August 20, 2023 – Bible Doctrine 12 – Angels and Demons
Lesson Date: August 20, 2023
Focal Scripture Passage: Genesis 2:1; Psalm 91:11; Isaiah 14:12-15; John 1:3; Ephesians 6:11-18; Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 1:14; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9; Revelation 12:3-9
AIM: To lead students to discover what angels and demons are and what they do, and to accept the responsibility God has given them for resisting the devil and his demons.
Before class: Read the chapters containing the focal passages several times during the week. Get enough copies of the Lesson Outline handout for your anticipated attendance. Write the words “Angels” and “Demons” on the marker board or chalkboard.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the words “Angels” and “Demons” written on the board. Ask: “Do you believe in the existence of angels and demons?” Allow time for responses. Read the following excerpts from a recent study:
About 7 in 10 U.S. adults say they believe in angels, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
“People are yearning for something greater than themselves – beyond their own understanding,” said Jack Grogger, a chaplain for the Los Angeles Angels and a longtime Southern California fire captain who has aided many people in their gravest moments.
That search for something bigger, he said, can take on many forms, from following a religion to crafting a self-driven purpose to believing in, of course, angels.
“For a lot of people, angels are a lot safer to worship,” said Grogger, who also pastors a nondenominational church in Orange, California, and is a chaplain for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
People turn to angels for comfort, he said. They are familiar, regularly showing up in pop culture as well as in the Bible. Comparably, worshipping Jesus is far more involved.
Tell the class there is a lot of interest in angels these days, as well as curiosity about the devil and demons. Ask the following rhetorical questions: “What do we really know about angels and demons? What are they? Where did they come from? What do they do?”
Tell the class the title of today’s lesson is Angels and Demons. Tell them as we study several Bible passages, we will discover answers to those questions.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Tell the students we are nearing the end of our survey of Bible doctrine.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (The Church: What Is It and What Does It Do?; we learned what qualifies a religious group as a church, and the work a true church is supposed to do).
- What Are Angels and Demons?
- Ask: “What are angels and demons, and where did they come from?”
- Ask everyone to turn to Genesis 2, and then ask a volunteer to read Genesis 2:1.
- Ask: “What did God create?” (everything).
- Say: “We know God created heaven, earth, stars, and planets, but is that all He made?”
- Ask everyone to turn to John 1, and then read John 1:3.
- Ask: “Does anything exist that was not created by God?” (no, everything was made by Him).
- Tell the students the first fact we need to know about angels and demons is that they were created by God.
- Ask everyone to turn to Colossians 1, and then ask a volunteer to read Colossians 1:16.
- Explain that the words principalities and powers refer to ranks and orders of spiritual beings (Eph. 6:11-12).
- Tell the students the next fact we need to know about angels and demons is that they are supernatural, spirit beings.
- Tell the class that angels and demons are not confined to physical bodies, but may appear in human form if they desire (Luke 1:26); they do not marry (Matthew 22:30) and do not age or die; they are powerful, but not equal to God.
- In the words of Dr. Jimmy Millikin, “Angels are not gods. They are creatures and servants of God, but not themselves gods. Accordingly, they are not to be worshipped or venerated. Such practice is forbidden and strongly rebuked throughout the Bible (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10).” (Christian Doctrine for Everyman, p. 95)
- Summarize: The Bible reveals that angels and demons were created by God, and that they are supernatural, spirit beings.
- Why Are Angels and Demons Different?
- Ask: “If God created angels and demons, why are they different?”
- Ask everyone to turn to Isaiah 14, and then read Isaiah 14:12.
- Ask: “What happened to Lucifer?” (he fell from heaven).
- Explain that the name Lucifer means “morning star.”
- Read Isaiah 14:13-14.
- Ask: “What did Lucifer want?” (to exalt himself above God and be like God).
- Tell the class that Lucifer (Satan, the devil) was one of God’s chief angels, but he became puffed up with pride and sought to overthrow God.
- Ask a volunteer to read Isaiah 14:15.
- Ask: “What was Lucifer’s fate?” (he was brought down to hell).
- Tell the students that Lucifer wanted to overthrow God.
- Ask everyone to turn to Revelation 12, and then read Revelation 12:3-6.
- Explain that in this passage the dragon is Lucifer, the stars are the angels, the woman is Israel, and her son is Jesus.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what happened to a third of the angels?” (they followed the devil in his rebellion and were cast down to the earth).
- Tell the class that a third of the angels followed Lucifer; those fallen angels became demons.
- Ask a volunteer to read Revelation 12:7-9.
- Ask: “What happened as a result of Satan’s defeat at the hands of Michael and his holy angels?” (Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven).
- Tell the students that the devil and his demons were cast down to earth.
- Quoting Dr. Jimmy Millikin, “The title, ‘Satan’ means ‘adversary, someone who takes a stand against another. In this case, Satan is one who opposes God and His people. The term ‘devil’ means ‘slanderer.’ All his actions are designed to oppose or thwart the purposes of God.” (Christian Doctrine for Everyman, p. 95-96)
- Summarize: The reason angels and demons are different is that Lucifer wanted to overthrow God and a third of the angels followed him in his rebellion. They were defeated and cast out of heaven to the earth, becoming unholy angels, known as demons.
- What Do Angels and Demons Do?
- Ask: “We’ve learned where angels and demons came from, but what do they do?”
- Ask everyone to turn to Hebrews 1, and tell the class that the writer was explaining that Jesus is much better than the angels.
- Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 1:14.
- Ask: “What does that verse reveal about angels?” (they are ministering spirits, sent forth by God to minister to Christians and those who will become Christians.
- Ask everyone to turn to Psalm 91, and then read Psalm 91:11.
- Ask: “What task does God give His angels?” (protecting His children).
- Tell the students that angels minister to and protect believers.
- Ask everyone to turn to 1 Timothy 4, and then ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 4:1.
- Explain that whenever the plural word “devils” appears in the Bible, it refers to demons.
- Ask: “What do demons do?” (seduce people into believing false doctrine).
- Ask everyone to turn to Ephesians 6, and then read Ephesians 6:11-12.
- Remind the class that the words principalities and powers refer to ranks and orders of spiritual beings (Col. 1:16).
- Tell the students that demons oppose God and try to harm Christians.
- In the words of Dr. Jimmy Millikin, “Demons are ‘unclean’ spirits, which means they are depraved and wicked in their nature. Their main occupation is that of opposing the will and purposes of God.” (Christian Doctrine for Everyman, p. 97)
- Summarize: The Bible reveals that angels minister to and protect believers, while demons oppose God and try to harm Christians.
- Ask: “We’ve learned where angels and demons came from, but what do they do?”
- What Can We Do About Demons?
- Ask: “The devil and his demons want to hurt us; what can we do to defend ourselves?”
- Tell everyone to keep their place in Ephesians 6, while turning to 1 Peter 5.
- Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 5:8-9.
- Ask everyone to turn back a few pages to James 4, and then read James 4:7.
- Ask: “What are we supposed to do about the devil and his demons?” (be watchful for them and resist them).
- Tell the students the Bible says we must resist the devil and his demons.
- Ask: “How can we possibly resist powerful evil spirits?”
- Ask everyone to turn back to Ephesians 6, and then ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 6:13.
- Tell the class that we are involved in a spiritual war and must be properly equipped for battle; the next verses describe our equipment.
- Read Ephesians 6:14-17, describing the full armor of God:
- The belt of truth.
- The breastplate of righteousness.
- The shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of peace.
- The shield of faith.
- The helmet of salvation.
- The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
- Ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 6:18.
- Ask: “What else must we do to resist the devil and his demons?” (pray).
- Tell the students that to resist the devil and demons, we must utilize the armor of God.
- Summarize: The Bible tells us to resist the devil and his demons by using the full armor of God.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the words written on the board, reminding them that the title of today’s lesson is Angels and Demons. Give everyone a copy of the Lesson Outline handout. Review the lesson by reading the main points and subpoints from that outline:
Angels and Demons
What Are Angels and Demons?
- Created by God – Genesis 2:1; John 1:3
- Supernatural, spirit beings – Colossians 1:16
Why Are Angels and Demons Different?
- Lucifer wanted to overthrow God – Isaiah 14:12-15
- A third of the angels followed Lucifer – Rev. 12:3-6
- Devil and demons cast down to earth – Rev. 12:7-9
What Do Angels and Demons Do?
- Angels minister and protect – Heb. 1:14; Psalm 91:11
- Demons oppose and harm– 1 Tim. 4:1; Eph. 6:11-12
What Can We Do About Demons?
- Resist them – 1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7
- Utilize the armor of God – Ephesians 6:13-18
Stress the fact that angels and demons are very real spiritual creatures with specific duties: angels serve God and minister to and help believers, while demons oppose God and seek to harm Christians. Tell the students the Bible makes it clear that we are in a spiritual war, but also reveals that God has given us some spiritual armor.
Ask: “Are you willing to accept the responsibility God has given you to resist the devil and his demons? Will you put on the whole armor of God to fight the good fight of faith?”
Tell the students if any of them do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, they have no protection whatsoever in this spiritual warfare. If anyone wants to receive Jesus right now, they should turn away from their sins and place their trust and faith in Jesus and Jesus alone.
Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Urge any who have never been saved to turn to Jesus right now. Tell others to accept the responsibility God has given them to resist the devil and his demons, using the armor of God. After a moment of silence, voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Encourage everyone to read Ephesians 6:11-18 and claim their spiritual armor every day this week. Ask them to memorize Ephesians 6:12. Be sure everyone has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly for the Fall quarter.
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