Fallen angels - Spiritual warfare - Part 1

SERMON TOPIC: Fallen angels - Spiritual warfare - Part 1

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 13 October 2019


Sermon synopsis: There are angels who have rebelled against God and are referred to as fallen angels. Some of these angels are allied with Satan. Angels are more powerful than humans (Ps 8:4-5). So how do we oppose Satan and his angelic majesties in this present age? How do we practically “resist the devil”?

The ultimate victory belongs to God’s beloved children:

Rom 16:20 (NIV) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
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Fallen angels - Spiritual warfare: Part 1

Angels were created by God in the person of Christ.

Col 1:16 (ESV) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (thronoi) or dominions (kyriotētes) or rulers (archai) or authorities (exousiai) —all things were created through him and for him.

They are subject to Christ.

1 Pet 3:22 (ESV) who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels (aggelos), authorities (exousiai), and powers (dunamis) having been subjected to him.


Yet they have a free will.

Jude 6 speaks of “the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling” (ESV).

Job 4:17-18 (ESV) “Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error…”

Thus there are angels who have rebelled against God and are referred to as fallen angels. Some of these angels are allied with Satan. In Revelation 12 Satan “and his angels” battle and are defeated by Michael and his angels in heaven. Jesus speaks of the eternal fire prepared for “the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).

It is believed based on Revelation 12 (even though this is set in the future) that one third of the angels have followed Satan in his rebellion. Satan is depicted as a dragon whose “tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” Stars are used as a metaphor for angels (Rev 9:1, Job 38:7).

While some angels rebelled against God, the majority stayed faithful to him.

Rev 5:11-12 (NIV) Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain…”

Those who have not fallen are referred to as “elect angels” (1 Tim 5:21). Those who have fallen are not demons.

Was there a single rebellion of angels as many teach? Or was there more than one instance?


There are at least four cases of angelic rebellion:

Fall of Satan (alone) in Eden (Gen 3, Ezek 28, Isa 14) and his banishment to earth.

Fall of Watchers without Satan (Gen 6, Jude 6, 2 Pet 2:4) with the demon offspring ultimately following Satan.

The sons of God aka the angels, archons, principalities have the nations assigned to them (Deut 32:8-9). Later these angels are judged by God for bad governance (Ps 82). The nations ultimately worship these beings as gods.

Future expulsion from heaven in Tribulation (Rev 12).


Gen 3, Isa 14, Ezek 28

Gen 6, 2 Pet, Jude, Rev 9, 1 Enoch

Deut 32, Ps 82

Rev 12



Apollyon, Samyaza


Num of angels

Satan alone

200 angels

70 sons of God

One third of angels

Root sin



Bad govern-ance

Power struggle in heaven


Future defeat by seed of the woman. Chained in Abyss in the future.

Bound with chains in the Abyss immediately.

Would die like men.

Cast out heaven. Future lake of fire.

Current location

The earth

The Abyss

The earth

Satan fell due to his pride. One of the requirements for an over- seer is that “he must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil” (1 Tim 3:6, NIV).

His pride was due to his beauty and splendour.

Ezek 28:17 (NIV) Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour.


So Satan is driven from the presence of God:

Ezek 28:16 (NIV) … So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.


We are in a spiritual warfare:

Eph 6:12 (ESV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (arché), against the authorities (exousia), against the cosmic powers (kosmokratór) over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces (pneumatikos) of evil in the heavenly places.

These rulers and principalities that control geographical regions are not demons as many teach - but fallen angels.

Demons possess people – they do not exercise authority over nations like the Bene Elohim (the Sons of God aka the Watchers).


We have a very formidable foe in Satan, his angels and the demons. Angels are “stronger and more powerful” than humans. (2 Pet 2:11)

Ps 8:4-5 (NIV) what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels…

Never underestimate the power of your enemy.

1 Pet 5:8 (NIV) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


We must not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes so that we will not be outmanoeuvred.

2 Cor 2:11 (NIV) … in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Satan is currently “deceiving the nations” (Rev 20:3).

Unbelievers are under “the power of Satan” (Acts 26:18).

They need to “escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim 2:26).


He has blinded their minds.

2 Cor 4:3-4 (NKJV) But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.


He tries to frustrate and thwart God’s purpose.

Mark 8:31-33 (NIV) He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took


him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

What kind of enemy are we contending with? His power includes:

Causing sickness:

E.g. a woman crippled for 18 years.

Luke 13:16 (NIV) “Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”


E.g. 2 Paul’s “thorn in flesh” (an angel of Satan)

2 Cor 12:7 (NIV) To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger [aggelos] of Satan, to torment me.

E.g. 3 Job’s body sores:

Job 2:7 (NIV) So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.


When Satan obtains permission from God to afflict Job, he is told that “he is in your hands; but you must spare his life” (Job 2:6, NIV). This implies that Satan has the power to take life.

Jesus said that “the devil… was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44, NIV). He “holds the power of death” (Heb 2:14) and is a thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).

He persecutes believers.

Rev 2:10 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”


He tries to silence the voice of God by instigating the murder of his prophets and even God’s Son.

John 13:2 (NIV) The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

John 13:27 (NIV) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. [cf. Luke 22:3-4]


He instigates wars, theft and violence:

After the Millennium Satan “will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth… and to gather them for battle” (Rev 20:7, NIV).

He incites the Sabeans to kill Job’s servants and steal his oven and donkeys (Job 1:14-15). He also incites three raiding parties of Chaldeans to kill Job’s servants and steal his camels (1:17)


He can use natural disasters and is able to kill people and livestock.

He uses fire which “fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants” (Job 1:16, NIV)

He uses “a mighty wind … from the desert” to collapse the house of Job’s eldest son, thereby killing all of Job’s sons and daughters. (1:18-19)


To some extent, the powers of darkness can predict the future (or possibly manipulate future events to make it seem their predictions are accurate).


Acts 16:16 (ESV) As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.

But “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and … he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:38, NIV). Jesus came to “destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).

Heb 2:14-15 (NIV) … so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

John 16:11 (NIV) “and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.”

John 10:10 (ESV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”


So we need to remember that we are in a spiritual warfare against the rulers (arché), the authorities (exousia), the cosmic powers (kosmokratór) over this present darkness and the spiritual forces (pneumatikos) of evil in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12).

But the dark spiritual forces cannot separate us from God’s love:

Rom 8:38-39 (ESV) For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels [aggelos] nor rulers [arché], … nor powers [dunamis], nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Despite their power, angels have certain limitations.

They are not omnipresent (everywhere at the same time). In Daniel 10:12-13 the angel dispatched to speak to Daniel takes 21 days to deliver the message after being delayed en route by a fallen angel.

They are not omnipotent (all-powerful). Even the mighty warrior angel, Michael, has to appeal to God.

Jude 1:9 (NIV) But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”


E.g. The Egyptian magicians (by the powers of darkness) could also turn their staffs into snakes.

Ex 7:10-11 (NIV) … Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts:

But in what must have been an ominous omen for Pharaoh’s court, “Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs” (v. 12)


Likewise the magicians could mimic turning water into blood and producing frogs. But by the Third Plague their powers were not able to match the power of God.

Ex 8:18-19 (NIV) But when the magicians tried to produce gnats by their secret arts, they could not. Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”


Angels are not omniscient (don’t know everything).

Matt 24:36 (NIV) “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven …”

Satan’s power and knowledge are limited; unlike God he does not know the future. Instigating Jesus’ crucifixion was a tactical error for him and the subsequent victory over sin and death took him and his cohorts by surprise.

1 Cor 2:8 (ESV) None of the rulers [archón] of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.


Similarly Satan incorrectly predicted Job’s response to suffering. Based on his dealings with humans, Satan cynically remarks to God, “stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” (Job 2:5, ESV).

In contrast Job’s actual response was, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” Then we are told that “in all this Job did not sin with his lips” (2:10).


Satan’s power is limited in that he requires permission to test the believer and God sets boundaries on how far he can go. 1

Job 2:6 (NIV) The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

Luke 22:31 (NIV) “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.”

1 Cor 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

1 God is not the author of temptation, but his permission must be granted. (James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.)


We saw that angels are more powerful than humans (Ps 8:4-5). But this is a temporary situation as Paul tells believers that in the world to come “we will judge angels” (1 Cor 6:3).

Heb 2:5-8 (ESV) For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything in subjection under his feet.”

How do we oppose Satan and his angelic majesties in this present age? How do we practically “resist the devil”?



By putting on the armour of God:

Eph 6:13 (NIV) Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

We need to “take the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17).

The helmet of salvation in verse 17 is protection for the head, keeping viable a critical part of the body. We could say that our way of thinking needs preservation. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has laid hold of the sure gospel hope of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine or give way to Satan’s temptations. The unsaved person has no hope of warding off the blows of false doctrine because he is without the helmet of salvation and his mind is incapable of discerning between spiritual truth and spiritual deception. 1

1 https:// www.gotquestions.org/ full-armor-of-God.html


Due to God’s protection of his children, believers are normally shielded against Satan.

Job 1:9-10 (ESV) “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and every- thing he has?

God had to be requested to remove the “hedge” to allow Satan to test Job (Job 1:12).


When we fall into a lifestyle of unconfessed sin, part of the disciplinary process is to remove that hedge of protection against Satan.

1 Tim 1:20 (NIV) Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

Practically, this involved excommunication from fellowship. As Satan is the ruler of this world, turning a person over to Satan places them back in the world on their own, without the benefit of Christian fellowship and God’s protection. (Note that the intent is restorative, not punitive).

1 Cor 5:5 (NIV) hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.


Satan tempts believers to sin.

1 Chron 21:1 (NIV) Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.

Acts 5:3 (NIV) Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?”

1 Tim 5:14-15 (NIV) So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

He attempts to trap church leaders. An overseer must “have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (1 Tim 3:7, NIV).


He is opportunistic and attacks when we are weak.

He tempts Jesus when he is hungry from prolonged fasting. Then “when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13, NIV).

For this reason Paul cautions married couples:

1 Cor 7:5 (NIV) Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.


We need to have “the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Eph 6:17).

A breastplate shielded a warrior’s vital organs from blows that would otherwise be fatal. This righteousness is not works of righteousness done by men. Rather, this is the righteousness of Christ, imputed by God and received by faith, which guards our hearts against the accusations and charges of Satan and secures our innermost being from his attacks. 1

1 https:// www.gotquestions.org/ full-armor-of-God.html


We resist Satan by not being unequally yoked with the unrighteous.

2 Cor 6:14-18 (NIV) Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”


Satan tries to get us to question God’s Word and his character.

Gen 3:4-5 (ESV) “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We are cautioned against unbelief.

Heb 3:12-14 (NIV) See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.


The shield of faith renders the enemy’s sowing of doubt about the faithfulness of God and his Word ineffective.

Eph 6:16 (NIV) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.


Just as we mustn’t underestimate the enemy, we also mustn’t overestimate him and be intimidated.

The Holy Spirit inside us is greater than our enemy.

1 John 4:4 (NASB) You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.


The ultimate victory belongs to God’s beloved children:

Rom 8:37 (ESV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Luke 10:19 (ESV) “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”

Rom 16:20 (NIV) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

1 John 5:18 (NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.



Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ( Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations taken from the ESV: English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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