It is interesting to note, according to Paul, how God’s intent is that “...now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms...” (Eph. 3:10). This fact was substantiated by Peter when he said, “Even angels long to look into these things [contained within the Gospel message]” (1 Pet. 1:12). Angels, both good and evil, are well-aware of what goes on in the spiritual realm; but the understanding of the relationship between God and human beings is beyond their comprehension. They are utterly amazed at the high regard God pays to mankind and how significant we are in His great Plan.
Good angels also pay close attention to us, because the pure, true meaning and import of the Gospel message can be understood only by human beings, to whom salvation is extended by grace through faith in God (Eph. 2:8). These angels wish to grasp the essence and significance of the message by listening to us. Sometimes they even take on physical forms to visit people, which is one reason why we are encouraged, at times, to entertain strangers (Heb. 13:2).
Another reason angels, good and evil, pay us such regard is that, one day, supernaturally transformed believers in Jesus (as Lord and Savior) actually will judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3a). Yet another reason I believe good angels pay such close attention to the activities in this realm relates to the fact that they never have received the knowledge of evil. As such, they understandably are curious about the effects and ramifications of evil upon us and the other creatures in this domain, thus reinforcing their wise choice not to receive this knowledge. It may be that, at any time, they have the capability of receiving the knowledge of evil; however, viewing what terrible, even cataclysmic effects evil has upon this world may be enough to discourage them, for all eternity, from willfully accepting such devastating knowledge.
Multiple evil spirits occupied the body of a man who was in a synagogue where Jesus was preaching (Mark 1:23). One spirit cried out to Jesus, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (1:24). (The demon said this because it had known Jesus for countless ages before He took on an extended incarnate form.) As Jesus ordered it out, “The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek” (1:25). Whenever Jesus drove out spirits and/or healed someone, the witnesses standing around were amazed that He had the Authority to do such things.
At another time, Jesus ejected demons out of many people gathered in one place. The demons shouted, “You are the Son of God!” as they came out (Luke 4:41a). On yet another occasion, a legion (great number) of demons, inhabiting and causing derangement of a man, also knew whom Jesus was. Speaking fearfully as a single voice through the man, when Jesus approached, they said, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” (8:28). They begged Him not to order them into the Abyss, a prison for certain evil angels and demons (Rev. 9:1c,2,11, 20:1-3a—see “Abyss”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I). Jesus sent the legion of evil spirits into a large herd of pigs; the pigs rushed down a steep bank into a lake and drowned. The man then was in his right mind immediately (Luke 8:30-35).
The reason for Jesus’ Authority, given by the Father (see “Authority”: C-6, P-II), clearly should be recognized in this description, by Paul, of the creative attribute of Jesus (see “Creator, Sustainer”: C-6, P-III):
For by him [Jesus Christ] 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 (Col. 1:16).
God the Father, by the Power of the Holy Spirit and manifested through Jesus, created all things, including angels and demons (rulers, authorities, and powers). Having been designed and brought into being by Jesus, every created thing, voluntarily or involuntarily, is subject to Him. Peter affirmed that Jesus Christ “...is at God’s [the Father’s] right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him” (1 Pet. 3:22b). Interestingly, Jesus, as a man, was a carpenter on earth (Mark 6:3ab), crafting objects to be used by other people. As God, He is the Carpenter and Crafter of the seen and unseen universe.
Since “...by [Jesus] all things were created...” (Col. 1:16), and since He is “...the head over every power and authority...” (2:10), then Satan and his spirits must answer to and obey Him. Jesus spoke directly to demons possessing people and ordered them out of these people (Mark 1:23-26, 9:25,26; Luke 4:41, 8:30-33). Furthermore, I believe we have access to the same Power of the Holy Spirit if we only believe it and are willing to utilize it (Matt. 10:1; John 14:12).
Although evil spirits must submit to Jesus, they do not like to acknowledge that He came as God in human form. John warned to
...not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).
Here, “false prophets” include those known as “channelers” (see “channeling”: P-II) who, deceived and misguided by the spirits they channel, deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Of such a person, John said,
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22).
destination of evil angels and demons
Satan and an estimated one-third of the angels chose to receive the knowledge of evil (as did each human being), and these angels continue to choose to covet and attempt to procure God’s Authority and Power. They, apparently, will long for these things throughout eternity, even though they possess the knowledge that they never will have access to them. Moreover, they have chosen to stop loving God. Therefore, they have no permanent place in the company of God, as God ultimately will allow into His presence only those who unconditionally can love Him and will provide Him with unswerving, faithful allegiance and service forever. In return, these latter steadfast devotees will be provided a place where there “...will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things [will have] passed away” (Rev. 21:4b—see “attributes of heaven”: C-14, P-II).
On the contrary, those who have rebelled against God and who are not willing to submit voluntarily to His Authority for eternity will be sent, according to Jesus, “...into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41b). Before the evil angels enter this “eternal fire,” however, they (along with Satan) will be bound and confined to a supernatural prison, the “Abyss” (Rev. 20:1-3a—see “Abyss”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I), for a period of 1,000 years known as the “Millennium” (see C-13). Isaiah gave this description:
In that day [after Jesus’ Second Advent] the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison [the Abyss] and punished after many days [1,000 years] (Isa. 24:21,22).
John, in a vision of the end of the 1,000-year period (Rev. 20:7a), saw “...the devil...thrown into the lake of burning sulfur...” to be “...tormented day and night for ever and ever” (20:10). (All evil angels will join him there—Matt. 25:41b.) John also saw that “...death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:14a). Finally, “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (20:15—see “lake of fire; fiery furnace”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I).
Evil angels and demons, though aware of their own eternal destiny, are so deceived by Satan that they choose to ignore the prospect of it. And they definitely do not want for us to be aware of this bleak eternity, which certainly is in store for those who do not know God. This is one reason why demons do not want us to be conscious of their existence (see “spiritual weapons”: C-10, P-II). As stated by a certain character in Frank Peretti’s novel, This Present Darkness, “It was amazing how well the demons could hide, even behind the doubts he sometimes felt about their very existence.”
If I were not absolutely sure whether or not this so-called “lake of fire” in the realm of hell existed, I do not think I would take a gamble, hoping that it did not. Pastor R. W. Schambach has pointed out on TBN that if there is such a place as hell, it cannot possibly be less horrible than the Bible describes in language that we can understand; it must be at least as bad and, most likely, is indescribably worse. If it does exist (and I am fully convinced that it does), it plainly would be the worst mistake that one ever could make to assume that it does not exist and, therefore, not to take precautions to make sure that one did not end up there—especially if it will contain the worst nightmarish creatures (evil angels and demons) one can imagine. Once inside this prison, there will be no option to exit; it is a “one-way trip.”
The main purpose of this life is to prepare for eternity; everyone must decide how he/she will spend it. Fortunately, God has provided a way, through Jesus (see “real eternal choice”: C-15, P-III), for anyone who so desires to choose to avoid the eternal holocaust which is in store for the devil, evil angels, and demons. However, misery loves company. Therefore, Satan, has devised countless counterfeits to fool those who allow themselves to be duped into doing his will when, in reality, it is a road headed straight for spiritual destruction. The next chapter gives more details about such counterfeits, which everyone would be smart to avoid.
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Copyright © 1998– by Ted M. Montgomery, O.D. Most rights reserved.