Angels & Demons

What are angels?

Angels are created beings that exercise intellect, emotions, and free will.  Biblical writers use the word angel to refer to both human and divine messengers, deities on occasion, as well as to holy and evil spirit beings.  Heavenly angels are spirits; therefore, they have no physical bodies.  For us to be able to see them, God has to grant us the ability to do so.  There are two distinct types of angels: “holy” and “evil” and within each, there is an order and rank.  The purpose of holy angels is to serve God and to minister to those He has redeemed.  The opposite is true with evil angels, whose purpose rest solely on opposing the gospel.  Angels are not restricted by normal human limitations, but the power they exercise is the power that God grants them.  Angels are immortal, but they are not eternal; only God is eternal.  Holy angels represent two-thirds of the innumerable number of hosts the Lord created, while the remaining one-third are evil angels which fell from heaven after they allied themselves with Lucifer.  His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” (Revelation 12:4)  After the fall, some angels were bound in darkness (Jude 1:6) while others were free to carry out Satan’s purpose. As a result, the devil attempts to strike back against God, by attacking His children.  There are several different kinds of holy angels, each with different characteristics and roles: cherubim, seraphim, and archangels.  Seraphim were created to declare the holiness of God.  They constantly worship Him and declare His glory.  “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.  Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.   And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”  (Isaiah 6:1-3)  Cherubim are considered to be angels that guard sacred things, possibly even the throne of God.  They were over the Ark of the Covenant on the Mercy Seat and they also guarded the entrance to the Garden of Eden.  Archangel means “chief angel” and the term only occurs two places in the Bible both of which are in the New Testament.  Only one of these scriptures identifies an archangel by name, but it does suggest there may be others.  Michael is referred to as “one of the chief princes” and his role includes: protecting the nation of Israel, battling Satan and announcing the second coming of Christ.  Gabriel is thought by some to possibly be an archangel himself, but the Bible does not identify him specifically as one.  He has had many important duties including: announcing the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah, announcing the birth of Jesus Christ to Mary, as well as, interpreting future events in a vision to the prophet Daniel.

When were angels created?

Scriptures like II Peter 3:8 make this a difficult question to answer, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”  Angels were created at the moment God commanded them into existence.  “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created.” (Psalms 148:5) While the exact time angels were created is not revealed in God’s Word, some conclusions can be made.  We do know that God created them before He created man and that they were created out of existing matter, so it is reasonable to assume that God created them immediately out of nothing when He began His creative acts.  We do not see any mention of angels in the first chapter of Genesis, which details the account of creation, but in chapter three we are introduced to a fallen angel whose sole purpose was and is to hinder God’s purpose.  Angels witnessed the creation of the universe because as we read in Job, they were worshipping Him as He was creating the world.  We also know that angels existed before the Garden of Eden, since Lucifer was already there in his fallen form.

What is the place of angels in God’s purpose for us?

God is our ultimate provider, protector, deliverer, and guide and He has infinite resources to accomplish His will and purpose, one of which is angels.  Colossians 1:16 tells us, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”  Holy angels are ministering spirits that are sent to serve those who will inherit salvation, and while they minister to man, they also minister to God.  An angel has the power to provide physical and spiritual strength in our time of need and they also have the ability to protect us.  In Daniel 6, God sent His angel to shut the mouths of the lions and in Daniel 3 God sent His angel to protect Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  God can also use angels to deliver people out of or from perilous conditions and situations.  In some instances, He even uses angels to keep people from entering dangerous circumstances.  On two separate occasions, in Acts 5:17-23 and Acts 12:6-10, God dispatched an angel to deliver the apostle Peter from imprisonment.  Angels can also guide people according to God’s word.  Many times, He uses angels to minister to us without us even knowing it. 

What is our relationship to angels?

Angels are servants of God and exist to bring glory to His name; however, they are not slaves just carrying out his will.  We are not angels, nor do we become angels when we die.  When Jesus addressed this matter in Luke 20:34, He said that when we are resurrected, we will be like angels, not we will be angels.  After our resurrection, we will have glorified bodies in which our physical bodies will be majestically transformed.   Paul tells us in Philippians 3:20-21, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”  One could argue that humans are more like God than angels, since we are created in His image.  Unlike humans, angels do not reproduce and they do not have gender.  We can be assured that when God sends either humans or angels to do anything that He will provide whatever is necessary to complete the task.  God uses angels to provide physical and spiritual strength and He uses them to provide protection over people and nations because He protects His own.  God can deliver us from, through, or by things and using angels is just one way in which He does this.  Angels can also provide us with guidance and most of our encounters with angels will happen without us even knowing about it.

What is the origin of demons?

Man’s fall is fairly detailed in scripture, but God has chosen not to reveal much of the specifics of evil angel’s fall from grace.  If there was a specific cause, it was pride.  Their pride robbed them of reason and in doing so; they wanted to be equal to God in power and position.  The rebel angels questioned God’s authority and joined forces with Lucifer causing them to lose their holy character.  This sinful act also caused them to abandon their authority and dwelling place.  They were angels who once were good and served God, but choose to exercise their free will and rebel against Him.  Because of God’s holiness, these once good angels could no longer be in His presence.  This sinful act caused God to cast them into hell, a bottomless pit and place of unknown misery.  Lucifer was the beginning of their end, giving way to a dark and corrupted kingdom of evil.  From Jude 1:6 and I Timothy 4:1 we can infer that some angels are bound and kept in darkness while other angels are used to carry out the devil’s bidding.  These demons are banished from God’s presence forever and live under eternal judgment.

What is Satan’s role as the head of demons?

Satan is God’s adversary and his primary goal is to frustrate God’s purpose by any means necessary.  Lucifer was the first being to ever sin.  John 8:44 tells us, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” He attempts to strike back against God by attacking His children in jealous rage.  His goal is for as many of God’s children to go to the hell that God created specifically for Satan and his evil angels.  Satan roams the earth like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour and he masquerades as an angel of light.  Although he is powerful and cunning, he operates under limitations and he does not possess the same attributes that God does. His power is limited, his knowledge is incomplete, and his presence is restricted.  Satan is the originator of sin, he is the father of lies, and he is the great accuser.  His strategies are to lie, deceive, and kill and in doing so; turn God’s children away from Him.  Satan leads the host of evil angels and they carry out his purpose and sinful schemes.

What is the activity of Satan and demons?

Satan and his demon’s goals are to destroy or counterfeit every work of God.  Their tricks and schemes are time tested and they have become very proficient at them, since their fall from heaven.  Evil angels attempt to cause God’s children to become blind to the gospel and they plot to keep His children in spiritual bondage.  They use temptation because they know where we are vulnerable, they use guilt because they understand our emotions, and they use fear to play with our minds.  Their personal sin of pride is another one of their favorite tendencies because they understand how vain and envious humans are.  These are just some of the many tricks the enemy uses to hinder the effectiveness of a Christian.  Misery loves company and any opportunity to become a hindrance to the gospel will not be missed.  Evil spirits love to torment believers of past mistakes even though when we bring it before God, His answer to us is, “What sin”?  One thing we must never do is give credit to the devil for something he never had a part of because you can rest assured that he will take the credit.  Unlike unbelievers, demons believe there is a God and “shudder” “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.” (James 2:19)

 What is our relationship to demons?

We are engaged in daily battle with demons.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) Satan and his evil angels attempt to retaliate against God by attacking His children.  Satan’s hostility toward God is unrelenting and he will do whatever he can to upset God’s plan of redemption.  I John 3:8 tells us, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”  Even though Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work, Satan wages a desperate spiritual conflict.  Our sinful nature is what demons use against us as they attempt to afflict, tempt and even possess human beings.  This being said, Satan and his evil angels can only do what is permitted by God.  All angels have free will, just as humans, so they understand our weaknesses and areas of vulnerability.  They personally know the areas we are susceptible to temptation.  They know when we are told, “Don’t do that,” it just makes us want to do it even more.  I Timothy 3:7 talks about traps the enemy sets to catch believers unaware, causing them to fall.  We can be assured that the One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world and we can have confidence that the spiritual battle we are engaged in is not one of equal powers.  Satan attempts to make us blind to truth.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (II Corinthians 4:4)  Another aspect of demons involves possession, in which one surrenders themselves over to an evil angel(s).  Humans’ fascination with the unknown and the demonic is not something new; it has existed since there was evil in the world.  Man constantly attempts to worship false gods in order to reveal things that God has chosen not to make known and they desire to worship something they can hold in their hands.  God and His plan are perfect; He knows the end from the beginning and He can even use demons to accomplish His will.  Although possession is very real; it cannot occur in someone who is a Christian.  Believers in Christ are off-limits to demon possession because once we accept Christ into our lives; our body becomes the temple of the Most High.  God purchased our lives with the blood of His Son and He will not share our heart with anything unclean.  Satan knows he is running out of time so he and his evil angels are desperately attempting to derail Christians and their walk with Christ. The reality of demons roaming the earth can be troubling, but Christ has already triumphed over them.   For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)  


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