John Hagee, megachurch pastor and best-selling author, recently recounted a near-death experience that he believes was satanically inspired and thwarted by "the angel of God."
Hagee, known more recently for his Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change best-selling book, recently appeared on televangelists James and Betty Robison's "Life Today" show to promote his newest book, The Three Heavens: Angels, Demons and What Lies Ahead.
In The Three Heavens, Hagee uses the Bible, science and "incredible true stories of the supernatural" to explore what he believes is the First Heaven. "He then exposes Satan's diabolical tactics in the Second Heaven and how they affect each one of us. Finally, he looks at the deep riches of the Third Heaven and how our hope of that eternal home changes our life on earth," according to the publisher's description of the book.
In a Monday broadcast of Robison's program, Hagee shared his own supernatural experience.
The Cornerstone Church pastor recounted a near-fatal experience he had over 40 years ago in which a man, who he did not name but inferred was inspired by Satan, shot at him several times while he was delivering a sermon at church.
Ironically, Hagee was teaching his congregation about demonology.
This is what Hagee told the Robisons on their "Life Today" television show:
December 1971, I started to teach my congregation about the biblical position of demonology because I was raised in a denomination that did not believe it, and said they certainly couldn't belong to our denomination, although the devil was sitting probably on every pew. …
And it was in the second series on a Wednesday night. As I'm teaching a man walks in the front door with a loaded gun in his hand; and he walks up the aisle and he roars like a lion. My people thought it was an illustrated sermon because I talked about Jesus, the demon's coming out with a loud roar. And they thought, boy, the preacher is really going all out.
So about that time he started using language that sounded like a pup tent full of Marine Corps drill sergeants and they knew this was not an illustrated sermon. He walked to the front of the church and he's standing about eight feet from me.
He said, "I've come to kill you in front of this congregation to demonstrate that Satan has more power than Jesus Christ."
I held up my Bible and I said, "This is the Word of God. It says no weapon formed against me shall prosper."
He said, "I have a gun." He was angry. "I have a gun!"
And I said, "And I have the Word of God." …
And he said, "I demand that you beg for your life." I said, "I am in authority here."
It just baffled him.
… He said, "I'm going to kill you on the count of three." He lied. He started shooting on the count of two.
I could see the jackets in the bullet chamber. Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Six times.
He ran down the aisle and a young man that was playing university football in my church ran across the back of the church and intercepted him at the wall, and hit him in the side of the head and drove him into the wall with such force that the walnut handles on that gun peeled off. I mean he blasted him. He was unfazed.
The police came. The police arrested him; took him downtown.
Took him downtown and arrested him. Every one of those shots he shot at me missed. And the next day, the police came and put a two-by-four where he was standing and took string and measured it and the bullet holes in the wall. See I'm standing right where I stood. There were three bullets to the left and three bullets to the right. I believe the angel of God was there parrying those bullets right and left to preserve my life. I would not be alive without the protection of the angels.
A 2009 survey conducted by the Barna Group, a research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture, found that Christians are not in agreement on the existence of Satan and demons, although "a majority of Christians believe that a person can be under the influence of spiritual forces."
A majority of Christians also believe in the existence of angels, according to an Associated Press-GfK 2011 poll that reported that "88 percent of Christians, 95 percent of Evangelical Christians and 94 percent of those who attend weekly religious services of any sort" say they believe in angels.