Thursday, May 7, 2009
2 Corinthians 11:12-15 (NIV):
“And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
When you think of vampires today, the images in your mind may be dark, scary figures with fangs and a cape. This figure can transform into a bat that flies, and feeds off of human blood, usually killing its victims or turning them into vampires as well. It is a creature that dwells in our nightmares and gives us the creeps. Or, if you buy into what Hollywood would have us believe, it can be the complete opposite. This creature is handsome, a perfect man who never ages. He is kind and a perfect gentleman. He has a substantial bank account, and enjoys all the finer things in life. He sleeps all day and parties all night. And he’s basically indestructible. Or, maybe he is a warrior who slays his own, and has the perfect muscular body. He’s ashamed of what he is, and has inner conflicts that draw our sympathies. Lately, Hollywood seems to glorify this lifestyle, making it seem that there is nothing wrong with being a vampire or falling in love with one.
To me, some of these representations of vampires paint the perfect picture of what Satan was in heaven. Satan was the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). He was adorned with every precious jewel (Ezekiel 28:13). He was the model of perfection, full of wisdom and beauty (Ezekiel 28:12). He was persuasive enough to convince one-third of the angels to join him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). After his fall, Michael the archangel did not stand up to him without the Lord’s help (Jude 9). But his pride was his downfall. He refused to be second best. He wanted all the power that God had; He wanted to be God (Isaiah 14:13). He is the ruler of this world. He knows very well how to deceive us. Make no mistake–he is not called the deceiver for nothing. He is the enemy of our faith. DO NOT TAKE THIS LIGHTLY! Vampires are another tool that Satan and his demons use to distract us from God.
The origin of “vampires”
Let’s start with the word “vampire” and its origin. The newer reference for the word “vampire” is of a recent date and is derived from the Hungarian word “vampir.” A nineteenth-century Austrian linguist, Franz Miklosich, said the word “vampire,” and its Slavic synonyms, all come from the Turkish word "uber," which roughly translated means “witch.” Babylonian demonology refers to a demon creature that fed off the blood of newborn babies and pregnant women. One demon, Lilitu, who was adapted into Jewish demonology, is sometimes referred to as the mother of all vampires.
Research shows that cultures and countries around the world have some reference to a myth or legend relating to the vampire. Some of the legends refer to these creatures as a "werewolf" or "zombie," both of which supposedly drank and fed off of human blood. Most every culture and country has referred to these creatures as "demons." Even the devil was considered synonymous with the vampire. Blood drinking and similar activities were linked to demons or spirits who would eat flesh and drink blood.
As you read just the origin of the word and its meaning, you can see that none of this can be of God. The Bible says that the shedding of innocent blood is a grave sin. God said do not eat or drink blood. (Acts 15:29, Leviticus 17:11, Hebrews 9:11-14) There are three reasons that God commanded us not to drink blood:
1. Diseased blood will make us sick, and God is trying to protect His people.
2. God didn’t want us consuming blood to worship a false idol.
3. Blood is considered our life source. Without it we can’t live. (Leviticus 17:14)
Christians also know that light can not dwell with the dark. If vampires are good, then why do they move only at night? “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)
Not blood “suckers,” but blood spillers
Numerous persons throughout history were believed to be real vampires. When you think of "Dracula," you might think of the famous novel by Bram Stoker, and the movie based on the book. However, the name Dracula is synonymous with the notorious prince or voevod (warlord) of Romania, Vlad Tepes. He was not a fair ruler, but a very cruel man. Most of the information about this prince's life was from oral accounts from his homeland. These accounts tell of his conquests for his country, and portrayed him as an evil demon. His name Dracula translates, “son of Dracul,” and some say it means “demon” or “devil.” If that isn’t enough, his name Tepes translates to "the impaler."
There were many reasons why his own countrymen and the Turks feared him. As a young boy, he was imprisoned by the Turkish Sultan. Many believe it was while he was in prison that he became "sadistic.” Vlad the III was known as the Impaler because this is what he did. The stories of his atrocities are numerous and too graphic and morbid to list. There was never any mention of Vlad being an actual vampire.
I also came across the story of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Elizabeth was a Transylvanian noblewoman born in 1560. By the time she was 25 years old, she had become obsessed with her beauty and terrified of growing old. When her husband died in 1604, and she moved back home to Vienna, she started to play in certain forms of sorcery, including attending rituals that sacrificed animals.
She became obsessed with blood by accident. Once, when she was correcting one of her servant girls, she became full of rage and went after the girl with a pair of scissors. The girl’s blood sprayed all over Elizabeth. When she started cleaning up, she noticed that her skin looked more youthful. This started her on a mass murdering spree. Because of her vanity, and the fact that she believed that bathing in the blood of young women would preserve her youth and beauty, from the years 1604–1610, she killed over 600 young women. She was eventually found guilty, her servants were put to death, and she was sentenced to life in prison in her own house. She was placed in a room with no doors or windows, only an opening for food to passed through and slits for air. Although the documents of her trial were sealed, it was later rumored that not only did she bathe in the blood of her victims, she drank it as well.
Not “undead,” just dead
In the 17th century, reported sightings of vampires increased worldwide, but it was the lack of knowledge about the way the human body decomposes that was to blame. People didn’t understand that when humans die, their bodies go through a natural decomposition process. The abdomen stretches and becomes “ruddy” or “plump” as bodies release their gases. It also causes blood to trickle from the nose and mouth, causing it to look like the body just feasted on blood. Bodies can also moan when gases escape. This would give the impression of the corpse moaning. Finally, as the skin loses fluid and tightens, it gives the illusion that the hair and finger nails are growing.
Before the use of machines, modern medicine was meager. There were no MRI’s or x-rays. If you became ill and slipped into a coma, there was a chance that you were mistaken for dead, and then buried–placed in your coffin and put under six feet of dirt. Imagine waking up and finding yourself in this situation. No doubt you would scream, and scratch at the roof of your coffin. After all your efforts, you would eventually suffocate. This happened a lot. When the vampire hysteria came about, people dug up their loved ones to see the scratches on the coffins and believed they were vampires. Wooden stakes were driven into the heart, or the body was decapitated. The stories and legends are countless. I believe that ignorance—about early serial killers, the way the body decomposes, and disease—fueled these legends further.
The Light vs. the lie
Over the years, the enemy of our faith has covered up the references to the gore and violence in order to depict a myth about a perfect undead gentleman. Satan’s only mission is deceiving the world. He is offering his own version of eternal life. He does this because as the ruler of this world, he wants to keep us from the light. You are unwillingly supporting the enemy if you believe his lies. He will always misrepresent Christ. He can present himself as a beautiful angel of light, but the only thing Satan can offer you is death and eternal suffering. If you allow him to distract you, he will pull you further away from God.
This ploy has taken hold of the young women of this generation. Stephenie Meyer opened her infamous novel Twilight with God’s word from Genesis 2:17. It says, “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” I implore you: Do not take the forbidden fruit. The enemy will twist God’s word, but God’s consequence in this scripture is clear: Death.
The only real vampire that God knows and approves of is His own creation: THE VAMPIRE BAT!