Bible Reading: 2 Kings 6:8-17 and Hebrews 1:14.
Aim: To be encouraged from God’s teaching about His angels ministering to us.
Is there intelligent life apart from man in the universe? Yes. Are they friend or foe? They
are both. Is their civilisation older than ours? It is. Will we ever communicate with them?
Some people have already. Who are these extraterrestrials? They are angels.
The Word “angel” occurs 273 times in Scripture. (108 times in Old Testament, 165 times in
New Testament). In the Greek New Testament it is “angelos”, in the Hebrew Old
Testament it is “mal’ak”, both meaning messenger. Sometimes it means “human
messenger”, but mostly it means “heavenly messenger”. It basically means “one who is
In Biblical appearances, angels always manifest themselves as males, never as women or
children (except maybe in Zechariah 5:9 where they seem to appear as women angels).
They always appear youthful, like the angel at Christ’s tomb (Mark 16:5).
Moses and the tabernacle craftsmen knew what winged cherubim angels look like, because
they made two cherubim of gold on the ark of the covenant (Exodus 37:6-9), as did
Solomon (1 Kings 6:23-32).
The winged, human faced bulls of Assyria and Babylon may have resembled cherubim
Balaam’s donkey saw the angel but Balaam did not. (Numbers 22:31). They have selective
The main tasks of angels are to:
- Deliver messages from God to man (Daniel 9:21-23).
- Encouraging and ministering to people’s needs (1 Kings 19:1-8).
- Opposing the work of Satan and demons (Daniel 10:20).
Benefits of studying the doctrine of angels are:
- They constantly watch our lives (Daniel 4:17). Hence we will improve our conduct.
- They protect us, hence we understand God’s care for us (Hebrews 1:7).
- As we see their great strength and authority as they humbly perform small tasks, we learn to serve God with humility also.
- As God created many holy, powerful angels who worship Him, so we are encouraged to worship God (Revelation 22:8,9).
- Understanding the angelic conflict helps us to be more committed to winning the spiritual war for people’s souls.
- As God opposes and judges wicked angels, so He will oppose and judge us if we fall into sin.
- Much evil in this world is from evil angels. This helps us to understand human affairs.
- We will be more cautious to watch for the deception of evil angels.
- As angels deliver us from danger, so we can trust our lives to God who sends them (Hebrews1:14)
- As angels are completely devoted to God and ready to serve Him, so should we follow their example. Their unceasing service should motivate us to be more devoted in our service to God.
I. EXISTENCE OF ANGELS.
Jesus, Paul and most great Bible characters taught their existence. In Matthew 4:11,
angels ministered to Christ after His wilderness temptation. The word “angel” first occurs in
Genesis 16:7, where the angel of the Lord ministered to Hagar after Sarah had mistreated
her (1913 BC). The existence of angels is tied to the reliability of the testimony of Christ and
II. ORIGIN OF ANGELS.
Angels, like man, were created by a special act of God. They were not formerly men, nor
did they evolve, but were created as angels, and do not procreate (Matthew 22:28-30).
They are called “sons of God” (Job 1:6; 2:1) because they are directly created by God.
“All the sons of God” shouted with joy at the creation of the earth (Job 38:4-7). This shows
that God created angels before He created the earth.
“Praise ye him, all his angels……for he commanded, and they were created.” Psalm
Jesus Christ created them all (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16). The purpose of their creation
was to glorify and worship Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 4:11).
III. THE FALL OF ANGELS.
- The Fact of their Fall. All angels were created sinless, but Lucifer who wanted to be
like the Most High (Isaiah 14:12-17, Note his five “I wills”) through pride led a rebellion of
angels against God. Ezekiel 28:15-17 describes Satan’s fall. Some angels are evil
(Psalm 78:49; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 9:11; 12:7-9). This is because they left their
own principality and proper habitation (Jude 6) and sinned (2 Peter 2:4).
- The Time of their Fall. Their fall occurred before the fall of man.
- The Cause of their Fall.They were created perfect with all affections of their heart directed to God
Question: How could such a being turn away from God?
Answer: Their fall was due to their deliberate, self-determined revolt against God. They
chose self and their interests in preference to God and His interests.
Question: What motive caused their revolt?
Answer: Undue ambition and the desire to surpass God, along with great prosperity,
beauty, selfishness, pride, discontentment with what they had, and craving to get all that
everyone else had. The cause of Satan’s fall, was the cause of the fall of other evil angels.
IV. THE RESULT OF THEIR FALL.
a) All of them lost their original holiness and became corrupt in nature and conduct
b) Some were cast down to hell (Tartarus)
& are held there in chains until judgment day (2
c) Some are left free to oppose the work of good angels (Revelation 12:7-9; Daniel
d) The ground was cursed because of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:17-19), and creation is
groaning because of the Fall (Romans 8:19-22).
e) They will be cast to the earth in the middle of the seven year tribulation (Revelation
12:8,9), then into the pit for 1,000 years. Then following their judgment (1 Corinthians
6:3), they will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
“And the angels which kept not their first estate but left their own habitation, He hath
reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
A. Classification of Angels
2. Fallen angels — Active Demons and Confinded Demons Tartarus
B. Number of Angels.
“to an innumerable company of angels”. (Hebrews 12:22).
“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts
and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and
thousands of thousands.” (Revelation 5:11).
The number of angels is innumerable, 200 million is just an initial estimate of what John
could see around God’s throne. Hence angels constitute an exceedingly large number
which cannot be counted. There is no increase or decrease in their number because they
neither reproduce nor die.
C. Fact of their Organisation.
God is the Author of order and organisation, not of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Both
human and angelic societies are organised.
Angelic organisation is seen as follows:
i) “There was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before
the Lord.” Job 1:6 and 2:1. There are stated assemblies among God’s angels when
they meet to praise God and report their service to Him. They, as well as us, are
accountable to God. At these meetings God discusses the conduct of Christians on
earth with the angels, as seen in the case of Job, where God testifies of Job as a
“perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” (Job 1:8).
ii) “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him….
And the Lord said, who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, ….and said, I will be a
lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” (1 Kings 22:19-23).
Again God discusses with the angels how to bring about the death of evil King Ahab in
battle. God even uses evil angels to achieve His plans in both believers and unbelievers
iii) Angels gathered in order to witness the creation of the world.
“Who laid the corner stone (of earth): when the morning stars (angels) sang together,
and all the sons of God (angels) shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7,8).
iv) Jesus Christ is the captain of the host (army) of the Lord. Joshua then worshipped Him
as God. (Joshua 5:13-15). God’s armies are organised for war. Jesus Christ is their
Captain, and Michael the Archangel under Jesus Christ. In the middle of the 7 year
tribulation Michael and his angels fight and expel Satan and his angels from heaven,
destroying their place (Topos5117 = territory, location, place), casting them to earth to
suffer defeat and imprisonment in the pit 3½ years later.(Rev.12:7-10)
Demons loosed from the pit in the tribulation show organisation by having a king over
them named Abaddon (destroyer) or Apollyon (Revelation 9:11). Thus Satan’s armies
are well organised.
v) Organisation levels amongst angels are seen in eight titles given to them:
Principalities(746) are princes or chiefs among angels (Ephesians 1:21; 3:10;
Colossians 2:10), or among demons (1 Corinthians 15;24; Ephesians 6:12;
Powers(1849) or Authorities (Gk: Exousia1849) (1 Peter 3:22).
Dominions (Gk: Kuriotes 2963) = lord or mighty one, an order of angels (Eph. 1:21;
Rulers of the darkness of this world (Gk: Kosmokrator 2888) meaning “holders of this
world, or Lord of the world. This is used of Satan and his angels (John 12:31; 2
Spiritual wickedness in high places, or wicked spirits. (Ephesians 6:12).
Thrones (Gk: Thronos 2362) referring to heavenly Kings, with a seat of power
Rulers of the
darkness of this
1 Peter 3:22
and powers being
Christ is the Head
1 Peter 3:22
and powers being
God has organised the good angels, and Satan has organised the evil angels.
Application: Angels are organised, and demons are organised, yet Christians individually and in groups, often feel no need to be organised, especially in fighting evil, in winning souls, and in teaching the Bible. Believers often feel they can “go it alone”, have no need of church, or expect victory without any prior, organised preparation and discipline. Believers often miss the best because they don’t plan their good works and evangelistic activities.
D. Ranking of Angels.
Within classes of angels there seems to be various ranks appointed by God. Different angels are created for different purposes, just as God has gifted different believers for different tasks.
The angels may be classified as follows:
i) Governmental Rulers – Thrones
(based on order of listing – Principalities implying rank) – Authorities
- Rulers of the darkness of this world
(The rule of angels is often manifest through earthly
rulers.) Daniel 10:13,21; 12:1; Ephesians 6:12.
- Wicked spirits
ii) Cherubim – Defend God’s holiness against human pride.
iii) Seraphim – Give unceasing worship, and have a ministry of purification.
iv) Living creatures
v) Individual angels – Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer
vi) Specially designated angels – Are known by the service they render Angels of judgment – Gen.19:13; 2 Sam. 24:16; 2 Kings 19:35; Ezek 9:1,5,7; Ps. 78:49
The Watchers – Daniel 4:13,23
Angel of the abyss – Revelation 9:1
Angel over fire – Revelation 14:18
Angel of the waters – Revelation 16:5
V. APPEARANCE OF ANGELS
What do angels generally appear as?
- Young men. “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the
right side, clothed in a long white garment: and they were amazed.” (Mark 16:5).
- Lightning. “His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.” (Matthew 28:3).
- Shining garments. “Behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.” (Luke 24:4).
- Face like the sun. “I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.” (Revelation 10:1).
- Clothed in pure and white linen, and
- Their breasts girded with golden girdles. (Revelation 15:6). Because of angels’ splendour and great glory, we can understand why unsaved (Colossians 2:18) and believers (Rev 19:10; 22:8,9) have attempted to worship them, and why God stops us from seeing them.
VI. NAMES OF GOOD ANGELS
A. Michael the Archangel. His name means “who is like God?” It teaches the incomparableness of God and devotion to God’s will. He contrasts with Satan’s pride who declared “I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14). Michael is mentioned five times in the Bible, always warring against Satan’s forces:
He helps a lesser ranked angel break free from the evil angel Prince of Persia to
answer Daniel’s prayer: “But, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me;”
“There is none that holdeth (supports) with me in these things, but Michael your
We see here that:
a) Michael is one of the chief princes, which implies that there may be other
b) Michael is Israel’s prince guardian angel, assigned to Israel.
c) Satan assigns evil angels to increase the evil and corruption in a nation, as in the
case of the evil angel called the Prince of Persia (a Principality), who is assigned
d) “I remained there with the Kings of Persia” (10:13) shows angelic “thrones”
referred to as the “Kings of Persia”.
2. Michael will stand up to protect Israel in the future 7 year Tribulation, as their
“At that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children
of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble….” (Daniel 12:1).
3. People hear Michael’s voice shout out at the coming of Jesus Christ to catch up
believers at the rapture in 1 Thessaloninas 4:16.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” (I
Question: Why does Michael shout at the rapture?
Answer: Because Israel comes back into God’s prophetic program with the 70th week
commencing, leaving only 7 years until Christ sets up His Kingdom on earth. This is cause
enough to shout for joy.
4. Michael disputes with Satan about the body of Moses.
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the
body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, the Lord
rebuke thee.” Jude 9.
In this situation, and in spite of Michael’s power and greatness, not even he dare
bring a railing accusation against Satan, but falling back in dependence upon God,
he declares, “The Lord rebuke thee.”
We cannot rebuke Satan, but only say to him, as Michael did,‘The Lord rebuke thee’
“He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and
Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
2And the LORD (first person) said unto Satan (second person), the LORD (third
person) rebuke thee, O Satan:…”
We see the Trinity mentioned here, that is, the first person of the YHWH Godhead
rebuking Satan in the name of another member of the YHWH Godhead.
5. Michael and his angels fight against and defeat Satan and his angels, destroying
their place in the heavens, and casting them into the earth. (Revelation 12:7-12).
This occurs in the middle of the seven year tribulation, causing rejoicing among
those angels and departed saints who dwell in the heavens.
This should comfort us knowing that God’s angels are more powerful than Satan’s
angels, and that ultimate victory is God’s and the Christians. Not only does Michael
overcome Satan in the heavens, but Christians on earth will overcome Satan in three
i) By the blood of the Lamb.
ii) By the word of their testimony.
iii) By loving not their lives unto death.
Lesson: The problem with Christians today is that they love their lives on earth with all its
luxuries that they don’t make any sacrifices to achieve anything for God and in winning of
souls to Christ.
Conclusion: Michael’s activities are always seen in connection with warfare with Satan,
and with the resurrection of the body. If one so great as Michael, the chief angel of God’s
angelic armies, does not rely on his own strength in opposing Satan but respects his evil
power, how much more must we rely upon God. (Ephesians 6:10-12; 2 Peter 2:11).
B. GABRIEL. His name means “the mighty one”. He is never called an archangel. As
Michael’s job is to war against Satan’s armies, Gabriel’s job is always as a messenger,
revealer and interpreter of God’s purposes concerning Israel and the Messiah to the
prophets of Israel. He appears four times in Scripture, as follows:
- Gabriel appeared as a man to Daniel with the task “Gabriel, make this man to
understand the vision.” (Daniel 8:15,16). This sets in place the role of Gabriel to
interpret God’s Word to the prophets of Israel. This is an example of the first
mention principle in Scripture.
This vision in Daniel 8:15-27 interprets the future Medo-Persian empire, the Greek
empire, Alexander the Great and his four successors, and Antichrist’s activities at
the time of the end.
- The man Gabriel, in answer to Daniel’s prayer, flew swiftly, and informed Daniel saying “I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding” (Daniel 9:21,22). He interpreted the 70 week prophecy to Daniel concerning the time of Messiah’s first coming, and some events of Christ’s second coming. (Daniel 9:20-27).
- Gabriel predicts the birth of John the Baptist to Zacharias (Luke 1:10-20). As the people prayed, Gabriel appeared to Zacharias to declare “thy prayer is heard” (1:13). He describes himself as “I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent … to shew thee these glad tidings” (1:19).
- Gabriel predicts the birth of Jesus Christ and His ministry as King on David’s throne to Mary before Jesus was conceived. (Luke 1:26-38). Conclusion: a) Gabriel, as one who is swift to reveal and interpret God’s message concerning Christ and Israel. So should we follow his example to be swift to carry God’s message of Christ to the lost. Gabriel is seen in association with the Holy Spirit’s ministry of interpreting God’s Word.
b) Michael is seen in association with Jesus Christ at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and in fighting Satan, which Jesus does at His glorious appearing.
c) Lucifer’s sin of pride was to desire to be like the Most High. Hence these three angels have some association with the three persons of the Godhead.
C. CHERUBIM. (Cherub singular) are heavenly beings of the highest order, created with
incredible power and beauty.
- Description. During Ezekiel’s captivity in Babylon, he received a vision of God’s
glory involving four living creatures (Ezekiel 1:1-28).
a) Each has four faces, being that of a man, lion, ox and eagle.
“They four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right side: …. of
an ox on the left side, ….and of an eagle.” Ezekiel 1:10.
“Every one had four faces; the first face was the face of a cherub, and the
second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and
the fourth the face of an eagle”. Ezekiel 10:14.
By comparing these two passages, we see that a cherub has the face of an ox.
b) “I knew that they were the cherubims. Every one had four faces apiece, and
every one had four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under
their wings.Ezekiel 10:20,21
c) “The sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot.” Ezekiel 1:7.
d) “The noise of their wings, was like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the
Almighty.” Ezekiel 1:24.
e) A man (Christ) sat on a sapphire throne high over their heads. Ezekiel 1:26.
f) “The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of
g) “Their whole body, backs, hands, wings and wheels were full of eyes round
2. Scriptural occurrences.
i) Cherubim first appear at the gate of the garden of Eden after man was expelled
(Genesis 3:24). They guarded the way to the tree of life lest sinful man should
eat of it and live forever in an unredeemable state (Genesis 3:22). They teach us
that sin and paradise are incompatible. Sinful man cannot approach God without
the righteousness of Christ.
Statues of winged bulls and lions with human faces guarded the entrances of
temples and palaces of ancient Babylon and Assyria. These nations were near
the garden of Eden.
ii) Golden images of cherubim facing each other appear on the mercy seat of the
Tabernacle (Exodus 25:17-22). God said “There I will meet with thee, and I will
commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two
cherubims.” (Exodus 25:22).
They are hence called “cherubims of glory” shadowing the mercy seat; of which
we cannot now speak particularly.” Hebrews 9:5. They guarded the holiness of
God against sinful man breaking God’s law. When they saw the blood on the
mercy seat, judgment was stayed.
iii) They appear as tapestry on the curtain of the tabernacle, separating unholy
people from God’s presence in the Holy of Holies (Exodus 26:1).
iv) “Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest
between the cherubims, ….” (2 Kings 19:15).
v) Solomon in his temple “set the cherubims within the inner house …. and he
overlaid the cherubims with gold. He carved all the walls of the house … with
cherubims, palm trees and open flowers.” (1 Kings 6:21-29).
vi) Ezekiel while captive in Babylon received visions of the glory of God with four
living creatures (1:1-28) later identified as cherubim (10:4,18-22).
vii) The Millennial temple will have cherubim carved on its inside walls:
“From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made,
and on the wall of the temple.” (Ezekiel 41:20).
viii) John sees four living creatures very similar to cherubim in heaven in Revelation
4:6-8 “in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts
full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, … and the
second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth
beast was like a flying eagle.”
3. Purpose and Duties of Cherubim
Cherubim are never called angels because they are not messengers in their duties.
They never carry instructions from God to men.
i) Their purpose is to proclaim and protect God’s glory, presence and holiness.
ii) They are never sent from God’s presence but are confined to God’s throne.
They designate the place of God’s presence, as in the Garden of Eden, the
Tabernacle, and in Solomon’s temple.
The Shekinah glory represents God who is dwelling between the cherubims:
“Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.” Psalm 80:1.
“The Lord reigneth: let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims.”
iii) They show the unapproachableness of God.
iv) They show God’s glory.
v) They show God’s intervention in human affairs in Ezekiel 1.
vi) Above the mercy seat they show how God can meet sinful man on the basis of
blood sacrifice, and through a God given priesthood. These pointed to Christ as
our only blood sacrifice to atone for our sins and as our great High Priest.
They also teach the grace of God that provides salvation for man and access to
God through Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice.
D. SERAPHIM. Or “burning ones” are only mentioned in Isaiah 6:2,6.
Cherubim are under God’s throne. “Above the firmament that was over their heads
was the likeness of a throne…” (Ezekiel 1:26).
‘This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel..they were the cherubims’
The Seraphim stand above God’s throne.
“….a throne…..above it stood the seraphims” (Isaiah 6:1,2), their name meaning
“burning ones” speaking of their consuming devotion to God.
“Above it stood the seraphims: each one had 6 wings; with two he covered his face, and
with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly.”
The symbolism is clear: “with two (wings) they cover their faces” shows that even the
most exalted spirits cannot bear the full vision of God’s glory.
“with two (wings) they cover their feet” – shows their reverence, their hesitancy to tread
uninvited upon holy ground.
“with two (wings) they did fly” – shows their swiftness to obey God’s commands.
They cried to each other “Holy, Holy, Holy, is Yahweh of hosts; the whole earth is full of
his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3).
Their duties are to lead heaven in the worship of God’s holiness, and to purify God’s
servants for true worship and service. Hence they are concerned with worship and
holiness, whereas cherubim are concerned with justice and might.
Application: They show that a sinner must be cleansed of sin before he can stand
before God and serve Him (as in Isaiah’s case). Isaiah’s lips, now cleansed (by the hot
coal) are now ready to speak God’s message to men (Isaiah 6:8,9).
E. GUARDIAN ANGELS.
“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in
heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”
The holy angels minister to the saints (Hebrews 1:14):
F. GENERAL NAMES OF ANGELS.
- Angel is a supernatural, heavenly being who serves God’s purposes.
- Ministering spirits. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.” (Psalm 104:4). They minister for God in spiritual service.
- Host shows God’s angels as His army. Angels are called upon to bless the Lord. “Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his pleasure.” (Psalm 103:20,21) “Hosts” shows God’s heavenly army as a military force to accomplish His will and to fight His battles. God’s name, Yahweh of hosts, shows God as Commander in Chief of a great heavenly army. (Psalm 89:8).
- Chariots of fire protected Elisha and his servant from the Syrian army. “Behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (II Kings 6:16,17). Four chariots which executed God’s military judgments on nations around Israel are seen in Zechariah 6:1-8. Elijah was caught up to heaven in a chariot of fire in 2 Kings 2:11.
- Watchers denote angels as spectators of people and events of earth. God uses them to control and judge the world governments. “Behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven. … This matter is by the decree of the watchers … to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the Kingdom of men.” (Daniel 4:13,17). On four occasions angels are said to be observing:
a) Angels rejoice with God when one sinner repents (Luke 15:10).
b) “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of Man confess before the angels of God: but he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8,9). They watch us confessing or denying Christ publicly.
c) All of Christ’s life on earth was “seen of angels”. (1 Timothy 3:16).
d) Angels watch the Beast worshippers being tormented forever. (Revelation 14:10,11).
- Sons of God (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Genesis 6:2,4) is used of angels.The Hebrew is “bene elohim”, meaning in contrast with man, angels belong to the class of Elohim (God) speaking of their might. In Job 1 and 2, they assemble before God, serve Him and answer to God. Sons of the mighty. (bene elim). “Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?” (Psalm 89:6). This describes the great strength of angels. “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty…glory and strength.” (Psalm 29:1). “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength..” (Psalm 103:20). Note: Often the expression “son(s) of” describes a class of persons. For example:
a) sons of the prophets (2 Kings 2:3,5,7,15; 6:1) refer to a class known as prophets.
b) sons of belial (1 Samuel 2:12; 25;17,25) means a class of lawless or worthless persons.
c) sons of Asaph (Nehemiah 11:22) refer to a class of singers founded by Asaph.
d) sons of Levi (Nehemiah 12:23; Malachi 3:3 “He shall purify the sons of Levi”) refers to the priestly class descended from Levi.
e) sons of Arcturus (Job 38:22) refers to a class of stars belonging to the brightest star in the constellation Bootes. “Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”
f) Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God means that He is uniquely of the class of God.
- Gods (Elohim430 in Hebrew), sometimes applies to angels, though Elohim mostly refers to God. “Thou hast made him (man) a little lower than the angels (elohim).” Psalm 8:5. “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty (Hebrew “El” meaning angels)…glory.” Psalm 29:1. “Worship him, all ye gods (Elohim430 or angels)”. Psalm 97:7; 138:1. “Elohim” is used of angels as of God because they are like God as spirit beings. The same word is used of man. “I have said, Ye are gods (Elohim 430) and all of you are children of the most High.” It is used in Psalm 82:6 and in John 10:33,34 by Jesus. It means “magistrates” here because of the dignity and honour of their office is applied to man.
- Flaming Fire (Psalm 104:4 and Hebrews 12:29) reveals their holiness and zeal for God.
- Princes or Principalities. These are angels that are princes over certain nations. Satan is the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), having demon princes over the nations (Daniel 10:13,20,21; 12:1).
- Stars, used of angels, denotes their heavenly nature and dwelling place. (Job 38:7). Both angels and stars are called “the host of heaven”. (Psalm 33:6; Nehemiah 9:6; “They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” Judges5:20.). Note that astrology is connected with demon worship through the term “stars”, or“host of heaven”: “they burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.” 2 Kings 23:5; Jeremiah 19:13; “God gave them up to worship the host of heaven.” Acts 7:42. Satan is described in his rebellion against God as a “great red dragon …. and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.” Revelation 12:3,4. “I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” Revelation 9:1. Stars then symbolise angels. Astrology and worship of the stars is condemned in Deuteronomy 18:10-14 as being connected with demonism. (Jeremiah 10:2; 2 Kings 23:5; 2 Chronicles 33:3; Isaiah 47:13).
- Angel of light. “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
VII. NATURE OR CHARACTER OF GOOD ANGELS.
A. The nature of angels is as follows:
- Created beings. Revelation 4:11; “He commanded and they were created.” Psalm 148:5.
- Spirit beings. Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 104:4. They are not limited to the physical realm.
- Immortal. “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels.”Luke 20:34-36
- A company of beings, not a race. “An innumerable company of angels.” Hebrews 12:22.
- Innumerable. They are innumerable from man’s viewpoint. Only God knows their number.
- Higher than man. “Thou madest him (man) a little lower than the angels.” Hebrews 2:7.
- Invisible. “visible and invisible” Col. 1:16. At times they can become visible to human eyes.
- Intelligence. They have greater knowledge than man but are not omniscient (Matthew24:36). They have continued to learn since their creation (Eph. 3:10). They learn more of the wisdom of God by studying churches and Christians. Their learning capacity has not been corrupted by sin as has man’s. They do not have to study the past, because they have experienced it.
- Strength. Paul calls them “mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:7). One angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in a night (Isaiah 37:36). We should pray “God help me to be strong to do your work.” “His angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.” Psalm 103:20. One angel killed 70,000 Israelites due to David’s sin. 2 Samuel 24:15,16. One angel rolled away a four ton stone from Christ’s tomb.
- Personality. This is proven because they have intelligence (Matthew 8:29; Daniel 9:23; 10:21; 1 Peter 1:12), emotions (Luke 2:13; James 2:19; Revelation 12:17), and wills (Luke 8:28-31; 2 Timothy 2:26; Jude 6). These are the three necessary features of personality. The Holy Spirit shows these qualities, proving He is a person, not an active force as JW’s claim. They can render intelligent worship to God. They are held responsible for the quality of their service and for their moral choices.
- They neither marry nor die. Matthew 22:30; Luke 20:35,36.
- Angels eat food. “Man did eat angels’ food.” Psalms 78:25
- Angels dwell in the heavens. John 1:51; Ephesians 3:10.
- Believers shall judge angels. 1 Corinthians 6:3.
- They are not bound by natural laws, because they are spirits:
- they can enter locked prisons (Acts 12:7).
- open prison doors (Acts 5:19).
- ascend in a flame of fire (Judges 13:19,20).
- travel great distances very quickly, faster than the speed of light.
An angel apologised to Daniel for taking 21 days to travel from heaven to earth.
- Force of appearance. Mary, Zacharias and the shepherds were greatly afraid at
their sighting. The Roman soldiers at Christ’s tomb trembled for fear and became
as dead men (Matt. 28:4).
- Angels observe human activities.
B. The character of good angels is as follows:
- Holy. Mark 8:38; Revelation 14:10. They are sinless and are unable to fall.
- Meek. 2 Peter 2:11; Jude 9. Their character resembles the meekness of God.
They are humble in contrast to the pride of fallen angels.
- They worship God. Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 22:9. Good angels never accept
worship from man, though fallen angels seek to be worshipped.
- They obey God immediately and unquestioningly. (1 Peter 3:22).
“ye ministers of his that do his pleasure.” (Psalm 103:20,21).
- Their knowledge is limited, but has increased over time, particularly as they study
God’s workings on earth. (1 Peter 1:12).
- Stronger than man (2 Peter 2:11);
“Angels are greater in power and in might” (Revelation 18:1,21); “a mighty angel”
(2 Thessalonians 1:7); one angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, and
rescued King Hezekiah and Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35).
- Patience. Numbers 22:22-35 shows the angel gently resisting Balaam going to
- Joy. They rejoice at the creation of earth (Job 38:7)
& rejoice over people being
- They are clothed in white linen, bright as light. No darkness is in them. (Revelation
VIII. THE WORK AND MINISTRY OF GOOD ANGELS.
They minister to worship God in heaven, and to serve man on earth.
A. They minister to God in:
- Worship and praise. In Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:6-11 they worship God for His
holiness, worthiness, creation and omnipotence.
- Service to God and men. Since “angel” means “messenger”, they carry God’s
messages to men such as Manoah, Zacharias (Luke 1:19), Mary (Luke 1:26-33),&
the shepherds at Christ’s birth.
- Governing the universe.
In Psalm 103:19,20 God’s rule is associated with the service of angels:
- in controlling nature, such as winds (Revelation 7:1), the seas (Revelation 16:3),
the sun’s heat (Revelation 16:8,9).
- in controlling nations. Behind the scenes, good angels oppose Satan
& his angels.
Dan.10:13,21 Evil angels may influence governments to oppose the gospel and
Christians. For our needs we have the armour of God (Eph. 6:10-13) and the
angels of God (2 Kings 6:17; Heb. 1:14).
- Protecting believers. They may harass our enemies (Psalm 35:4,5,6) and deliver us
from their wicked works (Psalm 34:7; Psalm 63:9; Hebrews 1:14).
- Execute God’s judgments, as in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis
9:1-13), plaguing Egypt (Psalm 78:43,49), destroying Egypt’s firstborn (Exodus
12:13,23), chastening Israel by killing 70,000 Israelites (1 Chronicles 21:15-18),
killing 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kings 19:35), and Michael and his angels will
judge Satan and his angels (Revelation 12:7-9).
B. They minister to Christ in:
- Predicting His birth to Mary, assuring her that her child would be the God-man and
Saviour. Luke 1:26-28.
- Announcing His birth to shepherds. Luke 2:8-15.
- Protecting Him as a baby from Herod by warning His parents to flee to Egypt, then
return to Nazareth after Herod’s death. Matthew 2:13-21.
- Strengthening Christ during His earthly trials in the wilderness. After this trial “angels
came and ministered unto Him.” Matthew 4:11.
In Gethsemane when He faced the full wrath of God for our sins, an angel came to
strengthen Him. Luke 22:43.
- Defended Christ at His request. When He was taken prisoner, He could have called
12 legions of angels to rescue Him, but He willingly went to the cross to pay for our
sins. Matthew 26:53.
- Announced His resurrection. An angel rolled away the stone from Christ’s tomb to
let people in, and later announced Christ’s resurrection to those coming to the tomb.
Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:5-8.
- Angels are subject to Him in heaven now. “Angels, authorities and powers being
made subject unto him.” 1 Peter 3:22.
- Angels rejoice when God saves a repentant sinner. Luke 15:10.
- Angels now worship the God-man in heaven. Revelation 5:11,12.
- Angels predicted Christ’s bodily return in the clouds. Acts 1:11.
- Angels accompany Christ when He returns in glory. Matthew 25:31.
- Angels worship Christ when He returns. Hebrews 1:6.
- Angels gather the saved and wicked at Christ’s return. Matt. 13:39-43; 24:31; 2
C. Angels are present at the beginning of new dispensations or at great events.
- At Creation, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for
joy.” Job 38:7
- At the giving of the Law, at Mount Sinai, God used angels to deliver the Law to
Moses, as seen from:
i) Galatians 3:19 “the law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”
The Law came from angels to Moses the mediator, then to the people.
ii) Acts 7:38,53 “Who have received the law by the disposition of angels and have
not kept it.”
iii) Hebrews 2:2 “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast….”
God’s giving of the law through angels explains the Jews high regard for angels.
It explains why Hebrews 1 and 2 shows the superiority of Christ over angels, and
why Christ replaced the Mosaic law.
- At Christ’s birth, resurrection, ascension and return.
- They minister to believers. As God loves us, so angels are also interested in us,
as seen in Daniel 10:11, “O Daniel, a man greatly beloved.”
Their ministry shows God’s love and care for us, in these forms:
a) Revealing God’s will and word to men. Much of the books of Daniel and
Revelation were given through angels.
b) Guiding and directing people to win others to Christ.
An angel directed Philip to go south from Samaria to the Gaza desert to win the
Ethiopian eunuch to Christ. (Acts 8:26). Notice that the angel gave the general
direction, but the Holy Spirit pointed out the exact person (Acts 8:29).
An angel directed Cornelius to send for Peter who would tell him how to be
saved. (Acts 10:1-8; 11:13,14). Notice again that the Holy Spirit gave Peter
specific instructions (Acts 10:19; 11:12).
c) Providing physical needs such as food and water. For example:
i) To Hagar and Ishmael in the desert (Genesis 21:17-20).
ii) God providing manna known as angels food to Israel in the wilderness.
iii) When Elijah had fled from Jezebel and had lay down to die, an angel awoke
him and provided him with “a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water.”
(1 Kings 19:5-7).
iv) Angels ministered to Christ after His 40 days fasting and His temptation by
Satan in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:11).
d) Protecting or guarding believers from physical danger:
i) God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths when Daniel was thrown into the
lions’ den. (Daniel 6:20-23).
ii) God sent an angelic army to surround and protect Elisha and his servant at
Dothan from the Syrian army. Elisha said “Fear not: for they that be with us
(angels) are more than they that be with them.” (2 Kings 6:16-17).
iii) God sent an angel to kill 185,000 Assyrians who were laying siege to
Jerusalem. Isaiah 36,37.
e) Delivering believers from harm:
i) When the Jewish leaders imprisoned the apostles, an angel opened the
doors, led them out and told them to keep preaching. (Acts 5:17-20).
ii) Peter was delivered from prison by an angel causing his chains to fall off,
opening the prison doors and leading him out. (Acts12:5-10).
iii) God delivers from harm, by sealing the 144,000 Israelite witnesses in the
Tribulation so they are preserved to complete their job of preaching the
Gospel to the world.
f) Strengthening and encouraging believers to continue preaching and serving
i) After setting the apostles free from prison, an angel encouraged them to
continue preaching. (Acts 5:19-20).
ii) An angel appeared to Paul at sea in a storm predicting that he would be
preserved from death at sea so he could preach at Rome. (Acts 27:23-25).
g) Sent in answer to prayer:
i) Daniel prayed for Israel’s restoration to the land and an angel came to
instruct him and answer his prayer. (Daniel 9:20-24).
ii) Daniel prayed and fasted, so God sent an angel to give him the detailed
history of the next 300 years. (Daniel 10:10-12).
iii) When Herod imprisoned Peter, the church prayed for his release without
ceasing, and God sent an angel to deliver him. (Acts 12:1-17).
h) Carrying believers to heaven:
Angels carried Lazarus’ spirit to paradise at death (Luke 16:22).
Michael disputed with Satan over Moses’ body (Jude 9).
i) Angels observe believers. Angels learn and develop from observing the work of
God and men on earth in this church age. Luke 12:8,9; 1 Corinthians 4:9, 11:10;
“I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels….do
nothing by partiality.” 1 Timothy 5:21.
j) Angels execute judgment on unbelievers and nations. For example:
Herod was eaten of worms (Acts 12:23), and
Sodomites were blinded and destroyed (Genesis 19:13,11).
k) Future work of angels. They will gather the elect when Christ returns. (Matthew
24:31). They will separate the saved from the lost at Christ’s coming. (Matthew
Question: What do they observe?
i) Salvation. They aim to learn more about God as they observe the operation
of salvation in people. “of which salvation the prophets have inquired and
searched diligently …. which things the angels desire to look into.” 1 Peter
As angels learn and develop, they can worship and serve God with more
understanding and devotion.
ii) Worship. Angels observe worship in a local church, looking for evidence of
woman’s subjection to man. “For this cause ought the woman to have power
on her head because of the angels.” 1 Corinthians 11:1-10. A woman’s long
hair (v.15) or head covering evidenced her submissive condition of heart, as
she worshipped God. (v.3).
iii) Work and witness. Angels observe the ministry of each believer in any local
church. Paul charges Timothy before God and the holy angels to administer
his church impartially, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one
before another, doing nothing by partiality.” (1 Timothy 5:21).
Paul describes the Apostles and all believers as a public spectacle involved
in a life and death struggle with Satan over the souls of men. God, Satan,
man, good and evil angels, watched the Apostles and believers fighting daily
for the souls of men. “We are made a spectacle unto the world, to angels,
and to men.” (1 Corinthians 4:9).
When a sinner understands the gospel and repents, the angels rejoice from
their “grandstand” in heaven. (Luke 15:10). Angels will hear Christ
confessing or denying people who confessed or denied Him on earth before
men (Luke 12:8,9); Angels will witness the rewarding of believers. (Matthew
16:27). The fact that angels observe us should cause us to walk soberly in
dedication, dependence on Christ, and in dignity.
IX. ACTIVITY AND WORK OF EVIL ANGELS (DEMONS)
Under Satan’s control are a great number of evil spirit beings known as demons, authorities,
principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, etc..
These are symbolised in Scripture by:
- Fowls of the air. (Matthew 13:4,19).
- Unclean and hateful birds in a cage. (Revelation 18:1-3).
- Unclean frogs (Revelation 16:13,14).
- Locusts from the bottomless pit. (Revelation 9:1-10).
The activity of demonic spirits is summarised as, “The thief cometh to steal, and to kill, and
to destroy.” (John 10:10).
These spirits attack mankind spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and morally.
Examples of this are:
- They oppose God’s servants by “taking away the word sown.” Matthew 13:19.
- They hinder the Gospel: “but Satan hindered us”. 1 Thessalonians 2:18.
- They take people captive: “who are taken captive by him”. 2 Timothy 2:26.
- They blind unbelievers’ minds. 2 Corinthians 4:4.
- They sow tares (children of the devil) among wheat (believers in a local church),
to destroy its outreach. Matthew 13:39.
- They seduce people to believe error so as to stop them achieving God’s plan for
their lives. They seek to lead astray, tempt, corrupt, and to cause people to be
obsessed with false ideas. 1 Timothy 4:1; Mark 13:22; 1 John 2:26.
- They trouble people as in the case of Saul (1 Samuel 16:14).
The Hebrew word for “trouble” means “to terrify, to make fearful or afraid.”
It means agitation of mind, perplexing and uneasiness.
- They oppress people: “healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” Acts 10:38.
“Oppress” means to “overburden in body or mind.”
- They vex people, meaning “to suffer at the hands of another, to harass, to mob, to
experience pain” (Acts 5:16; Luke 6:18); “Vexed with unclean spirits”.
“My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” (Matthew 15:22).
- They bind people: “whom Satan hath bound these 18 years.” Luke 13:16.
This means “to tie up, confine, to fasten by binding cords around”.
- They deceive people: This is a sign of Christ’s return. Matthew 24:4,5,11,24.
- They possess people. They occupy, own and indwell a person, sometimes
causing lunacy, blindness, and dumbness. Matthew 4:24.
- They buffet people, meaning “to hit with blow after blow, to punch, to slap, and to
fight against.” 2 Corinthians 12:7.
- They resist people, meaning they “stand up against, to act as an adversary, and to
oppose.” Zechariah 3:1-3.
- They torment people (Revelation 9:1-11; 16:13-14).
- They wrestle against us (Ephesians 6:12), seeking to pin us to the ground so we
achieve nothing for God, or to throw us out of the ring or race of life for people’s
Question: What do we have to oppose them and to defend ourselves?
Answer: The Lord has given the believer mighty spiritual weapons to defeat the attacks
- The Word of God. Satan’s power to deceive is due to people’s ignorance of God’s
Word. God’s people are often destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Jesus
used the Word of God when He said “it is written” to defeat Satan (Matthew 4:1-10).
- The Whole Armour of God. Ephesians 6:10-18. Truth, righteousness, gospel of
peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit, praying and watching.
- Jesus Christ living in us. At salvation, Jesus Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit
indwell the Christian. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. (1 John
- The Filling and Power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit filled believer has the
power to withstand, fight and conquer all the power of the enemy.
“If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God.”
“First bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his goods.” Matthew 12:28,29.
- Fellow believers in a local church. “Nevertheless, God that comforteth those that
are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus.” 2 Corinthians 7:6.
A reason for coming to church is for comfort, as believers use spiritual gifts to help
- Good angels ministering to us.
- The Name of Jesus Christ. Acts 16:18.
- The Blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us from sin. Revelation 12:11.
X. JESUS CHRIST’S SUPERIORITY TO ANGELS.
The Book of Hebrews in showing Christ’s perfection and superiority to the Old Testament
system and persons, begins by showing Christ’s superiority to angels, who were highly
esteemed by the Jews.
In Hebrews 1:2,3 Christ is given a seven-fold exalted position as:
- Heir of all things.v.2.As the Son of God He is possessor or Lord of all things.All
things are His
“All things that the Father hath are mine.” (John 16:15; 17:10).
An heir is one who acquires anything. The title “heir” denotes His rank and dignity.
- By whom also he made the worlds. v.2. (eternity, the universe).
Christ is the agent of creation, the Creator Himself. John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16;
Ephesians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6.
- Who being the brightness of His glory. v.3.
Brightness means radiated splendour. The rays of the sun are its “brightness”, or
that by which the sun is seen and known. The sun itself we do not see; the beams
which flow from it we do see. Hence, if God the Father be represented as the Sun
(“The Lord God is a sun..” Psalm 84:11; Malachi 4:2), then Christ is the radiance of
the sun. He is that by which we perceive or know God. “Neither knoweth any man
the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” (Matthew
11:27). As the sun’s rays are of the same substance as the sun, so is Christ of the
same substance (full Deity) as God the Father.
“Glory” means praise, applause, honour, dignity, splendour, dazzling light,
excellence and perfection of God as resembling a bright light. This word is applied
- the sun and stars. (1 Corinthians 15:40,41).
- to the light Paul saw on the Damascus road. (Acts 22:11).
- the shining of Moses face. (2 Corinthians 3:7).
- the celestial light surrounding the angels. (Revelation 18:1).
- to glorified saints (Luke 9:31,32).
- to the dazzling splendour or majesty of God enthroned. (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
- The express image of his person. v.3.
“Express image” means a character stamped. Christ is the exact resemblance of the
Father, as an image is of the stamp. “Who is the image of the invisible God.”
- Upholding all things by the Word of His power. v.3.
Christ upholds or sustains the universe by His powerful word or command.
Proof that Christ is God omnipotent:
- God spake, and it was done. (Psalms 33:9).
- Jesus commanded the waves and winds, and they were still. (Matthew 8:26,27).
- Jesus spoke to diseases and they departed, to the dead and they arose.
- He had by Himself purged our sins.
By Himself = not by blood of bulls and lambs, but by his own blood.
Purged = purified, expiated (John 15:2)
= having made purification for our sins.
Cleansing us from all sin is why Christ came (1 John 1:7). Having done this:
- He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High, His work of redemption
In Hebrews 1:4-14 we find seven Old Testament quotations, all of which prove the
superiority of Christ to the angels. They are:
- Christ has a more excellent name, “my Son” than the angels. 1:4,5.
This is quoted from Psalm 2:7, “The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this
day have I begotten thee.” Paul pinpointed the day of this begetting as the
resurrection of Jesus Christ in Acts 13:33, “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their
children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second
Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
The name “sons of God” is applied to Christians (John 1:12; I John 3:1,2) and to
angels (Genesis 6:2,4; Job 1:6; 2:1), but the argument here is that the name “my
son” has never been given to any angel in particular.
From eternity past, Jesus Christ was God the Son.
At His incarnation, He humbled Himself to become a man.
In His resurrection He glorified His humanity, receiving back the eternal glory He had
- Christ has a better relationship as the Son of David. 1:5.
This is quoted from 2 Samuel 7:14 “I will be his Father, and he shall be my son.”
This promise was given to David to have a permanent heir/descendant to sit on His
throne, to comfort David, after God forbad him from building the Temple. The
immediate application was to David’s son, Solomon, whom God would love and
discipline as a son (Psalm 89:27).The ultimate application is to Jesus Christ as the
greater than Solomon, and the fulfiller of the Davidic Covenant.
- Christ receives worship of all angels. 1:6. “Let all the angels of God worship
Him.” God commanded all the angels to worship Christ, which proves that Jesus
Christ is God. None of God’s angels would worship a mere creature, or heaven
would be full of idolaters. Jesus Christ is not Michael the archangel, because
Michael must worship Jesus as well. We only worship God, never a creature.
“Worship him, all ye gods (angels).” Psalm 97:7.
- Christ is served by angels. 1:7. “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his
angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” This is quoted from Psalm 104:4.
Angels often served Christ when He was on earth. (Matthew 4:11; Luke 22:43).
Angels obey God’s will as the wind (spirits) and lightning (flame of fire), while the
Son is Lord of all.
- Christ is called “God enthroned”. 1:8. This is quoted from Psalm 45:6,7:
“But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever…”
Christ’s deity is proven here by Him owning the throne, and by Him being called
i) Angels minister before the throne, they do not sit on the throne.
Psalm 110 teaches that Jesus Christ is now enthroned in glory, but not yet
enthroned on earth. Both God and the Lamb own the one throne in heaven.”
“…proceeding out of the throne (of God and of the Lamb).” Revelation 22:1.
“but the throne (of God and of the Lamb) shall be in it.” Revelation 22:3.
ii) The Father here calls the Son “God”, proving Jesus Christ’s Deity.
- Christ is the Eternal Creator of all things. 1:10,11,12.
“And, Thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the
heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish but thou remainest….”
This is quoted from Psalm 102:25-27 being addressed to YHWH.
Here in Hebrews 1:10-12, the writer applies it to Christ, hence calling Christ YHWH
God. The angels did not lay the foundation of the earth, only Jesus Christ as God did
that. He will one day fold up and change the old creation into a new universe.
Everything around us changes, but Jesus Christ never changes, He is the same
yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
- Christ as King of Kings sits on the Father’s right hand (1:13,14), the place of
honour. This quotes Psalm 110:1. Christ applies this passage to Himself in Matthew
Peter applies it to Christ in Acts 2:34,35 “until I make thine enemies thy footstool,”
means to reduce Christ’s enemies to entire subjection. Ancient warriors stood on
the necks of conquered kings as a sign of complete triumph over them.
Conclusion: No angel can lay claim to any of the above attributes of Christ.
Christ is fully God and fully man. Angels serve Christ and us who are saved.
XI. SATAN’S TACTICS.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2
Aim: To war a good warfare we must know our enemy’s devices and put on the whole
armour of God to defeat Satan’s devices.
- THE NAMES OF SATAN
a) The Anointed cherub who covers. Ezekiel 28:14,16. Before he fell, he was a high
ranking guardian for God. “Anointed” means that he had a special position.
b) The Prince of this world. John 12:31; 16:11. Satan rules a world of unsaved
men and fallen angels.
c) The Prince of the power of the air. Ephesians 2:2.
d) The Prince of demons, Beelzebub. Matthew 12:24; Luke 11:15.
e) The god of this world. 2 Corinthians 4:4. His job is to blind the minds of
unbelievers, lest they be saved.
f) Lucifer. Isaiah 14:12, son of the morning.
g) Satan means adversary or opposer. Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:9. He opposes
God, His program and His people. This name occurs 52 times in the Bible.
h) The Devil (35 times used). Luke 4:2,13; Revelation 12:9 means slanderer, one
who trips up. He utters maliciously false reports that injure another’s reputation.
He seeks to slander God, Christ and believers.
i) The Old Serpent, identifies his crafty deception, as with Eve. Revelation 12:9;
j) The Great Dragon. Revelation 12:3,7,9 portrays him as a terrifying, destructive
beast seeking the total devastation of Christians.
k) The Evil one. John 17:15; 1 John 5:18. The Greek noun “ho poneros” shows
Satan to be intrinsically wicked and corrupt, who seeks to corrupt others. The
Greek article “ho” shows Satan to be a specific person, not just evil as a concept.
Christ prayed to keep believers from the power of the evil one (John 17:15) in
which the whole world lies (1 John 5:18).
l) Destroyer. Revelation 9:11. Satan destroys physical and spiritual life.
m) Deceiver. Revelation 12:9; 20:3. He continuously deceives the whole world, until
Christ returns to defeat him. Too many Christians are ignorant of the “wiles of the
devil”. Eph. 6:11.
n) The spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. Ephesians 2:2.
o) Murderer. John 8:44.
p) Liar. John 8:44.
- He abode not in the truth.
- There is no truth in him.
- It is his nature to lie.
- He is a liar and the father of lies.
- SATAN’S ACTIVITY AND TACTICS
Satan opposes and attacks God, nations, unbelievers and Christians.
i) Satan opposes God’s person. Since Satan desired to be like the Most High, so
his power and activities are directed against God. His attack on Adam was really
an attack on God’s character and control (Genesis 3:1-5). Satan induced Cain to
murder Abel, a man of God (1 John 3:12). God is love and promotes love,
whereas Satan is hateful and promotes hate (1 John 3:7-15). God is life &
creates life, whereas Satan seeks to bring death (Hebrews 2:14).
ii) Satan opposes God’s program:
- He introduces counterfeit lying philosophies. He may deny God’s existence
or control of affairs (Psalm 14). To explain the universe, he substitutes
evolution for creation, human progress for the need of divine salvation. He
substitutes atheism, agnosticism and relativism for God’s truth.
- He introduces counterfeit lying religions. Here we find:
- False ministers, Satan’s ministers who transform themselves into angels
of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Satan may gain control of theological
colleges or churches through a board of deacons or a disobedient preacher.
He seeks to control and destroy a church’s work for God.
- False doctrines, which he spreads through demons “doctrines of devils”
(1 Timothy 4:1-3), who teach righteousness by works.
- False Christs. (1 John 2:18,22; 4:3).
- False followers. Matthew 13:38,39 .These profess to believe in Christ, but
are Satan’s counterfeits. These will sow discord among the brethren.
b) NATIONS: He deceives the nations, leading them astray from God’s truth. At
Christ’s return, Satan will be bound for 1,000 years “that he should deceive the
nations no more.” (Revelation 20:3). Upon his release he will go out to deceive the
nations again. (Revelation 20:7,8-10). “The devil that deceived them was cast into
the lake of fire…” (Revelation 20:10).
He is the “god of this world”, including unsaved men and evil angels. (2 Corinthians
4:4). He offered the nations to Christ in the wilderness temptation. Christ did not
dispute Satan’s right to make this offer, but Christ refused Satan’s quick way of
obtaining rule of the earth. (Matthew 4:8-10). Satan influences nations to oppose
Israel and Christians (Daniel 10:13,20; “but Satan hindered us” 1 Thess. 2:18), and
the spread of the gospel. During the tribulation, he will control the world through the
c) UNBELIEVERS: Satan prevents people from accepting God’s truth by:
i) Snatching away the gospel (Luke 8:12). Some people who hear the gospel are
prevented from understanding it, lest they believe it and are saved.
ii) Blinding people’s minds to the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). He puts a barrier
in people’s minds to understanding the gospel. Perishing sinners hence think
that the gospel sounds foolish and irrelevant (1 Corinthians 1:18).
iii) Building false religions (1 Timothy 4:1-3). He uses men who preach lies of
salvation by human works, or he persuades men that there is no need of
salvation, only progress.
iv) Promoting a false lifestyle (Ephesians 2:1-4) “In time past ye walked according
to the course of this world….fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind”.
The philosophy of the age or “course of this world” is self-centred and selfpromoting. It is based on pleasure, possessions and position. “Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world….” (1 John 2:15-17). Satan
energises the “sons of disobedience” to follow the world. Unbelievers being
satisfied with the things of this world and materialism are kept from desiring a
relationship with the living God.
d) SATAN’S OPPOSITION TO CHRISTIANS: He seeks to defeat believers in their
personal life and service to Christ. The wise Christian will be aware of Satan’s
tactics and guard against them (2 Corinthians 2:11), some of which are:
i) Warring against Christians. What appears to be human opposition may really be
Satan’s attacks. We are not wrestling against “flesh and blood”, but against
spiritual forces of wickedness in high places (heavens). We must put on the
whole armour of God to counter these attacks. Ephesians 6:10-18.
ii) Accusing and slandering Christians. Revelation 12:10. As the “devil” means
slanderer, so he accuses us before God for our sins and imperfections. He
slanders one believer against another, causing break in fellowship due to
imagined wrongs of another believer. This is done to get believers out of good,
soul-winning, missionary-minded churches, and hence to weaken the gospel
outreach in the world. He also works on Christians with untaught consciences
to engulf them in continual guilt and fear in order to cause them to hate the
preacher for preaching against sin, when all they need to do is to confess and
forsake their sins to remove their guilt.
iii) Planting doubts. Satan seeks to get us to:
- Doubt God’s goodness.
- Doubt God’s Word.
- Doubt God’s concern for us.
- He emphasises God’s restrictions as unjust (Genesis 3:1).
- He claims that God’s warnings and Word are untrue. (3:4).
- He claims God’s interests as selfish, and limiting to man’s development. (3:5).
Hence, he maligns God’s character and challenges God’s authority.
iv) Tempting us to sin:
a) To lie (Acts 5:3). Satan is the father of lies, and he tempts others to lie. To
lie is to tell a falsehood in whole or in part for personal gain, and to the loss
and hurt of another.
b) To sex sins. (1 Corinthians 7:5; 6:13-20). Satan presents a philosophy of
the priority of bodily satisfaction. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality or
masturbation comes from a preoccupation with bodily needs. These are
based on false self-gratification. God has provided marriage for the normal
expression of sexual needs.
c) To occupation with this world. (1 John 2:15-17; 5:19). The world is
Satan’s system built on self-promotion. Its philosophy and practice are antiGod. Satan seeks to influence and defeat us through “the lusts of the flesh”
(pleasures), “the lusts of the eyes” (possessions), and the boastful “pride of
life” (self-promotion). These attitudes affect all of us to some extent,
knowingly or unknowingly. Some, such as Demas (2 Timothy 4:10) have
fallen for it.
v) To relying on human strength and wisdom. (I Chronicles 21:1-8). Satan
tempted David to have confidence in the number of His soldiers, and Peter to
resist Jesus on the basis of his human wisdom. He moved the Corinthians to
judge Paul’s message and ministry according to human wisdom as being foolish
and weak (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). Satan tries to get us to rely on our strength
and wisdom because he can easily defeat what is purely human, since it is not
based on God’s word or power.
vi) To pride in spiritual matters. (1 Timothy 3:6). Satan attacks church leaders in
order to destroy congregations. Hence Paul urged novices not to be pastors, lest
being lifted up in pride, they fall. Any spiritual ability carries with it the danger of
self-satisfaction and self-confidence which gives Satan an opportunity.
vii) To discouragement. (1 Peter 5:6-10). Satan would have us occupied with our
difficulties and overcome with our cares. Peter tells us to cast all our cares upon
Christ, for He cares for us. He then tells us to beware of Satan walking about as
a roaring lion seeking to devour us. (1 Peter 5:7-8). Persecution, rejection, lack of
appreciation, physical and spiritual difficulties may lead us to discouragement,
despair and to defeat.
viii) Persecution. (Revelation 2:10).
ix) Preventing service (1 Thessalonians 2:18). Satan once thwarted Paul from
coming to help the Thessalonians.
x) Infiltrating local churches through:
a) false teachers – we must test all things by God’s Word.
b) false disciples – Satan sows evil seed.
xi) Promoting division. Strife and anger give the devil a chance to promote division
xii) Counterfeiting. When Satan said, “I will be like God,” he meant that he wanted
to be worshipped as God. Thus he set up a rival religion, a complete imitation of
all that God does, as seen in this list of counterfeits:
- Satan has a throne (Revelation 2:13).
- Satan has doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1).
- Satan has a synagogue (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9).
- Satan has a cup of devils and a communion table of devils (1 Corinthians
- Satan has a counterfeit fellowship with devils (1 Corinthians 10:20).
- Satan transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
- Satan has ministers that appear as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor.11:15).
- Satan has false apostles (2 Cor.s 11:13), and false prophets (2 Peter 2:1).
- Satan has a Kingdom (Matthew 12:26).
- Satan does counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (Revelation 16:14).
- Satan has a harlot church, Mystery Babylon to counterfeit the bride of Christ.
- Satan and his demons seek to be worshipped (1 Corinthians 10:20; Matthew
4:8-10; Revelation 9:20).
- Satan counterfeits the Holy Trinity, with his unholy trinity of Satan, Antichrist
and the False Prophet.
- Satan wants to live in human bodies as the Holy Spirit does (John 13:27; 1 Cor.
- Satan seals his followers with a name in their forehead which is the counterfeit
of God’s Name on His peoples’ forehead. (Revelation 13:16 with 7:1-3).
- Satan counterfeits believers baptism by immersion with infant sprinkling.
XII. HOW MAY A DEMONICALLY OPPRESSED PERSON RECEIVE DELIVERANCE?
- Receive Christ as Saviour. In Christ there is the position and power for
- Confessing sins to God. A person must judge his personal involvement in occult
practices as rebellion against God and as the sin of siding with Satan. (I John 1:9).
They must confess family occult sins even back to grandparents. Daniel 9:4-6;
- Remove occult objects, books, music, images.
Godly King Asa “took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and
broke down the images, and cut down the groves: and commanded Judah to seek
the Lord God, and do the law and commandments….the Kingdom was quiet before
him.” (2 Chronicles 14;4,5). Ephesian converts destroyed their occult books (Acts
19:17-20). Many occult objects have a demon invoked curse on them, and open the
door for Satan’s influence. Occult friendships should be broken because they will try
to pull you back.
- Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7). Christ
promises forgiveness and deliverance to those who call upon His name for
deliverance from the occult. Be confident about our position and authority in Christ.
- Cultivate your Christian life and gospel presentation. Get busy serving God. The
devil finds great opportunity to tempt us if we are doing nothing for God. David gave
into temptation when he should have been on the battlefield. (2 Samuel 11:1,2). We
must be filled with the Holy Spirit daily. How? By:
a) Studying the Word of God daily brings growth and defence against Satan. (I
b) Prayer achieves God’s purposes as we ask and receive.
c) Christian fellowship at church brings encouragement and stability as we learn of
God, praise God and encourage each other.
d) Sharing the gospel with the unsaved will strengthen our faith and knowledge, as
well as actively warring against Satan. Unselfish dedication to God’s work will
assist in Satan’s defeat, as we “love not our lives unto the death.” (Rev.12:11).
e) We must put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10,18). When we do
these things, we will resist Satan in God’s power and take his strongholds in
people’s lives (2 Corinthians 10:3,4).
People may enter Satan’s occult bondage by family heredity, personal experience, or
transference from an occultic person.