Is the supernatural still to be found today? Is it something that vanished centuries ago? Or is it sometimes around the next corner?
I was once involved in a ministry of handing out soup to the homeless at a certain local park they were known to frequent. A friend and I met a man there. He came up and shook our hands, and I felt a creepy feeling, like I was encountering something not quite human. This individual asked for prayer, and he and my friend walked a distance away to pray in private. I could not hear what was being said except for one word "Satan." (I was not even sure which one of the two had said it.) All of sudden I felt as if a bomb had gone off in the spiritual realm, and I prayed against it. My friend came back and said he was not sure if what he had just encountered was a manifestation (a demon speaking through a demonically influenced person) or not, though it had the appearance of one. My response was I certainly felt something.
Can something like this be real, or must it be simply a figment of my imagination? Can such things happen, and can they happen today? Scripture speaks of spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Now it is claimed that a certain portion of these gifts have passed away. But the Scriptures used to support this really do not stand up to examination. (The most commonly used passage, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, in context would say exactly the opposite). Now it does say that not every person has every spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 12:27-30). But that is not the same as saying some set of gifts is no longer given. Note I am not claiming full-blown inspired revelation (on a par with Scripture), but simply because something does not fall under that category does not mean it is not real. There are various gifts commonly seen as among the questionable gifts (such as, for example, discerning of spirits) that need not involve a Scriptural level of revelation. Scripture does call us to test everything and use caution (1 Thessalonians 5:21). But is there a basis for dismissing them entirely?