Angels-What are they?

1. Angels are a class of spiritual beings a little higher than the order of men (Ps. 8:5, Heb. 2:6-7). This does not suggest they are more valuable than people, because Christ did not die for angels, but for people. Angels cannot be saved through His death on the cross, but people can.

2. They were created by God (Col. 1:16).

3. They were created before the earth was created (Job 38:1-7).

4. They made differently than humans (Luke 20:33-36, Ps. 8:5).

5. They are mightier than unregenerated men (2 Pet. 2:10-11), but not mightier than the Christian (Luke 10:18-20, Eph. 1:20-23, 2:6).

6. Angels are often referred to as "stars" and "sons of God" (Job 1:6, 2:1, Isa 14:12, Rev. 1:20, 9:1, 12:4,9). They are not "sons of God" in the same sense as Christians.

Why Angels Were Created

The Bible indicates that angels were created to minister to and serve the Lord (Ps. 103:20-21). Their purpose seems to go even further in that they are actively involved in the affairs of men. Even though they were created before us, in some respects they were created for us. God, in His predetermined plan, saw the creation of man beforehand and created angels to be actively involved in that plan. "For He did not subject to angels the world to come concerning which we are speaking." (Heb. 2:5) The world to come will subject to Christians, not angels.

Angels guard and protect those who will inherit salvation. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?" (Heb. 1:14) Also see Ps. 91:11-12, Matt. 18:10.

Good and Evil Angels

When God created the angels, He made them good and holy (1 Tim 4:4, Col. 1:16, Gen 1:31). However, one-third of the angels (led by Lucifer) rebelled against God, were kicked out of heaven, and are now inhabiting this worldly sphere (Luke 10:18, Rev. 12:3-4, 20:2, Isa. 14:12-14, Ezek. 28:12-17).

We now refer to these fallen angels as "demons." Jude 6 tells us that the "angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode" are kept in eternal bonds for the judgment day. Some of the demons that are currently in bonds will be released during the Tribulation period just prior to the 2nd coming of Christ (Rev. 9:1-21). However, most of the fallen angels are in this earthly sphere for a limited time, waiting for judgment.

In Matt. 8:28-29, the demons inside the man cried out to Jesus, "Have You come here to torment us before the appointed time?" There is an appointed time for their judgment and their place of torment will be the abyss (Luke 8:31). In Matt. 25:41, Jesus said eternal fire has been prepared for the devil and his angels. The lake of fire was originally prepared for Satan and the rebellious angels that were ousted from heaven, but will also be used as a place of punishment for those who follow Satan (Matt. 25:41-46, Rev. 20:10-15, Mark 9:47-48).

Ranks of Angels

There are different kinds and ranks of angels mentioned in the Scriptures:

1.Cherubim-Gen 3:24, Ex. 25:18-22, Ezek. 10:1-22, Rev. 4:6-9 (Ezek. 1)

2.Seraphim-Isa. 6:1-7

3.Archangels-1 Thess. 4:16, Jude 9 (a position)

4.Common angels-simply referred to as "angels."

It is believed that there were 3 archangels, each having authority over 1/3 of the angels. Although Michael is the only archangel mentioned by name in the Bible, Gabriel is probably also one, and Satan (once named Lucifer) was the other. The description of Satan in Ezek. 28:12-17 reveals that he was once a cherib (v.14,16). As an angel, we learn that he had a throne (Isa. 14:13) and he wanted to exalt it above God's throne. It was this attempt at trying to overthrow God's authority that caused him to be expelled from heaven.

Satan Has a Kingdom

Satan has brought his throne and kingdom of fallen angels to this earthly realm to try to deceive people and lead them in rebellion against God. In Matt. 12:22-29, Jesus said that Satan has a kingdom and even the Pharisees recognized that he is the ruler of the demons (v.24). In John 12:31, Jesus called him the ruler of this world and in John 16:11 the prince of this world. He is also called "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2) and the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4). In all likelihood, when Satan was kicked out of heaven, the fallen angels kept the same or similar ranks of authority as they had in heaven, but perverted it to perform evil ends. Compare Ephesians 3:10, (referring to holy angels), with Ephesians 6:12, which refers to evil angels. Ephesians 6:12 reveals there are 4 levels or ranks of fallen angels.

1.Principalities-(KJV) the highest rank (Col. 1:16, 2:10, Rom 8:38).

2.Powers-execute the will of the chief rulers (Col. 2:10 KJV)

3.World rulers of the darkness of this age-(Eph. 1:21, Dan. 10:13-21) These are demons that influence world leaders for their evil purposes.

4.Spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies-Eph. 1:21, wicked spirits.

Not only do demons have different degrees of authority, they also have different degrees of power. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't cast out a certain demon, He replied, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer" (Mark 9:29). There are different kinds of fallen angels and some are more powerful than others. However, no demon is more powerful than a Christian (Luke 10:17-20, 1 John 4:4).

What Do Angels Look Like?

Jesus said in Luke 20:34-36 that resurrected people "neither marry nor are given in marriage; for neither can they die anymore, for they are like the angels." It doesn't say that we will become angels, but that we will be like them in that they don't marry or die. In the Old Testament, they often appeared as men (Gen. 19), as well as in the New Testament (Mark 16:5). Hebrews 13:2 tells us that some have entertained angels without even knowing it.

They can appear in glory and brightness (Luke 2:9) or can be invisible (Num. 22:22-35, 2 Kings 6:15-17). Angels can also appear in dreams (Matt. 2:13,19), but they always appear for a purpose, either to give a message or to give aid.

Their bodies are not made of flesh and bones (Luke 24:36-39), but they have knees and tongues (Phil. 2:10-11) and hands (Matt. 4:6).

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