Category Archives: Demons and Satan

Choirs of Angels

ANGELS MENTIONED 227
TIMES IN SACRED SCRIPTURE

Angel (Hebrew: malach/malachim; Greek: aggelos/aggelois; Latin: angelus/ angeli) means messenger or one who is deputed. It can refer to angels of the lowest choir, who have the greatest interaction with mankind, to the angelic nature of any spiritual creature who comes to man in God´s name, or even to a human messenger.

The word ‘Angels’ is derived from the Greek word “Angelos” meaning “messenger”. Angels are said to be the Messengers of God. Different religious faiths refer to them by different names. They are highly spiritual beings.

Since the beginning of time, the angels have brought messages to humans. It was Archangel Gabriel who told Virgin Mary that she was going to have a baby, and that the child was the Son of God. In Indian Mythology, angels are known as Devatas, Apsaras, Gandharvas and other such names based on their hierarchy.

Traditionally there are said to be seven archangels – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Jophiel, Chamuel, Uriel and Raguel.

ANGELS and WHAT THEY DO
HIERARCHY of ANGELS
The rich imagery of Isaiah reveals that the Seraphim are closest to the throne of God. This means that they perceive God in the richest way possible for a created being and thus they have an unmatched intellect, will and love.

FIRST CHOIR
1. Seraphim, 2. Cherubin, 3. Thrones – closest to heaven concern themselves with contemplating the glory of God. It is the 6-winged Seraphim who sing the Sanctus, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts” (Isaias 6:3).

1. SERAPHIM
Seraphim (singular “Seraph”), mentioned in Isaiah 6:1-7 serve as the caretakers of God’s throne and continuously shout praises: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts. All the earth is filled with His Glory.” The name Seraphim means “the burning ones.” It is said that the charity of the Seraphim burns like white heat in a flame. The Seraphim have six wings; two covering their faces, two covering their genitals (“feet”), and two with which they fly.

 2. CHERUBIM
Cherubim have four faces: one of each a man, an ox, a lion, and a griffon vulture. They have four conjoined wings covered with eyes, and they have ox’s feet. Cherubim guard the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:24) and the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14-16). — The cherubim are mentioned in Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25:17-22; 2 Chronicles 3:7-14; Ezekiel 10:12–14, 28:14-16; 1 Kings 6:23–28; and Revelation 4:6-8. Cherubim are also the angels often depicted as babies with wings in Christian art.

3. THRONES 
The “Thrones” (Gr. thronos) or Elders, are a class of celestial beings mentioned by Paul of Tarsus in Colossians 1:16 (New Testament). They are living symbols of God’s justice and authority, and have as one of their symbols the throne. These high celestial beings appear to be mentioned again in Revelation 11:16. Also see Ezekiel 10:17, and vision of Daniel 7 – 9).

SECOND CHOIR
4. Domininations, 5. Virtues, 6. Powers. The second order of angels are charged with governing and ordering the laws of the created universe.

4. DOMINATIONS 
The “Dominions” (lat. dominatio, plural dominationes, also translated from the Greek term kyriotites as “Lordships”) are presented as the hierarchy of celestial beings “Lordships” in the De Coelesti Hierarchia. The Dominions, regulate the duties of lower angels. It is only with extreme rarity that they make themselves physically known to humans and are believed to look like beautiful humans with feathered wings as shown in art. They are also the angels who preside over nations.

5. VIRTUES  
The “Virtues” or “Strongholds” lie beyond the ophanim (Thrones/Wheels). Their primary duty is to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies in order to ensure that the cosmos remains in order. The term also appears to be linked to the attribute “might”, from a Greek root. In Ephesians 1:21, which is also translated as “Virtue”. They are charged with giving the power with which to accomplish the ordering of Nature.

6. POWERS 
The “Powers” (lat. potestas (f), pl. potestates), or “Authorities”, from the Greek exousies, (see Greek root in Eph 3:10) appear to collaborate, in power and authority, with the Principalities (Rulers). They are bearers of conscience and keepers of history. They are also the warrior angels created to be completely loyal to God. Their duty is to oversee the distribution of power among humankind, hence their name. Finally, the choir of Powers are given the duty to order out how to execute what has been commanded. The choir of Powers direct the lower choirs on how to order creation.

The Hierarchy of AngelsTHIRD CHOIR
7. Principalities, 8. Archangels, 9. Angels (closest to earth) concern themselves with creation and are the most familiar to us.

7. PRINCIPALITIES
“Principalities” (lat. principatus, pl. principats) also translated as “Princedoms” and “Rulers”, from the Greek arche (see Greek root in Eph 3:10), appear to collaborate, in power and authority with the Powers (Authorities). Shown wearing a crown and carrying a sceptre, their duty is also said to be to carry out the orders given to them by the Dominions and bequeath blessings to the material world. Their task is to oversee groups of people. They are the educators and guardians of the realm of earth. Like beings related to the world of the germinal ideas, they are said to inspire living things to many things such as art or science. Principalities are the leaders of the last order, and direct the actual implementation of God’s will.

 8. ARCHANGELS 
The word “arch-angel” comes from the Greek (archangls), meaning chief angel, a translation of the Hebrew (rav-mal’ákh) It derives from the Greek arch, meaning to be first in rank or power; which means messenger. The word is only used twice in the New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Jude 1:9. Only archangels Michael and Gabriel are mentioned by name in the New Testament.

 9. ANGELS
The “angels”, (malakhim Greek for messengers), are the lowest order of the angels, and the most recognized and are most concerned with the affairs of living things. In this category of angels, there are many different kinds with different functions. Archangels and Angels actually carry out and execute what is to be done. They are the messengers to mankind. This is why angels (such as Gabriel and Raphael) are the choir sent to communicate with man.

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How many wings do angels have?

We’ve all seen the pictures and statues of angels with a lovely set of bird like wings, but when you go to the Bible they are described as having 4 or six wings. In 1 Kings 8:7. For the Cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the Cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
They are described as having two when crafted upon the arc of the covenant.
In 2 chronicles 3:11. And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.

20 cubits would be 30 ft, however it then says that each wing was only 8 ft. so the cherubin they were fastened to must have been 14 ft. wide where the wings were attached.
In Ezekiel1:6. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
They gain an extra two wings.
But then we get to the book of isaiah and we find 2. Above it stood the seraphims each one had six wings with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

These angels which he saw before the throne of God, have six wings, with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. Now lets look at this from a practical view point. How would you like to go flying, with two wings covering your face, be kind of rough trying to see where you’re going, wouldn’t it? now think about those two wings covering his feet, they might make landing a touch dangerous don’t you think? there has to be another meaning, a parable that isn’t explained here. First off, what was the purpose of the wings? The rationale was that God was above us in the third heaven, in order to report to God, they had to be able to fly up to the throne of God. God does not need the angels to fly where He is to report to Him, the Holy spirit takes care of that. The Holy Spirit is God’s internet and telephone system. If humans can figure out how to do something, God knew how to do it thousands of years ago. The angels communicate with each other through the Holy Spirit, this is also how God communicated with His prophets. O.K. the angels don’t need the wings to fly with, because there are billions of angels covering the earth, they have the Holy spirit to communicate with so they don’t need to fly anywhere. the two that cover the face are a parable for the fact that we can be standing right next to an angel, and not recognize them for who they are. Remember Jesus’ words, Matthew 25: 40. And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Do angels have wings, Are they Men or Women, or Both?There are two major theological points in that verse, but the one I’m dealing with here is the fact that Jesus can say that because one of His angels received that treatment, which was sent straight to God, and by the way, if you say Jesus, you are saying God, if you say God, you are saying Jesus, because they are one and the same. The wings covering the face are a parable for your not being able to recognize them as an angel of God, unless they reveal themselves. The wings that cover the feet are a parable for the fact that no one can track them, if an angel does something you will never be able to track them down and tell them, you’re responsible for this, they can’t be traced, because they do their work through the Holy spirit which is the only part of God that is invisible. We see Him every day in the presence of His angels that walk among us, which is what Jesus meant by what He said in verse 40.

So how many wings do angels have? 0, nada, none, no wings on angels. they don’t need them to do their work for God. the wings aren’t a myth, there are no myths in the Bible, only parables, a parable is a false story that tells a truth. For instance Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan, was a parable, everybody knows that and no one has a problem with the fact that there really was no good samaritan who took care of the stranger. It was a false story used to tell a truth, we are to help those who are in need, whether we know them or not. the wings of angels were a parable designed to tell a truth about God and his angels, while they can’t fly, they are everywhere God sends them and they know everything God tells them!

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The Doctrine Of Angels #3

In this series the nature of angels has been examined. To review, the angels are created beings, spiritual beings, personal beings, super-human in strength and intelligence. Angels are an order of being that is distinct from man, separate from man, entirely different from man. Angels constitute a company rather than a race. They’re not a race as each one was created separately and individually. There are tremendous numbers of angels and they are highly organized, both God’s holy angels and the satanic order of beings.

It was also previously noted that there are different orders of spiritual beings, that not all beings in heaven are angels. There are other orders of created beings such as the cherubim, who bear some similarities, yet are quite different from the angels. The cherubim possess unusual features in that they had four faces and four wings. It was the prophet Ezekiel’s record of them (chapter 1) that described them as possessing four faces and four wings. Yet in a later chapter (chapter 41), he mentions the cherubim again, but in this account he observed only two faces and four wings.

Does that mean there is a biblical error?

People are always ready to say, “You see, the Bible contains a mistake! The Bible contradicts itself. Over there they’ve got four faces while here they have two.” Beloved, all one need to do is look at these things with a little spiritual wisdom and one readily perceives that there are different kinds of cherubim. Some have four faces while others have only two faces. There are things in heaven that are just beyond man’s comprehension and grasp. God allows only modest glimpses into the spiritual realm and the created beings. As much as I’ve studied, my mind still has a difficult time picturing a four-faced being with four wings who never turns around to change direction. We can, however, agree that these are impressive creatures, endowed with special abilities. Perhaps they are so designed in order to more quickly respond to and carry out God’s orders. That’s precisely what the cherubim do, in addition to acting as the divine guardians of God, guardians of His holiness.

The magnificent seraphim with their six wings were also discussed. Although they are somewhat similar to men in bodily appearance, yet they are also quite different. The seraphim are winged creatures that fly over the throne of God declaring God’s majesty, rejoicing in His attributes — leaders in the worship and glory.

II. THE NUMBER AND ORGANIZATION OF ANGELS (continuation)

D. The Moral Character of Angels.

All of the angels were created holy.

God saw everything that he had created, and, behold, it was very good…. [Gen. 1:31]

All that God created was perfect, holy and good in the beginning. God, being perfect, possessing all of His attributes in perfection, is incapable of producing evil or creating anything evil. All that He created was good; it was right. The angels were created good, i.e., moral and pure. When God created man, man was good. He wasn’t defiled, fallen or sinful. God, however, did not create robots.

As expressed in earlier studies of some of these doctrines, God created both men and angels as free moral agents, giving them the right to make choices. Whom does one serve? One can obey God or disobey God. God did not create man as a robot who lacks the ability to make choice(s). Robots are controlled by their operator and follow what they’re programmed to do. God didn’t make the highest form of His creation into objects unable to make choices, but made them free moral agents with the ability to choose to serve God or rebel. Man can choose to obey God’s Word or disobey.

The same situation was true with the angels in that they were given freedom to choose. They could be holy; they could obey God or they could follow the example of Lucifer and some did. All of the angels were created holy and there were none that were not created good. They had a choice to obey or disobey just as man did, but some of them made unwise choices and sinned, falling from their state of innocence.

Theologians like to talk about the state of innocence because when man began with Adam and Eve, man was innocent. He didn’t even know he was naked. His mind was not polluted, defiled or corrupt. The same was true with angels; they were innocent and undefiled. All the angels were originally holy, righteous, pure and just. All that God created was good, but some angels fell from their state of innocence, with Lucifer being the first. The Bible says that Lucifer yielded to the temptation of pride. He exalted himself above God and in his rebellion, some of the angels followed him. That topic will be dealt with later in this study. Suffice it for now to look at this passage:

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (the Greek word there is tartarus which is some sort of prison for fallen angels), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment…. [2 Pe. 2:4]

This scriptural passage speaks of the angels that sinned. Some sinned, some fell with Lucifer. Another passage found in the small book of Jude also speaks of those angels that sinned, who did not keep their own beginning but they left their proper habitation.

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. [Jude 1:6]

These angels fell from the state of innocence and sinned. It is their moral character being considered. While all were created holy, some did sin. Let’s also point out, however, that most maintained their innocence. The vast majority remained faithful to God. Both good and evil groups of angels now exist.

E. The Ministry of Angels.

Angels exist and live among us; one might say they’re right alongside. The angels interact with men, far more than most realize. Someone has said that our closest neighbors are the angels, not the people next door or in the apartment upstairs. It’s an intriguing thought and the Bible appears to confirm that the angels are always present, interacting with men. The appearance of angels appears far more often in the Bible than men take note of. It appears to be something one is prone to overlook. One usually tends to think of angels as an Old Testament phenomenon but in reading the New Testament, one notes that angels put in frequent appearances. Angels are at work far more often than one realizes and many times their ministry is overlooked.

The Employment of Angels — What’s Their Job?

Just what do the holy angels actually do? As frequently depicted in artistic interpretations, do they simply lie about on clouds and play harps? Fortunately, knowledge concerning their activities is available to us through God’s Word. It is known that they worship God and always stand in His presence. The angels extol God’s greatness and continually declare His attributes and His perfection. Day and night, the seraphim declare, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.

From previous studies, it is known that the angels rejoice with God. They rejoice with God when He rejoices because their hearts are united to the heart of God. They rejoice with God over the sinner that repents.

…there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. [Lk. 15:10]

The angels rejoiced when God created the world.

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [Job 38:7]

As God flung the stars and the planets into space, at this display of His omnipotence, the angels rejoiced.

It is beyond man’s ability to imagine that God who is spirit, Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God that the book of Colossians says created all things, simply spoke the worlds into existence. That’s very difficult for man’s small, finite mind to conceive but that’s precisely what the Bible says happened. God said, Let there be…. and there was! He said, Let the earth exist…. and there it was! The angels were present when God spoke the entire universe into existence and they rejoiced at this display of divine omnipotence, (BTW do you think God Needed to speak for everything to come into existence? Or could the Almighty have done it with pure thought.) That the angels rejoice with God is known, however, there is more to be examined concerning their varied ministry.

1. The angels often appear as spokesmen for God.

The angels often appear as divine messengers, i.e., spokesmen for God, messengers from God. This is particularly true in the New Testament. For example, in Luke, chapter 1, an angel appears to Zacharias, the husband of Elisabeth, both of whom are well along in years. As Zacharias goes about his priestly ministry in the temple, the angel Gabriel appears to him. Let’s take time to note that this Gabriel is one and the same angel that appeared to Daniel in the Old Testament. He now appears in the New Testament, hundreds of years later but unaffected by age. The angels never age; they don’t die.

Gabriel has been dispatched to bring God’s message to Zacharias, saying that God has heard his prayers and that he will father a son. Now Zacharias is an old man at this time and questions saying, How is this going to be? In the natural, Zacharias and his wife were well beyond their childbearing years. In response to the doubts of Zacharias, the angel said:

And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. [Lk. 1:20]

God’s word is certain and Elisabeth bore a son whom the couple named John as the word of God had directed through the angel. Known to all as John the Baptist, he grew to be a mighty prophet of God. The point here is that angels serve in the role of messengers. As spokesman for God, Gabriel appeared to Zacharias and told him, This is what is going to happen. God sent me here to tell you this — to give you this message.

An angel also appeared to Mary, giving her a message concerning the child she was going to bear. Now it took an angelic appearance to present such a message. One can only imagine the impact on a young unmarried woman who has never been with a man. Then suddenly this angel appears telling her:

…The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. [Lk. 1:35]

Mary’s response to the angel’s announcement was quite different from Zacharias’ response. Zacharias wanted explanation as to how this was going to happen, but Mary’s response was:

… Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. [Lk. 1:38]

Mary’s submission to the will of God was immediate. That’s the way one’s response should be when God makes profound promises. One’s response should never be, “What! How’s He going to do that? Explain that to me.” One’s response should always be, “Lord, let it be unto me according to thy word. Just as you said it — let it be.” That’s the response that God desires.
The angel also had to appear to Joseph because one can imagine what his response was when he found that his future wife was going to have a baby and he knew that he wasn’t the father. He was going to put her away, the Bible says. He was going to privately break their engagement because he was a just man and didn’t want to make a public display of her. The angel came to Joseph in a dream giving him assurance that Mary had not been unfaithful to him.

… behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. [Matt. 1:20]

Here again,

the angel appears in the role as spokesman, a bearer of divine tidings.

Another passage where an angel appears as spokesman or messenger from God is found in Luke, chapter 2. At the outset of this series of messages, we said that the Greek word angelos (angel) actually means messenger. It can mean either a divine messenger or a human messenger, depending on the context.

In Luke 2, the account is that Joseph had to go to his home town in order to be taxed. Mary accompanied him, but when they got to Bethlehem, there was no room available at the inn so they have to stay in the stable. Use your imagination to picture what the stable was like. The Christmas nativity scenes make everything appear so clean and unblemished, etc., but have you ever been in a stable? Have you ever been in a stable at night when it’s full of horses, donkeys and camels, etc.? If the inn was filled and packed with people, be assured that the stable was filled with their animals also.

There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. [Lk. 2:8]

It is also obvious that the time wasn’t December 24th or 25th because the shepherds wouldn’t have been in the fields that late in winter. Both shepherds and sheep would have frozen to death. At any rate, I don’t want to preach that now. Suffice it to say it’s not wrong to celebrate Jesus birth at some time in the year…

…the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. [Lk. 2:9]

The scene depicts shepherds in the fields watching over their sheep. Sometime during the night an angel suddenly appears to them.

10…the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly (As the angel makes his announcement — he’s a spokesman for God — as he announces the great tidings) there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men. [Lk. 2:10-14]

As the angel finishes his message to these shepherds, all of heaven appears to open with a gigantic angelic choir joining in the praise. Just try to picture this scene for a moment. Back in the 1700’s when Charles Wesley was reading this passage of scripture, it became the inspiration for the song which he wrote, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Today people have adapted it for a Christmas carol but it wasn’t written as a Christmas carol. The words and melody came to Wesley by divine inspiration. It’s a blessed song. “Hark, the herald angels sing! Glory to the newborn King. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies. With angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

I can just picture the heavens rolled back and angels everywhere rejoicing at the birth of Christ. Here again, the angels appear as spokesmen, i.e., divine messengers bringing great tidings, glad tidings that will be to all people. “God and sinners reconciled.” The multitude of angels appears rejoicing and praising God.
In Matthew, chapter 2, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, warning him to take Mary and Jesus and flee into Egypt. Herod was plotting to kill the one born King of the Jews as he wanted no one becoming a threat to his throne. It was at that time that he ordered all the children in Bethlehem less than two years of age to be killed. An angel brought the message to Joseph to flee to Egypt with the child. Joseph wisely obeyed and remained in Egypt until Herod died. Once again, the angel appeared as a messenger with tidings from God.

Another passage found in Acts, chapter 10, reveals that an angel appeared to the Roman soldier, Cornelius. The Bible describes him as a man who prayed always. Cornelius was very devout, seeking God in his heart. Although he was an unsaved heathen, Cornelius had a heart after God. He wanted to know God and diligently sought God through prayer. An angel appeared to Cornelius telling him, Send to the city of Joppa for Peter. Send for Peter and he will come to you and give you the message of eternal life. Cornelius complied and immediately sent men to Joppa to obey the angel’s direction. The angel appeared as a spokesman for God with the result being that Peter came to Cornelius’ house and preached the word to him and all his family and household. As Peter preached, the Holy Spirit fell on them, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit. As they began to speak in tongues, Peter was astonished because these were Gentiles receiving the Holy Ghost! Peter was under the impression that this message was only for the Jews, but an angel gave him direction.

This passage in Acts 10 is a good response to all those who come saying, “Well, I think God’s unfair because He’s going to send those people in India, Timbuktu, or Indonesia, or Pango-pango, He’s going to send them to hell and they’ve never had an opportunity to hear the gospel. They’ve never heard the name of Jesus preached to them and God’s just not fair to send them to hell.” The Bible reveals that if people have a heart for God, if people truly seek after God, if they search for Him with all their heart, God says that they will find Him. If He has to send an angel to them, He will. God will do whatever it takes. If they have a heart for God, they’ll find God. If they want to know God, God will send an angel if that’s what it takes to give them the gospel. God will send them where they can get the gospel or send for a modern-day Peter. Perhaps He will send for you. This I know, God is not unfair. God is righteous and just in all that He does and if people want to know God, He’ll make a way for them to know Him. Of that one can be assured. Again, the angels appear as spokesmen, divine messengers, who came to Cornelius with the message, Here’s how you can be saved. Send for Simon Peter.

A few chapters over in Acts, chapter 27, an angel appears to Paul while he’s on a ship — a sinking ship at that. They’ve been on board a ship for some two weeks and the ship is in the midst of a storm. The ship is sinking in spite of their efforts. In order to lighten the load, the crew has thrown everything overboard, all cargo, etc. Yet the ship is going down, when an angel appears to Paul, saying:

Be comforted, the ship is going to sink but everybody who stays with you is going to be saved. Paul’s response was, 25Be of good cheer; an angel of God has spoken to me and said we’d all be safe even though the ship is going to sink. And Paul says, I believe God. I’m just going to believe God’s word that even in the midst of all this storm and rough seas and even though it looks like we’re perishing and the ship’s sinking…. [Acts 27:25]

Natural circumstances would appear that Paul and all on board were “done for.” But Paul said, I believe God. Again, the angel appeared as a spokesman with a very comforting message to Paul at precisely the right time.

The employment or ministry of the angels is that of spokesmen for God, bearers of divine messages. That’s how they appear throughout the Bible.

2. The angels minister to the saints.

The angels offer protection, give assistance, bring deliverance, and provide aid or help. The role of the angels includes ministry to the saints. The Bible has this to say about the role of angels:

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? [Heb. 1:14]

Angels are sent forth by God to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, or as Williams translates it:

They are sent forth to serve for the sake of the elect. [Heb. 1:14, Wms.]
That’s a powerful verse revealing that God dispatches His angels to minister to those who shall inherit eternal life. They minister for God to those who will inherit eternal life, offering protection and preservation. Many can remember personal past experiences of having had a narrow escape, possibly even barely missing death. In retrospect, we wonder how we missed being killed in some near tragedy. These incidents could have even occurred in the days before salvation, but remember:

Known unto God are all of his works from the beginning of the world. [Acts 15:18]

God knows the end from the beginning. He knows. You were chosen for salvation from before the foundation of the world. God knows who is going to be saved and He preserved us even back in B.C. (Before Christ) days. It should not surprise us that angels are dispatched to shield and protect the elect of God for they are sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.

Only recently I read an article in a popular Christian magazine where a couple was relating an experience they’d had. They were wallpapering an upstairs bedroom and they had their little toddler crawling around on the floor. The couple was busy — cutting, pasting and hanging the paper and had opened a window for ventilation. Their young toddler was having a good time taking little strips of the wallpaper and dropping them out the window, watching them flutter down in the breeze. The baby climbed higher and higher onto the window sill so that he could watch the paper flutter all the way to the ground. The parents had just turned to check on the baby only to see him topple out the window. They began screaming, running down the stairs as fast as they could. The article described the feelings the parents experienced in their hearts, i.e., the fear that the baby had fallen down onto the concrete that was just under the window. As they got downstairs and ran out onto the porch, the baby was sitting down on the steps with its arms crossed – just sitting there! Mom and Dad grabbed the baby so thankful that it was all right. Then the toddler said, “The big man caught me.” Mom and Dad were so thankful, so grateful. They considered, “What a coincidence that a big man was standing out under our window.” They lived in a rural area, surrounded by countryside. This was not a suburb where someone might happen to pass on the sidewalk. The parents began to look all about for “the big man.” Where is this big man? Where could he have gotten to so quickly? Have you guessed? There was no big man to be found. Undoubtedly, God sent His angel to preserve the life of this young child.

Be assured that the angels are at work! Sometimes I think that our children keep them working overtime. Each can no doubt think of experiences where God has preserved and kept. It could very well be that it was the angels at work because God sends them forth in that type ministry. They work as God’s agents in that capacity.
Some years ago we were living in an old house with very high ceilings. The chandelier fixtures were extremely heavy, made of leaded glass. Our daughter, was just a newborn. My wife’s custom was to place the baby in one of those travel seats and position it on the dining table, right under that big, heavy chandelier. As my wife worked in the kitchen, she could see the baby all the time. On one particular occasion as my wife was in the kitchen, the baby started screaming. It wasn’t just a little whimper, but enough of a scream to get my wife in there to minister to her. When a baby screams like that, parents know something is wrong. My wife went to the table, picked up the baby, walked out of the dining room through the kitchen when she heard a loud crash, sounding like an explosion. When she turned to see what had happened, that huge chandelier had fallen. It had come loose from the ceiling and had fallen right onto the table where the baby had been. No more than 30 seconds had lapsed since my wife had removed the baby from the exact spot where that chandelier crashed. I shudder to think what would have happened had the baby been there when the chandelier fell. This I know, and I don’t care what people say or think, I sincerely believe that it was an angel of God who got the baby to cry. God moved and got my wife’s attention so that she got the baby out of danger and just in the nick of time, too. The Bible clearly states that the angels are at work. A familiar passage is:

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. [Ps. 91:10]

…He will give His angels charge over you…. that’s what God says. There shall no evil befall thee…. Why? Because the angels are all about. Praise God! They minister on behalf of believers …for the heirs of salvation…. That’s not to say that men can command the angels to do their bidding; the angels do God’s bidding. It’s a blessing to have that comfort to know that God says the angels are not only His guardians but also guardians of the believers. The cherubim stand guard over the throne of God, the holiness of God, and God’s given His angels charge over believers as well. What a blessed assurance!

I could not begin to tell the many reports of protection, of preservation by angels that have come from almost every part of the globe. Believers relate their testimonies, events of things that have happened in their lives where they knew that angels were present to preserve or protect them. More than once I’ve heard testimonies of people who knew they were accompanied by angels when in some critical or dangerous situation. Reports include such instances as seeing the fright in the faces of the malefactor(s) as they were thwarted in attempts at robbery, etc. Although the believer could not visibly see any angelic being(s), apparently the culprit(s) could because they suddenly turned and ran.

Angelic BattleAn interesting report concerned a missionary who had been dispatched to an uncivilized part of the world. It was an area of head hunters who practiced cannibalism and apparently they had decided to practice their craft and have the missionary as the main course for dinner. Drumbeats were sounding and the missionary knew that he was in trouble. As the natives approached to capture the missionary, they were suddenly frightened away. Although the natives got within sight of him, they never approached. They just stood, looking and eventually dispersed back into the jungle again. Later one of the head hunters got saved, and he asked the missionary where the army on white horses came from, the army that was standing all around the missionary on the night they came to attack. The natives planned to boil him — have missionary stew. When the natives approached, they were amazed to find an army surrounding them. Now the missionary did not see the army but obviously, the natives did. Again, God had given His angels charge over the missionary to protect him.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [Ps. 34:7]

The Bible contains numerous accounts of angelic protection. As early as Genesis, chapter 19, when God is about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He sent angels into the city to get Lot and his family. Now that’s grace, because in previous studies we learned that Lot was a compromiser and backslider. Also to be seen here is the power of intercessory prayer as Abraham prayed for Lot. I’m convinced in my own mind that it was because of Abraham that God sent the angels to get Lot and his family out of the city, (Just as when you pray for your family, it moves God, maybe not for their sake but for yours.) The angels tarried a long time with Lot just to get him to leave Sodom. There’s a case where God uses the angels to minister as servants. God sent them to bring Lot and his family out of Sodom before He destroyed the place. I also believe God is going to notify His people before He puts the hammer down on this city or our nation. Even if He has to send an angel to do it, I believe that God will notify His elect.
The angels protected Daniel when he was cast into the den of lions (Daniel, chapter 6). Daniel was a separated, holy living, righteous man, a just man and God saw to it that this man of faith was protected. He was never evilly spoken of in the scriptures. Daniel was a man who refused to compromise and God was not going to abandon him. God dispatched angels to encamp around this man and preserve him. That’s precisely what the angels did when the king cast Daniel into the den of lions.

A scriptural passage in 1 Kings, chapter 19, relates how an angel ministered to Elijah. After he had killed all the prophets of Baal, Queen Jezebel declared she was going to have Elijah’s neck. Elijah feared for his life and ran and hid in the midst of the wilderness. He was in a state of exhaustion, fell to the ground, even despairing of life. An angel had been dispatched by God and said, Get up and eat this. An angel fed Elijah out in the middle of the wilderness. Eat this, the angel said, because you’re going on a long journey and you’re going to need this food. The power, the energy that Elijah received from eating that special food enabled him to go forty days without tiring or without hungering. Undoubtedly, this was special food that God fed Elijah through the angel. While it is not known what the food was, we do know with assurance that God will take care of His people. In times of famine God’s people will be satisfied.

9O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10The young lions do lack and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. [Ps. 34:9-10]

All the people in the world, including the princes and kings of the world, might lack and suffer hunger

but God promises He will feed His own. If that means He has to send an angel with some of that special food, He will do it. Or if He has to multiply the cruse of oil and the meal, He will do that as well. God will multiply the bread and fishes or give us manna or even send an angel. Rest assured, God will feed us! That much I’m sure of — God will feed His people. We’ll not suffer. I’m committed to standing on the promises of God:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [Matt. 6:33]

If one will just seek first His kingdom, it won’t be necessary to worry about, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithal shall we be clothed? Jesus says that if one will seek first the kingdom then those things will not be objects for concern or anxiety. The kingdom has to be first though and one’s priorities in order. If one is unwise, seeking to reverse the order of priorities, then one cannot trust the Lord for provision.

Another passage (Acts, chapter 12) where God sends an angel is the account of Peter being miraculously delivered from prison. Most are familiar with that account as it’s been a topic of discussion in the past. Peter is imprisoned, chained and locked behind iron doors. Suddenly, an angel walks through the iron bars and walls, sets Peter free, bringing him out of the prison.

Acts, chapter 5, contains yet another passage. Again, God sends His angel into the prison and brings out the apostles.

There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. [Acts 5:16]

The apostles were praying for the sick and multitudes were being healed. Demons were being cast out; the oppressed were being set free.

Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,)…. [Acts 5:17]

The high priest and those who were in authority were generally Sadducees and this religious sect denied anything supernatural. They didn’t believe in angels, demons, spirits or the afterlife.

…and were filled with indignation. [Acts 5:17]

Or as the margin reads, they were filled with envy because the people were flocking to the apostles.

Here’s a group of fishermen, tax collectors, uneducated people. Today they’d be termed “laymen.” Many of the common people were going to hear the laymen preach and multitudes were being healed and delivered. These pompous, arrogant priests were filled with envy.

18And (they) laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth…. (just set them free), and said, 20Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. [Acts 5:18-20]

Go preach, go teach in the temple and teach them everything — all the words of life.

21When they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 23saying, the prison truly found we shut with all safety…. [Acts 5:21-23]

The lock was still securely on the door, the prison door was closed and the guards were standing outside before the doors. The guards were still at their posts but when the doors were opened, the apostles simply weren’t there — no explanation. It’s an interesting passage but the point is God obviously sent the angels to deliver the apostles from imprisonment. If God wants His people free, no prison door will hold them — no jail, no rope, no chain, no fiery furnace, and no lions’ den. If He has to send an angel to free His servants as He did to the apostles or as He did for Peter in Acts 12, He will do it. If God has to send an earthquake to free His own from jail as He did in Philippi (Acts 16), God will not hesitate to do so. The angels are ministering spirits; they offer protection. They minister preservation to the children of God.

3. The angels guide us.

God uses the angels to bring guidance as when they guided Joseph and the holy family from Judea. The angelic messenger came to Joseph, telling him to get out of the jurisdiction of Herod and go to Egypt for the safety of the child, Jesus. The angel gave Joseph words of guidance.

Acts, chapter 8, contains the account of how an angel guided Philip who was engaged in preaching a revival in Samaria. People were being saved, healed and miracles were occurring when an angel arrived and said, I want you to leave this place and go out into the desert of Gaza.

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. [Acts 8:26]

As Philip obeyed the angel, he met the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from the scroll of Isaiah. Philip joined himself to the chariot, and preached Christ to the Ethiopian. As a result, the Ethiopian was saved and brought the gospel of Christ back to his home in Ethiopia. In so doing, the gospel message was spread yet farther. Again, the angels were used to bring guidance as God directed Philip.

4. The angels minister comfort.

The angels aid, bring comfort, strengthen and encourage the believer. Acts, chapter 27, tells of Paul who was being sent to Rome because he had appealed to Caesar to hear his petition. Paul gave a word of warning to those in authority about sailing at a time that was considered dangerous.

9Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past, Paul admonished them, 10And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. [Acts 27:9-10]

When events began to occur just as Paul had said and the ship and those on board were sinking, God sent an angel to bring words of encouragement and comfort. God’s word through the angel was:

23For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, 24Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. 25Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it should be even as it was told me. [Acts 27:23-25]

Angels also came and ministered to Jesus after His temptation in the wilderness (Matthew, chapter 4). As Jesus resisted the devil, He was in a time of genuine spiritual warfare as the devil tempted Him in every possible way. It was following that time that the angels arrived to minister not only to Jesus’ physical needs, but also bringing comfort and encouragement.

The account of Jesus’ time of anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane was a time of intense mental and emotional suffering. As Jesus submitted to the will of the Father and to the cross, an angel appeared to Him.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. [Lk. 22:43]

Jesus was in a time of wrestling with the flesh as He realized that He had to go to the cross. Jesus had a human nature as well as His divine nature. It is important to realize this. The biblical account goes on to tell how that Jesus’ perspiration became great drops of blood during this time of great suffering. It was at that time that an angel arrived to strengthen Him.

This account should be encouraging to every believer because during those especially trying times that come to everyone, God will send an angel to strengthen and uplift. Perhaps this has happened in the past without your being aware, but saints, God will stand with believers when they go through the trials, the rivers and the floods. God is with His own and will send an angel, if necessary, to minister, strengthen and bring comfort. The Bible says:

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? [Heb. 1:14]

Heirs of salvation — that’s you and me! Hallelujah!

5. The angels also watch over the church.

There is a sense in which the angels not only watch over the believer but they also watch over the church. The angels are concerned about the church, the assembly. The angels are concerned about the ministry of the church, its message. The angels are concerned about the order in the church. Let’s look at a passage in 1 Corinthians, chapter 11, which is quite interesting. In order to understand what’s being said, we need to read the context. Paul says:

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. [1 Cor. 11:1]

Follow me as I follow Christ is what Paul is saying.

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. [1 Cor. 11:2]

The church is supposed to observe the ordinances. That’s a topic on which we’ve had previous teaching.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. [1 Cor. 11:3]

Paul is talking about order in the church. The Corinthian church had allowed some things to get out of order. There was chaos and confusion when it came to the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit. People were prophesying out of order, with no one interpreting. Things were out of order and part of this epistle is to set things in biblical order, in divine order, the proper form for the church. Paul does not rebuke the Corinthians for manifesting the gifts and prophesying, he is simply saying that everything needs to be done in order.

31For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted…. 39Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40Let all things be done decently and in order. [1 Cor. 14:31, 39-40]

Praise God for the tongues! Paul is setting the order for the church, and in these scripture passages, he’s speaking about divine order.

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. [1 Cor. 11:4]

When a man prays, when a man prophesies, his head should not be covered. Now that’s just the opposite of the Jewish custom which imposed that a man covers his head during prayer. When the Jewish male went into the temple, his head was covered. Now in Christianity it’s quite a bit different. A man should not have his head covered but Paul says in verse 5:

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth (Bear in mind he’s talking about in the church — order in the church.) with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. [1 Cor. 11:5]

For a woman to not have her head covered when she prayed or prophesied in the church, Paul said was a disservice to her head, which is her husband, i.e., her man. It was the same as having her hair cut off which for a woman was considered shameful.

6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn (Let her cut her hair off if she’s not going to wear her head covering.), but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. (Let her cover her head.) 7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man. (Woman wasn’t made first, man was. God created Adam and then woman from Adam.) 10For this cause (Now let’s see this. Remember, woman was created from Adam’s rib. She was man’s helpmeet and since this is the case, since man is the head of the woman) ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. [1 Cor. 11:6-10] (PS. don’t shoot the messenger!)

Now

the word power here is an unfortunate translation in the Kings James. The marginal reading in the Bible says, “That she ought to have a covering on her head, a sign that she is under the authority of her husband. She ought to have her head covered as symbolic of her submission to her husband’s authority because the head covering is a sign of submission. It’s a sign of being in submission to God’s order.”

Why should the woman be covered? This is what Paul brings out …because of the angels. Now that’s unusual, isn’t it? Yet farther along in the passage, Paul says that it’s uncomely that a woman pray to God with her head uncovered and that even nature teaches us that a man should not have long hair. If the man has long hair it’s a shame but if a woman have long hair, it’s a glory unto her. Long hair is a glory for a woman …for her hair is given her for a covering. Now it’s not the artificial covering that Paul was talking about in earlier verses of chapter 11.

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. [1 Cor. 11:16]

Again, that’s an unfortunate rending because it actually reads:

16If anybody is disposed to be argumentative about this, I want you to know that the churches don’t have any other custom other than this — that a woman’s head should be covered when she prays or prophesies in the church. [1 Cor. 11:16]

On the other hand, a man’s head should be uncovered. A man should have short hair. He should look like a man and a woman should have long hair — she should look like a woman. The point here is pointing out what Paul said about the angels. A woman’s head should be covered …because of the angels. The angel of the Lord went out by night and smote the army of the Assyrians, leaving 185,000 soldiers dead. Punishment of the wicked as the Assyrians gathered themselves against Judah to bring death and destruction, and God destroyed them instead.

Another interesting passage is found in Acts, chapter 12. In this instance, angels were used as divine instruments to smite the wicked.

21And upon a set day Herod (now this is the king), arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. (This must have been quite a speech because look at what the people said.) 22And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. 23And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. [Acts 12:21-23]

Josephus, the Jewish historian, brings out some points about this event. According to Josephus, this occurred during a time of some of the Roman games. The Romans literally lived for their gatherings in their coliseums where these games took place. Great multitudes gathered for these events. The account tells that Herod arrived, decked out in array the likes of which had never been seen before, with silver embedded in all his clothing.

When the sun shone on him, there was a glow all over him. When Herod spoke the people said, “We thought he was a man, but he’s a god to speak like that.” Herod was one of the most wicked men who ever lived, yet he spoke with such opulence that the people thought he was a god. “He’s more than man — he’s a god!” Because he received all this worship and adulation, God smote him. God sent an angel and struck him dead. Josephus said that Herod was stricken with tremendous pains in his abdomen and had to be carried out of the coliseum. He writhed in pain for days before he finally died. Here’s an example of an angel of God being sent as an instrument to punish the wicked.

Another scriptural passage relates that God will use the angels in the last days to sever the wicked from the just.

49So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. [Matt. 13:49-50]

The angels will gather the people, separating the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, the just from the unjust. The just will receive their due reward and the unjust will be cast into the lake of fire.

6. The angels accompany the righteous in their transition from this world into the next.

Most are familiar with the passage about the rich man and the poor man. The rich man died and woke up in torment but the poor man, who was a righteous man….

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom…. [Lk. 16:22]

The angels accompany the righteous as they make the transition at death from this life into the next life. The angels come for the believer, accompanying him into glory.

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Filed under Angelology: The Doctrine of Angels, Demons and Satan, House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Doctrine Of Angels #4

This study will begin with clarification of certain items within The Doctrine of Angels, under the sub-heading The Ministry of Angels. As discussed in previous sessions, the scriptures reveal the angels to be divine messengers. They’re often revealed, especially in the New Testament, as spokesmen for God and they repeatedly appear in that capacity.

In past discussions it was mentioned that the angels appeared to Joseph, Mary, and Elisabeth revealing what was shortly to come to pass. They appeared again to Joseph telling him to take the child Jesus and flee into Egypt because Herod was out to destroy His life. The angel appeared to the apostle Philip when he was ministering in Samaria and told him to go to Gaza and preach in the desert. That’s where God pointed the Ethiopian eunuch to Philip and as a result, the Ethiopian people received the gospel.

An angel also appeared to Cornelius (Acts, chapter 10) and told him to send for Peter. Consequently, Peter revealed the gospel to him so that Cornelius and his family were saved. It is significant that Cornelius, a Roman soldier, had a heart to know God. He regularly prayed, fasted and gave alms. God dispatched an angel to Cornelius and told him to send for Peter. It’s interesting that the angel himself didn’t preach the gospel to Cornelius. One would be inclined to think that an angel could do a much better job of presenting the gospel than a mere man like Peter. Consider what a message such a glorious being as an angel could present. That wasn’t the case, however, for the angel said, Go send for Peter. Go send for a man to come preach the gospel to you — an earthen vessel. Go send for him and he will come and preach the gospel to you.

Peter was no stranger to human frailty and weakness. Peter was human and knew what it was to have to repent and on more than one occasion. The angel directed Cornelius to send for Peter so that Peter could minister the gospel to Cornelius and his family. This event illustrates some of the things contained in the scriptures. For example:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [2 Cor. 4:7]

One would be inclined to think, “Let the angel do it; he’d do a better job of it anyway.”

Another passage is:

27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28And base things of the world and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. [1 Cor. 1:27-29]

Men are so imperfect, so weak compared to the angels. One would think that God would use the angels, but God chose to have His perfect message preached through imperfect vessels. That’s the way God chose it to be. Let the imperfect vessel preach this perfect message — this glorious gospel, and through that, God is glorified. All the human vessel can say is, Magnify the grace of God. That’s all the human can do, simply magnify God and His grace. That’s a point worth considering.

Also previously discussed was how the angels minister to the saints. Remember the passage from Hebrews:

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. [Heb. 1:14]
As ministering spirits, the angels offer protection, bringing aid and assistance. Their ministry includes protection as pointed out in these verses:

10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. [Ps. 91:10-12]

God gives His angels charge over men. They minister to the heirs of salvation in the areas of protection, deliverance, preservation, etc. The angels preserve, keep and protect God’s elect.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. [Ps. 34:7]

Without question, God has sent His angels to keep, protect and preserve His elect.

CALL ON JESUS!!

An important point should be noted and that is: believers are not to pray to angels. Although God sends angels to protect and assist His own in crisis, one should never pray to the angels. Even in times of emergency when one is facing imminent danger, one doesn’t pray, “Angels, help me!” That’s just not the way Christians are to respond in time of trouble. For whom does one call? One calls for Jesus and only Jesus. His is the name on whom His children call for that’s the name where there is power. It’s in the name of Jesus that demons are cast out, that the sick are made well. Jesus is the name on whom the believer calls. No one should be confused into thinking that believers are to call to the angels for assistance or aid. The believer does not call for angels; the believer calls for Jesus. It’s “the blood of Jesus!” or “Jesus!” and that’s where there is protection, deliverance and preservation. God can respond in any way He chooses, in whatever manner He wishes to respond, in whatever way He chooses to preserve His child. It just may be by sending an angel, but the believer is to call on no other name than the name of Jesus.

Another significant point is that men don’t command the angels to do things for them. Man does not have the power to command angels. There is not one instance in the Bible where believers are told to pray to angels or ask angels to provide assistance or help. Man is not supposed to tell the angels what to do. Men don’t call to angels for help. Men call on their savior, Jesus. Men simply don’t tell angels what to do. One must come to realize that the angels serve God, not man.

Now God sends the angels to minister to man, but the angels are God’s servants, not the servants of man. One should never get the idea that one can say to the angels, “Angels, go do this or that!”
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. [Heb. 1:14]

Sadly, there are those who confuse passages like this one and wrest it to their own destruction, thinking that the angels have nothing better to do than to stand around and do man’s bidding.
Even Jesus didn’t command the angels. Most are familiar with the passage in Matthew, chapter 26, when the authorities had come to arrest Jesus. Peter impetuously took out a sword and cut off someone’s ear. Jesus responded:

52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? [Matt. 26:52-53]

In response to Pilate’s questions:

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. [John 18:36]

Even Jesus did not presume to command the angels. While still clothed in His humanity, Jesus shows that it is God who commands the angels, not men. Men don’t tell angels what to do. That dominion belongs only to God for the angels are His servants. Although Jesus created the angels and most assuredly commanded them before His incarnation and now in His risen state, He did not command the angels in His humanity. As a man, He showed His people that it is God who commands the angels.

15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. [Col. 1:15-16]

These things are mentioned in order to clarify some of the strange ideas promoted by some. Believers simply call on God to meet their needs. If He chooses to send angels to minister to those needs, that’s entirely up to Him. Believers pray and believe God. Believers don’t tell angels what to do. Praise the Lord!

III. DEMONS

The Bible is filled with references to the invisible beings known as demons. These creatures have a variety of powers. Demons have the ability to communicate with men and influence their lives. The demons are also the instruments used to bring disease, sickness and oppression upon people. The demons wreck people’s health, emotions and mental stability. They both oppress and possess. Demons even influence the course of nations. Numerous references in both the Old and New Testament attest that the demons are quite powerful beings.

It’s unfortunate that the King James Version

translators chose the Greek word devils, which appears more frequently in most scripture passages, when the word demons would be the better translation. The term demon is the transliteration of the Greek daemon and also daimonion. They both signify demonic beings. Just as the angels are messengers and servants of God, the demons in the Bible are messengers and ministers of Satan, the prince of devils, i.e., demons. While the KJV translates the words devils, i.e., saying, Go cast out devils, one would do well to remember that there’s only one devil, i.e., Lucifer or Satan, but there are many demons.

A. The Fact of Their Existence.
The existence of demonic beings is no fantasy. As soon as one receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it becomes obvious that demons exist. All one needs is the Holy Ghost to make one aware that demons exist. One may have questioned whether or not there was such a thing as demons before having received the baptism, but once one receives the Holy Spirit, the reality of demons becomes factual. Contrary to what the devil and the world would have one believe, demons are not imaginary creatures. The world has characterized demons as harmless ghouls, ghosts and goblins such as are depicted in the fantasy books of children. They are depicted as belonging to the land of fantasy and make-believe. The Bible is very clear in revealing the fact that demons exist. Things do go bump-in-the-night. There are ghosts, but the ghosts are demons and the fact of their existence is revealed in both the Old and New Testaments.

1. Demons as revealed in the Old Testament.

Most people think of demons as having a role or having made an appearance only in the New Testament. That is not the case however, for the groundwork is all laid in the Old Testament, insofar as revealing their existence, their reality. The people of the New Testament knew of the reality of demons because of the foundation of their existence having been made in Old Testament times. By the time of the New Testament, Jesus simply says, Go cast out demons. The scriptures reveal Jesus talking to demons and casting them out. There’s no explanation as to where these beings came from in the New Testament. That’s because the groundwork was laid back in the Old Testament, thereby assuming that one is knowledgeable regarding what is contained in the Old Testament.

The Old Testament is actually filled with references to demonic beings, demonic creatures. Israel had quite a bit of knowledge about these creatures, the demons. As a matter of fact, apostate Jews worshipped demons.

16They provoked him (God) to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. 17They sacrificed unto devils (demons), not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [Deut. 32:16-17]

This passage in the Old Testament confirms that the Jews sacrificed to demons. There’s also a passage in the New Testament warning the Jews about having fellowship with demons.

19What say I then? that the idol is anything, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything? 20But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils (demons), and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils (demons). [1 Cor. 10:19-20]

The Gentiles sacrificed to idols, i.e., demons. Sacrifice to idols was part of their worship and the Bible says that is tantamount to sacrificing to a demon. The Bible assumes that one realizes the idol represents the invisible demon. That’s what an idol is — a visible symbol of an invisible being. The idol is representative of the demon being worshipped and demons are the inspiration for the idols. During deliverance sessions demons have been known to reveal that when people pray to idols or burn incense, demons come to inhabit the statues. This is true even in the case of the statues of saints in the churches. As people worship and pray to the statues, the strength of the demon is actually increased. Those believers who operate in the gift of discerning of spirits have even seen those things come to pass. The demons will actually be drawn to inhabit the statues as people worship them.

Demon worship is not just something that occurred in ancient history. It is ongoing still today. People all over the world, including America, still worship demons. Many times people are just not aware that when they worship idols, they’re worshipping demons. Demon worship is quite common among the Hindu and Buddhist worshippers. The ancient Jews were no strangers to demon worship, and the Old Testament reveals their existence, their reality in numerous scripture passages.

In one Old Testament passage, God spoke of demons and called them lying spirits. The context here is that God was going to draw Ahab, a wicked, depraved king of Israel, into battle where he could be killed. Ahab had been rebellious toward God, having participated in every type of sin imaginable.

And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up (die, be killed) at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. [1 Ki. 22:20]

Micah the prophet is prophesying of an event that took place in heaven. As God said this, the spirits are coming, responding to God’s question.

21And there came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. 22And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? (How?) And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, thou shalt persuade him and prevail also; go forth, and do so. 23Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. [1 Ki. 22:21-23]

Lying spirits were going to inhabit Ahab’s prophets and they would prophesy lies to Ahab, telling him, “Go fight at Ramoth-gilead and you’ll win, you’ll survive.” God’s man, Micah, says, “If you go down to fight, you will die.” Lying spirits, i.e., demon entities, were dispatched in order to deceive Ahab.

demonThe following Old Testament passage concerns oppressing spirits:

14But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. 15And Saul’s servants said unto him, behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 16Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.
[1 Sam. 16:14-16]

Saul directed his servants to do just that, and David, the son of Jesse was sent for.

…Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. [1 Sam. 16:18]

Continuing … Saul sent for Jesse saying,

…Let David…stand before me; for he hath found favor in my sight. [1 Sam. 16:22]

This passage from the book of 1 Kings offers further description:

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. [1 Ki. 16:23]

In reviewing 1 Samuel, chapter 15, one sees that Saul had sinned to such a degree that God was going to take the kingdom away from him. God had given him clear directions, clear orders, but Saul continually disobeyed God. He spared King Agag alive instead of killing him; he spared the prime sheep and cattle instead of destroying the whole city as God had commanded him to do. Saul had disobeyed and God said, For that, I’m going to take the throne away from Saul.

Verse 14 (1 Samuel, chapter 16) tells how the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul. One can see the contrast where the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and when that occurred, an evil spirit came upon him. This evil spirit from the Lord is a spirit that God sent. This is a case of God sending a demon spirit to oppress Saul. Even here, one begins to see the sovereignty of God. Even the demons can’t do things without God’s permission. God’s sovereign over everything. When an individual sins as Saul did, they open themselves up to oppression, deep oppression. That is clearly seen here in the case of Saul who continues in his sin and God dispatches this demon to oppress him.
God sometimes sends demons to punish the wicked. God will send these demonic beings to bring judgment and punishment upon those who habitually sin, upon the wicked. The troubling that occurred in Saul’s mind and heart was not some mere depression or moodiness. It was an attack of a demonic power where God sent an evil power that took possession of Saul’s mind. It drove him mad, into fits of insanity. The demonic power kept Saul stirred into a frenzied state of mind, consistently tormenting his thoughts.

In this tormented state, Saul’s imagination ran out of control. When an individual opens his mind and heart to sin, oppression comes. One should not think this is some strange occurrence for the Bible teaches in numerous other places how that God will use the demonic beings to accomplish His purposes. God is sovereign.

Examination of several scripture passages revealed: (1) How God sent the lying spirit to accomplish His purpose by deceiving wicked Ahab. (2) How God judged Egypt when Pharaoh refused to release the children of God. Despite the many plagues and pestilence, Pharaoh stubbornly reneged on his word to the point that God sent the angel of death to kill all Egypt’s firstborn. This is another instance where God sent evil angels to accomplish His purposes.

49He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. 50He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; 51And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham.
[Ps. 78:49-51]

One must bear in mind that the evil angels or the demon spirits are so wicked they even hate the people who serve the devil. The demons will even destroy them if given the opportunity. God will use the demons to accomplish His own purposes and He does, as confirmed throughout the scriptures.

…God shall send them strong delusion (to those who don’t love the truth, to those who don’t abide in it), that they should believe a lie. [2 Thess. 2:11]

Another passage speaks of those who depart from the faith because they listen to demons:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. [1 Tim. 4:1]

These seducing spirits are lying spirits and the Word says that God sometimes sends them. When people stubbornly reject the truth, refusing to have anything to do with it, God will send them a spirit of deception. He will send the lying spirit or deceiving spirit to deceive them. These will not be heirs of salvation if they reject His truth. Here is seen the total sovereignty of God. The devil doesn’t act independently as many are deceived into believing. Satan can’t do a thing without God’s permission. God sent this evil spirit as punishment upon Saul for his sin, to trouble and vex him. Those who doubt this should search the scriptures for they will confirm this to be true.

The following verse brings out an interesting point:

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. [1 Sam. 16:23]

The Bible refers to David as the sweet psalmist of Israel. David wrote over seventy of the psalms or songs. His psalms were sung to the melodies he played on his harp. David was an anointed musician, a singer of songs. The Bible says David even invented musical instruments. Not only did David play, but he also actually invented musical instruments. He’s the one who set up an elaborate worship system with the harps, musicians, singers and the praise and worshippers. It was quite elaborate!

Even in ancient times, the people were knowledgeable regarding the value of music. They saw the effect that music had on the lives and emotions of people. It is common knowledge today that music is mood altering. Certain types of music will actually drive listeners into a frenzied state, the driving beat causing them to become nervous, anxious and fearful. Those who work around that kind of music have to battle nervousness. It’s a spiritual warfare and the believer realizes it. At the same time, music can cause people to become depressed. Listening to a steady diet of depressing country music will result in people becoming moody and depressed. Music is known to be mood altering. At the same time, songs of victory, praise and worship can lift the heart and spirit, edifying, building up, and strengthening one’s faith. One can sing one’s way to victory in times of trial and distress. Look at this verse! Now the ancients realized that.

Ancient Greek literature also mentions that the treatment for mental oppression was listening to soothing music. The Greeks realized that music had a powerful stimulus on the human mind. Soothing music was their prescription for the mentally ill.

It should then come as no surprise that the ancient Hebrews had this knowledge. Their suggestion for Saul’s mental oppression was to have someone play the right kind of music in order to soothe him. It was then that David was sent for, the singing shepherd boy. David had a heart for God from his youth and as he sang and worshipped God, the demon left Saul. Demons won’t hang around where God is worshipped. Where there is an atmosphere of worship, singing, glorifying and praising God, the demons won’t hang around. They just won’t listen to that!

It was mentioned in a previous study that the worship of believers actually attracts God’s angels. I really believe that’s true because they are beings that worship God continually. Their voices of praise and worship are heard in heaven continuously and I believe that when saints on earth worship God, the angels join in. I believe that worship attracts them like a magnet. Many, many times, people here in this congregation have said that God showed them angels worshipping, filling the place. As God’s people worshipped, the angels were present worshipping, joining in. I’ve heard that in many other cases where the Lord has allowed them to see angels worshipping the Lord with the voice of the chorus of the congregation, the angels had lifted their voices and joined right in God’s divine worship. David was a worshiper; the angels of God worship and when God’s people worship, the demons flee.

When one goes through times of trial, distress, and tribulation, it’s time to sing. One needs to worship, to rejoice, to count it all joy when going through divers trials and tribulations. It’s possible for one to sing one’s way to victory! When the devil torments the mind with fear, doubt and thoughts of uncertainty, etc., one can respond by singing songs of victory, songs of praise, songs of worship. Consequently, the oppression breaks and the demons flee.

a. Occult Contact With All Types of Spirits.

10When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination (a person that’s a diviner, a fortuneteller of any sort who in whatever way tells one’s fortune–there’s to be no one who uses divination), or an observer of times (the ancient soothsayers, those who were the psychic type of prophets, foretellers of future events, etc.) or an enchanter (the magicians), or a witch, 11Or a charmer (the hypnotist, the one who charms people or serpents), or a consulter with familiar spirits (the spiritualist medium, the person who has the demonic spiritualist medium guide–they go into trances, etc.), or a wizard (a psychic), or a necromancer (a person who conjures up the dead). [Deut. 18:10-11]

The last straw occurred when Saul consulted the witch at Endor. This woman was a necromancer. Saul had made mistakes; Saul had sinned. His problem? Saul never repented. David sinned, but David repented. He had a heart for God. Saul, on the other hand, refused to repent of his sin, and continued in his sin. Finally, he went to this witch and had her conjure up the dead, which was an abomination in the eyes of God.

For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…. [Deut. 18:12]

God hates occult sins. Saul’s final and fatal mistake occurred when he consulted with the dead. Saul directed the witch to call Samuel from the dead in order to give him some direction.

15And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. 16Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 17And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David: 18Because thou obeyest not the voice of the Lord, nor executest his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day. 19Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. [1 Sam. 28:15-19]

These occult practices were prevalent in ancient days because occultism had its source with the pagans and their rituals and superstitions. Many tend to think of psychic phenomenon as modern. To the contrary, occultism and the worship of demons go back to ancient days. The pagans were quite familiar with occult practices and unfortunately, the Jews were too. Even though God forbade the Jews to have anything to do with occultism, they backslid and became involved with the superstitions and gods of the pagan nations surrounding them. Consequently, many began worshipping the same demons and idols, becoming involved in all the occult sins of their pagan neighbors. God hates the occult and told the people, If you get involved with those things, those who do it are an abomination to me.

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. [Ex. 22:18]

In the KJV suffer means to allow. Do not allow a witch to live. They were to be put to death, usually by stoning.

Saul paid for his sin and the context in the following scripture is that the Lord killed him.

13So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it; 14And inquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
[1 Chron. 10:13-14]

The Lord brought Saul into battle where he could be killed. Why? Because he didn’t obey God. Because he was disobedient. The Bible says, …because he sought counsel…. from the witch at Endor instead of seeking counsel of the Lord. Saul consulted with the dead and all that do so are an abomination unto God.

The Bible reveals that demons are a reality and existed in the Old Testament, and the Jews were very much aware of their reality. Many of the commands in the Mosaic Law had reference to occult practices. Most today are unaware of the implications and meanings behind a great many of the Mosaic Law prohibitions. For example:

…Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. [Deut. 14:21]

Today one would be inclined to think, “A kid (young goat) is not to be boiled in the milk of its mother; that’s interesting.” To the Jew, however, it had significance in that the sacrifice of a kid having been boiled in its mother’s milk was an occult practice. The pagans made this type sacrifice to their fertility gods. God forbade the Jews to have anything to do with such practices. Such explanations enable one to better understand the significance of God’s prohibitions of occult activities for the Jews.

Other forbidden practices in the Mosaic Law concern funeral practices. The pagans incorporated many occult practices and symbolisms into their occult observances, rites, rituals, worship of demons, etc. For example, a passage in Leviticus, chapter 19, forbade certain funeral practices because they had their origin in these pagan rites and rituals.

27Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. 28Yet shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you (tattoos): I am the Lord.
[Lev. 19:27-28]

These scriptures have to do with these funeral practices. The heathen, in their funeral practices and worship of their pagan deities, would literally place bowls over their heads and any hair that hung over the bowl was shaved off. This was their expression of grief as unusual or bizarre haircuts were a sign of demonic worship. These bizarre haircuts were actually a sign of demon worship. Now there are a lot of unusual haircuts today and it just might be that those people might also worship the same gods. Marring of the beard as well as the unusual cutting of the hair was forbidden of the Jew because such acts were demon inspired.

Fallen AngelTattooing is forbidden as its origin is also in pagan worship. The believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and as such, one’s flesh is not to be marred, cut or otherwise marked. Marring and cutting the flesh was another rite of pagan worship. To confirm this, the incident of Elijah challenging the priests of Baal is cited. Elijah told the priests, “You call down fire within such-and-such time. After you try it, then I’ll call down fire. We’ll see whose God answers by fire.” When Baal did not respond, the priests began cutting their flesh as part of their worship ritual. Such practices of disfigurement have their origins in demon worship and the tattooing of the flesh is included. Even today, within isolated societies in Africa, the Amazon and other secluded locations, it is common practice among the tribes to self-mutilate with tattoos and other forms of bizarre markings. This has its origin in demon worship, and is strictly forbidden by God.

God also forbade such acts as bestiality, i.e., sexual relations with animals, and homosexuality.

13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them…. 15And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. 16And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. [Lev. 20:13, 15-16]

These acts are still prevalent in occult circles today. God said all such are an abomination to Him. The punishment was death to all parties involved, human and beast. The Bible says their blood is on them.

One would likely be surprised to realize how much sexual immorality had to do with occult worship. Most of the occult gods were fertility gods. Fertility was the primary focus in ancient days. The people wanted their crops to be fertile and they wanted fertile land. The people also desired that their women be fertile. Consequently, they worshipped fertility gods who supposedly insured fertility through sexual rites. That’s why they had the temple priests. In order to worship his god, the individual had intercourse with the priest or the priestess at the pagan temple. It was all a part of their worship system.

The entire ethics of worship was an abomination in the sight of God because sexual immorality and depravity prevailed throughout the pagan worship rites. Modern archeology has revealed that the people were so eaten up with disease through their sexual degeneracy that God had entire villages, cities and races annihilated. God did not want their depravity to spread even further so He had them killed. God told Israel not to have anything to do with those people. Don’t marry them; don’t trade with them. I don’t want you to be influenced by them. Sadly, sexual immorality just appeals to people’s fleshly nature and when mixed with worship, it puts a stamp of approval upon the acts of immorality. How appealing those religions were! God said, Stamp them out; eradicate them! It’s an abomination in my sight. God is holy and simply wouldn’t put up with such nonsense. The same practices prevail in modern society. The only thing that’s missing is the heathen temples.

There were also other prohibitions made by God because the origin of certain practices and rites had its roots in the occult realm. Demon worship was quite common in Old Testament times, and the Jews were well aware of it.

Other prohibitions existed against eating certain foods because of their close occult connection. God forbade the Jews to eat snakes because snakes have always been associated with the occult, with demons, with the devil himself who appeared as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. Swine were forbidden because swine were often associated with demons and demonic beings. When Jesus cast the demons out of the Gadarene demoniac, they wanted to go into the herd of swine nearby. Many times I’ve heard people testify that the devil has appeared to them as a pig or hog, an unclean, vile being. Consequently, God forbade the Jews to eat swine. Frogs, another symbol of demons, were also forbidden as a food source.

13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils…. [Rev. 16:13-14]

Storks were also considered to be unclean and were forbidden because of their occult connection. Other creatures that habitually inhabited ruins, i.e., the ruins of ancient cities, were also forbidden as sources of food. The Bible reveals that it is a practice of demons to inhabit ancient ruins and places of desolation. Other birds such as the crow, the owl, and others were all forbidden as food because of their close occult connection. God pronounced them to be unclean.

All that has been discussed is to emphasize that in Old Testament times, Israel was well aware of the existence and reality of demons. Demons were not entities found only in the New Testament, but as with so many Bible truths, demons had their basis in the Old Testament.

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Filed under Angelology: The Doctrine of Angels, Demons and Satan, House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Doctrine Of Angels #2

This study of the Doctrine of Angels, will cover not only the holy angels, but also unholy angels, i.e., the demons and the devil, all spiritual beings. There exists a spiritual world, the spiritual dimension right alongside this one but it’s invisible to the human eye. Not only do these spiritual beings exist, but they also interact with man on a daily basis. They positively interact with humans for the benefit, for the good, for the welfare of man. The Bible refers to them as ministering angels. The holy angels minister positively on man’s behalf but there are spiritual beings that minister negatively to man’s hurt. The latter are the unholy beings, the fallen angels. This group is the demonic realm who attacks human beings with all types of temptations to sin, sinful thoughts, including such things as sickness and disease. The Bible reveals these things are the result of demon oppression.

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil…. [Acts 10:38]

Sickness is demon oppression, but demons also minister their evil in other ways. They minister fear and doubt concerning the Word of God. The devil is the one who causes people to question God’s Word, to question God’s faithfulness. It was while Adam and Eve were still in the Garden of Eden that the devil subtly inquired, Hath God said?…. Even in the Garden, the devil questioned the commandment of God, i.e., the word of God to Adam and Eve, and he continues in that pattern today. He will do all in his power to get the believer to question the Word, to question the promises. The devil is a minister of oppression as well as depression and every other sort of depraved and corrupt behavior.

I. THE NATURE OF ANGELS (recapitulation / summarization)

During the last session, the teaching dealt with the Nature of Angels. Some of the topics discussed included the fact that angels are like men in some ways but in other ways, they are not like men at all. At times they appeared like men and many, many times in the Bible they were even mistaken to be men. The book of Hebrews tells believers they should entertain strangers because in so doing, some have entertained angels unaware. The believer is to offer hospitality, love and compassion to others. In many other ways angels are quite unlike men. Let’s be clear, however, that the nature of men and the nature of angels are not at all the same, but two completely different things.

A. Angels Are Created Beings.

Our previous study emphasized that angels are created beings. God created the angels; they will live forever.

35But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. [Lk. 20:35-36]

Not only do the angels not die, but they also do not age, i.e., they do not grow older. They’re of a different order than men. Though the angels will live forever, they did not always exist because they’re not eternal. Only God is eternal. He alone possesses the attributes of deity such as eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, etc. Angels are created beings, albeit powerful beings, they are nevertheless created. There was a time in eternity when the angels did not exist. In saying there was a time in eternity; one must understand that term must be used a bit freely because in eternity there was no time. Time is a created thing. There was no time before God created the world, the universe, the moon, stars, sun, etc. Recognize that time didn’t exist until God created the earth. In way of explanation, time is a measurement of the earth’s rotation. That’s all that time is. It measures the earth’s rotation, i.e., how long it takes the earth to turn on its axis (24 hours), how long it takes it to revolve around the sun (365 days). How could there be time before there was an earth to revolve? Therefore, in eternity past, before God created the earth, the planets, the moon, stars, etc., there was no time. God’s an eternal creature. Time is something finite and very diminutive in the sight of God. That’s why time does not affect God. He’s more extensive than time, i.e., larger than time. That’s why these spiritual beings whose existence predates time are unaffected by time.

B. Angels are Personal Beings.

Angels are not only created beings, but also personal beings, possessing personal characteristics. They have feelings and emotions. They rejoice over one sinner brought to repentance.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth…. [Lk. 15:7]

The angels have personal intelligence. They also have names as will be discussed. They are personalities, i.e., personal beings.

C. Angels Are Spiritual Beings.

Angels are also spiritual beings having spiritual bodies as opposed to physical bodies like humans. Men have bodies of flesh, blood and bones. While the angels also have bodies, they are of a spiritual nature and quite different from the fleshly bodies possessed by men.

D. Angels Possess Super-Human Power and Intelligence.

Angels possess super-human powers and intelligence, with power and might being their predominate characteristics. The Bible calls them the angels of His power. Might and power are the predominate characteristics of the angels and that should be kept in mind. These are powerful beings, much, much more powerful than men.

E. Angels are Distinct from Man.

Angels are distinct from man. They are not glorified men; they are not glorified human spirits. People do not die and become angels. Children do not become angels when they die. They are distinct from man; they are a separate and distinct order of creation.

Our study concluded at this point last time.

I. THE NATURE OF ANGELS (continuation)

F. Angels Constitute a Company as Distinguished from a Race.

There is a human race, but no race of angels exists. All humanity is part of the human race. All men — skin color doesn’t matter, nationality doesn’t matter — all men constitute a race. All humanity is part of the human race. All humans descend from Adam. Every single individual comes from Adam and all have a common source in that respect. All mankind constitutes the human race no matter what the skin color, no matter the country of origin. All of humanity is the same race, the same species homo sapiens. All mankind is of the same blood. A man from Afghanistan and a man from the United States are of the same blood. All human beings are alike in design, having the same number of appendages and sensory organs.

Such is not necessarily the case with the heavenly spiritual beings. Angels do not descend from a common stock as do men. All mankind comes from Adam, and when God destroyed the world, the lineage was preserved through Noah and his family. While all living persons today have their origins in that same common stock, angels do not come from a common source, a common stock. Each angel was created separately and individually. No one of us was created. Our descent is from Adam. Adam and Eve were the only two human beings created. Adam and Eve were created and to them were given the power of procreation and everyone else was procreated through their lineage. This is not the case however, with the angels. Angels do not procreate in heaven. They don’t marry. Jesus said, The angels neither marry or are given in marriage. It is significant that the angels do not marry nor are they given in marriage. The angels do not procreate or raise families. They do not have little angels, i.e., baby angels. Jesus said:

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. [Matt. 22:30]

1. The Significance.

When Adam and Eve sinned, all mankind partook of that sin. As individuals, being in Adam, all men partook of that sin. The entire human race fell in sin through Adam because every individual was in Adam. That’s what the Bible says — all were in Adam.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…. [Rom. 5:12]

That one man was Adam. When he sinned, every individual partook of his guilt through that sin.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…. [Rom. 5:19]

Every individual partook of the fallen nature of Adam. In Adam all die, the Bible says. Only Jesus could redeem mankind because He became flesh and became a man thereby joining Himself to humanity.

For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…. [Rom. 5:19]

The latter part of the same verse says,

…so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. [Rom. 5:19]

By becoming part of the human race, Jesus Christ could redeem every man. Anyone who believed could be redeemed. Whosoever will could be redeemed, i.e., anyone who would believe and repent. How? Because all men are a part of that race, all have that Adamic nature.

Jesus, however, did not have an Adamic nature. He did have a human nature, but not a fallen human nature. That’s the idea of the virgin birth; He was preserved from the taint of original sin. [Every statement we make should not have to be qualified. Everyone is mature enough to recognize that every message is built upon previous messages, including all these teachings, and the foundational doctrines are understood.] The idea is that Jesus, by assuming humanity, by having a human nature, could identify at that point with man. Jesus could die and atone for all men just like by one man all men sinned. Consequently, by one man, all men could be made righteous, based on the individual’s repentance and belief in the atoning work of Christ.

That is not the case with the angels since they do not constitute a race like men. Because each angel was created separately and individually, when one angel sinned, the remainder was not automatically sinners. For instance, when the devil sinned the rest of the angels were not in the devil. They didn’t become sinners automatically. They chose to sin individually and separately. Whereas when Adam sinned, all men, being in Adam, automatically acquired that Adamic nature, that fallen nature, that sinful nature. Such was not the case with the angels. Those angels that chose to sin did so on an individual basis.

While the majority of the angels remained holy, there were angels that sinned. When the devil rebelled, there were angels that also rebelled. The angels that sinned did so individually; they did so separately, and they did so by personal choice. To sin was their choice.

2. Another part of this significance is that no redemption was provided for the angels who sinned. These angels cannot be forgiven or restored to God’s grace. It’s impossible for them to be restored to God’s grace because Jesus didn’t die for the angels. He died for men. This verse in Hebrews is significant in that it speaks of Jesus:

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. [Heb. 2:16]

Jesus took the nature of man, not the nature of angels. He did not die to redeem angels, He died to redeem man. It’s very sobering to consider that the angels who sinned cannot be forgiven. Those angels cannot be saved; they cannot be restored to God. The question has been posed, “What if they repented? What if an angel came to God and said, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.” Wouldn’t God forgive the angel? Just in raising that question one reveals that one doesn’t really know what’s involved in redemption and forgiveness. Even God does not arbitrarily forgive sin. Sin is so awful in the economy of God; it’s such a horrible thing, that God’s righteous, holy nature compels Him to punish sin. Sin must be punished; it cannot be overlooked. It has to be punished.

For you and I, sin was punished in Jesus Christ. It was Jesus who bore the punishment and guilt of our sin, but our sin was most assuredly punished. God just didn’t overlook our sin. It was punished at Calvary; it was punished at the cross. God just didn’t forgive our sins arbitrarily — no! no! Our sin was punished at Calvary. The guilt, the punishment of our sin was borne by Jesus. He bore that penalty; He paid the price that we deserved.

Did Jesus die for the angels?

No, Jesus did not die for the angels. They have to pay the penalty for their sin themselves. Jesus did not die for them. Don’t get the idea that’s hard or unmerciful on God’s part. Let’s recognize a couple of things. Recognize first of all, how abominable sin is. Sin is a terrible thing. It separates one immediately from holy God. It’s separation from God. It means judgment and death — that’s what sin does! That means any sin brings judgment and death — any sin! Who of us has not sinned? Now, praise God, Jesus bore the penalty for our sin but who died for the angels? No one, because Jesus did not die for the angels and He couldn’t die for them. Jesus couldn’t die and all the angels be included at that point because the angels don’t come from a common stock. In order for the angels to have hope of forgiveness, Jesus would have had to die for each individual one of them. All that, however, is beside the point. The point here is that it’s not unfair in any way that the angels cannot be forgiven when one realizes the tremendous privilege that these angels had. They stood in heaven; they observed the presence and glory of God. In Job, chapter 38, we are told the angels were present when He created the world and they rejoiced.

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [Job 38:7]

The angels knew the power of God, the glory and majesty of God, and yet some of them sinned. Now they had tremendous privilege — privileges that man did not have. What is known of God is known by what the Bible says, but they actually saw with their own eyes. They were present and eyewitnesses of creation, etc. They had tremendous privilege and still, some of them sinned. Now to whom much is given, much is required. That’s true for man and it’s true for the angels. Consequently, the angels who sinned have the certainty of eternal flame because there’s no forgiveness for them. That’s a very sobering thought but it should serve to instill in each of us an even greater comprehension of how detestable sin is in the eyes of God. Be it big sin or little sin, all sin is heinous in God’s sight and believers should abhor it as much as He does. One can only be free from sin when one is brought to the place that one loathes it like God does and has His attitude toward it. Salvation.

Angel Good or evil?II. THE NUMBER AND ORGANIZATION OF ANGELS

A. The Number of Angels.

What does the Bible say concerning the number of angels? It says they are of great multitude.

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. [Ps. 68:17]

Bear in mind that chariots represent power; they represent the might and strength of God’s heavenly army. In David’s day, the might of an army was measured not only in the number of soldiers but also in the number of chariots. The chariots were the mighty weapons of war in ancient days. In this modern age a chariot would be equated to a tank or battleship. Men counted the might of an army by how many chariots (tanks) they possessed. Chariots equipped with knives, swords, etc. were the tremendous weapons of war, pulled by strong battle-trained horses. They were quite formidable weapons in ancient times. In this verse David speaks of the might of God’s heavenly army, with thousands of His angels. In this context David is talking about Sinai when God gave the Law to Moses. The following verse mentions the ten thousands of angels that came down on Mount Sinai to confirm God’s presence.

And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. [Deut. 33:2]

Then in another passage:

9I beheld till the thrones were cast down, (this is Daniel’s vision) and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. [Dan. 7:9-10]

These verses speak of the angelic host. This is Daniel’s vision of Christ and he mentions the tremendous numbers of angels that are surrounding the throne of God. The numbers mentioned are …thousands of thousands ministered unto him…. Ten thousand times ten thousand — that’s 100 million — quite a few!

A similar number is mentioned by the apostle, John:

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them (he’s numbering the angels) was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. (“Ten thousand times ten thousand” is 100 million.) [Rev. 5:11]

It’s not that John in his Revelation or Daniel in his vision was numbering the angels, because who could number 100 million angels? The idea here is the company of angels is innumerable. Safely, one could say they’re in the multiplied millions — too many to count!

But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. [Heb. 12:22]

That’s sufficient scripture to reveal the tremendous numbers of angels. When one realizes that angels are ministering spirits and they minister on the believer’s behalf, it’s no wonder that Elisha, when surrounded by the Syrian army, could say to his servant, Don’t worry. The ones that are with us are far more than those that be with them. Now what army could boast 100 million, especially an army of angels? Also to be considered is just what one angel is capable of doing. There are tremendous numbers of angels, innumerable numbers. Just consider it! Angels fill the heavens, the atmosphere — they’re everywhere!

B. The Organization of Angels.

Angels are highly organized, having ranks and authorities. With all of these multiplied millions of angels, one would think it might become confusing in heaven. That’s not the case, however, because there’s no confusion there. God is not the author of confusion. The more one studies the scriptural passages on the subject of angels, it becomes increasingly clear that not only are the holy angels organized, but also the fallen angels are in distinct organizational order. The system of organization of the angels is not unlike the organization of men.

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him? [1 Pe. 3:22]

The verse speaks of Jesus and the various ranks within the heavenly sphere, the heavenly system. These angels and authorities and powers, in various ranks within the heavenly system, are subject to Christ. Passages showing the ranks and authorities within the demonic system include:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. [Eph. 6:12]

Principalities…powers…the rulers of the darkness of this world…wicked spirits in high places. This indicates order, organization within the demonic realm, within the fallen angels. It becomes obvious that Satan’s forces are highly organized as well, and the Bible reveals that to be the case. The Bible says that Satan has a throne and the presence of a throne indicates there’s organization within the kingdom of darkness.

In speaking to the church at Pergamos, Jesus spoke of them being in that city ….

…where Satan’s throne is…. [The KJV translates it …where Satan’s seat is…. but it’s literally …where Satan’s throne is….] [Rev. 2:13]

So Satan has a throne. Jesus himself, in speaking of the devil, called him:

…the prince of this world, [John 14:30]

There is order in the devil’s kingdom as well.

The devil is also referred to as:

…the prince of the powers of the air. [Eph. 2:2]

Satan is the ruler of the evil forces of darkness; he’s the ruler

of the demonic host. There is order in the demonic kingdom just as there is order in God’s holy kingdom.

A passage that reveals that God’s holy angels have organization, i.e., in the sense of recognized authority and order, etc., is found in Matthew’s gospel. This is the account of Jesus’ arrest and His disciples’ wish to defend Him, etc. Jesus tells Peter to put up his sword because that’s not the plan God has in mind.

52…all those who take the sword shall perish with the sword, 53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? [Matt. 26:52-53]

Jesus is telling Peter to put up his sword — what good is a sword going to do? That’s not the way that believers fight. As believers, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. Our enemies are not the communists; our enemies are not the dictators, etc. Believers have a spiritual adversary — the devil and his demonic host.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against these principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness of this world and wicked spirits in high places. [Eph. 6:12]

Jesus, aware of this, told Peter to put away his sword, that if He wanted to defend Himself, He could just call and the Father would send Him more than twelve legions of angels. Twelve legions — now that’s interesting because it suggests the same organization as the Roman army. Now the Roman army was organized into legions, each legion consisting of some 6,000 men. Here’s a picture, a glimpse, into the organization of God’s army. The angels also constitute an army and they’re at war! They’re at war with the demonic host, with the devil’s fallen angels.

The book of Daniel is a perfect example of the ongoing war taking place between the heavenly creatures (beings), angels, and the ungodly beings — the supernatural beings, the fallen angels. Jesus said, I’d just call and the Father would give me twelve legions of angels. That’s a total of 72,000 angels that were ready to answer Jesus’ call.

It’s no wonder that Paul could say:

… If God be for us, who can be against us? [Rom. 8:31]

If God’s on our side, what’s the communist army? What’s that? What are a million soldiers? If God is for us with the host of heaven at our disposal, what’s to worry about? If God is for us, then how can the devil stand against us? We’re more than conquerors! We can overcome any adversity, any adversary or enemy. God has given believers power over all the power of the enemy and these angels, these ministering spirits, stand ready to do God’s bidding. Not a moment of time elapses before they’re on the scene when God calls. If God is for us …praise God …who can be against us?

The point here is that the angelic host is organized, in orderly fashion. Just as the devil is the one in control of these powers of darkness, similarly, an angel of God rules over the heavenly host. Michael, the archangel (arch means first) is the head of the armies of heaven. He’s the chief angel as is seen in the following passages:

13…but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…. 21…and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince. [Dan. 10:13, 21]

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. [Jude 1:9]

Michael is the first angel, i.e., the first in rank and authority. He is the chief of the angels, i.e., God’s general. The future war in heaven (Revelation, chapter 12) when Satan and his host fight against Michael and the angels, Satan will be cast out. Michael will be in that conflict. These are two spiritual armies at war with one another. Believers are to recognize them for exactly what they are — highly organized armies in conflict. The spiritual conflict is ongoing all about, whether or not one is aware of it.

While all the angels have names, only a few are named in Scripture. Lucifer was one of those named as were Michael and Gabriel. All of the angels have a ministry to perform, but Gabriel’s is a special ministry in that he has a special ministry of revelation. He ministers revelation from God to man. In the book of Daniel, it was Gabriel who was dispatched by God to give Daniel understanding of the vision. Daniel, needing wisdom in order to understand the vision, called on God who sent Gabriel to give Daniel the interpretation.

15And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. [Dan. 8:15-17]

Gabriel also appeared to Zacharias — the father of John the Baptist. Gabriel is a privileged angel who stands in God’s presence. Gabriel is the “revealing” angel because wherever he appears, he’s revealing something to man. He’s the agent of divine revelation, sent by God to give revelation.

And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. [Lk. 1:19]

C. Classes of Spiritual Beings.

1. The Cherubim.

The Bible many times makes reference to the cherubim (singular cherub). They are first identified in the book of Genesis.

So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. [Gen. 3:24]

The cherubim were to stand guard over the entrance into the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had been banished. Following their sin, the pair was no longer allowed in the Garden of Eden. They no longer had access to the garden, to the site of God’s presence. It was in Eden that God’s presence was made manifest. The Garden contained the tree of life and God sent the cherubim to keep Adam and Eve away from the tree.

The cherubim are a specific order, a different order of being than a mere angel. The cherubim were assigned to guard the entrance to the Garden so that Adam and Eve didn’t try to return to the Garden. Because of their sin, the couple had been expelled from the Garden and was now compelled to till the land and grow their food. While all was abundantly furnished by God’s hand while they were in the Garden, they now had to work, sweat and toil for everything they grew.

The cherubim could basically be described as human-like beings with four wings.

18And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall be faces of the cherubims be. [Ex. 25:18-20]

The cherubim were the figures chosen by God to have their likeness formed from gold and placed on each side of the Ark of the Covenant, the throne of God. God’s presence was made manifest at His throne, this Ark of the Covenant that was set within the holy of holies. Only the high priest had access to the holy of holies, and he could enter only once a year, sprinkling blood with fear and trembling in a clearly defined ritual. These golden cherubim symbolized those angelic beings that actually stand in the presence of God. The images were so fashioned that their wings outstretched toward one another forming a covering over the Ark of the Covenant, over the mercy seat.

Great carved figures of the cherubim also stood in Solomon’s Temple.

23And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 26The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one toucheth one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. 29And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. [1Ki. 6:23-29]

These figures were undoubtedly gigantic, imposing symbols. In modern measurements, these creatures stood about fifteen feet tall, with a wingspan of fifteen feet. Although they were carved of wood, they were overlaid with gold. Within the temple furnishings, carvings of the cherubim appeared on the laver. The likeness of the cherubim is also seen in many other places in the scriptures, the curtain of the tabernacle, being just one example.

Ezekiel, chapters 1 and 10, refers to the cherubim as living creatures. One should not get the idea that they are just figures, symbols or imaginary symbols. They are living creatures, actual beings. It’s also significant to note that Lucifer or Satan is referred to as an anointed cherub.

Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth…. [Ezek. 28:14]

The cherubim stood over the throne of God, the very presence of God. They covered the manifestation of His presence with their wings. God spoke of Lucifer saying, Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth…. which speaks of the very close relationship that Lucifer had to God. He was certainly a powerful and mighty figure.

The passage in Ezekiel, chapter 28, indicates the importance and the rank of the cherubim. They stand at all times in the presence of God. Lucifer may have been second only to God Himself, insofar as his power and rank. One thing is obvious, according to Jude 9, Lucifer’s rank and position was so great that even Michael the archangel didn’t rail against Lucifer.

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. [Jude 1:9]

Lucifer had tremendous authority, rank and power. No mere angel could have convinced the other angels of heaven to rebel against God. That Lucifer was no ordinary angel, of that one can be certain. It took a powerful and commanding being to give these angels any inkling of an idea that he could overthrow the throne of God. Such a prospect was impossible because even as powerful as Lucifer is, he is still a created being. This does, however, give one an idea of the powerful nature of these cherubim.

Other passages such as Ezekiel 41:8-20 point out the fact that the cherubim appear as part of the decoration in the millennial temple. In our study of the end-time events, it was mentioned that the temple is going to be rebuilt in the millennium. There will be a millennial temple and figures of the cherubim will appear there. Basically, the cherubim could be described as being human in form, but with wings. That makes them quite a bit different from angels because angels never have wings. Angels do not have wings, but cherubim do.

Let’s look at Ezekiel, chapter 1, and examine some very interesting verses concerning Ezekiel’s vision.

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month,

as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar…. [Ezek. 1:1]

Ezekiel’s location? He’s at the river of Chebar.

…that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. [Ezek. 1:1]

God gives Ezekiel this heavenly vision:

Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. [Ezek. 1:5]

These four living creatures are the cherubim. They have the likeness of a man. How do we know they are cherubim? Ezekiel himself tells who they were.

And the cherubim were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar. [Ezek. 10:15]

Ezekiel’s interpretation is that these living creatures that he saw by Chebar were the cherubim. These are very interesting passages, filled with symbolism and imagery. Although the cherubim have the form of men, they are quite unusual beings. In Ezekiel, chapter 1, Ezekiel describes his vision:

4I looked and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. (But now look what was different about them.) 6And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. (These are unusual creatures.) 7And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass. (They had feet unlike human feet.) 8And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. [Ezek. 1:4-8]

Chapter 10, verse 8 also makes reference to their hands. These beings not only have wings, but also hands.

Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. [Ezek. 10:8]

Whatever direction the cherubim went, they didn’t have to turn. They could move in any direction without turning. Equipped with four faces, turning was unnecessary.

10As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle. (Unusual, to say the least.) 11Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. 12And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went. [Ezek. 1:10-12]

Lucifer was this kind of being, a cherub. He wasn’t a mere angel, but an anointed cherub that covereth. Without question, the cherubim are unusual, but very powerful heavenly beings.

a. The Meaning and Function of the Cherubim

The cherubim always appear

in the closest relationship to God’s presence, standing perpetually in God’s presence. Where the presence of God is made manifest, the cherubim are there. The cherubim are bearers of the manifestation of God whenever He appears in His glory. Whenever God manifests His glory, the cherubim are seen as the bearers of the manifestation of God. They are called the chariots of the Lord and they bear His manifestation.

And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly…. [Ps. 18:10]

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels…. [Ps. 68:17]

The cherubim are guardians. They make anything unholy inaccessible to the presence of God. Remember the cherubim guarded the Garden of Eden. They would not allow sinful man back into the presence of God. They guarded the holy presence of God; they guarded Paradise. Nothing unholy is accessible into the presence of God and the cherubim are His guardians. As one might imagine, this is a very highly exalted office. The cherubim are always seen in the closest relationship to God; they cover His presence with their wings.

I thought about this as I was preparing the message, i.e., how the cherubim cover God’s presence and stand as guardians. In comparison, I considered how our president has his guardians or bodyguards and never goes anywhere without them. Although it’s a poor illustration, one can perhaps get an idea that the cherubim are there whenever God’s presence is made manifest. They stand perpetually in His presence guarding His presence. Not that God needs bodyguards, but God is the one who designed the order of such things. One day, if one can muster the nerve, ask God “Why?” Just imagining such an awesome creature as a cherub would strike terror into the heart of a person. Talk about a fearsome looking guardian! Obviously, these are extremely privileged and powerful beings.

b. The Significance of the Four Faces of the Cherubim.

About all we can do is give suggestions regarding this feature of the cherubim. The Bible doesn’t really say, but we can offer some possibilities for consideration. Perhaps it’s right, perhaps not, but it makes some spiritual sense.

Obviously, there is great symbolism attached to the four faces. One face is that of a man; one of a lion; one of an ox; and another of an eagle. One suggestion is that these faces are symbolic of the attributes of God. For instance, the face of man — man is the only rational being on the earth. Man is rational whereas all the other animals are not. Man being the only rational creature would illustrate God’s omniscience, i.e., His knowledge, His all-knowing capabilities. The ox, a symbol of strength, would be an illustration of God’s omnipotence, i.e., His being all-powerful. The eagle soars above all and nothing misses the sight of an eagle, illustrating God’s omnipresence, i.e., His being everywhere, His seeing all things. Nothing escapes the all-seeing eye of God who is everywhere.

Lastly, the lion as the king of beasts would illustrate God’s sovereignty. Give this consideration, bearing in mind they are just suggestions.

2. The Seraphim.

While there are many biblical references to the cherubim, particularly in the Old Testament, only once are the seraphim mentioned.

1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings…. [Isa. 6:1-2]

The seraphim are different from the cherubim. The seraphim have six wings; the cherubim have only four.

2…with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. 6Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, “lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and they sin purged. [Isa. 6:2-7]

All that is known about the seraphim is revealed in these few verses of scripture. What is known of their description, their office, their ministry is all revealed here.

They are pictured here in reference to divine fire from off the altar. It’s significant to note that the name seraphim are taken from the Hebrew word that means burning or to burn. Their ministry is seen in connection with divine fire from off the altar. The seraph here is a divinely appointed instrument for the purification of the prophet’s sin. He appears there with heavenly fire and cleanses the prophet’s ungodliness. God is the one, of course, who sent the seraph. The position of the seraphim was such that they had the privilege of exercising an atoning ministry at this point. God sent them as God is the one who forgives. It is clear that Isaiah repented. Forgiveness is never arbitrary. The seraphim would appear to be agents of purification at that point. Their meaning and function actually seem intended to symbolize certain truths.

a. The Meaning of the Seraphim.

The seraphim also appear to be human in form having a face, etc. No other description is given of them except that they had six wings. Now it’s significant that two wings covered their faces which illustrates that no being, no creature, no matter how exalted, could bear the full vision of God’s glory. Remember, the Bible says that no man could look upon the Lord and live; no man could look at God and live. Even the seraphim cover their faces in the glorious presence of God. Also, two wings cover their feet which would be symbolic of reverence and submission. With two wings they flew which would indicate swiftness in obeying God’s commands.

b. The Function of the Seraphim.

Insofar as their function, they appear to be the leaders in divine worship in glory. They hold the office and the privilege of continually praising God. They are His ministers and of course, they perform His will. Upon reading this, one sees how they stand and worship God crying, Holy, holy, holy, declaring the majesty of God. Notice that they worship with such an anointing that the Bible says, …the posts of the door moved at their voice…. The divine temple shook because their worship was so anointed. The holy place was filled with smoke. The seraphim constitute an order of being responsible for certain functions such as worship, i.e., they serve and do the bidding of God.

That’s all that is known about the seraphim. One thing is clear from verse 5 and that is the response of any man who has a real vision of God. Anyone having had a true vision of God would respond, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” Just a glimpse of God’s majesty and His glory would cause one to fall on one’s face in worship and adoration. Just think! These glorious creatures surround God’s throne, continually worshipping and extolling His majesty and His holiness.

This tends to make one have second thoughts about people who claim that they’ve seen God. Some say they’ve been caught up to heaven and talked to Jesus. Yet they return with an almost blasé attitude, spouting such quips as Jesus said this-and-that to me and I said, “Oh yeah. You’re going to have to show me that in the Bible.” If one has had a true vision of God, one’s response would be more like that of Isaiah. Anyone having had a vision of God or the glory of God — just a glimpse of His majesty — would cause one to cry out in anguish like Isaiah — Woe is me! Oh, God, holy, holy, holy.

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Filed under Angelology: The Doctrine of Angels, Demons and Satan, House of the Nazarene's Posts

The Nature Of Angels #1

ANGELOLOGY 101

This message is the first in a series of studies of angels, demons and Satan. It will be an interesting and very profitable study, and an important subject on which to concentrate.

Much has been said about angels over the past few years. Books have been written on the subject and unfortunately, not all that has been said has been correct. When it comes to this particular aspect of study, as any study in theology, the Bible has to be our final guide. What is understood about angels is known only because of what the Bible reveals.

Church history reveals that early church leaders held many different opinions and arguments concerning angels. They pondered such things as how many angels could stand on the head of a pin. A variety of such considerations were discussed and debated. Much of what was deliberated was so absurd that it doesn’t bear mentioning and could not be backed up with Scripture.

It’s surprising how little Christians know concerning the subject of angels, demons, Satan, etc. There are many misconceptions in this particular area of study. We’ve all heard the comment when someone dies, “Well, God wanted another angel,” implying that God took the individual because He needed another angel. This is particularly true when it is a child that dies. The fact is that people do not become angels; children do not become angels. That’s a popular misconception. While such comments may bring comfort to someone who is grieving over the loss of a loved one or child, it is nevertheless wrong because people do not become angels. Angels are an entirely separate order of being and are definitely not the spirits of dead adults or children. While angels are in some ways angels similar to men, in other ways they are quite unlike men.

Farther into this study it will be seen in the scriptures that angels sometimes took on the appearance of men and walked among men. The Bible records in Genesis, chapter 18, that the angels seen by Abraham appeared as three men who walked up to Abraham as he sat in the door of his tent in the heat of the day. The Bible clearly describes them as three men. It later became obvious that these men were actually angels. When Abraham saw them, however, they had the appearance of men. They dressed like men; their form was like men. Their feet were dusty just like men who had been travelling on the road. Abraham’s response was, “Let me get some water and wipe the dust from your feet.” At Abraham’s offer of hospitality, they sat down and ate and drank with him. From all outward appearances, they looked like ordinary men. Of course, one of those angels was the pre-incarnate Christ.

The angels went on to Sodom where Genesis, chapter 19 records, they destroyed the city. When the angels went into Sodom, the Sodomites went to Lot’s house and knocked on the door. These men even tried to break in. They wanted those two men who were guests in Lot’s house, not having recognized them as being angels. So they had the appearance of men.

Depictions of angels generally portray them as baby cherubs or as soft, even effeminate in appearance. Such portraits of angels (and Jesus) are an abomination to God. Both pictures and statues of angels found in some churches have the appearance of feminine figures with wings. Angels don’t really look like that! According to the scriptures, angels take different forms because there are different types of angels. While you may not have been aware of it, the Bible says there are different kinds of angels. For the most part however, angels have taken the form of men. Not recognizing them as angels, the Sodomites wanted to get to those men. Throughout the scriptures, there are instances where angels appeared as men.

Following the resurrection (Mark 16), Mary and Salome went to the tomb to find Jesus. Upon their arrival however, they found that Jesus was gone. The stone sealing the tomb had been rolled away and the Bible says there was a young man seated there. He was attired in a long, white garment and obviously, he was an angel. “A young man” is how the women described him. Thus we see that angels can look like men in their appearance.

Believers are exhorted to offer hospitality to strangers. Why? Because some have thereby entertained angels unaware.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. [Heb. 13:2]

Believers are supposed to offer hospitality to strangers, i.e., Christians, brothers, sisters that need help, food, clothing, shelter, etc. Believers are to be a blessing to them. The Bible says that some have done that thinking they were helping a brother or sister but in actuality, they did these acts of kindness to an angel. That’s how angels often appeared in Scripture — as men.

A misconception held by some throughout church history is the erroneous belief that angels are some sort of lesser deity, i.e., smaller gods that are to be worshipped.

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels…. [Col. 2:18]

This scripture makes mention of individuals who were beguiled or seduced into the worship of angels, a thing strictly forbidden by the Bible. Believers do not worship angels; God forbids it. The elect angels would themselves forbid it. They wouldn’t allow anyone to bow down and worship them.

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. [Rom. 1:25]

This verse speaks of those who worship the creature rather than the Creator. They worship the things God created rather than the One who created them.

Even now there are some who worship angels. We’ve all seen statues of angels with people offering up prayers, etc. to the angels. That’s yet another misconception, i.e., seeing angels as lesser deities or smaller gods. Still others have rejected any thought of angels, spirits, demons or the devil. Such things are dismissed as fantasy and fiction. They don’t believe in such things. They’re rather like the Sadducees whom the scriptures say didn’t believe in spirits. They didn’t believe in angels; they didn’t believe in demons; they didn’t believe in the devil; they didn’t believe in the afterlife; they didn’t believe in the resurrection; they didn’t believe in eternal punishment; they didn’t believe in eternal reward. Now there are many people like that today. They believe that, “When you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s all there is to it; you’re finished; you’re just dust.” There are people who don’t believe in the devil; there are people who don’t believe in angels, the resurrection or hell. Well, we hope they don’t find out too late that hell is for real. They spell “devil” without a “d” and spell “God” with two “o’s” so that “devil” becomes “evil” and “God” becomes “good”.

We don’t have to read very far in the Bible before the reality of a heavenly host of angels is seen. The Bible says these creatures (beings) exist. There is an unseen world that co-exists right alongside the world in which we live. In that unseen world are a myriad or host of unseen beings, some good and some evil. Be assured, they are real even though they are invisible to our sight. Although these angels inhabit this very planet on which we live, they exist in another dimension. While we can’t see them, they can certainly see us.

God gives some individuals the gift of discerning of spirits so that their eyes are opened spiritually. This gift enables them to actually see into that other dimension, the spirit realm. Those so gifted are able to see the demons or the angels that are around them. Just such an event is described in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, where the prophet Elisha is attacked by the Syrian army.

15And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. [2 Ki. 6:15-17]

The context was that whenever the Syrians would attempt to attack Israel, the prophet Elisha was aware of it because the Lord revealed those things to him. Elisha would then report to Israel, thereby frustrating everything the Syrians did. It was impossible for them to ambush or entrap Israel. Every time the Syrians laid plans to attack Israel, Elisha reported it, rendering all efforts and plans of the Syrians futile. The Syrian king concluded that there was a traitor among their ranks, reporting their plans and strategies to Israel. The servants of the Syrian king responded that it was not that there was a traitor among them, but it was that prophet in Israel, Elisha, who was reporting to Israel every move made by the Syrians. To put a stop to that, the Syrian king sent out his entire army, chariots, soldiers, etc. to capture Elisha. The scriptural account is that the Syrians arrived at the mountain and Elisha was surrounded. Early in the morning Elisha’s servant awoke, went outside and saw all the Syrian army encompassed about the area. He began shouting, “What are we going to do?” Elisha looked out and said, “Don’t worry about it. There are more with us than there are with them.” Now the servant had no idea what Elisha was talking about. He thought it was just Elisha and him, surrounded by thousands of Syrians. Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, open his eyes and let him see.” As one reads the account; it’s a blessing to know that God opened the servant’s eyes and enabled him to see in the spiritual dimension (realm). The servant then saw the flaming chariots of fire surrounding Elisha, i.e., God’s angels, a mighty, tremendous host. Needless to say, the servant was no longer afraid. What an encouragement to read how God blinded the eyes of the Syrians and actually made them captives! Saints, there is a spiritual dimension right alongside this one. That dimension is inhabited by angels and demons and on occasion, God gives one a glimpse into that dimension where one is able to see the beings that inhabit that dimension.

God’s Messengers — The Angels

The Hebrew term that is translated angel is malak. It is sometimes translated messenger, and sometimes it is translated angel. The Greek word is aggelos but is pronounced ang-a-los. That word is translated agent, messenger, and angel. “Angel” is the transliteration of the Greek. The terms can be used of either a human or a heavenly messenger. The context determines whether it was a human messenger or whether it was to be translated as an angel, i.e., a spiritual being. In the New Testament the word is almost exclusively used of angels or angelic messengers.

I. THE NATURE OF ANGELS

A. Angels Are Created Beings.

1Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights. 2Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. 3Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. 4Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. 5Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created. [Ps. 148:1-5]

The psalmist is speaking here of the entire heavenly host, exhorting them to praise the Lord. The angels, the sun, moon, stars, everything that God created, he says in verse 5, is to praise the Lord.
Let them praise the name of the Lord for he commanded and they were created. [Ps. 148:5]

Obviously, the

angels were created also. They are included in that passage of what God created. Let all that He created praise Him!

Another passage that attests to the angels being created beings is found in Colossians, the first chapter:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
[Col. 1:16]

The angels are specifically mentioned as are the things in heaven, the thrones, the things invisible, the principalities and the powers. All of these things have reference to the angelic realm, the angelic host, whether good or bad. God created them all good, of course, but some allowed sin to enter in. Even some of the angels sinned for they are created beings. Jesus Christ Himself created the angelic host.

From previous studies in theology regarding the nature and attributes of God, we learned that only God is eternal. God alone possesses the attributes of deity of which eternity is one. Only God is eternal; only God is uncreated; only God had no beginning. Angels, however, had a beginning. They were created and are not eternal; they had a beginning. The angels are created beings.

1. When were the angels created?

There are basically two views concerning when angels were created:

a. Angels were created simultaneously with the creation of the earth and the world, i.e., all the things spoken of in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2. To support this view are the passages that God created everything in six days. He created the world, the planets, the universe, sun, moon, stars, life, etc. in six literal 24-hour days. The creation of angels had to occur sometime during those six days.

b. Angels were created somewhere back in eternity past before God created the physical world, the material world i.e., the earth, moon, planets, stars, universe, etc. According to this view, the creation of the physical world in six literal days did not necessarily mean that a spiritual world was not previously created in eternity past. The scriptures used to support this view are, for the most part, found in Job 38. Beginning in verse 1, God reveals Himself to Job as being almighty. He reveals His own greatness, His own infiniteness to Job, showing Job his own smallness, i.e., how finite Job is in the eyes of God. God begins asking Job these questions:

1Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 2Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? [Job 38:1-2]

There’s a message right there concerning people who speak words without knowledge, i.e., people who don’t know what they’re talking about. God is speaking to Job, “Who is this that is darkening counsel by words without knowledge?”

3Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, [Job 38:3]

[And I want some answers from you. You know so much — all right, I want some answers. Where were you?]

4Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. [Job 38:4]

God is asking Job some very pointed questions. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Comparable to how one would lay a foundation to build a house, God is speaking in similar terms about how He created the world. ” Where were you when I did this, when I laid the foundation of the earth?”

5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? [Job 38:5]

The line God is speaking of is the measuring line, similar to what is used in construction to measure and level. God is asking Job, “Now where were you? Who stretched the line on the universe? Who measured it? Were you there?”

6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [Job 38:6-7]

The Bible often refers to angels as stars, i.e., the morning stars and the angels as the sons of God. Angels are not sons of God as Jesus is the Son of God. Angels are, however, spoken of as sons of God on occasion in the sense that God the Father created them. They have their origin in Him. The context indicates that the angels were present and the angels were rejoicing during the course of God’s creation. During His creative activity the angels were there, the angels rejoiced when God laid the foundations of the earth and measured the universe which also indicates that the universe has limits. It’s not limitless as many think, that it goes on for infinity. Only God is infinite; the universe has limits. God has measured it.

The small mind of man can’t fathom such things. In reading about astronomy or in looking through a telescope, it appears that the universe goes on forever. The ends of the universe are incomprehensible to the mind of man. Yet the Bible says that God is bigger than the universe, that there is no place where God is not. There is no place that all of God is not present. In any corner of the universe, even in the remotest star, hundreds of millions of light years away, God is entirely there. There is a limit to this universe. Some have suggested that perhaps the universe is like the earth, just a big circle and if one goes far enough in one direction one winds up coming back again. Some of that kind of thinking is larger than my mind, but this much I know, this universe cannot contain God. These scriptures would indicate that the angels of God were present when the universe was created, when the stars, the moon, and the foundation of the earth was set in place.

This passage also lends credence to the second view that angels were created sometime in eternity past in that the spiritual beings were present at the creation of the physical universe. Let’s not be too dogmatic about this either way. I know that some strongly suggest that everything, including the unseen world, the spiritual world, was created in six literal 24-hour days. While I won’t argue with them, I tend to lean toward this latter view that angels were created at some time in eternity past. I don’t see that one’s salvation depends upon it, one way or the other. Both views have merit, and I believe this passage in Job 38 clearly indicates that the angels were present at the creation of the universe.

B. Angels Are Personal Beings.

What is meant by personal beings? Angels possess personal intelligence. They possess purpose; they possess a will. In other words, they are personalities; they are personal beings. Angels are not just abstractions, abstract thought, not just some force, such as wind or fire. Some people think of God in abstract terms, i.e., that God is just love. God is a personal being, isn’t He? Angels are also personal beings. They’re not just energy or force or other abstract thoughts. This scripture in 2 Samuel speaks of the “wisdom” of an angel which again indicates the fact they have personality.

…and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
[2 Sam. 14:20]

Angels have wisdom; they have personal intelligence. They’re not robots. A being who possesses wisdom, a will, and personal intelligence is not a robot, i.e., something mindless that just obeys orders. Don’t think of angels as mindless machines, robots, something without personality or emotions. Just because one can assemble a robot that will follow one’s commands, the robot cannot be considered to be a personal being. The fact that the robot obeys by responding to verbal commands doesn’t make it a personal being. Robots have no emotion, no feeling. They possess no will or volition of their own. They do not have personal intelligence so they can’t be considered a personal being. An angel, on the other hand, possesses a will, personal intelligence and feelings. Angels are personalities. They are personal beings; they can display and exert conviction, determination, i.e., a “will.”

This verse in 2 Timothy speaks of those who are deceived, those who have been snared by the devil and taken captive by him at his will.

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
[2 Tim. 2:26]

The devil has a will. As we know, the devil was an angel of God who rebelled and fell, but he possesses a will as do all angels. Angels appear to men, they speak; they think and they act. They have emotions and feelings.

An interesting passage appears in Luke’s gospel, chapter 15 and is a familiar verse. It’s one of those scriptures that when read, brings blessing in the reading. However, when examined in a different light, it brings out an entirely new meaning. Verse 7 says: (Jesus is speaking.)

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth…. [Lk. 15: 7]

There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. Then in verse 10:

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
[Lk. 15:10]

The angels experience joy because they are personal beings. They have emotions; they have feelings; they experience joy when a sinner repents. A robot has no joy. An impersonal being such as a flower has no joy. Angels are personal beings, i.e., beings possessing personality, will, volition, feeling, emotion, and personal intelligence. They can experience personal emotion such as joy or sadness. There is joy in heaven when one sinner repents which again attests that the angels rejoice; angels experience joy; angels are personal beings.

C. Angels Are Spiritual Beings.

Angels are spiritual beings in that they possess spiritual bodies. Unlike humans, they do not have material bodies. They do not have bodies of flesh, blood and bone as do men, but they do have spiritual bodies.

In this particular context in Hebrews, chapter 1, Christ is compared to and shown to be far superior to the angels.

13But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? [Heb. 1:13-14]

Another passage reinforcing that angels are spiritual beings is found in Ephesians, chapter 6.

10… be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; [Eph. 6:10-14]

Paul says that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. He goes on to mention these principalities and powers, and then says we wrestle against wicked spirits — “spiritual wickedness” which is actually wicked spirits in high places, i.e., the heavenly places. These are wicked spirits and do not possess flesh and blood, material bodies.

In speaking of angels as spirits, keep in mind everything already learned from our studies in theology. Think back to what was taught when first we studied the important subject of the very nature of God, i.e., God as spirit. In all the universe, God alone is spirit. As spirit, God is infinite, eternal, and omnipresent. There is no place in all the universe where God is not present. All of God is in every place at any time, at every time. Only God is spirit in that sense, i.e., eternal spirit. As spirit, God does not have a body. He is spirit; He is other than what we are. As eternal spirit, God can manifest Himself in whatever ways He pleases. In our study of the nature of God, we emphasized that He does not have a body. Angels do have bodies; however, they are spiritual bodies. Angels are not in every place as God can be because angels do not possess the attributes of deity. The angels are not omnipresent. An angel can only be in one place at a time. Don’t think of angels as spirit in the sense that God is spirit.

The passage in Hebrews, chapter 2, as well as others that attest that angels are ministering spirits, infers that angels are spiritual beings, possessing spiritual bodies. Although those bodies are invisible to us, angels have real existence as spiritual creatures. God as spirit fills the universe. He alone in the entire universe, in all of creation, only God is spirit. Angels are spiritual beings; they do have bodies. Since angels do not possess material or physical bodies as do men, they neither age nor grow. Neither do the angels marry nor do they procreate. Further study into that aspect will come later.
Also, angels do not die. They do not age; they do not grow older; they do not grow. Humans begin life as infants, followed by growth, maturity and the accumulation of knowledge by learning. This is not the case with the angels. They are not born in the physical sense. Neither do they progress by growth through childhood. The angels were created all at once and their spiritual bodies remain as they were at the time of their creation. The angels that were on the earth 8-9-10,000 years ago remain in the same form and are still with us today. They have experienced no growth, aging or change insofar as appearance. For the angelic host, there is no death.

Some have observed that during deliverance sessions a person may speak of events that occurred 500 years ago. Demons are speaking through that individual. Demons speak of events that happened 500 years ago as though they were present at the event. Those individuals, who have in the past submitted themselves to hypnosis, hypno-therapy and age regression, etc., have opened themselves to demonic oppression. The hypnotist supposedly takes a person back into a past life. During the session the individual sometimes speaks with amazing detail about things that took place 500 years ago, saying, “I used to be John Smith. I lived in the nation of Turkey, and I lived in such-and-such a house. I buried gold coins in my backyard, etc.” Such incidents have occurred with circumstances such as gold coins actually being found buried in the backyard. Unknowing individuals are then led to say, “Now see, this proves reincarnation.” Well no, it doesn’t prove a thing! The demons that inhabited that person 100-500 years ago now inhabit the individual undergoing hypnosis. The demon that drove that person to bury his gold out of fear 100 years ago is now revealing 100 years later where it is buried. These demons have been around for centuries, thousands of years. The same demons inhabit people today that inhabited Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, and Cain when he killed his brother. Those demons are still around inhabiting living individuals. People become awed. “How did they know that? Reincarnation!” No, it’s not reincarnation, it’s a demon. It’s a demon that was in that person 200 years ago and now he’s in this other individual. Demons don’t age.

Sometime ago I read a book regarding demon manifestation where a minister was taking a demon possessed individual through deliverance. As the minister was casting out the demons, one demon began to manifest, throwing the person down on the ground. The minister commanded the demon to name itself. The demon replied, “I’m the spirit of insanity.” The demon went on to say, “I’m the same spirit that drove so-and-so insane.” The demon spoke the name of a person who had died hundreds of years before – a well-known figure — who had committed suicide and died totally insane. This demonic spirit said, “I’m the same one that drove so-and-so insane hundreds of years ago.” The demon could have been telling the truth at that point because demons don’t age. Unlike humans, the demons possess spiritual bodies. Demons don’t age. Neither do the demons experience growth or death. Humans acquire knowledge through learning, but the spirits already “know.” Their knowledge is already fully acquired and mature because they are spiritual beings.

AngelAs spiritual beings, angels, for the most part, appear to take human form. In other words, when a person sees an angel, the angel appears human. Even though they are spiritual beings, angels look like human beings when people see them. The likeness of the angelic beings doesn’t resemble the drawings, the pictures, the statues depicted by artists and sculptors. Angels are certainly not feminine looking beings as portrayed in forms of art.

The Bible however, does speak of different orders of angels that don’t look at all like human beings. For example, the cherubim have four faces and six wings and are a different order of angel altogether. Obviously, they don’t look like humans. As spiritual beings, they are invisible to ordinary sight. They have spiritual bodies; they are invisible to ordinary sight but prophets and donkeys can see them.

Previously mentioned was the passage (2 Kings 6) where the prophet of God, Elisha, saw the angels surrounding the area where he lived. Elisha asked that God open his servant’s eyes so that he could also see them. Another interesting passage is found in Numbers, chapter 22, concerning a donkey belonging to a renegade prophet named Balaam. God had told the prophet not to prophesy against Israel, yet he was going to do it anyway. Balaam was a prophet who accepted money or bribes and was going to prophesy against Israel. As Balaam traveled along on his donkey, an angel of God stood in the roadway ready to kill the prophet. The donkey saw the angel and turned the other way. After several attempts to redirect the donkey that persistently turned to go another route, the prophet became so angry that he said to the donkey, “Why are you doing this to me?” As the prophet persisted in striking the little donkey on the head, the donkey spoke, saying, “Why are you hitting me like this?” Balaam is so enraged that he doesn’t consider that his donkey is talking to him. He said, “Hitting you? If I had a stick or sword, I’d kill you.” The donkey went on to say, “I’ve been a faithful donkey to you for all these years. You think I’d do something like this if there wasn’t a cause for it?” Then the prophet sees the angel standing there and he realizes that the donkey had saved his life. Balaam should have been kissing that donkey, not hitting him on the head. The Bible records some amazing incidents that bless us with the reading. So even though angels may be invisible to our sight, donkeys and prophets can see them.

C. Angels Possess Super-human Power and Intelligence.

A passage in 2 Peter, chapter 2, speaks of false teachers, i.e., false prophets who speak against government and those in positions of authority. They’re not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. [2 Pe. 2:11]

Peter is talking about men who dare to speak evil against dignities. These men boldly speak evil against what they know not of, but angels who are greater in power and might than men, wouldn’t consider doing that. This passage reveals that angels possess super-human strength and super-human might. Their strength and might is far greater than that of any man. Being spiritual beings, their strength, power and ability is in super-human proportion. Unlike men, angels are beyond comprehension in that they are spiritual beings. Because they possess spiritual bodies, angels possess the ability to pass through walls and other solid obstructions.

The scriptural account (Acts 12) of Peter in prison is an example. Wanting to make certain that Peter remained in prison, the authorities placed guards outside the prison doors. Peter was securely locked behind iron bars and iron doors, even chained to the prison floor. Guards were posted on either side of him. The jailers wanted to ensure that Peter didn’t go anywhere. However, in the middle of the night, an angel walked right into the jail cell, struck Peter on the side, and said, “Get up!” As Peter awakened, the chains fell from him. The guards had fallen into a sleep so sound that they were immovable, hearing nothing. The angel told Peter to put on his garment and “Go!” Perhaps Peter thought he was dreaming, but he got to his feet and followed the angel. As the angel and Peter walked through the prison, iron doors opened automatically before them, seemingly of their own accord. While the angel could have just walked through those iron doors, Peter could not. Angels possess super-human powers, super-human abilities that men do not have. The angel led Peter to freedom outside of the prison.

Most are familiar with the passage in the Old Testament book of Daniel where Daniel is thrown into the den of hungry lions. He was going to be lions’ food but in Daniel, chapter 6, Daniel says:

My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths…. [Dan. 6:22]

Just one angel stopped the mouths of all those lions. There’s no estimating how many lions were in that lair as lions were kept half-starved and in large numbers so they would readily devour anyone thrown in with them. One single angel was all that was required for the job. Submitting to the strength and power of the one lone angel, the hungry lions were subdued, becoming quiet and docile.

Though angels are considered to be beautiful creatures, the Bible does not project them as creatures of beauty as much as it accentuates them as creatures of tremendous strength and power. For example, consider the strength of the lone angel that rolled away the stone blocking the entrance to the tomb in which Jesus had been laid. Conservative accounts estimate that the stone was solid granite, eight-ft. in diameter and one-ft. thick. Even if the stone was rolled along in a groove, it still weighed over four tons. No problem for an angel! It was effortlessly rolled aside by one who possessed super-human strength and power.

It was two angels who walked into Sodom, bringing destruction on that wicked city and its sister city, Gomorrah. Angels were responsible for killing the firstborn of Egypt. Another account is found in 2 Samuel, chapter 24, where David sinned by numbering or taking a census count of Israel. God was displeased with David’s disobedience and gave David a choice among three consequences, i.e., pestilence, running from his enemies as they chased him, etc. David chose the pestilence at the hand of God and one angel slew 70,000. If that number appears large, a passage in 2 Kings says that one angel killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. It took but a single angel to wipe out the Assyrian army.

And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand…. [2 Ki. 19:35]

Strength and power are the predominate characteristics of the angels.

Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. [Ps. 103:20]

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. [2 Thess. 1:7]

The angels are characterized by tremendous strength. When individuals saw angels, it wasn’t so much their beauty that was impressive, but their strength. Repeatedly in the Bible, at the appearance of angels, people were terrified, so much so they became immobile. Individuals literally could not move when observing these tremendous creatures, these powerful creatures.

Being stronger than men doesn’t make angels superior to men. It would be well to bear this in mind. The Bible doesn’t say that angels are superior to men; it does say that they are stronger. That could be said about many things. A horse is stronger than a man; an ox is stronger than a man; an elephant is stronger than a man but that doesn’t make any of these creatures superior to a man.

While angels possess great strength, even their strength is not infinite. They’re not omnipotent like God even though their power and knowledge is super-human, yet it is finite, it’s limited. Angels are not omniscient; they don’t know all things although they possess tremendous wisdom and tremendous intelligence.

When Jesus speaks of His own return, He says that no man knows when that day is going to be, not even the angels of heaven. So their knowledge, though great, is limited.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. [Matt. 24:36]

Angels are not spoken of as being superior to men. More will be said about that at another time.

E. Angels Are Distinct from Man.

5For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
[Heb. 2:5-6]

Here is seen a contrast between angels and men. The nature of men and the nature of angels are contrasted in these two verses and they are obviously distinct. Angels are not men; men do not become angels. Angels are not glorified men; they’re not glorified human spirits. Men do not become angels. Our point is that angels are a separate and distinct order of beings. They are not glorified men.

In the following passage, the angels in heaven are contrasted with the church, i.e., the saints, and there appears to be two distinct companies.

22But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. [Heb. 12:22-23]

– Closing Prayer –

Father, we ask that you impress these things upon our hearts, upon our minds, enabling us to have a fuller and deeper comprehension of your Word and the spiritual realities that surround us. The unseen world, though invisible to our sight, is very real. Father, cause to be impressed deeper in our hearts the invisible realities that yet we do not see, but hope and believe for — eternal reward and eternal bliss. Father, cause us to see that this physical world is actually a temporal world that it is even now decaying and passing away, but that what is unseen abides forever. Father, cause us to loosen our attachments to this physical, temporary world.

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Filed under Angelology: The Doctrine of Angels, Demons and Satan, House of the Nazarene's Posts