- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
STUDY OF ANGELS (ANGELOLOGY)
INTRODUCTION TO ANGELS
A. A fascination with angels is not a new sensation but neither is it one that has ended. People are as intrigued by angels now as they ever were. Images of angels are displayed on paintings, prints, T-shirts, and greeting cards. From Broadway shows to prime time TV, angels remain among us. Store shelves are full of books revealing the secrets of angels such as, “Angels in Our Time: Why They're Here, Where to See Them and How to Work with Them,” “The Angels of the First Heaven: How to Work with the Seven Archangels,” “Angel Prayers and Messages,” “Angel Forever: How To Keep an Angelic Presence With You Throughout Your Life,” and “Healing with the Angels.”
C. Contemporary angels have become guides for our world and guides into the spirit world. In fact, angels play a part in our sociology, psychology, and even theology.
D. What can we find out about angels from the Scriptures? Do we know if they were created beings, and if so, when? What is their purpose? What do they look like and should we be so fascinated with them?
I. DEFINITION OF ANGELS
A. The Hebrew word for “angel” is malak and is used 108 times. It basically means messenger, representative, or courier. It can refer to a human messenger (1Ki 19:2) or a divine or angelic messenger (Gen 28:12; Psa 103:20).
B. The English word angel is a transliteration from the Greek word ángelos. The Greek word ángelos is used 171 times and carries the idea of one who was sent, applying to both angels (Mar 1:13; Luk 4:10) and men (Mar 1:2).
C. Thirty-four books of the Bible make some reference to angels, with over three hundred references found in the Bible altogether.
1. Angels are created spirit beings that are moral agents and divine messengers.
2. Angels are a distinct order of creation and have been given a heavenly position, or sphere, above the sphere of man. (Gilley, Angelology)
3. A personal being who exists as a spirit, who is more powerful than man in some respects and has the capability of residing in any place in God's creation as well as in the presence of God. (Gibson, LBC Notes)
E. Some of the names used for angels are:
1. "Host or Army" (Gen 32:1,2)
2. "Sons of God" (Job 1:6; 38:7)
3. "Holy ones" (Psa 89:7)
4. "Ministering spirits" (Heb 1:14)
5. "Demons" (Jam 3:15; 1 Ti 4:1)
II. CREATION OF ANGELS
1. Like creation, angels were created ex nihilo which literally means out of nothing (Psa 148:2,5).
2. Christ is attributed with the co-creation
of angels (
3. All the angels were created at one time, with no propagation or decrease of angel population (Mat 22:30).
1. Angels were created sometime during the creation week (Gen 2:1-2; Exo 20:11).
2. The Bible makes reference to angels being present during the early part of the creation week (Job 38:6-7; cp. Gen 1:9-13). Some would see the creation of angels as "day one" since the realm of angels is in heaven and that was the day the heavens were created.
a) The heavens include all that are in them created by God, and among these must be the angels (Genesis 2:1). Among the hosts of heaven the angels are the principal part. They are expressly called “the heavenly host” and “the armies of heaven.” (Lockyer, Herbert, All the Angels in the Bible)
b) In addition, compare Neh 9:6.
3. Some erroneously attempt to place the creation of angelic beings on the fourth day, calling them the “stars” (Gen 1:16).
1. Angels are spirit beings without physical bodies.
a) They are called spirits (Heb 1:14; Mat 10:1).
b) They do not have flesh and blood (Eph 6:12)
c) At times they are visible (Luk 2:13).
(1) Sometimes white in apparel (Luk 24:4; Acts 1:10).
(2) Some have wings (Seraphim - Isa 6:2; Cherubim - Eze 10:5).
2. All references to angels are referred to in the masculine gender.
a) Some see the reference in Zech 5:9 supporting women angels.
b) However, since this passage is part of a vision, it seems better to take them and the woman in the ephah as symbols.
3. Though they do not have physical bodies, they can appear in physical bodies (Gen 18:1-2; 19:1, 5).
III. NATURE OF ANGELS
1. Angels were originally created holy (Gen 1:31; Mar 8:38) and are even called, “holy ones” (Deut 33:2; Jud 14).
2. Angels are without physical death (Luk 20:35-36).
3. The angels that did not join Satan’s rebellion are called the “elect” angels (1Ti 5:21).
4. Satan and the angels that followed his rebellion are considered “fallen” angels (Mat 12:24, 41).
B. Order of Beings
1. Angels are a higher order of beings because they have greater knowledge and greater strength than man (Heb 2:6-7; 2Pe 2:11; 1Jo 4:4).
2. Yet angels, as still created beings, do not have omniscience (Mat 24:36; 1Pe 1:12).
1. Angels have intellect as demonstrated by their awareness of the affairs of men (Dan 9:22-23), God (Job 1:6; 2:1), and Christ (Mat 8:28-29).
2. They have emotions, sensibility, and are able to express praise and joy (Luk 2:13-14; 15:10), fear (Jam 2:19), and fury (Rev 12:12).
3. Angels also have volition whereby they make choices (2Pe 2:4), engage in conflict (Rev 12:7), and worship God (Mat 18:10; Psa 148:2).
IV. ORGANIZATION OF ANGELS
1. The number of angels is innumerable and are described as “myriads” (Heb 12:22; Rev 5:11).
2. When angels are gathered together, their numbers are called an “assembly” (Psa 89:5).
2. Chief Princes (Dan 10:13;)
3. Rulers and Authorities (
4. Cherubim (Gen 3:24; Exo 25:18; Eze 28:14, 16)
5. Seraphim (Isa 6:2, 6)
C. Specific Names
1. Lucifer (Isa 14:12 - KJV)
2. Michael (Dan 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jud 9; Rev 12:7)
3. Gabriel (Dan 8:16; 9:21; Luk 1:19, 26)
4. Extra-biblical sources
a) There are other names mentioned in extra-biblical sources which are not inspired nor can be dogmatically relied upon.
b) Raphael is mentioned only in the Apocrypha (Tob 12:12) and is portrayed as guardian angels who intercedes.
c) Apocryphal Jewish books, such as the Book
of Enoch, supply those of Uriel and Jeremiel, while many are found in other apocryphal
sources, like those
V. MINISTRY OF ANGELS
A. To God
1. Angels worship God and glorify His holiness (Isa 6:3; Heb 1:6).
2. Angels obey and serve God and perform His word (Psa 103:20).
3. Angels are able to be in the presence of God (Job 1:6).
4. Angels announce God’s invitation or message (Rev 14:6-7; 19:17-18).
5. Angels carry out God’s judgment (Gen 19:13; Acts 12:23; Rev 7:1; 8:2; 16:1).
B. To Christ
1. Angels announced and were present at Christ’s birth (Mat 1:20; Luk 2:8-15).
2. Angels ministered to Christ throughout His life (Mat 2:13-15; Mat 4:11; Mat 26:53).
3. Angels were present at Christ’s resurrection (Mat 28:1-6; Act 1:10-11).
4. Angels will be present during the Rapture (1Th 4:16) and Christ’s second coming (2Th 1:7).
C. To The Church
1. Angels are ministering spirits who serve those who will inherit salvation (Heb 1:14).
2. Angels have been used by God to answer the prayers of believers (Act 12:5-10).
3. Angels have been used to instruct believers according to God’s direction and will (Acts 8:26; 10:3).
4. Angels watch and observe the mighty power of God in the affairs of believers (1Co 4:9; Eph 3:10)
5. Angels have been used by God to encourage believers (Act 27:23-24).
6. Angels are present and attend believers at death (Luk 16:22).