Part 1 of 3
We must first differentiate between the angels of God, and Satan's angels. It is true that the latter are called "demons" or "evil spirits," but they also referred to as "angels" in the Word of God: ". . . Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels . . ." (Matthew 25:41).
Satan is getting way too much publicity. One hardly ever hears sermons concerning the angels who did not rebel against God's authority, and are still a part of His realm. These "holy" angels have been relegated by many to a place of little importance in the thinking of men, and the emphasis has often been on the fallen angels (demons or evil spirits). This was not so in the early church. In fact, Paul had to warn the church at Colosse not to become involved in the worship of angels (Colossians 2:18).
The Origin of Angels
Angels are created beings: (Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers refer to angels--their rank and domain.)
"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created" (Psalm 148:1-5).
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1:16).
Angels are "spirit beings" having both soul and spirit, but no physical body. However, when revealing themselves to people, they take on the appearance of a man. We have no Biblical record of angels taking on the appearance of a woman. Paul wrote:
"And of the angels he saith: Who maketh his angels spirits . . ." (Hebrews 1:7).
"Are they not all ministering spirits . . ." (Hebrews 1:14).
Angels were probably God's first work of creation. They were definitely created before God created this universe. They were observers at that great occasion:
"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line up it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the cornerstone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:4-7).
Read Job 1:6-7, and you will see that the "sons of God" in the book of Job were angels present at the time of creation. All angels were created "holy" (Genesis 1:31), but the angels who were under Lucifer's rule, joined in his rebellion, and were cast out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-8).
Jesus taught us that angels neither marry nor die. They are not a race developed from one original prayer, nor are they capable of procreation (Luke 20:34-36).
Although possessed of superhuman intelligence, they are not omniscient (knowing all things). Read Matthew 24:36, I Peter 1:12. They are stronger than men, but they are not omnipotent (having all power). Read Psalm 103:20; 2 Peter 2:11.
While Revelation 5:1 mentions over 100 million holy angels around the throne of God, this is probably not meant to be a restrictive number, because we read in Hebrews 12:22: "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels."
This is, as it says, a number that cannot be numbered--too many to count! This reference includes only God's holy angels. We shall see in a later lesson that there are two "holy" angels for every "fallen" angel. ds