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CBN.com Jeff Harshbarger was only in the third grade when his parents bought an ouija board. It seemed like a lot of fun until he found out that it was no game.
Jeff Harshbarger: The oracle as you put your hand on it would move around. Well, my brother’s a jokester, and I kept giving him the elbow convinced that he was moving it around. He kept trying to convince me that he wasn’t doing it. Well, what I did was I took the ouija board by myself up to my bedroom one night.
Dan Reany [reporting]: But the ouija board still answered his questions, and Jeff knew some other force was at work.
Jeff: It scared me beyond anything I’d ever experienced but at the same time, it was like a rollercoaster ride. You’re scared to death but you’re thrilled. I began to recognize that there was a presence that began to develop in my house. I would wake up in the middle of the night and literally feel somebody’s watching me. I basically felt like someone was with me. I would wake up and walk through the house in order to experience that because I liked it.
Dan: Normally a kid in third or second grade wakes up and feels some presumably dark presence in the room. He doesn’t want to get up in the middle of the night to walk around the house alone to check it out.
Jeff: Right. Right. But I based this experience on the fact that I knew there was more. There was something on the other side.
Dan [reporting]: Jeff was soon closer to the presence than he was to his own alcoholic father.
Jeff: I was unhappy as a kid. I didn’t want to be where I was. I didn’t want to be in the family I was in. So I was looking for an escape. I was looking for the possibility of something else, anything else, because my life was hell. Here I was the town drunk’s kid, being abused, being neglected. I didn’t feel loved.
Dan [reporting]: Soon after his experience with the ouija board, the presence Jeff felt in his home spoke to him.
Jeff: I woke up one night and literally there was a voice behind my ear saying “Jeff, come. Come here. There’s something I want to show you.”
Dan [reporting]: This strange force took Jeff on out of body experiences. During these times, he saw things days before he experienced them in real life. Then Jeff met a man who happened to be a practicing satanist.
Jeff: We constructed a pentagram, stood within the pentagram, he prayed over me, and laid hands on me. When he laid hands on me, I was literally filled with a demon.
Dan [reporting]: Jeff believed satanism was the path to honing his paranormal abilities.
Jeff: When a demon is around you or inside of you, with the sensation of their presence, you lie to yourself. You think that is your power level.
Dan [reporting]: He and his new teacher formed their own coven and recruited other teens to join them.
Jeff: I saw each and every one of them become demon possessed, and I noticed something in my heart. My heart felt for them. It was like I was convicted. I knew it was wrong. It was like I knew this shouldn’t be happening. I fought that because I’m a satanist. I don’t care about anybody or anything but me. [But] Here I am a caring satanist. I began to ritually try to kill this part of me -- this heart, this part of me that cares.
Dan [reporting]: No matter what they tried, Jeff and the demonic forces inside him just couldn’t kill that little seed of love and compassion. So, the demons that had given him power for so many years turned on Jeff and tried to kill him instead.
Jeff: The demons inside of me literally began to torment me. I mean turned against me, against each other, sending me through hell…
Dan [reporting]: Jeff decided the only way to escape the torment was to kill himself.
Jeff: So I got me a gun, went down to my motel, sat in that room, and put the gun against my head. When I looked down the barrel of that gun, the thought in my mind ‘Where are you going to spend eternity?’ came out of nowhere. I couldn’t pull the trigger.
Dan [reporting]: The next day he tried to hang himself, but the rope slipped. He went to bed sobbing. Again he heard a voice, but this time it was different.
Jeff: The voice came from right here next to me and said, ‘Get out.’ I knew it wasn’t demonic. It was different. I got out of bed. I didn’t even think about walking through the house and going out the back door. I opened up my window and stepped out. I’ll be honest with you, when I stepped out my window I was in a completely different presence in my backyard. I knew it was God. There was this incredible presence of power, but love… I knew that that power that had pursued me, who wouldn’t let me die, was present. Here is the love that you have always wanted, always needed, always been searching for, and you went looking for it in the wrong place. Because you didn’t have it, you turned to darkness. Now here it is. I just looked up in the sky and said, “Jesus make my life okay.”
Dan [reporting]: Though he had just given his life to Christ, Jeff still had to deal with the demons. He had been performing elaborate satanic rituals for years, but all it took to get rid of the demons was the simple prayer of a woman he met at church.
Jeff: She just started praying and the demons inside of me just came up and turned my head. I looked at her, and she looked at the demons and just said, “In the name of Jesus, go.” And they left… It was like that. I ran to find a mirror, and I looked at myself for the first time in four years. ‘Cause every day I shaved I saw the demons. Finally I’m free.
Dan [reporting]: Jeff was soon able to get married in part because his need for love and acceptance had finally been met by God.
Jeff: Every one of us is looking for someone somewhere to take care of us, to love us. We’re all still children, though our bodies age. We have a Heavenly Father who is real, who we have access to anytime we want. Think about that. What an awesome opportunity to be loved, to be taken care of, to be provided for. He’ll never leave us or forsake us. It’s almost too good to be true, so we deny it. Don’t deny it. Take Him at His word. Allow Him to be who He says He is. Don’t tell Him what to do. Don’t try to manipulate Him. Just be His child and let Him provide and love for you. He will.
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