- Their creation
- Their Physical appearance
- They appear only as males
- Interaction with humans
- Loving them?
- Visitations from Angels
- Their order
- The angel of the Lord
- Angel of death
- Satan and the other fallen angels
- Satan as a Guardian
- Satan involved in music?
- God of this world
- Their knowledge
- Satanic involvement
- Idolatry and demon possession – The missionaries experience
- Their eternal choice
Angelology tells us what the Bible says about angels. It is a study of how the angels relate to humanity and serve God’s purposes. A key verse on angelology is Hebrews 1:14, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” They also care for the righteous at the time of death (Luke 16:22).
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:12
We do know that God created the angels before he created the physical universe. The book of Job describes the angels worshipping God as He was creating the world: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7).
Their Physical appearance
Angels are sometimes described as winged. The images of cherubim on the ark of the covenant had wings that covered the mercy seat (Exodus 25:20). Isaiah saw winged seraphim in his vision of the throne of heaven, each one having six wings (Isaiah 6:2). Ezekiel, too, saw visions of winged angels.
Isaiah 6:1-2 depicts angels having human features—voices, faces and feet. Angel voices are heard singing and praising God in several other passages. Isaiah chapter 6 is the only place in the Bible that specifically mentions the seraphim. Each seraph had six wings. They used two to fly, two to cover their feet, and two to cover their faces (Isaiah 6:2
One of the most complete descriptions of an angel is in Daniel 10:5-6: “I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.”
The angel at Jesus’ tomb was similarly described: “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow” (Matthew 28:3).
Chapters 1 and 10 of the book of Ezekiel describe the “four living creatures” (Ezekiel 1:5) as the same beings as the cherubim (Ezekiel 10). Each had four faces—that of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle (Ezekiel 1:10; also 10:14)—and each had four wings. In their appearance, the cherubim “had the likeness of a man” (Ezekiel 1:5). These cherubim used two of their wings for flying and the other two for covering their bodies (Ezekiel 1:6, 11, 23). Under their wings the cherubim appeared to have the form, or likeness, of a man’s hand (Ezekiel 1:8; 10:7-8, 21).
They appear only as males
There is no doubt that every reference to angels in Scripture refers to them in the masculine gender. The Greek word for “angel” in the New Testament, angelos, is in the masculine form
Whenever gender is “assigned” to an angel in Scripture, it is male (Genesis 19:10,12; Revelation 7:2; 8:3; 10:7 When angels appeared to humans in the Bible, they resembled normal males. In Genesis 18:1-19, God and two angels appeared as men and actually ate a meal with Abraham. Angels appear as men many times throughout the Bible (Joshua 5:13-14; Mark 16:5), and they never appear in the likeness of women.
The only named angels in the Bible—Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer—had male names and all were referred to in the masculine. Revelation 12:7 – “…Michael and his angels.”; Luke 1:29 – “Mary was greatly troubled at his (Gabriel’s) words.”; Isaiah 14:12 – “Oh, Lucifer, son of the morning.” Other references to angels are always in the masculine gender. In Judges 6:21, the angel held the staff in his hand. Zechariah asked an angel a question and reports that he answered (Zechariah 1:19). The angels in Revelation are all spoken of as “he” and “his” (Revelation 7:1; 10:1, 5; 14:19; 16:2, 4, 17; 19:17;20:1).
Interaction with humans
Matthew 18:10 states, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” In the context, “these little ones” could either apply to those who believe in Him (v. 6) or it could refer to the little children (vs. 3-5). This is the key passage regarding guardian angels. There is no doubt that good angels help protect (Daniel 6:20-23; 2 Kings 6:13-17), reveal information (Acts 7:52-53; Luke 1:11-20), guide (Matthew 1:20-21; Acts 8:26), provide for (Genesis 21:17-20; 1 Kings 19:5-7), and minister to believers in general (Hebrews 1:14).
There are no instances in Scripture where humans were able to give angels commands, either in their own name or in Jesus’ name. There are no passages where man has control over the work of the angels. We do know that they are beings of higher rank, since Jesus had to make Himself “lower than the angels” in order to be born and suffer as a man (Hebrews 2:7-9; Psalm 8:4). Angels are called God’s “holy angels,” who do His bidding, not ours (Matthew 25:31;Revelation 14:10).
Second, Jude 9 is the supreme illustration of how Christians are to deal with Satan and demons. The example of Michael refusing to pronounce a curse upon Satan should be a lesson to Christians in how to relate to demonic forces. Believers are not to address them, but rather to seek the Lord’s intervening power against them. If aa powerful a being as Michael deferred to the Lord in dealing with Satan, who are we to attempt to reproach, cast out, or command demons?
When Jacob saw a multitude of angels (Genesis 32:1), he immediately recognized them as the army of God. In Numbers 22:22, an angel confronted the disobedient prophet Balaam, but Balaam did not see the angel at first, although his donkey did
When angels appear, those who see them are often struck with fear (Judges 6:22; 1 Chronicles 21:30; Matthew 28:5). Angels deliver messages from God and do His bidding, sometimes by supernatural means. In every case, the angels point people to God and give the glory to Him. Holy angels refuse to be worshiped (Revelation 22:8-9).
In Daniel 10, an angel struggled against a demonic adversary the entire time Daniel was praying and fasting. It wasn’t until the end of Daniel’s spiritually focused time that the angel finally broke away and came to Daniel.
We are never told to love the holy angels, and we are certainly never told to love the evil angels. God has already determined that there will be no forgiveness for Satan; we are the objects of God’s sacrificial love, shown on the cross. As God was lovingly redeeming mankind, He was putting Satan “to open shame” (Colossians 2:15). God’s judgment of Satan will be part of His great love for us.
Visitations from Angels
According to modern reports, angelic visitations come in a variety of forms. In some cases, a stranger prevents serious injury or death and then mysteriously disappears. In other cases, a winged or white-clothed being is seen momentarily and is then gone. The person who sees the angel is often left with a feeling of peace and assurance of God’s presence. This type of visitation seems to agree with the biblical pattern as seen in Acts 27:23.
A third type of visitation involves only a physical feeling. Elderly people have often reported feeling as though arms or wings were wrapped around them in times of extreme loneliness. God is certainly the God of all comfort, and Scripture speaks of God covering with His wings (Psalm 91:4). Such reports may well be examples of that covering.
Hebrews 13:2 says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” As we obey God’s commands, it is quite possible that we may encounter His angels, even if we do not realize it.
Angels are an entirely different order of being from humans. Only two angels are named in Scripture—Gabriel (Luke 1:26) and Michael (Daniel 12:1), the latter designated as an “archangel” in Jude 9
Angels were created as an order of creatures higher than humans. Therefore, they innately possess greater knowledge. Second, angels study the Bible and the world more thoroughly than humans do and gain knowledge from it (James 2:19; Revelation 12:12).
Cherubim/cherubs are angelic beings involved in the worship and praise of God. The cherubim are first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 3:24, “After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Prior to his rebellion, Satan was a cherub (Ezekiel 28:12-15).
Some angels are designated as “cherubim,” which are living creatures who defend God’s holiness from any defilement of sin (Genesis 3:24; Exodus 25: 18, 20; Ezekiel 1:1-18). “Seraphim” are another class of angels mentioned only once in Scripture in Isaiah 6:2-7 and are described as having three pairs of wings. They apparently have the function of praising God, being God’s messengers to Earth, and are especially concerned with the holiness of God. Most of the references to holy angels in Scripture refer to their ministries which cover a wide field of achievement. They were present at creation, the giving of the Law, at the birth of Christ and at His resurrection, at the Ascension, and they will be present at the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ.
The word “archangel” occurs in only two verses of the Bible. The word “archangel” comes from a Greek word meaning “chief angel.” It refers to an angel who seems to be the leader of other angels. Daniel 12:1 identifies Michael (an arcangel) as “the great prince who protects”.
Michael the archangel is likely the head of all the holy angels, and his name means “who is like unto God?” (Daniel 10:21; 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9; Revelation 12:7-10). Gabriel is one of the principal messengers of God, his name meaning “hero of God,” and was entrusted with important messages such as those delivered to Daniel (Daniel 8:16;9:21), to Zacharias (Luke 1:18-19), and to Mary (Luke 1:26-38).
Most holy angels are not given names but are described only as “elect angels” (1 Timothy 5:21
Gabriel in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21, tells Daniel that he was “resisted” by a demon called “the prince of Persia” until the archangel Michael came to his assistance (Daniel 10:13). So we learn from Daniel that angels and demons fight spiritual battles over the souls of men and nations, and that the demons resist angels and try to prevent them from doing God’s bidding. Jude tells us that Michael was sent by God to deal in some way with the body of Moses, which God Himself had buried after Moses’ death (Deuteronomy 34:5-6).
The Angel of the Lord
The precise identity of the “angel of the Lord” is not given in the Bible. In several of these appearances, those who saw the angel of the Lord feared for their lives because they had “seen the Lord.” Therefore, it is clear that in at least some instances, the angel of the Lord is a theophany, an appearance of God in physical form.
The appearances of the angel of the Lord cease after the incarnation of Christ. Angels are mentioned numerous times in the New Testament, but “the angel of the Lord” is never mentioned in the New Testament
Angel of death
This “angel of death” concept is not taught in the Bible. The Bible nowhere teaches that there is a particular angel who is in charge of death or who is present whenever a person dies. Second Kings 19:35 describes an angel putting to death 185,000 Assyrians who had invaded Israel. Some also see Exodus chapter 12, the death of the firstborn of Egypt, as the work of an angel. While this is possible, the Bible nowhere attributes the death of the firstborn to an angel. Whatever the case, while the Bible describes angels causing death at the command of the Lord, Scripture nowhere teaches that there is a specific angel of death.
Satan and the other fallen angels
Hebrews 2:14–15 – Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery
One day, Jesus met a woman who had been “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years” (Luke 13:11). Jesus attributes the infirmity to Satan, who had kept her “bound” (verse 16). Satan’s power was real, but it was easily overcome by our Lord: “he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God” (v. 13). Jesus’ miracle was a clear demonstration of His authority over Satan.
As Christians, we are warned against worshiping demons (Leviticus 17:7), and even their names should be forgotten (Zechariah 13:2). Some people study demons thinking that will help them carry on spiritual warfare. All we really need to know about the enemy is this: “Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John 4:3, NKJV).
Satan’s fall from heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:12-18 Satan fell from heaven because of the sin of pride, which led to his rebellion against God. He did not like being “second best.” He wanted to be God: “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain’” (Isaiah 14:13).
The name “Lucifer” comes from the translation of Isaiah 14, which literally means “bright star, shining star, or morning star.” It is a description of Lucifer before his rebellion against God, after which he was given the name Satan. : There is no verse or passage in the Bible that says, “Lucifer is Satan,” but an examination of several passages reveals that Lucifer can be none other than Satan. The fall of Lucifer described in Isaiah 14:12 is likely the same that Jesus referred to in Luke 10:18: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” A similar fall is depicted in Ezekiel 28. Isaiah 14:12-18 describes the fall from heaven of one called “Lucifer” in the King James Version and the “morning star, son of the dawn” in the NIV. Other Bible versions call him “Day Star,” “shining star,” and “the bright morning star.” These variations are due to differences of opinion about how to translate the Hebrew word helel.
The actual time of his fall is not recorded in Scripture. It may have occurred outside time as we know it, that is, before the creation of time and space.
Satan was the “anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14). He was adorned with every precious jewel imaginable (Ezekiel 28:13). He was “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12b). Likely he was the highest of all angels. He was persuasive enough to convince one-third of the angels to join him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:4)
Satan as a Guardian
“You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.” Apparently, Lucifer/Satan had a position of guardian angel in heaven “among the fiery stones,” thought to be the shining precious jewels that are seen in other descriptions of heaven (Exodus 24:10;Revelation 21:18-21)
Satan became the ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). He is an accuser (Revelation 12:10), a tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), and a deceiver (Genesis 3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:3). His very name means “adversary” or “one who opposes.” Another of his titles, the devil, means “slanderer.”
1) Satan has power enough to oppose even the angels (Jude 9; Daniel 10:12-13).
2) Satan seeks to deceive by masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
3) God has provided the means of defending ourselves against Satan’s attacks (Ephesians 6:11-12).
4) Satan’s power is limited by God’s will (Job 1:10-12; 1 Corinthians 10:13).
5) As “the god of this world,” Satan has dominion over those who live without Christ in the world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Satan involved in music?
Ezekiel 28:13 of the KJV and NKJV seems to hint that Satan was involved with music in Heaven. The NKJV says, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created,” although the exact meaning of this difficult Hebrew text is uncertain. There may have been such instruments in heaven, but there is no evidence outside this verse to verify it. Revelation 5:8 and 15:2 refer to harps, but not to timbrels or pipes.
God of this world
The apostle Paul called Satan the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The apostle John said, “The whole world is under the control of the evil one” (1 John 5:19) and that Satan “leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). These could hardly be descriptions of an impersonal force or a mere personification of evil.
The phrase “god of this world” (or “god of this age”) indicates that Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence also encompasses the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions.
Since his instigation of evil on earth, Satan has been named as the “prince,” “god” or “ruler” of this world (John 14:30; cf. John 12:31; 16:11; 1 Corinthians 2:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:13). He is the enemy of God and truth (Matthew 13:24-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12), and he does everything he can to tempt individuals (Genesis 3; Luke 22:31; Matthew 2:3; 1 Timothy 3:7). and larger groups of people (1 Thessalonians 3:5; Revelation 2:10). He “leads the whole world astray” (Revelation 12:9). Satan accomplishes this by various means, including appealing to man’s pride (1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Corinthians 4:6), interfering with the transmission of truth (Matthew 13:18-22, 38-39) and placing false believers within the church (1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; Revelation 2:9; 3:9). In John 8:44, Jesus says that Satan “is a liar and the father of it.”
The great falsehood which he uses so frequently is that good can be attained by doing wrong. This lie is apparent in practically all his temptations (Genesis 3:4-5 In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the unbeliever follows Satan’s agenda: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”
Believers are no longer under the rule of Satan (Colossians 1:13). Unbelievers, on the other hand, are caught “in the snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:26), lie in the “power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and are in bondage to Satan (Ephesians 2:2).
Demons are spiritual beings, but they can appear in physical forms (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
Scripture shows that demons know things of which people are unaware (Acts 16:16-18; Luke 4:41). Because these evil angels have been around a long time, they would naturally know things that those living limited life spans would not.
We (gotquestions.org) believe there is a difference between being possessed by a demon, and being oppressed or influenced by a demon.
Thus, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon-possessed. On the other hand, Western cultures probably do not take satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough.
Notice that in all the New Testament passages dealing with spiritual warfare, there are no instructions to cast a demon out of a believer (Ephesians 6:10-18). Believers are told to resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), not to cast him out.
Idolatry and demon possession – The missionaries experience
From missionaries’ experiences, demon possession also seems to be related to the worship of heathen idols and the possession of occult materials. Scripture repeatedly relates idol worship to the actual worship of demons (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 106:37; 1 Corinthians 10:20), so it should not be surprising that involvement with idolatry could lead to demon possession
Their eternal choice
Unlike humanity, however, the choice the angels had to follow Satan or remain faithful to God was an eternal choice. The Bible presents no opportunity for the fallen angels to repent and be forgiven. Nor does the Bible indicate that it is possible for more of the angels to sin. The angels who remain faithful to God are described as the “elect angels”. So it seems that God also made a choice concerning the angels. God’s holy angels are “elect” – meaning that God has chosen them.
(1 Timothy 5:21). Satan and the fallen angels knew God in all His glory. For them to rebel, despite what they knew about God, was the utmost of evil. As a result, God does not give Satan and the other fallen angels the opportunity to repent. Further, the Bible gives us no reason to believe they would repent even if God gave them the chance (1 Peter 5:8)
According to the legend, Metatron is part of a select group of angels that is permitted to look upon God’s countenance. According to mythology, Metatron is second only to God Himself in glory, wisdom, and strength.
The Bible says that such myths and legends are unprofitable. “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly” (1 Timothy 4:7; see also Colossians 2:18-19).