Angels, Demons, and Satan

“The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. Eric Hoffer

I have asked some very religious people I know if they believe in demons and angels. 100% of them said they believed, but had not experienced sightings. I have been reading about demons and angels off and on for years; and of course there is all the TV series’ and movies that have explored the subject for years. What really is up here? Just what are demons and angels and how do they affect the ‘Real World.’

Demonic supernatural powers are believed to include fabrication, psychokinesis, levitation, divination, possession, seduction, ESP, telepathy, witchcraft, and curses, as well as binding, making contracts, controlling the classical elements, animal control, and provocation. Demons use variants and combinations of these powers to harass, demoralize, confuse, and disorient the victim, or the willing subject of demonic interest.
Wikipedia, retrieved 3.11.08, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_demonology

The New Testament mentions a number of times in which Jesus drove out demons from diseased persons. There seemed to be lots of demons in the time of Jesus.

  • Matthew 7:21-23: Many will drive out demons in Jesus’ name (also Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; Acts 5:16; 8:7).
  • Matthew 8:14-17: Jesus healed many demon-possessed (also Mark 1:29-39; Luke 4:33-41).
  • Matthew 8:28-34: Jesus sent a herd of demons from two men into a herd of about two thousand pigs (also Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39, both referring to only one man).
  • Matthew 9:32-34: Jesus made a demon-possessed and mute man speak; the Pharisees said it was by the power of Beelzebub (also Mark 3:20-22).
  • Matthew 10:1-8: The Twelve Apostles given the authority to drive out evil spirits (also Mark 3:15; 6:7; 6:13; Luke 9:1; 10:17).
  • Matthew 11:16-19: “this generation” said that John the Baptist was possessed by a demon (also Luke 7:31-35).
  • Matthew 12:22-32: Jesus healed a demon-possessed blind and dumb man (also Luke 11:14-23; 12:10; Mark 3:20-30).
  • Matthew 12:43-45: Jesus told an allegory of nasty spirits coming back home, that is to the human body where they have lived before (also Luke 11:24-26).
  • Matthew 15:21-28: Jesus expelled a demon from the body of the daughter of a Canaanite woman (also Mark 7:24-30).
  • Matthew 17:14-21: Jesus healed a lunatic by driving out a demon from him (also Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-49).
  • Mark 1:21-28: Jesus expelled a nasty spirit from a man (also Luke 4:31-37).
  • Mark 9:38-40: A non-Christian is seen driving out demons in Jesus’ name (also Luke 9:49-50).
  • Mark 16:9: Jesus had driven seven demons out of Mary Magdalene (also Luke 8:2).
  • Luke 7:21: Many people are cleansed from evil spirits by Jesus.
  • Luke 13:10-17: Jesus expelled a spirit of disease from the body of a woman on the Sabbath.
  • Luke 13:31-32: Jesus continued to cast out demons even though Herod Antipas wanted to kill him.
  • Luke 22:3: Satan entered into Judas Iscariot (also John 13:27).
  • John 7:20: A “crowd of Jews” that wanted to kill Jesus said he was demon-possessed.
  • John 8:48-52: “The Jews” said Jesus was a Samaritan and demon-possessed.
  • John 10:20-21: Many Jews said Jesus was raving mad and demon-possessed; others said he was not.
  • Acts 5:3: Satan filled the heart of Ananias.
  • Acts 5:16: The Apostles healed those tormented by evil spirits.
  • Acts 8:6-8: At the teaching of Philip the Evangelist in Samaria, evil spirits came out of many.
  • Acts 8:18-19: Simon Magus offered to buy the power of Laying on of hands.
  • Acts 10:38: St. Peter said Jesus healed all who were under the power of the devil.
  • Acts 16:16-24: Paul and Silas were imprisoned for driving a future-telling spirit out of a slave girl.
  • Acts 19:11-12: Handkerchiefs and aprons touched by Paul cured illness and drove out evil spirits.
  • Acts 19:13-20: Seven sons of Sceva attempted to drive out evil spirits by saying: “In the name of Jesus, they were unsuccessful and were actually driven from that house by the possessed.
  • Revelation 18:2: The Whore of Babylon is a home for demons, evil spirits and unclean birds.”
    Wikipedia 3.11.08 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon_possession

Regarding Angels: Some secular scholars believe that Judeo-Christianity owes a great debt to Zoroastrianism in regards to the introduction of angelology and demonology, as well as the fallen angel Satan as the ultimate agent of evil, comparing him to the evil spirit Ahriman. As the Iranian Avestan and Vedic traditions and also other branches of Indo-European mythologies show, the notion of demons had existed long before. Wikipedia 3.11.08 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels

Could this be another example of the church integrating pagan beliefs into their theology, like they did with the Trinity??

A Gallup poll, conducted in 2004 says that belief in angels and demons is on the rise in the United States. In 1994, 72% of Americans said they believed in angels; in 2004 78% indicated belief in angels.
Belief in the devil is rising even faster; increasing from 55% in 1990 to 70% in 2004.
Gallup Poll News Service, May 25, 2004.

Canada and the UK are more skeptical however. A Gallup poll in November of 2004 showed that 56% of Canadians and 36% of Britons believe in angels and 37% of Canadians and 29% of Britons believe in the devil. Gallup Poll News Service, November 16, 2004.

The difference in believing in Angels and Satan is kind of weird. Do people think of them as coming from different realms? It seems to me the logical way to think of this is; if you believe in Angels, you ought to believe in Satan. After all, they supposedly come from the same source. Probably comes from that unique ability humans have of holding two contradictory beliefs and being able to rationalize it.

“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” – Gene Roddenberry

Do we have any official, recognized sightings of either Angels or demons on record anywhere? Does anyone out there have film or tape of the Devil torturing someone? Does some secret government agency go around investigating sightings of Angels and demons, like Project Bluebook did for UFOs ? Think about it; at one time our government actually considered that flying saucers might be real. They have never even considered Angels or demons. They realized the stupidity of such an endeavor.

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