THE DOCTRINE OF ANGELS [Part 1]
(Lesson 06 on Bible Doctrines)
- The doctrine of angels
includes elect angels, fallen angels (demons), and
- There are many
“best-sellers” in the bookstores dealing with angels but most of them are
unscriptural and are written by occultists, Mormons, Roman Catholics, and
charismatics. These books are
loaded with “new-age” philosophy, spiritualism, strange charismatic teachings,
and other devilish nonsense. Christians must be careful to exercise discernment
(cf. I John 4:1-4).
- The word translated “angel”
literally means “messenger” and can sometimes be used for human messengers. For example, John the Baptist is called
God’s messenger (Matt. 11:10), and the angels of the seven churches in Asia
Minor are probably the pastors of the churches (Rev. 2 and 3).
- The messengers of John (Luke
7:24), the messengers of our Lord (Luke 9:52), and the messengers (spies) from
Joshua (James 2:25) were all human messengers. The same Greek word, angelos, is used in all of these
- There is some indication
that certain people (e.g., believers and children) have “guardian angels”
watching over them (cf. Gen. 48:16; Dan. 3:28; 6:22; Matt. 18:10; Acts 12:15;
Heb. 1:13, 14).
- “The angels are a distinct
order of creation and have been given a heavenly position, or sphere, above the
sphere of man (Ps. 8:5; Heb. 2:7; Rev. 5:11; 7:11). Three heavens are mentioned in the New
Testament (II Cor. 12:2), and in the Old Testament the word heaven is plural. When entering the human sphere, Christ
was thereby, for a little time made lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9); when
returning to Heaven, Christ again passed through the angelic sphere (Heb. 4:14;
9:24) and was seated far above principalities and powers (Eph. 1:20, 21)” –
Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible
- The pre-incarnate Christ is
often identified in the Old Testament as “the angel of the LORD” (Ex. 14:19;
23:20; cf. I Cor. 10:1-4).
ANGELS ARE SPIRIT BEINGS,
IMMATERIAL AND INCORPOREAL
- Angels were created by God
early in the creation week (Job 38:7; Ps. 148:1-5; Col. 1:16).
- Angels can take the form of
a man (Gen. 6:1,2; Acts 1:10, 11).
- Our Lord said that in the
resurrection, we will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be “as
the angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:30). Because of this Scripture, some
believe that Genesis 6:1, 2 cannot be referring to fallen angels (cf. Scofield Study Bible, p. 13). However,
both II Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 seem to refer to the incident in Genesis 6.
- Merrill Unger wrote:
“Scholarly efforts to make ‘sons of God’ pious Sethites and ‘the daughters of
men’ ungodly Cainites simply do not come to grips with the difficulties of the
passage. The sample sin plumbs the
depths of pre-Flood wickedness. It
was far more serious than mixed marriages between believers and
unbelievers. It was a catastrophic outburst of occultism such
as will precipitate the return of the days of Noah at the end of the present age
at the glorious advent of Christ (Matt. 24:24, 37-39)” – Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament;
italics in the original).
- Angels cannot die (Luke
- Angels appear in dreams
(Matt. 1:20) and visions (Isaiah 6).
- Angels are spirits (Heb.
1:14). They have personality. They
possess intelligence (I Peter 1:12), show emotions (Luke 2:13), and have wills
O.T. REFERENCES TO ANGELS
(about 108 references)
- As stated above, the “angel
of the LORD” is often the pre-incarnate Christ (cf. Gen. 16:7-13; 21:17-19;
- An angel executed judgment
upon Israel after David “sinned
greatly” in numbering the people (II Sam.
- Isaiah saw seraphims and
each one had six wings (Isa. 6:2, 3).
- Ezekiel saw cherubims (Ezek.
10), angels with wings identical to the four beasts (or “living creatures,” cf.
Ezek. 1:5) of Rev. 4:6; 5:6; 6:1; etc.
- Daniel refers to Gabriel
(9:20-27) and to Michael (10:13; 12:1), called the “archangel” (Jude 9), who
seems to have a special role as the protector of Israel.
- Zechariah was visited by an
- Angels protect God’s people
from harm (Ps. 34:7; 91:11; 103:20).
N.T. REFERENCES TO ANGELS
(about 165 references)
- They were at the birth of
Jesus (Matt. 1:20; 2:13,19; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9,
- They ministered to our Lord
during His earthly ministry (Mark 1:13).
- They were present at the
crucifixion of our Lord (Matt. 26:53; Luke
- They were with our Lord at
His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:10, 11).
- They will accompany our Lord
when He returns (Matt. 24:27-31; 25:31; II Thess.
- We see angels throughout the
book of Acts (5:19; 8:26; 10:1-7; 12:5-11;
- The author of Hebrews says
that angels are “innumerable” (12:22).
- There are about 65 clear
references to angels in the book of Revelation (4:6; 5:8; 7:1, 2;
ANGELS HAVE VARIOUS RANKS
- They are very organized (I
- They have ready access to
the throne of God (Job 1:6; 2:1).
- They are subject to the Lord
Jesus Christ (I Peter 3:22).
- Satan’s demons are also very
well organized (Rev. 2:13; 12:7).
- The elect angels have their
ranks (Eph. 3:10); and the fallen angels have theirs also (Eph.
- Michael is apparently the
only archangel (Jude 9; cf. I Thess.
Pastor James Barker