Lactantius on Demons

In order to create confusion and to fill human hearts with error, these unclean vagabond spirits sow falsehood mixed with truth. Because there are many angel spirits in heaven and God is the one Lord and Father of them all, so they have pretended that there are many heavenly beings and one king Jupiter over them all: but they have wrapped the truth up in bogus names and kept it out of sight. As I explained in the beginning, God needs no name because He is the only god, and though the angels are immortal, they do not allow themselves to be called gods nor do they want to be: their one and only duty is to attend to the wishes of God and to do absolutely nothing without His command. The world is governed by God, we say, as a province is by its governor, no one would say that in governing the province a governor’s staff are his equals, despite the fact that their work keeps it going. Indeed, because of his ignorance, which is a piece of his human condition, a governor’s staff do have some powers beyond their instructions; but He who presides over the world and governs the universe, He who knows all things, He from whose divine eyes nothing is hid, has power over all things on His own, and His angels have no need to do anything but obey. That is why they want no honour for themselves: all their honour is in God. Those who abandoned God’s service, however, being enemies of the truth and in collusion against God, try to secure divine worship for themselves, together with the title of gods, not because they want any honour — what honour could they have in their abandoned state? — nor to hurt God, who cannot be hurt, but to hurt man: it is man they are striving so hard to divert from knowledge and worship of the true greatness, in case man gains the immortality which they have lost by their own wickedness.

Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 2.16.5-9