Dr. S. Lewis Johnson discusses the demons.
[Prayer] Father, we thank Thee for this opportunity of study and we ask for Thy blessings upon us now as we consider one of the important subjects of the Bible and we also ask that you give us understanding and enable us also to apply the truths that we learn to our lives. This we ask in Jesus’ name, and for his sake, Amen.
[Message] Now, tonight, we’re coming in our study of angelology to “Satan’s Co-workers, or the Evil Angels.” When we come to the subject of evil angels, or Demonism, we face a storm of radical criticism. Formerly, there existed a kind of fanatical gullibility that embraced much that was mere superstition. And while I see some signs of an increase in superstition in the 20th Century, the biggest problem that we have when we talk about angels or demons is the skepticism, which abounds.
It usually is a rationalistic and also a radical kind of skepticism and consequently to mention an angel is to invite a sneer. But it is an important subject. It’s enormous for the understanding of history itself. I do not think that we can understand human history if we do not understand demonism. And it also is important for an understanding of the Bible. It’s important for an understanding of our own lives. Now I’m not trying to suggest that the Salem Witch Trials, for example, are important for our history but there are other things that may be as important, or far more important than that.
Remember, in the beginning of the theories for angelology I quoted from the German historian Von Ranke, and Professor Von Ranke said, and he was one of the greatest of the analysts of historical process, he commented and said that he felt when he finished his studied of history that an occult force were at work amidst the apparent confusion. For him to understand what was happening in the world almost seemed to demand some occult force. Now that’s a rather amazing thing for an outstanding historian noted for his scientific approach to history should suggest. If I said it, you shouldn’t think anything about it necessarily. But since he said it I think it should bear some weight.
Now to really know the subject of angels or demons, we’ve got to approach the Bible for information because we do not really have any information anywhere else. It is in divine revelation that we understand such things as angels and spirits and demons. So tonight very quickly we are going to try to run through seven points, which are listed on the board for you and Roman I in the outline is the origin and existence of the evil angels. Now there is much material on the existence of these evil angels but there is very little on the origin of evil angels.
So let me just say a few things about the origin and let me confess that what I am going to say is largely presumption and inference on other passages from the word of God. I think we should presume that the evil angels were created at the same time that the good angels were created. We know that in Psalm 104, verse 4, that the Psalmist write about God making angels. He says in the fourth verse: “He maketh his angels spirit, his ministers a flame of fire.”
And since we do not have any reason for thinking that the evil angels were created at a different time from the good angels, I think we should probably assume that they were created at the same time. But, nevertheless, I want you to be sure to realize that we do not, so far as I know, have any definite statement about when the evil angels were created.
[Indistinct] said with reference to this, “The Scripture is all but silent.” And I think that’s the true statement of the situation. We do know that they exist, however. And, let’s look at some of the lines of evidence for the existence of evil angels, and first of all, from the Bible itself.
So let’s take our Bibles now and look at a couple passages. First of all, an Old Testament passage, Deuteronomy chapter 32 and verse 17. Deuteronomy 32:17. Here is the midst of the famous song of Moses, in the seventeenth verse, your text reads, “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God, To gods whom they knew not, To new gods who came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” Now the Hebrew text at this point says that they sacrificed to shabim which is a word that means “a demon.” So they sacrificed to demons.
Let’s turn over to Matthew chapter 10, verse 1 for a reference and the statements of our Lord. I think that we are very safe in believing in demons if Jesus Christ believed in demons, and there is no question but that he did.
In Matthew chapter 10 and verse 1 we read, “And when he had called to him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” Notice the statement, “unclean spirits.” The angels are spirits; unclean spirits are the evil angels.
Turn over to chapter 15, verse 22 and verse 28 of the same book. Chapter 15, verse 22, here we read, “And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same waters and cried unto him, saying ‘Have mercy on me O Lord, thou Son of David! My daughter is grievously vexed with a demon’.” My text says “devil,” yours “demon.” Remember that — and — ordinarily, that word translated “devil” is “demon.” Occasionally, very rarely, it is diablos or “devil.” So here, “demon.” Notice, also, in this same passage, verse 28, “Then Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘O woman, great is thy faith. Be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made well from that very hour.” Jesus cast out the demon.
Now let’s turn over to one of the Apostles and let’s use James chapter 2, verse 19. Now where is that book James chapter 2, verse 19. It’s nice to have your wife here like [name redacted]; He’s letting her find it for him. James 2:19, here we read, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and tremble.”
And so the Apostle believed in demons. Jesus believed in demons. The Old Testament refers to “demonic” activity. I think the evidence from Scripture is pretty substantial. Whenever I think of James 2:19 — and some of you heard me tell this before, you’ll just have to forget it — I think of a Gallup Poll that was taken about ten years ago. It was a poll on whether the churches believed in God and it was done by denominational line. The Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Evangelicals, the United Brethren, and so on, about 30 different denominations were in the poll. And right at the top of the list was the Lutheran denomination. If my memory serves me correctly about 96% of them believed in God. I wondered how the other 4% managed to be in the church, but anyway they believed in God, not the Christian God, it is not the God who is father of Jesus Christ, necessarily, but they were Theists. They believed in God. It went on down the line, until, I think, the Methodists, who were near the bottom and they have about 83% — as I remember. But then I thought, you know, its very interesting if they had polled the demons, the demons would have stood at the top of the list with 100%. For every one of them believes in God.
“The demons believe and tremble.” So if we believe in God, we don’t really have a great faith, we have a demonic faith at that point. We need a lot more than belief in God.
Well the evidence from physical nature — I think — supports the existence of demons, too. Nature, which has been called God’s oldest testament, agrees because if you study the natural world I think that you will agree that there is something demonic about it. Now I know I am stepping way out into territory in which I am not familiar, as a scientist at all, but it’s my feeling that the natural world is a perfect illustration of demonic activity, because they all prey upon each other. Everybody preys on someone else in the insect world. And it is just one great massive picture of beings preying on other beings. And I think since we are to see the evidence of God in creation, as Paul says, we can see his invisible power in divinity, that we should expect all of the natural world in all of its parts to reflect the spiritual situation that exists, too.
And so, while we can look at nature and see God as we studied last term in natural revelation, I think we can probably also see a little further into the natural creation and recognize that there is something radically wrong with it. Now we know that to be true, because the Bible makes it very plain that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God. So the creation is under the curse. And being under the curse, I think there is evidence of the same kind of demonic activity in it.
Now there is also evidence from human nature. Belief in spirits is universal. Go anywhere that you wish in the world and you will find someone who will believe in the spirits. Now of course we all know that if we go out into Central Africa perhaps or out into the jungles of South America, you can expect people, not only to believe in the spirit world, but even to worship the spirits. But this is a universal belief, and wherever you go, men believe in the spirit world. They believe in evil angels or they believe in the evil spirits. And the very fact that there has been this universal belief is evidence of its primal origins. I think the reason that men do is because in the beginning, God gave revelation concerning that point. And what we see now reflected in the religions of the uncivilized world is just a closer contact with that earlier revelation that came from God.
We, who are educated, have now been educated away from the belief in the supernatural, as they believe in the supernatural. But I think there is evidence then, not only from Scripture and physical nature, but from human nature as well. But I think firmly that there is evidence of the existence of evil angels from human experience. There are things that happen in our human experience that are hard to be accounted for apart from the existence of Satanic or demonic activity.
Now I hope I won’t step on anybody’s toes when I say what I am going to say. And I want to say; too, before I say it, that this is only supposition on my part. But for example, when a person commits suicide, there are some cases in which I think a man in full possession of his faculties probably destroys himself. But there are many cases that it is very difficult to explain in that way.
Just a few years ago I had a very tragic experience outside of Dallas. There was a woman in one of the cities of the south, who was a fine Christian woman; I had known her for about ten years. She used to attend some meetings that I would hold every year. And I got to know her husband. He was an employee of the Internal Revenue Service and a very fine man, still a very fine Christian in the city in which they lived. But for some reason, she became troubled. And one summer, a couple of summers ago, they came out to some meetings I was holding and he talked with me and the other preacher at the conference. We tried to give him some help but we were never able to see Doris. And it was just a few weeks after we left that she committed suicide. A fine Christian woman with a happy family, a loving husband, but she had certainly gone into a tailspin and nothing seemed to help her at all. No advice seemed to get through to her. And I’ve often wondered if the explanation for some of these things is not demonic activity. The influence of evil angels or of Satan. I think it’s certainly possible.
Remember, Jesus called Satan a murderer and a liar from the beginning. And so, if God should permit, and of course God always has the permission, if God should permit Satan a certain freedom, it’s just possible that that freedom would include what Jesus called him, since he called him a murderer and a liar from the beginning. One thing of course we know, suicide is an act of rebellion against God. And while it may be more or less justifiable in the circumstances of life, in the final analysis that is really what it is.
So the origin and existence of the evil angels.
Now, second, Roman II: The “authenticity” of the evil angels. Apparently this subject is not so important because the Bible does not give us much revelation on it. It’s very scanty for the evil angels. There are many theories, for example; some have suggested that the evil angel is just a superstitious designation for bodily disease which men have. I don’t accept that. I do not think that it is rational to say that the demons of Scripture are just representations of what we now know, in the 20th Century, to be disease. If that were true, how could we explain passages such as Mark chapter 5, verse 7, when Our Lord has conversations with demons? What kind of a disease is it that cries out, “What have I to do with Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God?”
I don’t know of any such disease as that. Now diseases do make us pray the same thing. Very interesting, when I am sick, or whenever I’m under the influence of ether or something, I just tell everything. And Mary just sits there and listens; tells me afterwards, “Do you know what you said?”
I presume it’s possible for a man to cry out like this but I do not think it is rational to think that the demons of Scripture are simply designations for natural diseases. Others have thought that they were the spirits of deceased wicked men. For example, Josephus, the great Jewish historian, believed that the demons were wicked men who had died and their spirits are the demons. Well, if that’s true, there certainly are a lot of demons around. At least they can say that.
But again I don’t think that is the explanation of the demonism of the Bible. If we were theosophists and were followers of Madam Blavatsky, we might believe something like that. She liked something like that. She had all kinds of literature that touched on the demonic. In fact, I was reading a little article in Time a few months back about her. That she was the founder of the cult of theosophy, which in some places is rather popular. And by the way, it’s kind of the Bible of some of the hippies. And the main sources of her revelations turn out to be revelations from a secret inner circle of Eastern [indistinct] or Masters of Esoteric Philosophy with whom she may have communicated by telepathy. “And secret portions of the Book of Dzyan, a work so highly classified that only Madam Blavatsky ever heard of it.”
Now included in her Secret Doctrine was an ancient Greek incantation. If you’d like to memorize this, I’ll say it slowly… [Time magazine July 19, 1968 “Cult of the Occult] “Aski-ka-taski -haix -tetrax -damname neus-aision” I cannot say it very well, and I presume that when I said it, it does not have much effect. But that is supposed to be “powerful enough to cleanse a person possessed by demons.” [Quote says devils] Do any of you feel better? [Laughter]
There are others who think that demons are the disembodied spirits of pre-Adamic men. There are some who believe that there were men upon the earth before Adam. They died, of course, perhaps in catastrophe because of sin. And their spirits are the demons; the spirits of pre-Adamic men.
Now the reasons for this are sometimes fairly rational. Have you ever wondered why as you read the New Testament the demons are so anxious for embodiment? They were. You remember Legion was possessed by a legion of demons. And remember when Jesus cast out some demons, they wanted to enter into a herd of swine. And they did enter into the herd of swine. So the demons, apparently, longed for embodiment. And because they longed for embodiment, some have suggested perhaps they are pre-Adamic men who want bodies again.
But again, the Bible does not know anything about pre-Adamic men. There is no place in the Bible that suggests anything other than that Adam was the first man. In fact, that’s really what he’s called, isn’t he, “The First Man.” As over against our Lord, who is “The Second Man” and he’s the first Adam, which means “First Man” as over against Jesus, “The Last Adam.”
So we come into the more orthodox interpretation that evil angels are “fallen” angels. They’re not the only fallen angels, as we shall see. But they are fallen angels who have freedom.
And let’s look at a passage or two, in order to find the text that refers to them. Matthew chapter 25 verse 41, Matthew 25:41. We read, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
In other words there are angels that are evil just as well as there are angels that are good. Now when you turn also to the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation chapter 12. In chapter 12, verses 1 through 5, there’s an interesting section in which John sees two signs. And I’m going to read these five verses and you listen. As John sees the representation of Israel in the woman about ready to bring forth a man child, who is our Lord, and the dragon who is Satan is standing by waiting to devour the child, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.”
Now notice verse 9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.” Now I want you to notice because — so that you won’t have any question about who the dragon is. Now let’s go back to verse 4. “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.”
Almost all commentators believe that is a reference to the fall of the angels when Satan fell. In other words, the evil angels are fallen angels and they fell when Satan fell. When he himself fell from heaven, he took with him — as he (John) says here — “the third part of the stars of heaven.”
So I think we are safe in saying that the fallen angels are the demons. Or the demons are the fallen angels. They were probably created when the good angels were created and they have now fallen in Satan’s fall, he influenced them.
Roman III: The nature of the evil angels.
Now what kinds of beings are evil natured, evil angels. Well, they have three types of natures. They have a spiritual nature, first of all. They are immaterial, they are incorporeal, that is, they don’t have a body. You cannot see them. You cannot touch that spirit. But they have a spiritual nature.
Turn to Matthew chapter 8, verse 16. Matthew 8:16 reads this way, “And when evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with demons: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.” Here we have reference to the beings that possessed demons.
Now the idea of the spiritual nature does not come out quite as well there, perhaps as it does in the Luke passage, so let’s turn over to Luke chapter 10, verse 17 and verse 20. You’ll notice however, in that passage they are called demons and then “he cast out the spirits with his word.” So they are spirits. They have a spiritual nature.
Luke chapter 10, verse 17. Notice here we read, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject unto us through Thy name.” Now, verse 20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” In verse 17 and verse 20 they are called “spirits.” I think that is very plainly a statement to the effect that they have a spiritual nature.
They also have an intellectual nature. They have a mind. Turn back to Mark chapter 1, verse 24. How horrifying to think that they are not only a spiritual being but they have a mind too. Chapter 1, verse 24, “And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, and this is what he cried out, Saying, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.”
And so, the demon has an intellectual nature. He knows who Jesus is. And there are other things that they know. They know they are going to be in the abyss someday. They say to him (Jesus) in another place, “Have you come to torment us before the time?” So they have a great deal of understanding.
And they also have a moral nature because they’re called “unclean” spirits in Matthew chapter 10, verse 1. In Luke chapter 8, verse 27, there is evidence from that passage that they apparently like to live in a state of nudity, with licentious thoughts.
But at least, I think we can sum it up by saying they are spirits, they have a spiritual nature. They are not material. You cannot put your finger upon a spirit. If you ever see a ghost and you can feel him, just know it’s not a ghost, in other words. They have a mind. And they also have a moral nature.
Roman IV: The organization of the evil angels.
If you think the organization man is a 20th Century product, you are sadly mistaken. There exists an elaborate organization in the satanic world. Now isn’t that encouraging, too? Not only are there these beings, who are about, but they have the territories organized. They have one who is over them, Satan himself. He’s the chief of the angels. He’s called the “Prince of the demons” in Matthew chapter 12, verse 24. He’s called the “Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” in Ephesians chapter 2, verse 2. So Satan is the Prince of the demons. And he’s the head of the hierarchy. He’s the chairman of the board and the president, and is responsible for the policies of the company.
Remember when Christian (In John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress) left the City of Destruction and came to the cross and his burden fell off of his back and tumbled down the hill into the sepulcher and he was presented with, and the angels in shining light announced the “forgiveness of sins” for him, and they gave him the new coat, and then they also put a mark on his forehead; the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit, he was sealed until the day of redemption.
And Christian discovered that the Christian life was not over when he found Jesus Christ as his Savior, because as he was making his way through the Valley of Humiliation, I believe, on the way toward the celestial city, he encountered Apollyon, who is the prince of the demons, that’s another name for Satan, the destroyer. Don’t you remember that they have a nice little conversation and Apollyon asked him what he was doing. And he said he’d left the City of Destruction. Apollyon says, “Oh, you’re one of my men.” He says, “No, I was one of your men.” He says, “Oh, but I have power to destroy you.” And so they had a duel. And Christian had his sword, and he lost his sword. Satan — Apollyon looked like a dragon — he had feet like a bear and a mouth like a dragon, and wings like a dragon. A mouth like a lion and he fired all kinds of fiery darts at Christian. And Christian had a shield and he managed to ward off a few of them but finally he was wounded by the darts.
Well, this is a wonderful picture, you know, of the Christian life because he has fiery darts. And finally Christian has his sword ripped out of his hand and Satan is just about to deliver the finishing blow and John Bunyan (in The Pilgrim’s Progress) says, “As God would have it, his hand reached and touched the sword and he plunged it into Apollyon and gave him such a wound that he turned and fled.” And then he put in parenthesis, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
He also discovered that when he met Apollyon, he didn’t have any armor on the back. He had armor only on the front. He said he personally thought he would turn and run but when he discovered he had no armor on the back he had to stand and fight.
And, of course, that’s a picture of you and me, when we encounter the devil, don’t run cause there’s no armor on the back. It’s when you stand — It’s when you resist the Devil that he will flee from you. It’s when you in the strength of God with the shield that you’re able to quench all of the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Well, he’s the chief. And, I want to tell you; if you ever encounter him you’re in for quite a struggle. He has others. He has archangels. Let’s turn to Daniel chapter 9. I hope you didn’t come by yourself to the meeting tonight. [Laughter]
Daniel chapter 10 — did I say chapter 9. Daniel chapter 10, verse 10 through verse 14. Now, remember, Daniel had the vision of the glory of God. And, now, in verse 10, we read, “And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.” That is, the good angel has come to answer his prayer. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days.” Who is the price of the kingdom of Persia? Not a man, this is a satanic being. This is an evil angel. “But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.”
This would be a wonderful chapter and passage. [Audio indistinct] If Satan is so anxious that the word not come to him, that one of his chief men attempts to keep the angel from bringing the answer from reaching Daniel.
Now that’s an amazing thing. It’s one of those little insights into the spirit world that the Bible gives us. I dare say if we were able to walk with spiritual eyes, we might even see this whole building compassed with angelic beings, for the word of God is being taught. Like Elijah’s servant who was afraid because of the Syrians that were outside, and Elijah said, “Lord, open his eyes.” And his eyes were opened and he saw the mountains about him filled with the hosts of heaven. And then he knew, of course, that he had the strength of God on his side. So Satan is the head of the angelic hierarchy but he has his chief angels. And the prince of the kingdom of Persia is one of them. The rest of them I don’t know.
Will you turn with me to Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12? Here, Paul states in the New Testament, he doesn’t give us the names but he tells us of their ranks. Verse 12 of Ephesians chapter 6. Here we read, “For” Paul says — that’s page 1278 in the approved edition of the King James Version revised — Verse 12, Ephesians. [To audience member] Will you find it for Dick? “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Now those terms that he uses in the first part of this verse are the terms for the spiritual hierarchies. Just as God has his principalities, and powers and thrones and dominions, so Satan has his. Why should he not organize that way?
If in the business world, one has discovered a scheme which is profitable, it won’t be long before someone else attempts to copy it. And so, in the spiritual world — Satan, part of God’s original organization now wants his own organization. And he has organized it so that there are, “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.” There are princes and probably sergeants, too, in Satan’s domain.
Then the satanic host, itself, we’ve already referred to in Matthew chapter 12, verse 41. Now this host is made up of three groups; there are angels that are free, these are evil angels. There are angels that are free, that is they are free to move about. These are the demons because demons apparently have freedom.
There are angels that are confined in the abyss. The evidence from this is found in such passages as the Book of Revelation chapter 9, verses 1 through 10.
And then there are angels that are confined in Tartarus. I’ll spell it for you. If you were a classical student you’d know something about Tartarus. That’s: T-A-R-T-A-R-U-S. Angels, evil angels, confined in Tartarus.
So there are the three classes. There are free demons, there are the bound demons and there are the bound angels. And, I think, since the last one is the one that probably is not quite as familiar to you as the others we’ll just look at a passage for that. And it’s 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 4. 2 Peter chapter 2, verse 4. Here we read and Peter is writing, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell.”
Now in the Greek at that point it is “cast them down to Tartarus.” This is the only time that this word occurs in the New Testament. “Cast them down to Tartarus.” Now if you have a Bible with a marginal note, you probably have a reference to that. “Cast them down to Tartarus and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment and spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, the preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.”
Who, then, are the angels that are confined in Tartarus? Well, they are the angels that sinned in Genesis, chapter 6, verse 1 through verse 7.
Now in this course we do not have time to talk about the details of this, because this is a Systematic Theology Course and the exegesis of the text is presumed as a general rule. Now at this point, what I would like to do is to say, come back tomorrow night at eight o’clock and I want to talk for two hours on this subject to shatter and demolish forever more any other interpretation but this one, which I think I can easily do. But you are just going to have to accept my word for it, and if you want to study on your own, I suggest that you do. Be sure and read the sixth verse of the Book of Jude. Be sure and read 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 19 through verse 22. Be sure and read Genesis chapter 6 and be sure and use your concordance and look up what “sons of God” means in the Old Testament, that precise expression, that precise expression never means anything but an angelic being. It never refers to a line of men, always an angelic being, so that the angels who are confined in Tartarus are those who sought embodiment and sought to sin by means of some form of embodiment; in the days just before the flood. And that accounts for the fact that God brought in the flood upon the world of the ungodly because it had become so ungodly.
So we have then these three classes in the ranks. There is the general, he’s Satan, then there are the leaders, the really commissioned men, they are the archangels and others, and then there are the common soldiers in Satan’s ranks. Some of them are free — the demons — some are confined in Abyss, some are confined in Tartarus. These are the ones who are still free and whom Satan continues to work.
Now we are at the abode of the angels. Roman V: The abode of the angels.
We only have only five minutes so, let me just say this, the angels who sinned in the time of the flood are in Tartarus, of course. The bound demons are in the Abyss, the second place. The angels who are evil and free have access to the earth and to the air. And, apparently, God has allowed them that freedom. So, they have access — as far as I know — they could be in this room. One or two may well be here. It’s a solemn thing to think about it, to realize that that may be true. My wife tells me not to laugh about it either, and I don’t really want to laugh about it because it is real.
Roman VI: The activity of the evil angels. What do they do?
Well now, the Bible says that Satan walketh about seeking whom he can devour. Satan has untiringly and unflaggingly attempting to thwart the will of God. That is apparently his purpose, for he desires to set up his kingdom and to be God. So to sum it up in these two things. First, opposition to God’s will and to his purposes. He will finally bring about the last great anti-God coalition, when the anti-Christ and the false prophet, seek to gain control of the earth upon which we live. But he shall be — ultimately — be defeated through the coming of the Son of God.
The second thing is the oppression of men, men that are oppressed by the devil. And of course, Christians are tempted and misled by satanic forces. For the demons then oppose God’s will and God’s purposes and, secondly, they oppress men.
Roman VII: The doom of the evil angels.
Well, the doom of the angels is set forth, I think, very clearly in the Scripture. Matthew chapter 25, verse 21; the text that we’ve read already, Jesus, himself says, “Gehenna was prepared for the Devil and for his angels.”
And that word, Gehenna, or fire, everlasting fire is the word, which is used to the lake of fire. This word Gehenna; which is the Greek word for fire or Lake of Fire, that equals the lake of fire, that word occurs about twelve times in the New Testament and guess who uses Hell more than anyone else? Guess who? Not Satan. Right, it is our Lord.
Did you know that about eleven out of twelve times it is on the lips of Jesus? There is only one other person who uses the term, Hell, Gehenna — I’m excluding Lake of Fire – Gehenna, and that person is James. All the other references are by our Lord. In other words, if we want to know about Gehenna, if we want to know about Hell, we go to Jesus.
Now what does that say about the criticism that people often bring against preachers who preach hellfire and damnation? Ever heard anyone say that? Haven’t lived long if you haven’t. “He’s one of those hell, fire and damnation preachers.” That’s supposed to be very bad. But you’ll notice that you are in the company of our Blessed Lord. So it’s not very pleasant. It’s not palatable to the20th Century, but it’s real. And that’s the thing that we have to bear in mind. Now let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we pray that Thy word may be by the Holy Spirit brought deep into our hearts and may we remember the seriousness and the solemnity of being Christians [tape ends]