Archives For Angelology

Do demons exist and operate in today’s world? What does demonic work look like? In my experience, if you want to know what the activities of demons are ask any missionary. Missionaries deal with demons in various forms.

The past couple of weeks I have written about the fall of Satan as well as Satan’s position and activities. In today’s post I want to look at the origin of demons (where they came from) and the work of demons (what they do).

Writing a post about demons reminds me of the Steven King quote when someone asked if he writes his books at night time, “Are you kidding, I can’t write what I write at night.” The study of demons is a little scary, but let’s take a look.

Photo Credit: “St. Raymond of Penyafort” by Tommaso Dolabella (1570-1650)

ANGELOLOGY
The Origin and Work of Demons

I. THE ORIGIN OF DEMONS

There are two views on the origin of demons. I believe that the view that demons are fallen angels is correct, but others hold the other view. Let me know which view you hold in the comments below.

A. Fallen Angels Continue Reading…

The Christian life is not a stroll down Easy Street arriving at heaven without any scratches, bruises, or sores. It is a spiritual war between our Christian walk with Christ and Satan who wants to destroy us and tear us apart. In today’s post I want to show you what the Bible says about Satan’s position and activities.  

ANGELOLOGY
Satan’s Position and Activities

I. SATAN’S POSITION

A. God of This World  Continue Reading…

Some say that God and Satan are not real. Instead, there is a ying and yang that occurs in the universe. They say there is a battle between the forces of good and evil without any real “persons” behind the things that occur.

Yet, the Bible describes Satan who once was one of God’s angels but now is God’s enemy. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about Satan and his fall from heaven.

ANGELOLOGY
The Fall of Satan 

The Fall of Satan

“The Fall of Satan” by William Blake (1757-1827)

I. SATAN’S FIRST FALL 1

I believe that the Bible describes two falls of Satan. One is a fall that has already occurred in history. The other one will occur during the future seven-year Tribulation on the earth. First, let’s look at the fall of Satan which has already occurred. Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Regarding the time of this fall, “Scripture is silent on this point, but it is clear that the fall of the angels occured before the fall of man, since Satan entered the garden in the form of a serpent and induced Eve to sin (Gen 3:1ff)” (Henry Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theologyp. 136)

In today’s post I would like to share with you how the ministry of angels includes heavenly worship/service, divine judgment, announcement and instruction to believers, answering prayers, and the protection and care for believers.

Photo Credit: Luther Wittenberg Bible (1534)

I. HEAVENLY WORSHIP AND SERVICE

In the midst of Daniel’s vision of four beasts in Daniel 7, Daniel saw an event which is an example of how angels worship and serve God.

I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One 1 sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened. (Dan 7:9–10, NLT, emphasis added)

In this vision Daniel sees our Lord and there are “millions of angels” ministering to him and attending him. These are “God’s servants, angels who execute His will” (J. Dwight Pentecost, “Daniel,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, vol. 1, 1351. (By the way, if you are looking for a good commentary on the whole Bible I highly recommend The Bible Knowledge Commentary because it covers the entire Bible, is concise, yet explains important parts of Scripture.)  Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. This “Ancient One” is a “name for God that emphasizes his eternality; He is the God who had existed from eternity past, has planned all things, and is working out his plan” (Wiersbe, Be Resolutep. 112).

Among the different categories of theology I think people (in America at least) have more unbiblical beliefs about angels than any other doctrine. In this post I will give you a clear picture of what the characteristics of angels are according to Scripture. Next week we will look at the practice and ministry of angels. 1

Photo Credit: Waiting for the Word

ANGELOLOGY
The Characteristics of Angels

I. CREATED FINITE AND PERFECT

The enemy of God, Satan, was once an angel of God. Ezekiel 28 2 describes Satan and his status in heaven before he fell from God’s grace. 3

You [Satan] were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone— red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald— all beautifully crafted for you and set in the finest gold. They were given to you on the day you were created. I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:12–15, NLT, emphasis added) 4

There are a few of important points that need to be made about angels from this passage. First, angels are “created” beings (vv. 13, 15). Unlike God, they have not existed forever. In Paul’s letter to the Colossians he further clarified that God “created everything in the heavenly realms” (Col 1:16). Second, angels are limited and finite. This means that angels are “full of wisdom” (v. 12) but they are not “all-wise” like God is because God is the only oen who possess that characteristic. Third, angels are perfect. 5 God says that Satan was the “model of perfection” (v. 12) and “blameless” (v. 15) in all that he did until that day when Satan disobeyed God and left God’s presence in rebellion. While angels have a choice to rebel against God, they are perfect until they choose to disobey. Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Much of this blog post is based on the notes I received from J. Scott Horrell while a student at Dallas Theological Seminary. I have simplified his notes, added some things, and provided my own thoughts. The the original content and outline are his.
  2. While the original description refers to the ruler of Tyre, it certainly applies to the god of this age, Satan, the enemy of the LORD” (Wiersbe, Be Reverentp. 151)
  3. Some reasons I believe Ezek 28:12-15 is talking about Satan. First, “Cherub” in v. 14 and v. 16 suggests that we are dealing with an angelic creature. Second, the description seems lofty and more like we are describing some more than merely human being. Third, Satan wants control of the nations based on 1 Chron 21; Dan 9; Matt 4:8-10. Fourth, he had acceess to the “holy mountain of God” (v. 14).
  4. “More than one student has identified . . . the king of Tyrie as Satan, the enemy of God and of the Jewish people, who energized the prince and used him to accomplish his own evil purposes.” (Wiersbe, Be Reverentp. 150)
  5. “If Ezek. 28:15 refers to Satan, as many suggest, then Satan is definately said to have been created perfect.” (Henry Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theologyp. 135)

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons and Review

B. Text of Rev 16:1-11

1Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven plagues of God’s wrath on the earth.” 2So the first angel left and poured out his bowl on the earth. Then painful and harsh sores appeared on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. 3Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea. As a result the sea turned into blood like from the dead, and every living thing in the sea died. 4Then the third bowl was poured out on the rivers and water springs. As a result they turned into blood. 5Then I heard the angel of the waters saying, ‘You are righteous. The One who is, was, the holy one that judges with these things, 6because the blood of the saints and the prophets has been poured out, so you gave them blood to drink, which they deserve.” 7Then I heard a voice from the altar saying, “Yes! Lord God, Almighty! Your judgments are true and just.” 8Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun and it caused the sun to burn up humans in fire. 9People were scorched with a scorching heat. So they slandered the name of God who holds power over these plagues, yet they did not repent and give him glory. 10Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast. As a result his kingdom was darkened and people were biting their tongues from the pain. 11They slandered the God of heaven because of their pain and sores. Yet, they did not turn from their evil deeds. (Rev 16:1-11)

The First Through Fifth Bowls (Rev 16:1-11)

Photo Credit: Matthias Gerung

C. General Remarks

“God will allow natural elements themselves (earth, sea, rivers and sun) to pass judgment on the human beings who have so grievously abused their position as God’s image-bearers with creation.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 142)

D. Opening Illustration

Well known Bible scholar and writer N.T. Wright, was cycling down the street one day when he came up beside a former teacher of his. Wright had studied the New Testament under him a few years earlier, but now Wright was neck deep in studying and writing about Rom 1:18-3:20. That section of Paul’s letter to the Romans is all about God’s wrath against all human wickedness. Wright confided in his former teacher saying, “I’m having a hard time with wrath.” To that statement his former teacher said, “Aren’t we all” and he cheerfully cycled off (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 141).

II. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOWL JUDGMENTS (Rev 16:1)

“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the seven plagues of God’s wrath on the earth.’” (Rev 16:1)

QUESTION: WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE? SEEMS TO BE THAT GOD IS IN CHARGE.

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE TIMING OF THESE BOWLS? FIRST OR LAST?

QUESTION: WHO’S VOICE DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

A. The Seven Angels

These are the same seven angels that are first mentioned in Revelation 15.

B. God’s “Wrath” Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 8:1-5

“1When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw seven angels who had been standing in front of the throne and they were given seven trumpets. 3Then another angel came and stood near the altar holding a golden censer and a large amount of incense was given to him so that he can give the prayers of the many saints on the golden altar. 4Then the smoke of the incense from the prayers of the saints ascended up out of the hand of the angel in front of God’s throne. 5Next the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire from the altar and threw it on the earth. Then there was thunder, noise, lightening, and an earthquake.” (Rev 8:1-5) 1

Matthias Gerung: “The Opening of the Seventh Seal and the First Four Sounding Trumpets, Revelation 8:1-13”

II. OPENING SILENCE (8:1-2)

A. The Seventh Seal’s Silence (v. 1)

Καὶ ὅταν ἤνοιξεν τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν ἑβδόμην, ἐγένετο σιγὴ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ὡς ἡμιώριον.

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” (Rev 8:1)

1. The Sound of Silence Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. The Greek text is from NA28.