Angels: Visions and Dreams
This book is titled “The Bible, Physics, and the Abilities of Fallen Angels”. Before we get started, I want to point out that this book is on what I call “fallen angels” and not on what I would call “demons”. I make a distinction between the two, as I think there is a hierarchy of evil spirits, and some are more powerful than others. We see this in scripture:
Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].”
Rom 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Evil spirit beings are regularly divided up into types in the Bible. Some types of evil spirits are more powerful than others. I am defining “demons” as the less powerful evil spirits that require gaining influence or control over a person or animal in order to have any physical presence. The evil spirits that Jesus and the disciples cast out of people in New Testament are the only spirits referred to as “demons” biblically.
What about the demonic hierarchy of evil spirits?
I do think that demons can affect dreams, and it is this kind of dream which can sometimes cause one to believe they have experienced an “alien abduction” although there is no physical evidence left from the experience, as is the case in other “alien abduction” accounts. These dreams I would attribute as being caused by evil spirits of the demon level, or sometimes fallen angels as well.
Demons also cause waking oppression. Some contactees and abductees while awake practice channeling of what they call “aliens”. This could also be attributed to demons. Finally, demons, once they have a physical influence or control over a person’s body, can cause seizures, illnesses, ailments, and madness, as seen in the Bible. Some things related to the “alien abduction” phenomenon may be attributable to demons in this way.
However, besides these few things, there are many other parts of the “alien abduction” experience that simply do not match the physicality level or powers of demons. They would require a higher physicality and power, as fallen angels have.
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
And I am defining “fallen angels” as being the more powerful evil spirits that can have a physical presence that is not dependant on inhabiting a person or animal’s body. These are more comparable in abilities to Holy angels, or to Satan, having comparable abilities, and of the same or a similar class or as him.
Fallen angels are of the class referred to in Daniel as the “prince of thekingdomofPersia”. We read that Gabriel could not overcome the “Prince of Persia” by himself, but needed Michael’s assistance. So, in Daniel it is made clear that some spirits are more powerful than others.
The distinction having been made, this book is mainly on fallen angels and not on demons.
However, I do want to make a note. I once asked Joe Jordan, the president of the CE4Research Group (which undoubtedly has worked with more alien abductee cases than any other Christian organization that I can think of, some 500 cases) what abductees typically reported to their research group. He responded that the vast majority, even over 90% of abductees, usually started out recounting their experiences with, “I’ve had these dreams…” And so the research indicates that there is reason to think the vast majority of “alien abduction” experiences have a more dreamlike, and less physically-real-seeming, quality to them. Of course, this leaves less than about 10%, of “alien abduction” experiences in which the abductees have reported a physically-real-seeming quality to the experience. Any thorough explanation of the mechanics of “alien abduction” must of course cover both types of “alien abduction” experiences. What follows attempts to be such an explanation, covering all the many aspects of what has been reported. There perhaps may be more of an emphasis in this study of explanation of the more physically-real-seeming experiences, which is necessary for a thorough explanation. But please do make note that the attention given to experiences with this physically-real-seeming quality in no way negates that this type of experience is reported by the research to be the less common sort of experience.
The Abilities of Fallen Angels as Described in the Bible
Chapter 1 – Visions and Dreams
To better understand what these fallen angels can do, we are going to take a look at the abilities demonstrated by angels in the Bible. Then we will compare the abilities of fallen angels as described in the Bible to modern alien abduction accounts.
It would make sense that the abilities of fallen angels would be the same as the abilities of Holy angels, as God originally made all of them to be Holy angels, who were capable of carrying out certain tasks for God. These tasks include giving messages, through dreams and visions, or delivering a message while appearing as a man. Though they usually remain invisible, angels protect people from harm (Psa 91:11-12). They function as the army of God (Rev 19:19): they destroyedSodom (Gen 19), brought down the wall ofJericho (Josh 5-6), and smite people (1 Ch 21). God created angels to be able to do things like these.
Angels can do miraculous supernatural things, and unfortunately fallen angels can still do many of these same things, as they were created with these abilities. But they use them for evil and deception. As such we’re going to be looking at examples found in the Bible of both Holy angels and fallen angels, to establish what the Bible says are the abilities of angels in general. In this we can have a better idea of what fallen angels can do in general. And also a foundation for better understanding the activities that fallen angels are engaged in today, which seems to include “alien abduction” experiences.
Visions caused by Angels
Angels can cause what the Bible refers to as “Visions”.
Dan 10: 1-12 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
What can we observe from this passage? Daniel calls what he experienced a “great vision” (Daniel 10:8) which was caused by an angel. While having this vision:
- It was real to the bodily senses: Daniel was in his body, he saw with his eyes, he heard with his ears, he felt a hand of an angel touch his body, felt being on his hands and knees and later standing up, and he felt bodily trembling
- The vision Daniel saw was overlaid on top of the reality everyone else could see, but others could not see the vision. (Dan10:7)
- What Daniel saw was unusual, and even impossible-seeming, such as a face with the “appearance of lightning”. Also the voice of the singular being he was seeing sounded like a multitude of voices.
- Daniel was awake, and not dreaming, nor in a trance.
Daniel’s body was still surrounded by objective reality, the river, the landscape, and the men fleeing from something they couldn’t see but felt emotionally. The men could see the river and the landscape. However, Daniel’s mind was also seeing a vision from an angel overlaid onto this objective reality, and this vision that he interacted with felt completely real to his bodily senses. He saw it, he heard it, and felt it, yet no one around him could even see it, though they felt fear.
The Bible confirms that Visions caused by angels are experienced with the senses, seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, felt tactilely in the body, stating it plainly in Eze 40 and 44.
In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which [was] as the frame of a city on the south. And he brought me thither, and, behold, [there was] a man, whose appearance [was] like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. [angel] And the man said unto me, Son of man,behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall shew thee; for to the intent that I might shew [them] unto thee [art] thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel. Eze 40:2-4
Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. And the LORD said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. Eze 44:3-4
Before going any further, I think it is important to be able to conceptualize what a Vision is. What would an experience like this be called in the present-day world? If a man today claimed to have seen an angel, which he saw with his eyes, heard with his ears, touched, and who no one else with him could see… There are many today who would say he must have had a “hallucination”. Not only that, but also a “visual, audio, and tactile hallucination”. And there are many people today who would say such a man should see a psychologist or psychiatrist for help. This would only be more likely if the man started claiming he was a prophet, and writing down his experiences, because he thought these “hallucinations” were important enough that God wanted them recorded to be shared with posterity. Then he might really be labeled as “crazy” and locked away. But this would all be the case only because much of the world today rejects that God exists, that angels exist, and rejects that angels have supernatural abilities and can interact with mankind.
A hallucination is defined as:
“a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.”
“a sensory perception that does not result from an external stimulus and that occurs in the waking state. It can occur in any of the senses and is classified accordingly as auditory, gustatory, olfactory, tactile, or visual. It is a symptom of psychotic behavior, often noted during schizophrenia, as well as of other mental or organic disorders and conditions.”
–Mosby’s Medical Dictionary
Inherit in the definition of a “hallucination” is the forgone conclusion that it is “not a result of external stimulus” (like an angel), it “does not exist outside the mind” objectively (like angels or the spiritual side to reality itself), and it is “caused by various physical and mental disorders” and is a “symptom of psychotic behavior”.
The difference between a Vision and a hallucination is that a Vision IS a result of external stimulus, namely angels, who are an external stimulus that do exist outside of the mind, and a Vision is not caused by a physical or mental disorder, nor is it a symptom of psychotic behavior.
But like a hallucination, a Vision is a sensory experience, like Daniel is described to have had. Of course, differentiating between a “hallucination” and a “Vision” is entirely a matter of if one can prove as to whether the sensory experience was caused by an angel or not caused by one. It is hard to prove that a “hallucination” was not caused by external stimulus when that external stimulus could be an angel, who stays invisible and does not declare their presence. In fact, one could just as easily assume that all “hallucinations” are actually caused by angels (holy or fallen) and are therefore Visions, as one could assume that all Visions are not caused by any external stimuli (but rather from some physical or mental disorder) and are therefore “hallucinations”. As to which is which, the deciding factor is all a matter of personal spiritual beliefs, bias, and very subjective personal interpretation of the experience.
But for Christians, the Bible is full of many examples of Visions caused by angels. And Visions in the Bible have quite a bit of variety to them, for instance some happen while awake, and some happen while in a trance state. An example of a Vision had during a trance is in Acts 10:9-17.
On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. Now while Peter doubted in himself what thisvision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.
Observations on this passage:
- Peter had this “vision” in a “trance”, while awake, and not asleep. The “trance” is not described as “dreaming”. It seems likely that those preparing for lunch who were with Peter saw Peter in this trance state. However, this trance state is not described as “dreaming”. Peter was awake, and not asleep, though in a trance state.
- Peter observed being in his body – this is implied by him being able to optionally “rise, kill, and eat”. Peter also is seeing with his eyes, and hearing with his ears.
- Peter, like Daniel, sees unusual or impossible-seeming things.
During this trance Peter experiences what the Bible calls a ‘vision’ (“horama” Strong’s 3705). Earlier in Acts 10:3, Cornelius also receives a “horama” vision, specified to be caused by an angel. Later, in Acts 12, Peter is unsure whether or not he is having another vision, when an angel is present: “Peter followed him (an angel) out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision” Acts 10:9 NIV
These Visions (which communicate a message) are Biblically associated as being caused by angels, as Holy angels are God’s messengers; the Greek word aggelos meaning “messenger”. Many times angels give messages from God by causing dreams or visions.
The word above in Acts 10 for ‘trance’ is “ekstasis” (1611 in the Strong’s). The second definition is “a throwing of the mind out of its normal state, alienation of mind, whether such as makes a lunatic or that of a man who by some sudden emotion is transported as it were out of himself, so that in this rapt condition, although he is awake, his mind is drawn off from all surrounding objects and wholly fixed on things divine that he sees nothing but the forms and images lying within, and thinks that he perceives with his bodily eyes and ears realities shown him by God.”
So, even the Strong’s Concordance defines this trance as an experience in the mind, which is perceived with “bodily eyes and ears”, or in other words is real to the bodily senses. In Peter’s case, he describes that he perceived hearing with his ears, seeing with his eyes, and speaking with his mouth. This indicates he perceived himself as being in his body, experiencing something which seemed real to all the bodily senses. However, it is implied that those around Peter perceived him as being in a trance state. Peter might not have known he had been in a trance, but may have just thought he had been awake, if there had not been other people around that saw him in a trance.
Another instance of a vision, which was also likely facilitated by a Holy angel messenger (Se Rev 1, 1:1) happened to Paul and the men with him in Acts 9 (related again in Acts 22).
And as he journeyed, he came nearDamascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they understood not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, LORD? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go intoDamascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
Observations on these passages:
- Paul and the men saw the light, though no one saw to whom the voice which was speaking belonged.
- Paul saw the glory of the light, and it was so intense he was blinded by it, but the men with him did not even see it in the same intense way he did.
- Paul heard and understood the voice that was speaking
- The men heard the voice that was speaking, but did not understand it
In this case the vision was waking. What is most interesting is that the vision was experienced in one way by Paul, and in another, more limited way, by the men with him. This implies that it is possible for a group of people to experience the same vision. Yet, this case also shows that one person can see A but another person can see B, even while they are both having a shared Vision. So it seems an angel could cause several people to have a Vision at the same time, but each person might see something different, still experiencing it with their bodily senses, but differently for each person.
Dreams Caused by Angels
Besides Visions, the Bible teaches that angels can also cause dreams, such as seeing an angel in a dream, as is in the case of Joseph the husband of Mary, surrogate father of Jesus Christ:
Matt 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Matt 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
The Bible also gives an example that some experiences may be a mix between a dream and a vision, but happen when one is asleep in one’s bed. “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed” Job 33:15