Is There A Devil And Evil Spirits?

This entry is part 46 of 57 in the series Mysteries

Question Forty-Seven

Is There A Devil And Evil Spirits?

It is interesting that the idea of Satan ruling a great kingdom of evil spirits didn’t seem to get much traction until the time of Jesus. The Old Testament mentions him a few times but the word in the Hebrew merely mans “adversary” so any adversary of the good path could have been considered a satan.

As far as evil spirits go, the Old Testament only mentions them twice and both times they were sent by God (not Satan) to cause trouble.

There are several references to people having “familiar spirits” but this term comes from the Hebrew OWB and refers to a medium, most likely the trance channelers of the day. There is no mention of evil spirits in connection with them but Israel was commanded to ignore them and pay attention to the prophets instead.

Apparently, by the time Jesus arrived a belief in Satan and evil spirits was quite popular as he did quite a few of his healings by casting them out.

There are two lines of thought concerning Jesus and evil spirits.

(1) Those who take everything literally believe that in each case where Jesus healed by casting out actual evil spirits that he indeed did cast out evil entities who were in league with the devil himself.

(2) The other idea is that Jesus was merely working with peoples’ belief system. Since many believed that disease was caused by evil spirits, then appearing to cast them out worked with their belief and increased their faith and power to be healed.

So which one of these two ideas is true? Is there really a devil along with millions of evil spirits causing problems for us in the modern world?

Let us look at the idea of Satan first. Since the word merely means “adversary” then to ask if there is a satan is the same as asking if there is an adversary. The answer is quite clearly, yes. You can take any idea of what is good, present it to the world and adversaries (or satans) will come forth to oppose it.

So, among people with good intentions there are certainly many who are met with adversaries right here among the living.

But what about the next world? Are there adversaries there? Obviously if people continue to have free will after death they will all not agree on lots of things and adversaries will appear there also.

But is there one main guy who is The Satan?

There is hierarchy in all things and, of course, some adversaries will have more power than others, and there is always one who is the most powerful. I suppose we could tag this character, whoever he is, with the name of Satan, though I doubt if he sees himself as evil.

Hitler was one of the great adversaries to appear on the earth, but he thought he was doing good things and would have been insulted to have been called Satan.

So, are there evil spirits?

To answer this one must merely ask, “Are there evil people living on the earth in physical bodies?” Most would call the murderers, rapists, tyrants, thieves, etc. evil. So when these people die do they take their character with them or are they suddenly changed into good people? Obviously, we still keep our identity. If a person is evil in mortal life then he will still have evil tendencies as a spirit making him an evil spirit, for want of a better word.

So, did Jesus really heal by casting out evil spirits?

Rarely is a disease caused by a person being possessed by a human spirit that is evil. Such possession does happen now and then, but is not the cause of all the disease we see about us.

But, if we look at it from another angle, Jesus did indeed heal by casting out evil. The human body is a great living instrument and within it are billions of smaller lives. Each cell in our body is a living thing as well as each organ we possess. All disease is the result of the life forces in the body taking on a life of their own, causing a lack of harmony. A cancer, for example is a living thing and getting rid of it is indeed seen as casting out an evil life.

Jesus caused the negative life that was in the sick bodies to depart and adjusted their life forces so they were harmonious, and by this measure he healed by casting out disrupting life or evil spirits.

 

Copyright 2014 by J J Dewey

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