A. ttendants of Christ (2 Thess. 1:7), their exalted Head (Eph. 1:21; 22; Col. 2:10) B. ringers of good tidings concerning our salvation (see on Luke 2:14; 24:4; Acts 1:11; 1 Tim. 3:16) C. horisters of heaven (Luke 15:10; 1 Cor. 13:1; Rev. 5:11, 12) D. efenders of God’s children (Ps. 34:8; 91:11; Dan. 6:22; 10:10, 13, 20; Matt. 18:10; Acts 5:19; 2 Thess. 1:7–10; Rev. 12:7), though the latter outrank them and will judge them (1 Cor.…
Referring to the glorious angels, Trapp remarks that they do the will of God,
Cheerfully; whence they are said to have wings, six wings a-piece, Isa 6:2.
Humbly; therefore with two they cover their faces.
Faithfully, without partiality; with two they covered or harnessed their feet.
Speedily and zealously; with two they fly abroad the world upon God’s errand, and for the good of them that shall be saved, Heb 1:14, burning and being all on a light fire, with infinite love to God and his saints, their fellow servants, Rev 22:9, whence they are called seraphims or burning creatures.
Bible commentator William Hendriksen, while expressing some sympathy for artistic representations of biblical scenes, rightly asks if some images of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) give the correct impression.
Take, as an example, ‘Good Tidings’ by the artist William Plockhurst:-
‘The sheep are huddled together in some kind of pen. Right near them are a few shepherds. Leaning against one of these sturdy men is the faithful shepherd’s dog.…
According to William Ames (1576–1633), the work of angels is “to celebrate the glory of God and execute his commandments (Ps. 103:20), especially for the heirs of eternal life” (Heb. 1:14; Pss. 91:11; 34:7). (A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, p185)
Regarding angels’ specific function, there are at least four:
1) Angels continuously worship and praise the God they serve (Job 38:7; Psalm 103:20; Isaiah 6:1–3; Revelation 4:8; 5:9–12).
Charles Wesley’s famous hymn ‘And can it be?‘ is still sung from time to time today, even though many of the other hymns that were still popular when I was a Methodist teenager have fallen into neglect. It is a shame, although I think that the vigorous tune Sagina prompts us to sing it more lustily than the awe-struck words suggest. At any rate, we would reflect the words better if we didn’t crank the volume up until we reached the bit about ‘my chains fell off’.…
Since God created everything, Gen 1:1, Jn 1:3, Col 1:16, and everything he created was good, Gen 1:3, Ps 104:24, 1 Tim 4:4, it is reasonable to suppose that Satan was originally part of that good creation, but ‘fell’ into evil.
Scripture says little about this.
Isa 14:12-16 – Many interpreters have seen in this prophecy a cosmic dimension, although its primary reference is clearly to a man – the king of Babylon, Isa 14:4. The prophecy does draw on pagan mythology to depict the king’s fall from power: in one Canaanite myth a god named Athtar (meaning ‘son of Dawn’ or ‘morning star’) aspired to rule on Baal’s throne.…
In his preface to The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis famously wrote that there are two equal and opposite errors in relation to thinking about demons: disbelieving in their existence altogether, and taking an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. Either way, Satan is delighted – scepticism and fanaticism both serve his purposes very nicely.
The sceptical approach is well represented by the New Testament scholar Rudolph Bultmann: ‘It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless and to avail ourselves of modern medical and scientific discoveries, and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of daemons and spirits.’ (Kerygma and Myth, p5)
Having had to lead a discussion, a while ago, on ‘angels and demons’, and now having to prepare a sermon on the ‘Gerasene Demoniac’ in Luke 8:26-39, I’d like to jot down a few notes on this topic.…
1. Angels are not subject to redemption. Holy angels do not need to be redeemed, fallen angels cannot be redeemed.
2. Angels are not heirs of God. Jesus so identified himself with fallen men at the incarnation, Heb 2:9, that they become joint heirs with him through redemption, Rom 8:17.
3. Angels cannot testify to salvation. They do share in the joy of salvation, Lk 15:10, but they cannot personally testify to it, and more than a man who has never married can fully appreciate that relationship.…