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Chapter 5-Angels, Elect and Evil -Names, Classes and Abode

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by Letete Ball on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 5-Angels, Elect and Evil -Names, Classes and Abode

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli A Study of Angels Course Angels: Names, Classifications and Abode
Chapter 5 The names and classifications of angels enrich our understanding of their nature and ministry. By reflection upon these, we gain insight into the wonders of God's person, power, and program.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 61). Kindle Edition. 1. GENERAL NAMES The names of angels are further evidence that they are persons with peculiar nature and special relationships to God and to man.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 61). Kindle Edition. A. NAMES REVEALING ANGELS' MINISTRIES 1. Angel is the transliteration of the Greek word angelos and is the word used in many cases to translate the Hebrew malak. The basic meaning of both words is "messenger." Depending on the context, these words may be used of a human messenger (1 Samuel 6:2 1; Isaiah 44:26; Matthew 11:10; Luke 7:24; James 2:25) or of a supernatural, spiritual, heavenly being who attends upon God and is employed as His messenger to make known His purposes (Luke 1:11) or to execute them (Psalm 104:4; Matthew 4:6; Revelation 16:1). This latter sense is by far the more frequent use in Scripture. This is certainly the sense in Hebrews 1:7, which states that angels are spirit beings created to serve God with the speed of wind and the fervency of fire.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 61). Kindle Edition. NAMES REVEALING ANGELS' MINISTRIES 2. Minister is a related concept referring to angels. The Greek word is leitourgos, a servant or minister, especially in connection with religious duties, as a priest (Romans 13:6; 15:16; Philippians 2:25; Hebrews 8:2). The related Hebrew word is mishrathim (pl.), which is used in much the same way as the Greek word (Exodus 24:13; 1 Kings 8:11; 2 Kings 4:43; 1 Chronicles 27:1). It is used of angels in Psalm 104:4. With such a name, angels are viewed as those who minister for, and in the presence of, God in spiritual service.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 62). Kindle Edition. NAMES REVEALING ANGELS' MINISTRIES 3. Host pictures God's heavenly angels as His army, and is the translation of the Hebrew sava. In Psalm 103:20-21, angels are called upon to bless the Lord. In these verses, angels termed malakim and mishrathim are also termed sava (v. 21; cf. Psalm 148:2). This term encompasses the whole array of God's heavenly army and sees them employed as a military force to accomplish His will and to do His battles. As such, they are an extension of His power and providence. The name for God, Jehovah of Hosts, pictures God as the sovereign commander of a great heavenly army, who works all His pleasure in heaven and in earth (cf. 1 Samuel 17:45; Psalm 89:6, 8). In Luke 2:13, at the birth of Christ there appears a "multitude of the heavenly host" (stratias ouraniou).


C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 62). Kindle Edition. NAMES REVEALING ANGELS' MINISTRIES 4. Chariots applies to angels in the sense that they are part of God's host or army that accomplish His purpose. Psalm 68:17 refers to angelic intervention that enabled victory over kings and armies that opposed Israel (cf. Psalm 68:12, 14). This term is used also in 2 Kings 6:16-17, where Elisha and his servant were protected by an angelic task force of horses and chariots. Zechariah's visions included four chariots which carried out God's military judgments on the nations surrounding Israel. These are further described as "four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth" (Zechariah 6:5).


C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 62). Kindle Edition. Classifications 5. Watchers (Daniel 4:13, 17) denotes angels as supervisors and agents under God employed by Him in the control of world government. They may be involved in decision making and execution of decrees that affect world affairs.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 62). Kindle Edition. B. NAMES REVEALING ANGELS' NATURE 1. Sons of the Mighty (bene elim) occurs in Psalm 89:6 and Psalm 29:1. The Hebrew expression is descriptive of the great strength of angels (cf. Psalm 103:20). Often the expression "son(s) of" is descriptive of a class of persons. The prophets were nebi'im or sons of nebi'im, indicating their classification. Some reckless or lawless persons were termed sons of Belial, which simply means a worthless person (cf. 1 Samuel 2:12; 25:17, 25). This is probably the classifying connotation in Jesus' surnaming James and John "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17). Elim speaks of strength so that bene elim refers to angels as a class of mighty ones. I

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 63). Kindle Edition. 2. Sons of God (bene elohim) by the Hebrew idiom refers to angels as belonging to a class of mights or powers. "In contrast with man, angels belong to the class of Elohim."2 This term is used of angels in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7, and includes Satan. This term does not reflect the holy nature of angels-because Satan, the evil one, is classed among them-but it does speak of their might. In Job, the bene elohim are pictured as assembling before God, ministering to Him and answering to Him. Payne, with others, says that this term is used also of the elect of mankind;3 however, close inspection of the passages usually listed (Deuteronomy 14:1; Hosea 1: 10; 11:1) will disclose that they do not use the exact term, which seems to be a technical term to classify angels. This is probably the sense in which "the sons of God" in Genesis 6 is used.4 (See Appendix.)


C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 63). Kindle Edition. B. NAMES REVEALING ANGELS' NATURE 3. Elohim by itself is sometimes applied to angels. "The name Elohim is used both for God and for angels. The angels are elohim; and as a family or class they are 'sons of Elohim."'5 This is the understanding, evidently, of the writer to the Hebrews (as well as the translators of the Septuagint) when he takes "a little lower than elohim" as a little lower than angels (Hebrews 2:7; cf. Psalm 8:5). This term pictures angels along with God as a supernatural class of beings of great strength and higher than weak and mortal man. "Moses ... described Jacob's experience at Bethel by saying that 'Elohim were revealed [plural verb] unto him' (Genesis 35:7). He thus indicated that God and His angels, when envisioned together, may be called Elohim, supernatural beings."6 As the created servants of God, angels are reflective of God's great power and immortality.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 63). Kindle Edition. 4. Holy ones in Psalm 89:6-7 refers to God's angels. It is a translation of kadoshim, which means separated ones, those set apart to God, and "The 'assembly of the saints [holy ones]' . . . is best understood as referring to angels."7 The same expression is used in Job 5:1; 15:15; Daniel 8:13; and Zechariah 14:5; and in each case it probably refers to angels. This term reflects their holy character and activities as those devoted to God.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (pp. 63-64). Kindle Edition. 5. Stars, used symbolically of angels, denotes their heavenly nature and abode. God speaks to Job about the wonders of creation and the time when "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God [bene elohim] shouted for joy" (38:7). It is rather natural that stars and angels be compared as heavenly creations that reflect the power and wisdom of God. They are often mentioned in the same context (cf. Psalm 148:1-5). Both angels and stars are called "the host of heaven" (Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3; 1 Kings 22:19; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:6). In fact, astrology is connected to demon worship through this term (Jeremiah 19:13; Acts 7:42; particularly 2 Kings 23:5, 10, 24).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. Divination and worship of the stars is condemned by the Scripture (cf. Deuteronomy 18:10-14)8 as connected with demonological elements.9

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. It is not strange, then, to note that Satan is described in his rebellion and warfare against God as a "wonder in heaven ... a great red dragon ... and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth" (Revelation 12:3-4 KJV).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. This force of spirit beings is later called "Satan ... and his angels" (Revelation 12:9). Stars, then, speak symbolically of heavenly spirits created by God.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. NEXT


II. SPECIAL CLASSIFICATIONS

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. II. SPECIAL CLASSIFICATIONS The Scriptures reveal that there are several special classes or orders of angels. Each class has its special distinguishing characteristics which seem to be part of a created constitution.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. A. CHERUBIM Cherubim (Heb. pl. of cherub) seem to be angelic beings of the highest order or class, created with indescribable powers and beauty. As is the case with many heavenly realities, their character and appearance are so far beyond human imagination and present comprehension that they must be described in earthly terms obviously designed to convey something surpassingly supernatural (Ezekiel 1:5-14; 28:12-13, 17).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 64). Kindle Edition. 1. Description. God made the visible appearances of the cherubim to differ, as each occasion might best be served. However, certain basic descriptions may be traced through the Bible. The first biblical reference to angels is to the cherubim of Genesis 3:24 who were placed at the gate of the Garden of Eden after man was expelled. They were stationed with flaming swords to protect the way to the tree of life, lest sinful man should intrude into God's presence or presume to take of the tree of life. They teach us that sin and paradise are incompatible. Sinful man cannot approach God without the righteousness granted to those who trust Christ.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 65). Kindle Edition. Cherubim appear next in connection with the designated dwelling place of God in the tabernacle. They appear in the form of golden images upon the mercy seat, the lid on the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament worship tent (Exodus 25:17-22) and in Solomon's temple (2 Chronicles 3:10-13).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 65). Kindle Edition. The ark and mercy seat with its symbolic cherubim were kept in the innermost sanctuary of the tabernacle where God's Shekinah glory was manifest. In this connection they are designated "the cherubim of glory" (Hebrews 9:5), probably as associated with the glory of God. "The cherubim are one of the most important symbols of the Mosaic worship. Figures of them appear also on the tapestry of the tabernacle, and, at a later time, on the walls of Solomon's temple, and in the vision of the new temple, Ezek. xli."11

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 65). Kindle Edition. The cherubim on the mercy seat seem to be represented as having one face and two wings each. They sat on opposite ends of the mercy seat facing each other and stretching out their wings so as to cover the mercy seat. They seem to be looking down at the lid of the ark rather than at one another.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 65). Kindle Edition. During Ezekiel's captivity in Babylon, he received a vision of the glory of God which involved the presence of "four living creatures" (Ezekiel 1:1-28). Later references to this vision identify these creatures as cherubim (10:4, 18-22). They were, along with "the glory of God," associated with the golden images in the mercy seat, "the seat of the idol of jealousy" (8:3).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 65). Kindle Edition. The cherubim of Ezekiel's vision were complex creatures. Each one has four faces and four wings, and the overall appearance could be likened to a man (1:5-6), "not that of the mythological winged sphinx of Assyrian-type lion, as is claimed by liberal historicism."12 They had hands of a man under their wings (v. 8). The four faces of each of them are compared with the faces of a man, a lion, a bull, and an eagle (v. 10). They had the appearance of polished bronze and bright coals of fire, and their movements flashed as lightning (vv. 7, 13-14).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 65). Kindle Edition. Though it seems obvious that they are an angelic class, they are never termed "angels." Perhaps this is because they are not messengers (malakim) in their duties. They seem never to carry revelation or instruction from God to men.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 66). Kindle Edition. Their main purpose and activity might be summarized in this way: They are proclaimers and protectors of God's glorious presence, His sovereignty, and His holiness. This characterization may be substantiated by reference to their various appearances and connections in Scripture.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 66). Kindle Edition. Their main purpose and activity might be summarized in this way: They are proclaimers and protectors of God's glorious presence, His sovereignty, and His holiness. This characterization may be substantiated by reference to their various appearances and connections in Scripture.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 66). Kindle Edition. Since they are nowhere sent from God's presence but are "confined to the seat of the divine habitation and the manifestation of the Divine Being," 13 they designate the place of abode of the presence of God as in the Garden of Eden, the inner room of the tabernacle, and later of the temple.14 Psalm 80:1 and Psalm 99:1 refer to the Shekinah glory as representing God who is "enthroned above the cherubim."


C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 66). Kindle Edition. B. SERAPHIM Another special class of angels are the seraphim. They also, as the cherubim, are closely associated with the glory of God and are probably related closely in class to them.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 67). Kindle Edition. 1. Description. The Hebrew term (seraphim) means "burning ones." This probably speaks of their consuming devotion to God rather than of their outward ministry. Oehler says that "they are evidently represented in human form; for faces, hands, and feet are spoken of."17 They each

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (pp. 67-68). Kindle Edition. The symbolism of their appearance is very simple. With two wings they cover their faces,-to indicate that even the most exalted spirits cannot bear the full vision of the Divine glory; with two they cover their feet,-to symbolize their reverence [speaking of hesitancy to tread uninvited upon holy ground];-with two they fly,-to express the swiftness with which they execute the Divine commands.18

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 68). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 68). Kindle Edition. It seems that the seraphim were hovering above on both sides of Jehovah on His throne. They were crying to each other, as antiphonal choirs, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory" (Isaiah 6:3). Whether there were only two seraphim or two rows of several seraphim, it is difficult to determine. The force of their voices was such that the supports of the throne room shook (v. 4). The altar mentioned probably corresponds to the golden altar of incense in the tabernacle. It stood before the veil closing off the holiest place and was used when the high priest would enter into the symbolic presence of God. Incense placed upon coals taken from the altar would fill the holiest place with smoke, signifying that sinful man could not look directly upon the holiness of God. Note that in Isaiah's vision "the temple was filling with smoke" (v. 4).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 68). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 68). Kindle Edition. C. LIVING BEINGS 1. Identity. If the living beings (hayoth) of Ezekiel 1 are cherubim, what are the four living creatures (zoa) of Revelation 4:6-9 (ASV)? Are they also cherubim? There are likenesses in the two appearances. There is reference to faces like a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle, and to multiple wings and to many eyes. However, there are striking differences. In Ezekiel each living creature had four faces, whereas in Revelation each has only one. In Ezekiel each one had four wings; in Revelation each has six. In Ezekiel the eyes were pictured as in the wheels associated with the living creatures; in Revelation the creatures had eyes round about themselves and within. Of their identity we are not certain. It may be that those of Revelation were seraphim, who also have six wings and also cry, as do they, "Holy, Holy, Holy" (Isaiah 6:1-3).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 69). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 69). Kindle Edition. 2. Activities. What are the functions of the living creatures of the book of Revelation? We see them worshiping God in chapters 4, 5, 7, and 19, and witnessing the worship of God by redeemed men in chapter 14. Again we see them directing the judgments of God during the tribulation period; in chapter 6 they each in turn called for the execution of the judgments associated with the first four seals of the scroll, and in chapter 15 one of them gave to seven other angels the seven bowls of the wrath of God to be poured out upon the earth. If we allow that the purging of Isaiah by fire and the punishment of the earth by judgments both are expressions of a ministry of purgation by a holy God, then we may have additional grounds for identifying the living creatures as seraphim.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 69). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 69). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 69). Kindle Edition. III. SPECIAL NAMES It is noteworthy that of all the angels, only two are designated by name in our canonical books, and these are not mentioned until after the Babylonian captivity of Israel. Michael and Gabriel are given places of great importance among angels in the ministries of God, and both are mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. In emphasis, Michael seems to be the greater. He might be characterized as the military leader, while Gabriel is the leading messenger.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 70). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 70). Kindle Edition. A. MICHAEL 1. Designations. The name Michael is significant. There is among some a question as to its meaning, but it is probably to be taken as a question, "Who is like God?" This name would call attention humbly to the incomparableness of God. It would speak of his devotedness to God and His will, and would be in stark contrast with Satan who in his pride declared, "I will make myself like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 70). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 70). Kindle Edition. However, others take the name to be a statement and declaration that its bearer is God Himself and should be understood as, "Who is like me, who am God."20 Oehler writes, "It is certainly true that the later Jewish theology identified Michael with the shekinah ... while among moderns Hengstenberg identifies him with the Logos."21 Nevertheless, it seems clear that Michael is a created angel and not God Himself. The name appears fairly frequently from Numbers 13:13 to Ezra 8:8 as the name of a man.22 Furthermore, Michael is designated an archangel and is classified as "one of the chief princes" (Daniel 10:13), as if belonging to a group of comparable ones among angels. He is further assigned to the welfare of the nation of Israel as others are assigned to other nations by God or by Satan (cf. Daniel 10:13, 20). In contrast, the Logos (preincarnate designation for Christ) is termed monogenes (only begotten, unique), is the creator of all angels (Colossians 1:16), and is the Lord of all nations (Revelation 19:13-16).

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 70). Kindle Edition.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (p. 70). Kindle Edition. as "the archangel" (Jude 9). This title immediately sets him above some others of the angels, and indeed we see him as the military leader of an army of angels in battle with Satan (Revelation 12:7). The definite article with archangel does not necessarily limit the class of archangel to Michael. The article may be one of identification as the well-known archangel instead of limitation as the only archangel. There may be others of the same class or rank, since he is described as "one of the chief princes" (Daniel 10:13). Perhaps he is the archangel among the chief angelic rulers of God.

C. Fred Dickason. Angels: Elect and Evil (pp. 70-71). Kindle Edition.
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