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5-10 The Devil And His Angels

Matthew 25:41: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”

Popular Interpretation

This is taken to prove that the devil is a person controlling sinful angels.


1. The devil and his angels are to be destroyed. Everlasting fire is symbolic of total destruction (Jer. 17:27; Jude v. 7) - note in passing that these references show that “everlasting fire” is not to be taken literally and angels cannot die- (Lk. 20:35-36).

2. It was mentioned in the Debate that angels can refer to men (e.g. John the Baptist, Mt. 11:10; John’s disciples, Lk. 7: 24; the two spies, James 2: 25), the original word aggelos being translated and implying a messenger or, by extension, a follower.

3. This verse is describing the judgment at Jesus’ return (v. 31 & 32). If the devil is a personal being, he is destroyed then, but Revelation 20:10 describes the devil being thrown into a lake of fire at the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ, which will begin at His return. If the devil is a person, he can only be destroyed once - either at the end or the beginning of the 1,000 years. Seeing that Scripture says the devil is destroyed at both times, it follows that it is not a specific individual but representative of something or various groups of people.

4. Matthew 25:32 says that the purpose of the judgment is to punish the wicked men of all nations, the “goats”. Why then is v. 41 saying that the devil is going to be punished, seeing that , according to popular belief, he is not an ordinary man?

Suggested Explanations

1. The fire is prepared for the devil and his angels; those “on the left hand” are thrown into it. It would seem that the devil’s angels are the goats on the left hand, who are ordinary people guilty of vs. 42-45 - not visiting the sick or giving to the poor, etc. People who follow the devil - their evil desires - are guilty of neglecting such things, therefore they can be described as the devil’s “angels” or followers.

2 We have shown that “everlasting fire” represents everlasting punishment. The devil and his angles are to be thrown into everlasting fire. Verse 46 says, “these (the unloving men and women of vs. 42-45; the “goats” of the human nations of v. 32) shall go away into everlasting punishment”. Thus the devil’s angels are equated with fleshly people who are “angels” (messengers, i.e. servants) of their evil desires.

3. Matthew 13:38-42 says that those people who are sinners although apparently still in the kingdom of the Jewish world (vs. 38 & 41) are “tares” sown by the devil, and they will be punished by eternal fire (punishment). The tares are plants similar to the wheat - the faithful - but at the day of judgment there is a division made between the good and bad Christians. Bringing together Matthew 13 and Matthew 25, we can see that the devil’s children or “angels’ are the same as wicked men:-

The good seed, the Word, wheat


Sown by Jesus

Sown by the devil

Children of the Kingdom

Children of the wicked one



The righteous

The wicked

Enter the Kingdom

Go away into everlasting punishment (death)

Loving people

Selfish people

(Matt. 25:35-36)

(Matt. 25:42-44) Them (people) which do iniquity wail and gnash their teeth (a reaction experienced by men).