MENU

Where the world comes to study the Bible

6. Angelology: Angels

The term “angelology” comes from two Greek terms, namely, aggelos (pronounced angelos) meaning “messenger” or “angel” and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” or “thing.” In Christian systematic theology it is used to refer to the study of the biblical doctrine of angels. It includes such topics as the origin, existence, and nature of angels, classifications of angels, the service and works of angels as well the existence, activity, and judgment of Satan and demons (as fallen or wicked angels). Some theologies, however, treat Satan and demons under a separate heading, namely, demonology.

IA. The Nature of Angels

1B. Definition

1C. Colossians 1:16
2C. Hebrews 1:14

2B. The Personhood of Angels

1C. They Reason—1 Peter 1:12
2C. They Feel—Luke 2:13
3C. They Choose—Jude 6
4C. Higher Orfer than Man—Psalm 8:4-5
5C. Inferior to Christ
1D. 2 Samuel 14:20
2D. Luke 20:36
3D. Hebrews 1:1-14
6C. Unable To Procreate—Matthew 22:30

3B. Titles

1C. Heavely Host—1 Samuel 17:45; Hebrews 12:22
2C. Sons of God—Job 1:6; 2:1
3C. Holy Ones—Psalm 89:5-7

IIA. Classifications of Angels

1B. The Sparsity of Scriptural Revelation on the Matter

2B. The Interpretation of 2 Peter 2:4

3B. Archangels

1C. Jude 9
2C. Daniel 9:21; 12:1
3C. Daniel 10:13

4B. Gaurdian Angels—Matthew 18:10

5B. Seraphim—Isaiah 6:2-4

6B. Cherubim

1C. Genesis 3:22-24
2C. Exodus 25:18-22
3C. Ezekiel 1:4-28; 10:15
4C. Revelation 4:4-8

IIIA. The Service of Angels

1B. In Connection with OT Saints

1C. Genesis 19:1ff
2C. Psalm 91:11

2B. In Connection with Christ’s Birth, Ministry, Death, Resurrection, & Ascension

1C. Luke 1:26-38
2C. Luke 2:13
3C. Mark 1:13
4C. Luke 22:43
5C. Matthew 26:53
6C. Matthew 28:2, 6

3B. In Connection with Believers’ Salvation, Encouragement, and Ministry

1C. Angels Rejoice in Salvation—Luke 15:10
2C. Angels Serve Believers—Hebrews 1:14
3C. Angels Protect Believers—Acts 12:7
4C. Angels Encourage Believers—Acts 27:23-24
5C. Angels Relay God’s Will to Believers—Acts 8:26

4B. In Connection with the Judgment

1C. Judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah—Genesis 19:12-13
2C. Judgment on Herod—Acts 12:23
3C. The Trumpet and Bowl Judgments of Revelation 8-9, 1623
4C. Gathering People for Eternal Judgment—Matthew 13:41-42

5B. In Connection with God’s Providential Control of History

In the sense that angels were involved in the coming of Christ, the salvation, growth, preservation of christians, and the judgment of unbelievers they are involved in the providential outworking of God’s plan (encompassing all things) in the world. This can be seen in the control of nations as well (Daniel 10:13, 20-21).

IVA. Satan as a Fallen Angel

1B. The Reality of Satan and Demons

1C. The Rise of Science and the Scientific Worldview
2C. Western Culture in General
1D. Widespread Denial
2D. Widespread Occult
3C. The Testimony of Scripture

2B. The Personality of Satan

1C. He Is Cunning—Genesis 3:1; 2 Cor 11:3
2C. Gets Angry—Revelation 12:17
3C. He Exerts His Will—2 Timothy 2:26
4C. He Is Accountable to God and Will Be Punished—John 12:31; Revelation 20:10
5C. Has Extensive, Yet Limited Control—1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4
6C. Summary
1D. Not Just an Impesonal Force with Culture or World History
2D. Demons Are Not the Souls of Dead People
3D. The Devil and Demons Are Personal, Spirit-Beings

3B. The Nature of Satan

1C. The Meaning of Names Attached to Satan
1D. Satan (approx. 54x)—Job 1:6; 1 Chronicles 12:1; Revelation 12:9
2D. The Devil—Matthew 4:1; 13:39; Revelation 12:9
3D. Beelzebul—Matthew 12:24
4D. Belial24—2 Corinthians 6:15
2C. The Meaning of Titles Ascribed to Satan
1D. The god of This Age—2 Corinthians 4:4
2D. The Prince of This World—John 12:31; 1 John 5:19
3D. The Prince of the Power of the Air—Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:13
4D. The Evil One—Matthew 5:37; John 17:15
5D. Thief—John 10:10
6D. The Tempter—1 Thessalonians 3:5
5D. Murderer—John 8:44
6D. The Father of Lies—John 8:44
7D. Great Dragon—Revelation 12:9
8D. Prince of Demons—Mark 3:22
8D. His Final End—Revelation 20:10

VA. Demons as Fallen Angels

1B. Under the Authority of the Prince of Demons—Mark 3:22

2B. Designations for Them

1C. Unclean Spirits—Matthew 10:1; 12:43; Mark 1:23, 26
2C. Evil Spirits—Luke 7:21; 8:2; Acts 19:12-13
3C. Principalities and Powers—Romans 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Colossians 2:8-15

3B. Their Desires and Activities

1C. They Can Inhabit People and Speak through Them (Mark 1:34)
2C. They Can Inhabit Animals—Mark 5:12
3C. They Seek To Cause Disease, Though Not Every Disease Is Caused by Them—Matthew 12:22-24
4C. They Seek To Deceive Christians—2 Cor 11:14
5C. They Seek Worship from Christians—1 Cor 10:20
6C. Believers Must Resist Them—Ephesians 6:12-18; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8
7C. We Are Not To Be Ignorant of Satan’s Schemes—2 Corinthians 2:11
8C. They Would Love To Lead The Entire World Astray and Destroy It If God Permitted—John 10:10
9C. Summary

    The bottom line is that demons, like their father the prince of demons, want to thwart the salvific and sanctifying work of God by causing the people of God to sin or do anything that would render them less effective for Him. They also love to lead the entire world away from the truth in Christ and to destroy them if God permitted. Their ultimate plan is to overthrow the kingdom of light with the kingdom of darkness and to dethrone God.

VIA. The Judgment of Angels

1B. The Final Judgment Proves God’s Sovereignty Over These Angels—Revelation 20:10

2B. The Cross-Resurrection Event Was The Beginning of the End for Satan—John 12:31

VIIA. Dealing with Demons and Spiritual Warfare

1B. Important Didactic Texts Dealing Directly with Spiritual Warfare

1C. Summary Statement: James 4:7-8
2C. The Nature of the Battle: Ephesians 6:12-18
3C. The Foundation: Romans 16:20; Psalm 110:1; Ephesians 1:20-22; 2:5

2B. The Issue of Demon Possession

3B. Christians and Demon Possession


23 See Sydney H. T. Page, Powers of Evil: A Biblical Study of Satan and Demons (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 255-61.

24 The precise origin of this name is very difficult to pin down. It is probably not used in connection with any OT “personage,” but is found in later Jewish writings and at Qumran. It seems to indicate one who opposes God and his purposes. See Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 40 (Dallas: Word, 1986), electronic version, in loc.

Related Topics: Angelology, Teaching the Bible