3. Angels and Demons?


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Introduction to Angels and Demons 

            In the early pages of Genesis, we read about the creation about the creation of life on the earth, including man, but nothing on angels.  In chapter three, we meet the Serpent, who tempts Eve to reject God’s command. Later, through prophetic revelation, we learn more details about the Serpent. We learn Satan was behind his words to Eve.  Who was Satan, where did he come from?  Scripture reveals he was a fallen angel, from a group known as the Cherubim

            The Bible gives the names of three angels who play prominent roles, one being Lucifer, later known as Satan who opposes God. The two others serve the Lord.  Their names appear in both Old and New Testaments. Michael watches over Israel (Daniel 12:1) and Gabriel delivers messages from the throne of God (Daniel 8:16, 9:21, Luke 1:19,26).  According to scripture, there exists myriads upon myriads of angels, but we really only know the name of two (Daniel 7:10), other then some of the fallen angels.

            Scripture presents another world, which exists beyond our physical senses, an invisible world, one which includes angels, both fallen and elect.  These angels engage with humanity, those who serve the Lord aid God’s people in advancing the Kingdom of God.  While those fallen angels, who oppose God’s will, work to prevent the Kingdom of God.  For the believer, what we know about this spiritual world is limited to what scripture tells us.

             In our modern culture, angels get a lot of attention, many events are attributed to their actions, and this may or may not be the case.  In each case, we need to take the claims and examine them against scripture.  Some events attributed to God’s angels in our day, may very well be the work of fallen angels who are at war with God.  For this reason, God has given us scripture so we can get a clear picture of the spiritual world existing around us, to help us discern between truth and darkness (I Thessalonians 5:4-5). People claim to have super-natural knowledge from angels, but many times their revelations are in direct opposition to scripture.  Mohammad claimed to have spoken to Gabriel, yet Mohammad’s revelations are contrary to scripture, indicating the source of his revelation is demonic not angelic.

            How does this spiritual world of angels interact with our physical world, what role do demons and angels play in our life?  What can we expect from angels and demons in our life?  The role these spiritual beings play in spiritual warfare is greater then most us probably could imagine.   By understanding their role, we can better understand the conflicts we engage in.   Scripture allows us to observe the spiritual world, through the lives of Biblical characters such as Daniel and Paul, so we can understand how they influence our own world.   

            The purpose of this study is to uncover the various aspects of this spiritual world, which includes angels and demons, and how they are involved in the life of the saved and lost. 

What does Angel and Demon mean? 

            The name Angel is derived from the Greek word a[ggeloß Aggelos,  meaning messenger or envoy, someone sent from God.  The Hebrew word is $alm Mal'ak like the Greek word means messenger.  Both Hebrew and Greek words have been applied to individuals as well as supernatural beings.

             This Hebrew word is the source for the book of Malachi in the Old Testament, meaning messenger.  Angels are messengers from God who serve invisibly for the Kingdom of God. Other terms used for Angels include “sons of God”(Job 1:6, 21), “Saints” “Holy ones” (Zechariah 14:5) Watchers (Daniel 4:13,17) Stars (Job 38:7, Psalm 148;2,3, Revelation 12:34).

            The term for demon is daimovnion Daimonion, translated devil in the KJV New Testament, the word means divine or super-natural power. The word is associated with the power of a “divine” being inferior to God.   The Hebrew word is ry[X Sa`iyr, which means hairy, male-goat buck, associated with the worship of the male goat among the Hebrews.   The Hebrew concept in scripture is the demon’s were the inspiration behind men turning to idols.  The fallen beings were being worshipped through idols.

"They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations." ' Leviticus 17:7 

            Though the New Testament reveals more about these demonic realms then does the Old Testament. 

What Demons and Angels share in common? 

Their creation:
Where did Angels and Demons come from?

The Bible tells us the Lord created the angels, as perfect and righteous beings, created all at once.  These spiritual beings along with Lucifer (Satan) had “freedom” to accept or reject worship of God.   Since the Bible defines demons as fallen angels their origin is the same as angels, they are only fallen. 

2    Praise Him, all His angels;    Praise Him, all His hosts!5    Let them praise the name of the Lord,     For He commanded and they were created.6    He also established them forever and ever;   Psalm 148:2,5-6

Satan led the rebellion against God’s throne according to the book of Ezekiel (Chapter 28) and Revelation (Chapter 12:4).  These angels rejected God’s authority and became fallen or “demons” as they are called.. Therefore, it’s important to remember God did not create demons, God created angels with free will, who choose to reject Him, thus becoming demons. Many of the following questions apply to the fallen angels too.  They are eternal like the other angels, they  

Time of their creation:

When were the angels created?

When the angels were created they were called the “Sons of God” because they were a direct creation, of God.  Adam, like the angels is called a “son of God” because he was the first person created (Luke 3:38).

1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:6    To what were its foundations fastened?     Or who laid its cornerstone,7    When the morning stars sang together,     And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
 Job 38:1,6-7

Angels were created at the foundation of the earth, according to the Lord’s own word in Job, the “sons of God” shouted for joy at the creation.  This would have included the fallen angels who had not fallen yet.  

Their eternal existence:

Do Angelic beings live forever?

Angels and Demons are eternal beings, like humanity.  There are no more angels being created today, they were created once at the foundation of the earth.  The same number exists today as existed at the beginning.  The fallen angels will have their eternity in the lake of fire, tormented eternally. They will share their abode with the lost in the Lake of Fire

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:41

10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20;10 

The angels, like humanity are also eternal; they along with the saints will inhabit Heaven rejoicing in the presence of God, praising Him in glory. In the book of Revelation, John is escorted by an angel, at one point John is overwhelmed by what he sees, and falls down at the angel’s feet to worship him.  The angel rejects John’s mistake, telling him to worship God alone, the angel then informs John he is a fellow servant (Revelation 19:10).  Jesus talking about our eternity says, we will be like the angels one day.

30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels £of God in heaven.  Matthew 22:30 

34Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. Luke 20:34-36 

Therefore, we can see the destiny of humanity is linked to the angelic realms; the saved will dwell with the angels in eternity, while the lost will dwell with the fallen angels in eternal dwellings.    

                                                     The nature of Angels

Angels are Spirit beings

           Angels are beings, which have spiritual bodies.  They can however appear in the physical world, when permitted by God.  In Genesis the Lord who appears in human form along with two angels, they dine with Abraham.  Later these two angels go on to judge Sodom and Gomorrah, the men of Sodom attack Lot because he kept the angelic beings from going out into the city.  (Genesis 18-19)

         Since Angels on occasion are able to appear in physical form, the writer of Hebrews warns that some people have actually entertained Angels without knowing their identity. 

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:2


Angels are invisible

     Angels are invisible; to prevent men from worshipping them, John the apostle showed us this twice in the book of Revelation, when he fell down before an angel to worship.  Twice the angel told him not to do it.(Revelation 19:10, 22:9) 

8 Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God." Revelation 22:8-9


Angels possess a distinct identity

Both angels and demons are distinct persons with identities and personalities.  Each has a name, though we only know the names of a few.  Gabriel identifies himself as Gabriel, and God calls out to him addressing him as Gabriel (Daniel 8:16).  Jesus asks the demons inhabiting the man what their name is, they replied “Legion”. 


Angels are limited in their knowledge

Angels are curious but limited in their knowledge.  In this Daniel 12:5-6, two angels standing by Daniel ask

a third, about the timing of future events.   

5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.  6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?"  Daniel 12:5-6 

Angles like men are made in the image of God

This point is not explicitly stated, but we can infer based on the scriptures we know.  Angels like humanity, have “Free will”.  Man we are also told is lower then the angels (Hebrews 2;7).  Jesus says, one day we shall be equal to the angels (Luke 20;36).  The angels are called the “sons of God”(Job 1:6, 2:1, 36:7). We are fellow servants along with the angels (Revelation 22:9)




Characteristics of Angels

The Ranks of Angels

      Scripture lists several specific types of angels, with different ranks.  Scripture does not give us a breakdown of each specific rank, but does let us know their exists a hierarchy within the angelic realms.  The first rank as the title implies is Archangel.  The word mentioned twice, is specifically applied to Michael, who is called an Archangel (Jude 1:9). Therefore, the highest-ranking angel would be Archangel. Paul in Thessalonians implies the existence of additional Archangels (I Thess. 4:16). Daniel 10:21 implies another angel of equal ranking to that of Michael. Michael will one day lead the angels who will expel Satan and his angels.  Michael is also listed as the guardian prince of Israel (Daniel 12;1).

      Some have also classified Gabriel as an archangel, though he is not specifically called one in scripture.  Gabriel stands before the throne of God and is dispatched, with revelations central to the salvation of humanity. He silenced John, when John questioned his identity (Luke 1:19). 


      Another group of angels, which play a prominent role, are the Cherubs.  The most famous is Lucifer, who was listed as the “covering” Cherub (Ezekiel 28:14), before he turned against God and lead 1/3 of the angels in rebellion.  The Tabernacle and the arch of the Covenant are pictures or shadows of God’s throne. On the Arc of the Covenant, Cherubim are carved over the mercy seat, which is picture of the heavenly reality.   

18And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. 20And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.  Exodus 25:18-20

     In Ezekiel, the throne of God is described by Ezekiel, along with God’s throne, we see the mighty Cherub angels, which stand in the presence of God. (Ezekiel 1:4-28, 10:1-24, 11:24).  The Cherubim are described as having 4 sets of wings, with 4 faces.  

4Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. 6Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. 7Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. 8The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. 9Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward..... 26And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it   Ezekiel 1:4-9, 26

Seraphim, The Four Living Creatures

     Along with the Cherubim, who stand by the throne of God, scripture lists two other groups of angels.  Some would argue, these are also Cherubim angels, since their work and description are very similar.  The Seraphim were only mentioned by Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1-7), who sing Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;    The whole earth is full of His glory!”. 

The Four Living Creatures have a similar appearance and also sing God’s praises before the Throne, therefore, except for a few differences in description, they are very similar to the Seraphim and the Cherubim described by Ezekiel and Isaiah. (Revelation 4:6-9, 5:8, 6:1,3,5,7) 

Ruling Angels 

Angels are territorial; they are assigned specific areas of influence.  They operate with the participation of the saved.  For example Daniel’s prayer in chapter, was specifically linked to spiritual conflict between the Prince of Persia (a Demonic force) and Michael.  Ephesians 6 helps us to understand their is an order in the demonic realms, there is also an order in the heavenly realms.  Paul lists them as heavenly principalities (Ephesians 1:21, 3;10, Colossians 1:16, 2;10, I Peter 3;22), which are locked in this struggle.  

Guardian Angels 

Jesus describes a group of angels, who guard the “little ones” .  Angels aid in the ministry of salvation.  They guard and protect the heirs of salvation. 

10“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11For£ the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. Matthew 18:10-11

This is specifically stated in Hebrews, where angels are involved in ministry to the lost.  There are several examples of this in descriptions outside the Bible as missionaries describe angelic intervention.

14Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1;14 


All the angels are described as hosts, meaning army.  The Lord  calls Himself, the Lord of Hosts , He identifies with His Heavenly army.  The Hebrew word for Hosts is abc Tsaba', which means that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host. 


The appearance of Angels 

       Angels for the most part appear in human form throughout scripture, mainly as men.  They are described in glorious terms shining garments, which makes them standout from others.   

3 He took me there, and behold, there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway. Ezekiel 40:3 

6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?" Daniel 10:6 

4And it happened, as they were £greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.  Luke 24:4 

    Along with the description of angels, we also see angelic horses and chariots, describing the army of the Lord. (2 Kings 2:11, 2 Kings 6;17, Psalm 68:17, Zechariah 1:8-11, Revelation 19:14

16So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:16-17 

In contrast to these descriptions the Cherubim, Seraphim and the Four Beasts are described as having four faces, with many eyes, and 4 and 6 wings.


Their work and ministry

In Heaven

  • They Worship God (1 Ki. 22:19; Ps. 29:1, 2; Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8; 19:4).
  • The observe humanity (Lk. 12:8, 9; 15:10; 1 Cor. 4:9; 11:10; Eph. 3:10; 1 Tim. 5:21; 1 Pet. 1:12).
  • They rejoice in the works of God (Job 38:7Rev. 4:11 (1 Tim. 3:16; Rev. 5:11, 12).


On Earth

Angels are involved in the affairs of men, except they work more in the background, because of man’s tendency to worship (Revelation 19:10, 22:9).  There are involved in the ministry to those who are heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). 

  •  They inform, instruct and interpret scripture

       The Bible gives us only glimpses of angelic involvement, allowing us to understand but not get sidetracked in our worship or attention.  In the same way, God does not want us to worship pastors, worship leaders or teachers; he does not want us to worship angels.  The tendency of fallen humanity is to look for a god-substitute, for our own protection, God limits our knowledge and exposure to angelic work.

      Angels are fellow servants (Revelation 22:9), who are working in the Heavenly realms to accomplish what we are doing in the physical.  Our prayers empower them to work along with us to bring the Gospel to the lost.  

26Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. Acts 8:26 

  • They protect the Lord’s servants from danger: (Genesis 19;10-11 2 Ki. 6:15-17).

The extent of angelic protection is described in a limited way (Psalm 34;7, 91:11); God protects his servants from being to caught up in the wrong direction.  However, God does reveal to us, the existence of angelic involvement in the physical world. The following story is from Billy Graham as recorded in the Wilmington Guide to the Bible

The Reverend John G. Paton, a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, tells a thrilling story involving the protective care of angels. Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them. John Paton and his wife prayed all during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see the attackers unaccountably leave. They thanked God for delivering them. 

A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, ‘Who were all those men you had with you there?’ The missionary answered, ‘There were no men there; just my wife and I.’ The chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard—hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack. Only then did Mr. Paton realize that God had sent His angels to protect them. The chief agreed that there was no other explanation. Could it be that God had sent a legion of angels to protect His servants, whose lives were being endangered?” (Angels: God’s Special Agents, p. 3)

  • The are involved in Judgment

The book of Revelation specifically lists the Angels who stand before the throne of God, how they blow the trumpets and pour out the bowls of wrath on the earth.  They are administering God’s justice, against wickedness. 

1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Revelation 8:1-2 

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth." Revelation 16:1  


Their destiny 

They are fellow servants with man; Jesus said we will be like the angels, equal to them.  Man will  spend eternity dwelling in the presence of God. Therefore, the angles will be sharing our eternity.  As we work on the earth, the angels work in heaven. (Heb. 12:22, 23; Rev. 22:10-12) (Eph. 2:4-7; 3:10, 11). 

22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, Hebrews 12:22-23 


 Prayer and Angels 

In scripture, God hears the prayers of his people; our prayers empower God’s angels to interact on our behalf to advance the kingdom of God.  One of the great examples of prayer and warfare is in Daniel chapter 10.  Before we go there, lets look at a recent story as reported in the book The Invisible War, by Chip Ingram.  

The missionary was serving as a medic in Africa. Periodically he had to travel by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies.  It was a two-day trip, so he would camp in the jungle overnight. He had always made the trip without incident, but one day when he arrived in the city, he saw two men fighting.  One was seriously hurt, so he treated the man, shared Christ with him, and went on his way. 

The next time the missionary traveled to the city, the man he had treated approached him. “I know you carry money and medicine, the man said to the missionary. “Some friends and I followed you into the jungle that night after you treated me, knowing you had to sleep in the jungle alone. We waited for you to go to sleep, planning to kill you and take your money and drugs. As we started to move into the campsite, we saw twenty-six armed guards surrounding you. There were only six of us, so we knew we couldn’t possibly get near, and we left.”

When he heard this, the missionary laughed.  “That’s impossible. I assure you, I was alone in the campsite.”  But the young man pressed the point. “No, sir. I wasn’t the only one who saw the guards. My friends saw them too, and we all counted them.”[1] 

Later as the missionary went home to his home church in Michigan and told his story, someone in the church stopped him and told the following. He said the following to the meeting. 

“On that night in Africa it was morning here. I stopped by the church to get some materials for a ministry trip.  But as I was putting my bags in my trunk, I felt the Lord leading me to pray for you.  I was an extremely strong urge, so I got on the phone and gathered some other men to come to church and pray for you”  Then the man turned to the rest of the congregation. “Will all of those men who prayed with me that day stand up right now?  And one by one they stood up—all twenty-six of them.[2] 

The missionary could relate to Daniel, who sheds light on just such an incident.  In Daniel 10, Daniel is praying and fasting for 21-days.  The Persians had just defeated Babylon, and Cyrus the Persian King had allowed the Jews to return and the Temple to be rebuilt.  However there enemies of the Jews in the Persian court, who wanted to prevent this, Daniel understood the battle was spiritual not physical.

Daniel was in his eighties, at this point in his life.  He prayed and fasted for 21-days with no answer. Finally, an answer came from an angelic being who explained the events to Daniel, why there was a delay. 

2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. 4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. 12 Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 "Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come." Daniel 10:2-14 

The glorious looking angel explains to Daniel, the Prince of Persia withstood him for 21-days.  The Prince of Persia was not a physical being but a spiritual being that was in control over the principality of Persia. Michael, who was the angel over Israel, was called into action to aid the other angel, because of the power of the spiritual being, which opposed Daniel’s prayer.

Notice Daniel was the warrior on earth, involved in this spiritual war taking place in heavenly realms.


[1]  Chip Ingram, The Invisible War, Pgs. 155-156,  Baker Books, Grand Rapids Michigan 2006

[2] Ibid, 156