The Place of Devils

The 1960 preface to the Screwtape Letters included this fascinating response to the place of the devil:

The commonest question is whether I “believe in the Devil”.  Now, if by “the Devil” you mean a power opposite to God and, like God, self-existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No.  There is no uncreated being except God.  God has no opposite… The proper question is whether I believe in devils.  I do.  That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of them, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies of God and, as a corollary, to us.  These we may call devils.  They do not differ in nature from good angels, but their nature is depraved.  Devil is the opposite of Angel only as Bad Man is the opposite of Good Man.  Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael [the archangel].”

Fascinating.  Did you get that?  Angels are created beings with free will.  Some of them rebelled and were thrown out of heaven, along with their leader Satan/Lucifer.  (See Isaiah 14:12ff, Revelation 127ff)  He commands the armies of fallen angels (demons/devils/minions/whatever word you like) who are trying to tempt men into rebellion again God.  Yet remember that they are under the authority of God.  (See Job 1-2)  Michael commands the armies of angels who are ministering spirits sent to aid those who belong to God (Hebrews 1:14) and also fall under the authority of God.

Now we know what the spirit world’s organizational chart probably looks like.  Something to think about.


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