Angels and Demons

Tomorrow night, I will close a rather long Wednesday night class series that I shamelessly entitled “Angels and Demons.” It has nothing to do with the Dan Brown thriller (I still haven’t seen the movie yet). This series was a look at what the Bible says about angels and demons, two topics that I have really not been drawn to much over the years. What surprised me (and shouldn’t have) was that angels are all over the Bible. I thought angels kinda kick things off and then show up on special missions, like announcing the birth of Jesus, and then kinda fade off the scene. Nope! Angels are scattered all over the Bible, and they are more common in the New Testament that they are in the Old. For example, a quick count shows that angels are mentioned 24 times in Luke and 22 times in Acts… and 13 times in Hebrews. In the Old Testament, Zechariah (20), Judges (17) and Genesis (15) lead the way. Oh yeah, angels are mentioned 77 times in the book of Revelation. On the other hand, demons are mentioned 73 times in the Bible, and 63 times are in the gospels.

What conclusions do I draw from this? I conclude that angels are mentioned a lot in the Bible. How’s that for profound? OK, I’ll go a little further. When angels showed up in the Bible, people usually didn’t recognized them as angels and were shocked and terrified when they did realize that the man they were talked to wasn’t a man but a messenger from God. In other words, people in Bible times expected angels to show up about as much as you and I expect angels to show up, and yet they showed up… a lot. So maybe angels today are doing more than just strumming harps in heaven and are still ministering spirits to the people of God. If we ever do meet an angels that we recognize as an angels, it would be like meeting Roma Downey with special effects back-lighting.

What about demons? When demons show up in the gospels, they are confronted and overcome by the power of Christ. Demons are also mentioned in the epistles, those instructional letters to the church, but there is no instruction on how to cast out demons, bind demons, or name the demon that’s in control of Cleveland. The emphasis in the epistles is on living holy lives, resisting temptation and not giving the devil a foothold in our lives. We can imagine a world like Ashton in This Present Darkness where demons are flying all over the place and are battled back by angels. But the impact on our lives are the same—we are to pray and watch and live holy lives.

Here is a YouTube of a skit Lynn and Kati’s cabin did that portrays how life our lives may be impacted by angels and demons. Is this how it really goes? Maybe.