3 occurrences in 3 dictionaries

Reference: Angels


("messengers".) Often with "of God" or "Jehovah" added. Sometimes called the "holy ones," "saints." The "Angel of God" often means the Divide Word, "the Image of the invisible God," God Himself manifested (Col 1:15; Ge 22:11-12; 16:7,13'>13; 31:11,13'>13; 48:15-16; 33:14; compare Isa 63:9; Ex 3:2,6,14; 23:20-22; Ac 27:23-24, compare Ac 23:11; Nu 22:22-35); accepting as His due the worship which angels reject as mere creatures (Re 19:10; 22:9); this manifestation was as man, an anticipation of the incarnation (Joh 1:18; Ge 18:2,22; 19:1; 32:24,30; Jos 5:13,15).

Angel, "Son of God," "Gods" (Elohim), "Holy One," in the fullest sense, are names of the divine Word alone. His incarnation is the center by reference to which all angelic ministration is best understood. Compare Joh 1:51, Greek (aparti), "from this time forth ye shall see heaven open" (heretofore shut, against man by sin: Heb 9:8; 10:19-20 "and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man," as the antitypical Jacob's ladder, the center of communication between men and God, the redeemed and the angelic world; Jesus' miracles, of which mention immediately follows (John 2), are firstfruit of this newly opened communion of earth and heaven (Ge 28:12-17). Secondarily, God's created messengers; as Israel (Isa 42:19), Haggai (Hag 1:13), John (Mal 3:1; 2:7), the priesthood, ministers (Ec 5:6), the rulers or angels of the Christian churches (Re 1:20), as Elohim, "gods" is applied to judges (Ps 82:6); compare Jesus' application, Joh 10:34-37.

As to the nature of "angels" in the limited sense, they are "spirits" (Heb 1:7,14), of wind-like velocity, subtle nature, capable of close communion with God; sharers in His truth, purity, and love, since they ever behold His face (Mt 18:10), even as the redeemed shall (1Jo 3:2); not necessarily incorporeal; Lu 20:36 (compare Php 3:21), 1Co 15:44, seemingly but not certainly imply their having bodies. Their glorious appearance (Da 10:6), like our Lord's when transfigured and afterward as the ascended Savior (Re 1:14-16), and their human form (Lu 24:4; Ac 1:10), favor the same view. Close kindred of nature between angels and men is implied in both being alike called "sons of God" (Job 1:6; 38:7; Da 3:25,28) and "gods" (Elohim) (Ps 8:5; Hebrew Elohim "angels," Ps 97:7; Lu 3:38).

Finite, but ever progressing in the participation of God's infinite perfection (Job 4:18; Mt 24:36; 1Pe 1:12). Our fellow servants, "sent forth unto ministry for the sake of them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb 1:14), i.e., on ministrations appointed by God and Christ for the good of them who shall be heirs of salvation. Worship and service are their twofold function; priests in the heavenly temple (Isa 6:1-3; 1Ki 22:19; Da 7:9-10; Re 5:11), and sent forth thence on God's missions of love and justice. As finite, and having liberty, they were capable of temptation. Some "kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" (2Pe 2:4; Jg 1:6). "The elect angels" fell not; they take part, by act and sympathy, in our affairs, and shall witness the Judgment (Lu 15:10; 1Co 4:9).

The fallen are not yet actually confined in the bottomless pit, but are doomed to it, "reserved unto judgment," and though seeming free, and ranging in our air, under the prince of the powers of the air (Eph 2:2), are really in "chains of darkness" already, able only to hurt to the length of their chain. Satan is their prince, a liar, murderer, slanderer; and such are they (Joh 8:44). The probation of the elect angels is over; their crown is won, they are the "holy ones" now (Da 8:13), under the blessed necessity of sinning no more. "Watchers" of men, jealous for God's honor (Da 4:13,23). Bad angels are permitted to try believers now, as Job; good angels are God's ministers of vengeance on the bad (Re 12:8-9; 20:1-2). Such shall the saints be at last, "equal to the angels," holy, made perfect, judges of angels and the world, ministering mediators of blessing to subject creatures (Heb 12:23; 1Co 6:2-3; Re 5:10).

In the natural world angels minister, as in directing wind and flame (according to one translation of Ps 104:4; Heb 1:7): "the angel of Jehovah" wrought in the plague on the Egyptian firstborn (Ex 12:23; Heb 11:28), and on the rebels in the wilderness (1Co 10:10), on Israel under David (2Sa 24:16; 1Ch 21:16), on Sennacherib's army (2Ki 19:35), on Herod (Ac 12:23). An angel troubled the pool of Bethesda (the Alex. manuscript supports the verse, the Sin. and the Vat. manuscripts reject it), giving it a healing power, as in our mineral springs (Joh 5:4): They act, in an unknown way, in and through "nature's laws." In the spiritual world too: by their ministration the Sinaitic law was given, "ordained by angels" (Ga 3:19), "spoken" by them (Heb 2:2), by their "disposition" or appointment (Ac 7:53; compare De 33:2; Ps 68:17).

From the first creation of our world they took the liveliest interest in the earth (Job 38:7). When man fell by evil angels, with beautiful propriety it was ordered that other angels, holy and unfallen, should minister for God in His reparation of the evil caused to man by their fallen fellow spirits. They rescued at Jehovah's command righteous Lot from doomed Sodom, Jacob from his murderous brother (Genesis 19; 32). "Manna" is called "angels' food," "the grain of heaven"; not that angels eat it, but it came from above whence angels come, and through their ministry (Ps 78:25). When Elisha was in Dothan, surrounded by Syrian hosts, and his servant cried, "Alas! how shall we do?" the Lord opened his eyes to see the mount full of chariots and horses of fire round about (2Ki 6:15,17, compare Ps 94:7). By God's angel Daniel was saved in the lions' den (Da 6:22); compare Da 3:28 as to the fiery furnace.

Michael (whom some questionably identify with the Son of God) is represented as Israel's champion against Israel's (the literal and the spiritual) accuser, Satan (Da 12:1, compare Re 12:7-10). Daniel 10 unfolds the mysterious truth that there are angel princes in the spirit world, answering to the God-opposed leaders of kingdoms in the political world, the prince of Persia and the prince of Grecia standing in antagonism to Michael. In patriarchal times their ministry is more familiar, and less awful, than in after times. Compare Ge 24:7,40 (the angelic guidance of Abraham's servant in choosing a wife for Isaac, and encouraging Jacob in his loneliness at Bethel on first leaving home, Genesis 28) with Jg 6:21-22; 13:16,22. They appear, like the prophets and kings in subsequent times, in the character of God's ministers, carrying out God's purposes in relation to Israel and the pagan world powers (Zechariah 1; 2; 3; 4, etc.).

When the Lord of angels became flesh, they ministered before and at His birth (Luke 1; 2; Mt 1:20), after the temptation (Mt 4:11), in the agony of Gethsemane (Lu 22:43), at His resurrection and ascension (Mt 28:2; Lu 24:4; Joh 20:12; Ac 1:10-11). Their previous and subsequent ministrations to men (Ac 5:19; 8:26; 10:3; 12:7, Peter's deliverance, Ac 27:23) all hinge on their intimate connection with and ministry to Him, redeemed man's divine Head (Ps 91:11; Mt 4:6), Hence they are the guardians of Christ's little ones, not thinking it beneath their dignity to minister to them (Mt 18:10); not attached singly to single individuals, but all or one ready at God's bidding to minister to each. (In Acts 12, the remark, "it is his Peter's angel," receives no countenance from Peter or the inspired writer of Acts, Luke; but is the uninspired guess of those in Mary's house.)

Rejoice over each recovered penitent (Lu 15:10); are present in Christian congregations (1Co 11:10); exercising some function in presenting the saints' prayers, incensed by Christ's merits, the one Mediator, before God (Re 8:3; 5:8); not to be prayed to, which is thrice forbidden (Re 19:10; 22:9; Col 2:18): when we send an offering to the King, the King's messenger durst not appropriate the King's exclusive due. Ministers of grace now, and at the dying hour carrying the believer's soul to paradise (Lu 16:22), but ministers of judgment, and gathering the elect, in the great day (Mt 13:39,41,49; 16:27; 24:31). Their

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The words malac ggelo", -->???????, signify 'messenger.'

1. It is used for the mystic representation of the divine presence, as in Ge 31:11-13. "The angel of God" spake unto Jacob saying, "I am the God of Bethel." "The angel of Jehovah" spake to Hagar and said, "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly that it shall not be numbered for multitude." Ge 16:7-11. "The angel of Jehovah" spake to Abraham saying, "By myself have I sworn," etc. Ge 22:11,15,Ge 22:16. Three 'men' drew near to Abraham's tent. One said Sarah should have a son: at which Sarah laughed, and Jehovah said, "Wherefore did Sarah laugh?" Two of the three left, and were called 'angels' at the gate of Sodom, while Jehovah, the third, talked with Abraham. Ge 18: cf. also Ex 3:2,6-15; Nu 22:22-35. Jacob, in blessing the sons of Joseph, said, "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil bless the lads." Ge 48:16. It is generally believed that it was the second person in the Trinity who appeared as a man in the O.T. It is no doubt the same who is called 'the mighty angel' in Re 10:1-3.

2. The intelligent spiritual beings who are constantly referred to in scripture as God's messengers both as carrying good tidings and, as executors of God's judgements. We know little of their nature: "of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire," Heb 1:7; and man is described as being a little inferior to the angels. Ps 8:5; Heb 2:7. There are apparently gradations in rank among them, described as principalities and powers, of which Christ as Man is now the head. Col 2:10. Twice we meet with 'archangel:' an archangel's voice will accompany the rapture of the church, 1Th 4:16; and 'Michael the archangel' contended with Satan about the body of Moses. Jude 1:9. He with his angels will fight with the dragon and his angels and cast them out of heaven. Re 12:7-8. Gabriel is the only other name of an angel revealed to us: he appeared to Daniel, to Zacharias, and to Mary: he said that he stood in the presence of God. Da 8:16; 9:21; Lu 1:19,26.

Though we are unconscious of the presence of angels we know that they are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall inherit salvation, Heb 1:14: cf. Ps 34:7; and we read also that they ministered to the Lord when He was here. Mt 4:11; Mr 1:13; Lu 22:43. There are 'myriads' of these angels, Mt 26:53; Heb 12:22; Re 5:11; and they are described as 'mighty,' 'holy,' 'elect,' 2Th 1:7; Mr 8:38; 1Ti 5:21: they do not marry, Mr 12:25. We are not told when they were created, but doubtless they are referred to as 'the sons of God' who shouted for joy when God created the earth. Job 38:4-7.

The law was given by their ministry, Ac 7:53; Ga 3:19; Ps 68:17; and they had to do with proclaiming the birth of the Saviour, Lu 2:8-14; and they attended at the resurrection. Mt 28:2; Joh 20:12. Angels are not the depositaries of the revelation and counsels of God. They desire to look into the things testified by the Spirit of Christ in the prophets, and now reported by the apostles in the power of the same Spirit. 1Pe 1:12. The world to come is not to be put in subjection to them, but to man in the person of the Son of man, Heb 2:5-8; and the saints will judge angels. 1Co 6:3. It is therefore only a false humility that would teach the worshipping of angels. Col 2:18. When John fell down to worship the angel in the Revelation, being overpowered by reason of the stupendous things revealed, he was on two occasions restrained from worshipping his 'fellow servant,' as in Re 19:10; 22:9.

In Ps 8:5 the word is elohim, 'God:' the name of God being given to the angels as His representatives: cf. Ps 82:6. In Ps 68:17 it is shinan 'repetition;' reading "even thousands upon thousands." In Ps 78:25 it is abbir, 'mighty:' "every one did eat the bread of the mighty" margin.


a. We read of angels who kept not their first estate,' but left their own habitation, and are kept in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day. Jude 1:6. God spared not the angels who sinned. 2Pe 2:4. The nature of their sin may be referred to in Ge 6:2. Their punishment and that of Sodom and Gomorrah is held up as a warning against fleshly indulgence, and despising government. 2Pe 2:10; Jude 1:6-8.

b. Besides the above which are kept in chains we read of angels connected with Satan. The great dragon and his angels will be subdued by Michael and his angels, and be cast out of heaven. Re 12:9. The lake of fire, or Gehenna, has been specially prepared for the devil and his angels, though, alas, man will also be cast therein. Mt 25:41. Abaddon or Apollyon is the name of 'the angel of the bottomless pit,' Re 9:11, that is, 'the abyss,' not hell, which, as seen above, is the place of punishment. Isa 14:12-16 and Eze 28:14-19, may throw some light on the fall of Satan, but whether the fall of those called 'his angels' was brought about by the same cause and at the same time is not revealed. Scripture is quite clear that all of them will be overcome and eternally punished.

4. The term 'angel' is used metaphorically for a mystical representative. When Peter was delivered from prison, and knocked at the door, those who had been praying for his release said, "It is his angel." Ac 12:15. They supposed Peter was still in prison, and that the one at the door was his representative, his spirit personified, perhaps with very vague ideas of what they really meant. In Re 2:1; 3:1, the addresses to the seven churches are made to the angel of each. It signifies the spirit and character of the assembly personified in its mystical representative, each one differing from the others, according to the state of the assembly. The messages, though addressed to churches existing at the time, no doubt set forth the state of the church in its varied phases ever since apostolic times down to its entire rejection as the responsible witness for Christ at the close of the dispensation.

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By the word "angels" (i.e. "messengers" of God) we ordinarily understand a race of spiritual beings of a nature exalted far above that of man, although infinitely removed from that of God--whose office is "to do him service in heaven, and by his appointment to succor and defend men on earth. I. Scriptural use of the word. --There are many passages in which the expression "angel of God" is certainly used for a manifestation of God himself

Ge 22:11

with Gene 22:12 and Exod 3:2 with Exod 3:6 and Exod 3:14 It is to be observed, also, that side by side with these expressions we read of God's being manifested in the form of man--as to Abraham at Mamre,

Ge 18:2,22

comp. Gene 19:1 to Jacob at Penuel,

Ge 32:24,30

to Joshua at Gilgal,

Jos 5:13,15

etc. Besides this, which is the highest application of the word angel, we find the phrase used of any messengers of God, such as the prophets,

Isa 42:19; Hag 1:13; Mal 3:1

the priests,

Mal 2:7

and the rulers of the Christian churches.

Re 1:20

II. Nature of angels--Angels are termed "spirits," as in

Heb 1:14

but it is not asserted that the angelic nature is incorporeal. the contrary seems expressly implied in

Lu 20:36; Phm 1:25

The angels are revealed to us as beings such as man might be, and will be when the power of sin and death is removed, because always beholding his face,

Mt 18:10

and therefore being "made like him."

1Jo 3:2

Their number must be very large,

1Ki 22:19; Mt 26:53; Heb 12:22

their strength is great,

Ps 103:20; Re 5:2; 18:21

their activity marvelous

Isa 6:2-6; Mt 26:53; Re 8:13

their appearance varied according to circumstances, but was often brilliant and dazzling.

Mt 28:2-7; Re 10:1-2

Of the nature of "fallen angels," the circumstances and nature of the temptation by which they fell, we know absolutely nothing. All that is certain is that they "left their first estate" and that they are now "angels of the devil."

Mt 25:41; Re 12:7,9

On the other hand the title especially assigned to the angels of God--that of the "holy ones," see

Da 4:13,23; 8:13; Mt 25:31

--is precisely the one which is given to those men who are renewed in Christ's image. Comp.

Heb 2:10; 5:9; 12:23

III. Office of the angels. Of their office in heaven we have only vague prophetic glimpses as in

1Ki 22:19; Isa 6:1-3; Da 7:9-10; Re 6:11

, etc., which show us nothing but a never-ceasing adoration. They are represented as being, in the widest sense, agents of God's providence, natural and supernatural, to the body and to the soul. In one word, they are Christ's ministers of grace now, and they shall be of judgment hereafter.

Mt 13:39,41,49; 16:27; 24:31

etc. That there are degrees of the angelic nature, both fallen and unfallen, and special titles and agencies belonging to each, is clearly declared by St. Paul,

Eph 1:21; Ro 8:38

but what their general nature is it is useless to speculate.

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