Lecture: Doctrine of Angels
Sometimes people fall into the delusion that man is the supreme creature in the universe. No I am not talking about little green men from outer space this morning. I am talking about angels.
As there is a distance between men and the lower forms of life we find in the world, so there is also between men and God for this time creatures of higher than human intelligence and power.
Man is aware of these creatures, and has had contact with them in the past. The existence of so-called deities with varying degrees of power that are present in all pagan mythologies are testimony to the existence of a higher order of beings with certain powers that make them superior to man but inferior to the True and Living God.
The express and specific teaching of Scripture turns the skepticism of the doubter to nothing for those who believe in the literal truth of the Scripture. Many who do not believe in these beings have allowed themselves to become victims of sense perception and so materialistic they refuse to believe in an order of spiritual beings simply because they are most often beyond sight and touch.
Those of liberal theology also usually express unbelief in such things as angels and demons. But then, when it comes to belief in the unseen world the liberal is often revealed to have the narrower and more constricted faith., if it may be called faith, that which believes as little as possible.
First let us touch on the fact of their existence-
1. The existence of angelic beings is present in the teachings of Jesus.
Please make note of the Scripture references I am about to give you and study them after class. In Matthew 18:10 we are told angels are constantly beholding the face of Father God; In Mark 13:32 we are told that certain things are withheld from angelic knowledge. Write down and take a look also at Matthew 13:41 and 26:53.
I have given you a sufficient number of passages, but by no means all, to believe Jesus believed in and taught about the existence of angels. Jesus is not accommodating the superstition of the day. A study of the Lord’s life on this earth shows He did not do that no matter what the Bible critics might say.
2. Secondly the teaching about angels was present in the ministries of Paul and the other Apostles.
In 2Thessalonians 1:7 Paul told us that when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven He would be accompanied by His mighty angels.
In Colossians 2:18 one of the reasons for writing that epistle is made clear, and it has to do with angels. You see Gnostics taught the worshipping of angels, and that kind of teaching has not died out today either. Paul made it clear angels were not to be worshipped. That is something fallen angels might desire and promote, but that type of behavior should not be going on among Christians.
* Get some more of Paul’s teaching concerning angels in Ephesians 1:21 and Colossians 1:16.
* You can see the Apostle John’s revelation concerning angels in John 1:51; Revelation 12:7 and 22:9.
* Now some people have to know what Peter said, so go look for that 1Peter 3:22 and 2Peter 2:11.
* For Jude go to verse 9
* Mark 8:38 is a good reference for him.
* For Luke the physician see chapter 22 Verse 43.
* I am going to give you Hebrews separate from Paul in case there is someone in here who does not believe he wrote it. See chapter 12 verse 22.
With this I have given you enough information to prove my point. The honest student of the Word of God cannot help but believe in angels.
Now let us talk about the Nature of Angels for a few minutes.
1. First of all they are created beings.
Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things including angels were made by God and they were created for His good purposes. Now some people like to refer to angels as generated being to distinguish between men who are made from the dust of the earth from angels who as far as we know were something made out of nothing. I am not going to argue with that as long as you remember God created them.
So what are angels not? They are not spirits of departed persons no matter how many movies and television programs they make that say they are. They also are not glorified human beings. Add to your list of Scriptures the following:
2. Angels are Spiritual beings
Hebrews 1:14 calls angels ministering spirits See also Psalm 104:4
Although angels are spirits they have often appeared to men in visible and even human form. Take down these Scripture references: Genesis 19; Judges 2:1 and 6:11-22; Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:26 and John 20:12
And while we are at it the Bible seems to teach there is no sex among the angels, but they may be capable of male sexuality. I know a lot of people like to have these pretty little female angels adorning their houses but every one of the Scripture references concerning angels is in the masculine form.
3. Angels are beings of great and mighty power.
Peter said so in 2Peter 2:11, and he did not just pull that out of his hat. The psalmist told us in 103:20 that angels excel in strength.
According to Scripture, and I believe Scripture:
* One angel was able to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and other guilty cities.
* One angel smote the first born of Egypt.
* One angel rolled away the great stone from the mouth of the tomb.
* One angel had power to lay hold of that old dragon, the Devil (Revelation 20:2,10)
* One angel smote a hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians. (Isaiah 37:36)
* There is a delegation of power – Some are angels of His might (2Thessalonians 1:7) the ministers through whom His might is manifested. They are mighty angels but not almighty.
4. There are various ranks and orders of angels.
We read of Michael, the archangel (Jude 9; 1Thessalonians 4:16); angels, authorities, and powers – which are supposed ranks and orders of angels (1Peter 3:22; Colossians 1:16) When you study your Bible you will find ranks and orders exist among both the faithful angels and the fallen angels.
In Apocryphal books, which are accepted by the Roman Catholic Church you will find a hierarchy with seven archangels, including Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. (Some of you thought they were ninja turtles.) You do not find any archangel mentioned in the Scripture as an archangel except Michael. That’s right, the Bible we use never says Gabriel is an archangel.
The fact that one archangel is mentioned in the Scripture is proof that the doctrine of angels was not borrowed from Babylonian and Persian sources, though it is quite possible even likely in my mind that the Apocryphal doctrine was influenced by these sources, for there we find seven archangels instead of just one.
5. Now let us take just a moment to speak of the Number of angels.
We should conclude this discussion by simply affirming they are an innumerable host of angels. We cannot number them.
Reference the following Scripture on this subject in your notes:
Hebrews 12:22; 2Kings 6:17; Matthew 26:53; Job 25:3
I want to caution you about speculation concerning angels beyond what the Scripture teaches. In the middle ages one of the theological debates concerned how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
You may laugh but there are a lot of people who indulge in similar silliness today. Your job as you go forth in ministry is not to compound the foolishness but to bring light.
6. Now the subject you have all been waiting for – The Fall of Angels.
Originally all angels were created good. The Scripture speaks of a fall of angels.
Some of the angels that sinned are even now kept in the lowest deepest depths of hell called Tartarus. 2Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.
It is my belief that these angels already in chains who did not keep their first estate were guilty of sexual contact with human women.
Other angels became what is known as demonic beings. Demons are not the result of some pre-re-Creation race in what is known as the interlude between verses one and two in Genesis chapter one. That is absolute poppycock, the fantasy of a person’s mind that has absolutely no basis in Scripture.
7. The idea of a creation and re-creation is what is known as the “Gap
Theory” That is because the earth is pictured as “waste and void” and people have a hard time believing that God began creating with waste and void. So they speculate this must have been the time of the Fall of Angels and the other ideas fall into line in some desire to incorporate evolutionary beliefs into some form of theistic evolution. The exact time of the fall of angels is not something that we can know with absolute certainty at this time.
8. The cause of the fall of angels was rebellion. Pride and disobedience
lead to the Fall headed up by Satan or Lucifer, who was a cherub, see Revelation 12:4, one of a particular powerful group of angelic beings. See Ezekiel 28. The fallen angels who are now free, not held in chains in hell, work with Satan to carry out his purposes. Look at Matthew 25:41 & Revelation 12:7-9. What fallen angels do is:
* Oppose God’s purposes Daniel 10:10-14
* Afflict God’s people. Luke 3:16; Matthew 17:15-18
* Execute Satan’s purposes. Matthew 25:41; 12:26,27
* Hinder the spiritual life of God’s people. Ephesians 6:12
* Try to deceive God’s people. 1Samuel 28: 7-20
9. In recent times Satan has tried to use the media, and such things as rock
and roll to generate sympathy for himself. But Scripture makes it plain there is no hope for his or his angel companion’s redemption. See Jude 6; Matthew 25:41 & 2Peter 2:4 The final doom of fallen angels is the Lake of Fire, the same place where fallen men will go. It may be that 1Corinthians 6:3 indicates the saints will have some part in the judgment of fallen angels, but it could be just as likely that this is a judgment of faithful angels and has to do with reward. Or, who knows, it could be both.
The Work of the Angels
Angels have both a heavenly and an earthly ministry.
In heaven they perform both priestly service and worship.
See: Isaiah 6; Revelation 5:11 & 12: 8,53
On earth angels have been committed to administration of many affairs material.
* Showing Hagar a fountain.
* Appearing before Joshua with drawn sword.
* Releasing chains from Peter
* Opening prison doors.
* Feeding, strengthening, and defending the children of God
* They have brought messages, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit to impart truth concerning spiritual matters. Believing false spirits, fallen angels, without trying them has gotten more than one person in trouble and could be credited to the founding of two false religions, Mormonism and Islam.
In general: Angels have a relation to the earth as follows:
* They are related to winds, fires, storms, pestilence
See: Psalm 103:20; 104:4; 1Chronicles 21:15,16,27
* The Nation of Israel has a special relationship to angels in the sense of angelic guardianship. Daniel 12:1; Ezekiel 9:1; Daniel 11:1
* Angels have a special ministry related the Church of Jesus Christ, the body of believers:
They are the saints ministering servants – Hebrews 1:14
They do service for God’s people
Abraham – Genesis 19
Gideon – Judges 6
Mary – Luke 1
To the shepherds – Luke 2
To Peter – Acts 12
To Paul – Acts 27
Angels guide the believer
* Guide the worker to the sinner – Acts 8:26
* Guide the sinner to the worker – Acts 10:3
The angels guide but the Spirit instructs (Acts 8:29) Not keeping this in mind can cause some to follow evil spirits or doctrines of demons.
* Angels are interested in conversions – Luke 15:10
* Angels cheer and strengthen God’s people – 1Kings 19:5-8; Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43; Acts 27:4-35; 5:19
* The defend, protect, and deliver God’s servants
See – Daniel 6:22; Acts 5:19; 2Kings 6:18; Genesis 19:11; Acts 12:8-11; 27:23,24.
Finally angels are eyewitnesses of the church and the believer.
In matters of preaching , the service of the church, and soul saving, the angels look on – 1Timothy 5:21
If people were more thoughtful of that fact, they might be a bit more solemn and thoughtful concerning how they go about these things. 1Corinthians 11:10
Angels guard the elect dead. Luke 16:22; Matthew 24:31; Jude 9.
And the big finish to this block of instruction is angels accompany Christ at His Second Coming
* They will separate the righteous from the wicked – Matthew 25:31,32: 2Thessalonians 1:7,8
* Execute God’s wrath upon the wicked – Matthew 13: 39-42.
The most fearful imagery of the Bible is connected with the judgment work of angels.
Study the references; write the Scripture out from your King James Bibles.
There will be a short test next week.