Angels are not the spirits of deceased humans but an entirely separate creature, with a completely different constitution and purpose. They were created by God some time after He initiated the creation of the universe, but before He created mankind (Nehemiah 9:6; Job 38:6-7). They are immortal, immaterial, self-conscious spirits endowed with a will and with great intelligence and power. Unlike mankind, whom God created male and female, the angels were created simultaneously as an innumerable company (Psalm 148:1-5), and thus, they are genderless and have no means or reason to marry or procreate—the angelic population never grows or diminishes (Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-36). Whenever angels were seen on earth, they were always manifested as young men, often passing by undetected or as ordinary people (Hebrews 13:2; Genesis 19:1, 5). Angels are mere creatures; they are never to be worshiped (Revelation 19:10).
All things—including the angels—were created for the express purpose of worshiping, serving, and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and carrying out His will (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:6). God has determined to show mercy to a remnant of sinners, having sent forth His Son to redeem them and purchase their salvation, and therefore the angels are sent by Him to protect and serve in the eternal interests of His elect (Hebrews 1:14). Angels have constantly attended God's throne (Job 1:6; 1 Kings 22:19; Isaiah 6:2-3), accompanied God in His earthly visitations (Genesis 18:1-2, 22; 19:1; Deuteronomy 33:2; Luke 2:8-11), were instrumental in delivering divine revelation to God's people (Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2; Daniel 8:16), and served as executioners in unleashing divine judgment upon God's enemies (Genesis 19:1, 13; Ezekiel 9:1-11; Acts 12:23). In the future, they will announce the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and accompany Him to the earth (Matthew 25:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:7), separate the wicked from among the righteous (Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50), and supervise the torments of the damned in hell (Revelation 14:10).
Satan and his Demons
Like the rest of the angels and of God's creation, Satan was initially good and perfect, morally upright and sinless (Genesis 1:31). He corrupted himself, however, and became evil of his own will on account of pride (1 Timothy 3:6). He was the first to fall into sin and, leading a host of angels with him, apostatized from God. These apostate angels became demons, having aligned themselves with Satan as their leader, to whom they now belong (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). All of them sinned against God and abandoned their position before Him (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4), and have been cast down to the earth, where they currently roam about amongst mankind (Job 1:7; Revelation 12:12).
As a result of their apostasy, God has committed them to eternal damnation, without any hope or possibility of mercy (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4). All of them are acutely aware of the coming judgment, when they will finally be brought to justice by Almighty God, who has prepared the everlasting fires of hell for them (Matthew 25:41)—the knowledge of which fills them with terror and dread (James 2:19). During the earthly ministry of the Son of God, the demons begged Him not to torment them before the appointed time (Matthew 8:29). Satan and his demons will ultimately be thrown into the lake of fire, where they will be tormented day and night for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).
Their Sinister Activity
With their fate ever in view, Satan and his demons tirelessly seek, with pure malice, to destroy mankind, and they do so with incredible power and guile. Satan has been a murderer and the father of lies from the beginning (John 8:44); soon after man was created, he immediately lured them into sin, having successfully brought upon them—and upon the entire human race—the curse of death and damnation (Genesis 3:12-14; Romans 5:12, 18). Immediately after God brought His only Redeemer for sinners into the world, Satan sought, unsuccessfully, to destroy Him (Matthew 2:13, 16; Revelation 12:4). As history unfolds and with each passing hour, Satan and his demons grow all the more enraged, desperate, and intent on bringing as many with them as they can into eternal damnation (Revelation 12:12; 1 Peter 5:8).
The whole world lies in Satan's power (1 John 5:19). By accomplishing the fall of the human race into sin, Satan usurped the power of death, enslaved sinners, and received authority over the whole world (Luke 4:5-6; Mark 3:26-27; Hebrews 2:14-15). Owing to this, the Scriptures designate him with the titles ruler of this world (John 12:31), prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), and even the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)—not because he is divine (he is a created being), but on account of his impact and influence over the world. Satan and his demons have managed to deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). Consequently, all sinners, apart from those whom the Lord Jesus Christ has rescued and freed from Satan's unseen tyranny, are held captive by the devil and do his will, whether intentionally or not (2 Timothy 2:26); already enslaved to their own sinful lusts, they gladly, readily, and naturally pursue service to Satan—the settled determination to practice sin, self-will, and will-worship—without any resistance whatsoever. Every unregenerate sinner who lives like this is a child not of God, but of the devil; they carry on and pursue the same self-pleasing, autonomous desires of Satan, their father (John 8:44; 1 John 3:7-10; Matthew 13:38-39).
Satan and his demons keep sinners from believing the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3). Should sinners die without ever hearing the gospel of Christ, they immediately and unquestionably sink straight into hell—not because they failed to hear, but because they are rebels against God, who are guilty of breaking His law, of which their own consciences bear witness; and in the very least, they rejected the truth as it is readily found in nature, which God has revealed to all people, to the extent that all are without excuse (Romans 1:18-21). Thus, Satan and his demons keep as many as they can from ever being exposed to the only means God has appointed by which sinners can be rescued from their sins and from everlasting damnation—the preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:18-21; Romans 10:13-15). Whenever the truth has arrived, however, and the gospel is proclaimed, Satan and his demons immediately strive to devour the Word from the hearts of those who hear, "lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12).
Satan and his demons inspire false religions and anti-Christian worldviews. All non-Christian religions are invented by evil men and inspired by Satan—including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, paganism, etc. The so-called gods of these false religions are in fact demons; the adherents of these religions are actually worshiping demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-20; Revelation 9:20; Psalm 106:37-38; Deuteronomy 32:16-17). Those who claim to recognize no religion, but embrace various anti-Christian worldviews such as atheism and agnosticism, are simply and blindly following Satan's lead in sinful self-autonomy and deception; they have set themselves up as their own gods, as they seek to determine for themselves their own standards of truth, ethics, and reality. Each of the sophisticated arguments or false religious rituals these people employ only seal their doom and guarantee their damnation. After successfully palliating their once-raging conscience, they continue in their self-induced deception and rebellion until it is thoroughly cauterized (Romans 1:18-32), and then in the end they drop immediately into hell, and are lost forever.
Satan and his demons introduce heresies and false churches. Not content to conspicuously oppose and contradict the truth, these evil spirits also very effectively disquise themselves as angels of light and heralds of righteousness, and have infiltrated Christendom, flooding it with all manner of counterfeit gospels, false Christs, false ministers, false disciples, and damnable doctrines (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Matthew 13:24-25, 37-38; 24:23-26; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Galatians 1:8-9; 2:4; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-3). Many false, pseudo-Christian churches and cults have arisen—such as Mormonism and Jehovah's Witnesses—whose teachings actually blaspheme God, pervert His truth, and, if believed, will result in eternal damnation.
Their Subjugation to the Lord Jesus Christ
As powerful as Satan and his demons may be, their power and authority is, nevertheless, delegated to them by God, and apart from His permission, they can do absolutely nothing (Job 1:12; 2:6-7). They have all been made subject to Christ, who has been given all power and authority over all, including them (Matthew 28:18; Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:22). Even during His earthly ministry, Christ rebuked and commanded the demons, who were unable to resist His authority (Matthew 8:28-32; Luke 4:41; 8:27-29; Mark 5:2-13). However, whenever these evil spirits are given permission, they are capable of inflicting tremendous, unimaginable devastation (Job 1:12-19; 2:6-7; Mark 9:17-29). Whenever they are granted permission to harass God's people, it always works out, by God's providential wisdom and sovereignty, for their good and His glory (Job 42:10-12; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20). On the other hand, Satan and his demons prove to be potent executioners when God unleashes them upon His enemies, to destroy them (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 1 Kings 22:20-23).