“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1: 16)
Sometime before the creation of man, God created the angelic realm. They didn’t always exist. Their purpose was to fellowship with, serve, and praise God. They, themselves, are never to be praised or revered as divine.
The word angel comes from the Greek word Angelos, meaning messenger.
Angels are mentioned at least 108 times in the Old Testament and 165 times in the New Testament. Hence, there is ample information available in Scripture to allow us to build a foundation for our knowledge of angelic beings.
Like the military, angels have rank and file as there are several orders of angelic beings. The first sphere is called heavenly Counselors. This sphere consists of Seraphim, Cherubim, and Elders. The second sphere is called heavenly Governors. This sphere consists of Dominions, Authorities, and Powers. The third sphere is called heavenly Messengers. This sphere consists of Spirits, Archangels, and Angels.
Like man, angels were created by God with a free will. They have a choice of accepting God and His righteousness or rejecting His truth. Angels also have distinct personalities, powers, and abilities. Angels can never die.
Unlike man, angels are spirits and have no material bodies. They can, however, take on the form of a man when God deems it necessary. Angles do not age and cannot be harmed. They can travel through time and space, but have finite power, finite intelligence, and can only be in one place at a time. Angels are in no way equal to God. He created them and has complete authority over them.
The Bible classifies some angels as “elect” or “holy.” All angels were originally holy, enjoying the presence of God and the environment of heaven.
Other angels oppose God under the leadership of Satan. We often call these “demons.”
There is actually a great unseen conflict raging that goes beyond anything we can imagine. It is not, however, a fight between two equal and eternal forces. God who created all beings is still in charge, and once He has used wicked angels to accomplish His purposes, He will bring them to a final defeat.
Additional References: Revelation 35, Luke 15:10, Romans 8:38
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