I need a sign, to let me know you’re here
– Calling All Angels, Train
The idea of angels as mediators between God and mankind is widespread. Angels aren’t confined to seminary schools. They’re in the movies, pop music, self-help books, video games, and just about anything else that will sell.
But most people don’t see angels as the stuff of myth and legend. About 66-78% of North Americans believe in angels. And 10-29% believe they’ve encountered an angel or heard of someone who has.
Okay, all very interesting. But as the ancient Greek philosopher Plato once put it, a given belief isn’t necessarily a true belief. And in today’s world where religious belief can lead to insidious human rights crimes, it’s important to step back and rationally assess our convictions.1
The power of love
At one extreme, materialist thinkers try to squash spirituality by reducing angels to cultural projections. Ludwig Feuerbach and Sigmund Freud say angels are fantasy formations, and images of angels portray nothing more than subjective experiences and desires.
In 1966, two American sociologists, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, became academic hotshots by saying that reality is a “social construction.” Like much of sociology, Berger and Luckman put a new spin on an old idea—in this case, conceptualism. Postmoderns quickly followed suit, designating just about everything under the sun as a social construction.
The early postmoderns emphasized the role of power in the social construction of reality. But they had little to say about the nature of power, itself—whether, for instance, power contains moral and spiritual elements. Postmoderns also focus on language and its connection with power. Accordingly, the French postmodern thinker, Michel Foucault,talks about “discourses of power.”
But what does this have to do with angels?
Well, postmoderns make some astute observations, but they usually overlook the power of love. Also, they also don’t really see how heavenly love might help to shape our lives and the world around us.
Normally, we associate the word power with billionaires, movie stars, politicians or maybe motorbikes and muscle cars. But as an adjective, the word powerful can also apply to love.
The word angel derives from the Greek angelos, meaning “messenger.” But angels aren’t just messengers like the friendly neighborhood letter carrier. Angels are said to mediate heavenly grace, which in essence is love. And being God’s love, this mediated grace is more powerful than anything in the known universe.
Peter Berger, himself, came to study the supernatural side of angels in his book, A Rumor of Angels (1969). This book is no dry, reductive sociological treatise. It’s a sincere, open-minded investigation into the possibility that spiritual belief doesn’t merely arise from materially oppressed or deranged minds.
Western religions tend to see angels as pure and humble servants created by God. But theologians have debated the finer points of angels for centuries. In The Celestial Hierarchy Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite (or Pseudo Dionysius, c. 500 CE) speaks of three choirs of angels. According to his model, each choir embraces three angelic tiers. The lowest choir of Angels, Archangels, Principalities, along with the middle choir of Dominions, Virtues and Powers, are in contact with humanity. The highest choir consisting of Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones sings an eternal hymn of praise to God.
St. Thomas Aquinas‘ (c.1225-1274 CE) Summa Theologica supports Pseudo Dionysius’ idea of an angelic hierarchy. Aquinas also believes that fallen, evil angels (demons) have their own ranking system, with the lower being subservient to the higher demons. The belief in evil angels is also found in the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Ávila, who wrote, “In the end my good angel prevailed over my evil one.”
The popular American evangelist Billy Graham writes about angels. And in contemporary Catholicism, angels are described as spiritual beings without physical bodies. Catholicism teaches that angels
- Were created by God from nothing
- Possess freewill
- Have a higher standing than mankind
- “Have been present from creation and through the history of salvation.”2
On guardian angels, St. Ambrose says:
Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.3
But, again, not only theologians talk about heavenly messengers. Stars like Patsy Cline, Annie Lennox, Jane Siberry, Hank Williams Sr. and David Bowie depict beings of Divine Love whose raison d’être is to guide and protect.
Hardly exemplifying humble servants of God, fallen angels are usually portrayed as nasty and narcissistic. And Satan, once God’s brightest angel, allegedly manifests as an “angel of light.”4
This could partially explain those who are mislead by astral and demonic beings posing as God or God’s angels. They’re literally “blinded by the light.” But is it a phoney light? And how would we be able to tell the difference if a beautiful angel came to us, full of warmth and promises of love.
Evil angels, they say, try to degrade, depress, deceive, confuse, titillate and flatter. Alleged holy men and women promoting themselves as ‘perfected incarnations’ likely fall into this vanity trap. Egomania and self-aggrandizement run rampant among false prophets.
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them (Matthew: 15-20).
And in a more contemporary vein:
Luke, you don’t know the power of the Dark Side (Darth Vader)
Not a few people claim to possess spiritual powers (siddhis) and fantastic psi abilities. Some indicate that they “know it all” or, at least, “know better” than everyone else. While many of these folks may be decent and well-meaning at heart, they often blind themselves to the fact that interior perceptions can be flat wrong.
Sincere seekers try to recognize, admit, and correct intuitive mistakes whenever possible. But the sham seeker won’t acknowledge (or, perhaps, just admit) mistakes and continues on a path of deception, allowing the ugly weeds of lies to choke out the beautiful flowers of the soul.
Perhaps a sure way to spot a person informed by fallen angels is to look for those callous, cowardly souls who grasp at power as a means to manipulate the psychologically weak and vulnerable.
To complicate matters, it appears that the predictions of fallen angels may contain partial truths. Demonic influences, experts say, want to disturb and oppress the gullible through a calculating mix of truth and falsehood. And their predictions are said to be ultimately geared toward exploitation and tearing down the good.
Accordingly, William Blake (1757-1827) wrote that spiritual powers devoid of sincere, humane practice are “thieves and rebels.”5 And both St. Augustine (354-430 CE) and St. Aquinas agree that evil angels, although fallen, possess a keen otherworldly intelligence. As agents of Lucifer, their thoughts apparently operate on a higher level.
St. Paul writes:
Our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the cosmic powers of this present darkness,
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.6
And St. Aquinas echoes St. Paul’s belief that perceptive individuals can blow the cover of people who allow intelligent demonic beings into their lives.
Those who are spiritual discern all things.7
Aquinas, in fact, borrows from the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BCE) when suggesting that
The virtuous man is the rule and measure of all human acts.8
The above focuses on Christian angelology, but the belief in heavenly and hellish agents is embedded in most world religions. From the ancient Egyptian Hermes, the Chinese shên, the Greek Iris, the Zoroastrian amesha spentas, the Hindu devas and asuras, and the Jewish elohim, the idea that mankind lives within a larger cosmic battleground of good and evil forces is nothing new.
While it might not be fashionable to talk about good and bad angels, this doesn’t stop many people from believing in them.
True, representations of spiritual beings like angels are most likely colored by personal and cultural biases, but it seems possible that angels do exist. In any kind of study it’s often hard to draw the line between subjective bias and clear perception. And the study of angels is no exception.
1. Some New Age thinkers say that anything we believe is real. But it’s doubtful that 1,000 different individuals could all be, for instance, sole reincarnations of Julius Caesar, Napoleon or Cleopatra.
2. Catechism of the Catholic Church, New York: Doubleday 1995, p. 96.
3. Ibid., p. 98.
4. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
5. (a) William Blake, cited in Clark, Stephen. “Where have all the Angels Gone?” Religious Studies 28: 221-234, p. 228 (b) Widely respected in Medieval Europe, the legal writer and scholar Jean Bodin believed that Satan and his minions could nullify the pain that so-called witches – and their demon possessed young daughters – would naturally experience from “Godly” torture. For this and many other truly horrific ideas camouflaged by perverse reasoning, see Jean Bodin, On the Demon-Mania of Witches, trans. Randy A. Scott, Toronto: Victoria University, University of Toronto, 1995 .
6. Ephesians 6:12.
7. 1 Corinthians 2:15.
8. Aristotle cited in Pegis, Anton C. Basic Writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas Vol. 1, New York: Random House, 1945, p. 1016. This, of course, reflects the sexism of the time.
Angels - secret agents of the heart © Michael Clark. All rights reserved.
- Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Do angels speak to us? (oddonion.com)
- Can my guardian angel read my mind? (newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com)
- “Twelve things to know about angels” by Peter Kreeft (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- Reader Review of the Day: Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly Angel Mist (bellasugar.com)
- A Day of Archangels (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- The Angels Were Not Invented by Hallmark Cards and Gifts (tomperna.org)
- [The Goblin Beat] Angels of Darkness (goblinbeat.com)
- The Angelic Conflict. Part 1. (thesimplewomansdaybook.com)
- I Want This Wardrobe: Charlie’s Angels (fabsugar.com)
by: Tonia Jordan
Throughout the Bible, the name of Satan may represent one being, but the characteristics of this being change several times. The one characteristic that remains the same throughout the Bible is that Satan likes to cause trouble. In Genesis 3, Satan tempts Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which causes the fall of man. Although the name of Satan is not used, the passage suggests an evil being taking the form of a serpent, which many believe was Satan.
Next, which may be the first mention of the name of Satan in the Bible, is in 1Chronicles 21:1, “Now Satan, setting himself against Israel, incited David to make a census of the people.” This passage introduces the thought of Satan in opposition of humans.
Then, in Job 1:6, “. . . the members of the court of heaven took their places in the presence of the Lord, and the Adversary, Satan, was there among them.” In a footnote to this verse, in The Oxford Study Bible, it is stated that “the Adversary is the enemy of human beings, not of God” (511). At this meeting in heaven, Satan questions God repeatedly about Job, a very faithful and honorable follower of God. God grants Satan permission to harm Job, suggesting a lack of power in Satan. The Student Bible mentions in a side note that “he has supernatural power to oppress people, but is restrained by God” (465).
In Zechariah 3:1, at the right side of the angel of the Lord, Satan is there to accuse Joshua, further implementing the role of Satan to be just an accuser.
Satan is only mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, and the name refers to an evil being that sets himself against the people. It seems also that his power is very limited, as he can do very little without the permission of God. Also, it seems suggested that Satan resided in heaven and was allowed to be in the presence of God.
In the New Testament, the image of Satan changes drastically. In Matthew 4:9, Satan is referred to as “the devil,” where he tempts Jesus, which may be the first time Satan interferes, without the permission of God, with a person’s life. Satan interferes with not just any person, but the son of God. This suggests that Satan’s evil power is now directed at God, and not people.
In Matthew 4:3, Satan is called “the tempter,” and he tempts many people throughout the New Testament. For example, in Thessalonians 2:18, Satan “thwarted” Paul and his companions on their way to Thessalonica.
Another suggestion of Satan’s independent power over people is, in Luke 13:16, a woman was “bound by Satan for eighteen long years.” Yet another is, in Luke 22:3, when “Satan entered into Judas,” where Satan not only interferes but enters the body of a person.
Satan asks Jesus, in Matthew 4:9, to “. . . fall down and do me homage,” wanting Jesus to worship him and not God, further suggesting his opposition and this the first mention of the worship of Satan. Then in 1Timothy 5:15, it is stated, “For there have in fact been some who have taken the wrong turning and have gone over to Satan.” This proves that people had begun viewing Satan as a type of god, and some had even begun worshipping him.
In Luke 10:18, “[Jesus] said to them ‘ . . . And if it is Satan who drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then can his kingdom stand?’” This verse states that Satan has his own kingdom, which suggests the great power of Satan, much more at least than when he needed God’s permission to interfere with Job’s life.
In Acts 26:18, there is another mention of a kingdom of Satan: “You are to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, from the dominion of Satan to God.” Then in Revelation 2:13, the phrase, “where Satan is enthroned” is written.
Throughout the Bible, the name of Satan transforms from a name meaning simply “accuser” into the name of an evil force in his own kingdom outside the kingdom of God; a being that interferes with and tempts the lives of people of his own free will.
Whether this transformation is an accurate development of the being, or whether man’s understanding of Satan changed is up for debate. One thing is clear – the symbol of evil that is Satan is a complex one.
About The Author
- Satan…He’s someone we should know about. Controversial yes, but you need to know the enemy. (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- Satan Never Looks Like Satan (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Spiritual Warfare (wordservewatercooler.com)
- Satan (respiratorytherapycave.blogspot.com)
- Christianity’s Unwarranted Focus on the Being Satan (hendriekusr.wordpress.com)
- 5 Subtle Ways Satan Sneaks into the Pulput (stocktonbiblechapel.wordpress.com)
Before we get into the sections on UFO’s and demons, I want to state my personal beliefs into what Demons are. A lot of people think of demons as fallen angels, and for a long time I also did. I once got an email from a Biblical Researcher who told me I was wrong, and that they were instead created from another source, the Nephilim. At the time, I disregarded this thinking as my own mind was so set in years of beliefs that demons, were fallen angels.
After reading the bible through two times, and studying passages numerous times over my lifetime, reading books on the Nephilim, and viewing numerous movies and shows on hauntings, I started switching my beliefs, and I now believe that demons are the evil spirits of the Nephilims created before the flood, once these beings were killed in the flood, their fallen angel, and corrupted human spirits or souls could not enter heaven, but were left to wander the earth until the day of their judgment upon the return of Christ after the great tribulation.
The Book of Enoch states that demons are indeed the spirits of the Nephilim, here is Enoch – Chapter 15:
Speaking to the Fallen Angels, it states “3. Wherefore have ye left the high, holy, and eternal heaven, and lain with women, and defiled yourselves with the daughters of men and taken to yourselves wives, and done like the children of earth, and begotten giants (Nephilim) as your sons. 4. And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten (children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh and blood as those who die and perish. 5. Therefore have I given them wives also that they might impregnate them, and beget children by them, that thus nothing might be wanting to them on earth. 6. But you were formerly, spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. 7. And therefore I have not appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling.
8. And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits (fallen angels) and flesh (human women), shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. 9. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from women, and from the holy Watchers (fallen angels) is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. 10. As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling. 11. And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger, and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.
That section above from the book of Enoch clearly states what the evil spirits or demons are, and from where they came, they are the spirits or eternal souls of the Nephilim.
I have watched numerous factual documentary movies about hauntings, haunted houses and have read numerous reports on cases of demonic possessions. In a lot of these haunted cases, there appears to be a main spirit that is always very evil, and it often seems to control one or more supposedly trapped souls or dead human spirits, in these haunted locations. This main, evil and dark entity shows it’s self often as a cloaked, or hooded figure, and at other times as a dark rolling black mass, or shadow type person. I believe this main evil entity is a fallen angel, or what is also called a devil, it is not The Devil as in Satan, but it is a high level fallen angel, and these supposedly trapped human spirits also haunting these locations are really just lesser demonic beings, or as they are also called evil spirits, the souls of the Nephilim.
They are all working hand in hand, to make an area appear haunted, just as another way or causing fear, and tormenting humans that wish to visit or live at such locales. The reason these so called ghosts, appear just like departed humans of the past is just like the way the demon came to me in my mind and visited the apartment those years ago, when my friend Ray had passed away, they are demons called ‘Familiar Spirits’, as they were familiar with the living humans when they lived upon the earth. This doesn’t mean that while living, the humans were possessed or involved in the occult necessarily, it’s just that the invisible demons are quite probably around us all the time, but we can’t see them. And if the humans were involved with the occult, or opened themselves up to the demonic realms, though alcoholism, drug use, seances, ouija boards or any other such states of mind and occult practice, they could of been actually possessed by the very same demons ‘Familiar spirits’ that now pretend to be these same peoples ghosts.
The Holy Bible makes it pretty clear, that there are indeed spirit beings, both good and evil, but it negates the idea that the spirits of deceased human beings can remain on earth and “haunt” the living.
In Hebrews 9:27 it says: “…man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” That is what happens to a person’s soul or spirit after death, the judgment. The result of this judgment is heaven for the believer and follower of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23), and hell for those who do not receive Christ as Savior (Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:22-24). There is no in-between, no stuck in limbo, no waiting around the earthly home, no walking along the road the accident happened at, or any other such crap. There is no possibility of a human remaining on earth in spirit form as a “ghost.” If there are such things as ghosts, according to the Bible, they absolutely cannot be the disembodied spirits of deceased human beings.
The Bible teaches very clearly that there are indeed spirit beings that can connect and appear in our physical world. The Bible identifies these beings as angels and demons. Angels are spirit beings who are faithful in serving God or Satan as in the case of the rebellious, fallen angels. Corinthians 11:14-15 indicates that demons masquerade as “angels of light” and as “servants of righteousness.” Appearing as a “ghost” and impersonating a deceased human being definitely seem to be within the power and abilities demons possess.
What about instances in which “ghosts” act in good ways? And, what about psychics that claim to summon the dead and gain true and useful information from them? Again, it is crucial to remember that the goal of demons is to deceive. If the result is a person trusting in a psychic instead of trusting in God, a demon will be more than willing to reveal true information. Even good and true information, if from a source with evil motives, can be used to form the demons ultimate purpose, to mislead, depress, oppress, possess and destroy.
Interest in the paranormal is becoming more and more common. Some of the top TV shows now involve Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal. The sci-fi channel offers ‘Ghost Hunters’, and ‘Ghost Hunters International’. The A&E Channel offers ‘Paranormal State’, DISCOVERY offered ‘A Haunting’, and there are other such shows on all the major networks, such as ‘Ghost Whisperer’, ‘Medium’, ‘Most Haunted’, and numerous others. Folks are being brainwashed and deceived into thinking that the dead can hang around as ghosts, I believe this is to trick people into the occult, by getting them to use ouija boards or tape recorders to gather EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena), holding Seances, Tarot Cards, and dabbling into other occult phenomena. The only thing such occult activity will ultimately do, is open the door that allows demons and fallen angels to manifest in the dabblers location and lives.
Most people are unaware of the true nature of the spiritual world, if only they would read and study the Holy Bible, they could easily become aware of what is going on. Sadly, instead of seeking this truth about the spirits by communing with God and studying His Word, many people allow themselves to be led astray.
There is a website that has information on angels, fallen angels, ufos, secret groups, aliens, alien abductions, NWO, one world government, and much more, the website is called: The Great Deception, and can be found at this url: http://www.great-deception.com
About The Author
Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet since 2001, and has been producing low-cost and free software for numerous years. He first released public domain products on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970′s-80′s. He as authored a book called: Unknown Creatures – Over 50 of the most documented creatures of Cryptozoology, and he has written several reports and articles related to the Biblical end times, and numerous other sujects.
Unknown Creatures: http://www.unknown-creatures.com
The author invites you to visit: http://www.great-deception.com
- Creatures of Cryptozoology – Bigfoot – Mothman – The Jersey Devil – and other Principalities (epages.wordpress.com)
- The New Idolatry by Pam Sheppard: A Look at the Nephilim, Fallen Angels and Spirit Rape (endtimeebooklibrary.com)
- Nephilim – Have They Returned? (settingcaptivesfree.wordpress.com)
- Sex With Devils In Endtimes (pamsheppardpublishing.com)
- Christian Mysticism and the Days of Noah (settingcaptivesfree.wordpress.com)
- Nephilim: The Enemy Pollutes the Seed (freedomarc.wordpress.com)
An article by Francis Frangipane has recently gone into circulation. It is a very balanced and well constructed article. The main purpose was to argue the need to put the word of the Bible before signs and wonders and to see the latter in the context of the former. He made a number of useful points and used some interesting concepts. It was of a quality one would expect from him no more than one would expect from him and it is not my purpose here to criticise this work.
However, there are some points which arise from what he said which do need attention. In pursuing his objective he, inevitably, made comments which were subservient to it and, not being of main concern, were not developed. But some of these do require further consideration.
FP defines manifestations ‘which have no pattern in the Bible’ as extra-biblical. In these he includes the quaking of Quakers and the rolling of Holy Rollers. He then includes the claimed visitations of the mother of Jesus at Medjugore (in the former Yugoslavia) as belonging to the same category. This is surely a slip of thought.
Medjugore Patterns in the Bible?
A pattern consists of elements which can be regarded as representative of something and which are repeated in recognisable ways.
In fact, there are several well known instances in the Bible which constitute a pattern into which Medjugore fits very well. Visitations of angels abound, but there are other instances: Samuel appeared to Saul, albeit illegally (1 Samuel 28:8 – 20); Jacob had an encounter with a heavenly being (some would say divine) (Genesis 32. 23 – 33); there was a (probably divine) appearance to Joshua (Joshua 5. 13 – 15). Of course, we know of the appearance to Jesus himself of Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17. 1 – 8f) and there are many other examples one could quote.
Do these constitute a pattern into which the (claimed) appearances at Medjugore fit? Surely they do. The visions at Medjugore are different in only two respects: they concern a female rather than a male figure; and they have been repeated every night without fail over twenty-two years. Otherwise, and these are surely not grounds for exclusion, the Medjugore events fit into the biblical pattern extremely well.
True, as patterns go, are identical, but many have repetitions which include nonidentical elements. This is evident when we compare such biblical events as mentioned above. All have similarities of one kind or another but none can be said to be identical.
Medjugore, Quakers and Rollers.
The events at Medjugore cannot, therefore, properly be compared with extra-biblical charismatic-type events relating to such as Quakers and Rollers. Of course, Francis Frangipane was simply looking for some examples, and unfortunately picked on Medjugore. But, since the latter can be seen quite clearly to fit within the biblical category, it does demand further attention. Clearly, this kind of categorisation is permissive rather than conclusive of its genuineness: everything that looks like something biblical is not necessarily genuine.
At least because of its influence on very large numbers of people, not to say that God may be ‘reaching to these people through this manifestation,’ the Medjugore phenomenon warrants some further consideration.
Divine Or Demonic Origin?
FP says ‘I personally do not believe that this was (is?) Mary’. He does not say why but, as we have noted, thinks that God may be using it. But that is not really enough. It is either of satanic or of divine origin. One or the other. Ought we not to make an assessment of which?
Is there a possibility of satanic origin? That is doubtful when one considers the messages, and I have read many of them, which have been coming out of Medjugore since 1981. Jesus once asked “How can Satan drive out Satan?” because a kingdom or house cannot stand if divided against itself. Moreover, he added, very significantly, that, if Satan were to oppose himself, his end would have come (Mark 3. 23 – 26f).
Now, it may well be that Satan’s end is near, but it has clearly not arrived at the moment. Moreover, the essence of the conflict between God and Satan is, to coin a phrase, a struggle for the hearts and minds of God’s people. In that conflict the major weapon is a composite of words, concepts and ideas – a major weapon on both sides.
So what are the words (and fruits) coming out of Medjugore? Principally, and repeatedly over the past twenty-two years: love, peace and prayer – and not just any prayer, but sustain, repeated, serious, two, three hours of prayer every day; the establishments of prayer groups and a renewal by thousands of their life in Christ. Now, does that sound like a message from Satan? Hardly. For as yet, his kingdom has not fallen. Certainly he is a crafty strategist, but he would hardly take the risk of repeating these messages every day for so long! And to what end?
So phenomena at Medjugore is unlikely to be satanic in origin. That leaves a divine source. FP doubts it is Mary. But who else, then? Has God sent some angelic spirit to give such words of truth, over so long a period, by deceiving his people with a spirit instructed to claim to be the mother of Jesus but which it is not? That seems implausible, to put it at its lowest.
Hence, whether we like it or not, (but why do we not?) Mary seems the likeliest probability.
Now, although a lifelong Catholic, (albeit with strong Pentecostal symptoms) I am not what Catholics would call a ‘Marianist’ i.e. someone with a special devotion to Mary. And I have always been somewhat shy of the idea of ‘to Jesus through Mary’ – not because it cannot happen, because it can and has for many people, but there is always the risk getting ‘stuck’ on or at Mary. But maybe that implies that I think God cannot look after those who sincerely seek him.
However, we also have to take a wider view than Medjugore itself. It has been argued here that the (claimed) appearances there are not extra-biblical and that is not surrendered. But suppose they were, for arguments sake. While the Bible contains only truth, not all truth is contained within the Bible.How could it be when John’s gospels says that the world could not contain even everything which the disciples knew of Jesus alone (John 21. 25)? Being extra-biblical, as WP acknowledges, is not in itself a cause for condemnation. So…?
In order to accept that the appearances at Medjugore are genuine, one has to consider them within the wider framework of Marian appearances. Medjugore is only the latest in a long cycle of (claimed) appearences of Mary. Most non-Catholics will not be aware of even those in the modern era, which amount to at least eight major visitations, from Guadalope in Mexico in 1531, through Bernadette Soubirous in1858 at Lourdes in France, andKnock in Ireland in 1879, to Fatima in Spain, in 1917 (which led Catholics world-wide to pray over decades for the downfall of communism and the USSR). Not one is identical to another but there is a very strong pattern of similarities (which space here does not permit of description).
In every instance there have been signs and wonders over succeeding decades or centuries of continuing evangelistic and healing associations. Far too many to delineate here, but far too many to pass-off as ‘bunkum’ and, for reasons similar to those given above, too marked by the work of the Spirit to judge satanic in origin.
I have never been to Medjugore. Perhaps I should have. But, in FP’s t erms, I could have been found ‘running after signs’ when the ‘Toronto Blessing’ hit the north east of England at Sunderland some years ago. I hope I did not do it at the expense of the God’s word. But I could not accept the condemnations which some other Christians were making of it of it without investigation. I did get the ‘shakes’ as a result, although I could never see any real spiritual growth as a consequence.
There is, perhaps, too much suspicion among Christians of Christians in sectors other than one’s own (not that Francis Frangipane is guilty of this). God is too big even for the Bible, and certainly for our limited minds to comprehend. And it is surely an irresponsible Christian who thinks he knows the limits to the ways in which God acts among his people, or who thinks he can impose such limits.
About The Author
Anthony Keith Whitehead
Web Site: http://www.christianword.co.uk
Experience: Over twenty years in Christian healing, teaching and writing.
Qualifications: B.A., M.Phil., Cambridge University Certificate in Religious Studies.
- The Rosary is Biblical (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Repost: Immaculate Conception (vitaconsecrata.wordpress.com)
- Jesus had brothers and sisters (bjorkbloggen.wordpress.com)
- The Devil’s Playbook (via Ray Ortlund) (mgpcpastor.com)
- The Virgin Mary (ptl2010.com)
- Christian Faith Healing; Can it be Lost Once Received? (watchtbjoshua.wordpress.com)
Special to Earthpages.org
Seventy percent of American Christians believe in the Devil according to a Gallup poll, compared to less than 5% of American Jews who believe in the Devil, according to Rabbi Allen S. Maller of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif.
Belief in the Devil among Christians did not vary much by age, and educational differences were limited to only 15 points; 55% of Christians with postgraduate degrees believed in the Devil compared to over 70% with only a high school diploma. Among Jews neither age nor level of education made any difference, said Rabbi Maller and Orthodox Jews were no more likely to believe in the Devil than Reform Jews.
Rabbi Maller pointed out that in the Jewish view Satan is not a Devil, (an independent source of evil in opposition to God) but rather an angel of God whose role is to tempt and test people. Without temptation humans can’t produce evil or good out of their own free will. Satan never forces a person to do evil. Satan gives us the opportunity to do evil, and when we resist doing evil, we have the opportunity to do good. No pain, no gain.
Satan makes sweet and fattening foods taste better than those foods that are healthy for you. Life is full of temptations and tests. When we fail; blaming the teacher or the test is a cop-out. Blaming the Devil or God is also a cop-out. God tells us to choose between the blessing and the curse. The choice is ours and so are the consequences.
Satan, according to the book of Job, is included in the Heavenly Court, among God’s disciples, because Satan is God’s agent of temptation, enabling us to overcome our self-centered desires and thoughts. If good was always more attractive than evil, we would have no reason to freely choice good, and therefore no opportunity to be moral.
Rabbi Maller’s web site is: rabbimaller.com
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