Angels, Satan, & Demons
Posted August 17, 2012on:
Angels are created spiritual beings. They have not always existed but are part of God’s creation of the universe and are part of His Purpose. Angels are “spirits” without physical bodies yet are highly intelligent and are capable of having moral judgment and free will. The apostle Paul tells us in Col. 1:16,
For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him and in and for Him.
Paul specifically includes the existence of an angelic world by the phrase, “whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities”. It is reflected in the Scriptures that angels sinned and fell from their positions (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6) This shows proof that angels have free will and moral judgment and could make choices and decisions of their own. Also, angels are invisible, however, they have from time to time took on a bodily form to appear to people in Scripture (Matt. 28:5; Heb. 13:2). We are not able to see angels unless God gives us a special ability to do so.
There are 3 other kinds of heavenly beings. We can think of these as special types of angels or we can think of these as heavenly beings distinct from angels, but either way they also serve and worship God.
1. The cherubim – They are given the task of guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:34). God himself is said to be enthroned on the cherubim or He travels with the cherubim (Ps.18:10 ; Ezek. 10:1-22).
2. The seraphim – these heavenly beings continually worship and praise the Lord “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory”(Isa. 6:2-7)
3. The living creatures – Ezekiel and Revelation tell us of other kinds of heavenly beings only known as “living creatures” around God’s throne. Their appearances are of a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle. They are the mightiest creatures of various parts of God’s entire creation. (Wild beasts, domesticated animals, human beings, and birds.) Just as angels do, these living creatures worship God continually.
God sends angels for our protection. Some people believe they have their own “guardian angel”. Scripture does not support the idea of a personal guardian angel for each person, yet it does support that the role of an angel is to protect us here on earth.
Angels watch us throughout our daily lives. So be aware and think on these things. They see when we are obedient to Christ as well as our disobedience. It can be safe to say that angels rejoice when they see our obedient actions made in secret. Take comfort in the fact that even though no one may be a witness to your good deed, angels witness our struggles and how much we are striving to be more like Christ. On the other hand, angels can be grieved as they witness our sins and disobedience.
Fallen Angels and Satan
It’s important to know that God did not create the world with evil angels in it. We know this because in Gen. 1:31 God “saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good”.
Demons are evil angels who sinned against God. They work evil in the world today. Sometime between Genesis 1:31 and Genesis 3:1, there must have been an angelic rebellion. Many angels turned against God and became evil.
The Bible also warns of false doctrine from angels. Not all angels are good. “Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) There are instances where people claim that an angel has spoke to them. We as Christians are warned against accepting any claims that differ from the doctrine of the Trinity, Christ as the Messiah and is fully God, justification by faith alone, and others. One example of this is the Mormon faith in which Joseph Smith claims an angel called Moroni spoke to him and revealed to him the Mormon religion.
Satan is the head of the demons. He once was an angel of God and held a very high rank. The sin of Satan was pride and the attempt to be equal to God in status and authority. But because of his defiance, Satan was cast out of heaven and many angels followed him. The fall of Satan is written in Isaiah 14:12-15:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground—mighty though you were against the nations of the world. For you said to yourself, “I will ascend to heaven and rule the angels. I will take the highest throne. I will preside on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High. But instead, you will be brought down to the pit of hell, down to its lowest depths.”
We should recognize that sinning gives a foothold for some kind of demonic influence in our lives. Wrongful anger could allow a demon to attack our emotions and possibly increase the anger that is already inside of us. Paul mentions in Eph. 6:14 that the “breastplate of righteousness” is part of the armor we use to stand against the “wiles of the devil”. If we have holes or weaknesses in our breastplate of righteousness, then this can make us vulnerable to demonic attack.
Jesus gives all believers authority to rebuke demons and command them to leave. We have divine power to destroy strongholds (2 Cor 10:3-4). It is important to recognize that the work of Christ on the cross is the ultimate basis for our authority over demons.