as their human counterparts? Could that explain what M. Scott Peck, at that point a total skeptic, apparently encountered and described in the introductory quotation to this chapter? And is it not reasonably possible that these spirit beings could possess even greater power than humans to effect their wicked designs? That possibility ought to have the attention of every inhabitant of this planet. Those who call themselves Christians, however, and know who these beings are, ought to have an even deeper concern.