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Chapter 23

Angels and demons

 

In order to fully understand the supernatural or spirit world explained in Chapter 18, it is necessary to take a look at two of the three major inhabitants of that world. The first of these is the Holy Spirit of God discussed in Chapter 20. The other two, angels and demons, because they are invisible, are often thought to be mythical figments of the imagination. This is so far from the truth, that it is the purpose of this chapter to explain their reality.

God the father, who is Spirit, is the Creator and the authority over these supernatural beings, who have each taken different sides in a battle in the heavenly realms. This battle has a profound effect on the lives of all human beings, even though they do not always realise it. Even you perhaps! In order to understand this battle and its effects, it is necessary to know something about both angels and demons.

The division of angels and demons.

Angels and demons are both spiritual, invisible and individual identities. At one point in time they were all angelic beings that were created by God the Father. However, some proportion of these angels fell from God's grace as a result of their sinful actions when they became opposed to God's will. They were led in this endeavour by a supernatural being known as Satan, commonly known as the devil. When these angels became opposed to God and aligned to Satan, they became known as demons or evil spirits. Today, demons, led by Satan, are still opposed to God and to his believers in the world.

Characteristics of angels.

What are some of the characteristics of angels and demons? Angels do not have any fixed substance or form, except when they occasionally appear to man. They are moral beings, vast in number, rational in thought and are powerful in doing God's will. They have rank like an army, although little detail of this arrangement is known. They also exercise a guardianship over mankind under the direction of God, their maker, whom they worship and adore. ( Chant, p 14.)

Characteristics of demons.

Demons can be regarded as having more or less directly opposite characteristics to angels, at least in a moral sense. Being directly opposed to the will of God, they are of a depraved nature and use their intelligence and power to good effect against God's people, his church on the earth. Each demon has an individual personality of some specialist nature, such as bitterness, rebellion, accusation, depression, death or confusion. They also have a hierarchy, the higher orders of this controlling the lower orders under the direction of Satan. There is not one part of human life that they do not attempt to infiltrate. The world of the occult is their fortress, and deception their major weapon.

Believing in what you cannot see.

So much for what they are. But, you may ask, how can we believe in something we cannot see? We have two major evidences of the existence of both these supernatural beings. Firstly, the Bible speaks of both quite widely. The Bible in fact, is a book of many great historical events which have occurred supernaturally, through the agency of both angels and demons. All things within this present book are finally based on the authority of God's word as it is revealed in the Bible. If you cannot believe what the Bible says, you may not be able to believe in demons or angels either. Chapter 15 deals with the truth and authority of the Bible.

Secondly, demons are heard to speak through people, and we see the improvement in people's lives as demons have been cast out of them. We also see the results of prayer to God to remove the afflictions of demonic influence.

Dr. Clifford wilson tells the story of the apparent appearance of an angel. " Henry had a serious bible problem and urgently needed an answer. One day at work, he found himself talking to another worker, and during an unexpected conversation, found himself listening to the answers to his problem. Later that day, he went back to thank this person, but found he was no longer there. On checking, he found that there was no such person working there. I think it was an angel, henry told me. " ( Wilson p 2.) stories like this abound.

Most believers in God who are active in their Christian life and really have an understanding of spiritual things, have no doubt about the influence of these supernatural beings as a part of the reality of life on earth.

Effects of demons on people.

Angels and demons can have a profound effect on the lives of men and women. As angels have only good effects, we will concentrate on the effects that demons can have on the bodies and minds of men and women. First, an example from the Bible. Jesus met a demoniac ( a person with demons) at gadarene who was dominated by a legion of demons. The demons gave him such strength that chains could not hold him. These demons disturbed this man so much physically, mentally and emotionally that he was forced to live among the local tombs, where no one else lived. You see, the purpose of all demons is to limit life and drive their Victims to self destruction. Fortunately, Jesus was able to free this man. ( Mark 5.)

Demons can afflict the body with all manner of physical sickness, disease and affliction. ( Gibson p 52.) the mind too can be afflicted with all forms of malfunctions, of what might be called psychological illnesses. One of the worst things demons can do is to alienate men from God by speaking lies to their mind, so that the Victim is subject to delusions and lies that affect their ability to function as human beings. The general effect of demonic attack in this way is to harden a person's heart and cause disbelief and rebellion against God. The Bible acknowledges this. ( See 2 corinthians 4:4. Notice the small g for God meaning satan.) even some Christians do not seem to be aware of the demonic causes of some of their difficulties.

How is your life?

If in your life, you have been involved in any of these things and you have had difficulty believing in Jesus, then your occult involvement might be the reason. If so, find a Christian who knows how to involve God in freeing you from these things. Be careful whom you choose, as there are some fringe operators who can get you into deeper trouble. I have seen that happen.

Chapter 16 describes God's plan for this world over the entire history of known time, including something of what will happen in the end. Demons and angels have an active part to play in the outcome. Demons are trying to lure man away from the promises of God, whereas angels are assisting God in getting as many people to heaven as possible. See chapter 19 for a discussion of getting to heaven and having eternal life. Therefore, people in this world need to realise that they need to follow God's ways and recognise that, unknowingly, they can be drawn away from God and never really know him in the way that is necessary in order to get to heaven.

Some unbelief in the church.

Some churchgoers don't even recognise that there is an evil spirit or devil called Satan. But, we all need to know the truth that the bible presents and this truth reveals that satan is active and everyone needs to be aware of this fact. However, although Christians need to be aware of the demonic realm, they need not be 'afraid' of demonic activity, because the Bible tells us that believers have authority in God to withstand the activities of demons. Also, the bible tells us that God has greater power than Satan, so we can be assured of the result of the ongoing battle between them. No demon can separate the true believer from God. The Apostle Paul says that:

" In all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our lord.( Romans 8: 37-39.)

This love Paul speaks about is available to you. See chapter 25 for details.

Chapter 18 tells more of the eternal battle that wages between the forces of good and evil. However, we can rejoice in the final outcome which is that God reigns forever and all demons are cast into the lake of fire.

What this chapter has said.

  1. Both angels and demons are real entities and are active in this world.
  2. Angels are led by God in heaven and demons around the earth by an evil spirit called Satan.
  3. To get anywhere with spiritual things, you need to believe in what you cannot see.
  4. Demons operating in this world can have significant effects on people.
  5. There is some unbelief in the present church about the reality of demons. Most believe in angels.
  6. God's love for all believers brings his conditional protection from the demonic realm.