Part III: The Holy Angels
“Angels are created spiritual beings with moral judgment and high intelligence, but without physical bodies. Angels have not always existed; they are part of the universe that God created” (Grudem, 2000, p. 397). The mention of Angel of the Lord is the form God took at various times to appear to human beings. Some angels were not totally righteous and at times used bad judgment regarding their actions. An example is that of the angels that rebelled against God in Heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They were severely punished for their sin against God as were the Watchers who lusted after human women.
There are two or three views about when the angels were created: the first is based on Gen. 2:1 which says “Thus the heavens and the Earth were finished, and all the hosts [angels and other creatures] of them. The second view is based on Exodus 20:1 that states “In six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the sea, and all that is in them.” By following that line of thought, the angels may have been created by the sixth day. Still, another view is that God created the angels in Heaven with Him where they had been given their ranks, and duties to carry out following the Creation of Earth.
Supporting that idea is Job 38: 6-7, “The morning stars (heavenly beings) shouted for joy at the time when God laid the foundations of the cornerstone and sunk its bases in the process of forming or founding it” (Grudem, 2000, paraphrased p. 402). Prior to the temptation of Eve (Gen. 3:1), the angel, Lucifer, and his followers sinned against God by trying to usurp His throne. This event must have occurred after the seventh day because in Gen. 1:31, God saw everything that He had made and beheld and said, “It is very good.”
For in Your sight a thousand years are but a day that passes, or a watch of the night (psalm 90: 4);But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8).
The nature of angels
First and foremost, angels do the biding of God and Jesus (1 Peter 3:22, NKJV). They obey and worship God, carry out His plans, carry out punishment and watch over the Earth. They praise and glorify God, sing, shout and have emotions. Two examples are when Jesus was born and when someone turns to Jesus for salvation (Ps. 103:20; 148: 2, Rev. 4:8; Luke 2:14; Heb. 1:6; Luke 15:10; Grudem, 2000, pp. 405-406). In addition to singing and praising, angels can speak to people (Matt, 28: 5; Acts 12: 6-11; Rev. 4: 11; 5: 11). Angels, being spirits or spiritual creatures, usually do not have physical bodies (Heb. 1: 14; Luke 24: 39). However on important occasions, they take on the appearance of human men. They also are charged with guarding and protecting us (Num. 22:31; Luke 2: 13; 2 Kings 6: 17; Matt. 28: 5; Heb. 13:2). Angels observe God’s people with interest (Luke 12: 8-9; 1 Cor. 4: 9; 1 Tim. 5:21). Angels appear to have the ability to fly “. . . while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice” (Daniel 9:21, NIV). “And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people” (Revelation 14:6, NIV).
We are cautioned to aware receiving false doctrine from evil angels because even Satan can disguise himself as an angel (that he once was). Do not worship or pray or seek them Col. 2:18; Gal. 1:8; 2 Cor. 11: 14; Grudem, 2000, p, 407). Angels will not always be superior to mankind. Just as our Lord’s humanity is, in resurrection, superior to angels in every way (Heb.1:4 – 2:18). Angels should neither be worshiped nor disrespected. It is important to keep in mind both their present superiority and their eventual subordination to us. Angels are not to be disrespected (Luke 10:20; 2 Peter 2: 10-12; Jude 1: 8-10; Rom. 13: 7), but neither are they to be worshipped (Rev. 19: 10, 22:9; 2 K 17: 16; Jer. 19: 13; Col. 2:18 NIV).
The apostle John mistakes an angel for God and the angel replied: And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that. I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19: 10 NKJV).
Humans and angels are the only moral and highly intelligent beings created, however angels are not made in the image of God (Gen. 1: 26-27; 9: 6), and they are not subject to the limitation of human flesh (Job 4: 18). Angels are powerful, mobile, and knowledgeable but not omniscient, omnipotent, or omnipresent (2 Thes. 1:7; 2 Peter 2:11; Gen. 28: 28: 12; 2 Sam. 14: 20; Matt. 24: 36; Rom. 8:38; Dan. 10: 13). At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. (Matthew 22:30, NIV).
There is much more to the nature of angles to include in an article such as this. In the sources section, there are references that you can follow up with and that will lead you to other sources. I hope this series has been helpful for you.
Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/
Bible Verses about Angels. (2015). Compiled and edited by BibleStudyTools Staff.
Grudem, W. (1994/2000). Systematic theology: An introduction to biblical doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI. Zondervan.
New King James Study Bible. (2nd.ed., 2007). Nashville, TN. Tomas Nelson, Inc.
Life Application Study Bible (2012). Carol Stream, IL. Tyndale House.
Luginbill, R. D. Dr. (2017). Angelogy: the study of angels