“And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;”
– Jude 6
As we continue our study of angels and demons, we now focus our attention on the origin and attributes of demons. In the Apostle Jude’s second example of apostasy, he speaks of those who once enjoyed a high and heavenly estate. Remember, Westminster Larger Catechism QA 16 teaches us:
- God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his name, yet subject to change.
In our focus verse above, Jude describes that change that occurred in some of the angels, as he said they “did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode.” This points us to Scripture’s teaching on the doctrine of election and reprobation of angels. Specifically, Jude points us to the fall of the angels and the origin of demons (who are fallen angels), which happened sometime between the 2nd day of creation and the Fall of man.
Whereas the elect angels were given grace to remain sinless, the first angel to rebel was Satan, who was promptly thrown out of heaven along with many angels who followed his lead. They weren’t pleased with the post that the supreme Monarch of the universe gave them. They weren’t pleased with the place God ordained for them. The sin of pride overtook them and they were cast out for their sin to await final judgment. (2 Peter 2:4) Since they refused to be obedient servants to their Creator, they were made captives to divine justice.
Demons are permanently opposed to Christ, His kingdom, His people, all that is true, and all that is good. As the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3, Of God’s Eternal Decree, Sections 3 and 4 teach us:
- By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.
- These angels and men, thus predestinated, and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.
See here in the Westminster Confession of Faith, that just as the number of elect angels is definite, so is that of demons. That number neither grows, nor shrinks. Some may ask if fallen angels be redeemed. The clear answer of Scripture is, “No.” Beyond that which we just considered in the divine decree, another important reason is that there is no Gospel, no redemption for fallen angels. Redemption is only through Jesus Christ. He didn’t live, die, and rise for them. God “has reserved them in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6) It’s impossible for demons to ever break free from those chains. It’s impossible for them to escape. We need to remember these truths and praise God for them!
What else is true of demons? The Bible teaches us that demons are deathless creatures who serve their ruler Beelzebub, or Satan (Matthew 12:24-29). Demons have limited power, like the Devil (Job 1:12). They have knowledge, know who Jesus is, are afraid of Him, and have strength (Mark 1:23-24, Mark 9:17-27). They inflict and exacerbate physical and mental illness in people (Mark 5:1-17, Luke 11:14). Mark 9:29 teaches us that prayer was required to expel them. More to come on this in future editions.