God has created powerful spirit beings as His aides,
agents, and messengers. Since man's creation, these spirit beings,
called angels in the English Bible, function as ministering
spirits to help mankind attain salvation. Like man, angels have free
moral agency. Although created to help God, some of them-led by Satan
the devil-rebelled against God's government transforming themselves into
Before the time of man, God created powerful spirit
beings (Job 38:7) in vast numbers (Rev.5:11). Although created before
and on a higher plane than man, these beings will eventually be under
man in authority when humanity has entered God's family (Heb. 2:7-8).
The Bible gives relatively few specifics about the
numerous types and responsibilities of these spirit beings, mentioning
them in context but not dwelling on them in point apparently, all of
these created spirit beings of whatever variety or power are generally
labeled as "angels," although the Bible nowhere directly makes that
statement. The English word "angel" comes from the Greek word angelos
which means "messenger" or "agent. " The Hebrew word malak
has the same meaning.
A number of specific types of angels are generally
described. Cherubim are explained in Ezekiel 1 and 10 as having
four wings and four faces (of a lion, ox, eagle and man) and covering
(or carrying) God's throne. Seraphim are "full of eyes before and
behind," having six wings and appearing either like a lion, a calf, an
eagle or with the face of a man (Is. 6:2-3; Rev. 4:6-8). "Twenty-four
elders" who apparently serve as counselors for God Himself are described
in Revelation 4:4, 10-11. Angels have at times appeared. on earth as
men (Gen. 19:1-2), although it is not revealed whether this indeed can
be their actual form or whether they had assumed the appearance of
humans for their visit. (Some have wondered that since the physical
world reflects the spiritual world-Rom. 1:20-could some of the animals
of this earth be, at least, in some fashion, physical counterparts of
angelic beings?-cf. Rev. 19:11.)
Although the above scriptures make plain that God has
assigned angels various responsibilities, Hebrews 1:14 states they are
also to help man attain salvation. "Are they not all spirits sent forth
to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?" The exact
way or manner in which angels minister to men in this capacity is not
comprehensively described in the Bible, but there are some allusions and
references. Cherubim were sent to guard the way to the tree of life
after Adam and Eve had been cast from the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24).
Parts of the law were given by the angels (Acts 7:35; Gal. 3:19; Heb.
2:2). In Genesis 18, angelic beings came to tell Abraham that he would
have a son and in Genesis 19, they helped rescue Lot from the city of
Sodom before it burned. Angels ministered to Jesus Christ after He
withstood Satan for forty days and nights (Mat 4:11). Matthew 18:10
suggests that God's angels watch over God's converted sons. Likewise we
are told "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one
sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10). The angels even desire to "look into"
the specifics of salvation (I Pet. 1:12). One angel seems to be assigned
to each of the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 (Rev. 1:20); and
different angels will be intimately involved in God's future
intervention in world affairs (Rev. 7:1-2; Ezek. 9; Rev. 8:3-5; 10:1,
etc.). specifically in the final seven trumpets (Rev. 8:6 ff) and the
seven final plagues (Rev. 15:1 ff). Further verses can be cited to show
other specifically revealed times when angels have served man physically
or spiritually. The thrust of all these passages is that the angels play
an important role in God's salvation plan for man, and that their
relationship with man is one of interest and personal concern.
Long before man, one of the cherubim-his name in
Latin is the familiar word Lucifer-had the honor of covering the very
throne of God (Ezek. 28:14), indicating a position of very high
authority and power in God's government. However, he was lifted up in
his own vanity, became resentful and jealous of God, and finally
rebelled against God's government. He drew with him as cohorts a third
of the angels. These became evil angels or demons with Lucifer, now
Satan the devil, as their leader.
Satan is called the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4)
and the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). Some form of satanic
"spirit" is now at work in the sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). These
attitudes enter into the mind of man through the spirit in man (see
MAN), perverting it to the twisted thinking of Satan. By this means,
Satan and his demonic allies hope to destroy all human beings and ruin
their chance for entering the family of God. These wicked spirits try to
separate Christians from the love of God (cf. Rom. 8:38-39). A primary
battle of a Christian is "against wicked spirits in high places" (Eph.
6:12). It is a battle to resist the influences of Satan and his demons
against a person's mind.
God has given us the means to fight this spiritual
battle. We must "put on the whole armor of God ... to stand against the
wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11); this spiritual armor includes truth,
righteousness (v. 14), peace (v. 15), faith (v. 16), salvation, the Word
of God (v. 17), prayer and supplication (v. 18). Satan our adversary
"prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (I Pet.
5:8); but he will flee from us if we resist him and draw near to God
While angels are now above man in authority, they are
not to be worshipped or prayed to, nor regarded as mediator between God
and man (Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:10, 22:8-9). Nonetheless, we must, of course, acknowledge and
respect their authority as powerful spiritual helpers of God and His
created "sons" (Job 38:7). Even the archangel Michael dared not revile
Satan the devil, but appealed to God's authority when confronting him
rather than his own (Jude 9). The biblical record shows that angels'
authority over man is temporary (Heb. 1:13-14), and explains that man
will eventually be in the position of judging the angels (I Cor. 6:3).
God is in supreme command and is only temporarily
allowing Satan to influence man within certain confines (Job 1). This
process actually enables man to build greater character by resisting
Satan and by learning how to rely more on God. During the millennial
rule of Christ, Satan is to be removed from the world scene along with
his demons. Jesus Christ will replace Satan as the ruler of this world (cf
2 Cor. 4:4 and Rev. 20:4-5). Following the millennium, Satan is to be
released for a short span of time and then finally, to be removed to a
place of restraint for all eternity where he and his demons can no
longer affect men or angels. But the faithful angels who have followed
God throughout these countless eons of time will continue as servants of
the greatly expanded family of God for all eternity.
It is understandable how some have an extremely
simplistic impression of the angelic/spiritual realm. From the brief
glimpses the Bible gives of God's throne (Rev. 4), one can get the naive
idea that angelic beings bow before God all the time as though in a
beatific trance; repetitively incanting "holy, holy, holy ..." constantly,
without ever stopping or thinking. Likewise, one can easily think that
the entire spiritual realm is very ethereal and rather dull when
compared with the reality and tremendous variety of the physical realm
as we know it.
In point of fact, this must be a total misconception.
The spiritual realm is the true reality while the physical realm
maintains an ethereal existence; the spiritual world is the true
"substance," while the physical world is the "shadow". We can only begin
to comprehend the invisible things of the spiritual realm by observing
the visible things of the physical realm (Rom. 1:20). Indeed, the
incredible variety and abundance of the physical universe must be paled
into insignificance by the unimaginable majesty, beauty, complexity, and
diversity of the spiritual universe. The few hints seen show an
abundance of, for lack of a better term, spiritual "things" (which
comprise just a portion of spiritual reality) that extends incredibly
far beyond even angelic beings. The symbolism of spiritual cities,
gates, rivers, trees, fruits in Revelation 21-22; horses, armies, and
swords in Revelation 19; thrones and wheels in Ezekiel I and 10;
thrones, clothes, crowns, gold, lightnings, thunders, voices and lamps
in Revelation 4, testify to an existence so incomprehensible that even
the profuse utilization of physical analogies can scarcely do more than
whet our appetite. Going farther, there are spiritual books, seals,
incense, vials, songs, hair, etc., with no indication of any limit to
the scope of spiritual "things." Indeed, there is every reason to
conclude that our present physical realm is drab, plain, and dull when
compared with the unfathomable variety and ineffable splendor of the
READ THESE SCRIPTURES FROM YOUR OWN BIBLE:
Hebrews 2:6-8 -Man was made a
little lower than angels.
Genesis 19:1-2 -
Angels have appeared as men on earth.
Hebrews 1:14 - Angels help man
in the Salvation Process.
Acts 7:35; Galatians 3:19 and Hebrews 2:2
- Parts of the Law
have been given by angels.
Luke 15:10 - Angels rejoice
when a person repents of sin.
1 Peter 1:12 - Angels are
interested in the Salvation Process for mankind.
Ezekiel 28:14 and Isaiah 14:12 - Satan was once an
angel known as Lucifer.
2 Corinthians 4:4 and
Revelation 12:10 - Satan is the god
of the world and the accuser of the brethren.
6:12 - As Christians, we
wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:11-18 - To fight Satan,
we must put on the whole armor of God.
1 Corinthians 6:3 - Man will one day
2 Corinthians 4:4 and Revelation
20:4-5 - Jesus Christ will
replace Satan as ruler of this world.
1. One of the functions of angels is to help mankind
attain salvation? True or False?
2. Angels do not have free moral agency. True or
3. Satan was originally created as an angel. True
4. The word "angel" comes from the Greek word "angelio"
which means ______ or _______.
5. All angels are of the same kind or class. True
6. Cherubim cover or carry _________ [what?]
7. Cherubim have __wings and __ faces. [how
8. Seraphim have __ wings. [how many?]
9. The 24 elders are resurrected saints, such as
Abraham, Moses and Noah. True or False?
10. Angels can appear as humans on the earth.
True or False?
11. Since angels are spirit beings and already
immortal, they are not concerned with the subject of Salvation? True or
12. A Cherubim, known as Lucifer later became
known as ________ [whom?]
13. Lucifer allowed his own ______to lead him to
resentment and jealousy of God and to rebel. [what?]
14. Lucifer drew away __________ of the angels
into his rebellion against God. [what fraction; how many?]
15. Who is the god of this world?
16. Satan accuses the brethren (converted members
of the Body of Christ) before God. True or False?
17. Satan's purpose is to destroy all of mankind.
True or False?
18. A primary battle of Christians is against ____
____ in ____ ____ (Eph. 6:12).
19. Satan is in a battle for the ____ of man.
20. Christians are on their own when it comes to
battling the influences of Satan. True or False?
21. Satan will flee from a Christian if
they__________________ [do what?]
22. It is permissible to pray to an angel. True
23. Angels act as mediators between man and God.
True or False?
24. Angels are, at present, in authority over
man. This will always be the case. Yes or No?
25. Man will one day be in a position to judge
angels. True or False?
26. Though Satan is the god of this world, God is
in supreme command. True or False?
27. Satan can do nothing without the permission of
God. True or False?
28. In the future, Satan is to be replaced as
ruler of this world by _______ [whom?]
29. After the 1,000-year reign of Christ, Satan
will be loosed once again upon the earth. True or False?
30. Eventually Satan and his demons will be put
away forever. True or False?