What is an evil spirit?


Clarify Share Report Asked January 08 2014 Mini James Stephens

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Mini Walrus theCat
There are apparently very many spirits that exist, and many kinds of spirits. The term "spirit" is not absolutely synonymous with the term "angel", as we can see from Acts 23:8-9. The term "angel" in both Hebrew and Greek means "messenger" and is used of a variety of species. It, strictly speaking, denotes an office, not necessarily a species. Thus the idea that an evil spirit is exclusively a fallen angel is incomplete. Paul speaks of varying offices of spiritual powers in Ephesians 6:12, Romans 8:37, and other places. In Revelation we see "elders" at the throne of God, and "living ones", both of which evince different behavior (for example, the "elders" sing, while "angels", and these "living ones", only ever "say." Look it up -- no record of "angels" singing.) It is widely agreed upon that the "living ones" before the throne in Revelation are the Cherubim, and Ezekiel states that Lucifer himself is a Cherub.

All of that to say that, strictly speaking, an "evil spirit" -- that is, a spirit that is evil, might be of any one of these types of spiritual creatures. However, there are interesting qualities that we see in creatures that are so named (either spirit or angel) in the Scriptures. The spirits are always seeking embodiment, and don't have a corporeal expression of their own. They gain one by dominating a host, either through overpowering him or deceiving him (or entering into collusion with him, or some combination thereof.) Jesus seems to be addressing their thirst for a corporeal domain in Matthew 12:43. Angels have their own spiritual bodies (and it is probably in this respect that resurrection bodies are said to be "like the angels") and can materialize or dematerialize at will. They are probably translating themselves into our lower dimensional space, remaining "above" it at other times. The term οἰκητήριον -- dwelling -- is used in 2 Corinthians about our earthly bodies (as dwelling places for our spirits), and Jude 1:6 of angels who "left their proper estate", or, probably, heavenly bodies.

So, if we accept that there are many various spiritual entities, divergent classes of which are named "spirits" and "angels" in the Scriptures that have different properties, where did these disembodied spirits (the "spirits" in the above dichotomy) come from? The state of being disembodied does not seem natural to these creatures, and would have had to have happened en masse at some point.

Many people believe that Genesis 1:1 took place much, much before Genesis 1:2. This is called the "gap theory". Darkness and overwhelming waters are only ever symbols of judgement in the Scriptures, and we see "no more sea" in the new earth. Also, Lucifer, according to Ezekiel 28, apparently played a very prominent role in a place called Eden, from which he was expelled. Many people believe that a race of beings lived on the earth prior to Adam who followed Satan in his rebellion. When God judged them and the earth, they were stripped of their bodies.

January 08 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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