Summary: This message considers the appearance of demon spirits in the Old Testament. Demons don’t just suddenly appear out of thin air in the Gospels, but are seen in the Older Testament as well
The Doctrine of Angels #4
Demons in the Old Testament
Dr. Russell K. Tardo
This study will begin with clarification of certain items within The Doctrine of Angels, under the sub-heading The Ministry of Angels. As discussed in previous sessions, the scriptures reveal the angels to be divine messengers. They’re often revealed, especially in the New Testament, as spokesmen for God and they repeatedly appear in that capacity.
In past discussions it was mentioned that the angels appeared to Joseph, Mary, and Elisabeth revealing what was shortly to come to pass. They appeared again to Joseph telling him to take the child Jesus and flee into Egypt because Herod was out to destroy His life. The angel appeared to the apostle Philip when he was ministering in Samaria and told him to go to Gaza and preach in the desert. That’s where God pointed the Ethiopian eunuch to Philip and as a result, the Ethiopian people received the gospel.
An angel also appeared to Cornelius (Acts, chapter 10) and told him to send for Peter. Consequently, Peter revealed the gospel to him so that Cornelius and his family were saved. It is significant that Cornelius, a Roman soldier, had a heart to know God. He regularly prayed, fasted and gave alms. God dispatched an angel to Cornelius and told him to send for Peter. It’s interesting that the angel himself didn’t preach the gospel to Cornelius. One would be inclined to think that an angel could do a much better job of presenting the gospel than a mere man like Peter. Consider what a message such a glorious being as an angel could present. That wasn’t the case, however, for the angel said, Go send for Peter. Go send for a man to come preach the gospel to you -- an earthen vessel. Go send for him and he will come and preach the gospel to you.
Peter was no stranger to human frailty and weakness. Peter was human and knew what it was to have to repent and on more than one occasion. The angel directed Cornelius to send for Peter so that Peter could minister the gospel to Cornelius and his family. This event illustrates some of the things contained in the scriptures. For example:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [2 Cor. 4:7]
One would be inclined to think, "Let the angel do it; he’d do a better job of it anyway."
Another passage is:
27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. [1 Cor. 1:27-29]
Men are so imperfect, so weak compared to the angels. One would think that God would use the angels, but God chose to have His perfect message preached through imperfect vessels. That’s the way God chose it to be. Let the imperfect vessel preach this perfect message -- this glorious gospel, and through that, God is glorified. All the human vessel can say is, Magnify the grace of God. That’s all the human can do, simply magnify God and His grace. That’s a point worth considering.
Also previously discussed was how the angels minister to the saints. Remember the passage from Hebrews:
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. [Heb. 1:14]
As ministering spirits, the angels offer protection, bringing aid and assistance. Their ministry includes protection as pointed out in these verses:
10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. [Ps. 91:10-12]
God gives His angels charge over men. They minister to the heirs of salvation in the areas of protection, deliverance, preservation, etc. The angels preserve, keep and protect God’s elect.
The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [Ps. 34:7]
Without question, God has sent His angels to keep, protect and preserve His elect.
CALL ON JESUS!!
An important point should be noted and that is: believers are not to pray to angels. Although God sends angels to protect and assist His own in crisis, one should never pray to the angels. Even in times of emergency when one is facing imminent danger, one doesn’t pray, "Angels, help me!" That’s just not the way Christians are to respond in time of trouble. For whom does one call? One calls for Jesus and only Jesus. His is the name on whom His children call for that’s the name where there is power. It’s in the name of Jesus that demons are cast out, that the sick are made well. Jesus is the name on whom the believer calls. No one should be confused into thinking that believers are to call to the angels for assistance or aid. The believer does not call for angels; the believer calls for Jesus. It’s "the blood of Jesus!" or "Jesus!" and that’s where there is protection, deliverance and preservation. God can respond in any way He chooses, in whatever manner He wishes to respond, in whatever way He chooses to preserve His child. It just may be by sending an angel, but the believer is to call on no other name than the name of Jesus.