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"I’m the world’s most dangerous predator. Everything about me invites you in: my voice, my face, even my smell. . . . I’m designed to kill. . . . I wanted to kill you. I’ve never wanted a human’s blood so much in my life. . . . Your scent, it’s like a drug to me. You’re like my own personal brand of heroin.”

So says the handsome vampire, Edward Cullen, to his star struck 17-year-old lover, Bella Swan, in the hit movie Twilight (2008) now the rage of teenagers the world over. New Moon, the second film of a four-part series, hit theaters on November 20 this year. Next is Eclipse, slated for June 2010, to be followed by Breaking Dawn. While many Christian parents have never even heard of The Twilight Saga, this blockbuster sequence of vampire romances has become bigger than Harry Potter.

It all started one dark night—June 1, 2003, to be exact—when a virtually unknown Arizona stay-at-home mom named Stephenie Meyer had a strange dream. On her official Web site, Meyer testifies, “I woke up (on that June 2nd) from a very vivid dream. In my dream, two people were having an intense conversation in a meadow in the woods. One of these people was just your average girl. The other person was fantastically beautiful, sparkly, and a vampire. They were discussing the difficulties inherent in the facts that (A) they were falling in love with each other while (B) the vampire was particularly attracted to the scent of her blood, and was having a difficult time restraining himself from killing her immediately.”

This dream was so compelling that when Meyer awoke she wrote like a woman obsessed. In a relatively short time, to her family’s great surprise, her compulsive writing not only produced four full-length novels, but she also landed a huge deal with Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers, one of the largest young adult book publishers in America. Amazingly, her novels quickly rocketed to the number one slot on the New York Times bestseller list. On November 21, 2008, Twilight: The Movie hit theaters, grossing nearly 70 million dollars on its opening weekend. At this moment, the juggernaut appears unstoppable.

The consequences

As with Harry Potter, most consider The Twilight Saga to be perfectly harmless entertainment. After all, Edward Cullen is a vegetarian vampire; that is, he drinks only the blood of animals, not humans. He also protects his beloved Bella from murderous vampires who crave her blood. “Sounds like a healthy romance to me!” Twilight fans often reply. Yet if one peers discerningly beneath the surface, there’s more to Twilight fever than meets bloodshot eyes.

First of all, Harry Potter is a “good” guy too, yet sticking a magic wand in the hero’s hand has caused soaring interest in Wicca, covens, and spells among teenagers. It’s the same with the TV series Medium and Ghost Whisperer, whose female heroes talk to dead people. The result? Increased interest in dialogue with the deceased.

How about Twilight, vampirism, and drinking blood? A few days after November 2008 when Twilight sunk its fangs into theaters, both Fox News and ABC News featured special reports noting explosive interest in real vampirism around the world.

Just do a Google search for Sean Hannity’s report, “Night Neighbors: Members of America’s Vampire Subculture Could Be Living Right Under Your Nose,” or the ABC News story, “Real-Life Vampires: Who Are They?” You’ll be amazed at what you find. Believe it or not, real vampirism has sprung out of the coffin!

Eating blood

So what does the Bible say about eating blood? Surprisingly, quite a bit. Shortly after the Flood, God told Noah, “  ‘Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. . . . But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood’ ” (Genesis 9:3, 4, NKJV, emphasis added). In other words, if meat was to be eaten after the Flood, its blood must first be drained out of the carcass of the dead animal.

God repeated this counsel to the Israelites through Moses (Leviticus 17:10), and He reaffirmed it through the early Christian church (Acts 15:20). Thus, the command not to eat blood applies to all ages.

Significantly, the Bible also connects the eating of blood with the mystical world of occultism. Moses told the Israelites, “ ‘ “You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying” ’ ” (Leviticus 19:26, NKJV; emphasis added).

Divination and soothsaying are occult practices. Thus, eating blood and occult practices are linked together, and for good reason. In Bible days, people who drank blood often practiced sorcery, and the same camaraderie exists today. In Twilight, Edward has psychic abilities, reads minds, and levitates. These are occult practices. Thus vampirism and occultism go hand in hand in Twilight too.

The real blood

Moving beyond prohibitions, the Bible’s main message also centers around blood, but in an entirely different way. In fact, blood is at the heart of the great war between God and Satan.

The night before Israel left Egypt, God declared, “ ‘ “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood [of slain animals on your doorposts], I will pass over you: and the [tenth] plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” ’ ” (Exodus 12:13, NKJV; emphasis added). On the Day of Atonement, God told His high priests to slay animals and to sprinkle some of the blood on the golden mercy seat above the Ten Commandments (Leviticus 16:14). Here blood was at the very heart of God’s temple service.

Finally, on a fateful Thursday night beneath a full Passover moon, Jesus Christ distributed the juice of crushed grapes to His disciples. He alone understood the full meaning of this new ceremony. He declared that “ ‘this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’ ” (Matthew 26:28; emphasis added).

The next day Jesus was crucified between two criminals on a hill called Calvary. As He hung dying on that cross, drop by drop, stain by stain, His blood soaked the wood of the tree supporting His beaten body.

So what does it all mean? Why the blood of lambs on Egyptian doors? What was the reason for crimson drops sprinkled by high priests in the Most Holy Place? The Bible explains this mystery. In the New Testament, Paul said, “We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7; emphasis added).

And Revelation identifies those who overcome the devil as those who conquer him “ ‘by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony’ ” (Revelation 12:11, NKJV; emphasis added).

When you put all these verses together, it becomes clear that salvation through the blood of Jesus is Heaven’s battle cry in the great war. Of course, Satan hates the blood of Christ. He knows that no matter how guilty we stand in the sight of a holy God, we can still find hope, healing, and full salvation through that royal, crimson blood.

Satan’s response

Now imagine how Satan must have felt as he saw Jesus’ blood staining the cross. “Aghh! How can we stop lost sinners from discovering the power of that blood?” And then he answers his own question: “Through diversions. Through magic, occultism, vampirism, and whatever else we can think of to turn people minds from that hated blood!”

Shockingly, after Stephenie Meyer’s unexpected rise to stardom, she later confessed: “I actually did have a dream after Twilight was finished of Edward coming to visit me—only I had gotten it wrong and he did drink blood like every other vampire and you couldn’t live on animals the way I’d written it. We had this conversation and he was terrifying.”

I’m convinced that the “Edward” who appeared to Stephenie Meyer in her two dreams was a demon with a secret, diabolical agenda. What agenda? Based on what God’s Book says in Revelation 12:11, it was to keep sinful mortals focused on the wrong blood. Judging by the public’s response to the Twilight novels and movies, there’s no doubt that his hellish plot has been highly successful.

Twilight’s appeal is twofold. First, it’s a captivating tale about vampires and werewolves; and second, it’s a heart-stirring love story about Edward and Bella. “You may be fictional,” wrote one Edward Cullen fan, “but you’ve already stolen so many girls’ hearts—including mine!”

Dear reader, Someone else wants to steal your heart today. His name is Jesus Christ. Vampires take blood, but He shed His blood for you. Three days later, He rose from the dead. Believe me, His love is better than that of vampires, including Edward’s.

His blood alone can save our souls.

In these last days before He returns, don’t let Lucifer divert your heart to the wrong blood.

Power in the Blood

The Bible features blood from its very early pages. Two brothers— Cain and Abel—brought sacrifices to God, though God accepted only Abel’s offering, because it was from his flock whereas Cain’s was from his garden (Genesis 4:3, 4).

Abel’s sacrifice offered a glimpse of what was to come when Christ, the Lamb—and as innocent as one—would die in order to save sinners in every age (Romans 6:9-11). On the other hand, Cain’s offering was Satan’s counterfeit. It signified salvation through his own good works instead of through Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. Unfortunately, even more blood was spilled when Cain, in a fit of rage, murdered his brother (Genesis 4:8).

Satan is anxious to distract us humans from the truth about blood. He agrees with God that Christ’s blood gives life, but Satan wants to keep people from knowing that. This is why he invented the vampire myth.

The Perils of Twilight

by Steve Wohlberg
From the December 2009 Signs