The naturalistic worldview denies the existence of the supernatural, and many claim it is a realistic worldview. Yet our entertainment betrays our interest and belief in the supernatural. Books, movies, T.V. shows, and artwork that feature angels, demons, ghosts, and other supernatural or extraterrestrial beings are wildly popular. Unfortunately, angels and demons are not always accurately portrayed. Only the Bible portrays the truth about angels and demons. What it says about them expands upon three basic facts:
Fact #1: Angels and Demons Exist
The Bible says that angels and demons exist. The Old Testament speaks of angels over 100x and the New Testament speaks of them 165x. The New Testament speaks of demons over 100x and indicates that the false gods spoken of often in the Old Testament are actually demons (1 Cor. 10:20).
God created angels as spiritual beings. The Bible implies that they were created before the physical universe, there are far too many of them to count, and they are organized into ranks according to their power and purpose. It doesn’t explain the origin of demons, but they are most likely angels who decided to rebel against God.
Fact #2: Angels and Demons are Personal
The Bible says angels and demons are personal. It describes them as real people with all the features of personality. They are superior to humans in power, intelligence, and duration, but inferior and accountable to God as His creatures.
The Bible says all angels were originally created holy and good. Paul charges Timothy “in the sight of…the elect angels” (1 Tim. 5:21), so it appears that God chose to keep most of them for Himself. But a minority of them sinned along with Satan and were forever confirmed in their unholy state as demons. The New Testament frequently refers to them as “evil” or “unclean” spirits.
Fact #3: Angels and Demons are Active
The Hebrew and Greek words for “angel” mean “messenger” and designate someone who speaks or acts on behalf of somebody else. Angels speak and act on behalf of God, while demons speak and act on behalf of Satan.
Angels worship God, deliver His messages, minister to His people, execute His judgments, battle against His enemies, and will escort Jesus at His return. Demons advance Satan’s work of deception and temptation, help him oppose the spread of the gospel, and harm humans by oppressing and possessing them.
How Angels and Demons Affect You
The ongoing conflict between angels and demons is commonly called “spiritual warfare.” The Bible doesn’t say much about this topic. Here are three sensible suggestions for how you should approach it:
- Be aware that it exists. God and His angels are at war against Satan and his demons in both the heavenly and earthly realms.
- Do not seek angels. Grow in your relationship with God and thank Him for being present and active in your life, whether it involves angels or not.
- Do not seek demons. It is unwise to look for demons in order to confront them. Rather, devote yourself to resisting temptation and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
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