Does The Bible Tell Us That Angels Live Forever?

by Hermanus W. Smeenk

What does the Bible tell us?

     Let's go to John 1:1 - 5: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with Gold. Al things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

     In I Timothy 6:15,16 the Bible tells us: For He in His own time will reveal who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in light which cannot be approached, whom no one of men have seen, nor can see; to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

     Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul

     Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In the bible passages quoted above from John, I Timothy, Genesis, and Romans we received some very important information:

  1.   Only God has immortal or never ending life,
  2.   God is able to impart life into His created beings,
  3.   When God breathed into the nostrils of the object He had created, it became a living soul or being, or person, and
  4.   Continued life for a created being depends upon its living without sin

In Ezekiel 18, verses 4 and 20, God confirms Romans 6::23 when He tells the prophet:

    4) "Behold, all souls are Mine. As the soul of the father, also the soul of the son, they are Mine. The soul that sins, it shall die".... 20) "The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him".

God's Revelation to Isaiah

     In the book of Isaiah, chapter 14, God inspires him to record an event that happened possibly millenia ago, and following an occasion after God had created the cherub Helel (Lucifer) who subsequently rebelled against God. God told Isaiah what to write beginning in verse 14:

    4) (NKJV) you shall take up this song against the king of Babylon and say, How the exacter, the gold gatherer has ceased! 5) Jehovah has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers 6) who struck peoples in wrath, a blow without turning away, ruling the nations in anger, a persecution without restraint. 7) All the earth is at rest and is quiet; they break out into singing. 8) Yea, the fir trees rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since you have fallen, no woodcutter will come up against us. 9) Hell from below is moved for you, to meet you at your coming. It stirs up the dead for you, all the he-goats of the earth. It has raised from their thrones all the kings of the nations. 10) All of them shall speak and say to you, Are you also as weak as we? Are you like us? 12) How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star (Lucifer), son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13) For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. 14) I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. 15) Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the Pit. 16) Those who see you shall stare and closely watch you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth to tremble; who shook kingdoms; 17) who made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed its cities; who did not open the house for his prisoners? 18) All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. 19) But you are cast out of your grave like a hateful branch, and like the clothing of those who are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trampled under foot. 20) You shall not be joined with them in burial, because you ruined your land and killed your people; the seed of evildoers shall never be famous.

God's Revelation to Ezekiel

     In Ezekiel 28:12-19(RV) God reveals the origin of Satan to the prophet (and us) and Satan's final punishment beginning in verse 12:

    12) Son of man, lift up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God: You seal up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13) You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the ruby, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was in you, in the day that you were created they were prepared. 14) You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I set you, so that you were upon the mountain of God, you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15) You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. 16) By the multitude of your traffic they have filled your midst with violence, and you have sinned. Therefore I have cast you as profane out of the mountain of God, and I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17) Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness. I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings, that they may behold you. 18) By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your traffic, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from your midst; it has devoured you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth, before the eyes of all who see you. 19) All who know you among the peoples shall be astonished at you; you have become a terror, AND YOU SHALL NEVER BE ANYMORE!

The apostle Peter was also inspired to write in 2 Peter 2:3,4 and 2 Peter 3:10 - 13 concerning the earth and thefallen angels:

    And through covetousness they will use you for gain with well-turned words; for whom judgment from of old does not linger, and their destruction does not sleep. For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment.....But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up. Then, all these things being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the Day of God,by reason of which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? But according to His promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.

     In the book of Revelation 20:10 it is written: And the Devil who deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were . And he will be tormented or (BBE)their punishment will go on day and night for ever and ever.

     The Basic Bible in English interpreted "tormented" to "punishment" which is a more accurate rendition of this word. This is more in keeping with Romans 6:23 which states that ...the wages of sin is death,..not everlasting torment or as some people believe everlasting punishing which term is believed by many by torment. Punishment is an immediate result of the judgment by the judiciary such as a criminal receiving his punishment by immediate execution. Punishing entails a time element such as the criminal receives a sentence for a number of years of incarceration after which time having served the sentence the criminal is released. Eternal punishment on the other hand never ends as in the sentence of death, it lasts forever.

     People do not live forever as shown above. The condition relating to them lasts until the day they die, that’s how long “forever” lasts in their situation. When the bible tells us that Satan and his demons will be tormented for ever its talking about that period of time when they are thrown into the lake of fire and they’ll be tormented until they die. Often in the bible forever means only as long as the condition exists. When Satan and his demons are thrown into the lake of fire they’ll live for a very brief moment. In that time they will be tormented until they die.

     There are those who quote Luke 20:36 where Jesus is quoted as telling the Sadducees concerning the resurrected saints "Nor can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection". They interpret this to mean that angels can never die. In I Timothy 6:15,16 Paul wrote that God ONLY has immortality, so based on this, we can assume that angels do not have immortality but rather have very long lives and continue to live according to God's will. However, as Romans 6:23 says, the wages of sin is death and we know according to the Bible that Hillel and his angels sinned, therefore, even though they were angels, their sin will cut short their lives as it is written, for as we read in 2 Peter 3:13, in that new heavens and earth will dwell only rigteousness. So, there will no evil be found there because all those who committed sins have been consumed in the lake of fire.

      We can infer from this that the lake of fire as described in the bible is the entire earth being burned up to make it ready for the new earth described in Revelation 22 and in 2 Peter 3:6,7:

     "....through which the world that then was, being flooded by water, perished. But the present heavens and the earth being kept in store by the same Word, are being kept for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."

Return to Table Contents