A Study of Angels and Satan

Chapter 1 - The Doctrine of Angels (Part 1)


Many people reject the reality of supernatural beings such as angels because of unbelief.  Unbelief concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible, results in a personal rejection of Light (John 3:18; 8:12). This unbelief causes a person to have his mind blinded (2 Cor. 4:4), his heart darkened (John 3:19-20; 12:35,37,40), and to be in a state where he cannot understand the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11-14). The sad result of this unbelief is that  "the preaching of the cross is to them that perish ______________________" (1 Cor. 1:18). "But the natural man (unsaved man) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are ________________________ unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). He is absolutely blind to the things of God, to the truth of God.

Thus to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as one's own personal Saviour results in a continued state of willful ignorance as evidenced in a person's indifference or opposition to such supernatural realities as the Genesis (Noahic) flood, Biblical miracles, Christ's resurrection, the existence of angels, the reality of Satan, etc. (compare 2 Pet. 3:3-7).

The foolish speculations of Scholasticism which occurred in the period of history known as the Middle Ages did not shed any light on the subject of angels. Strong, the Biblical scholar and theologian, states that these religious philosophers debated such questions as "how many angels could stand at once on the point of a needle (the relation of angels to space) or whether an angel could be in two places at the same time" and other such questions. Ignorant superstition preached from the cathedrals "exalted Satan to the rank of a rival god—a god more feared than the true and living God. Satan was pictured as having horns and hoofs—an image of the sensual and bestial."  [Systematic Theology, by A. H. Strong, one volume edition, pages 443-444].

In regard to the subject of angels, the following will help the humbled heart which is yielded to the living and true God:

1) Jesus Christ, God the Son, testified as to the existence and reality of angels (Matthew 18:10; Mark 13:32, etc.). Every believing heart recognizes Christ's authority in all matters, and no one knows more about angels than He does! The Lord said it; I believe it; that settles it! (Actually what Christ has said settles it whether I believe it or not!)

2) God's Word, which is absolute truth (John 17:17), contains much teaching on the subject of angels. There are 108 references to angels in the Old Testament and 165 in the New Testament.  God has much to say about these created beings.

3) The Gnostics recognized the existence of angels but wrongly sought to worship them (Col. 2:18). Gnosticism had its roots in Greek philosophy and wrongly taught that matter is evil and the body is evil, and thus they denied that Christ ever dwelt on earth in human form (see 1 John 4:3).  Paul dealt with the Gnostic errors in Colossians and John dealt with them in 1 John.

4) The past and present occurrences of demon possession and demon worship attests to angels (1 Cor. 10:20-21). Compare the false religion of our own American Indians, demon activity in Haiti, and similar demonic inspired idolatry in different parts of the world.  The spirit world is very real.

5) In the so called "civilized" societies the practices of spiritualism, various forms of fortune-telling and occult magic, hypnosis, healing, etc. point to the reality of the spirit beings who energize such activities (1 Tim. 4:1; Deut. 18:10-14; Isa. 8:19-20). The reality of demonic activity points to the reality of demons.

6) God's revelation, not man's reason is the key. The key is what God says about angels, not what man thinks about angels.

7) In the time of Jesus there were a group of people who denied the supernatural and denied the existence of angels.  These were the Sadducees (see Acts 23:8).  So also today there are people who deny the same.  God's truth stands whether people believe it or not (Isaiah 40:8).

The Creation of Angels

1) The creation of angels is a fact (Psalm 148:2,5; John 1:3). Angels exist and they are real because God created them. Jesus Christ Himself is the Almighty Creator!  God's beloved Son created all the angels (Col. 1:16-17).

2) Each individual angel was created directly by God (Mat. 22:28-30). Angels were created directly and individually by God. Adam was directly created by God (Gen. 2:7), whereas Eve was directly created from Adam (Gen. 2:22), and the rest of us came along by procreation. There is no such thing as a "race" of angels. Each one was created individually.  Each one is a unique creation of God.

3) Angels were created before the earth was. The angels were already present to witness the creation of the earth and to rejoice in God's creative activity (Job 38:6-7). Their creation took place some time prior to Genesis 1:1 (Neh. 9:6). See our paper, "When Did Satan Fall?" which deals with the question of when the angels were created.

4)  Angels were created in holiness but later some fell into sin.  God did not create any wicked angels or any sinful angels.  All the angels were perfect in all their ways until sin was found in them (compare Ezekiel 28:15 which describes what Satan was like before his fall). Many of the angels sinned and became wicked by an act of their own will. We will study this in detail in our study of Satan. Fallen angels are called "demons" or "unclean spirits" or "Satan's angels."

The Nature of Angels

Angels are spirit beings (Heb. 1:14; Psalm 104:4; Eph. 6:12). They are localized, having definite and fixed limits and spiritual form (1 Cor. 15:39,40, 44; Phil. 3:12). They cannot be in two different places at once.

1)  Angels are normally invisible but they can become visible and appear in various forms.

They can appear as men. Angels are always described using the masculine gender. Matt. 28:2-3— "_____ countenance was like lightning, and _____ raiment white as snow." Luke 24:4— "...behold, two _____ stood by them in shining garments." Acts 1:10— "...behold, two ______ stood by them in white apparel." Mark 16:5— "...they saw a young ______ sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment."

Certain angels appear with wings and are said to fly (Isa. 6:2; Dan. 9:21; Rev. 14:6).

Angels may be seen with a glorious appearance. Luke 9:26— "...he [Jesus] shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the _________   ____________."  Notice the glorious description of the great angel described in Revelation 10:1.

It should be noted that a person needs the right conditions to see and observe another sphere or realm. For example, an atom cannot be detected or revealed by the five human senses. Neither can light be seen at particular wavelengths or frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum, i.e., ultraviolet, gamma rays, x-rays, infrared, etc.  Angels cannot be normally seen or detected.  We cannot see radio or TV signals, but this does not mean they are not there.

2) Angels are not subject to death or any form of extinction. We never read in the Bible about an angel dying or being killed.  Luke 20:36— "Neither can they ______ any more: for they are equal unto the __________." Men die. Angels never die, but angels can suffer eternal punishment: Matthew 25:41—"Depart from me, ye cursed, into ______________________ fire, prepared for the devil and _____   ___________." Revelation 20:10— "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire... and shall be tormented _____ and __________ for _______ and _______."

3) Although angels are referred to by masculine pronouns, they are sexless in the physical sense and are not related by marriage. Therefore, they do not increase in number or have a direct relation to each other as human beings do (we are all related to Adam). There are the same number of angels today as there were the day they were created. Matthew 22:30— "For in the resurrection they neither ________ , nor are given in ____________ , but are as the ___________ of God in heaven" (compare also Mark 12:25 and Luke 20:34-36). Since they are direct creations of God, they don't have babies or experience physical growth and aging. We never read in the Bible about baby angels or aged angels.  They are old only in the sense that they have been here since creation. They are a company, not a race (Heb. 12:22—"to an innumerable ________________ of angels"); they are "sons of God" (directly created by God), not sons of angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).

4) They are different from man and God (Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:4-8).  Angels are not men and angels are not deity. Jesus' position as God's only begotten ______ (Heb. 1:5) causes God to give the command (Heb. 1:6)—"And let all the angels of God _____________ Him." [Note: the Jehovah's Witnesses err because they teach that Christ is a created Being, an exalted angel. The Bible teaches that He is the uncreated Creator–John 1:3.]

[Note:  The Hebrew and Greek word for "angel" simple means "messenger."  There are times when this word is used of non-angelic creatures.  For example, a number of times in the Old Testament we read about "the angel of the Lord."  These are references to the Lord Jesus Christ who sometimes appeared in bodily form prior to His incarnation. Another example is in Mark 1:2 where the word "angel" (translated as "messenger") refers to John the Baptist.]

In His incarnation Christ was made (Heb. 2:9) "a little ____________ than the angels." Heb. 2:16
— "For verily [truly] he took _____ on him the ___________ of angels." Instead He joined Himself with our humanity: Heb. 2:14—"Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of ____________ and _____________, He also Himself likewise took ________ of the __________." He became a man (not an angel), of the seed of Abraham (Heb. 1:16), "made like his B_______________ " (Heb. 1:17).

The Bible teaches that we will be like the angels in some ways (see Matt. 22:30), but it does not say that we will be or become angels. Believers are also told that someday "we shall __________ angels" (1 Cor. 6:3). Therefore to sing the following would not be appropriate: "I would be an angel and with the angels stand!" Men are men and angels are angels and God is God.  However, it is true that we will join with the angels in the praise of our great God!

Angels are Real Persons

There are three things that every PERSON possesses. These are what make a person a person!   The following triangle may help you to remember the three components that make up a PERSON:


Do you decide, think and feel? ______ Do you qualify as a true person? _____ Does God have these three elements of personality? To answer this, please place the following verses of Scripture where they belong on the triangle:

Psalm 2:4

Psalm 7:11

Isaiah 46:10-11
Isaiah 55:8-9

Luke 22:42

Romans 11:33-34
1 Corinthians 2:16

Ephesians 1:11

Ephesians 4:30


Angels also possess the three components of personality.  They have intellect, will and emotions.  

Keep in mind that we are showing that angels are persons.  This does not mean that angels are humans.  God is a Person, but He is not a man (Numbers 23:19).  Angels qualify as persons, but they are not members of the human race.  Don't confuse humanity with personality.

1) Angels possess intellect: the ability to think, reason, learn and observe.

Angels possess W_______________ (2 Samuel 14:20) which is part of one's intellect.  Angels can "discern" (2 Samuel 14:17).  According to 1 Peter 1:12 angels have intellectual curiosity, especially when it comes to God's amazing plan of salvation for humans:  "...which things the angels ____________ to look into."

Angels have intellect as seen in the fact that they are learning.  As God deals with the church today, angels are learning of God's manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:10). 

Angels have knowledge, but there are things that they do not know, such as the time of the Lord's coming (Mark 13:32; Matthew 24:36).

Intellect makes it possible for a person to speak and talk, and angels have this ability (Galatians 1:8; Revelation 14:6-7; 22:8-9; see also Luke 1:13,19,28,30; 1 Cor. 13:1).

Angels have the intellectual capacity for reverent and thoughtful worship (Psalm 148:2; Matthew 18:10).  Hebrews 1:6— "...And let all the angels of God __________ Him."  Angels are able to express praise (Luke 2:13-14; Revelation 5:11-12).

2) Angels possess a will: the ability to decide and choose.

Jude 6— "And the angels which ________    _____ their first estate, but ________ their own habitation."  In this example the angels chose to go against God's revealed will.

The angels had to use their will at the time when Satan rebelled against God.  They had to decide whether to remain loyal to God or whether to follow Satan.  One third of the angels made the wrong choice to follow Satan.  We will study this in detail in later chapters.

3) Angels possess emotions.  They have feelings.

Angels experience joy: Luke 15:10— "... there is _______ in the ________________ of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."   Compare Jude 24.

Angels Were Involved in Key Events of the Life of Christ

The angels were fascinated by the incarnate life of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16).  The very One who created them (Col. 1:16) became a man!

Oh what wonder, what amazement, who can count the priceless cost,
When my God left heaven's glory for the manger and the cross.

How the angels watched in wonder, as on me His grace He shed.
Choosing rather than His glory, such a lowly manger bed.

Oh what worship He is worthy, Oh what praise my heart should sing,
To my Lord, to my Redeemer, to my Saviour and my King!

Angels were involved with His birth (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:13), with His temptation (Matthew 4:11), with His agony in the garden (Luke 22:43), with His arrest (Matthew 26:53), with His resurrection (Matthew 28:2), and with His ascension (Acts 1:10).  Of course, demons (fallen angels) were also very active during the ministry of Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:28-32 and many other passages).

Angels Are Involved in the Life of the Church,
the Body of Christ

Angels are learning of God's wisdom by means of the church (Eph. 3:10).

The practices of the church are to be carried out with the knowledge that good angels are present and are witnesses of what we do (1 Timothy 5:21).

We are to submit to God's order in the local assembly "because of the ______________" (1 Corinthians 11:10).

The angels witness our participation in the outworking of Christ's LIFE in the arena of the world of death and darkness (1 Corinthians 4:9).

Angels will be judged by the church (1 Corinthians 6:3— "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?").

Angels Were Involved in Other Great Events in History

Angels were witnesses of creation:  "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?....When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7).   "Morning stars" and "sons of God" are expressions that both refer to angels.

A fallen angel (Satan) was involved in the fall of man (Genesis chapter 3).

Angels were involved in keeping sinful man away from the tree of life (Genesis 3:24).

Angels were involved in the destruction of Sodom (Genesis chapters 18-19).

Angels were involved in the giving of the law in the time of Moses. Galatians 3:19— "...it was ordained by _________ ." Hebrews 2:2— "For if the word ______________ by angels was stedfast [firm]."   Acts 7:53— "Who have received the law by the disposition of ____________." 

An angel will be involved in the rapture of the church (1 Thess. 4:16).

Angels will be involved in the judgments of the great tribulation, in proclaiming the gospel during the great tribulation (Rev. 14:6-7), and in the second coming of Christ.  Most of the book of Revelation pertains to the time of tribulation climaxing with the return of Christ to the earth, and angels are mentioned repeatedly throughout this book.


Angels Possess Great Power

Angels possess great power with certain limitations.

Angels are mighty but they are not almighty.  Only God is almighty.

Their power comes from God.  They were created with the abilities that they have.

There are many things they cannot do.  They cannot create things out of nothing. Only God has the power to create.

They cannot do anything unless it is permitted by God.

The first two chapters of Job illustrate two things:  1)  Angelic beings have great power, even to the point of killing humans and causing bodily afflictions (boils);  2) Angelic beings can only do what God allows.  They must always submit to God's sovereign rule.

The power of angels exceeds that of men. 2 Pet. 2:11— "Whereas angels, which are ____________ in ___________ and __________."  Compare Psalm 8:4-5. When it comes to power, men are certainly lower than the angels. In Psalm 103:20 we learn that "angels EXCEL in strength."

One angel terrified the Roman soldiers guarding the tomb of Christ (Matt. 28:2-4).

The entire band of soldiers who tried to arrest Jesus would have been no match for the angelic forces (see Matthew 26:53).

Angels can control elements of nature. Rev. 7:1— "holding the _________  ___________ of the earth, that the ____________ should not blow on the earth."

Angels can administer judgment (Rev. 8:2-10, 12:7). Revelation 20:1-2— "an angel...laid hold on the D____________....and B____________ him a ______________ years."

Angels can bring about the death of a person, in accordance with God's will. See  Acts 12:23—"And immediately an _____________ of the Lord _____________ him (Herod), because he gave not God the glory; and he was ____________ of _________ and he ___________."


Angels Are Not Limited By Time and Space

Angels are above and independent of the laws of matter, time, and space.  In Acts 12:7 an angel had no problem appearing suddenly in a securely locked prison room, and on the way out the iron gate posed no problem (verse 10).

Luke 1:9-11 - "And there _________________ unto him an angel of the Lord."  Angels can appear suddenly at any place on earth whenever God wants them to.

Space travel seems to be no problem for angels.  They can travel from God's heaven to earth in no time at all:  "And in the sixth month the angel, Gabriel, was sent __________    ________ unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth."

In Daniel 9:20-21, it took Gabriel about three minutes (the time it took for Daniel to utter his prayer in 9:3-20) to travel from heaven to earth, in response to Daniel's prayer.

The Bible indicates that there are three heavens (see 2 Cor. 12:2—"caught up to the ______________heaven"):

1) THE FIRST HEAVEN is that which can be seen in the daytime, where "the birds fly and the clouds go by." This is the atmospheric heaven. Jesus said in Matthew 6:26, "Behold the __________ (birds) of the ________ (heaven)." See also Psalm 8:8 ("the fowl of the air [heaven]").


2) THE SECOND HEAVEN is that which can be seen at night—the stars, the moon and the planets. This is the stellar universe with all of its billions of suns and galaxies! David referred to the second heaven in Psalm 8:3,"When I consider thy __________________ , the work of thy fingers, the ___________ and the ___________ which thou hast ordained."


3) THE THIRD HEAVEN is that which cannot be seen except through the eyes of faith. It is sometimes called "the heaven of _________________" (Nehemiah 9:6). It is the "H_______________" of all the heavens (Luke 2:14). Today the third heaven is also called "P__________________" (2 Corinthians 12:4). Paul was once taken there (2 Cor. 12:2). The Lord Jesus is there today (Hebrews 8:1; 9:24) . This heaven is where God the Father manifests His presence (Matthew 6:9) and we know Him as our ___________________ Father" (Matthew 6:26). This is where the believer goes when he dies (Phil. 1:23). This is also the abode or home of the angels (see Rev. 5:11; Mark 12:25, 13:32; Luke 2:13; Matthew 28:2).

The third heaven is located somewhere beyond the second heaven.


The vastness of the stellar universe is hard to comprehend.

The nearest star, our sun, is 93 million miles away. The sun is an average sized star.  Our sun's diameter is 860,000 miles. The sun, if it were hollow, could contain over a million earths inside its surface. The next closest star, Alpha Centauri, is about 4.2 light years away.  [A light year is the distance that light travels in one year, nearly six trillion miles.  Light travels 186,000 miles in one second.  Light can reach the moon in less than two seconds. Light from the sun, 93 million miles away, takes about eight and one-third minutes to reach the earth.]

To help visualize this, if the sun were the size of the dot above the letter "i", the nearest star would be a dot ten miles away, and other stars would be microscopic to "dime-size" dots hundreds and thousands of miles away.

Our Galaxy (The "Milky Way"), and all the other galaxies are located in God's second heaven.


Our Galaxy (The Milky Way) is a star system that contains about 200 billion stars.  Our sun is located on the outer edge of this star system as seen in the above diagram.  The Milky Way is about 80,000 light years in diameter but less than 10,000 light years thick. The nearest neighboring galaxy is about 150,000 light years away. Hundreds of other galaxies have been revealed by telescopes, including the orbiting Hubble telescope. It is estimated that there may be 200 billion or more galaxies (star systems) in the universe. 

So, for angels to travel from the earth to the third heaven (which is beyond our universe) involves a kind of travel that mankind knows nothing of.

Angels Should Never Be Worshiped

Only God the Creator should be worshiped.  Angels, even though they have much wisdom and power, are mere creatures, and they should not be worshipped.

Paul warns against worshiping angels in Colossians 2:18.   When John fell down to worship before the feet of an angel, what did the angel tell him (Revelation 22:8-9)? ____________________________________________

The Lord Jesus Christ did allow men to worship Him, which is a strong argument for His deity.  Only the Creator-God should be worshiped.  Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Christ was a created being, a creature, an exalted angel.  If this were the case, then Christ should have refused worship.  But the opposite was the case as the following outline shows:

A. The Bible clearly teaches that such worship belongs to God alone, and is never to be rendered to any creature, no matter how exalted that creature may be.

  1. Apostles refused worship (Acts 14:11-15).
  2. Peter refused worship (Acts 10:25-26).
  3. Angels refused worship (Revelation 19:10; 22:8,9).
  4. Christ commanded men to worship God alone (Matthew 4:8-10).
  5. Men are punished for accepting what belongs only to God (Acts 12:21-33).

B. Yet this same Bible teaches that Christ is to be worshiped as God.

1. Christ accepted and encouraged such worship.

Matthew 14:31-33
Matthew 15:25-28
Matthew 28:9-10
Matthew 28:16-18
John 9:35-39

2. Christ demanded such worship.

John 5:23

3. The Father commands such worship of Christ.

Hebrews 1:6

4. Christ will actually be worshiped by the host of heaven. See Revelation 5:8

5. This worship of Christ will finally become universal.

Philippians 2:10-11 (All men will someday bow the knee to Christ.)




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