It is known to us that we are already living at the end times. Many prophecies regarding this age had been fulfilled and along with them, are the signs and wonders that are happening right now. Today, most believers would prefer signs-and-wonders-performing-ministers than those who are preaching the truth. They have rejected the truth. They forgot that signs and wonders are just given to point us to the truth. Signs and wonders are good, but what we need to focus on is to the truth which is the Word (John 17:17), and not with these signs.
Know this, the messenger is important but there is more important than the messenger. It’s the MESSAGE itself. God has infused His power in His Word. Signs and wonders are only incorporated into the message to signify that the message is indeed vindicated from God. But always know this; it must be the Message first before signs and wonders. If there are only signs and wonders but without the message, then something is wrong.
This is also the reason why in the latter days, according to Revelation 13:13-14, when the second beast shall perform great signs and wonders, many shall be deceived and many will worship him.
Today, Satan and his demons have so little time left that they need to double time and to take the believers from the Word by any means to the extent that they “show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mt. 24:24). So what are these signs and wonders that even the very elect if possible, shall be deceived?
In this article, using the written Word of God, we will differentiate the angels of God from the demons (fallen angels), what are they and what are they capable of. Using the Bible, we will enumerate those signs and wonders that they can do in order to deceive many. We will study their history and their aim and means, their tactics and techniques in order to destroy humanity.
Just like the Apostle Paul had warned us about our enemy: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)
Our enemy is not that easy to defeat and the term that Paul used is “wrestle” – a word that signifies great efforts by using much of your energy to win. In order to win this war, we will use the first useful step and the first rule of warfare – “KNOW THINE ENEMY”.
THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD “ANGEL”
The word “Angel” comes from the Greek word “angelos” which is a translation from the Hebrew word “mal’akh” that simply means “a messenger”. In our simple word use, a messenger is anything that carries a message. In the Bible, depending on the context, a messenger of God is either a human being or a spirit being (Hebrew 1:14).
Human messengers can be:
1. a prophet (Isaiah 42:19; Malachi 3:1)
2. a priest (Malachi 2:7). The name “Malachi” which came from the word “mal’akh” means “my messenger.”
3. or ordinary people who carry messages (Job 1:14; Luke7:24; 9:52)
Spirit messengers in our language, are commonly known as the Angels. Angels are the tried and tested spirit beings who are also called as “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrew 1:14).
They are created to be the servants of God and just like us; they have also a history and story. The Bible gives us an ample amount of information enough for us to build a foundation of information on what are they and what had happened to them.
THE HISTORY OF ANGELS
In Genesis 1:1, it is stated that God first created the heaven and earth in the period called The Beginning. The age of the earth right now is approximately 4.540 billion years old and the age of the first human who is Adam, using the genealogies in the Bible, is only about 6,000 years old if he is still alive today. So what happened in those billions of years before the creation of Adam? Those periods incorporate the creations of Angels, their history, their testing and the fall of one-third of them (Read Revelation 12:3-9). According to Daniel 7:10, Matthew 26:53 and Hebrews 12:12, Angels are innumerable.
Satan and every one of his demons are already fallen angels when he entered the Garden of Eden made for Adam and Eve. At some point in time in ages past, he had been tested here on Earth and having failed the test, was cast down to earth as recorded in Revelation 12, Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:11-17.
Every creature created in the image and likeness of God is endowed with the freewill to choose between right and wrong. None of them is programmed to be a robot. Angels who are made in God’s image and likeness possess this freewill and thus have to be tested regarding their choice.
And so, one-third of them fell and there is this division now among them. Those who followed Satan who was cast out are called Demons or Fallen Angels. Those who remain loyal to God we call them Angels.
Before tackling who are the Angels, let’s first tackle the Demons.
Many people believe that Satan and his Demons are not yet fallen angels today, this is because they also believe that the war that happened in Revelation 12:3-9 is still a future event and not a thing of the past. They believe that Satan and his angels are still to be cast out from heaven. It is also for this reason why these people also believe that Satan has still access to heaven right now. That he can still come in and come out of heaven today whenever he wants.
First and foremost, it should be established that Satan and his demons are already fallen angels right now. Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28:17 called Satan as a fallen angel already. Therefore, the assumption of many that Satan and his demons are yet to be cast out from heaven is a lie. This will also mean that the war in heaven mentioned in Revelation 12 and the casting out of Satan and his demons had already happened and not the thing of the future. Therefore, the belief that Satan can still access heaven right now is also a great lie. This was even emphasized by Satan himself in Job 1:7
“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”
We read in this verse that Satan can no longer leave Earth. He can only go and fro in Earth and up and down in it but cannot leave the planet. He was cast down on it together with his demons and therefore bound on the planet (Rev. 12:9).
Another thing that we should remember, no sinner can enter heaven. Heaven is where the throne of God (Isa. 66:1, Acts 7:49), it is only reserved for the righteous and no sin can contaminate it, that’s why sinners like Satan and his demons cannot enter it.
Having established this, we are now ready to tackle what are they capable of.
DEMONS AND THEIR RANKS
Since Satan and his Demons were cast down to Earth, humans are then influenced by them (Rev. 12:12).
Satan was formerly named “Lucifer” because he was an angel of light (Lucifer means light). He is the prince of Demons (Matt12:24), which also means that he is the leader of them. If he has the title “prince,” this will also mean that among the demons, there are positions and rankings. And these are exactly the “multitude of merchandized” of Satan as stated in Ezekiel 28:16 which he offered to one-third of the angels in exchange for their service to him. He convinced these angels by offering them these positions and ranks. (For a more detailed study about this, read the article entitled “The Nicolaitan Spirit”).
According to Ephesians 6:12:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
These are what they do. One thing that is obvious is that, they are the ruler of this world. The words “principalities, powers and rulers” clearly ascribe ranks and positions. This is also the reason why we can read in Matthew 4:8-9 that Satan offered our Lord all the kingdoms of this world for the obvious reason that he is the ruler of them. He owns them all.
We must remember that the only ability taken from Satan and his demons is their ability to enter and access heaven, this means that aside from this, all their other abilities are still in them. This is the reason why Satan can still turn himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).
The first to note about the capabilities of demons is that, they can possess a person as seen in Mark 5:1-5 and Acts 19:16. But of course, they can only possess those persons who are not baptized by the Spirit of the Lord. Those people whose spirits are empty and not indwelled by the Spirit of the Lord (Matt. 12:43-45). Those who are born again by the Spirit of the Lord cannot be possessed by demons for they are already owned by the Lord, they are paid by the blood of the Lord (1 Cor. 6:20). The Lord is already dwelling in them.
However, as born again as we may, although demons can’t possess us, we can still be influenced by them if we give them a place in our hearts. According to Paul in Ephesians 4:27:
“Neither give place to the devil.”
The word “place” in that verse came from the Greek word “topoj” which means “a coastline, beach, or a station.” When an army attacks a territory or a country, it first sends its soldiers to control the beach or the coastline of that country. The first battle happens on the beach. Once the soldiers are deployed, reinforcements are then sent to totally possess the coastline. Usually, it is also on the coastline that the enemy will build their camp.
When a Spirit-filled believer allows the enemy to influence her/him, that is by constantly giving into sins, temptations, vices, practicing witchcraft, divination, sorcery, wizardry and other forms of occult spiritism, he/she is giving a place to the devils by allowing them to control the coastline of his/her heart. It will be hard for this kind of believer to grow spiritually in the Word. There will be constant battles within him/her.
DEMONS CAN PERFORM SIGNS AND WONDERS
Another ability of demons that we need to take note is their ability to perform signs, wonders and miracles. Many believers thought that they cannot do this. But we read in Revelation 13:13-14, the second beast shall perform great signs and wonders and because of those, many shall be deceived and many will worship the beast. Just like what was also written in Revelation 16:14
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
In Job chapters 1 and 2, we can read that God allowed Job to be put under the power of Satan (Job 1:12). And since Satan is a destroyer and a murderer from the beginning (Job 8:44), Satan did not waste any time to destroy Job and all that he has.
The first thing that Satan did is he stirred up the Sabeans to take all of Job’s oxen and to kill Job’s servant (Job 1:14-15). Second, he brought out fire from heaven (this can be lightings) that burned all of Job’s sheep and shepherds (Job 1:16). Third, Satan then stirred up the Chaldeans just like what he did to the Sabeans to take all of Job’s camel and kill his servants (Job 1:17). Fourth, he used a great wind to smote the houses of Job’s children that killed them all (Job 1:18-19). Fifth, Satan gave Job sore boils from the sole of his feet up to his head (Job 2:7).
So these are only some of the power of Satan. He can stir up groups of people or nations to do what he wants. He can send fire and great winds to destroy those he wants. He can also give diseases and sickness to people. And he can do more than these to deceive and destroy those he wanted. This is the reason why during the great tribulation, when the restrainer that prevents Satan to do what he wants is taken away (2 Thess. 2:6-10), he will go all out with his power. And foolish virgins and faithful Jews that did not receive the mark of the beast will not be spared. It will be terrible for those who are left behind during the Rapture. They will literally experience the power of Satan on that day that according to Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive”.
At this point, we will now go to the Angels – the tried and tested ministering spirits who are proven loyal to God.
Angels are the tried and tested Spirit beings that did not fell. They are the elected ones.
We are told by the Scripture that the number of angels is very great (Dan. 7:10; Mat. 26:53; Heb. 12:22).
They are also made in the image and likeness of God and are described as “ministering spirits,” (Heb. 1:14). They do not have the same physical bodies like humans. Our Lord Jesus declared that “a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:37-39). Apparently, they have the ability to appear in human form and when they appear, they appeared as men (Gen. 19:1-22) when the occasion demands and that’s why we maybe “entertain angels unaware” (Heb. 13:2).
CHERUBIMS, SIRAPHIMS AND ARCHANGELS
Unlike the Demons whose Nicolaitan system is based on ranks and positions given to them by Satan, Angels on the contrary, have no ranks and positions but they have three categories based on their roles and functions. Here are their three categories as described by the Bible:
“Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:2-3.
They praise God (Isaiah 6:3). The word “seraphim” (singular is saraph) is probably a translation of ‘fiery ones’ and probably stems from the fiery imagery often associated with the Presence of God (cf. Ezek. 1:27). But of course, those six wings are not literal wings that many have pictured out as needed by angels in order to fly. Seraphims do not need literal wings in order to fly, remember, they are spirit beings.
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen. 3: 14)
They were over the Ark of the Covenant on the Mercy Seat (1 Sam. 4:4). See also Psalm 80:1; 99:1. Take note also that according to Ezekiel 28:14, Lucifer is a cherubim. Among the Angels of God, Lucifer exceeds in wisdom and beauty.
“Yet Michael the Archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee (Jude 9).”
Contrary to the beliefs of many, being an archangel does mean having the highest position among the angels. Remember, Lucifer “sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Eze. 28:12) among all the Angels. No one exceeds him. And he is not even an Archangel.
ANGELS COMPARED TO HUMANS
1. They are made higher than humans (Psalm 8:5), and are perfect when they are created (Ezek. 28:15). But they are still created beings, that’s why humans should not worship them.
Consider these words of King David in Psalm 8:4-6:
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visit him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”
2. Unlike humans who are created to be the Children of God, they are created to be His Servants. That’s why if you may be wondering why there is no Savior to save those angels who fell, it is because they have no “blood” relationship to God. They know exactly what they are doing and left their first state by choice. For they are perfect beings (Ezek. 28:15).
3. They are stronger than Humans (Psalm 103:20, 2 Peter 2:11) but are not omnipotent.
4. They are greater than man in knowledge, but not omniscient (2 Sam. 14:20; Mat. 24:36).
5. They are more noble than man, but not omnipresent (Daniel 9:21-23,10:10-14). In Mark 13:32, our Lord Jesus Christ explained that the day and the hour of His return “knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
THINGS THAT ANGELS DON’T DO
1. THEY DON’T PREACH THE GOSPEL AND TEACH DOCTRINES.
As what I have stated above, Angel means “messenger” and there are two kinds of messenger used by God, the Spirit Beings and Humans. This time it is only those Blood-covenant messengers (Humans) who are qualified to proclaim and teach the Gospel.
Since angels have no blood relation to God for they are His servants and not His children unlike humans, they are not redeemed by the blood of Christ. Preaching and teaching are given to those who have a blood testimony, those who are redeemed by It. There is no greater testimony for preaching about redemption but a redemptive experience itself. Salvation can only be preached by those who have experienced it – those who are saved.
Just like in the case of the prophet Jonah who is swallowed by the whale just to preach in Nineveh. God would have sent His angels instead of him if they have the authority to preach. There wasn’t an angel in heaven who would have hesitated at that opportunity to preach, only that the right to preach is only given to humans. (Read Galatians 1:8).
2. THEY DON’T GIVE REVELATIONS.
Angels give instructions and messages from God. But they don’t reveal revelations. Revelations came from God alone (Matt. 16:17).
Some preachers misinterpret that the instructions from God carried by the angels are actually revelations. They have concluded that the work of the Holy Spirit is now through the Angels.
Instructions are different from revelations. Yes, you will know the message, but it is the Holy Spirit who gives you the revelation of the message. When the Lord asked His disciples in Matthew 16:15 about whom do they say He is and Peter answered that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Lord said to Him that it is not flesh and blood who reveal it but the Father in heaven.
God will send an angel or a human to give someone an instruction, but it is never the work of an angel to give the revelation to that man about the instruction. It is Gabriel who gave Daniel the message about what will happen to the coming of the Messiah, we call it today the 70th week of Daniel. But it is the Holy Spirit who revealed to us the meaning of the 70th week. And I will repeat this again, God can also use human messenger to give instructions to his people.
THINGS THAT ANGELS DO (WHICH MEN THINK THEY DO NOT DO)
1. ANGELS OBEY THE WORD OF GOD.
Psalms 103:20 “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.”
We must always remember this first quality of Angels for this is their quality which is the prerogative of all the others. Angels are tried and tested Spirit beings that are loyal to God and who will always obey His Word. Anything that God will command them they will do.
2. ANGELS WILL KILL IF GOD COMMANDED THEM TO DO SO.
2 Kings 19:35 “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”
Acts 12:23 “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
3. ANGELS WILL GO TO WAR IF GOD COMMANDED THEM TO DO SO.
Revelation 12:7 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,”
4. ANGELS CAN BE LYING SPIRITS IF GOD COMMANDED THEM TO DO SO.
1Kg.22:21-23 “And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.”
If angels can kill people and make war, can’t they also lie if God commanded them to do it?
God uses His angels (Ministering Spirits) to fulfill His great plan. Angels can lie and deceive many if God will allow them to be deceived in order for the plan of God to be fulfilled. Read 1 Kings 22:19
Some ministers believe that angels cannot lie even if God will command them to do so. If this is the case, then angels are not obedient to the Word of God. They will be against His Word, which is of course can never happen because they are loyal to God.
Those ministers only assume the belief that angels can’t lie, without Biblical support with them. Angels will always do the will of God in order to fulfill His plan, even if it means they will lie. We must always remember that.
Some also believe that the spirit who present himself into the Lord and became a lying spirit is Satan himself. First of all, we must all remember that Satan has no more access to heaven to be with the Lord and His angels. Second, the plan is to bring king Ahab into war so that he will be killed in the war. Ahab is a wicked king who is the husband of Jezebel. Ahab is actually Satan’s general who had done nothing but to bring agony to Israel. If that lying spirit is Satan, then why would Satan recommend himself to kill Ahab just to fulfill the plan of the Lord? Why would Satan help our Lord to kill the person who works for him? You see? THAT LYING SPIRIT IS NOT SATAN. It is an angel of the Lord offering himself to be a lying spirit just to fulfill the plan of the Lord.
Another thing, Satan is a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). If that spirit before God is Satan, why would he turn himself to be a lying spirit if in the beginning, he is already a liar? Again, it is an angel of the Lord who wants to be a lying spirit to fulfill the plan of God. That’s why always remember this: LOYAL AND TESTED ANGELS OF GOD CAN LIE TO US IF GOD COMMANDED THEM TO DO SO.
THEREFORE, WE MUST NOT ALWAYS RELY ON TO THE MESSAGE OF ANGELS FOR THEIR WORDS ARE NOT THE ABSOLUTE. WE MUST ALWAYS CONSULT THE WORD OF GOD IF THOSE THINGS ARE REALLY BIBLICAL.
We must always remember that God will use them to separate the wise and the foolish, the tares and the wheat. When God will send a strong delusion using His angels, those people who only rely on the words of Angels can easily be deceived. But those who are wise enough will always check it with the Word of God and that’s the difference between the foolish and the wise. Remember also the story of the young and the old prophet in 1 Kings 13:11-31.
Therefore, we must always remember these words of Paul:
Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
May the Lord continue to guide us into all His truth is my prayer.