Man is not the highest form of God’s created beings. David said, “For You have made him [man] a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5).
1) Angels are greater in power and might (2 Peter 2:11) and in strength (Psalm 103:20).
2) They are superior in wisdom and knowledge (2 Samuel 14:20).
3) Their knowledge of the future often exceeds that of man (Revelation 21:9 27). “The Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to His servants the things which must shortly take place” (Revelation 22:6 11).
Angels are superior to man in his fallen state, and yet they are in no way equal to the God Man, Christ Jesus. Jesus is “so much better than the angels” (Hebrews 1:4 14). He is better
1) in name: “He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16; cf. Hebrews 1:4).
2) in His relationship God the Father: “I will be to’ Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son” (Hebrews 1:5).
3) in rank: “Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:6).
4) in position: Angels are created beings, but Jesus is the eternal God.
Of his Son, God said, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8).
The study and understanding of the doctrine of angels is a vital force in the spiritual life of the believer. Angels are very prominent in fifty nine books of the Bible. They are not mentioned in Ruth, Nehemiah, Esther, John’s epistles, or James. A biblical understanding of angels, Satan, and demons (fallen angels) will equip you with power and knowledge to cope with many of the personal problems of the Christian life.
11-1 Angels: Their Identity
“For by Him [Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are in earth” (v. 16). Angels are created spiritual beings with spiritual bodies: “And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire’ ”(Hebrews 1:7). They were created superior to man. The Lord made man “a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:3 5). However, in heaven we will be exalted above angels because we have been born into the family of God and are “joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). We have a relationship with Christ that no angel can ever know. Paul asked the church of Corinth, “Do you not know that we shall judge angels?” (1 Corinthians 6:3). In our glorified bodies we will judge the fallen angels.
1) Angels are a part of all the things created by Christ, and for Him; they have been “made subject to Him” (1 Peter 3:22).
2) Angels minister to Christ and His church. After Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, “angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 4:11), and they will minister to Christ and His bride forever (Psalm 103:19 22).
3) Angels, although spiritual, participate in human affairs at God’s bidding. After the resurrection of Jesus, an angel came and rolled back the stone from the tomb to let the world behold the evidence of His bodily resurrection. Then the angel of the Lord sat on the stone. His face was as bright as flashing lightning, and his robe was pure white. The angel told the women to “go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead” (Matthew 28:1 8).
4) Angels, as part of the invisible spiritual world, will endure eternally. Our text tells us that Christ created all things visible and invisible! He created thrones, visible and invisible. He created dominions, visible and invisible. He created principalities or powers (angels), visible and invisible. The present visible creation will pass away, but the invisible will continue forever and ever, eternity without end (2 Corinthians 4:18). The things which are not seen are real and eternal; the things which are seen are real but temporal.
11-2 Angels: Their Kinds and Ranks
Not only are there various kinds and ranks of angels, they are also innumerable. All are created holy, intelligent, powerful spirit beings. It is reasonable to believe they differ from one another in kind, rank, personality, and power. There are no two human beings exactly alike; there are no two fingerprints alike; there are no two leaves alike on all the trees in the world. Creation tells us that our Creator is unlimited in all things in heaven and on earth. Yet, we often think that angels are all exactly alike, that God made them all from a single mold.
There are three angels whose names are made known in the Scriptures:
1) Michael, the archangel. When he disputed with the Devil about the body of Moses, Michael dared not bring against him (Satan) a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9). Michael is God’s warring general, and seems especially related to Israel.
2) Gabriel. This angel seems to be a special messenger of the Lord. He is mentioned three times in Scripture:
a) In Daniel 8 and 9, God delivered messages to Daniel pertaining to Israel in the Great Tribulation (Daniel 8:15 27; 9:20 27).
b) He announced the birth of John the Baptist to his father, Zacharias the priest (Luke 1:8 19).
c) In Luke, he told the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:26 38).
3) Lucifer, son of the morning (Satan). This is a fallen angel, who was created a perfect and powerful angel. He was given power and a place in God’s kingdom, greater than any other created being.
The seraphim (from the Hebrew word for “burn”) are found only once in the Bible. They are in the presence of the throne of God, and they cry one to another: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.” They have six wings—two to cover their faces, two to cover their feet, and two to fly. One of the seraphim, with a coal from the altar of God, touched the lips of Isaiah and pronounced him purged of his sin (Isaiah 6:1 8).
“Cherubim” is the plural of “cherub,” from the Hebrew word for “draw near.” Cherubim were placed in the Garden of Eden to guard the Tree of Life, after the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:24). They are near the throne of God; they cover and protect it (Ezekiel 28:14). Moses made golden images of cherubim to overshadow the mercy seat in the Most Holy Place (Exodus 25:17 22). Satan was the “anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14). It appears that he was the head of the cherubim. Some of the cherubim, along with the fallen angels, may have fallen with him (Revelation 12:4).
11-3 Angels: Their Nature
(Psalms 103:19 21)
Angels are created, spiritual beings. They never die; the do not reproduce (Matthew 22:30). It is their nature:
1) To “bless the Lord” and serve Him. They “excel in strength, who do His word” (v. 20). They obey His every command.
2) To worship and praise the Lord. “Praise Him, all his angels; praise Him, all His hosts. …Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created” (Psalm 148:1 6).
3) To be intellectually superior to fallen man. “My lord [King David] is wise, according to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth” (2 Samuel 14:20). Angels know all that is in the earth, although they are not omniscient. By comparison, man knows very little.
4) To dispense the judgment of God on:
a) Armies. One angel, with supernatural power, destroyed the Assyrian army of 185,000 in one night. When the inhabitants of Jerusalem awoke the next morning, they saw the prophecy of Isaiah fulfilled (Isaiah 37:33 36).
b) Cities. Two angels helped destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because these cities were filled with gross immorality. When people of Sodom heard that two men (the angels) were in Lot’s house, they went there demanding to have them, that they might have homosexual relations with them. The angels struck the homosexuals with blindness, so that they could not find the door. The next morning, after Lot and his daughters departed from the city, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and all the people (Genesis 19:1 24).
c) Individuals. King Herod delivered an address, and while he was speaking the people cried out, “ ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!’ Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died” (Acts 12:22, 23).
5) To guard and guide the nation Israel. God sent an angel to guide Israel through forty years of wandering in the wilderness (Exodus 23:20 23). God did not reveal his identity, but he had authority over Israel. Exodus 23:21 suggests that this angel may be either:
a) The Lord Jesus Christ, who often appears in the Scriptures as “the Angel of the Lord” (Genesis 22:11, 12);
b) Michael, the archangel, “the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your [Daniel’s] people” (Daniel 12:1).
11-4 Angels: Their Ministry in Heaven and on Earth
(Revelation 5:11 14)
1) The heavenly minstry of angels
a) John said, “I heard the voice of many angels around the throne” (v. 11). He also saw “living creatures.” These living creatures are cherubim; they guard the throne of God (Ezekiel 1:5 12; 10:15 22).
b) The number of angels was “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (v. 11). They were an innumerable host, along with the elders, praising and worshiping Christ the Lamb (vv. 11 14; cf. Isaiah 6:1 9). When God the Father brings His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, back into this world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:6). Angels were created to worship, praise, and serve God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
2) The earthly ministry of angels:
a) “Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13, 14). Angels minister to all believers, all who are saved by faith in Christ. If you belong to Christ, you have angels ministering to you in many ways. Believers are seldom aware of their presence. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2). Lot entertained angels who came to deliver him from the wrath of God, even though he was not living in complete harmony with the will of God (Genesis 19:1 29). Abraham entertained the same two angels before they visited Lot in Sodom. However, there were three men who called on Abraham. This was a theophany, or manifestation of God, and doubtless included a pre New Testament revelation of Christ, called a Christophany (Genesis 18:1 33).
b) Angels assist the servants of the Lord. “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying ‘ Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ ” When Philip saw a chariot on the road, the angel told him to “go near and overtake this chariot” (Acts 8:26 40). In the chariot was a man from Ethiopia. He was to be one of the heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:13, 14). Angels minister to those who are to be saved even before they are converted. God is omniscient; He knows beforehand who will believe and be saved, and sends His angels to minister to them. Another example of an angel assisting in the salvation of those who were to be heirs of salvation is found in Acts 10. Cornelius was praying when an angel of God came and told him to summon Simon Peter from Joppa, and bring him to his house. Peter would tell him how to be saved (Acts 10:1 48).
c) An angel of the Lord delivered Peter from prison, even though he was chained between two guards. The next morning, when the guards could not find him, “there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter” (Acts 12:1 19). Now Herod had planned to put Peter to death, but God had other plans and sent an angel to rescue him.
d) Another angel helped to save the lives of Paul and all on the ship that was taking him to Rome as a prisoner. Paul said to all on board the endangered ship, “For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you” (Acts 27:21 25).
Have you ever stopped to thank God for your ministering angel or angels?
11-5 Angels: Their Part in the Second Coming of Christ
(Mark 13:26 27)
Angels had a very important part in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). They were created to worship Him (Hebrews 1:6), to minister to Him (Matthew 4:11), and to fight for Him (Revelation 12:7). The angel Gabriel was sent to
1) Zacharias the priest, to announce the birth of John the Baptist, who was to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus (John 3:28; cf. Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:11, 12);
2) The Virgin Mary, to announce the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist (Luke 1:13, 26 38).
An angel of the Lord rolled the stone from the tomb of Jesus and announced His resurrection (Matthew 28:1 8). When Jesus ascended to heaven after His resurrection and the apostles looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, “two men stood by them in white apparel” and announced that He would come again “in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9 11). The Scriptures do not tell us who the “two men” are. It is believed by some that they were angels.
It should not surprise us that angels will also have a great part in Christ’s second coming, which will be in two stages.
1) Jesus will come and rapture (take up) His bride, the church, out of the world to meet Him in the air, and His angels will assist Him. At the Rapture, Christ shall cry aloud and wake the dead (John 5:28, 29); then the archangel (probably Michael) will shout and he , or some other angel, will blow God’s trumpet (1 Thessalonians 4:13 18). The resurrected saints and the living saints will be caught up together to meet the Lord Jesus in the air.
2) Jesus will come back to this earth with His bride seven years later to put the world in order. “Then they [the people on earth] will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven” (vv. 26, 27).
Jesus’ angels will assist at the rapture of His church before the seven year Tribulation. His angels will then gather the elect from around the world and bring them to the judgment of the nations, after the Tribulation (Matthew 25:31 46). Jesus will come with an army of angels, all riding on white horses, to establish His kingdom and reign for a thousand years as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:11 16).
Master Outline 11 – Angels
 What three (3) areas are angels greater than man?
 Angels are prominent in how many books of the Bible?
 Are angels created beings?
 What can we have with Christ that no angel can have?
 Did angels minister to Christ? YES or NO. Explain.
 Can angels, spiritual beings, participate in human affairs? YES or NO. Explain.
 Will angels endure eternally?
 What four (4) angels are named in the Bible?
 How many times is the name “SERAPHIM” found in the Bile? Explain.
 Who was the “anointed cherub?”
 What two (2) things do angels never do?
 What five (5) things do we find angels doing?
 What three (3) things were angels created for?
 Do angels minister to all believers? YES or No. Explain.
 Are believers aware of their presence?
 List four (4) men in the New Testament angels assisted excluding Jesus.
 Did angels have an important part in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ? YES or NO. Explain.
 What two (2) people did the angel Gabriel visit?
 Who rolled the stone away from the tomb of Jesus?
 Will angels assist Jesus in the Rapture?
 When Jesus comes back to the earth with His bride will the angels be with him?