Angelology 019 (Demonology 1)Deuteronomy 32:17 • Dr. Andy Woods • November 24, 2019 • Angelology
November 24, 2019
Dr. Andy Woods
“Father, we thank You for today. We thank You for—how many things can we thank You for? You’ve blessed us spiritually. You’ve put us in a country materially with freedom, and it’s hard to even exhaust what we have. So our hearts are very thankful today and particularly this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving.
I pray for Your presence and illumination in Sunday school today and in the main service that follows. I pray You’ll be with everything this church is doing today from dawn till dusk. I pray that You will be right there in the midst of our activities.
I pray that You would not find us like Laodicea, where we’re doing church stuff but You’re outside the door. We don’t want to be that way; we want You involved in our church! We ask You’ll do that today, and we’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name.”
And God’s people said? “Amen.”
Good morning, everybody! Happy almost Thanksgiving. Let’s take your Bibles and open them to Deuteronomy 32:17. We’re at a transitional point, if you will, in our study on angelology. We’ve done a study on the good angels. From there we’ve taken a look at the angel who fell; his name is Satan.
The Bible has an awful lot to say about him. So we spent several lessons covering basically everything you’d want to know about Satan. You might be saying, “I’m glad that bad stuff is over with! We don’t have to think about fallen angels anymore.” Well, not so fast, because we move here to number three: demonology. So now we’re not just looking at Satan, but we’re looking at his demons that accompany him and his evil work.
I’ll say more about it as we go, but here’s our outline for demonology. Looking at the existence of demons, the origin of demons. There’s some confusion about that. Where do the demons come from? Trying to look, today, at the fact that they are actually personalities. Just like the good angels, and just like Satan himself, you’re not dealing with impersonal sources of energy; you’re dealing with entities that have real personages and personalities. They’re not, of course, humans. They are part of the angelic realm, but their personalities are very distinct, as given in Scripture.
Then we’ll be looking at the characteristics of demons. And then we’ll be spending some time on their powers. How powerful are they, exactly?
From there we’ll move to their works. What are they doing?
Then we’ll be getting into an area that a lot of people are very interested in—the area of demon possession. Actually, the Greek text doesn’t say, “demon possession.” It talks about people being “demonized,” and you see many occurrences of that in the gospels. We’ll learn about that. And is that a reality today? If so, can a Christian be demonized, like we see the man at Gadara was demonized? Can that happen today in the life of a Christian? We’ll get into that whole subject.
Then, finally, number eight. We’re looking at defense. Since we’ve described all of these terrible things about Satan and the demons—and we see how powerful they are—what are the resources that God has given us in the age of the church to defend ourselves against Satan and his minions?
That’s sort of a broad sweep of where we’re headed, but let’s go ahead and start off with the existence of demons. You’ll notice that with all of these categories we’ve started this way. We started with the good angels and with Satan, looking at their existence, origin, personhood. And now we’re doing the same kind of thing with demons.
Do you believe in demons? I do, for the simple reason that the Bible tells us about them. The Old Testament doesn’t give us as much information as the New Testament does, but the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) clearly affirms the existence of demons.
Go to Deuteronomy 32:17. It’s interesting, one of the things that’s written here. Speaking of the nation of Israel, “They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread.” I’m reading out of the NASB. It uses the word there, “They sacrificed to demons…” Consequently, it’s very clear that there are entities that exist called “demons.”
One more Old Testament passage, Psalm 106:37. Of course, you know that Moses wrote the Book of Deuteronomy about 1400 years, roughly, before the time of Christ. David wrote, probably, most of the Psalms about a thousand years before Christ. Notice what Psalm 106:37 says. It says virtually the same thing that we found in Deuteronomy.
It says, “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons…” There it is again in the NASB. There was some sort of pagan sacrificial system taking place, and what was really behind it all were demonic entities. So, the Old Testament clearly affirms the existence of demons. The New Testament does as well, but it has a lot more to say about it.
The New Testament will mention demons probably over 100 times. You know that Luke wrote Luke and Acts. Peter wrote two letters. John wrote five books. Paul wrote 13 letters, etc. That’s what I mean by a biblical writer. Not necessarily every biblical book, but every biblical writer mentions demons somewhere, except the author of Hebrews.
The author of Hebrews does mention, quite frequently, the good angels. Although, to my knowledge, I can’t find anything in the Book of Hebrews that mentions fallen angels. But other than the Book of Hebrews, you find references to demons not necessarily in every book but from each biblical author.
Of course, more important than anybody else is Jesus Christ! You can’t get a higher authority than that. Jesus Christ spoke openly about demons, just as He spoke openly about Satan.
There are too many passages to go through, but we’ll look at a handful. Look at Matthew 8:29. Here’s Jesus interacting with demons. “And they cried out, saying, ‘What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?’ ”
These are clearly demons because it says back in verse 28, “When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way.”
So, demons are acknowledging Jesus there through a man at Gadara. Demons are acknowledging Jesus; and Jesus acknowledges the existence of demons, conversely.
Matthew 10:1 says, “Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” There is Jesus, as He’s sending out the 12 to preach the offer of the Kingdom to the nation of Israel in Matthew 10, giving them authority over certain things including the demonic realm. Obviously, Jesus wouldn’t do that unless demons were truly in existence.
Then, when you go to Matthew 12:43-45, you have to my mind one of the most fascinating statements that Jesus made concerning the reality of the demonic realm. He’s basically speaking in a message to the nation of Israel how they have rejected Him and now something worse is going to fill the void that’s in the nation’s life because they have rejected their King. And in the process of explaining that, He makes a number of interesting statements about demons here in Matthew 12:43-45.
Jesus is speaking, “ ‘Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, “I [personal pronoun of a demon] will return to my house from which I came”; and when it comes, it finds it [that’s the person whose body Jesus exorcised the demons out of] unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits [then it says something very interesting here] more wicked than itself…’ ”
That to me has always been very interesting because there’s the bad demons, then there’s the badder demons, and then there’s the baddest demons. It’s like being in a gang—everybody’s bad, but some are really rough compared to other members.
“ ‘Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.’ ”
What He’s saying is the nation of Israel is going to be in a worse state than it was when John the Baptist arrived because the nation of Israel never embraced their King. In the process of giving that teaching, He gives this metaphor into the demonic realm about what happens when a person has demons cast out of them, but Jesus never enters into that person. Well, the demon that’s cast out gets seven buddies worse than itself and reenters the same body, and the last state is worse than the first state. He says, by way of analogy, this is how it’s going to be for the nation of Israel in the first century.
In the process of giving this teaching He gives all kinds of fascinating details and fascinating information about the reality of demons, which we could probe and go into. That is not really my purpose at this point; it’s just to show us that demons really exist.
If demons didn’t really exist, then Jesus wouldn’t be saying the things that He’s saying and doing the things that He’s doing in the Gospels. We wrestle not against flesh and blood Ephesians 6 tells us. And because we can’t see demons, a lot of us are kind of conned into thinking that there’s no such thing as demons. Yet they are very much a reality.
Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They’re just as real as… You’re sitting in this room looking around at actual physical people, and you don’t question their existence!
There is an angelic conflict going on—the good angels and the fallen angels—which really exist! Whether we can see it or not. It’s interesting how Christ doesn’t sit there and try to prove the existence of demons. He just matter-of-factly talks about them as if they’re absolute 100% realities.
- Do demons exist?
Absolutely! Just like Satan exists. And just like the good angels exist.
- The origin of demons.
Where do these fallen entities actually come from? I’m of the view that they are comprised of the third of the angels that fell with Satan.
We have studied Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-17. We learned about Lucifer’s rebellion and fall. And when you factor in those verses with Revelation 12:3-8, you learned that one third of the angels fell with Satan. So, the best explanation as to who these demons are? It’s the third that fell in Lucifer’s rebellion.
Now why would I think that? I think that primarily because demons and fallen angels in the Bible are described so similarly. For example, we know that demons have a leader. Go back to Matthew 12:24, “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.’ ”
So, the Pharisees had a knowledge that the demons had over them someone in authority. And that’s exactly how Satan and his angels are described. The Scripture will use this expression, “Satan and his angels.” Matthew 25:41, for example. We know that hell was created for Satan and his angels. In other words, Satan has certain angels under his authority.
You see that same description over in Revelation 12:7-9. It keeps speaking there of Satan and his angels. It says, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. [Who’s the dragon? Satan] The dragon and his angels waged war…”
If you go down to verse 9, you’ll see the same reference. “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
Satan has angels—fallen angels—under his authority. Well, that’s exactly how demons are described because Matthew 12:24 talks about Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.
Furthermore, demons are called spirits. In Matthew 8:16 you’ll see a reference to this. It says, “When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.”
You’ll notice here that demons are called spirits. Well, my goodness, that’s exactly what angels are called! They’re called spirits as well! You say, “Where’s that?” It’s in Hebrews 1:14. If you look at that for minute, you’ll see that angels are called spirits as well. Concerning angels, the autor of the Book of Hebrews says, “Are they not all ministering spirits [speaking of angels], sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
I’m seeing some similarities! Demons are called spirits; angels are called spirits. Maybe fallen angels are demons, and the demons are fallen angels.
We also know that demons have a capacity to enter into people. For example, back in Matthew 12:22. Sorry to have you keep flipping all over the place, but there is no book in the Bible called the “demon book.” Okay? So when you do systematic theology you’ve got to assemble data from all 66 books. What do all 66 books bear on a certain subject?
Matthew 12:22 puts it this way, “Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, ‘This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?’ But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.’ ”
It’s hard to cast out a demon from a person unless demons can reside in a person. So, very clearly, demons can enter people. That’s what’s called demon possession, or the Greek text reads “demonized.”
Over in Luke 11:14-15 it says, “And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed.” You’ll notice that demons go into people and demons can be cast out of people. Well, my goodness, Satan does that very thing, doesn’t he? And Satan, we know, is an angel. From our studies, we’ve seen that he at one time was a high-ranking cherub.
You say, “Do you have any biblical evidence that Satan actually goes into people?” Yes, I do. It’s in John 13:27. Some of the spookiest words, really, in the whole Bible. It says, “After the morsel, Satan then entered into him [Judas]. Therefore Jesus said to him…” Whom would Jesus be speaking to? Probably to Satan—and indirectly to Judas. “…‘What you do, do quickly.’ ”
I’m also of the view that the Antichrist will be demon possessed. I think that possession will probably happen midway through the Tribulation period when Satan loses his access that he has to go into heaven—not to worship and serve as he once did as a high-ranking angel, but to communicate and accuse. He has that privilege right now. Halfway through the Tribulation period (Revelation 12) that privilege is taken away, and I think it’s at that point he’ll fall to the earth permanently and actually go into the Antichrist.
The reason I think that is because there’s only two people in the Bible that are given the name “son of perdition” or “son of destruction.” The first is Judas Iscariot. John 17:12 calls Judas the son of perdition. Then Paul uses the exact same Greek phrase to describe the coming lawless one—or Antichrist—in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
So, clearly, Satan—an angel—can enter people. Well, my goodness, demons can enter people! You don’t have an airtight passage that says, “Thus sayeth the Lord, demons are the third of the angels that originally fell with Satan.” But you do have these similarities, and these similarities can’t be overlooked. Demons have a leader—so do the fallen angels. In both cases it’s Satan! It’s just in Matthew 12:24 he’s called Beelzebub, and in the Matthew 25:41 passage he’s called Satan, “the devil and his angels.”
Demons are spirit beings (Matthew 8:16). My goodness, that’s what angels are called (Hebrews 1:14)
Demons can go inside of people (Luke 11:14-15). My goodness, that’s what Satan does! He’s already done it once in history—at least. He’s going to do it a second time with the Antichrist. Satan also is referred to as a cherub—Ezekiel 28—as an angel.
Who, then, are the demons? The only guess I would have is the demons are part of that third that originally fell with Satan.
There are a lot of people out there that are coming out with some very odd definitions. And what I’m sharing is the basic definition of who the demons are. You’ll find it in the Moody Handbook of Theology. This is the standard view.
I’m seeing, though, a lot of people coming up with weird stuff! One fellow is out there trying to convince people that the demons are actually the souls of the Nephilim that were destroyed in the Flood. So, the bodies were destroyed but their spirits are free. Apparently, this fellow is thinking that the souls of the Nephilim must be demons. I give him an ‘A’ for creativity. I don’t give him a very high grade for biblical evidence because there is no biblical evidence for such a thing! That’s his own personal conjecture. I think your best bet is to look at the demons as the third of the angels that originally fell with Satan.
One of the things that’s very interesting to notice in the Bible is these demons are divided into two categories. The first category is the demons that are free. I mean, they’re free to harass us today. If that weren’t true then Ephesians 6:12 wouldn’t say, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Paul clearly talks about how he was in open conflict (or combat) with demons. That’s his whole logic for teaching the full armor of God because that’s really the only source of authority that we have to stand up under them.
But if you’re a careful Bible reader, you’ll also discover that some of these spirits are now in prison. You’ll see a reference to spirits in prison in 1 Peter 3:19-20 and 2 Peter 2:4. There’s an allusion to it in Jude 6, and people like to say, “Well, those are souls in purgatory.” They come up with all of these kinds of explanations, but the word “spirits” only applies to angels or fallen angels. It never applies to a human being.
When it talks about spirits in prison, I’m of the persuasion that it’s talking about demons in prison. And that may be the locusts, according to Revelation 9:3. When we were in Revelation 9, I tried to make the case that those locusts that come out of the abyss are not attack helicopters—the way some popular prophecy teachers teach.
The locusts come out of the abyss. And when you study the abyss in the Book of Revelation, it’s a temporary holding tank of some kind for fallen angels. In fact, that’s where Satan is going to be thrown (Revelation 20:2-3) during the thousand-year Kingdom.
So these locusts that come out of the abyss? I have a tendency to think they are the same incarcerated demons that we read about in 1 Peter 3:19-20, 2 Peter 2:4, and Jude 6.
You start studying what the Bible has to say about demons, and you start to see that there are two groups of them. It’s very interesting that when you study the Peter passages (1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Peter 2:4), Peter brings up that subject related to the days of Noah. So somehow the incarceration of some of the demons is connected to something that happened in Genesis 6.
I have a whole lesson and teaching coming up on Genesis 6; my point wasn’t to go too far into that today. But a lot of people completely deny that demons are involved in Genesis 6 when the sons of God began to cohabitate with human women. I’m going to try to make the case when we get to that section that those are actually demons procreating with human women for the purpose of damaging the gene pool of the human race to prevent the birth of the Messiah.
Now, why would Satan do that? Because Satan always works in history to prevent the birth of Jesus. You see that all the way through Hebrew Bible (or the Old Testament). This is just another strategy he used. Because he was there in Eden, was he not, when the proclamation was made in Genesis 3:15 that there’s coming one from the Seed of the woman (who would that be? Eve) Who will crush his head. Seed of the woman means He must not be only fully God, but also what? Fully man!
Now, Satan is a smart guy, and he says “I’m going to create a race of people that aren’t fully human. I’m going to create a hybrid race—partly angel and partly human.” Those are called the Nephilim. Now, Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4) literally means “fallen ones.” You see, what is Satan doing there? He’s trying to create, genetically, a race of people that can never begat or bring forth the Messiah.
That’s why when you’re in Genesis 6 it keeps talking about the innocence and the blamelessness of Noah. Most people read that and say, “Noah was a great guy!” Well, he was not blameless, morally. Because we read in that chapter that Noah found what? Grace in the eyes of Lord. That must mean he was fallen just like the rest of us! When it says “blameless,” Genesis 6:9, I’ll show you from the Hebrew that the identical word is used to describe, in Exodus 12:5, the unblemished nature of the Passover lamb.
The Passover lamb had to be genetically pure. Noah, when it keeps talking about his innocence and his blamelessness, along with his family—eight total in the ark—were genetically pure or genetically protected. They are protected by God in the ark because it’s through one of those sons (Shem) that the Messiah’s line will continue, and God will fulfill His promise in Genesis 3:15.
So Satan somehow got the fallen angels under his authority… We’re not given the number; we’re just told it’s a third. We’re told that there are so many angels you can’t even number them: 10,000 × 10,000. A third falls with Satan, and somehow Satan got a subset within that third. How many? I don’t know; the Bible doesn’t say.
There is a subcategory. I have a chart on this that I’ll show you when we get to that section. But he got a subset of them to get involved in the Genesis 6 sin where they left their natural estate, as Jude 6 and 7 says they did. They left their natural abode.
That was a crime of such a heinous nature—the tampering of the genetics of the human race—that God took that group (not all the demons) and He immediately put them in the abyss (or incarceration). They’re in the abyss right now as I speak! But they’re actually let out of the abyss in Revelation 9:1-12 to torment the human race as we’ve studied in the Book of Revelation.
Now, I was stuck in a restaurant with three guys when I was a student at Dallas Seminary. One of them was a professor and he had his two teaching assistants on my right and my left. It was a booth in Denny’s where I really couldn’t get out, to be frank with you. One of them was a famous football player. I don’t even know how this came up, but somehow I started talking like this at the table at Denny’s. And all three of them just became so angry at me! They sat there and it was like “Andy in the lion’s den” for three hours!
I was trying to explain my view and they kept posing objection after objection because they obviously didn’t believe the way I believed on it. This went on more than one hour! I want to say it went on two to three hours! Finally, after all of this acrimony amongst brothers in Christ, I said to them, “Okay. So you don’t accept my interpretation Genesis 6.”
Though my interpretation of Genesis 6 is consistent with the earliest church, as I’ll show you, and it’s consistent with Old Testament Judaism. Even people like Josephus and a number of others I can show you that held to this view or a close parallel to it.
I said, “Okay, you don’t accept my interpretation. Then can you please explain to me why some demons are incarcerated, and some are free?” And all three of them, to a man, said, “We don’t know.” So I said, “Well, okay, at least I have an explanation! You may not like the explanation, but I have an explanation!” My explanation as to why some demons are free and some are incarcerated relates directly to what happened in Genesis 6.
Now, if you don’t have Genesis 6 in your angelology and you don’t want to see angelology in Genesis 6, then you’re left with no explanation as to why some demons are free and some are incarcerated. My only point now is to point out that that’s clearly what the New Testament reveals. You’ve got some demons incarcerated; some are free. And I think the ones that are incarcerated were involved in the Genesis 6 situation, and the ones that are free today were never involved in the Genesis 6 situation.
Something else that’s very interesting to study when you get into the subject of demons, is the plan of salvation is not open to Satan and it is not open to the demonic realm. A few verses on that. Notice Matthew 8:29. We read this verse earlier.
This is the demons speaking who were in the man at Gadara. “And they cried out [that’s to Jesus], saying, ‘What business do we have with each other, Son of God?’ ” Notice that the demons know exactly who Jesus is! You can’t even get theologians today to agree Who Jesus is! The demons knew exactly who He was!
And then they make this statement, “ ‘Have You come here to torment us before the time?’ ” So, they know the future! They know they’re going down! They know it’s just a matter of time! They don’t indicate here, “Well, can I pray the sinner’s prayer and get saved?” Partly because, as we’ve talked about in our church, the sinner’s prayer doesn’t save anybody!
But you notice they don’t say, “Can we believe in Christ and be saved?” The way we as human beings can. They have no option to do that! The only thing they have to look forward to is their judgment. So you can conclude from a passage like this that there is no plan of salvation open for the fallen angels. The good angels wouldn’t need a plan of salvation, would they?
Look at Matthew 25:41. It says, “ ‘Then [that’s when the Lord returns] He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” ’ ” Hell itself was originally created because of Lucifer’s rebellion. Obviously, if hell itself was created for Lucifer and those that rebelled with him in the angelic realm, the only thing Satan and the demons have to look forward to is future judgment. There is no such thing as a redemption for a fallen angel.
One more: James 2:19. The Book of James, as you probably know, is one of the earliest books that we have in the New Testament. It was written probably around A.D. 45 to 50. Notice what the Book of James says about demons. “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and [what?] shudder.”
What are they shuddering about? I would shudder as well if the only thing I understood at the name of Jesus Christ is not salvation—He’s not my personal Savior, but He’s my future judge. Think about that! If the only connection you have to Jesus Christ is not Savior but Future Judge, would you not hate the name of Jesus? Would you not go out of your way to shut everybody up about the name of Jesus? And the reason the demons are that way? Because when you put these verses together, apparently the plan of salvation is not open to them.
Part of this understanding that the plan of salvation is not open to the angelic realm helps us understand why the angels keep watching. As you go through the Old Testament, you’ve got the cherubim inscribed there by Moses overlooking the Mercy Seat in the Book of Exodus. Implying that angels are watching.
And when you look at passages like Ephesians 3:10 you learn that angels are watching. Who are they watching? They’re watching us!
First Peter 1:12 talks about how angels—as God lavishes His grace upon us—stoop down and look intently. In other words, they’re studying us all of the time. They have to study because they’re created beings. So, they’re not omniscient. They don’t even know when Jesus is coming back (Matthew 24:36).
Jesus, in His Incarnation, didn’t even know when He was coming back. So you look at passages like this, and it’s very clear that angels are not omniscient! They have to study, they have to learn, just like you and I have to study and learn to become skilled at anything.
One of the things they keep watching is the human race. Why is that? Why are we so darn interesting to these angels? I think it has something to do with the fact that the angels really don’t know much about God’s grace. I mean, how could they understand it when the plan of salvation is not even open to them?
Now, they know all about His creative power. They know all about that. In Job 38:4-7 the sons of God exploded into praise as God brought forth the heavens and the earth.
They know about God’s holiness (Isaiah 6:3) because what do the seraphim say day and night? They say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.” They know all about holiness. And they know all about judgment because they’re aware of Lucifer’s rebellion and how Lucifer took somehow—or deceived—a third of their colleagues into rebelling with him against God. And Lucifer lost his position in heaven, as did a third of the angels which are now demons.
Every angel knows about Creation, they know about holiness, and they know about judgment. What they don’t know much about is grace. And how could they know much about it? Because the plan of salvation is not even open to that realm. They don’t know much about grace. Grace—meaning unmerited favor—is a concept that is foreign to them.
It’s not foreign to us because we’ve received Christ as our Savior and we understand what that’s all about. But angels? The plan of salvation is not even open to them. How could they understand anything about it? So, how are they going to learn about it? Who would they study? They would study the unworthy people (us) whom that grace has been lavished on.
The Gospel of John tells us that we have received—in the age of the church—grace upon grace. There isn’t a group of people in redemptive history that have received more grace than what we’ve been given as the Church Age for the last 2000 years. And the angels just can’t get over this. That’s why they sit and study and watch.
That’s why you have all these verses telling us that the angels are watching. I think it relates to the fact that grace is a foreign concept to them because the plan of salvation is not open to them. So they have to learn about it somewhere, and they learn about it by watching us. It’s an amazing theological issue that’s taking place today with angelic observation.
The question becomes, “Why doesn’t God just open the plan of redemption for the fallen angels?” For one thing, Jesus would have had to become an angel to get that to work. We have no record that Jesus ever became an angel. Jesus became a man. At the virgin conception what was added to the eternally existent deity of Christ was humanity.
Jesus became, at the point of the virgin conception, the unique God-Man. Why did Jesus have to do that? Because if He didn’t do that—if that didn’t happen—He couldn’t qualify to be the Savior of humanity. He also couldn’t fulfill Genesis 3:15, could He? Which says that the Savior is going to be the Seed of the what? The woman! That’s what Satan is trying to block and stop in Genesis 6. So, clearly the plan of salvation is not open to the fallen angels or else Jesus would have had to become an angel, which He did not.
There may be another reason, though, why the plan of salvation is not open to the fallen angels. I got this from Theissen, a very good systematic theologian from a prior generation. Because the Bible doesn’t come out and tell you categorically, “Thus saith the Lord, the plan of salvation is not open to demons. And here’s why…” You have to do a little bit of inference.
Thiessen writes this, “Because the angels are a company and not a race…” We’re a race, right? People want to get into racial issues. Well, there’s only one race—the human race. “Because the angels are a company and not a race, they sinned individually, and not in some federal head of the race [as was true with humanity’s fall in the person of Adam].”
I like what he says here, “It may be…” See how he’s saying, “I’m doing some inference here.” He’s not dogmatic when the Bible is not dogmatic, but he just gives a logical inference. And that’s what a good systematic theologian will do. You don’t want to be dogmatic in places that the Bible is not dogmatic.
Now he’s doing a little bit of human reasoning and so he says, “It may be…” And I like this explanation because it’s the best I’ve heard on it. “It may be that because of this that God made no provision of salvation for the fallen angels.”
What does the Bible say? To whom much is given, much is what? Expected! When they rebelled against God, they did not do that because some head of their race—because they’re not a race—sinned. So, I am born into this world as a sinner because of something Adam did in the Garden of Eden.
I am born under the penalty of sin because of something Adam did in the Garden of Eden. I’m of the view of seminal headship, which basically means that when Adam sinned, I was right there sinning with him. I guess that God could have put us all in the Garden of Eden, one by one, and we would’ve all done the same thing. That’s what’s called seminal headship view. I’m more of that persuasion.
But the truth of the matter is (Romans 5:12) all of us are in a sinful condition because of something Adam did. Adam’s sin affected all of us! Why? Because he is the acting head of our race—the human race.
It’s like your politician in your district. Because of the position that they are in—City Council, Congress, President—whatever they decide affects you. Now, you may hate the person, you may have campaigned against the person, you may have voted against the person, but when all is said and done, tough tacos—as we like to say—they’re your head. So whatever decision they make affects you.
That’s what happened with the human race. Adam’s position imputed the consequences of sin to all of us. All of us are born into this world dead in our trespasses and sins because of what Adam did. And what Thiessen is saying here is (paraphrasing), “That’s not true with the angels!” Each of them went into sin because of a conscious choice that each of them made—a third of them.
The Bible says to whom much is given, much is what? Required. And they had a higher knowledge threshold than we do. They stood in the very glory of God, which we never have. And each made a decision to sin. You can’t blame it on the fact that, “Well, one angel sinned; so, all of them sinned.” Because the angels are not a race, as Thiessen says, but rather are a company.
To capsulize Thiessen’s thought process, I put together this chart which shows you the difference between human accountability and angelic accountability. We as human beings sinned as a class. You’ll see that taught very clearly in Romans 5:12. “Therefore, just as through one man [who would that be? Adam] sin entered into the world …” You see, this happened way back in Eden before I was even conceived.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to…” Who? Some men? No! “…all men, because all sinned…” So, Adam’s sin affected everybody! And when you understand this, then you start to see why the virgin birth is such a big deal! If Jesus had had a natural conception—like all of us do—He would have been born under that same curse, but God circumvented that through the virgin miraculous conception of Christ.
That’s why I’m very troubled by people like Brian McLaren. I’ve even found some statements by Andy Stanley (the son of Charles Stanley) not necessarily denying the virgin birth, but just acting like, “Oh, it’s no big deal!” I don’t have those statements in front of me—and I probably should bring them in if I’m going to name names like that.
But it’s very, very, very disturbing to hear anybody that is in a position of Christian leadership somehow marginalizing the virgin birth. If you don’t have a virgin birth, you don’t have a sinless Savior. Beyond that, you don’t even have an eternal Savior Who is qualified to pay the eternal debt because that means Jesus had a beginning point.
Romans 5:12—all of us are sinners because of what Adam did! See that? That’s not true with the angels! The angels did not have some federal head over them that sinned, causing all of them to sin. Each of them sat there and made an individual choice!
Beyond that, sin comes very naturally to us doesn’t it? Psalm 51:5, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” In other words, I received a sin nature at the point of conception. When I came into this world no one had to sit me down and say, “Okay, here’s how you sin—three easy steps. Do this, this, and this, and you can sin too!” No! Sin comes naturally to me. That’s my natural proclivity because I’m born under Adam’s headship.
Your kids? You don’t have to sit them down and say, “Okay, we’re going to teach you today how to be selfish. Ready?
“We’re going to teach you today how to cling to your toys and not share with your friends.”
“Here’s the lesson for today: We’re going to teach you how to throw a temper tantrum. Here’s how you do it!”
Kids do that quite naturally because we did it quite naturally; because that’s who we are in Adam’s lineage. I sin because I’m a sinner! See that? My sin doesn’t make me a sinner. Rather, I sin because I already am a sinner (Jeremiah 17:9; Psalm 51:5).
Think about the angels that fell. They had no sin nature, and yet they still decided to rebel! Beyond that, I sin having never stood in the glory of God or in His presence. I have never stood in God’s presence or in God’s glory. Think of the angels standing there in their unfallen state enjoying everything that God is and still making the decision to sin against God. To whom much is given, much is required. It seems to me that the fallen angels had a lot more to account for than we do, and that may be yet another explanation as to why the plan of salvation is not open to the fallen angels the same way it’s open to us.
When you start to understand this, then you start to understand the ferocity of the attack against us—not just by Satan, but by the fallen angels—because those folks have absolutely nothing to lose in this war. I mean, wouldn’t you be this way if you were going down and the only thing you had to look forward to was judgment?
What would be your mindset? “I’m just going to take as many people down as I can!” That helps explain the ferocity of the attack by the enemy against us, and it has to do with the fact that the plan of salvation is not open to the fallen angelic realm. The two-thirds good angels that never fell? They don’t need salvation. But the third that fell? Apparently, the plan of salvation is not open to them.
So that’s a little bit about the origin of the demons and the existence of demons. The next time I’m with you, we will get into their personhood.