Angels and Demons in the 21st Century – part 3

Part 3. The Angels That Fell

 

Let’s skip back a few chapters to the first holocaust described in Genesis and ask, how would you react if someone started soap-boxing about an imminent flood? Probably the same as Noah’s contemporaries, which doubting Thomases, according to Genesis, were all wiped out by the ensuing waters. Only Noah, his wife, their three sons and their sons’ wives survived to reboot the human race. So where did it all go so wrong?

cute noahs ark      noah's ark 2 scale of noah's ark

(The cute little ark in the first pic is how we tell it to the kids, whereas the other two offer a truer visual scale of the ark, as detailed cubit by cubit in Genesis. Think – a 100 storey apartment block, then lay it on its side and add some)

Going back to the last question, well, something that might well have royally pissed off the man upstairs is depicted in this passage from Genesis:

Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

In the bible, angels are often described as “the sons of God”, whereas human beings are described as “the sons of men”. Okay, now we’ve got that one straight, it’s fair to say that there were some real shenanigans afoot. Another biblical term used quite frequently is “came in unto” or “went in unto”, a term used to describe sexual relations between men and women, as used in this next related passage:

Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Nephilim-1Nephilim 2

(All very romantically portrayed, don’t you think?)

The Hebrew word for these giants was Nephilim. Now does it ring a bell? Many Bible versions have since reverted to this word, and in doing so have captured the modern imagination.

Yet, if the Nephilim were wiped out with the flood, why are there so many later stories, e.g. Goliath, and references, like this one:

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.”

So did the Nephilim gene slip through the net of the flood, perhaps in one of Noah’s daughters-in-law, or did the angels just come on down once the flood had passed and do the nasty all over again? Depictions of giants come way beyond the flood, like this one of a Babylonian king holding a lion like his toy teddy bear.

king with lion

Trey Smith, in his You Tube video, claims that there is evidence of Nephilim having existed in a big way throughout history and creates a narrative around strange sub-human remains:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zz8_MxcnzY

He also uses the term “Fallen ones” to describe Nephilim: Fallen angels.

Smith’s film is 2 hours long, but there are plenty of more concise narratives on the Nephilim, as in this search result:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nephilim

Personally, I’m not presenting any of this as fact, only reiterating that many ancient Biblical ideas of angels and demons have survived to spark off our 21st Century imaginations. Many of my own short stories and both my upcoming novels incorporate such ideas, although I’d never claim they are based on fact.

So, what of these fallen angels, these alluring creatures who had their pick of earthly women. What was their fate?

Jude 1:6 – And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

But these fallen angels are just the support act. The star of the show mounted the stage in the very first act, at least in chapter 3:

Genesis 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Angel Heartdevil v jes 2devil v jesus

Yes, the meanest, baddest angel of them all: Satan. However, though religious sects tend to stick by their guns on Satan, many modern scholars are dismissing the idea that The Devil broke off and became independent and an enemy of God, arguing that Satan is an agent of God just like the best of them, that his acts of temptation are actual tasks, if not set by the man in charge, brought to God’s attention, as with this passage from Job:

Job 1:7  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

 What follows is the testing of Job, with God’s permission, and it’s not pretty.

But why, if Satan is not trusted – and this is way after the serpent incident – is he allowed into the presence of God at all, and to hold council?

To me, in the Job chapter and going back to Eve’s encounter with the serpent in Genesis, the Devil is like one bitch of a mystery shopper, only rather than testing out the service in shops, he’s testing out the faith of humankind, then reporting back to God. And can’t you just hear the conversation up there: “Right, well, you know you said I could never get that Eve to eat the bad apples? Well, you’ll never guess what…”

And his arms slip into a fold, his head into a nod and his lips into a sardonic little smile as he revels in telling the tale. After all, he is vain.

Join me for Part 4, when I’ll be looking at Angels and Demons as portrayed in popular and modern culture, and who’s winning, the religious or the satanic?

dark angel free wallpaper

COMING SOON – MELT, the novel:  ‘Desecrating an ancient graveyard can unearth enough trouble to shake up the world.’

 

Follow me at: https://twitter.com/wood_melt

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Author website at: http://janinewood2012.wix.com/janine-langleywood

Melt Novel website: http://janinewood2012.wix.com/melt—horror-novel

 

 

 

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Angels & Demons in the 21st Century – part 2

Part 2 – Are All Angels Good?

 

It depends on what your idea of ‘good’ is. Are we talking pure, beyond corruption? Isn’t that what angels are supposed to be? Well, it ain’t always so. But whatever form they take, it’s clear that each one has a job to do.

All around the world there’s talk of fallen angels actually being among us.

This one claims outright not to be a “Blue Beam project” but a real fallen angel, along with the caption (Truth Lives).

 

Then there are Dark Angels, those we associate with that other place we’d rather not end up in. Their sinister duties were depicted well in the 1990 film, Ghost: basically dragging baddies off to Hell.

dark angels in Ghost

This film on You Tube is confirmation that the idea, at least, of dark angels still persists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgmTK22KeDs

 

Still, we generally tend to associate angels, like Gabriel, with good tidings. We celebrate Christmas, hanging cute little angels on trees. But historically most angels are far from cherubs. There are numerous accounts of angel / human interaction in Genesis: the first visitation (not counting a certain snake, who we’ll come back to later) being to Hagar, a servant carrying Abraham’s illegitimate son; The Lord’s agent basically told to knuckle down and make the best of it, after all, Abraham’s wife Sarah, who’d asked for this child to happen, was barren. The visiting angel also told Hagar that her son would be, in short, a hostile donkey of a man. And then, behold, the Lord went and gave Sarah a son anyway, so Hagar was sent packing, blessed with being the future mother of nations, but still… packing.

hagar-and-the-angel-of-the-lord

Another case of angel-intervention, begins at Genesis 19:1And there came two angels to Sodom at even [evening]; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground…’

bricktestament

http://www.thebricktestament.com

 

Lot was a God-fearing man closely related to Abraham, the man-of-God whose line would lead right up to Jesus. Lot and his family had ended up in a bad place, the doomed city of Sodom, where all sorts of mischief ran riot day and night. Why the God-fearing Lot chose to be there, or if indeed he had no choice, is a mystery, but I suppose, in today’s terms, it would be like dropping the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury in amongst the ‘Scallies of Manchester’ ( see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMcjoP670so ) and seeing how he gets along.

So, this is exactly the kind of situation that calls for angel intervention.

And so it goes on:

Genesis 19:29And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain [Sodom & Gomorrah], that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.’

So Lot, a man who didn’t doubt the presence of angels, was spared, unlike his two sons-in-law who went down in flames with the two above-mentioned cities, in which, incidentally, despite the pleas of Abraham, not one soul, man, woman, dog or unborn baby was spared. Every depiction of this event shows something on the scale of a nuclear holocaust.

Then there was Lot’s wife – remember her? She made a real booboo. Most depictions of the flea from Sodom, as led by the angels of God, show Lot’s wife starting to lag behind a bit.

angels at sodom 2

You might have heard what happened next. She was warned, you might say. A bit harsh though, in front of the kids and all, getting turned into a pillar of salt for a quick peek back over the shoulder.

lott's wife at sodom

Picture it – that’s enough salt to keep a branch of MacDonald’s going for a whole couple of hours. Needless to say, Lot would never go short on his fries from that day on.

 

But these aren’t the really bad angels. Join me next time, when I’ll be talking about The Angels That Fell. Oh goodness me.

dark angel free wallpaper

COMING SOON – MELT, the novel:  ‘Desecrating an ancient graveyard can unearth enough trouble to shake up the world.’

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An Angel Watching Over Me?

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In this four-part blog I’ll be posting stories, photos and film clips about supernatural encounters with angels and demons, the good, the bad and the sinfully ugly.

I’m caught up with ideas of angels in all their forms, good and bad (Yes, even angels, in my book, are not all good) and of course demons, and wonder why, thousands of years after the Bible, our basis for belief in these supernatural beings, was penned, we’re still watching out for them, or like me, writing stories based around them; some people are even catching them on film. Actual sightings and visitations by angels and demons are still widely reported around the world today. And such encounters are not just the claim of your average Joe Bloggs on the street, but are brought to us by astronauts, TV reporters, even FBI agents.

Recent sightings, film and photos of a ‘Thames Angel’, also known as ‘The Angel of Hope’ have caused a stir; a web-based cult following is building around this one. But it’s nothing new; we just happen to have the relatively new technology to capture whatever images float our way. Rumours of the angel began after the Great Fire of London. In 1865 an artist rather elaborately etched the angel (compare with recent snapshots) following a mass sighting by embankment workers.

etching Thames angel

A recent Thames Angel spotter described feeling “full of laughing and happiness”. He also got arguably the best snap yet:

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http://www.angelofthethames.com/recentsightings.html

Photographed by Mario Daniello

Going a step further, typical stories of actual angel intervention into human affairs go something like this one by A Leal (see: http://paranormal.about.com/od/angels/a/Encounters-With-Angels_2.htm): “I got out of the car on my side, which was against the curb… (I) also checked traffic. My mother and I both looked at each other and nodded to confirm we both saw it (the road) was clear. I remember the next moments very clearly, and writing this now makes my chest tight and my eyes water. I took a step forward and heard a loud engine whirring to my left. I then felt myself being lifted up by my backpack and I was lifted so high I saw the ground beneath me and the top of my mom’s car and the top of the car that was just about to hit me. The moment felt like slow motion, but it was only seconds. After the moment had passed, I ran quickly to my classroom and continued to shake for a large portion of the day. Upon arriving home, I thanked my mom for pulling me back. She said she didn’t and had spent the morning crying and thanking our angels because she saw me get pulled backward by my backpack, but no one was behind me.”

So, how desperate are we to believe in this kind of divine intervention? We see angels in clouds, skimming over waters, floating along motorways. We even film them and upload them to YouTube. Watch: Angel saves man from near death! Caught on video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqjTH1lSc5M
The original, made in China, has had over three million views.

The film may well be a very clever set up, but the viewings and likes are confirmations of what people prefer to believe. This is made clearer by another film explaining away the trickery and citing the original Chinese version as a fake https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO3xnVRUf7M  a film which people seem relatively less interested in watching or ‘liking’.

Watch these films, if you haven’t already, and feed back what you think.

If you want to see other instances of angels in action, you’ll find more on the same page.

Personally, though, I have to ask, if angels are for real, what qualifies one man to be blessed by the protection of a guardian angel while the next man gets squished like a bug? Don’t good people get killed by trucks every day? Or worse?

More questions sprung to mind when I watched ‘Angel clouds in Florida’:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N-jbBwBfoY where I noted, at the closing section of this particular clip, the editor bravely announcing, “THE KING IS COMING”, because, what would that actually mean for human kind in the 21st century? Are all angels absolutely good, sent to protect us, to bless us with good news, or indeed save us from near death experiences? What does ‘good’ mean anyway, where angels are concerned? What exactly are we basing our ideas of angels upon?

It’s questions like these that inspired me to write Melt, to throw a kick-ass avenging angel into a 21st century mix – and see what happens…

Join me next time, when I’ll be looking at why an angel visitation might not always be a crowd pleaser; why, in fact, we might be diving for the bomb shelters if certain ones came to land in our neighbourhood.

Put forward your views and let’s chat.

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COMING SOON – MELT, the novel:  ‘Desecrating an ancient graveyard can unearth enough trouble to shake up the world.’

Follow me at: https://twitter.com/wood_melt

Friend me at: https://www.facebook.com/janinelangley.wood

Visit my website at: http://janinewood2012.wix.com/janine-langleywood

Angels and Demons in the 21st Century

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