Angelology, Doctrine of Angels
In this study, we will understand the Angelic realm including Satan, the fallen angels, and the elect angels. This is a study of the unseen world that is as real as you and me.
We begin by noting the most famous of all the angels, Satan. In order to understand who he was and is today, we turn to two main passages, Isa 14:12-17 and Ezek 28:11-19
Isa 14:12, “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning (HELEL), son of the dawn! (BEN SHACHAR) You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations!”
From this verse, we have the closest thing to Satan’s real name HELEL. And for all you fans of the book and movie series, “Twilight,” there are many parallels between the names of the books and movies and the representations of the vampires to Satan himself, beginning with the last two book’s and movie’s names, “Breaking Dawn,” which is synonymous to SHACHAR of the Hebrew. We will see more parallels below.
As for the “star of the morning,” HELEL, it is a title that represents the highest rank of authority given to Satan by our Lord, as Jesus is the “morning star,” in Rev 22:16, PROINOS ASTER. As a title of Jesus, He is able to decorate whomever He wishes with this high-ranking honor, Rev 2:28, which He will bestow on spiritually mature believers in the end times.
Satan was created by God and given the highest rank of all the angels at that time, which we will also note below, having been decorated with the insignia of Jesus Christ Himself, the order of the “Morning Star.”
Next in Isa 14, we see what went wrong with Satan.
Isa 14:13-14, “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. 14‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”
These passages are what is known in theology as the “Five I Wills of Satan.” These 5 “I wills” shows us that Satan first became very jealous of God and His power and authority. He then became desirous or lustful for God’s power and authority, and then he became very arrogant, thinking he would be just like God in 5 different positions of power and authority, even though he was created by God.
His lust of power and authority, and his arrogance is shown in the “Five I Wills” as 5 areas of God’s authority that Satan thought he would usurp:
- First, he boasts of his overall authority to sit in the throne of God.
- Then he boasts of being the authority over all the angles, represented in the word, “stars.”
- Thirdly, he will have authority over mankind, “recesses of the north” as the ancient god’s of mythology sat in authority over the universe and man.
- Next, he boasts of rising above God’s glory, represented in “clouds.”
- And finally, he boasts of the whole program, that he will be just like God Himself, equal to the one who created and empowered him.
The remaining verses in this passage speak to God’s final judgment on Satan.
15 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit.”
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, ‘is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,”
17 “Who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’”
In fact, hell, a.k.a. the Eternal Lake of Fire, was actually created for Satan, as a result of his sin (arrogance),
As Jesus said in Mat 25:41, “Then He (God) will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.’”
Now turning to Ezek 28:11-19, we see more of who Satan was and is.
11a “Again the word of the LORD came to me saying,”
12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,”
Now even though this is addressed to the “king of Tyre,” we know it is really speaking about Satan, (who may have been possessing the king), as we will see below, because the “king of Tyre” could not have fulfilled these descriptions.
11b “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
Satan was the most wise and beautiful creature God had ever created. In addition, he was created perfect, meaning he had no sin or sin nature in his being.
13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God; …”
Here we see that Satan was in the Garden of Eden as Gen 3 also confirms for us. So, this could not be a description the king of Tyre in Ezekiel’s day, but only that of Satan himself.
… every precious stone was your covering: the ruby, the topaz and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared.”
Notice what his epidermis is made of, precious jewels. Satan is not the red, pointy eared, pitch forked tail character the world has made him out to be. He is more like that of the vampires of the Twilight series whose bodies glisten when the sun would shine upon it.
So, we see that he was a beautiful creature who reflected light in absolutely gorgeous ways when it was shown on him, especially the light of God, as God is light, which we noted previously.
Finally, we see that unlike God, (who is eternal, uncreated, and infinite in His nature), Satan is a created and finite being, just as man is, i.e., “On the day that you were created they were prepared.”
Next, we see another passage about Satan’s rank and authority as given to him by God.
14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.”
A cherub angel is a four-winged angel. Apparently, the number of wings an angel has determines his hierarchy and authority as given to him by God. At that time, the cherub or four-winged angel was the highest ranking of all the angels.
Other Cherub angels are first seen in scripture in Gen 3:24, protecting the entrance to the Garden of Eden, and then as the covering angels on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle in Ex 25:18-22. They are known as covering angels.
And Satan was at one time the covering angel of God, charged with protecting the righteousness of God, in regard to the angelic realm, and leading the other angels in the praise and worship of God.
Later, we see in Scripture that there are now six-winged angels called Seraphim, Isa 6:2, 6.
Isa 6:2-3, “Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Back in Ezek 28…
15 “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”
This verse tells us once again that Satan was created, and that he was created in perfection, i.e., without sin. Then at some point in time, before the restoration of the world and the creation of man, sin entered his soul when he became jealous and arrogant towards God. At that point, “unrighteousness was found in him,” but not before.
Next, we see the “fall” of Satan and God’s pronouncement of judgment against him.
16 “By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God, (i.e., the seat of God’s authority, cf. Ex. 4:27; Ps. 2:6; 3:4; 43:3; 68:15; Isa. 2:2; 11:9). 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 corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you.
18 “By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you.
19 “All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have become terrified and you will cease to be forever.”’
From Isa 14 and Ezek 28, we have our introduction to Satan as to who he was, what he has become, and his final fate. His final fate is also given to us in Rev 20:10.
Rev 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Later in our study, we will note how he brought his corrupt view point to mankind in Gen 3:1-24.
Satan and His Program – In the Garden of Eden
Prior to Satan’s arrogance, there was unity throughout creation. Job 38:7, “Who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
Satan was numbered among those stars as we noted in Isa 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!”
Vs. 13-14 go on to tell of his rebellion, with the “Five I wills” of Satan.
Having understood the creation of Satan, his person before and after the fall, and his final state, we now move to the first appearance of Satan in Scriptures which is found in Genesis 3.
Before we go there, let’s look at Gen 1:1-2.
Gen 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
“The beginning” here is in reference to God’s creative acts regarding the universe and earth as we know it today. Here we see that earth was created, but then in Gen 1:2 it tells us…
Gen 1:2, “The earth became formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”
“Became” is the verb HAYAH, in the QAL Perfect that indicates the present state of the earth, that is the result of a preceding situation, namely, the judgment of the fallen angels.
Here we see that the original creation underwent a catastrophic change at some point. This change was due to the rebellion of Satan in eternity past. Therefore, judgment was placed on him and the other angels, (of which one third remained in rebellion along with Satan), as well as God’s original creation for him and the other angels. This rebellion is seen in the two main scriptures of Satan’s rebellion, Isa 14:12-23 and Ezek 28:11-19, which we previously noted.
“Formless and Void” are two interesting Hebrew nouns, regarding the second state of planet earth. The first is TOHU signifying, “formlessness, confusion, unreality, emptiness, or desolation.” It identifies that which is, “desolate, a chaos, a ruin, etc.” The second word is the noun BOHU that means, “emptiness, or that which is empty, void, or waste.” The conjunction WA joins these two words together. So, we have, TOHU WA BOHU.
Interestingly, both of these words are related to” judgment and sin.” Twice BOHU indicates the result of sin and God’s judgment upon it. In Isa 34:11, the word describes God’s judgment on Edom as “a heap of stones.” In Jer 4:23, this word describes the condition of the land after God judged the people of Judah and returned it to an unformed stage as in Gen 1. Therefore, TOHU and BOHU refer to a, “confused, chaotic state, inevitably the result of some cataclysm, and usually one that has been brought on by Divine judgment.” cf. Deut 32:10; 1 Sam 12:21; Job 6:18; 12:24; 26:7; Psa 107:40; Isa 40:17; 41:29; 44:9; 45:19; 49:4; 59:4.
Therefore, in Gen 1:1-2, we see Creation and then Chaos. But then in Verse 3, we see the start of Restoration, in what is typically called “the six days of creation,” which is actually a restoration.
Creation. In Gen 1:1, God, (the Lord Jesus Christ), originally created the heavens and the earth out of nothing (BARA).
Chaos. At some point, we have the angelic conflict and God’s sentencing of Satan and the angels who stayed in rebellion with him, Job 4:18.
Job 4:18, “He puts no trust even in His servants; and against His angels He charges error.” Cf. Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:12-18.
This led to the earth becoming “formless and void” (TOHU WA BOHU – chaos and judgment), being covered with darkness (CHOSHEK – judgment), and the deep (TEHOM – judgment), and with water (MAYIM), which ultimately was frozen due to no light or heat source.
Lewis Sperry Chafer notes: “It may be observed that revelation concerning Satan begins with the dateless period between the creation of the heavens and the earth in that perfect form in which they first appeared (Gen. 1:1) and the desolating judgments which ended that period, when the earth became waste and empty (Gen. 1:2; Isa. 24: 1; Jer. 4:23-26).” (L.S. Chafer, Systematic Theology)
Having noted the time of Satan’s fall and initial judgment being between the creation and restoration of earth, we now move to Gen 3 to see his program.
Gen 3:1, “Now the serpent…
An interesting side note here is the Hebrew term for “serpent.” Serpent is NACHASH (naw-khawsh), נָחָשׁ that is translated serpent, but has a root meaning of “the shining one.” Paul states that he is even now transformed into an angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
This serpent is Satan, a.k.a. the devil.
Rev 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Cf. Rev 20:2
Back in Gen 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
This is the account of Satan tempting the woman to eat the fruit from a tree that God had forbidden them to eat from in Gen 2:17.
The question was designed to suggest that God was not good and fair, because He restricted the eating of the fruit of one of the trees.
Gen 3:2-5, “The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Notice she said, “or touch it.” God never commanded them not to touch it. This was an interesting addition, since when the woman went to eat the fruit, she first had to touch it, to pick it. When she saw that she did not die from touching it, that surely gave her confidence to then eat it.
This was all part of Satan’s deception, to twist the things of God, so that we are confused as to what is right and what is wrong. This confusion comes in the form of…
Questioning God, i.e., distorting or casting doubt on the Word of God, which is the beginning of every temptation.
Remember though, that Satan is powerless without man’s assent and consent, vs. 1. And if we know what God’s Word says, we will not be deceived, and therefore not consent to temptation’s lure.
Contradicting God, i.e. denying His Word outright is the inevitable result of questioning it, vs. 4. God’s Word says one thing, Satan and his world says another. Which one is right? If we do not know God, we will not know which one is right. And in choosing the world’s way, we are contradicting God’s Word. And remember that ignorance is no excuse for the law.
Surpassing God, this is a satanic device in which some imaginary good is sought, above and beyond what God has offered, vs. 5. This temptation creates an image in our minds that we will have something that seems or appears to be good for us, but in fact it is not. God in His Omniscience always knows what is best for us.
Disobeying God, the final result, vs. 6. This is the culmination of temptation when we willfully choose to do something counter to God’s Will or Word.
Gen 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
In Verse 6, we have three areas of temptation that Satan used on the woman that he continues to use on us today, 1 John 2:15-16. This is his program!
1 John 2:15-16, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
The areas of testing are threefold:
- Beauty, and
- Ambition or pride.
Satan used these same three areas of temptation on our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 4:1-13, after He had spent 40-day and nights in the wilderness.
Luke 4:1-2, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.”
Temptation 1 – Appetite
Luke 4:3-4, “And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” (Deut 8:3)
This was the “questioning” mode.
Temptation 2 – Beauty
Luke 4:5-8, “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7“Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” 8Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” (Deut 6:13)
This was the “contradicting” and “surpassing” mode.
Temptation 3 – Ambitious Pride
Luke 4:9-12, “And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here; 10for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You,’ 11and, ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” 12And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Deut 6:16)
This was the “disobeying” mode.
Luke 4:13, “When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.”
Notice how Jesus fought off the temptations, unlike the woman and Adam. Jesus kept recalling and quoting Scripture by saying, “it is written or it is said.”
That is the true power of God’s Word. It has the power to save you for salvation. It has the power to save you from the temptations of sin and Satan, and his cosmic system.
Unfortunately, the woman and Adam did not apply God’s Word as they should have. As a result, they gave over to the temptations and disobeyed God’s one and only mandate for them. As a result, for the first time in human history, sin entered into man.
Gen 3:7-13, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 8They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
“Nakedness” represents the sin that was now in them. Their sin was more than merely eating forbidden fruit; it was disobeying the revealed Word of God, believing the lie of Satan, and placing their own wills above God’s. As a result, they too like Satan and the fallen angels before them fell from their position of holiness and righteousness.
As a result of their fall, especially Adam’s that was a free will sin versus the woman who was deceived, sin entered into the human race and is passed down from generation to generation.
Rom 5:2, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
Rom 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
As a result of Adam’s fall, and the fact that all of us are sinners in our own right, we are in a state called “depravity.” This depravity excludes us from a relationship with God, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to rectify that fact.
But thanks to the Love and Grace of God, He can and did do something about it, so that we could enter back into a relationship with Him.
Gen 3:21, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.”
This simple little scene speaks volumes as to what God has done for mankind, so that we could be entered back into a permanent relationship with Him. You see, in order to get skins, the Lord (Jesus) first had to kill an animal. He had to sacrifice a lamb in order to cover their nakedness (sin).
This was the first picture given to mankind to represent the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, who would take on the sins of the entire world, pay their penalty by dying spiritually upon the Cross, and then die physically. In the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the sins of Adam and Eve and the entire human race where paid for.
As John the Baptist said in John 1:29, “The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” cf. vs. 36.
1 Peter 1:18-19, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:14-18, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Acts 16:29-31, “And he (the jailer) called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’”
Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Therefore, if you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, now is the time to do so. Right where you are, you can say in your own thoughts to God the Father, “Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, paid the penalty for my sin upon the Cross and through Him I have eternal life.” So I offer you an opportunity to do so right now.
If you have said those words in true belief, I welcome you to the eternal family of God.
Angels in General:
According to Col 1:16, creation included “things” invisible, as well as things visible, and angels are among the things that are invisible. They make up an innumerable company of spirit beings, Rev 5:11, whom the Scriptures bear much testimony about. Angels are mentioned 117 times in 108 verses in the Old Testament and 182 times in 172 verses in the New Testament.
“Angel” is the Hebrew word MALAK that generally means, “messenger.” But it is from the Greek word AGGELOS that we get our English word angels, (a double “g” in Greek is pronounced like ng in English.) In any case, AGGELOS also simply means, “messenger” and in rare instances is used of men, cf. Luke 7:24; James 2:25; Rev 1:20.
The position angels hold by creation is above men, 2 Peter 2:11 and Psa 8:4-5 that is quoted in Heb 2:6-9, yet in heaven, we will be higher than angels, 1 Cor 6:3.
Psa 8:5, “Yet You have made him (Jesus Christ) a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!
1 Cor 6:3, “Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”
The record of the origin of the angels by creation is given in Psa 148:2-5 and in Col 1:16.
Psa 148:5, “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.”
Col 1:16, “For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Classification of Angels:
- The Angel of Jehovah, which refers to the pre-incarnate appearing of the Son of God, and therefore is not rightly classified as reference to an angel; yet the term is used of Him. His appearing in this form is recorded as theophanies. As the Revealer of God and the One whom Jehovah sends, He is a truthful and trustworthy Messenger, Gen 16:7-11; 22:11-15; 31:11-13; 49:15, 16; cf. 45:5; Ex 3:2-15; 13:21; 14:19; Judges 6:11-12; 13:3-21; Acts 7:30-35.
- The Archangels:
a) Satan, Isa 14:12-14; Ezek 28:11-17; Eph 2:2.
b) Michael the archangel, a name meaning, “Who is like God?” and he is head of the armies of heaven, 1 Thes 4:16; Jude 1:9; Rev 12:7-9, and is Israel’s prince, Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1-4. His activities are always seen in connection with warfare with Satan and with the resurrection body.
Jude 1:9, “But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
Rev 12:7, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war.”
c) Gabriel, meaning, “the mighty one” or “strength of God,” Dan 8:16-19; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26-38. He seems to be a prophetic messenger and interpreter, especially concerning the Christ of God. He appeared to Daniel, Zacharias (John the Baptist’s father), and Mary Jesus’ mother.
Cherubim, these are four winged angels as Satan was, and at one time the highest ranking of the angels. They were the defenders of God’s holiness as depicted in the Ark of the Covenant, Gen 3:22-24; Ex 25:17-22; Isa 37:16; Ezek 1:5; 28:14.
Seraphim, whose name means, “the burning ones.” They are six-winged angels, and apparently, the current highest ranking angels, Isa 6:2. They are especially seen in relation to the throne of God and His Holiness. They brought the burning coal to Isaiah’s lips for cleansing, which is a picture of Christ’s sanctifying work upon the Cross.
Isa 6:2-3, “Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.’”
a) In Ezekiel, they are the Living Beings said to be Cherubim, because they each have four wings. They each had four faces, (Man, Lion, Bull, and Eagle), except in Ezek 10:14, the Bull was replaced with the face of a Cherub and placed first in order. This may represent Jesus Christ, the sacrifice, as the Angel of Jehovah. They had a wheel each and were under the throne of God.
b) In Rev 4-5, they are the Living Creatures said to be Seraphim, because they each have six wings. They had one face each. One was a Man, one was a Lion, one was a Bull, and one was an Eagle. They were around the throne of God.
They are purposed with manifesting the fullness of Divine life by representing all created beings. They have unceasing activity, lead angelic creatures in the worship of God, and call forth the Judgments at the beginning of the Tribulation.
- The elect/chosen angels, 1 Tim 5:21. These are the “saved” angels, who after the angelic rebellion against God in eternity past, accepted God’s plan for their redemption, Col 1:19-20. Just as saved humans (believers) are called “elect,” Rom 8:33, this term is applied to those angels that remained with God and did not stay in rebellion with Satan.
- Demons, these are the “fallen angels” who stayed in rebellion with Satan, Rev 12:4; Eph 6:12. Rev 12:4 may indicate that they number one third of all the angels created.
a) The fallen angels are either free or bound, 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6.
- The term principalities and powers is sometimes used of good and sometimes of evil angels, Rom 8:38; Eph 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; cf. 2:10, 15; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 3:22; Luke 21:26.
a) Of evil angels Eph 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
b) This is a hierarchy in Satan’s command structure: “Rulers” are his lead generals; “Powers/Authorities” are his officer corps; “World Forces” are his ambassadors; and “Spirits of Wickedness/Evil” are his rank and file angels.
- Angels are also known by their ministries. For example: “Angel of the waters,” Rev 16:5; “Angel of the abyss,” Rev 9:1; “Angel with power over fire,” Rev 14:18; “Seven angels with trumpets,” Rev 8:2; “The Watchers,” Dan 4:13, 17, 23.
- Angels are also called “Heavenly Hosts.” Their purpose as the rank and file angels includes all guardian angels, Psa 91:11f; Luke 2:13, which we will note below. The function of the angelic armies described in Psa 103:21 is praising the Lord, Psa 148:2. They are also seen as the “river of fire battalions,” Dan 7:10. When a rank and file angel announced to the shepherds the birth of Christ, he was joined by a multitude of “heavenly hosts” praising God, Luke 2:13. The ministering spirits of Heb 1:14 are also rank and file angels.
- In the Old Testament, the angels are sometimes called sons of God, while men are called “servants of God.” Gen 6:2-4; Job 1:6; 2:1 cf. 1 Chron 6:49; Dan 9:11; Neh 10:29.
General Facts Regarding the Angels:
Angels are generally classified as unfallen / holy / elect, Mark 8: 38, or fallen, Mat 25:41.
- Angels are created beings, Psa 148:2, 5; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11.
- They are spirit beings, Heb 1:13-14; 12:22-23; Psa 104:4; Col 1:16, although at times can take on visible form.
- They are immortal, Luke 20:34-236; 1 Tim 6:16, though not eternal beings, because they were created, yet they will have no end.
- They are presently higher than man, Psa 8:14; 103:20; Heb 2:7, but will be lower than redeemed man in heaven.
- They have freewill, Isa 14:12-14; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6, 9.
- They are legion, Psa 68:17; Dan 7:10; Mat 26:53; Heb 12:22; Rev 5:11; they form the hosts of heaven, Luke 2:13. Note the Revised Version term, “Jehovah of hosts.” Numerically, angels neither increase nor decrease.
- Although we have a description of Satan, the Seraphim, and Cherubim, we are not given description of the rank and file angel’s bodies. However, we know they are spirit beings, Heb 1:13-14; 12:22-23; Psa 104:4; Col 1:16. They appear as men when so required, Mat 28:3; Rev 15:6; 18:1. They are said to fly, Isa 6:2; Ezek 1:6; Dan 9:21; Rev 4:8; 14:6.
- Their abode is evidently in heaven; but reference is made to the second heaven, the stellar universe, Mat 24:29. Christ passed through the angelic sphere going to and coming from earth, Eph 1:21; Heb 2:7; 4:14.
- The ministries of the angels are varied and are described in the Bible, but generally they serve and worship God. Psa 34: 7; 91:11; 103:20; 104:4; Dan 4:13, 17, 23; 6:22; Mat 4:11; Luke 16:22; Acts 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7; 27:23; 1 Cor 11: 10; Col 2:18; Rev 2 2:8-9.
- The vast empires of angels are occupied with many enterprises and the execution of their governments, and they behold the things of earth, Luke 12:8-9; 15:10; 1 Cor 11:10; 1 Tim 3:16; Rev 14:10.
- Their presence is recorded at creation, Job 38:7, at the giving of the law, Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2; cf.
- Rev 22:16, at the birth of Christ, Luke 2:13, at the scene of His temptations, Mat 4:11; Luke 22:43, at the resurrection, Mat 28:2, at the ascension, Acts 1:10, and justly so, they will be at the second coming, Mat 13:37-39; 24:31; 25:31; 2 Thes 1:7.
- There will be war in heaven between the two classes of angels in the end times, Rev 12:7-10.
Angels Observe Human History:
- Elect angels rejoice over the salvation of one person, Luke 15:7, 10.
- During the time of Christ’s incarnation, angels observed every part of the First Advent of our Lord, 1 Tim 3:16, “observed by angels.”
- In the dispensation of the Church Age, angels observe members of the royal family of God in their failure or success to execute and fulfill the Plan of God, 1 Cor 4:9; Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 5:21; 1 Pet 1:12.
- So, it is no wonder that Satan has organized a tremendous demon army to hinder Church Age believers from fulfilling the Plan of God. Satanic observation is designed in his organization of fallen angels to resist evangelism and the fulfillment of the Plan of God. Fallen angels are organized too, Eph 6:10-12.
Guardian Angels are a special designation for angels who are especially charge with ministering or caring for certain members of the human race. For example, an angel guided Joseph and His family when they escaped to Egypt, Mat 2:13-15, 19-23. Angels minister to Jesus after his temptation, Mat 4:11. An angel strengthened our Lord when He was in torment over the prospects of the Cross, Luke 22:43-44.
Luke 26:43-44, “Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”
Legions of Angels could have delivered our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane Mat 26:53
Mat 26:53, “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions (12 x 6,000 = 72,000) of angels?”
There are three categories of guardian angels.
- The guardian angels of children. All children have a guardian angel to protect them during their childhood years, Mat 18:10.
Mat 18:10, “See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that their guardian angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”
- Angels are the guardians of Church Age believers, Heb 1:13-14; Acts 12:15.
Heb 1:13-14, “But to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit down at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet’? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to service those who inherit eternal salvation?”
Acts 12:15, “They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” (She was speaking about Peter who was released from prison by an angel.)
Other passages speaking of Guardian angels include, Psa 91:7-14.
- There is a guardian angel of Israel (Michael), Dan 10:13-21; 12:1.
Daniel also spoke of Watcher Angels in Dan 4:13-23.
When we view the angels in heaven and see their powers and abilities, it should pierce our souls as to the true glory of God. To see magnificent creatures so honestly and humbly singing praise and worship to our God, it should lead us to greater heights of prayer, worship, and works for our Lord. If the angels treat Him as such, we who are currently lower than the angels should treat Him with even more earnestness and vigor!