Pride led the angelic being called Lucifer to rebel against God. But he wasn’t alone in his rebellion. Other angelic beings followed his lead and left Heaven as well. Most probably joined Lucifer’s initial spiritual warfare for the same reasons that he did. While others succumbed to the same thing that has led many of us to make tragic and regrettable decisions . . . chasing sex.
Army of darkness
Whatever their reasons, this world is now inhabited by a multitude of powerful supernatural beings who share the same destructive traits as Satan – possibly as many as a third of the angelic host. So how large a multitude are we talking about?
Angels were the first intelligent beings that God created. They witnessed the rest of creation. We don’t know how many exist, but they are consistently referred to throughout the Bible in relation to “the stars of heaven”. If this metaphor has a numerical correlation, then the fallen third of the angelic host could easily number into the billions.
That would be more than enough for us to each have our own personal fallen angel whispering evil thoughts to us (not a very comforting thought, but it does explain congresses’ voting record).
Demons in the Bible
Lest we think that this idea is just the stuff of horror movies or sadistic Sunday School teachers, its important to note that the Bible is full of narrations of demon possession(if you read the Gospels it seemed like Jesus was casting a demon out of somebody every week) and supernatural demonic influence.
One event that is particularly enlightening occurs in the book of Daniel, chapter 10. This is one of the rare instances where the veil is pulled back and we see how events in our corporeal world affect, and are affected by the unseen spiritual world all around us.
A frightening encounter
In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult…
But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground…The said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”…
“Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince. – Daniel 10: 2-6, 9, 12-14, 20-21 NASV
Behind the lines of spiritual warfare
The prophet Daniel had been fasting and praying for three weeks when an angel (a good one) came to him with an important prophesy from God. This being was so spectacular; Daniel could only describe him by comparing him to fire, lightning, and precious metals. He frightened Daniel so badly that he practically went into a coma – and this was a GOOD angel! Imagine how frightening a bad one must be!
But here’s where it gets weirder. That angel was dispatched by God on the FIRST day that Daniel began praying. So why did it take the angel 21 days to get to Daniel? Because another supernatural being called the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” battled him and blocked him from getting to Daniel for three weeks until he got help!
Furthermore, once he was done giving Daniel this message, he had to go back and fight this prince of Persia again – and after that, he had to fight someone called the prince of Greece.
There is a LOT going on in this passage and exploring it will help us understand a great deal about the role, identity, and mission of fallen angels. Specifically, we will see:
- They share Satan’s goals
- They have different levels of power and authority
- They have specific territorial authority and power
- Satan doesn’t have totally control over them
- They have historically been the power behind human rulers
All this and more in our next exciting episode!