The Nature of Angels

Bible Study Guide/ Doctrines/ The Doctrine of Angels/ 76-003 (Hebrews 1:13-14)/ Key Text: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13–14, NKJV)

Opening Remarks: Angels’ nature is important in relation to and interaction with humans. “Because angels are invisible, you and I are generally unaware of their activities behind the scenes. We have no way of telling just how many times angels have intervened on our behalf without our being aware of it.”

Angels have personalities, but they also have powers granted by God. In Psalm 103:20, we read: Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!

And in 2 Thessalonians 1:7, we read of “mighty angels.” Many times angels are also said to be holy (Job 5:1; 15:15; Ps. 89:7; Dan. 4:13, 17, 23; 8:13; Jude 14). They are remarkable beings created by God to minister to humans. This should be a great lesson and reminder to each of us of God’s love for us.” [H. Wayne House and Timothy J. Demy, Answers to Common Questions about Angels & Demons, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2011), 20].   

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.

[1] What does the Bible say about the superiority of Angels? They are superior beings— superior to man in his unglorified state, “You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.” (Heb. 2:7).

[2]Will one day man judge over the Angels? Yes. The day is coming when the glorified man (after the Second Coming) is destined to judge (execute penalty upon) the evil angels: “Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:3, NKJV)

[3] Will one day man rule over the Angels? Yes. The day is coming when the glorified man (after the Second Coming) is destined to rule over the good angels: “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels;” “But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him (man)” (Heb. 2:5, 8c, AMP)

What is personality of Angels?

[4] They are Spiritual Beings — (meaning, they are “spirits”) — both good angels (Heb. 1:14), and evil angels or demons (Matt. 8:16; Lk 8:2; 11:24, 26; Acts 19:12) are called “spirits,” or spirit beings. They have incorporeal bodies, celestial bodies, ethereal bodies, non-physical bodies.

[5] They are Immortal Beings— let us see what the Bible says about the immortality of evil angels.

“And suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29, NKJV)

  • “The demons recognized Jesus as God’s divine Son. How ironic that people in Jesus’ day were so blind, while the demons were so clear about Jesus’ true identity. The demons asked if Jesus had come to torture them. The word for “torture” is graphic and correct. The Bible says that at the end of the world, the devil and his demons will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). The demons’ question revealed that they knew their ultimate fate. The demons hoped that Jesus would not send them to their fate before the appointed time. Jewish literature written between the time of the Old and New Testaments taught that demons have permission to oppose mankind only until the Judgment Day. This statement by the demons shows God’s power over Satan’s forces.” [Bruce B. Barton, Matthew, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996), 167].

“And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” (Jude 6, NKJV). “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10, NKJV)

[6] They are Sexless Beings—“Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (Luke 20:34–36, NKJV)

  • Angels don’t marry or engage in sexual relations for these acts are to repopulate the earth (whose inhabitants die) but angels (the inhabitants of the heavenly realm) don’t die.
  • “There is no marriage in heaven. The sons of this age (a Hebraism for those living in this present world; cf. Luke 16:8) marry and are given in marriage. But like other family relationships, marriage is for this present life only. The reality is that those who are considered worthy to attain to the eternal life that follows the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. There will be no need for marriage and families for the purpose of repopulation, for the obvious reason that those eternally living in God’s presence cannot even die anymore and hence do not need to be replaced. They will be like the angels, who were all created at the same time and never die.” [John MacArthur, Luke 18–24, MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2014), 146].

[7] They are Powerful Beings

  • “And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it (1 Chr. 21:15)
  • “For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.” (Exodus 12:23, NKJV)
  • “Then the Lord sent an angel who cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the king of Assyria. (2 Chr. 32:21)
  • “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.” (Matthew 28:2, NKJV)
  • “Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.” (2 Peter 2:11, NKJV)

[8] They are Swift Beings

  • “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.” (Daniel 9:20–21, NKJV)
  • “And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:51–53, NKJV)

[9] They are Numerous Beings

  • “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:10, NKJV)
  • “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” (Revelation 5:11, NKJV)

[10] They have Intelligence

  • “Your maidservant said, ‘The word of my lord the king will now be comforting; for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king in discerning good and evil. And may the Lord your God be with you.’ ”” (2 Samuel 14:17, NKJV)
  • “To bring about this change of affairs your servant Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth.” (2 Samuel 14:20, NKJV)
  • To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:12, NKJV)

[11] They have Emotions

  • “When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7, NKJV)
  • “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7, NKJV) They love and rejoice!
  • “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,” (Hebrews 12:22, NKJV)

[12] They have Moral Will

  • “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”(Revelation 22:8–9, NKJV)

[13] They Communicate Intelligently through speech —

  • “But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.” (Matthew 28:5, NKJV)
  • “But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” (Luke 1:13, NKJV)

[14] They Desire

  • “To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into. (1 Peter 1:12, NKJV)
  • They dispute or contend “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 9, NKJV)

[15] They have Cognition and Recognition

  • “And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.” (Luke 8:31, NKJV)
  • “But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” (Luke 1:13–16, NKJV)

[15] They Move— “And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51, NKJV)

[16] They understand Divine Revelation — “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer,” (Revelation 10:5–6, NKJV)

[17] They understand the Divinity and Power of Jesus

  • “Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”” (Mark 1:23–24, NKJV)
  • “Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him. (Mark 1:34, NKJV)

[18] They Worship — “But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:6, NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: Beloved, Angels know, desire and delight in the gospel of Christ — “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16, NKJV) “To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:12, NKJV)

THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: What makes an Angel Smile? [1] In Creation’s Morning: “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7, AMP)

[2] At Christ’s First Coming: “Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven (a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest (heaven), and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased (men of goodwill, of His favor).” (Luke 2:13–14, AMP)

[3] When a Sinner is converted: “Even so, I tell you, there is joy among and in the presence of the angels of God over one (especially) wicked person who repents (changes his mind for the better, heartily amending his ways, with abhorrence of his past sins).” (Luke 15:10, AMP)

  • “The repentance of one soul sends inexpressible joy through all the host of heaven. Melody is called forth from every harp and every voice in glorious anthems because another name is registered in the book of life, another light is kindled to shine amid the moral darkness of this corrupt world. The very same event spreads consternation among the fallen angels and humiliates the great leader in the rebellion against God’s holy law. The prince of darkness, seeing a soul whom he has counted his own escaping from under his control as a bird out of the snare of the fowler, and making Christ his refuge, works with hellish intensity to again entrap the one escaped.” [Ellen Gould White, Our High Calling, (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1961), 89].

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do? Thanksgiving to God for giving us His holy Angels to watch over us.

Angels have charge over the children of God (Ps 34:7; 91:11- 12). They protect us, they provide for us, but most importantly they desire that we be saved and go to heaven to be with our Creator. You know they are up there, thus, they know what heaven is like. Listen to this quote: “The Lord has given to every man his work, and the holy angels want us to be doing that work. As you shall watch and pray and work, they stand ready to co-operate with you.” (Testimonies for the Church, 6:481).

Have a Blessed Day: “For He will give His angels (especial) charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11–12, AMP)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Bible Study Guide/ Doctrines/ An Introduction to Angelology: (The doctrine of angels) Lesson # 3