Summary: Extensive study on Angels, their relation God and humans, story of fallen Angels. Good for Bible study night!
Angels Part 2
In this part of our discussion on Angels, we will look at
The relation of Angels to God
The “Angel of the Lord”
The relation of Angels to Humans
The Story of the Fallen Angels and Satans power
The Relation of Angels to God.
Angels were created by God (Ps. 148:2, 5) and were present to rejoice when He created the world (Job. 38:4–7). In their original state they were holy, but before the creation of the world some of them rebelled against God and lost this exalted position. The leading angel in this revolt became the devil, also known as Satan (Gen. 3:4, 14; Rev. 12:4, 7–9). Another of the fallen angels is named Abaddon or Apollyon (Rev. 9:11), “the angel of the bottomless pit” (abyss, NASB, NIV; bottomless pit, NRSV).
Two of the vast company of unfallen angels are named in the Bible. They are the archangels Michael (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev. 12:7) and Gabriel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26). Michael has the special task of caring for Israel, and Gabriel communicates special messages to God’s servants.
The vast army of unfallen angels delights in praising the Lord continually (Ps. 103:21; 148:1–2). Large numbers of them remain at God’s side, ready to do His every command (1 Kin. 22:19). Angels in God’s presence include the cherubim, seraphim, and living creatures (or living beings) (Ex. 25:20; Is. 6:2; Ezek. 1:5–6; Rev. 4:6).
Unfallen angels are known for their reverence for God and their obedience to His will. Angels represent God in making significant announcements of good news (Gen. 18:9–10; Luke 1:13, 30; 2:8–15). On His behalf they also warn of coming dangers (Gen. 18:16–19:29; Matt. 2:13). In some cases they are God’s agents in the destruction and judgment of evil (Gen. 19:13; 2 Sam. 24:16).
ANGEL OF GOD, ANGEL OF THE LORD — The title specially assigned to the angels of God—that of the “holy ones,” see Dan. 4:13, 23; 8:13; Matt. 25:31—is precisely the one which is given to those men who are renewed in Christ’s image. Comp. Heb. 2:10; 5:9; 12:23. A mysterious messenger of God, sometimes described as the Lord Himself (Gen. 16:10–13; Ex. 3:2–6; 23:20; Judg. 6:11–18), but at other times as one sent by God. The Lord used this messenger to appear to human beings who otherwise would not be able to see Him and live (Ex. 33:20).
The Angel of the Lord performed actions associated with God, such as revelation, deliverance, and destruction; but he can be spoken of as distinct from God (2 Sam. 24:16; Zech. 1:12). This special relationship has led many to conclude that the Angel of the Lord was Jesus in a pre-incarnate form. We do not know for sure if this angel was an angel with unique authority or if the angel was God himself but it is referred to several times in the Old Testament and most likely was God or Jesus delivering important messages.
Scriptural use of the word.—There are many passages in which the expression “angel of God” is certainly used for a manifestation of God himself. Gen. 22:11, 12, and Ex. 3:2, 6, 14. It is to be observed, also, that side by side with these expressions we read of God’s being manifested in the form of man—as to
Abraham at Mamre, Gen. 18:2, 22,
to Jacob at Pennel, Gen. 32:24, 30;
to Joshua at Gilgal, Josh. 5:13, 15, etc.
Besides this, which is the highest application of the word angel, we find the phrase used of any messengers of God, such as the prophets, Isaiah 42:19; Hagai. 1:13; Malachi 3:1, the priests, Malachi. 2:7, and the rulers of the Christian churches. Revelation 1:20.
20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. (Jesus explaining visions to John)
Of special importance in the Old Testament is the Angel found in (Gen. 16:7; 22:11; 31:11). This angel is depicted as a visible manifestation of God Himself. He has powers and characteristics that belong only to God, such as the power to forgive sins.
EX 23:20 "See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.
His similarities to Jesus lead many scholars to conclude that He is the pre-incarnate Word present with God at the creation of the world.
John 1:1, 14
JN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. JN 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.