What the Bible says About the Supernatural and Paranormal

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The worldview of early Christians was one that very much believed in a supernatural realm inhabited by God, angels, spirits, and demons. But modern religious teachings and science are obscuring this original worldview.

Does a supernatural realm really exist? Is there an invisible dimension outside the natural three-dimensional space we occupy in our physical realm? First, let’s define some terms.

Supernatural vs. paranormal

The word supernatural comes from Latin supra, meaning “above,” and naturalis meaning “nature.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “existence beyond the visible observable universe.” The standard dictionary definition is: “Of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially: Of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil. 2 (B) attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit).

Paranormal refers to phenomena or events beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding. Merriam-Webster refers to it as “not scientifically explainable.” Dictionary.com says “of or relating to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation.” Para comes from Greek, meaning “at or to one side of, beside, side-by-side, beyond, past, by.” Paranormal means beyond normal.

The above definitions describe both the realm of spirits in which God and other entities exist, as well as the hard-to-explain events found throughout the Bible through miracles and prophecy.

But should we discount something because we cannot see or measure it? Today, things we take for granted because science has learned to detect and measure it were once thought of as “insane.” For example, radio waves can send communications through the air. The inventor of the radio was locked up and thought mad at first. But today, we have all the wireless things that have become commonplace in recent decades, such as satellite communication, Wi-Fi and electrical charging.

It is interesting to note that one of the nicknames for Satan is “The prince of the power of the air” (or “ruler of the kingdom of the air,” “ruler of the power of the air,” “ruler of the authority of the air”). More on this in a bit.

The supernatural worldview of the Bible

Early Christians had no problem believing in a supernatural realm. One cannot believe in the Bible without a supernatural worldview. Today, however, science accepts only things that can be observed and measured, convincing many that a supernatural realm does not exist. This thinking has infiltrated the church, causing some to discount anything related to the supernatural in the Bible.

Majority of American adults believe in the paranormal

recent poll conducted by OnePoll found that most American adults, 64 percent, aged 21 and older believe in some form of the supernatural or paranormal.

In another poll, 57% of respondents said they believe in ghosts, and 44% reported having personal experiences with inexplicable presences. In comparison, 35% experienced a strange existence or haunting occurring at a past or present home. 

Another survey found that 56% of respondents believed that there are people who can predict the future, and 29% have sought out psychics for revelations of the future.

What the Bible says about the supernatural realm

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

–Ephesians 6:12

The Bible not only tells us that a supernatural realm exists, but within this realm (“heavenly places”), there are “authorities” who have a certain dominion. Those who are “spiritual forces of evil” that hold specific abilities referred to as “cosmic powers,” that we “flesh and blood” mortals “wrestle (struggle, fighting in some translations) against.”

This passage tells us there is more than meets the eye occurring within all existence. In other words, things exist that we can’t see, and there is a battle going on behind the scenes. Further, this battle is not only between these evil forces and good forces within the unseen heavenly realms, but it extends to and concerns us and our physical realm.

Just as a battle within our bodies against an aggressive invader, such as cancer, occurs without us visibly seeing it, likewise, there are unseen “principalities and powers” raging war for control over the “body” that represents all existence.

Satan’s place in the supernatural realm

“In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,”

–Ephesians 2:2

This term for Satan was used by the apostle Paul over 2,000 years ago. It seems, for his purposes, Satan could not have picked a better area to command over, considering what the future would bring. Stunningly alarming considering how most of today’s information and messaging travels through the air