ANGELS, A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
I) HOLY ANGELS
We teach that angels are created beings and are, therefore, not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Luke 2:9-14; Hebrews 1:6-9, 14; 2:6-7; Revelation 5:11-14; 19:10; 22:8-9). In addition, angels observe and serve believers (1 Corinthians 4:9; Hebrews 1:13, 14). Also, angels rejoice over the conversion of sinners (Luke 15:10). In heaven, the saints and the angels will worship God together (Revelation 5:11-14).
[Footnote from The New Scofield Study Bible, C. E. Scofield, Editor, Oxford University Press, New York, 1967, p. 1273]:
"Angel, summary: Angel, i.e., 'messenger,' is used of God, of men, and of an order of created spiritual beings whose chief attributes are strength and wisdom (2 Sam 14:20; Ps 103:20; 104:4). In the O.T. the expression 'the angel of the LORD' (sometimes 'of God') usually implies the presence of Diety in angelic form (Gen 16:1-13; 21:17-19; 22:11-16; 31:11-13; Ex 3:2-4; Jud 2:1; 6:12-16; 13:3-22), . on this subject. Note that the phrase "Angel of the LORD" in Ex 3:2 is defined as the LORD Himself, (cf. Ex 3:4; 16:9) - a Person Who was at once identified as God yet also sent by God and therefore distinct from the Father - the preincarnate Jesus Christ...
Note that the Angel of the
LORD is identified as God in Gen 22:11-18; 31:11, 13; 48:16; Jud 6:11,
16, 22; 13:22-23; Zech 3:1-2. The Angel of the LORD is nevertheless
portrayed as distinct from the LORD, (Gen 18:1-2; 19:1; 24:7; Num
22:22; Judges 2:1-4; 5:23; 2 Sam 24:16; Zech 1:12; 12:8 ) in the sense
of God appearing to man in human form with the capacity to communicate
to Himself, the LORD God as in the preincarnate appearances of Jesus
The word 'angel' is used of men in Lk 7:24, Gk; Jas 2:25, Gk; Rev 1:20; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14. In Rev 8:3-5 Christ is evidently meant. Sometimes 'angel' is used of the spirit of man (Acts 12:15). Though angels are spirits (Ps 104:4; Heb 1:14), power is given them to become visible in the semblance of human form (Gen 19:1, cp. v. 5; Ex 3:2; Num 22:22-31; Jud 2:1; 6:11, 22; 13:3, 6; 1 Chr 21:16, 20; Mt 1:20; Lk 1:26; Jn 20:12; Acts 7:30; 12:7-8, etc.). The word is always used in the masculine gender, though sex, in the human sense, is never ascribed to angels (Mt 22:30; Mk 12:25). They are exceedingly numerous (Ps 68:17; Mt 26:53; Heb 12:22; Rev 5:11). Their power is inconceivable (2 Ki 19:35). Their place is about the throne of God (Rev 5:11; 7:11). Their relation to believers is that of 'ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation,' [Heb 1:14] and this ministry has reference largely to the physical safety and well-being of children of God (1 Ki 19:5; Ps 34:7; 91:11; Dan 6:22; Mt 2:13, 19; 4:11; Lk 22:43; Acts 5:19; 12:7-10). Comparing Heb 1:14 with Mt 18:10 and Ps 91:11, it appears that this care for the heirs of salvation begins in infancy and continues through life. The angels observe us (Eccl 5:6; 1 Cor 4:9; Eph 3:10), a fact which should influence conduct. Man is made 'a little lower than the angels,' and in incarnation Christ took 'for a little while' this lower place (Ps 8:4-5; Heb 2:7) that He might lift the Christian into His own sphere above angels (Heb 2:9-10). The angels are to accompany Christ in His second advent (Mt 25:31). To them will be committed the preparation of the judgment of individual Gentiles among the nations (see Mt 13:30, 39, 41-42; 25:32...). The Kingdom Age is not to be subject to angels, but to Christ and those for whom He was made a little lower than the angels (Heb 2:7). An archangel, Michael, is mentioned as having a particular relation to Israel and to the resurrections (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1-2; 1 Th 4:16; Jude 9). The only other angel whose name is revealed, Gabriel, was employed in the most distinguished services (Dan 8:16; 9:21; Lk 1:19, 26).
In regard to fallen angels, two classes are mentioned: (1) 'The angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home' and are chained under darkness, awaiting judgment (Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4; cp. Jn 5:22; 1 Cor 6:3). And (2) the angels who are not bound, but go about doing the will of Satan... They may be identical with the demons... Everlasting fire is prepared for Satan and his angels (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10)."
B) THE CREATION OF ANGELS
1) GOD IS THE CREATOR OF THE SPIRITUAL REALM
a) [Col. 1:15-16]:
"He (speaking of Christ) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him."
'''The Living Version makes verse sixteen a little easier to understand, "Christ himself is the Creator who made everything in heaven and earth, the things we can see and the things we can't; the spirit world with its kings and kingdoms, its rulers and authorities; all were made by Christ for his own use and glory."
From these verses we can see that, just as there is a physical kingdom or realm, there is a spiritual world, or kingdom, unseen by the human eye, created by God through Jesus Christ, the Word. That spiritual world has kings, rulers and authorities ruling over it.'''
2) ANGELS EXISTED BEFORE MAN
Was this spiritual kingdom in existence before the creation of the physical universe we see around us?
a) [Job 38:4-7 (NIV)]:
"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations?"
[God asked of Job] "Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone -- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy."
Notice that the angels were in attendance and sang for joy when God created the earth. Angels, therefore, existed before mankind was formed from the dust of the ground. These angels were certainly not beings who had once been human but had, after death, become angels! This would have been impossible, since the human race hadn't as yet been created.
3) ANGELS ARE CREATED BEINGS
We have seen that angels were in existence before the creation of this earth and mankind, but was there a time when angels were brought into being? Or have they always existed?
a) [Ezek. 28:15]:
[This verse] tells us that Lucifer was perfect in his ways from the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him. Lucifer was a created being. He was perfect until iniquity (lawlessness) was found in him. Lucifer had free moral agency. He would think and reason but somewhere along the line his reasoning became dark and twisted. He thought he could rule better than his Creator. How long after his creation did the seed of rebellion and disloyalty to his Maker take root in Lucifer's mind? How long did it take him to act on his dark thoughts? God doesn't tell us. We do know that Lucifer and the angels were in existence at the creation of the earth and that, apparently, Lucifer, before he turned to evil, had some type of office, or rulership." '''
4) GOD CREATED ANGELS DURING THE 6 DAYS OF CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
Although not mentioned in Genesis 1, it is probable that another act of creation took place on this first day. Sometime prior to the third day of creation, a multitude of angels had been created, since they were present when the 'foundations of the earth' were laid - probably a reference to the establishment of solid land surfaces on the earth...
a) [Compare Job 38:4-7 NAS]:
(v. 4) "Where were you [Job, (v. 1)] when I [God] laid the foundation of the earth! Tell Me, if you have understanding,
(v. 5) Who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it?
(v. 6) On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone,
(v. 7) When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God [angels] shouted for joy?"
It is impossible that they [angels] could have existed before the creation of the physical universe itself, since their sphere of operation is in this universe and their very purpose is to minister to the 'heirs of salvation' (Hebrews 1:14). Angels are called the 'host of heaven,' [Isa 34:4] and so could not have been created before the existence of heaven..
b) [Compare Psalm 104:1-5]:
(v. 1) "Praise the LORD, O my soul? O LORD my God, You are very great; You are are clothed with splendor and majesty,
(v. 2) He wraps Himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent.
(v. 3) and lays the beams of His upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
(v. 4) He makes winds His messengers [angels] flames of fire His servants. [also angels*]
(v. 5) He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."
[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Walvoord and Zuck editors, Victor Books, 1987, p. 868]:
"Psalm 104:4 [above] suggests that God arrays His angels ("messengers") with physical phenomena, similar to ways He often manifested Himself."] ...Psalm 104 (verses 2-5) says that angels were made as spirits after the materialization of God's light-arrayed presence in the stretched-out heavens, but prior to the laying of the solid foundations of the land. Therefore, although angels are not mentioned as such at this point in Genesis, their spiritual presence as fascinated observers at the remaining acts of creation and formation may certainly be inferred."
C) THE PURPOSE OF ANGELS
1) [Heb 1:14]:
"Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"
****** EXCERPT FROM NAVE'S TOPICAL BIBLE ON ANGELS ******
A CELESTIAL SPIRIT
Called ANGEL OF THE LORD
Mat 1:20 Mat 1:24 Mat 2:13 Mat 2:19 Mat 28:2 Luke 1:11 Acts 5:19 Acts 7:30 Acts 7:35 Acts 8:26 Acts 12:7 Acts 12:23
Called MORNING STARS
Gen 2:1 Gen 32:2 Jos 5:14 1Ch 12:22 Ps 33:6 Ps 103:21 Luke 2:13
Called PRINCIPALITIES, POWERS
Eph 3:10 Col 1:16
Gen 2:1 Neh 9:6 Col 1:16
Of different orders
Isa 6:2 1Th 4:16 1Pe 3:22 Jude 1:9 Rev 12:7
Neh 9:6 Php 2:9-11 Heb 1:6
Not to be worshiped
Col 2:18 Rev 19:10 Rev 22:8 Rev 22:9
Do not marry
Mat 22:30 Mark 12:25 Luke 20:35
Ps 103:20 Mat 6:10 Luke 11:2 1Pe 3:22 2Pe 2:11 Jude 1:6
Have knowledge of, and interest in, earthly affairs
Mat 24:36 Luke 9:31 Luke 15:7 Luke 15:10 1Ti 5:21 1Pe 1:12
See FUNCTIONS OF
Men called angels
Are examples of meekness
2Pe 2:11 Jude 1:9
2Sa 14:17 2Sa 14:20
Ps 103:20 2Pe 2:11
Mat 25:31 Mark 8:38
Deut 33:22 Ki 6:17 Job 25:3 Ps 68:17 Heb 12:22 Jude 1:14
Jdg 13:6 Isa 6:2 Dan 10:6 Mat 28:3
Guard the way to the tree of life
Law given by
Acts 7:53 Gal 3:19 Heb 2:2
Medium of revelation to prophets
2Ki 1:15 Dan 4:13-17 Dan 8:19 Dan 9:21-27 Dan 10:10-20 Zec 1:9-11 Acts 8:26 Acts 23:9 Gal 3:19 Heb 2:2 Rev 1:1 Rev 5:2-14 Rev 7:1-3 Rev 7:11-17 Rev 8:2-13 Rev 9-20 Rev 22:6 Rev 22:16
Remonstrates with Balaam
Announces the birth of Samson
Announces the birth of John the Baptist
Announces the birth of Jesus
Mat 1:20 Mat 1:21 Luke 1:28-38 Luke 2:7-15
Warns Joseph to escape to Egypt
Ministers to Jesus after the temptation
Mat 4:11 Mark 1:13 John 1:51
Ministers to Jesus during his passion
Present at the tomb of Jesus
Present at the ascension
Will be with Christ at His second coming
Mat 25:31 Mark 8:38 2Th 1:7 Jude 1:14 Jude 1:15
Will be with Christ at the judgment
Mat 13:39 Mat 13:41 Mat 13:49 Mat 16:27 Mat 24:31 Mat 25:31 Mark 13:27
MINISTRANT TO THE RIGHTEOUS
Gen 16:7 Gen 24:7 Gen 24:40 Ex 23:20 Ex 23:23 Ex 32:34 Ex 33:2 Num 20:16 1Ki 19:5-8 2Ki 6:17 2Ch 18:18 Ps 34:7 Ps 68:17 Ps 91:11 Ps 91:12 Ps 104:4 Eccl 5:6 Isa 63:9 Dan 6:22 Dan 7:10 Mat 4:6 Luke 4:10 Luke 4:11 Luke 16:22 John 1:51 John 5:4 Acts 5:19 Acts 5:20 Acts 10:3-6 Acts 12:7-10 Heb 1:7 Heb 1:14 Heb 13:2
EXECUTE JUDGMENTS UPON THE WICKED
Gen 19:1-25 2Sa 24:16 2Sa 24:17 1Ch 21:15 1Ch 21:16 2Ki 19:35 2Ch 32:21 Isa 37:36 Ps 35:5 Ps 35:6 Ps 78:49 Mat 13:41 Mat 13:42 Mat 13:49 Mat 13:50 Acts 12:23 Acts 27:23 Acts 27:24 Jude 1:14 Jude 1:15 Rev 7:1 Rev 7:2 Rev 9:15 Rev 15:1
UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURES RELATING TO
Num 22:35 Deut 33:2 2Ki 6:17 Job 4:15-19 Job 38:7 Ps 8:5 Ps 68:17 Ps 103:20 Ps 103:2 1Ps 104:4 Ps 148:2 Isa 6:2 Isa 6:5-7 Ezek 1:4-25 Ezek 10 Dan 4:13 Dan 4:17 Dan 8:13 Dan 8:14 Dan 9:21-23 Zec 1:12-14 Zec 6:5 Mat 4:6 Mat 4:11 Mat 13:41 Mat 13:42 Mat 17:3 Mat 18:10 Mat 24:31 Mat 24:36 Mat 25:31 Mat 26:53 Mark 1:13 Mark 8:38 Mark 9:4 Luke 9:30 Luke 9:31 Luke 12:8 Luke 12:9 Luke 15:7 Luke 15:10 John 1:51 Acts 7:53 Acts 8:26 Gal 3:19 Eph 1:20 Eph 1:21 Eph 3:10 Col 1:16 Col 2:10 2Th 1:7 1Ti 3:16 1Ti 5:21 Heb 1:4 Heb 1:5 Heb 1:7 Heb 1:13 Heb 2:2 Heb 2:5 Heb 2:7 Heb 2:16 Heb 12:22 Heb 13:2 1Pe 1:12 1Pe 3:22 2Pe 2:11 Rev 4:8-11 Rev 5:9-11 Rev 7:9 Rev 7:10 Rev 10:1-6 Rev 14:10 Rev 18:1-3 Rev 19:10 Rev 22:8 Rev 22:9
Gen 18:2 Gen 22:11-18
To Hagar, in the wilderness
To Lot, in Sodom
To Jacob, in his various visions
To the Israelites
Ex 14:19 Jdg 2:1-4
To Joshua, "the captain of the Lord's host,"
Jdg 13:6 Jdg 13:15-20
To David, at the threshing floor of Araunah
2Sa 24:16 2Sa 24:17 1Ch 21:15 1Ch 21:16
To Elisha while he lay under the juniper tree
2Ki 6:16 2Ki 6:17
To Daniel, in the lions' den
Dan 6:22 Dan 8:16 Dan 9:21 Dan 10:5-10 Dan 10:16 Dan 10:18 Dan 12:5-7
To Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace
Dan 3:25 Dan 3:28
To Zechariah, in a vision
Zec 2:3 Zec 3:1 Zec 3:2 Zec 4:1
To Joseph, in a dream
Mat 1:20 Mat 2:13 Mat 2:19
At the transfiguration of Jesus
Mat 17:3 Luke 9:30 Luke 9:31
To Mary, concerning Jesus
Luke 1:11-20 Luke 1:26-38
To the shepherds
Luke 2:9-11 Luke 2:13 Luke 2:14
To Jesus, after His temptation
At the tomb of Jesus
Mat 28:2-5 Mark 16:5-7 Luke 24:23 John 20:12
At the ascension
Acts 1:10 Acts 1:11
To Peter and John, while in prison
To Cornelius, in a dream
Acts 10:3 Acts 10:30-32
To Peter, in prison
To Paul, on the way to Damascus
To John, on the island of Patmos
Rev 1:1 Rev 5:2 Rev 7:11 Rev 10:9 Rev 11:1 Rev 17:7 Rev 19:10 Rev 22:8
Job 4:18 Matt 25:41 2Pet 2:4 Jude 1:6 Rev 12:9
****** END OF EXCERPT FROM NAVE'S TOPICAL BIBLE ON ANGELS ******
II) FALLEN ANGELS
We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Genesis 3:1-15).
[Henry Morris states, ("The Genesis Record", Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1976, pp. 464-465)]:
'In Genesis 1:31 it may well be that it is said of the whole work of creation and not of the creation of the earth alone that God saw what He had made, and, behold, it was very good. If so, the rebellion and the disobedience of the angels must have taken place after the sixth day of creation.'
We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isaiah 14:12-14; Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Pet 5:8; Revelation 12:9-10), the prince of this world who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 16:20), and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
We teach that demons or evil spirits are made up of at least a portion of the fallen angels who chose to follow Satan. They oppose the work of God at every hand and thus, every believer is engaged in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-12). Though demons can harass Christians and even hold power over the life of a Christian who willingly gives ground to the enemy by consciously yielding to temptation, demons cannot possess the body of a believer in the same way they can that of a nonbeliever (2 Timothy 2:25-26; Luke 22:31,32). The believers body is the permanent temple of the Holy Spirit (1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20) and therefore can no longer be possessed by Satan or other demons, (Ro 8:38-39).
B) THE ACCOUNT OF LUCIFER'S (SATAN'S) FALL
1) LUCIFER - THE COVERING CHERUB
a) [Ezek. 28:12-15]:
Consider what God says in Ezek. 28:12-15. He is here talking about Lucifer in earlier times, before sin was found in him.
"You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in the Garden of Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones."
What does God mean, the anointed cherub who covers?
b) [Ex 25:18-20]:
In Exodus 25 God described His throne to Moses, who was to make a physical representation of it. Verses 18-20
"And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it on one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat."
Notice that the wings of the cherubims were to cover the mercy seat. Lucifer, apparently, had, at one time, the awesome privilege and responsibility of being established, or placed, by his Creator at the very throne of God! .
2) LUCIFER'S SIN
What happened to the very Chief Aid that God had placed at His throne? Did Lucifer, who was created perfect, but with freedom of choice, allow evil to enter into his heart and mind?
a) [Ez 28:15]:
"You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you."
What iniquity, or sin did Lucifer commit? Did he want to take over the very throne (rulership) of God?
b) [Isa. 14:12-14]:
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest side of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."
c) [Rev. 12:4]:
Consider also the first part of Rev. 12:4 Speaking of the firey red dragon, who can be no one other than Satan the Devil, it says,
"His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth."
Notice that the dragon's tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.
d) [Rev. 1:20]:
Are angels sometimes referred to as stars?
"The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches,".
It seems that when Lucifer, who wanted the Number One Seat of Authority, stormed the heavenly throne a third of the angels were at his side. They tried to take control of the universe. As a result, a great spiritual battle took place.
3) SINNING ANGELS CAST OUT
What happened to Lucifer and the angels who tried to storm God's throne and take control of the universe? Were these sinning angels cast back down to the earth?
a) [Luke 10:18]:
"And He said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.' "
b) [2 Pet. 2:4]:
"For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment. . ."
God forced the sinning angels back down to the earth where they are still awaiting their final judgment. But it was Lucifer, whose name was changed to Satan, who was ultimately responsible for their rebellion, and therefore Satan who is guilty of causing them to be cast back down to the earth.
c) [Isa. 14:12]:
"How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, [Lucifer] son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!"
Lucifer had been created perfect, but through his own choice, allowed sin to enter into his thinking process. He then persuaded a third of God's holy angels to join him in his rebellion. He was overcome and cast down to the earth where he is presently at work "weakening the nations."