Bible Ballistics: Angels On The Rise??? Vol. 6#24
Since we will be delving into Daniel 10-12 in the next few weeks, as these three chapters are inseparable, I’d like us to take today to do a cursory look at what the Bible says about angels. Much is misunderstood in regard to angels, and much false information abounds, so I think we should peruse the scripture to understand the truth about them before we dig into the text itself, as it says a lot about angels.
We know that Daniel has already seen the angel named Gabriel twice in his visions:
“And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.” Daniel 8:16
“Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.” Daniel 9:21
We see from these two glimpses that angels are messengers; in the reference in chapter 8 we see that Gabriel is instructed to give Daniel understanding. In chapter 9 Gabriel flew to touch Daniel and then revealed to him the great prophecy of the 70 weeks.
We also see this same angel in the New Testament. He appeared to Zacharias and Mary, so let’s examine those appearances:
“And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.” Luke 1:19
We also see some new information revealed to Zacharias, Gabriel is an angel that stands “in the presence of God”, and that he was sent from there directly to Zacharias with information that would set in motions events that would change the world.
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,” Luke 1:26
We now see this same messenger sent 6 months later to the virgin Mary to announce the coming birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Wow!!! Messengers sent from God, that is one of the functions of angels. We also see another named angel introduced to us in the book of Daniel, Michael. Let’s see what we can learn from the accounts of him.
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:13
Here we find that Michael is called one of “the chief princes”. There is a hierarchy among angels, and Gabriel and Michael are among the chief princes of the angels, but that’s not all:
“But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.” Daniel 10:21
Michael is called here “your prince”. Does that mean he is “Daniel’s” personal angel? I don’t think so, and if we’ll simply look a little further in this account we can find the answer to that question.
“And 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, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1
Here we see that Michael isn’t Daniel’s ‘personal’ angel but rather the angel who stands for the children of Israel. God watches over His own, and His holy angels are His servants/messengers in the spiritual realm, to which we aren’t often privy.
“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 1:9
Without getting into the depths of what this verse is referring to, we find that Jude described Michael as an “archangel”, simply means one of “rank”, comparable to the term “prince” in Daniel 12:1. We also see that Michael does not speak for himself, but refers all things to the power and control of God, he exercises no “presumption” when dealing directly with Satan. We need to be sure we act biblically in regard to spiritual powers and authorities. There is also another function of ‘angels’ mentioned in Revelation 12.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” Revelation 12:7
For our purposes, the timing of this event is not our focus, but we simply want to observe that angels can also function as God’s warriors, or warriors against Him. I will simply note that the dragon here is the Devil, or Satan and he also has angels that have fallen/rebelled with him and they can also function as warriors, but against God. Fortunately we KNOW that God wins, and we who are His will share in that victory.
So, does other scripture confirm these things? Let’s look and see.
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” Hebrews 1:7
Angels are “spirit” beings who do not have bodies like humans, but do often take on human form when they appear to humans.
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
One of their functions of ministry is to those who are “heirs of salvation”! We do have angels who are working on our behalf, but remember there are also those who are working against us (See Ephesians 6:10-20), but that is a topic we’ll cover in the next few weeks as we delve into Daniel 10-12.
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24
Here we see Cherubims, a different class of angels, and they are set to guard the Garden of Eden from man’s reentering. The cherubims were also the angels whose images were over the “ark of the covenant”.
“For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.” 2 Chronicles 5:8
There is also another group of angels called ‘seraphim’, who are seen at the throne of God.
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, .” Isaiah 6:1-2
These angels are worshipping before God’s throne, but there are also angels who have rebelled and gone against God, and they have various descriptions in scripture. While we won’t be covering the various incidents that are described, we need to understand that angels who have defied God will also face His judgment at a point in the future. Here are some passages that make that clear:
“Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:” Job 4:18
“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.” Jude 1:6
“For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” 2 Peter 2:4
We also find some angels who are chained for specific times and purposes. Remember our purpose is just to observe the scriptural truths about angels, not to dig into the various contexts at this time.
“Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.” Revelation 9:14-15
There is a time coming of great judgment on men and also the very angels who have rebelled against God. We will cover some of this information in Daniel 10-12, but it is imperative that we have a firm grasp on the “spiritual” nature of angels and don’t get distracted by false assumptions. The first being the fact that we are equal to or greater than angels—WE ARE NOT!!!
“Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.” 2 Peter 2:11
I’d like to close todays post with a few conclusions that may cause you to go “UMMMMM”, but my challenge to you would be to just dig into scripture and see what you can find if these things are new or alarming to you personally.
Angels are spiritual beings who are greater in power and the order of things than we are. We are not to be presumptuous in regard to angelic/demonic beings but trust to our God to guide us and ask God to rebuke those forces on our behalf. I have found nowhere in scripture where we are told to “command” those beings in varying degrees of authority in regards to our holy living. While there are biblical accounts of humans commanding demons to come out of individuals, you better be sure that you are acting at God’s bidding and in HIS direction to you, and not in presumption. There is a most graphic account of presumption towards the spiritual forces in Acts, which is worthy of out time:
“Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.” Acts 19:13-18
We need to be walking in total obedience to Jesus, and we can only do that when we commit to walk in the power of HIS Spirit, not in the presumption of the flesh! Even those who aren’t God’s own better be aware of the danger of ignorant presumption toward God or other spiritual entities.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
Angels are not men, nor do men become angels. Regardless of all the “cutesy” pictures, people do not become angels when they die. People are a unique creation and never become angels. And while angels may “appear” in human form to people—they are NOT human, nor will they ever be.
Angels are NOT to be worshipped! While they are greater in power and authority, they are not “gods”—they are servants/messengers of the Most High God!
“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Colossians 2:18-19
We are to worship God and Him only. We alone, as his special creation can be the recipients of salvation by grace.
Angels, on the other hand were free to rebel, but have no offer or understanding of the redemption and salvation that Jesus bought at Calvary.
“Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” 1 Peter 1:12
So, as you ponder these things this week, let us determine to be faithful in our service to God and to those He places in our path. May we truly be grateful for our salvation and learn and know the truth about angelic beings, but not to exalt them beyond truth. Understanding that we don’t become angels when we die and join Jesus in heaven, but we are humans privileged to experience the “new birth” and become the children of God through the atoning, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ—and that only by faith through the grace of God (See Ephesians 2:8-10). Let’s live like it.
I look forward to beginning our study of Daniel 10-12. Have a blessed week in the Lord Jesus Christ.