Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Angels and demons

Whenever angels appear in the Bible, the first thing they usually say is "Do not be afraid"; those they appear to often fall face-down in fear. It seems angels are terrifying beings. In contrast, demons aren't very intimidating in Scripture. They're more of a nuisance, manifesting themselves in familiar people--poor souls whom they love to frustrate. We seldom find the word demon in the Bible without also finding the word "possessed" in the same sentence.

This is directly opposite to how we think of angels and demons today. Our images of angels are soft friendly winged cherub babes while demons are scary brutes that wait in dark places to destroy us. Renaissance paintings of angels and demons have us fooled--as do our Halloween stories and horror films.

Why is this detail relevant? Because we need to know the real strategy of our enemy. The Devil does the greatest harm to us not through scare tactics, but through deception and disguise. He is the father of lies (John 8:44). For centuries he fools us into thinking that he looks scary while he actually does the most damage masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

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