“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – 1 John 2:17
Many years ago a friend and I would take a stroll on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard to check out the scene on several occasions as we lived less than an hour away by car. Back in those days, I was a huge movie buff, so I naturally had the interest to be in the heart of the mecca of the movie industry, the belly of the beast if you will. They say just about everyone who moves to Hollywood is chasing the dream to make it big in the entertainment world. The vibe one can pick up from some people there is shallowness and vanity to the extreme. It seems the average person there live in their own self-centric worlds where the only thing that really matters is, “What’s in it for me?” The Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe once said, “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” I was never part of the Hollywood movie industry, “scene”, or culture. I was just an observer looking in from the outside. The carnal part of me was fascinated by what I saw, but the other part of me hated it. Sad to say, during that period in my life I was very lukewarm in my walk with Christ.
Hollywood Boulevard is the main street of Hollywood and is perhaps the main tourist attraction of the city. One of the first things to come to mind at the mention of Hollywood Boulevard is the landmarks such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame (yeah, I noticed it’s a pentagram), and the theaters such as the El Capitan Entertainment Centre (formerly was the Hollywood Masonic Temple). But there many other things one can see there that won’t be found on a travel brochure. Depending on the time of the day or night, one can see a tarot reader offering readings on the sidewalk, Scientology cult members trying to recruit passersby, crowds of clubbers, street performers, people dressed in Spider-Man and Marilyn Monroe cosplay, random street fights, and people flaunting their $100,000+ cars. One can see all this with the backdrop of tattoo shops, strip clubs, sex shops, dance clubs, bars, liquor stores, psychic shops, the Museum of Death, Scientology buildings, etc. It’s not a street of wholesomeness, to say the least.
To call Hollywood Boulevard a seedy and sordid place late at night would be an understatement. Depending on the time of the night, you can see more than a handful of prostitutes on the street corners, teenage runaways, homeless people (many look destitute), and “mentally ill” people roaming around. I probably only seen a minuscule part of what really goes on there but even that is enough to appall some people.
Being there one can sense some kind of “dark energy” in the air, or maybe it just was all in my head. Or maybe not. I believed I had a very blatant supernatural experience while walking on the Boulevard. It is something that I will never forget. While walking on the sidewalk at around 2 or 3 AM with a friend, I distinctly and suddenly felt the evilest feeling all around me. The evil felt so tangible and palpable. It was like someone literally opened a Pandora’s box and let loose legions of evil spirits. I can imagine that is what the atmosphere of hell would feel like but with more intensity. The evil in the atmosphere felt so thick and oppressive it made me uncomfortable, and so I wanted to leave immediately. I was repulsed by it. The feeling prompted me to ask my friend with me if he felt the evil presence. He said he felt nothing. I looked around me to see if anyone else noticed what I felt. It was strange, not a single person seemed to notice. The many clubbers all around me were oblivious caught up with their hedonistic revelries. I thought to myself, “how is it they don’t feel what I strongly feel?” I would like to believe I am a very level-headed, rational guy. But what I experienced felt so real to be just in my head.
It wasn’t until years later I realized what I experienced was real and the cause of it. It was satan and his demons active in the area. That explained the “dark energy” in the air I keenly sensed. I had a similar experience during a sleep paralysis attack – sometimes the feeling of evil would be localized in my bedroom during an episode (and I have no doubt sleep paralysis is attributed to the demonic realm). But that night on Hollywood Boulevard the evil feeling covered the whole area.
I can also recall seeing many people there late at night were like under some kind of spell as if an unseen hand was manipulating and influencing them. I don’t have any doubt it was the enemy of mankind — satan. This shouldn’t surprise any Christian with discernment considering Hollywood is the birthplace of the movie industry which is undoubtedly controlled by satan. The Bible does read the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19).
If there was a spot in the world that have a concentration of just about every abomination to God, Hollywood (and Sunset) Boulevard may qualify: from the New Age practices, the cults, every form of sexual immorality, illicit drug use, the vanity, self-centeredness, to the apathy towards the homeless and runaways. It may not be as depraved as Sodom and Gomorrah have been, but it’s close. All the sin practiced there opened the doors wide open for the demons to have free rein in the area to operate and establish a foothold. The same can be said about the South Side and West Side of Chicago where there are reports of murder or attempted murder every week, mostly related to gang violence. Chicago has been plagued with mobster violence going back to the prohibition era of the 1920s. Spirits of murder seems to have a foothold in parts of the city even until this day.
What is interesting is that I actually discerned the different kinds of spirits in that area of Hollywood. It distinctly felt like spirits of drunkenness, worldliness, drugs, lust, vanity, sex, and violence. Those are the sins many people there seem to be in bondage to. In contrast, I have also experienced the powerful presence of God’s Spirit in a sanctuary at a church. I felt the Holy Spirit so tangible that I wouldn’t want to leave the sanctuary ever. The presence of the Holy Spirit is so wonderful it is beyond words one can describe. As blatant, continuous sins can bring the presence of demons in the area, so can praise and worship of God bring the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I share this experience because I notice there are some unbelievers who visit this site. Please know there is more to this world than what meets the eye. The Bible reads “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians. 6:12). There is a real war going on for every soul on earth as there is a real spirit world alongside this world. Satan tempts people with the pleasures of the world – with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The Bible reads he is the god of this age or world (2 Cor. 4:4), and he blinds the minds of unbelievers (Mark 4:15; Acts 26:18).
The Bible reveals everything in the world is temporal – it is passing away and will be burned with fire (Matt. 24:35; 2 Peter 3:7). It makes sense why the Bible reads to “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2), and to not “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). The Bible even reads friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). We are all a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes but there is an eternal reality where we will be judged, yet the enemy tries to convince us to pursue the vain things of this world before our last breath. One example was Marilyn Monroe, who fulfilled her Hollywood dreams but seemed unhappy and died in such a state. As far as I know, she died without knowing God. Where did her soul go?
The only way one can switch from being of satan’s kingdom to God’s kingdom is by repenting and turning to the Lord Jesus Christ – who is the way, the truth, and the life, and the only way to the Father (John 14:6). He can open your eyes to see clearly how dark and evil this world really is and the dark forces behind it.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart, and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word- for-word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”