Angels and Demons

Dr. Jeff RhoadesBy Dr. Jeff Rhoades14 Minutes

Excerpt taken from The Bible Dimensions and the Spiritual Realm: Are Heaven, Angels, and God Closer Than We Think? by Jeff Rhoades

Chapter 9
Angels and Demons

I was practically an atheist in my childhood. Science was what led me to the conclusion that the world is much more complex than we can explain. I can only explain the mystery of existence to myself by the Supernatural.
–Allan Sandage (1926-2010), American astronomer, calculated the rate at which the universe expands and its age by observing distant stars

 

Nearly everyone has heard of angels. When the word angel is mentioned, most have some idea of what an angel is, or at least their personal perception of an angel. Beliefs about what angels are and do vary widely among people across the world. Movies, books, and television shows have all impacted what people think and understand about angels, so much of what people believe is not biblical. Pictures of angels as chubby little babies with wings and harps floating in a cloud are believed to come from Roman or Greek mythology. People do not turn into angels, nor do angels have halos or get their wings when a bell rings, according to the Bible.

Spiritual beings are part of nearly all major religions. An angel named Gabriel is said to have visited Muhammad in 610 A.D. Gabriel, speaking on behalf of Allah, supposedly gave Muhammad the material that makes up their holy book, the Koran. “Koran is Arabic for ‘the recitation,’ and refers to the collection of revelations supposedly given by Allah through his archangel to Muhammad and preserved as the Islamic scripture.”175 The question from a biblical and Christian perspective is whether or not Muhammad encountered a real angel or the story is fabricated. If Muhammad encountered an authentic angel, then was it a good angel or an evil angel posing as one of God’s holy messengers?

An angel named Moroni is said to have visited Joseph Smith, the father of Mormonism.

In 1820 Joseph Smith, Jr. claimed a heavenly vision that he said singled him out as the Lord’s anointed prophet for this dispensation, though it was not until 1823, with the appearance of the angel Moroni at the quaking Smith’s bedside, that Joe began his relationship to the fabulous ‘golden plates,’ or what was to become the Book of Mormon.176

Once again, was Joseph really visited by an angel, or was it made up? If an angel visited him, was it a good or evil one? “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Examining the teachings of the Koran and the Book of Mormon will reveal fundamental and doctrinal disagreements with the Bible. That would lead one to believe that the angelic events were fabricated or delivered by a messenger of Satan. Either way, angels play an important role even in the beginnings of Islam and Mormonism.

Angels play an important role in the story of the Bible. The Bible tells of the existence and activities of angels from Genesis to Revelation. In the Scriptures, angels are taken for granted and assumed to be real beings. Many truths can be learned from studying angels as they appear and minister in the Bible. Even among literal biblical scholars, a wide variety of beliefs exist concerning angels, their appearing, their ministry, the fall into sin by many angels, and many other beliefs. Since no text gives a complete teaching about angels, scholars must look at the actions of these spiritual messengers to attempt to understand them better. The Holman Bible Dictionary states, “The text may focus on the service done or on the God served but rarely on the servants themselves. As a result we are left with a multitude of questions about the angelic host. Many of the most common questions asked about angels have no clear answers in Scripture. The nature of the angelic host is at best hinted at indirectly.”177 Angels are interesting beings, especially for the topic of spiritual dimensions because they are mentioned so many times in the Bible. The purpose of this chapter is to better understand angels in light of higher dimensions by looking at the Bible.

Angels Are Spiritual Beings

Angels are spiritual beings that sometimes appear as material beings. William Evans writes concerning angels, “They are spiritual beings. Hebrews 1:14 – ‘Are they not all ministering spirits?’ Psalm 104:4 – ‘Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.’ …Although the angels are ‘spirits,’ they nevertheless oft-times have appeared to men invisible, and even human, form (Genesis 19; Judges 2:1; 6:11-22; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26; John 20:12).”178

Most of the time, people think of angels as having the ability to appear and then disappear. Not much thought is given to where angels are or where they go when they disappear. If angels are in God’s presence, where is that place? Many believe that angels are all around them as invisible spirits. But after learning about the possibilities of higher dimensions that are also called spiritual dimensions, could angels be coming and going from the spiritual realm to the three-dimensional world? The answer is, most certainly. Science claims that there are more spatial dimensions than the three in which people live. These higher spatial dimensions are where angels, God, heaven, and hell are located. When angels enter the physical realm, they appear as three-dimensional beings. Angels are not floating around people as invisible spirits; they are right next to a person’s three-dimensional world. Angels are only a millimeter away. When they are permitted to step into the physical realm, they appear. When they return to their spiritual realm, they disappear. The angels that appeared to the shepherds the night Christ was born are an example of angels appearing, then going back into the spiritual realm in Luke 2:8-15:

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

The verses describe the angels entering the shepherd’s three-dimensional realm, then leaving their realm, “Suddenly there was a multitude of angels…as the angels were gone away from them into heaven.” The best explanation for the sudden appearance of angels is their inhabiting the spiritual realm and entering the physical realm when God allowed.

Another example of angels entering the physical dimension is the story of Zacharias in the gospel of Luke. An angel appears to Zacharias to announce that his wife would be having a baby, who would be John the Baptist. “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense” (Luke 1:11). Zacharias sees the angel and is afraid initially, until the angel calms his fears. The angel introduces himself as Gabriel. “And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings’” (Luke 1:19). The angel appears to Zacharias while he is in the temple—and he came from the spiritual dimension directly into the temple where Zacharias was serving.

An Old Testament example of angels entering the physical dimension is found in Genesis chapter nineteen. Two angels visit Lot to warn him of the impending destruction coming up Sodom and Gomorrah and tell him to get out before it happens.

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.” But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate (Genesis 19:1-3).

Here the angels appear as men and eat food like men do. Some scholars will interpret passages such as this one as teaching that angels, which are spirit beings, must take over a physical body to inhabit the physical world. This passage is used as an example, along with the accounts of Satan appearing as a serpent and the demons asking Jesus if they could enter the swine. The best answer from a spiritual dimension aspect is that when angels enter the physical realm from the spiritual realm, they appear three-dimensional. They have three-dimensional bodies, just like any three-dimensional being would have. In this passage the angels appear so much like men, no one can tell the difference. If the Bible did not tell the reader they were angels; they would be understood to be men.

175 Walter Martin and Ravi K. Zacharias, The Kingdom of the Cults, Revised and Updated Edition. (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2003), 436.
176 Ibid., 200.
177 Butler, ed., Holman Bible Dictionary, under “Angel,” WORDsearch  CROSS e-book.
178 William Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible (Chicago: Bible Institute Colportage Assoc., 1912), 216, WORDsearch CROSS e-book.

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