Who are these angelic hosts of the spirit world, and what does their existence mean for you? Tune in to find out.
Imagine in your mind, an angel, a cherub. What does it look like, a pudgy little baby with wings? Maybe something like this. Now picture a demon, ugly monster right, horns, bat wings, fiery eyes? But how do these ideas measure up to the descriptions we find in the Bible. Who are these angelic beings of the spirit world? And what does their existence mean for you? Join us on Beyond Today as we go in search of angels and demons.
It began ages ago, an angelic host created by God before the foundation of the world. Countless heavenly beings brought into existence for a purpose, a reason, a reason that ultimately involves you. The story of the angels as they are explained in one section of the Bible, the Bible is a book about God's plan and His intended relationship with people, not angels.
Angels appear as secondary characters, the roles brief, fleeting, often without explanation. Yet in spite of their or perhaps because of their mysterious nature we find interpretations of them in many cultures throughout history. Angels and demons are popular subjects in movies and in television.
Frank Capo's, It's a Wonderful Life, features an angel trying to earn his wings. Remember that? Popular TV shows like, Touched by an Angel, envision angels as occasionally in training, sometimes down right incompetent. Movies like Constantine and Legion imagine a much darker side of the spirit world. Many classical paintings depict pudgy winged babies mistakenly called Cherubs. Some people are even superstitious about angels creating jewelry containing images of guardian angels and wearing them for good luck. But what's the real story?
What does the Bible say about the spirit world?
Now despite of it's lack of a concise explanation of the angelic hosts, the Bible does provide dispersed through out its pages clues to unlocking the true story about angels and demons.
Our story here today begins with the Old Testament book of Job. After experiencing a life shattering personal experience and personal crisis, Job complains that his suffering is unjust, without cause. God responds by asking Job about the creation of the earth. God asks who laid the cornerstone, speaking of the earth, as the morning stars sang together while all the angels shouted for joy. God's rhetorical question reveals the angels existed before our planet was formed and they shouted for joy as God laid its cornerstone.
You know many people believe that when good people die, they enter the heaven as angels. But here we see that angels existed long before human beings were even created. And since the Bible tells us that through Jesus Christ all things were created that are in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, principalities or powers, we know that angels must be created beings.
But why? I mean created for what purpose? Why did God create them? Now to answer that question we will have to dig a little farther in the biblical record.
The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews states that angels are only servants, spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation. Though created before God made human beings, angels were designed as the servants of God. Now once people came along, they're meant to aid people who choose to turn to their creator.
A biblical Psalmist wrote, "For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. In their hands He will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone." Now I mean let's face it, clearly God doesn't deflect every danger we face. You can see it in the Bible, you know it in your own lives, God doesn't stop every bad thing from happening even to good people. Sometimes even for our own benefit and growth He allows us to get up close and personal with a trial.
Nevertheless God promises to give His angels charge over us, to protect us, when it's for our own good. Often times we may not even be aware of an angel's intervention in our lives. But if we're truly following God we can be assured we are being protected.
Let's look at one example, the Old Testament prophet Elisha. Now Israel was at war with their arch enemy Syria and God was helping His people through the guidance of Elisha. Now when the Syrians caught wind of it they sent a great army to capture the medaling prophet. Elisha's servant asked with all the anxiety of a man worried for his life, "Alas my master, what shall we do?" The situation seemed hopeless. Elisha responded with what must have seemed to be a very strange statement. He said, "Do not fear, for those that are with us are more than those who are with them." He then asked God to open His servant's eyes. As God gave spiritual vision to Elisha's servant, the young man saw that the mountain they were on was surrounded by not just the Syrian chariots but also many more angelic chariots appearing as though they were made of fire, an entire mountain full of heavens finest warriors all in chariots of fire. Now this incredible scene had been completely invisible to the young man as it would be for us.
Yet our inability to see angels doesn't make them any less real. Of course when thinking or reading about angels it's natural to wonder what do these beings look like?
Now if you judge from Renaissance paintings you'd half expect there to be at least one Bible verse to say something like this, "And Lo I looked upon the heavens and there descending I saw a host of fat winged babies fluttering and giggling in the clouds." Angels as flying infants, it's not found anywhere in the Bible.
The Bible does however contain several descriptions of Cherubs or Cherubim as they are called in Hebrew and they are about as far from babies as you can get. After evicting Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden God set a cherub with a flaming sword to guard them from the Tree of Life. Ancient Israel's arch of the covenant featured two cherubim with outstretched wings covering God's mercy seat.
But the most detailed description of a cherub is given by the prophet Ezekiel who saw them in a vision from God. Ezekiel writes, "This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar and I knew they were cherubim. Now listen each one had four faces and each one four wings and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings." He explains further, "Each had a human face in the front, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side and the face of an eagle at the back. Each had two pairs of outstretched wings, on pair stretched out to touch the wings of the living beings on either side of it and the other pair covered it's body. The living beings looked like bright coals of fire or brilliant torches and lightening seemed to flash back and forth among them. And the living beings darted to and fro light flashes of lightening." We're definitely not dealing with flying babies, rather the awesome servants of the living God.
So we know why angels exist and what they do, they were created to assist and protect God's people on their path to salvation.
But what about demons? Where do they come from?
Now before we discuss demons let me take a minute to tell you about our free magazine, The Good News. Now if you are looking for answers to life's most important questions, this magazine is for you. The Good News is a bi-monthly publication available to you at no cost. In every issue you'll find articles on subjects like marriage and family, what the Bible teaches about the most vital questions concerning your life, how to make sense of today's confusing world news, how to understand the Bible and the post modern society we live in and God's amazing plan for humanity and for you personally. Go on line to BeyondToday.tv to order your free subscription to the Good News or call toll free, now write this down, 1-888-886-8632 that's 1-888-886-8632 or follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook fan page.
Now everything we've covered so far seems straightforward enough, right? God created angels as spirits and to care for people who will inherit salvation. But we also know that the spirit world contains demons.
You know what went wrong? I mean the history of angels takes a more tragic turn than many realize. You see angels, like us, like you and I, we're created with free will, which the ability to make decisions, to chose between right and wrong, to follow God or to follow their own path. The Bible records the story of one famous cherub who's actions influenced the entire course of history.
Now we find part of the story in the book of Ezekiel where the prophet is instructed to take up a lamentation for the King of Tyre. Though it quickly becomes apparent that this King is no human being. The lament is addressed to someone who, now listen to this, he was the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. You were the anointed cherub who covers. "I established you," God said, "and you were on the Holy mountain of God, you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created." This being was the epitome of perfection, designed by God, he was incredibly wise and astonishing in his beauty. It was this angel who went wrong.
The last sentence I read in Ezekiel isn't the complete story. He continues, "You were perfect in your ways from the day I created you until the day inequity was found in you." Now what caused this angel to turn against God? Ezekiel writes, "Your heart became proud on account of your beauty and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the Earth", God says, "And I made you a spectacle before kings."
God's purpose was not enough for this brilliant and beautiful angel. He wanted more. He became greedy and inspired to take what was not his to have.
Now we actually find another account about this original star wars in the middle of a proverb against the King of Babylon written by the prophet Isaiah. Now Isaiah writes, "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning. How you were cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations for you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will also sit on the mount of the congregation to the farther sides of the north. I will ascend to the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High."
Now this cherub, Lucifer in Latin, Day Star in Hebrew, attempted to overthrow his Creator. He grew envious of the power and authority of the Almighty God and actually convinced some of the angels to revolt with him. Now God's response was swift, He hurled the defeated Lucifer to the earth.
Millennia later, Jesus Christ, who existed with the Fathers since before time began, made a statement to His apostles that reveals the current identity of this character. He simply said, "I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.
The book of Revelation, written by the Apostle John, near the end of his life, he further elaborates, "And war broke out in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought but they did not prevail. Nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out." Now he tells who this dragon is. "That serpent of old called the devil and Satan who deceives the whole world. And he was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him."
So Lucifer, the day star, the covering cherub, perfect in his creation became Satan, the adversary, the enemy of God, a twisted corrupted shadow of his former glory. The angels who followed him likewise became demons, evil spirits, bent on turning human beings against their Creator, just as they turned against their Creator.
Now with this change in name from Lucifer to Satan comes a change in roles. No longer the messengers of God, Satan and his demons have made themselves enemies of both God and man and that includes you.
Make no mistake, Satan, this powerful, fallen cherub is out to destroy humanity and your name and mine is on that list.
Have you noticed that the most common representation of the devil is a red, impish beast with horns and pitch fork?
You know when we think of Satan of course we think of evil. While he is certainly unspeakably evil there is one thing we can't afford to forget. Remember this, Satan used to be an angel full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, he remembers what it was like to be the seal of perfection and because he has taken that wisdom and that beauty and twisted it for evil purposes he knows how to deceive. He knows how to take something that is rotten at the core and dress it up so nice that we want it, sometimes enough to even turn our backs on God to get what Satan is offering.
As the Apostle Paul so aptly put it, "Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light, therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness and who's end will be according to their works."
Now let's face it, if Satan's way looks as hideous as his heart does, no one would be attracted to it. And he has hidden the rottenness, the corruption, and wrappings they can look so appealing to those who don't have a personal relationship with God, with your Creator.
Which brings us to the really important or one of the really important questions here in life, why is it we are so fascinated by angels and demons?
We are so fascinated with angels and demons because we have, you have a spiritual side to your nature. You were designed by God to have a relationship with your creator. You have a spiritual need to experience a relationship with God, it's a part of you.
Now Satan and demons are not the answer to your deepest spiritual longings. In fact Satan will deceive you into false concepts about your spiritual potential. Now angels exist as the messengers of God. Demons are fallen angels who have chosen evil over good. Satan is real but angels and demons shouldn't be your main spiritual concern.
Your fascination about angels and demons should lead you to discover the Creator of angels and demons who is also your Creator. You were created by God to be His child. That is why throughout the Bible you see God called, Our Father.
You know when you discover God's real purpose for you then you can enter into a right relationship with Him and begin to experience His way of life, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, mercy and faith. This relationship with your Creator is life changing and you will learn to experience healthy thoughts, emotions and actions and how to have rewarding relationships with others.
So how can you have a better relationship with God?
Well first you need to accept your spiritual nature and you need to have a relationship with your Creator. The spiritual side of who you are is what's driving you to look for these answers. This is why you are fascinated with angels and demons. And you know that science can't solve all the mysteries of life.
And secondly, read this book. Here is where to start. Read Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament and then read Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. Ask God to open your spiritual eyes not to see angels but to understand the truth about who He is and who you are as His creation.
Now if you're still skeptical about whether or not the devil is real, you're not alone. That's why we put together this free booklet, Is There Really a Devil? Within its pages you'll find a wealth of information on our adversary, who he is, why he is and what to do about it. There's plenty for those who are already convinced that Satan exists. There are in-depth explanations of his goals, what he seeks to accomplish and how to withstand his influence in your life. You could read the booklet, Is There Really a Devil by going on line to BeyondToday.tv or you can order a free copy to be sent directly to your home by calling toll free 1-888-886-8632. Now when you order, Is There Really a Devil you also get your free subscription to the Good News magazine. Again its BeyondToday.tv and you can follow us on Twitter and join us on our Facebook fan page.
Well we've been uncovering the biblical truth about angels and demons today and we're now joined by our fellow Beyond Today hosts Darris McNeely and Steve Myers. What is it when we look at this and we've been talking about angels and demons, what does the Bible mean when it talks about angels being the messengers of God?
Well you find many references, Gary, in the scriptures to angels actually delivering God's will, revelation to certain prophets. Probably one of the most important examples in the Bible is the angel appearing to Mary and proclaiming that she is pregnant with a child and that child is the son of God, Jesus Christ. So they convey messages to individuals, prophets and individuals about God's purpose and what's going to happen and provide that conduit from God to mankind in that sense.
Yeah there is an interesting example in the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John with Jesus Christ. I think most people would be familiar with that. When Christ was tempted by Satan the devil after that temptation was done, the angels came and ministered to Him, they served Him, they helped Him. So that's a good example for all of us that angels are ministering spirits, they are spirits that serve, and they help, they can protect us and so in that way they are representatives of God's will as well.
You know angels appear in so many cultures and all out through our history. Why is has there been such a fascination you think with angels and demons? Not just in Christian culture, Muslims, New Agers, Hindu, I mean there isa fascination with angels and demons.
Well I think because number one they are entertaining, they've been a part of stories around camp fires, they are stories in books and now in movies and television. Demons provide a scare, angels and even good angels provide a very entertaining story. People also like to understand or imagine they have been touched by an angel. And through that their life given some type of bigger meaning, become a part of something larger and that certainly from the Bible as we've just said that angels do appear before people and they are the messengers from God to His servants. So they are a reality of life but it can get carried far beyond, certainly a fascination with the dark side and the evil angels that the Bible talks about but it is a reality and provides us fascination for individuals that actually perhaps in a good way is a means of drawing people to God or at least showing that there is a desire to connect to God and angels are that stepping stone or that conduit to accomplish that.
I think that's an interesting word when you said that fascination. Just think of the phrase the "unseen world" just that alone gets your mind working. There is a fascination with things we can't see.
I think a lot of people are also looking at the power. You know if an angelcomes down and helps your softball team or helps you with your romance.
More power than that.
Well even the dark side. People are attracted to the power of Satan.
People would like to call that into their life.
That's been big in entertainment and movies of late, lot's of movies showing that kind of evil force and power.
Which brings us to an interesting question here, I mean Satan obviously exists and he deceives people and interacts with people, how do we as human beingsnotice that, how do we resist Satan's influence?
Don't dabble with it, stay away from the Ouija boards, stay away from the occult, from the forces the powers that portray this dark side of reality. Don't dabble in it, it's not a child's game the cards and the other games that people play.
So when you say dabble you mean to like just to begin to get into that sort of thing.
Right, don't even start, don't even go down that road because for some people it can be entrapment into something very, very difficult to get yourself out of. Demons are interested in human beings they are interested in getting inside peoples minds to play games. Stay away from it and treat it as you would a poisonous, venomous snake and give it a wide birth in your life, in your home. Don't give place the Bible said to Satan through wrath or anger and that applies to the manifestations that we see in popular cultures, just stay away from it.
Yeah that brings something interesting to mind, just the idea of good angels, when they are misrepresented that's deception, that's not right so we can get fooled by something we think is good. So I think we have to be careful there, so if we're going to stay away from that, if we are going to overcome. There is a pretty simple description in
James 4:7 "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you".
And so it seems pretty simple but the first step is humility it's a first one, saying God, "I am most interested in having a relationship with You and drawing close to You". And if we begin there then we areon the path to something that's really positive.
And that's really when we talk about a fascination with angels and demons and the spirit world, people shouldn't get drawn into that. Their interestin the spirit world should take them to God, the Creator of angels and demons.
Yeah, it should direct ones focus to God because God is the creator of the spirit realm. We don't worship angels, the Bible no where tells us to worship and angel. In fact there is an example in the book of Daniel where he himself fell down before an angel and the angel said, "Don't worship me, worship God." So angels are not to be worshipped they are not an object of veneration, God is. Angels in the right sense, properly understood from their biblical role point us to God and that's really where our fascination should be, not on angels but on what God is doing and how God is directing this world.
Yeah I think there is a spiritual desire that we all have is to make a spiritual connection. The question is if we make the right one and that spiritual connection shouldn't be with angels in that sense but it should be with God. That should be the spiritual longing and desire that we have and we should turn to the Bible, find out the truth, seek a relationship with God because that's where it begins that's how we can begin to have that fascination satisfied, when we begin to have that relationship with God.
And we are designed to have that relationship. That's why Satan, you know we talk about Satan deceiving, he manipulates our need for God, manipulatesit so actually we turn away from our creator just like he did.
And manipulates it back on Satan because Satan wants to be worshipped.
Wants to be worshipped. Now we've talked about the free literature we're offering on today's show and we'd like to encourage you again to go ahead and download and request your copy of Is There Really a Devil? And subscribe to the Good News magazine. Now neither one will cost you a dime and are filled with the answers you need. Is There Really a Devil? Explores the truth of Satan's existence and what it means for you and how his reign will end. The Good News explores what the Bible says about world events and day to day life. Request or download your free copy today by visiting BeyondToday.tv or calling toll free 1-888-886-8632. And you can follow us all the time on Twitter and join us on our Facebookfan page.
The search for spiritual meaning is fundamental to what it means to be a human being. Don't let your search for angels and demons sidetrack you from your search for your Creator. Angels are God's messengers but God wants you to have a personal relationship directly with Him. Satan is real and he wants to deceive you into thinking that God doesn't care about your personal choices, your life. Satan provokes attitudes of greed, hatred, selfishness, witchcraft and partying like there's no tomorrow and these things keep us from experiencing that deep meaningful relationship with God. Ask God to open your mind, youreyes to His ways and read the Bible to continue your search for God.
And to help you with your search, join us next week on Beyond Today. Thanks for watching.